ASTA Destination Expo 2015

ASTA Destination Expo (ADE) 2015 was held in Marrakech, Morocco on Feb 26th through March 1st, 2015. AZ ASTA attendance included Staci Blunt, Laura Rodriguez, Hope Wallace, Duane Wallace and Cheryl Jones. General session panel discussions, seminars, trade show participation, sightseeing tours, and pre-/post-familiarization trips all came together to help make us destination experts for this exotically beautiful yet friendly country. The first evening event included an Arabian Nights themed dinner inside a giant tent with acrobats, musicians, costumed characters from around the country, camel rides, belly dancing, horsemanship displays and fireworks. The next night we were treated to a luxurious evening at the Selman Hotel with various food displays, live music performed by professional singers, and outdoor dancing. The final hosted night around the outdoor pool and courtyard at the Mogador Hotel re-created the feeling of being at the Djemaa el-Fnaa—a square and market place in Marrakesh’s medina quarter (old city) with snake charmers, acrobats, fresh food vendors, mint tea, spices, camel rides and more.

The following images are of the event. To view a larger image, click on the thumbnail.

Staci with Julie and Jan from Chicago ASTA enjoying welcome tea together at the Riad Papillon Riad Papillon dipping pool in interior courtyard Yves St. Laurent Garden Staci, Julie, Jan and Priscilla enjoy a carriage ride through the medina Staci at the Bahia Palace In the medina Storks at Badia Palace (ruins) The minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech's most famous symbol Palais des Congres—where the ASTA Destination Expo was held Welcomed with mint tea at the Palais des Congres Greeter at our opening night event Couscous and Vegetables with beef at opening night event Dessert at opening night event Zane Kerby speaking at general session Duane and Hope Wallace enjoying dinner at the luxurious Selman Hotel Staci, Laura and Cheryl enjoying music outside at the Selman Hotel Staci and Julie with Arabian greeters Panel about the lives and careers of Moroccan women at the ASTA Expo Getting a Henna “tattoo” on the Expo floor at the Papillon Riad booth Overlooking the medina with a backdrop of the snowy Atlas Mountains Shopping at the souks Shopping at the souks Beautiful fountain Dinner event at the Mogador Hotel Fresh squeezed orange juice—one of the many vendors available to us Staci holding a snake! Laura, Staci, Hope, Duane and Cheryl with a traditional water bearer Duane, Hope, Laura, Staci and Cheryl with a camel