We Travel For Women+: Catherine Prather, National Tour Association

March 15, 2023
Catherine Prather
2 min read
Catherine Prather (she/her)

President, National Tour Association
Live from: Kentucky, U.S.

Hi! I’m Catherine, and I’ve had the great honor of working with the National Tour Association for 29 years. While the work at NTA has always been gratifying, fulfilling, challenging, and fun, it’s the people—our NTA team, the members, and my many travel colleagues—who enrich me daily.

I live and work in Lexington, Kentucky, (gorgeous scenery, genuine people, beautiful horses, and wonderful Bourbon!).

I fell into the travel industry by accident. I’m actually in association management, and I’m lucky enough that the industry is travel (and I can’t imagine anything better). I came to NTA as their media writer in 1994.


Catherine Prather


As a female in the industry, a few, random things come to mind … I’m a nurturer at heart and service-oriented. This is not only ideal for association management, but also for travel. I like making people happy, and travel makes you happy (or it’s supposed to!). And, as a female, there have been times when I have felt under-valued. I have to remind myself that no one can make me feel that way—I allow it and I do it to myself.

Everywhere you look in travel, you’ll find talented, smart, accomplished, creative women. I do feel supported, and I work to return this. I remember starting out and not having a lot of confidence—I still check myself and have to give myself a boost on occasion!—so I want other women+ to believe in themselves and the valuable contributions and the important voices they have. It doesn’t matter the age, position, or level of experience, we all need to support and respect one another; top-down and bottom-up.

There are many women in leadership positions throughout the travel industry, and while there can and should be more, we’re probably better represented in travel than in many other industries. I’ve also seen women at different times in their tourism career—some very new to the industry—being given a chance to take a stand, make a difference, initiate change, or lead a program. That’s inspiring.

Moving forward, we must look beyond gender or any labels. Just see one another for the contributions you know they can make. We’re all still trying to untangle ourselves from the past three years of challenge, so be open to accepting a different way of thinking, or giving someone fresh to the industry an opportunity, or eliminating past biases.

I grew up in a family with strong women—wonderful grandmothers, fantastic mom, awesome aunts, and the best sister ever. Women’s History Month is just the opportunity to sit down, have conversations, hear stories of the past, celebrate your family’s heritage, and thank the strong women in your life for helping to nurture yours.