In a feature story on Jan. 5 we focused on Cathy Greteman of Carroll who was just elected as chairman and CEO of the National Tour Association.

We asked Greteman her opinion on five travel questions. Here they are:

Question: What’s the most interesting place you’ve been to?


Greteman:
Probably the most interesting destination I’ve been to, and I’ve traveled to Indonesia and China and many different places around the world, but I was really fascinated with Egypt and felt as though it really holds a lot of treasures. The antiquities are just fascinating. It’s just a “wow” destination.

Question: What’s a so-called “sleeper” pick for travel, a place people don’t think of going, a surprise place or unlikely place that really surprised you as being a neat or interesting place that people from the Carroll area don’t consider?


Greteman:
There are places that are really phenomenal like Croatia and Slovakia that are really opening up for tourism. They are beautiful countries with wonderful beaches. Lots of great history with areas that weren’t bombed during the war.

You have medieval buildings right next to modern skyscrapers.

It’s really a pretty amazing area. Very safe and very inexpensive to travel.

Question: Considering the state of the economy nationally and globally how is the travel industry faring now? Are we seeing more local drive-time travel?


Greteman:
People are saying that they are staying a little closer to home.

What we began to see at the end of 2009 and what’s coming and it will be a little slower at the beginning of this year, all of those travelers out there who are real travelers, who have that desire to see things and haven’t done much, the pent-up need is going to be unbelievable.

They’re going to want to go. They’re going to want to find something different.
Katie bar the door, they’re going to be traveling.

Question: For somebody who has not traveled outside of the United States, ever, what would your recommendation be on a first foreign travel experience?


Greteman:
Of course there are wonderful places like the Caribbean. But if you are looking at Europe, I think probably one of the best choices you might want to make is an English-speaking country.

I’m thinking of Great Britain or Ireland. They are two completely different atmospheres. Both are extremely friendly and wonderful experiences whether you are going into the countryside or stay in the cities.

There’s lots of heritage there.

People love Germany as well, especially with a lot of Germans in our area.

Question: What’s one city in the United States everyone should see before they die?


Greteman: That is so easy for me to answer because Washington, D.C., is one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world.

It has beautiful monuments. The inner city of Washington is so well planned. It is spectacular, and it holds a lot of American history.

There is just so much in and around D.C. that if you haven’t been there you have to go. It’s a must.