IITA Insights Newsletter - June 14, 2017
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News From IPW

I would first like to thank everyone who attended our Pre-IPW 2017 Opening Night Reception in Washington, DC last week. This was the second year IITA has hosted this reception just prior to the opening kick-off to the #1 Travel Trade show in the USA. With over 100 people attending the reception, and several potential new members asking about membership, this was another successful event for IITA.   
I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Travel Portland as the Pre-IPW Opening Night Reception event sponsor. Travel Portland will also be our host city for Summit 2018 coming up in February. Be sure to put this event on your calendars. Thank you also to our host hotel, the Capital Hilton, and our co-sponsor Hiltons of Washington DC.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend a special thank you to Malcolm Smith and U.S. Travel/IPW for our strong partnership that broadens the reach of the IITA brand to the inbound travel community. Lisa and her team were kept very busy at the IITA booth during the show with 60+ appointments, in addition to conversations around the show with new potential ITO and supplier members. 
Prior to IPW 2017, the IITA Board met and announced this year’s committee chairs. The next step in the process is for you, our valued members, to find a committee you could engage with to further advance the mission of IITA. The best way to help with our advocacy and education is to become involved!  Your assistance is very much appreciated. Email to sign up. Committees and their chairs are:
     Advocacy Committee: Gerrit De Vos
     Marketing Committee: Gabriel Martinez
     Membership Committee: Etty Scaglia and Jordi Zarroca
     Summit Committee: Jennifer Lloyd
To all who attended IPW 2017, I hope you had a great and successful week. Congratulations to U.S. Travel for another great show and to Destination DC for serving as an outstanding host. I look forward to greeting each of you next year at IPW 2018 in my backyard, Denver!

-Gary Schluter, Chairman
 Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours

February 4-7, 2018
IITA Summit
More Information
2018 IITA Summit
February 4-7, 2018
IPW Experiences Show Welcome Message Is Working
By: Stephen B. Richer, CTP

In the face of a recommendation to zero out the budget of Brand USA and mixed results on various processes to gain entrance to the United States, buyers to the 2017 IPW in Washington, DC, encountered a coordinated effort to display strong welcoming messages to all international delegates.
This was particularly critical with a continuing expression for the need of a "travel ban" against certain countries and prospectively against certain populations, including Muslims, which was back in the news as the IPW delegates were arriving.

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From the Inside with Chris Pilley, Owner of Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours 
Chris Pilley moved to Fort Collins and began his career in the tourism industry as a part time and seasonal employee with Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours.  At the end of the season he stayed on and began working closely with the owner, later working his way up in the company. He worked on winter contracting, allotments, reservations, accounts receivable and contracting.  After seven years of learning the ins and outs of the business, Chris purchased RMHT from the founder of the company, who is now the General Manager.
Chris lives in Fort Collins with his fiancée and their two dogs and three cats. When not travelling, he spends most of his time outdoors hiking, biking, backpacking, camping, fishing, golfing or enjoying a Colorado craft beer.

1. What has been the biggest obstacle you have faced as a Generation Y’er in a business where many are decades older than yourself?

The difference in understanding technology between the generations is what I’d consider the biggest obstacle. There are many companies that we work with, both as suppliers and tour operators, that haven’t fully committed to using today’s technology and to be honest we’re behind with this as well. Nowadays, the technology is advancing so quickly that the longer the implantation process takes, the further behind you are, thus making the implantation process even more difficult. It has the potential to become a very vicious cycle if not actively managed. The younger generation books travel differently, much in part to the advances of the large OTA’s booking methods, so for the small, specialized companies to stay relevant it’s imperative that we keep up with technology.

Click here to read more. 
Renewal notices have been sent to all IITA members. Renew today!
Governor's Fight For $76M Visit Florida Budget Pays Off

The Florida legislature has fully restored funding to Visit Florida at $76 million of 2017-2018 -- matching the current budget -- after initially cutting the DMO's funding to $25 million. The move followed Gov. Rick Scott's veto of the cut and consequent restoration of the $76 million budget during a special legislative session that took place June 7-9.

"We've fully funded Visit Florida so we can continue to break visitation records," said Scott, a major proponent of the DMO, in a statement.