IITA Insights Newsletter - September 28, 2017
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Welcome to Autumn---when we hope that Hurricane Season is finally coming to an end along the Gulf and East Coast---and fire season is ending in the West.  It seems every year that which we cannot control just seems to get more and more out of hand! 

I will be working on the sub-committee for the US-Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB) that will help the Government know how they can work with the private sector in reacting to natural disasters. Presently, the public relations response seems to fall to local and state levels. News outlets are quick to report information on how bad things are, which is important, but the story of recovery never seems to see the same light. For the tourism sector, the story of revovery is vital as we try to bring visitors back to our beloved destinations.

I received information on the new proposals for Zion National Park, Group and Individuals. They continue to explore options for a system that will require pre-set reservation times for entrance to Zion National Park. How this will affect the international arrivals depends on how the reservations are made and by whom. One point of interest in the study was that several of the National Parks are re-defining what was once called a visitor, someone who they looked at as visiting their park only, and now starting to refer to them as a tourist, a person who visits a region and their park is only a portion of this visit. Through this refinement of terms, the National Parks need to put the overall visit into the context of a region. They will need to explore how their decisions might play out for others and not just their small portion of someone’s travel plans. 
Summit Registration for Portland is OPEN!  Visit the IITA website for more information. Register before October 31 to save hundreds of dollars! The Summit Planning Committee is working on a great educational program for Portland — the leaders panel featuring top inbound operators will be part of the general session. Travel Portland has planned some great Summit additions like the sightseeing excursions being offered to all attendees.  This is a great opportunity to attend a one-of-a-kind show  and eplore one of the best cities and regions of the American West!
-Gary Schluter, Chairman
 Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours

October 11-13, 2017
Arival: The In-Destination Event
More Information
2018 IITA Summit
February 4-7, 2018
More Information
Register Here
Impact of Natural Disasters on Inbound Tourism
By: Stephen B. Richer, IITA Consultant

In a year when natural disasters have dominated the daily news cycle on a global level for weeks, it is important to understand how the reality of tourism damage— and the news preceding any disaster—can impact inbound tourism.
In late August and early September 2017, the U.S. was hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria with media reporting anticipated land fall severity in the maximum Category 5 range in all three cases, building a strong case for travelers to avoid visiting the Texas/west Gulf Coast region due to Hurricane Harvey, and all of Florida, which had been declared a disaster area statewide by Florida Governor Rick Scott, due to Hurricane Irma. Hurricanes Irma and Maria also were projected to hit parts of the Caribbean very hard, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The weeks of media coverage certainly were discouraging to any international travel planners looking at future trips to destinations such as Houston; the Texas Gulf Coast beach communities like Galveston or South Padre Island; New Orleans; the U.S. Virgin Islands; Puerto Rico; and east and west coast Florida destinations, including Miami, Tampa, and the Florida Keys, as well as Orlando.
If your business to these destinations saw a spike in cancellations or modifications to other parts of the country during late summer, please share your stories with us.

Read More Here

2018 IITA Summit Early-Bird Registration
The 2018 IITA Summit Registration is officially open. Register now through October 31 to save hundreds on your registration! Visit the IITA website for details on the Super Bowl Party, Sightseeing Excursions, Welcome Reception and Awards Dinner. You can also find the schedule of events here.

Week 1 - Registered Inbound Operators:
  • America 4 You, LLC
  • Bonotel Exclusive Travel
  • Cosmopolitain Incentives
  • Hotelbeds USA Inc.
  • JTB USA Inc.
  • Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours
  • TeamAmerica Inc. 
  • Travalco USA, Inc. 
Click Here to Register Today!
Are you interested in becoming a Summit Sponsor? Click here to review 2018 IITA Summit Sponsorship Opportunities or contact Toby Bishop to design your custom package today!
Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown
Nestled in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon – recently named as one of the ‘Places to Go in 2017’ by the New York Times – this predominantly all-suite hotel offers exceptional levels of convenience and service. Built in 1912, the building combines original architecture and features with modern comfort, and is only two blocks from the city’s Max Light Railway System. The hotel is also the only Embassy Suites by Hilton that is a member of Historic Hotels of America.

IITA Summit Room Rates – Must Book Before January 15th! 
Standard Single – $189.00 ++/night

Reserve Your Room:

Online : IITA Embassy Suites Room Block

By Phone: 800.643.7892
Group Code: IIT
Group Name: 2018 IITA Summit
Support Destination Disaster Recovery
2018 IITA Summit Silent Auction

IITA is proud to support Tourism Care's Destination Disaster Recovery through the proceeds of the 2018 IITA Summit Silent Auction.

Mike Rea, 
president and CEO of Tourism Cares, recently wrote, "Tourism Cares is a US nonprofit organization, but it is so much more. It is love activated, from this singularly human industry--through you.

We are asking each of our members to thoughtfully consider how you can make a difference.

1. Donate to Tourism Cares Today
2. Donate a package to the 2018 IITA Summit Silent Auction -
Complete Form
3. Bid Often and Bid High at Summit. 
Last Call for
Brand USA Board Applications

Deadline to apply is September 29, 2017

Brand USA is seeking applicants for three Board seats that will expire later this year. With inbound operators eligible for up to two of these seats, this is an excellent opportunity to get the voice of the inbound operator—the businesses bringing in the international visitors—into the conversation
Click here to view the Federal Register Notice soliciting applicants for three Brand USA Board seats that will expire later this year. Two represent categories for which inbound operators could be eligible: the travel distribution services seat and the small business/retail seat.
Brand USA is working to strengthen its product offerings, now is the perfect time for an operator to be seated on this Board. Please let us know if you’re interested and/or plan to apply for a Brand USA Board seat.
Arival, the In-Destination Event

IITA is proud to be an Association Partner with Arival, the In-Destination event taking place in Las Vegas, October 11-13.
Inbound tour operators need to understand this sector of the travel industry. Attendees are day tour operators, activities providers, attractions, and experiences. More and more of your clients are requesting interesting and authentic one-day experiences and Arival introduces you to 100s of suppliers. Do you know how to work with them?
DMOs are an important part of this eco-system. The suppliers help to draw travelers to your destination, creating a win/win relationship. DMOs help suppliers (and there is a featured session - "Working with your DMO"). As a DMO, you need to understand this business better. 
Arival features amazing speakers, practical workshops, and fantastic networking -- everything you need to get your company more engaged with these suppliers. This is the first event designed specifically for tour operators, activity providers, and in-destination experiences. Come and learn how they can impact your business.