Spring may be a time for new beginnings, but autumn brings us an opportune time for reflection and renewal. That turned out to be the case as your IITA Board spent several days recently examining the progress of your association and work yet to be done.
An important step any association can take is to learn to speak with one voice. That can only be accomplished when leadership has come together to identify priorities and opportunities. Your Board was hard at work doing just that during our recent retreat. In doing so, we have developed three key messages to provide a foundation for speaking with one voice and explaining to others why they would want to get involved in the association.
The first key message developed by your Board is that, “IITA, the International Inbound Travel Association, offers the most trusted and valuable insider information on U.S. travel destinations and services.” A key point in this message is the intentional use of the word “insider.” It tells you that by coming together under the umbrella of the association, we are able to establish a knowledge base not easily duplicated elsewhere.
The second message adopted by your Board is, “IITA members offer the deepest expertise and in-depth local knowledge of the real, authentic American travel experience, geared for the international traveler.” In addition to again alluding to the advantages of insider knowledge, this message also speaks of the need to focus not just on “first-tier” locations, but on the vast and varied destinations stretching the breadth of the country.
The final key message is, “Membership in IITA connects operators, suppliers and destinations focused on inbound international travel. We provide insider knowledge and education on best travel practices, and advocacy on issues that matter to the inbound industry.” This message was crafted to remind us not only of the industry sectors playing a role in establishing and growing the association, but also the benefits available to those associated with IITA: relevant education, insider knowledge and advocacy for the inbound industry.
I hope these key messages help you communicate to others the advantages of being associated with IITA. While we may aspire to speak with one voice, it is the individual voices at work internally that build your association.
One last note: at the close of our recent meeting, I asked each Board member to provide me with five ideas that should be included on a list of etiquette for visiting our country’s national parks. If you have ideas that you would like to include please forward those to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
-Gary Schluter, Chairman
Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours