Earlier this month the Board of Directors and several members of the Advisory Board met in beautiful and historic St Augustine. It was a great location for the meeting. There is so much history in the First European settlement in the “new world”. I would encourage anyone who has not visited the historic Castillo de San Marcos - the first fort built in the USA to help the Spanish protect their northern border against the encroaching British - to go there soon. The fort has never lost a battle! The Board also got to enjoy the tastes of Jacksonville thanks to Bob Meyer and Visit Jacksonville. Next time you are in the area, head straight to MOXIE and order the Chicken and Waffles. Need I say more? Visit Florida graciously provided transportation to get us back and forth between the destinations.
While it may not sound like it, a lot of hard work and strategizing was covered over a short two-day period. On day one, the Board delved into strategic planning. We explored where our energies have been directed in the past and present—and where we feel the organization should be heading in the future. The second day was devoted to two subjects—How IITA can work with Brand USA to help promote the objectives of both organizations and defining “What is an ITO." Thank you Peter van Berkel and committee for getting this conversation started. As we explore the theme of Diversity in Travel for Summit, it is evident that this is in full display everywhere - even in defining membership categories. It is vital for all business models to have a role as we work to fulfill the mission of IITA - to help inbound operators facilitate travel to the United States through our expertise and partnerships with suppliers. Please stay tuned to future newsletters and the IITA website for more specific information on what came out of the August Board Retreat.
-Gary Schluter, Chairman
Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours