Season’s Greetings! My best wishes to everyone for a most happy and joyous holiday season, for whatever you might celebrate, I pray you will do it with health and family!
With 2017 coming to an end (where did this year go?), I’ve been thinking about you – our members – and what we’ve been working on to strengthen the inbound industry for you. We’ve had a busy twelve months developing a number of new programs and initiatives for the coming year – some you’ve heard about and more you’ll hear about at Summit in Portland, February 4-7, 2018. Be sure to join us there as we kick off a new year!
As you know, we’ve had an active advocacy agenda on inbound travel issues, with our priority focus on opposing the recently proposed National Parks plan for fee increases and new tour operator requirements across the park system, and the proposed reservation system at Arches.
I represented IITA at NTA this past week, and the buzz seemed to be focused on the fee increases, which will certainly be detrimental to our business.
However, we need the industry to focus also on the proposed reservation system at Arches, because it will be a huge factor for international visitors coming to the USA to visit our parks, especially if it “spreads” to other parks once the precedent of Arches has been set. This will affect both our FIT/Fly-drive programs AND Groups.
We have a long way to go on these issues. We need the NPS to meet and collaborate with the industry on the best way to manage these issues. We appreciate your support as we fight to protect our nation’s treasures from undue changes that will only cause more issues for American and international visitors alike.
As we prepare for the holiday break, I wanted to let you know our headquarters office will be closed from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day. The staff will return to the office on Tuesday, January 2. Staff will be checking emails during that time away, so if you have an urgent need, please let us know.
Otherwise, we’ll reconnect in the new year with a flurry of activity as we prepare for the Summit with appointment scheduling, board elections and more. I look forward to seeing you all February 4-7, 2018, in Portland.
I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Lisa, Sarah and Lori—our IITA Staff—for the great help and many hours they have put into the organization. And, wish everyone once again a Happy Holidays—and a Happy, Successful and Healthy 2018. SEE YOU IN PORTLAND!
-Gary Schluter, Chairman
Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours