IITA Insights Newsletter - February 15, 2017
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Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 IITA Summit. This year's Summit was filled with success. Summit brought together key leaders from across the industry to discuss the issues that matter most to our members and offer solutions to challenges the inbound industry is facing. You can view highlights from Summit on our Facebook Page or Website.

There are so many people to say thank you to for this amazing program.  I would like to start with our Host Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, Renee Areng and her staff. The hospitality in Biloxi and the Gulf Coast region was truly “Southern Hospitality” at its best.  I would also like to extend my Thanks to Craig Ray, Rachel Obermeier and Visit Mississippi, as well as our numerous other sponsors who made this event possible.

During Summit I revealed the Strategic Plan that the Board has been diligently working on for the last several months. (You can visit the IITA website to learn more.) One of the goal areas I discussed was Member Value and Engagement. We want all IITA members to receive a high return on investment for their membership by participating in IITA. We have a variety of objectives in setting this goal but, one is to broaden committee particpation and increase member volunteerism. This association does not run without the countless hours dedicated by volunteers. Jennifer Lloyd, Marriott International and Etty Scaglia, Accent on Dining are just two of those devoted volunteers. Jennifer and Etty co-chair the events committee and bring members together for meaningful dialogue, business and fun. Thank you both for all you do! I am also sure that they would love your help. If you would like to join the events or other IITA committees please email for more information. 
Finally, I would like to offer my highest Thank You for putting this Summit together and making it a success to our staff team led by Executive Director Lisa Simon and program coordinator Sarah Terry. They put in many hours and a lot of hard work to pull the program together. I know with such dedication it was a challenge for Lisa not to be able to attend Summit from the start but, our thoughts and prayers were with her as she dealt with a personal family loss. We were thrilled to have her join us at the close of Summit. Lisa, you are a true Champion and on behalf of IITA I salute you as a great professional for our organization. And as a friend I know that all of us at IITA continue to offer you our prayers through this difficult time.

-Gary Schluter, Chairman
 Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours

March 23 - 24
Tourism Cares for Oakland
More Information

March 28-29
Destination Capitol Hill
More Information

May 11 - 12
Tourism Cares for Detroit
More Information

June 3-7
IPW 2017
More Information
Did you miss this year's Summit? Make plans now to join us in 2018 and 2019!
2018 IITA Summit
February 4-7, 2018
2019 IITA Summit
February 3-6, 2019
Travel Ban Is On Hold, But Creates Confusion

The Ninth Circuit Federal Court ruled on Thursday, February 9, in a unanimous opinion to sustain a prior ruling that voided the Executive Order banning travel to the United States by people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. President Trump says he is not going to appeal the decision for now, but is working on a new Executive Order on national security.
The topic of the travel ban was one of the hottest topics at last week's IITA Summit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Although information provided by the U. S. Department of Commerce and its National Travel and Tourism Office projected another year of growth based on information collected in the fourth quarter of 2016, anecdotal information and comments from other travel industry sources suggest that there has been an initial reaction from travelers, based on the confusion of who can travel and be assured of their ability to return home.

Click here to read more. 
On the Move
IITA is pleased to announce that former IITA Board Member, Sean Bayliss, has taken on a new role as consultant to Brand USA. Sean will work closely with Cathy Domanico, vice president of global trade development, and her team on Brand USA’s global trade initiatives with a focus on product development for the international travel trade.

Sean is the president of the International Tourism Resources Group (ITRG) and will be providing support to Brand USA on a contractual basis.  He will focus primarily on optimizing Brand USA's international representation network and travel trade outreach and developing tourism products for Brand USA partners – all aimed at increasing international visitation to the United States.

Click here to learn more. 
Congratulations to the 2017 IITA Stanley Award Recipients:
  • Excellence in Sales and Marketing
    Hotel: Starwood Hotels and Resorts
    Non-Hotel: Accent on Dining
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Filed of Operations
    Hotel: Wyndham Hotel Group
    Non-Hotel: Broadway Inbound
  • Chairman's Award for Cooperating with IITA Inbound Operators
    Hotel: Starwood Hotels and Resorts
    Non-Hotel: At. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches VCB
2017 IITA Stanley Fisher Outstanding Travel Professional of the Year
Etty Scaglia, Accent on Dining
Thank you to all of the organizations who donated to the 2017 IITA Summit Silent Auction. Through your generosity and that of our bidders we were able to raise $7,700 for Tourism Cares. To learn more about Tourism Cares please visit:
Thank you to our 2017 IITA Summit Sponsors: