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This is a tumultuous period for the international inbound travel market, but IITA has persevered and is proud to present the 2020 edition of Inbound Insider. This annual publication promotes IITA’s mission of inclusivity and development in the inbound market, and this year’s publication emphasizes the organization’s proactive steps in wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Feature articles include a spotlight on IITA’s Connectivity Task Force and partnership with OpenTravel Solutions to advocate for interconnectivity in the industry as well as up-to-date travel advice from global health organizations. We also look to the future and a stabilized inbound market with 10 Regional Spotlights, which highlight themed attractions in some of America’s most iconic cities and locales.
In addition, Inbound Insider contains in-depth profiles of all IITA member tour operators and a refreshed directory that includes contact information and brief summaries of IITA’s hundreds of members. We appreciate your continued readership during this trying time and support of the international inbound market.
WE ARE SEEING tremendous change in the B2B practices throughout the global travel industry. Mergers and acquisitions, the dynamic digital age and the explosion of technology-driven distribution channels are just some of the factors that continue to impact how we do business.
With so many changes taking place, it makes sense for international tour operators, travel agents, MICE and other buyers to rely on U.S. inbound operators as their trusted partners. Specifically, international operators can be confident in building strong working relationships with U.S. inbound operators who are members of the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA).
IITA members have expertise in delivering the real American travel experience geared for the international traveler, including first-tier gateways and varied destinations across the country. They understand how to create holistic experiences that showcase the best of the United States, and they know that networking is key to making that possible.
That’s why they’re known as inbound insiders. IITA inbound operators understand the diverse needs among international markets and that their cultural background can greatly influence the way international travelers experience the U.S. There are many factors to understand in order to deliver the best possible travel experience, including specific considerations involving religion, sensitivities, language, timing, food and dining customs. Understanding these cultural backgrounds enables IITA inbound operators to provide specific tours, activities, food and accommodations that best meet the needs and wants of the international visitor. They are key partners for tour operators in defining how visitors engage with the travel product, ultimately defining the overall American experience and satisfying a key demographic in our industry .
With more than 77 million travelers visiting the United States each year from around the world, tour operators need reliable partners that have the expertise to provide high-quality and unique experiences.
IITA members have that expertise. They are the first to recognize trends and other factors that can impact travel to the U.S. Through IITA, they have “insider” information and contacts to restaurants and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) from across the country—all ready and waiting to greet international visitors.
Whether international travelers are in the U.S. on business or for pleasure, individually or in groups, international operators can rest assured they will be served with best practices and innovative solutions for all their needs.
I invite you to learn more about IITA and the reasons why you should be partnering with inbound operators in the United States who are members of this association. I also invite you to page through the rest of this magazine to learn more about what’s trending in the U.S. and to access our member directory. You’ll find profiles of IITA inbound operators that include their markets, products and services, languages and U.S. destinations to which they provide travel products.
Our inbound insiders look forward to welcoming your guests to our beautiful country!
All the best,
International Inbound Travel Association
FEW WOULD ARGUE WE are not seeing tremendous change in the global travel industry. Mergers, the evolving digital age and changing socio-economic climates are just some of the factors that continue to impact how we do business on a daily basis.
With so many changes coming our way, it makes sense, now more than ever, that international tour operators be able to rely on inbound operators as their trusted partners here in the U.S. One of the ways for international operators to feel confident in building strong working relationships with U.S. inbound operators is to specifically seek out those who are members of the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA).
IITA inbound operators offer a wealth of advantages to operators working with us around the globe. In fact, the differentiation between those who are IITA members and those who aren’t is so distinct that IITA member operators are becoming known as “Inbound Insiders”— which explains the name of the publication you are reading.
Governance of the association provides opportunity for industry leaders to work together to set policy and strategic direction for long-term health and growth of the international inbound travel industry. Through a concerted effort, IITA leadership paves the way for industry improvement, best practices and innovative solutions within the international inbound travel industry for the U.S. We are change agents rather than passive participants.
As IITA members, my fellow inbound operators and I are able to rely on a network of international travel professionals, both on the operator side as well as those representing destinations, hotels, restaurants and other suppliers to the travel industry. With regular opportunities to gather and exchange ideas and information, IITA members are among the first to recognize industry trends that can impact travel to the U.S.
The annual IITA Summit, for example, provides members with an educational program featuring the latest information and a slate of industry experts offering up their perspectives on today’s international travel issues. This insider knowledge offers a major advantage for international operators looking to include the U.S. market when they partner with an IITA member operator.
In addition to networking and education, IITA members are active on policy issues, frequently making their voices heard in Washington D.C. on issues like changes in National Park fees and air travel regulations. Through committee work and public-private partnering in the travel industry, IITA members are not only educating themselves about governmental policies impacting their business, they are helping to shape those policies. IITA members are steadfastly committed to being proactive in building the future of international inbound travel.
As an international operator, I invite you to learn more about IITA and the reasons why you should be partnering with inbound operators in the U.S. who are members of this association. You won’t be disappointed about the professionalism and knowledge exhibited by IITA members. I invite you to page through this publication to learn more about our industry and to access the profiles of IITA inbound operators working specifically with your country and the destinations in the U.S. you are seeking for your client itineraries. You won’t be disappointed!
International Inbound Travel Association