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of the U.S. inbound travel industry

The mission of IITA is to help inbound operators facilitate
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Latest News

China Market Update Webinar

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 at 2pm EST

David Huang of Chinese Host Inc.

David Huang of Chinese Host Inc.

2016 marked the U.S. China Tourism Year. Throughout the year, the Department of Commerce has been working with the China National Tourism Administration, Brand USA, the U.S. Travel Association and other partners to promote travel and tourism between the United States and China. As the second largest source of spending on U.S. travel and tourism, China is essential to the industry. There are tremendous benefits to having specialized training to understand the complexity of the China market. This webinar will examine how the U.S. China Tourism Year has been received and educate participants on how to best service and do business with the Chinese traveler. Daniel Huang, President of Chinese Host, will provide real world, practical application strategies for working with Chinese visitors and the cultural nuances to help you best understand their needs and expectations.

David Huang is the owner and president of Chinese Host Inc. (CHD) founded in 2000. Initially, CHD started as a tour company for Chinese travelers to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. He soon added meeting and incentive services. Today, Chinese Host has grown dramatically. They operate more than 40 buses, create FIT and Group itineraries, employ a Go123 shuttle bus system, provide bespoke customized travel arrangements. They also run a  proprietary reservation and information platform for Chinese travel producers along with full service representation services in China. CHD has hosted more than one million Chinese travelers since 2011 and features key destinations and attractions in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah and the National Parks.

Mr. Huang volunteered to assist NCOT (Nevada Commission on Tourism) in becoming the first state to be granted an official state tourism office in China. He helped build the strategy for NTA’s China initiative, serves on MGM’s Diversity Action Council in Las Vegas which he also initiated and serves on the Visit China board for Las Vegas.

CHD has its corporate headquarters in Las Vegas with branch offices in Los Angeles and China.

Click Here to Register



Hurricane Matthew Update from Sustaining Member Visit Florida

We continue to closely monitor Hurricane Matthew as it approaches Florida. As local and state authorities prepare for the storm, so too is the tourism industry. The health and safety of our visitors is our highest priority and it is vital for us to provide them with up-to-date information so they can make the most informed travel planning decisions.

VISIT FLORIDA continues to update the Travel Advisory ribbon and the Florida Now page on in concert with National Hurricane Center updates. Florida Now is a dedicated landing page that serves as the communication portal to assist people currently visiting, or planning to visit, with messages and real-time information provided by destination marketing organizations and local sources. The content on Florida Now is pulled from social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and aggregated using the hashtag #FloridaNow.

I encourage you to share local updates via social media using #FloridaNow to help visitors get accurate and current information. Sharing real-time conditions, images and videos throughout this weather event will help communicate what is happening in your area.

Given the magnitude of this storm, which could impact much of the state’s east coast and result in evacuations, we have activated our Emergency Accommodations Module. Lodging businesses just received the request to begin populating their data. This information is accessible on the Florida Now page and will assist travelers and Floridians seeking alternative accommodations when evacuating from the storm.

In addition, we continue to have ongoing communications with destination marketing organizations across the state, VISIT FLORIDA’s Board of Directors, the Governor’s Office and the State Emergency Operations Center.

Thank you for your ongoing support and for your efforts throughout this weather event. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

J. William Seccombe
President & CEO

2000px-US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svgMembers urge more support to fix our parks
Lexington, KY – The International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) is urging Congress to pass the National Park Service Centennial Act, H. R. 4680, which identifies new revenue for national park infrastructure repairs, programs, and Centennial Challenge Grants, which match private donations to park facilities.

IITA members include inbound tour operators and suppliers such as lodging companies, transportation operators, destinations, attractions, and restaurants, and annually bring in thousands of international visitors to the national parks.

The National Park Service (NPS) estimates it has almost $12 billion in deferred maintenance at its more than 400 sites which includes inaccessible trails and roads, historic buildings in need of restoration, and sewage and electrical systems long past their lifecycle. The repair needs linger, as the celebration of the NPS centennial and the IMAX film ‘National Parks Adventure,’ produced in conjunction with Brand USA, spark more global interest in national parks and translate into rising demand from international tourists.

“Our members are seeing a dramatic increase in international visitors who want to visit America’s national parks,” said Lisa Simon, IITA Executive Director. “It is imperative that the parks be in good shape, particularly the roads and other infrastructure, to accommodate this demand.”

“If you take inflation into account, since 2010, national park operations funding has dropped nearly 4%, construction funding is down 26%, and over 2000 full time equivalent positions have been eliminated,” Simon noted. “This legislation is a good first step to address some of these issues and make it easier to meet the demands of even more visitors at our national parks.”

The National Parks are a pivotal part of the international traveler experience, according to Sean Bayliss, VP and General Manager of Mark International. “The majority of travelers cite the parks as their main reason for visiting the United States, and the majority will visit four, five or even more parks during their trip.”

And it’s not just visitors who are impacted. Some IITA members are also facing difficulty dealing with needed repairs at the NPS sites.

“We have product in or near all of the parks in the American West, and experience a number of infrastructure problems including needed road and bridge repair,” said Gary Schluter, Chairman of IITA and general manager of Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours. “And although a few parks have newer visitor centers, many were built in the 1950s or 60s and need updating to meet the needs of a new generation of international travelers.”

“In the eastern USA, we see increased demand for national parks to balance out the city-oriented focus of the past,” said Peter van Berkel, president of Travalco. “Unfortunately, visitors sometimes find basic visitor services unavailable or inaccessible due to needed repairs and lack of funding.”

With national park repair needs in the billions, IITA would like to see Congress not only pass the Centennial Bill, but seek additional ways, in the future, to address the maintenance backlog.

The International Inbound Travel Association is the only trade association solely representing the United States’ international inbound travel industry and U.S.-based inbound tour operators. IITA members include inbound tour operators and suppliers (lodging companies, transportation, destinations, attractions, restaurants, etc.) from across the country.

Open Skies Decision Will Accelerate Goal of 100 Million Visitors to the U.S.

Lexington, Ky. 
The International Inbound Travel Association applauds the Obama Administration for preserving existing Open Skies agreements and refusing to freeze service from Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways. In recent reports, the State Department confirmed that the Administration would not initiate formal consultations between the U.S. and the UAE and Qatar nor freeze new routes from the Middle Eastern airlines despite demands from the Big 3 legacy airlines.

“We applaud the State Department for supporting Open Skies as it will help visitors from the Middle East and connecting passengers from Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa to make the US their destination of choice,” said Chairman Gary Schluter, General Manager of Rocky Mountain Holidays Tours. “Open Skies agreements have vastly expanded international flights and visitation to the United States particularly from underserved markets, which is critical in reaching the goal set in the National Travel and Tourism Strategy of welcoming 100 million international visitors by 2020.”

IITA has advocated for this outcome since Open Skies came under attack last year, issuing statements to Secretaries Kerry, Fox and Pritzker that such a misguided change in policy would create sever economic instability in the U.S. travel and tourism industry, specifically inbound travel – the nation’s number one services export. “We’re thrilled with the outcome,” added Schluter. “And urge the Administration to consider expanding Open Skies to more foreign carriers.”

The International Inbound Travel Association is the only trade association solely representing the United States’ international inbound travel industry and U.S.-based inbound tour operators. IITA members include inbound tour operators and suppliers (lodging companies, transportation, destinations, attractions, restaurants, etc.) from across the country.