IITA’s inbound operator members are prepared for international travel’s return

RESILIENT AND READY. That’s how I would describe IITA members. I have never seen such a positive group of professionals despite the adversity endured during the pandemic.

COVID-19 brought the global travel industry to a halt for an unprecedented period of time, and yet IITA members – particularly inbound operators – have remained resilient and undaunted as they work diligently to maintain their businesses, service their customers (be it with rebookings or cancellations) and reshape their products and business practices to meet the new demands post-pandemic.

While doing all of that with little reward, the endless volunteer time they have given to the association and industry has been admirable.

Volunteers have spent countless hours in advocacy efforts calling on the federal government for relief funding as well as preparing thought leader discussions to keep each other informed and moving forward.

There are other reasons international buyers should work with IITA members when planning travel to the United States – particularly working with inbound operators to develop travel plans.

IITA inbound operator members offer three basic value propositions:

1. Inbound Travel Expertise: Their insider knowledge is more important than ever before given post-pandemic norms and travel requirements. Many suppliers and DMOs downsized early in the pandemic or lost their international experts because they knew international travel would be among the last to recover. Inbound operators know the products and destinations that are ready for international visitors and right for specific clients.

2. Personal Service for High-Quality Experiences: For the same reasons, personal contacts and on-the-ground partners will allow international buyers to know what they are getting has been personally experienced and have the comfort that there is a personal contact to reach out to when needed. Inbound operators have personal relationships with their U.S. partners too, which ensures quality control.

3. Diversity of Products and Services: Inbound operators come in all shapes and sizes and represent different markets and product types – groups, FITs, itineraries or trip components. Regardless of buyers’ needs, inbound operators will provide experiences that the general public cannot get on their own.

IITA members are ready to help international operators and buyers with the best possible rates, programs and expertise available. Page through this issue to find profiles of inbound operator members that serve various markets and travelers with an array of products in addition to a directory of our supplier and destination members.

IITA has proven time and again that by working together, we can – and do – overcome challenges and achieve great things. The future will look different, and as we all adapt to this new normal, we will rebuild international travel and tourism together.

Safe Travels,

Lisa Simon
Executive Director
International Inbound Travel Association