On the Road Again

2022 Summit Education Program

3 – 4:45 p.m.  Operator Forum: Shaping the Post-Pandemic World of Inbound Travel

(Ventana Room)

Lisa SimonFacilitator: Lisa Simon, IITA

A Summit favorite – This open forum provides operators the opportunity to have an open discussion with their peers about the state of inbound travel to the USA. With the restart of inbound travel, what challenges and opportunities will inbound operators face in 2022. Industry experts will join the discussion to discuss pertinent issues, like new legal considerations, sourcing new product and consistencies in travel restrictions for seamless travel experiences.

3 – 3:45 p.m.  Supplier Forum: Shaping the Post-Pandemic World of Inbound Travel

(Shell Room)

Cathleen JohnsonFacilitator: Cathleen Johnson, CJ Marketing

Suppliers will have an open discussion to share pandemic-related challenges and opportunities they’re dealing with as inbound travel resumes. Please join your fellow suppliers and share your experiences, challenges and outlook for the short- and long-term.

4 – 4:45 p.m.  DMO Forum: Shaping the Post-Pandemic World of Inbound Travel

(Shell Room)

Cathleen JohnsonFacilitator: Cathleen Johnson, CJ Marketing

DMOs will have an open discussion to share challenges and opportunities they’re dealing with as inbound travel resumes. Please join your fellow DMOs and share your experiences, challenges and outlook for the short- and long-term. As this session follows the Supplier Forum, the facilitator will bring forward the insight from DMO constituents for discussion on how to rebuild the destination for international travelers.

9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  General Sessions

9:35 a.m.  State of the Industry

(Mission Bay AB)

Roger DowFeaturing: Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association 

At the 2020 IITA Summit, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow presented the state of the travel industry and the inbound market, including a newly reported coronavirus emerging in China. Two years later, Dow will provide a retrospective on the pandemic’s impact on travel and tourism and his vision for how the U.S. inbound travel industry rebounds.

10 a.m.  Forecast for International Travel to the U.S.

(Mission Bay AB)

Julie HeizerFeaturing: Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, National Travel & Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce

The US National Travel and Tourism Office serves to enhance the international competitiveness of the US travel and tourism industry and increase the nation’s exports, thereby creating US employment and economic growth. This session will examine the US inbound tourism forecast from the leading source countries and examine “up and coming” sources of leisure travelers to the United States.

10:45 – 11 a.m.  BREAK

11 – 12:15 p.m.  The Future of Travel & Tourism through the World Lens of the WTTC

(Mission Bay AB)

Kathleen MatthewsKeynote: Kathleen Matthews, Ambassador for the World Travel & Tourism Council

Join WTTC Ambassador Kathleen Matthews for a look at the key trends, priorities, and opportunities ahead as we move through the pandemic to restart international travel. Sustainability and inclusion must be at the heart of a more resilient and competitive global travel and tourism industry. Achieving success will require the engagement of all stakeholders from the early stages through the longer-term recovery to unlock the full growth potential of travel and tourism in years to come.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Kathleen Matthews

Panelists: TBA

Kathleen will moderate a panel discussion with industry leaders on how to navigate through the pandemic while making smart choices for a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable travel industry.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  LUNCH – Beach

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.  Working with U.S. Commercial Service

(Shell Room)

Aron DavidsonJulie HeizerSpeakers: Aron Davidson, Global Travel & Tourism Team Leader at the U.S. Commercial Service; Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, National Travel & Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, offers companies a full range of services and expertise in international trade, including building international inbound travel exports. Travel destinations and companies can find assistance locally in more than 100 U.S. Commercial Service offices nationwide and in more than 70 international offices. Find out how you can work with USCS to reach multiple markets and maximize your inbound marketing dollars.

3 – 4 p.m.  Technology Demos hosted by the Technology Task Force and OTA

(Ventana Room)

IITA Technology Members will showcase their products and services that will help suppliers and DMOs create efficiencies and establish connections throughout the travel distribution system.

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. Reshaping Inbound Travel Distribution – Why a Hybrid Model May Be the Answer

(Shell Room)

Jennifer AckersonQuintin BlairLisa CullyGerrit De VosLena RossModerator: Jennifer Ackerson, President, ALON Marketing Group   

Panel: Quintin Blair, Vice President: Leisure Travel Development, Blair Hotels; Lisa Cully, Associate Director Leisure Travel North America, BWH Hotel Group; Gerrit De Vos, Vice President Business Development, AmericanTours International; Lena Ross, Director of Product Development, America 4 You

Connectivity has been driving change in the travel distribution system in recent years, and while technology is a tool for solving distribution inefficiencies, it is often confused with dynamic rate distribution. Revenue managers are driving business models to dynamic rates only without understanding the value of the inbound operator’s business. Connectivity can handle both dynamic and static rate models – both of which are needed in today’s B2B inbound travel partnerships. This panel of inbound operators and hoteliers will discuss the benefits of both static and dynamic rate structures and when each is appropriate for B2B inbound travel business.

9 – 9:45 a.m.  General Session, sponsored by BWH Hotel Group
International Inbound: Rebuilding a Better Industry

(Mission Bay AB)

Peter Van BerkelJulie CokerFred DixonModerator: Peter van Berkel, President, Travalco / Chairman of IITA

Panelists: Julie Coker, CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority; Fred Dixon, CEO, NYC & Company

At a time when the U.S. inbound travel industry was already facing serious challenges – declining global market share, rapid change in travel distribution, workforce churn and over-tourism – international travel came to a screeching halt, with essentially two years lost to the pandemic. Covid-19 has intensified these issues, adding even more confusion related to health and safety protocols and travel restrictions. Hear from industry leaders about the challenges we face and the opportunities ahead.

10 – 11 a.m.  Breakout Session I, sponsored by BWH Hotel Group
Will you be ready when they are ready? Managing the New Expectations (including under- and over-hyped trends?)

(Mission Bay AB)

Rafael VillanuevaMakkikoElliot CallowayModerator: Rafael Villanueva, Managing Director, Beyond Global Solutions

Panelists:
Makiko Matsuda Healy, Managing Director Tourism Market Development, NYC & Company; Elliot Calloway, Senior Director, Brand Partnerships & East Coast Contracting, Bonotel Exclusive Travel

The international inbound travel sector was hit hardest by the industry’s extensive downsizing and slashed budgets resulting from Covid-19. International teams and budgets were the first to go, with the common knowledge that international travel would be slower to recover, with variations across the inbound markets. In the second year of the pandemic, we’re left with many questions about the future. Will these dramatic reductions in international marketing negatively affect the level of service and quality that international travelers have come to expect? How do we avoid under-delivery? Could there be a longer-term impact on the desire for the U.S. as a destination? And how do we know when to ramp up marketing to which markets? Join this panel of travel leaders for a discussion on how the pandemic will reshape inbound travel moving forward.

Continuing Your Path to Sustainability

(Shell Room)

Cathleen JohnsonFeaturing  Cathleen Johnson, CJ Marketing

We all want to make the world a better place, particularly as we rebuild travel and tourism in the post-pandemic world. Sustainable travel and business practices will help us do just that. Changing the world can certainly feel overwhelming, but engaging in more sustainable practices is not always as hard as we expect it to be. We can start making more responsible choices within our businesses and for our international clients at the community level where the learning, growing and evolving never ends. Join us for this session to hear from Tourism Cares on the power of community-based tourism, and how infusing people and places in the tourism value change can generate incredible positive impacts for destinations and the inbound travel industry.

Protecting Yourself in an Uncertain World: The Latest on Legal Matters – (directed toward Operators)

(Ventana Room)

Jeffrey MentFeaturing: Jeff Ment, Managing Partner, Ment Law Group

COVID-19 keeps changing! Are your policies keeping up? What new terms and conditions should you consider incorporating into your agreements. Join attorney Jeff Ment to learn today’s legal do’s and don’ts and discover the tools available to you to protect your business during these uncertain times. And hear the latest in the independent contractor/employee debate to determine what structure is best for you.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Breakout Session II, sponsored by BWH Hotel Group
Insights into Aviation’s Recovery

(Shell Room)

Daniel SchwartzMelissa AndrettaAlfredo GonzalezArthar KhanModerator: Daniel Schwartz, Director, Global Tourism Development, San Francisco Travel Association

Panelists: Melissa Andretta, Director of International Marketing & Aviation Development, SFO; Alfredo Gonzalez, Founding Partner, AG Hospitality Group; Athar Khan, Director of Specialty Sales, Delta

How to Prepare for the Constant Change in Technology

(Ventana Room)

Chris PilleyModerator: TBA

Panelists: Chris Pilley, CEO, Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours; Penny McNamara, Chief Contracting Officer, Meeting Point North America

Travel businesses (and people) can and should prepare for the constant change and evolution in technologies to keep their businesses efficient, competitive and growing. Technology will be forever advancing, and organizations and their teams must become comfortable with being in a constant state of transition. Often not tech experts, many business leaders spend considerable time looking at what the technology provides (the features and services) and miss the operational implications throughout the business. This panel will share what organizations should consider when integrating technology systems, like How willing is my team to change? What processes should we consider approaching in a new way and what processes are non-negotiable? 

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  LUNCH – Beach

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.  Reshaping Inbound Travel Distribution – Why a Hybrid Model May Be the Answer

(Shell Room)

Jennifer AckersonLena RossQuintin BlairLisa CullyGerrit De VosModerator: Jennifer Ackerson, President, ALON Marketing Group

Speakers: Lena Ross, Director of Product Development, America 4 You; Quintin Blair, Vice President: Leisure Travel Development, Blair Hotels; Lisa Cully, Associate Director Leisure Travel North America, BWH Hotel Group; Gerrit De Vos, ATI

Connectivity has been driving change in the travel distribution system in recent years, and while technology is a tool for solving distribution inefficiencies, it is often confused with dynamic rate distribution. Revenue managers are driving business models to dynamic rates only without understanding the value of the inbound operator’s business. Connectivity can handle both dynamic and static rate models – both of which are needed in today’s B2B inbound travel partnerships. This panel of inbound operators and hoteliers will discuss the benefits of both static and dynamic rate structures and when each is appropriate for B2B inbound travel business.

3 – 4 p.m.  Working with U.S. Commercial Service

(Shell Room)

Aron DavidsonJulie HeizerSpeakers: Aron Davidson, Global Travel & Tourism Team Leader at the U.S. Commercial Service; Julie Heizer, Deputy Director, National Travel & Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, offers companies a full range of services and expertise in international trade, including building international inbound travel exports. Travel destinations and companies can find assistance locally in more than 100 U.S. Commercial Service offices nationwide and in more than 70 international offices. Find out how you can work with USCS to reach multiple markets and maximize your inbound marketing dollars

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.  Technology Demos hosted by the Technology Task Force and OTA

(Ventana Room)

IITA Technology Members will showcase their products and services that will help suppliers and DMOs create efficiencies and establish connections throughout the travel distribution system.