IITA operators are here to help clients enjoy sustainable experiences

IITA remains focused on recovery, sustainability and the overall health of inbound travel to the U.S. While recovery has been uneven with some markets rebounding faster than others, we are pleased to hear from international partners that there is a continued and growing interest among travelers worldwide to visit the U.S.

U.S. inbound operators, DMOs and suppliers are working together to strengthen the existing and proven distribution ecosystem of DMO – Supplier – Inbound Operator – International Buyer – Traveler. Having experienced so much disruption in recent years, we know we must solidify our international partnerships to help each other reach the position of growth as we rebuild the once robust U.S. inbound industry.

We are also seeing an increased demand for sustainable travel products, and in response we focused our annual Summit on sustainability. With the theme U.S.A. – United ● Sustainable ● Action, the Summit featured discussions on what sustainability means in the U.S., how tour operators can offset carbon in their businesses and tours, and how to create meaningful travel experiences for our international guests.

There has been a misperception in some international markets that there isn’t much happening in the U.S. in terms of sustainability, but there are significant efforts to be more sustainable throughout the country and within every sector of our travel and tourism industry. IITA inbound operators are here to help our international clients to source sustainable product and incorporate experiences that will allow visitors to learn, discover and enjoy the unique history of the United States, including Native American, indigenous and minority-owned travel products.

Our determination to rebuild a strong and sustainable inbound travel industry also has us working in the Advocacy arena with state and local governments, legislators and other industry associations. We build relationships and raise awareness of inbound travel and its contributions to the nation’s economy. As the “boots on the ground,” IITA’s inbound operators are helping decision makers understand the operational side of the business and consider the unintended consequences of their actions.

We meet regularly with the National Park Service and serve on their concessionaire’s working group to voice concerns that may arise for group tours and independent international travelers by providing different scenarios for consideration as they make decisions. Officials from the Commerce and State Departments meet with us periodically to find solutions for issues impacting inbound travel exports, including most recently the visa processing delays in a number of key source markets. And as a newly appointed member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, I also carry these messages directly to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

We are working hard to remove barriers for international visitors and, again, IITA’s membership structure reflects the success model of collaboration among U.S. destinations, travel suppliers and inbound operators working together to serve our international partners. We remain diligent in our efforts to advance our travel and tourism industry for your clients.

IITA members remain your trusted partners for USA travel.

Safe Travels,

Peter van Berkel


International Inbound Travel Association

Main photo by Gemma Evans