The U.S. Tour Operators Association is playing cheerleader for the American tourism industry, launching a public relations campaign to get Americans moving again.
Through newspaper editorials and radio and television interviews, USTOA president Bob Whitley is trying to get the word out. “We’re telling people that, despite the recession, Americans have a unique opportunity to travel this year,” Whitley says.
In its pitch to the country, the group makes the following five points:
* The stronger U.S. dollar makes traveling to many other countries much more attractive.
* An abundance of good deals means that both domestic and foreign travel is more affordable.
* Accessibility to travel abroad is greater than ever before. This is due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires Americans reentering the U.S. to hold passport documentation. Holding a passport enables people to extend their travel horizons beyond our neighboring countries.
* Tourism plays a vital role in economic recovery by stimulating both the domestic travel industry and the world travel market
* There is a renewed spirit of openness and enthusiasm for the U.S. around the globe, in the wake of President Obama’s successful meetings with world leaders. USTOA is asking Americans to capitalize on this by traveling and becoming individual ambassadors of good will.
“We surveyed the USTOA membership for examples of savings compared to last year, and we found that many of the same tours and packages cost an average 20% less this year,” Whitley says.