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February 2018 US Travel Outlook

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 28, 2018
February 2018
U.S. Travel Outlook is a monthly newsletter of the U.S. Travel Association. Visit http://www.ustravel.org/news/us-travel-newsletters/travel-outlook
ArchiveContact Usustravel.org
Examining Current Industry Trends
Current State of the Economy Current State of the Economy and Travel

Recent indicators show that the economic expansion is accelerating, consumer and small business confidence remain high, the labor market is healthy, wage growth is picking up and inflation remains contained. Given the fact that the economic effects of the recently passed tax legislation have high-frequency statistics that have yet to be picked up, the possibility of further acceleration in economic growth moving forward is very real. As the recent wild moves by the stock market have illustrated, potential negative spillover effects related to inflation remain a constant concern.Go to Outlook


Nonfarm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent.Go to Outlook


"Consumer confidence improved in January after declining in December," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.Go to Outlook


Personal consumption expenditures(PCE) finished 2017 stronger than expected, increasing 0.4 percent month-on-month (m/m), an annualized rate of 4.9 percent.Go to Outlook


The U.S.goods and services trade deficit increased 5.3 percent in December to $53.1 billion.Go to Outlook


The Commerce Department says that orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.9 percent in December from November (m/m), the fastest pace in six months.Go to Outlook


The Current Travel Index (CTI) has registered at or above the 50 mark for 96 straight months, as the industry nears its ninth consecutive year of expansion according to the latest Travel Trends Index.Go to Outlook

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Leisure Travel Leisure Travel

For the first time, the federal government and private industry estimated the outdoor recreation industry's contribution to the national economy.Go to Outlook

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Lodging Industry Lodging Industry

Revenue per available room grew 2 to 4 percent for the U.S. hotel industry in January 2018, according to preliminary numbers from STR.Go to Outlook

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Transportation Transportation


Reporting year end results, 2017 global passenger demand rose 7.6 percent compared to 2016 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).Go to Outlook


AAA reported that the national gas price average decreased to $2.58, for the first time week-over-week this year.Go to Outlook

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Business Travel Business Travel

Global business travel is expected to thrive in 2018, according to American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).Go to Outlook

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International Travel International Travel

International visitation to the U.S. was down 3.6 percent for the first eight months of 2017 compared to the first eight months of 2016, according to the Commerce Department.Go to Outlook

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Project: Time Off Project: Time Off

The bucket list is losing out to the to-do list. Sixty percent of Americans are planning for their to-do list or not planning at all. Read more about The Power of Planning from Project: Time Off's latest report.Go to Outlook

U.S. Travel Updated


Research released the Domestic Travel Market Report, 2017 edition to members this week.Go to Outlook


U.S. Travel unveiled our guiding infrastructure principles in Building the Next Generation of Travel Infrastructure.Go to Outlook

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U.S. Travel Dashboard
U.S. Travel Dashboard U.S. Travel Dashboard
Travel Trends Index Share of Domestic Search

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US Travel Association Week in Washington

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 8, 2018
JANUARY 2-5, 2018
Week in Washington


The U.S. Travel team was further strengthened in November by the hiring of Victoria “Tori” Barnes as Senior Vice president of Government Relations. She will now begin sending this report. A seasoned Washington professional, Tori will craft our policy priorities and strategy – and work with the U.S. Travel team to execute a strong agenda which will be reported here every Friday. You may see some graphic changes and hear a slightly different voice. As always, we welcome your feedback on how we can keep these reports useful for you and encourage your engagement and questions.


Enactment of the tax reform bill was a major legislative achievement by Congress and the Administration that will put refund dollars in the pockets of travelers, generate investment within the industry and help create American jobs. Domestic business travel has already been showing some bounce because of an optimistic commercial environment and the tax package seeks to jolt the private sector even more. Today, the travel industry supports one in nine U.S. jobs. We only stand to grow with a tax code that significantly enhances our competitiveness worldwide.


With only eight legislative days left before the next deadline on Jan. 19, congressional leaders are still struggling to avert a shutdown of the federal government. Since the current fiscal year started in Oct. 1, the Congress has enacted three short-term extensions. Based on past experience, U.S. Travel urges action to avoid the expense and disruption of any interruption in government operations.


In anticipation of eventual consideration of an omnibus 2018 funding package, our lobbying continues to lift the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). The Senate transportation funding bill would raise the per-leg ceiling from $4.50 to $8.50 – but not the House bill. The fee, assessed by local airports for specific modernization and security projects, was last raised in 2000.


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke yesterday proposed opening nearly all the outer continental shelf for oil and gas drilling, specifically identifying areas off Maine, California, Florida and Alaska for potential exploration. The plan is much larger than anticipated last year in a presidential executive order, which directed Sec. Zinke to weigh expanded drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Under the most recent five-year offshore lease sale plan, issued by the Obama Administration, drilling was precluded around Alaska or in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The plan drew immediate opposition from environmental groups and bipartisan officials in several coastal states. A formal proposal will soon be released for a 60-day public comment period. U.S. Travel officials are preparing to meet soon with senior Interior Department officials and we’ll keep you posted.


This week, a key legislator in the infrastructure debate announced plans to retire from Congress after this session. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the key House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is also a strong advocate for transferring control of the air traffic control system to a non-profit corporation. The announcement comes as the Administration is preparing to roll out its revised plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and airports. Rep. Shuster is the fourth Republican Committee chairman planning to step down when the current term expires. It is important to note that with Shuster’s announced retirement, it does give him some flexibility to be creative and untraditional as he works to craft an infrastructure package. We will be working closely with his committee to ensure that travel and tourism interests benefit from the package.


A panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has added a new obstacle to implementation of the President’s executive order on visas. The most recent White House order bans citizens of eight nations from entering the U.S. The court prohibited enforcement of the ban against anyone with a “bona fide” relationship with American citizens. The next step is a ruling on another challenge by a federal appeals court in Richmond, VA. Then the Supreme Court is expected review these cases.


Plans are now underway for an aggressive 2018 schedule ofTravel Talks, informal roundtables for legislators at home with local travel leaders. We’re now finalizing at least two sessions later this month in Texas and Michigan. Please let us know if you’d like to host aTravel Talkwith your representatives.


From last week’s press clips are stories on:

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US Travel Association Week in Washington

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 29, 2017
SEPTEMBER 18-29, 2017
Week in Washington


As Texas, Florida and other affected states assess damage from the recent hurricanes, two things became clearer: the devastating impact on many tourism venues – and the resilience of travel leaders in the face of the storms. The national travel community is banding together to do all we can to help those in need – and assist however possible as our destination and venue colleagues try to get back to business.


Since Hurricane Maria, U.S. Travel has focused on how best the national travel community can do our part to help alleviate the heartbreaking suffering in Puerto Rico. In addition to engaging U.S. government officials to press for urgent support, we are coordinating with U.S. Travel members – hoteliers, cruise lines and others – who are already on the scene and answering the call. If you have information or services to offer, please contact us.


And as we survey the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, history teaches that the return to normalcy can be greatly aided by economic as well as physical recovery – and it’s gratifying to see the pace of restoration work in the Florida Keys. Restoring travel and tourism to the region as soon as feasibly possible, by advertising that the impacted states are open for business, will help those hurt the most. Many who have lost their homes in these disasters are at risk of losing their jobs, too—if travelers remain under the impression that the areas recovering from the storm paths are unsafe or unsuitable for visitors. This affects millions of workers; over 20 percent of American jobs directly supported by travel are in Florida, Louisiana and Texas alone. While not all the hard-hit areas are yet ready, many can are able to welcome visitors right now. CEO Roger Dow last week encouraged community leaders and travel professionals in affected areas to find a megaphone and invite travelers to return. As a St. Petersburg/Clearwater resident himself, Roger will certainly be doing so in Florida.


This week, the White House announced its decision on enhanced national security measures relating to entry into the United States. Using new baseline security criteria, eight nations were found to be non-compliant: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Iraqi nationals traveling to the United States may also be subject to additional scrutiny. Travel to the U.S. is still possible for some on the list, notably from Venezuela — among our top 20 inbound travel markets — where travel restrictions only apply to certain government officials and their families. The restrictions being imposed on these eight countries are conditional and may be lifted as they work with the U.S. government. Notably, the review process identified the U.S. Visa Waiver Program as a proven and effective "best practice" security partnership. It is heartening to see this endorsement for the VWP after years of educating leaders in Washington on the program's benefits as a national security tool that facilitates international travel. The next day, the U.S. Supreme Court cancelled scheduled arguments on previous related rulings, asking lawyers to address whether or how the proclamation now moots the case. U.S. Travel commends the Administration for taking a tailored approach and evaluating each country on its own merits. Though outright travel bans are a concern, security adjustments rooted in legitimate intelligence are today a fact of life for travelers. The world needs to know that they are not intended to discourage travel generally, and that legitimate business and leisure travelers are as welcome as ever in the United States.


U.S. Travel last week launched Voices for Open Skies, an interactive website highlighting the perspectives of business owners and travelers who benefit from America’s international aviation agreements with more than 120 countries. The site calls on policymakers to reject efforts by the Big Three U.S. airlines to dismantle Open Skies pacts with Qatar and the United Arab Emerates, which would serve to dangerously undermine broader Open Skies policy and hurt American jobs. It contains testimonials from across the nation, details the jobs impact and provides advocacy resources for flyers, business owners and travel industry workers.


On Thursday, two days before its current authority expired, the House and Senate approved a six-month extension for operations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Earlier in the week, Democrats opposed to unrelated bill provisions blocked it from moving through a fast-track process that required a two-thirds majority. Many now expect House action next month on a full reauthorization bill that could include transferring air traffic control operations from the FAA.


On Tuesday, the Senate passed legislation to make permanent the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card program, which expedites border processing at airports across the U.S. and 18 Pacific Rim nations. The bill (S. 504) was sponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Without its passage, U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot issue cards to U.S. citizens after September 2018 – undermining our business competitiveness in the region’s marketplace. The bill is now awaiting action in the House of Representatives.


In response to reports that the Administration is considering eliminating the J-1 cultural exchange visa program, U.S. Travel joined other members in a broad new coalition in letters urging Sec. of State Tillerson and Commerce Sec. Ross to carefully assess the economic impact of any such proposal. As a preemptive legislative strategy takes shape, the Senate Appropriations Committee immediately approved language supporting J-1 visas and two dozen House members cosponsored a bipartisan resolution sponsored by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA). In addition to cultural, educational and public diplomacy benefits, the J-1 work visas are absolutely critical to local tourism economies – and U.S. Travel will continue to forcefully defend them.


In testimony Tuesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Deputy Sec. of State John Sullivan testified that consular functions will not be transferred to the Homeland Security Dept. as part of an anticipated restructuring of the State Dept. His comments came in response to questions from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who expressed satisfaction with the clarification. The testimony focused on the status of the proposed State Dept. reorganization plan.


In testimony before a Senate hearing yesterday, Acting Homeland Security Sec. Elaine Duke stressed that the security distinctions between “home” and “away” are now blurred, requiring DHS to take decisive action to fix security weaknesses for the long haul. After discussing border security, Sec. Duke directly addressed travel facilitation, saying that DHS is upgrading “almost every stage of the vetting process for U.S.- bound travelers.” This includes detecting terrorists, checking social media, requiring additional data and leveraging new databases. The details are classified but she said, “We have already seen real successes… these enhancements have allowed us to detect and disrupt terror suspects we likely would not have identified otherwise.”


In a cable to embassies worldwide, Sec. of State Tillerson has directed consular officials to review whether visitors to the U.S. follow through on their stated plans for the first three months of their stay here. If not, it will be presumed they lied, making it harder to renew a visa, apply for a new one or adjust legal status. Changes of plan occurring after three months may also be problematic. While U.S. Travel fully supports security imperatives, we remain concerned such policies may discourage visitors and exacerbate visa processing delays. Last year, the U.S. issued 10 million visas. The new policy does not directly affect visitors arriving through the Visa Waiver Program.


Last week, I joined U.S. Travel’s CEO Roger Dow atthe 11th annual U.S.-China Tourism Summit, hosted by Brand USA in Atlanta. The summit attracted over 200 tourism industry officials from both countries for four days of business workshops and networking opportunities. China is the largest outbound market in the world and the largest source of international tourism spending in the U.S. last year. The summit alternates annually between U.S. and Chinese host cities.


The ACLU and other civil liberties groups have sued the Homeland Security Dept. to end the rising incidence of warrantless border searches of travelers’ laptops and smart phones. The lawsuit complaint in a federal district court in Massachusetts challenges the policy of permitting invasive searches of electronic devices “that do not require a warrant, probable cause or even reasonable suspicion.”


President Trump this week appeared to back off his longstanding proposal for a public-private partnership to finance a trillion-dollar infrastructure package. Instead, he reportedly told House Democrats at the White House that he will seek direct funding at the local, state as well as federal level, presumably requiring additional debt or tax revenue – and likely reducing the scale of the work. Previously the President sought to attract private capital through investment incentives.


Richard Anderson, the former CEO of Delta Air Lines recently named to be the new chief of Amtrak, has dropped a bombshell in the context of the Open Skies debate. Delta has led the prolonged and expensive lobbying campaign against Open Skies agreements with Qatar and United Arab Emirates on the grounds that carriers flagged in those two countries are unfairly subsidized by their governments. The campaign began under Anderson’s leadership. No longer an airline executive, Anderson now favors “state supported” transportation companies, noting the need for U.S. subsidies for rail travel, much as Congress appropriates large sums for U.S. highways. As U.S. Travel Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Jonathan Grella commented, “… the outrage Anderson previously expressed over subsidies was a put-on aimed at tilting the playing field further in favor of domestic carriers—not righting a legitimate wrong, not grounded in any sincerity or substance… the Big Three’s sob story on Open Skies is a fabrication, and should be received as such by the Trump administration.”


International visitors spent $13.1 billion in the United States during the month of July, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to July 2016. Spending by international visitors in the U.S. has increased three out of the first seven months of this year. From January to July 2017, international visitors spent $90.7 billion in the United States, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to 2016.


To kick off its second hundred years of operations, the National Park Service is waiving all admission fees tomorrow (9/30). The 417 national parks span every U.S. state and territory. About 100 normally charge an entrance fee, but even they are modest – and the Park Service offers various discount passes. The next free admission days are November 11-12, over Veterans Day weekend.


Among recent press clips were stories on the recent decline in the volume of international visitors to the U.S.;JetBlue CEO blasting legacy airlines for wielding anti-consumer power, while Delta’s ex-CEO now embraces subsidies for Amtrak; our blog posts after the latest London terrorist attacks and celebrating World Tourism Day this week; U.S. Travel’s presence at World Routes 2017 in Barcelona; anticipated delays in U.S. passport processing;U.S. tourism promotion this week in Canada; the new editions of U.S. Travel’s Vantage Point and Travel Outlook.


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U.S. Travel Outlook, September 2017

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 26, 2017

After a slow start in the first quarter of the year, economic growth accelerated to 3 percent annualized growth in the second quarter, the fastest quarterly pace in more than two years. Developments so far in the third quarter paint a positive picture overall for the economy. Employment and personal income continue to increase, though at a slightly milder pace than earlier in the year and consumer confidence remains high. Together these factors should buoy consumer spending in the near term; upturns in capital goods shipments signal that businesses are continuing to invest in equipment; and exports of U.S. goods and services are growing. While the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida will likely have negative impacts in the near term, the overall foundation for the economy remains solid.

Click here to view the US Travel Outlook for September 2017.

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White House Decision on U.S. Entry Requirements

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 25, 2017

Dear CEO Roundtable and Board Colleague:

The White House announced yesterday its decision on enhanced national security measures relating to entry into the United States. This follows an extensive review related to the President’s January executive order—and its implications for the travel industry.

In a presidential proclamation, the administration used baseline requirements developed over the summer to assess countries on their ability to meet “the minimum information the United States needs to validate traveler identities, prevent fraud, and ensure individuals do not represent a national security or public-safety threat.”

Current State of Play
Most countries meet the new baseline; however, eight nations were found to be non-compliant: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. Iraqi nationals traveling to the United States may also be subject to additional scrutiny. Travel to the U.S. is still possible for some on the list, notably from Venezuela—which is among our top 20 inbound travel markets—where travel restrictions only apply to certain government officials and their families.

The restrictions being imposed on these eight countries are conditional and may be lifted as they work with the U.S. government.

Notably, the review process identified the U.S. Visa Waiver Program as a proven and effective “best practice” security partnership. It is heartening to see this endorsement for the VWP after years of educating leaders in Washington on the program's benefits as a national security tool that facilitates international travel.

Also today, the U.S. Supreme Court cancelled scheduled arguments on previous related rulings, asking lawyers to address “whether, or to what extent, the proclamation” now renders the case moot.

U.S. Travel Position
The administration is to be commended for taking a tailored approach, evaluating each country on its own merits and readiness to comply.

Though outright travel bans are a concern, security adjustments rooted in legitimate intelligence are a fact of life for travelers. It is the reality that we operate in today.

We will continue to call for the government to adopt an approach that balances security requirements with clear expressions of welcome toward international travelers.

Questions Concerning Implementation
It’s essential that these policies be clearly communicated and that there be both an incentive and a pathway for affected countries to bring themselves back into compliance. Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been effectively checking both those boxes. We are hopeful the government will take the necessary steps to clearly communicate the changes, so all who wish to visit have a clear understanding of their ability to enter.

For more information, please review the official White House FAQ.

We will continue our engagement with the administration on the critical topic of international travel to the United States.

I will keep you apprised of our work.

Roger J. Dow
President and CEO

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Find new ways to invigorate your organization

Posted By Bennett Napier, Tuesday, September 12, 2017
We received this question from a reader of the column:  “Many nonprofits are membership based and rely on dues and conference revenue to survive. For example, I am active in a national association about to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Our membership is aging out and young professionals are not joiners. And as travel funds disappear, they do not attend conferences anymore. I know this is a universal concern for many professional organizations. Your thoughts and advice?” Click here to view the post. 

We turned to Bennett Napier who is an expert in all things association and here is his response. 

Your question is primarily directed at challenges facing not for profit (501c6) associations rather than charitable (501c3) not for profit organizations. However, the dynamics which are the foundation of your question apply to both types of entities. Unfortunately, there are no easy or quick fixes to address these universal challenges. To answer your question let’s look at several areas.

Technology: Technology for nonprofits has been a blessing and a curse depending on how you look at it. On the positive side, technology has allowed nonprofits to expand their message reach; generate faster grassroots action when necessary; and deliver communication more frequently at less cost.  

On the downside, technology, namely the internet, provides 24/7 access to information to non-members or non-donors.

One of the best things organizations can do is use technology to their advantage. An example is to use databases to better track what is important to individual members or donors in order to better target communication or program offerings to what they individually value.  

In short, nonprofits have to follow some of the principles from Amazon to provide that type of customer experience to not only retain members/donors but recruit new ones.

Revenue diversification: Many organizations have seen their historical primary revenue sources decline or completely disappear. Nonprofits like any other business have to continually evaluate market trends and ideally be ahead instead of behind them.

Many factors which have facilitated a decline in dues are outside the control of the association. For example, trade associations have seen significant hits due to consolidation. Merger and acquisition activity of all types of businesses will continue for the next 15 to 20 years as baby boomers retire. This will continue to affect association dues as revenue sources. Except for certain types of organizations, it is unlikely a majority of their future revenue sources will come from membership dues or continuing education dollars especially in-person continuing education events.

By using technology, associations are in a strong position to continually survey members and identify programs and services that members value and are willing to pay for.  Associations that offer valuable programs and relevant services are in a good spot. They will continue to have a market advantage over other competitors. Associations generally maintain higher credibility than for profit providers that may be offering similar benefits.

Generational differences: There is considerable research that indicates younger generations are just as willing to belong to an association as their older counterparts.  However, they join associations for vastly different reasons than previous generations.

Joining associations out of loyalty or because they are supposed to do not cut it with younger professionals. They are much more drawn to the cause of the organization not necessarily public policy objectives but those elements that have a community benefit.

Further research indicates younger professionals place career development programs and services very highly in terms of willingness to join an association. In order to attract younger professionals, ensure you are offering a progressive web based job board; offer mentorship programs; and provide grants and scholarships for professional development opportunities.

Leadership opportunities: Examine your leadership development pipeline processes and qualifications. Younger professionals want to serve now and give back in different ways than previous generations. They also don’t want to wait 8 to 10 years to go through an executive leadership ladder.

Find ways they can provide meaningful leadership early on in their careers. If they feel their voice is valued and their skills and experience are put to good use, they are just as likely to become a lifelong supporter of the organization compared to any other generation.

In closing, the question you posed likely would require three or four columns to adequately answer. I hope today’s column gives you a frame of reference to start strategic conversations with your leadership. Here are some helpful resources for future planning: www.associationlaboratory.com, www.fsae.org, and www.foundation.asaecenter.org/research

Bennett Napier, MS, is the President/CEO of Partners in Association Management. He is a Certified Association Executive and has 25+ years’ experience in association and organizational management. Notes on Nonprofits is a collaborative column written and edited by Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, President of Stansbury Consulting and Kelly Otte, MPA, Executive Director of PACE Center for Girls in Leon County.  Write to us at notesonnonprofits@gmail.com.

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U.S. Travel Outlook, August 2017

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 28, 2017

U.S. Travel Association - August 2017 Report

Current State of the Economy and Travel

Closely mirroring 2016, the economy improved during the second quarter of the year, aided by solid consumer spending, businesses investment and export growth, which may have been encouraged by a modest depreciation in the value of the dollar since the beginning of the year. Consumer confidence remains elevated, employment and wage growth are expanding and recent data on retail sales indicate that consumer spending—a necessary ingredient for United States economic expansion—got off to a solid start in the third quarter.

Click here to view the full report. 

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Data Privacy & Protection for the Modern Day AMC

Posted By Jeanne Sheehy and Rob Gates, Thursday, August 3, 2017

Information privacy, or data privacy (or data protection), is the relationship between the collection and dissemination of data, technology, the public expectation of privacy, and the legal and political issues surrounding them.

As an AMC, our vendors and our clients can be sued by taking just one wrong step as we collect, store, transfer, or disclose data. As a company (and processor), we need to know all of our data sources for every client, what vendors are involved and know/have policies in place for privacy, breaches, and protection. You need to be able to answer the question confidently – how does your AMC protect client member privacy and data?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. This new data protection measure goes into effect on May 25, 2018 and it’s likely that the US will impose a similar regulation in the coming years.

GDPR applies to the processing of personal data by controllers and processors located in the EU, regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EU or not. AMCs are responsible for ensuring that its relevant vendors comply with GDPR. Articles 32-37 are of most interest and outline the need to identify Data Protection.

Canada Anti-Spam Act (CASL) went into effect on July 1, 2014 and applies to all electronic messages. Under this legislation, users must have an option to opt-out of all electronic communications. If your client sends emails to Canadian residents, you need to comply with CASL and its recent changes. As of July 1, 2017, fines of $1-10M per violation are being enforced and any individual is able to sue any entity they believe is sending spam messages.

Immediate measures you should take for Email Messaging/Marketing:

  • Immediately institute Opt-Out if you don’t have that.
  • Start moving toward opt-in methodologies. The more non-US constituents clients have, the faster your AMC needs to move on this.
  • Consider developing segmentation to more finely tune your opt- in/opt-out options so users aren’t left with “all or nothing” options.
  • Always ensure that you are respecting the selections of everyone in client email list(s) as to opt-in/out status.
  • Ensure that any outside list your clients utilize has been validated to meet the relevant opt-in/out requirements. 


Data mapping is critical for transparency. Understand what data you have, where it’s stored and where it goes. The legality of sharing this data is also something to consider. Focus on Personally Identifiable Information (PII), i.e., birthday, email address, birthplace, etc. and Financial Account Information (i.e., credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc.


Best practices for privacy of PII:

  • Ensure that you are giving users an opportunity to have some or all of their information excluded from sharing, particularly if shared “publicly” (think private membership directory vs. public.)
  • Start moving toward an opt-in mentality for any data sharing situation. The more non-US constituents in clients’ data bases, the faster you should get there.
  • Make sure any vendors your AMC shares data with are agreeing to respect privacy requirements and secure our data appropriately.
  • Never share more information than is needed for the task/process at hand.
  • Treat all client member/constituent PII data the way you’d want your data protected.

Best practices for privacy of Financial Data:

  • Only work with PCI compliant vendors/partners. Never share customer financial account data externally.
  • Do not store credit card data in spreadsheets – process and move on, never “save.”
  • Paper forms should be designed so that credit card data can be redacted (blacked out with special pen), cut off or the form shredded after processing.
  • Any forms with credit card data should always be locked up except at the moment of processing.
  • Never encourage – and actively discourage – the sending of account information via email.


Vendors who store or receive PII or Financial Data should provide your AMC with any privacy policies, data protection/security policies/procedures, and all breach policies and procedures - including communication and notification systems. For financial data, also ask for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance verification and level. You should never utilize a vendor you share financial data with who does not have this verification.

In this digital age, organizations are critically aware of their vulnerability to information hacking. Data privacy and protection is an important reality for AMCs and our clients. It’s our job to navigate regulations and build on the procedures that keep practices current as new legislation is passed. Taking the proper measures now may save your AMC from potential disaster later.

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U.S. Travel Association Meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dear Board Colleagues:

As mentioned at last week’s board of directors meeting, we continue to take steps to engage the Administration on key industry priorities. Earlier today, along with a handful of respected corporate CEOs representing millions of American workers, I had the opportunity to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson regarding Open Skies.

The group directly expressed how the government’s Open Skies agreements—particularly those with Qatar and the UAE—benefit the U.S. economy, our nation’s trade balance and American jobs. It was a productive conversation and we appreciate Secretary Tillerson for seeking the full picture on this critical topic. I am encouraged by the Administration’s thoughtful and deliberative approach on the matter.

Today’s discussion at State is a positive development in our ongoing efforts to preserve Open Skies. Since 2015, U.S. Travel—with many of you—have sought to protect these pro-connectivity, pro-growth, pro-traveler agreements not only because tampering with the policy would further limit airline competition and restrict consumer choice, but also because such a move would be detrimental to our economy and result in lost American jobs and fewer connections to underserved markets.

I will keep you apprised of developments on this issue.



Roger J. Dow
President and CEO

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U.S. Travel Association Outlook July 2017

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The July 2017 U.S. Travel Association Outlook examines the labor market, consumer confidence, consumer spending, and the travel trends index among other areas. Interested in what is going on just over 1/2 way through 2017?

Click here to read the full report.

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