State of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA)
In 2023, the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) experienced remarkable growth and financial success. With a 24% increase in membership, expanded partnerships with industry leaders, and a surge in sponsorships, TTRA’s financial performance has exceeded expectations. Additionally, their events have achieved record attendance, and marketing efforts have seen substantial improvements. Effective operational enhancements, including budget management and staffing, further contribute to TTRA’s success in fostering a thriving community of travel and tourism researchers.
I. Positive Growth and Financial Performance
- TTRA has experienced significant membership growth.
- Membership numbers increased from 564 in 2021 to 677 in 2022 (+20%) and reached an impressive 840 (+24%) members year-to-date.
- Successfully expanded TTRA’s partnerships from 12 in 2021 to 18 in 2022 and 20 in 2023, fostering valuable collaborations with key industry players. This increase in TTRA partnerships has impacted our financials from $97,560 in 2021 to $141,000 in 2022 and 2023 in $230,500.
- TTRA Partners include Adara, AirDNA, Arrivalist, Datafy, Destination Analysts, Epsilon, Key Data, Longwoods International, Near, RRC Associates, Rove, Simpleview, StaySense, Strategic Marketing & Research Insights, STR Global, Tourism Economics, Transparent Intelligence, Visa Destination Insights, YouGov, and Zartico.
- TTRA’s sponsorship portfolio witnessed significant growth, solidifying its financial standing.
- Sponsorships increased from $40,875 in 2021 to $83,875 in 2022 and $111,725 in 2023, reflecting enhanced support from industry stakeholders.
- TTRA’s profitability in 2022 demonstrated exceptional results, with a swing of $90,000 from the projected budgeted loss of $50,000 to a profit of $40,000.
- Total revenue and profit showed a notable increase from 2021 to 2022, reflecting the effective financial management provided by Treeline Associates.
II. Event Success and Audience Engagement
- The upcoming annual conference, with 291 paid in-person registrants, marks the highest number of paid in-person registrations ever achieved by TTRA and has the potential to be the highest in-person attendance ever for TTRA. This milestone showcases the growing interest and engagement in the conference, reflecting the success of TTRA’s community engagement efforts. The Marketing Outlook Forum, held in Houston, Texas, also had strong attendance and engagement in 2023.
Marketing and Social Media:
- TTRA’s marketing efforts experienced significant improvements in 2023.
- Graphics and logos underwent a significant improvement, enhancing TTRA’s overall brand presence
- Social media engagement and followers increased 45% from 18,242 in August 2021 to 26,401 in May 2023, reflecting successful online outreach efforts.
- Marketing emails saw an uptick in delivery and response rates, contributing to enhanced member communication. The average open rate for non-profit email is 25%. TTRA is 40%. The average click-through rate for non-profit email is 3%. TTRA is 8%.
III. Effective Operational Enhancements
- The board of directors and team successfully managed TTRA’s budget, turning around a projected loss of $50k in 2022 to nearly $40k in profit.
- Implementing goals based on the approved budget helped ensure financial stability and resource allocation.
Membership and Staffing:
- New membership categories were implemented to cater to diverse member needs, increasing member satisfaction and engagement.
- Added a half-time administrative assistant to the TTRA team, providing valuable support.
- Creating an Associate Executive Director position as a backup to the Executive Director added organizational resilience and continuity.
The Travel and Tourism Research Association has witnessed impressive growth in membership, partnerships, sponsorships, and event attendance. The association’s financial performance has significantly improved, with profitable outcomes exceeding expectations. Effective operational enhancements, strengthened marketing efforts, and successful chapter management further contribute to the association’s overall success in 2023.