Travel and Tourism Research Association
Annual Business Meeting Held at the 50th Annual International Conference
June 27, 2019 ~ Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, Australia
2019 State of the Association
Scott Russell, 2018-2019 TTRA President, presented the following information regarding the state of the Association on behalf of the Board.
Scott Russell presented the following 2018 Financial Statement for the Association on behalf of John Markham, TTRA Treasurer, who was unable to make the trip to Australia this year.
1) The year 2018 ended with revenues of $691,284 and expenses of $755,464, for a negative bottom line of $64,180.
2) Our two main sources of revenue were membership dues of $170,248, down from $192,578 the year before, and conference registrations, sponsorships, and awards $485,318, down from $595,158 the year before.
3) Current assets as of December 31, 2018 were $447,533. Current liabilities were $147,770, leaving current equity $299,763. This is down from $363,943 the year before.
4) Our investment reserves stand at $237,264 as of December 31, 2018, down from $286,456 the previous year. These reserves are back up to $256,700 as of May 31, 2019.
5) Accounting wise, our outside auditor, Boisvenue and Co., are just completing an audit of our books and records for the year 2018. Our Federal tax return is in process.
John Markham, Treasurer
Current membership stands at 616 members, with a retention rate of 73 percent.
The South East States (SETTRA), Greater Western, and CenStates Chapters each have membership levels at or above the 100 member mark. Asia-Pacific is the next largest, followed by Canada, Europe and Hawaii.
Year-over-year (2018 vs. 2017) membership growth was strongest in the CenStates region with the addition of the Texas membership, followed closely by the Europe chapter. The Hawaii chapter also saw double digit growth year-over-year. The Canada chapter membership experiences a double-digit decline mainly due to attrition, while all other chapters were relatively stable.
A Steering Committee has been appointed to charter a new Chapter in the North East region of the United States. TTRA looks forward to officially welcoming this new chapter in 2019.
TTRA has welcomed eleven (11) Global South members since this new membership category was launched in October 2017. We anticipate continued growth of this new membership category as a result of the Melbourne, Australia conference.
Five years ago, we introduced our new partner membership category. We currently have 6 platinum partners and 3 gold partners. I want to thank these premier partners again for their continued support of our association. We really appreciate you!
Strategic Plan in Action
Now shifting to the Board, I’d like to update you on what we’ve been up to over the past year. It’s been a lot, so we can only cover some highlights!
TTRA relaunched its TTRAconnects monthly eNewsletter in January 2019. Among other things, the eNewsletter provides need to know information on TTRA’s member benefits.
TTRA also relaunched its webinar series with bi-monthly webinars featuring content provided by our platinum partners. Members can access live webinars and webinar recordings free of charge. There is a nominal fee for non-members to access.
TTRA now welcomes new organizational members via social media and new individual members are highlighted in the monthly eNewsletter. Help make our new members feel welcome by reaching out and saying hello.
TTRA recently relaunched its member portal. Members can view, print, and pay invoices; view upcoming and past event registrations’ view their membership status; and more.
An Emerging Leaders Taskforce has been in place since June 2018. The taskforce is currently working on two priorities: a mentorship program and a conference buddy program.
A workgroup has been created to establish a policy on carbon offsetting for the association.
The TTRA Board has approved the schedule for conferences from 2020 to 2023: 2020 will be held in Canada, 2021 in the CenStates region of the U.S., 2022 in the Northeast region of the U.S.; and 2023 in Europe. We hope you will be able to join us for these upcoming annual conferences!
An updated version of the TTRA Bylaws were adopted in May 2019 after being approved by the membership.
TTRA has been hard at work planning a birthday celebration as TTRA is turning 50! A year long global celebration is planned to celebrate this incredible milestone, cumulating in our big birthday bash, at the TTRA 2020 conference.
The 2020 TTRA International Conference will be held June 16 to 18, 2020 at the Victoria Conference Center in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Our host hotel – The Fairmont Empress – is recognized as one of top 21 iconic hotels in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine – and we’ve been able to secure some great room rates!
The 2019 Marketing Outlook Forum will be held October 7 to 9, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda in Washington, DC, USA. If you have never attended this conference, this is the conference for hearing the outlook for the North American travel industry across sectors for the year ahead. This conference provides the data and information you need to go back to the office and put together your business and marketing plans. I hope that all of you are excited about heading to Washington, DC in October.
The next TTRA DMO Travel and Tourism Research 100 course is being held September 18, 2019 in Wichita, Kansas in conjunction with the TTRA CenStates Chapter Conference. The course explores the fundamentals of research design, conducting or contracting research to support all the planning, marketing, advocacy, and management decisions for a typical DMO. This course is designed for both experienced destination researchers and those early in their destination research careers, as well as general managers with research responsibilities.
We are happy to announce that Nate Gieryn with the State of Texas has been elected to the Executive Leadership Team in the 2nd VP position. With the addition of the Marketing Outlook Forum Chair role to the Executive Leadership team, Sheila Flanagan (Dundalk Institute of Technology), whose role as a Director ends June 2019, will join the Executive Leadership of the association in this new position (ex-officio without vote) effective July 1, 2019.
Newly elected to the Board as Directors are Lynne Coxwell (Louisiana Office of Tourism Corporation), Statia Elliot (University of Guelph), and Robert Li (Temple University). Esra Calvert (Virginia Tourism Corporation) and Erin-Francis-Cummings (Destination Analysts) have been re-elected to the Board as Directors. In addition, Sean Ruane (Shannon College of Hotel Management) has been appointed to the Board to fill a vacant Director spot. Thank you for volunteering to commit your time and efforts to TTRA and congratulations!
We had a number of very strong candidates on the 2019-2020 ballot. Ballots of this caliber speak to the importance and relevance of the association, and to the continued support of tourism organizations willing to allow their employees to serve in a volunteer role. Thank you to all who nominated others and to those who were nominated and accepted.
We have three outgoing Board members – Wendy Kheel (Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board), Lori-Pennington Gray (University of Florida), and Duane Vinson (STR). I would like to thank Wendy, Lori, and Duane for their hard work and dedication to TTRA during the past few years. It is now my pleasure to acknowledge our outgoing chair of the Board – it has been an honor to serve on the TTRA Board and Executive Board with Marion Joppe (University of Guelph).
2019 Annual Business Meeting adjourned.