The Travel and Tourism Research Association has over 600 partners, members, and sponsors! Here are a few:
Inspired To Join the TTRA Asia-Pacific Chapter Board
I initially joined TTRA as a young tourism scholar and attended international and chapter conferences to present my research and gain access to education and networking opportunities. I did not know it then, but TTRA was to become a major contributor to my professional development. The inclusiveness and support I experienced at TTRA’s events inspired me to join the TTRA Asia-Pacific (APac) chapter board. In this role and as a member, my career has benefitted from the lasting connections that I’ve made and led to joint research projects and trusted mentorships. I have also gained invaluable insights into travel and tourism through exposure to other’s ideas and developed lots of practical skills, from team leadership to software management, by participating in conference committees. Now in an executive position on the APac board, I’m thrilled to be giving back to our TTRA community and I would encourage newcomers and experienced professionals alike to start your own TTRA journey and experience its vibrancy for yourself.
An Essential Key to My Career in the Travel Industry
TTRA was a vital key that began my career in the travel industry over 18 years ago. Through connections from TTRA, I was able to acquire vital skills in the travel research field, which have been responsible for my growth as a tourism researcher. The colleagues and friends I have made along the way are irreplaceable. I would encourage anyone that is new in the travel industry to join TTRA as quickly as possible.
TTRA Was The Catalyst To My Entry Into The Tourism Industry
I was fortunate to win the first John and Joan Markham Tourism Marketing Award sponsored by Longwoods International and meet Longwoods founder Bill Siegel while at the conference. Through that connection, I was offered an internship at Longwoods where I am now working as a project manager. I was also given the opportunity to serve on the marketing committee for MOF last year which proved to be another positive experience. TTRA provides the platform to bring together every player in the industry including students, practitioners, venders, etc. to share ideas and pull resources to continue to improve our understanding of the industry in ever-changing times. I have attended TTRA conferences as both a student and now a new member of the industry. I have found both experiences to be extremely beneficial to my career and my holistic understanding of the tourism industry.
Vital Part of Growing My Career
Being a member of TTRA International has been a vital part of growing my career and network within the tourism community. I initially joined TTRA International while attending graduate school at Texas A&M University and found my first job after graduation through a connection I had made during my first annual conference. Over the past nine years, I have attended annual conferences, Marketing Outlook Forum, and numerous chapter events, which has provided excellent opportunities for education and networking. As the tourism industry continues its path to be continually driven by research and innovation, TTRA International will serve as a foundation for these connections and innovations.
A Community of Privileges
TTRA membership has its privileges. Three decades ago, when I was ‘greener than green’, the TTRA annual conferences and published research taught me what I needed to know to first function and then excel as a travel researcher. The membership mix of academia, destinations, attractions, and research vendors became my ‘google’ of the day and provided a diverse go-to source to swap ideas, questions, and solutions. Over the years the privileges continued to expand. The list serve electronic mailing list of several hundred members became an immensely useful resource to swap ideas, questions, and solutions in real time. The State and Provincial Travel Researchers group meeting at conferences added the ability to flush these out in-person, and in-depth. The addition of the annual travel Marketing Outlook Forum conference added the ability to project past and present to the future. TTRA is not just an association in which I am a privileged member, it is a community in which I am a privileged resident.
Marketing Professionals Have Never Faced a Tougher Challenge
Given the speed of change in the travel marketplace, marketing professionals have never faced a tougher challenge reaching and persuading travelers to visit their brands. That is exactly why TTRA is so very important for us at H2R Market Research. TTRA provides one-stop shopping for the very latest insights in travel trends and key consumer niches. If you are serious about digging deeper and developing a better understanding of your visitors and prospects, TTRA should be a must-attend event on your calendar.
TTRA – “Appetizer” to “Main Course”
My TTRA “appetizer” was in Pennsylvania (1990) at a meeting on regional chapters. The “main course” was when I moved to Mississippi and joined TTRA in February 1994, the start of a 24-year run. Networking opportunities with DMO/private sector practitioners, academics, and others is valuable. State/Provincial Researchers’ Meeting at the start of a TTRA Annual Conference, June, is a must-attend session for state/local DMO researchers. TTRA’s regional chapters also provide networking-meeting opportunities, and TTRA’s management staff is attentive and helpful. My 1998-to-2001 term on TTRA’s Board of Directors, plus the TTRA 2001 President’s Award, will always be special to me.
Surround Yourself with Smart People
My TTRA experience is best summed by the old adage: “if you want to be a smart person, surround yourself with smart people. If you want to be a really smart person, surround yourself with smart people that don’t necessarily think like you”. While I’m not sure I’ve achieved the “smart” part, I can say that my much of my career success has been a direct result of my TTRA network of really smart academic and industry friends. I’ve been a member of TTRA since the early 80’s and am approaching 30 TTRA conferences; I’ve never come away from a conference without new ideas, new friends, and new opportunities. For any question or need, my first resources are my TTRA network and the TTRA state and provincial research network.
Outgoing European Chapter President
It has been my great privilege to be the TTRA European Chapter President for the past three years. As my term comes to an end, I am so grateful to my fellow board members for all of their assistance and support, as we worked together to develop our Chapter. TTRA is a wonderful organization of committed tourism academics and practitioners all working together with one common goal, to share knowledge and best practice in travel and tourism. There are many benefits to being a member, such as reduced conference fees, as well as, access to the TTRA LISTSERV. However, for me, the best part of being a TTRA member is the networking opportunities it has given me. As a tourism academic, the contacts that I have made whilst attending the International Conference and MOF each year, have enriched my teaching and broadened my perspective.
To conclude, for me, TTRA is a family that I very much feel a part of. Therefore, I encourage others to join and experience what being a member can do for you professionally and personally.
Thank You, TTRA
I can’t imagine I would be where I am in my career without TTRA. I’ve been involved in the association for over 20 years. Early on, I joined the Canada Chapter Board and gained experience in board management, as well as connections to colleagues across the country and beyond, many who have become friends. TTRA has led me to industry partnerships, joint research projects, an amazing sabbatical in France, and more. Looking forward to the next 20, TTRA!
Very Grateful for the Recognition
Last year my co-author (Dr Dan Fesenmaier) and I received the award for Best Visual Paper at the 2016 International TTRA Conference in Vail for our research entitled “Validating Volunteered Geographic Information: Can We Reliably Trace Visitors’ Digital Footprints?” I am very grateful for the recognition that I have received from TTRA and I have always found the international conference a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and share new ideas. I’m looking forward to making new friends again this year in Quebec, where I will be presenting another paper based on my dissertation research.”
Provided Me Invaluable Feedback for My Proposed Dissertation Research
The “TTRA Travel Research Grant” has significantly enabled me to pursue my plans for dissertation data collection, which I intend to begin this summer. Additionally, as many can understand, the path towards the Ph.D. is an exciting and challenging one. Receiving this award was a significant encouragement for my journey and it helped me forge an unbreakable bond with my dissertation research. Besides providing a needed source of funding for dissertation fieldwork, this award afforded me the opportunity to present at TTRA 2016 in Vail, CO. The caliber of researchers and diversity of stakeholders in attendance provided me invaluable feedback for my proposed dissertation research on examining Airbnb’s social impacts on communities in which it exists.”
My Work Received Broad Attention
It was a tremendous honor of mine to be recognized by 2016 TTRA award committee and receive both the Best Paper Award and Keeling Dissertation Award. I sense the genuine support from the TTRA board to a young scholar by offering me the awards, regardless of other strong competitors. Thanks to the award, my work received broad attention, which led to my collaboration with multiple outstanding researchers and precious feedback from peer scholars on furthering my research. I hereby would highly recommend scholars to submit applications to be considered for the TTRA award opportunities, to be recognized by the tourism academic for your work, and to take full advantage of the possible collaboration and growth opportunities derived from such prestigious recognition.”
It Amazes Me How Direct Competitors Work Together
It truly is a joy to belong to the TTRA organization no matter which hat I’ve worn – from member, to TTRA Canada Board member, to TTRA International staff. Even after more than 20 years, it still amazes me how strong of connection exists amongst this group of academics, practitioners and consultants/vendors. Many are direct competitors, but that never stops them from sharing methodologies, research, marking tidbits and the like. Whether you are looking to learn new info, better understand the outlook for the coming year, or just don’t want to feel alone in your day to day struggles of making research matter, the TTRA network will prove invaluable!”