Courier July Courier - Page 8

VOICES OF LEADERSHIP Pam Inman President 101 Prosperous Place, Suite 350 Lexington, KY 40509 USA +1.859.264.6551 I’VE HAD A BUSY MONTH, FRIENDS. Fasten your seat belt and read all about it. Washington, D.C., did an amazing job of hosting IPW and showing off the U.S. capital city in June. It was great to see so many NTA faces and make new friends—and recruit new members—at the event. Thanks to the more than 50 of you who attended our NTA reception; it was a wonderful way to start off the week. The Tourism Cares event at the National Mall, held in conjunction with IPW, was fun and a lot of hard work. Just the weekend before, I was a tourist there. A few days later, I was pulling weeds and getting pebbles out of grates! Prior to IPW, I traveled to Kissimmee, Florida, for the 15th anniversary meeting of our strategic partner Travel Professionals of Color. It was such an honor to speak to this group and meet the awesome women who had the courage to start this association. While I was in Florida, NTA held a Meet-up in Orlando at the newly refurbished Planet Hollywood. Thanks to Ashleigh Zeigler and Planet Hollywood for hosting us. We already have seen several attendees become new members! Also in May, I went by train from D.C. to New York City to meet with Lu Yangzheng, the vice governor of China’s Guizhou province. We discussed a partnership and formally signed an agreement at a promotional event in the United Nations Building. We had worked on the partnership for several weeks, but I was happy that Rob Maclin, our attorney, wasn’t there to watch because the document was all in Mandarin. So, while I was pretty sure I knew what I was signing, I felt better after director of the China Inbound Program, Lin Wang, who traveled with me, translated it. We have invited our friends from Guizhou to Travel Exchange in San Antonio to share their beautiful province with you. While in New York, Lin and I also met with Yanjie Wang, director of the China National Tourist Office, and we signed a memorandum of understanding for research and other services we will do for the CNTO. One more China note: Chris Babb of The Group Tour Company, your NTA vice chair, 6 July 2017 Pam Inman at IPW, meeting with representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce joined Lin and me for the inaugural launch of Norwegian’s first Chinese cruise ship, Norwegian Joy. The ship sailed from Shanghai to Nagasaki and back. Many of our China Inbound Program operators were aboard, and we have to say thanks to Norwegian for inviting us and to Delta for providing our airfare. I told you in the March issue about traveling to India for the opening of the U.S.-India Travel and Tourism Partnership Year. I’m now pleased to say we have formed a new partnership with the India Tour Operators Association. We are excited to help link you to this growing market. Visitation from India to the U.S., which was 724,000 in 2012, is projected to reach nearly 2 million by 2021. Speaking of international inbound travel to the U.S., I hope you saw the statement we issued about preserving Brand USA after the White House proposed cutting it. We’ve reached out to Congress to let them know that keeping this marketing arm of the U.S. intact is vital to the nation’s jobs and economy. After traveling to Tucson to support our members at Travel Alliance Partners’ TAP Dance, I was eager to get back to NTA HQ so I could welcome the newest member of our NTA team, Kay Saffari, who serves as coordinator of the Faith Travel Association and our Hispanic market initiative. Kay has an amazing background and a wealth of talent. If you don’t remember anything else about this letter, I hope it reminded you that we are constantly trying to improve NTA and give you the ability to do more business. And I’m always eager to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to call or email me.