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TIA to Create Office Travel and Tourism Web site to Draw International Travelers

February 1, 2007

TIA to Create Office Travel and Tourism Web site to Draw International Travelers
Feb. 1, 2007 – The Travel Industry Association has been awarded a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The funds will be used to encourage international travelers to come to America through a new multi-lingual Web site.

According to a news release issued yesterday, TIA and several industry partners, including several state tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus, American Express, Travelocity, Yahoo! and Fodor’s, will build, market and maintain a set of Web sites aimed at markets that account for roughly 75 percent of the international inbound travel market.

TIA initially will develop websites in English and Japanese over the next nine months to attract attention primarily from travelers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. The second phase will include development of sites targeting residents of Mexico and Germany. TIA has retained Blue Canopy as technology integrator and Tribal DDB as lead agency to assist in the development and implementation of these sites.

Roger Dow, president and CEO at TIA, noted the importance of reaching overseas travelers in particular because that portion of international inbound travel to the U.S. has declined by 17 percent since 9/11, and the U.S. share of the world travel market has declined by 36 percent since 1992.

"Research shows that people who visit our country think far more favorably of our country than those who have never been here," Dow said. "Attracting more visitors to the U.S. will help with our image around the world and be a tremendous benefit to our overall economy. These websites are important first steps toward achieving a fully integrated international marketing campaign to market America as a destination to the rest of the world."

TIA will also work with the National Restaurant Association, International Franchise Association and Shop America Alliance to extend the economic benefits to other industries that typically benefit from international inbound travel.

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