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Annual State of the Association


Travel and Tourism Research Association
Annual Business Meeting Held at the 48th Annual International Conference
June 22, 2017 ~ Hilton, Québec City, Canada

2017 State of the Association

Susan Bruinzeel, 2016-2017 ttra President, presented the following information regarding the state of the Association on behalf of the Board. 

Treasurer’s Report

Susan Bruinzeel presented the following 2016 Financial Statement for the Association on behalf of John Markham, ttra Treasurer, who was unable to make the trip to Québec City this year.

1)  The year 2016 ended with revenues of $610,250 and expenses of $705,315, for a negative net bottom line of $95,065.

2)  Our two main sources of revenue were membership dues of $201,249 (up from $162,221 the prior year), and conference registrations, sponsorships and awards $409,001, down from $498,044 the year before.

3)  Current assets as of December 31, 2016 were $373,683, current liabilities were $76,979, leaving current equity $296,704.  This is down from $391,769.

4)  Our investment reserves stand at $272,802 as of December 31, 2016, down from the $305,979. These reserves have since increased to $289,565 as of june 2, 2017.

5)  Accounting wise, our outside auditors, Boisvenu & Company, have completed a review of our books and records for the year 2016.  Our federal tax return is in process.

Respectively submitted,

John Markham, Treasurer

Membership Update

Current membership stands at 614 members, with a retention rate of 73 percent.

The largest Chapter is SETTRA, followed by Greater Western and Canada.

Currently,eight in ten members reside in North America.

Asia Pacific has been a focus of growth for the Association over the last few years, and this past year membership grew from 37 to more to 63 members this year due to Chapter leadership initiatives and International Board support.

Three years ago we introduced our new partner membership category.  We currently have four Platinum partners and five Gold partners. Destination Analysts is our newest partner. 

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! Based on the priorities set by the Board last October, we formed committees to begin working on the priority strategic initiatives.

Along with current Board Members, nine Past Presidents, four Chapter Presidents, five young professionals, six Non-board Members, and of course, Treeline staff have been working on pieces of the strategic plan, to ultimately deliver greater member value.

With a focus on achieving strategic plan initiatives that may take investment, the Finance Committee created financial models allowing the Board to better understand conference site selection risks and overall profitability, as well as impacts of revenue and expense growth.  

The Website Committee completed an RFP to select 2DogsMedia to design a new TTRA website, which will also house Chapter websites, saving Chapters time and money. You can expect to see this roll out at the end of 2017.

Over the past 2 years, the Brand Committee worked with Belmont Icehouse to update the brand identity, logo and tagline for the association. I am happy to say that the Board approved a final logo concept and tagline. There will be a couple of tweaks made, but we wanted to give you a preview…  From here, Belmont will create the final brand guidelines that we will use in all executions, from the new website to email communications.

new_ttra_logo_draftThis new logo respects the brand heritage of the blue color and the idea that we are a global association.  The concept graphically communicates research through the arrow and trend line, and use of the compass indicates the direction in both travel and research findings. 

The tagline is just a small update to the current one, replacing “tourism” with “travel” and “research” with “insights”, adding the element of the value of implications from research for the travel industry. So, look out for these in the future!

The Partnership Committee also began talks to expand TTRA’s partnership with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) where we have mutual interests.  Two milestones have been achieved.  

DMAI will hold its advocacy summit immediately following Marketing Outlook Forum in Baltimore this October.  This will enhance marketing opportunities and allow for cross promotion to drive greater attendance for both, and reduce trips for busy DMO professionals. 

The Professional Development Committee met to explore aspects of Professional Certification.  First, the Board has committed to moving forward with the development of a TTRA Professional Certification program for travel researchers. As this is a long-term commitment, the first step will be for TTRA to establish the curriculum for a research course that is part of DMAI’s education programs.

We are very happy that TTRA is asserting its leadership here as we are the travel research experts!

And I am pleased to officially announce that after financial due diligence, the Board made the exciting decision to take the 2019 Annual International Conference to Melbourne, Australia.  

Board leadership is committed to growing the Asia Pacific Chapter and supporting the region and its developing membership base.  This will be the first international conference in the Asia Pacific region.  So start planning your fabulous trip down under!

2017 Annual Business Meeting adjourned.

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