TANZANIA (eTN) – Terry Dale, the President of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), addressed exhibitors and participants at the ongoing Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) in Tanzania, rekindling fresh hopes to African countries for getting more American tourists.
Mr. Dale said in his professional presentation during a special workshop for SITE participants and exhibitors, that Africa remains the best destination for Americans, but facing challenges which had so far affected a smooth flow of Americans to this continent.
He said 56 percent of Americans are capable of traveling to Africa but needed more information about Africa and its tourist attractions. But, poaching of wildlife, poor roads, and unreliable surface infrastructure are the problems which African governments and tourist stakeholders should address in order to attract more Americans.
The USTOA President told eTN that he was impressed to be in Tanzania for the first time and was impressed with the SITE arrangements in its second edition. He said his association is ready to work closely with Tanzania and other African destinations to attract more Americans to visit this continent.
He said USTOA has been the voice for the US tour operator industry for more than 40 years. Its members are responsible for more than US$13.5 billion in revenue annually through the provision of tours, packages, and custom arrangements that allow nearly 8 million travelers each year unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace of mind, value, and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe.
Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Traveler Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to US$1 million if the company goes out of business. USTOA holds an annual business-to-business conference and marketplace every December in the US, and also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.
Tanzania Tourist Board Acting Managing Director Devota Mdachi expressed her feelings, saying, “Tanzania is honored to have Terry Dale, an American travel industry expert and influencer, join us at SITE 2015.”
The United States is one of Tanzania’s most vital markets, and especially with Terry Dale’s guidance and support, the US tour operator programs to Tanzania have grown and diversified, Mdachi said.
Terry Dale’s participation at SITE provided an opportunity for African travel and tourism suppliers as well as operators to learn more specifics about increasing business from the American market, Mdachi said.
Most impressive in Mr. Dale’s presentation on Friday was the world-wide USTOA-sponsored digital snap-shop campaign, the Dancing Matt, which included Tanzanian school children dancing together.
SITE is an annual international tourism trade show developed by the Tanzania Tourist Board in partnership with Pure Grit Project and Exhibition Management Ltd. The Expo takes the format of a travel and trade exhibition with a conference element focusing on topical tourism, sustainability, conservation, and other market-related issues.