Travel generates over $9.26 billion in visitor spending each year in IOWA. Over 70,700 people are employed within the travel sector in Iowa. Iowa’s state travel budget ranks #42 out of 50 states.
The Iowa travel industry is currently organized by regional associations which deliver education, networking, and programs. In addition, there are statewide organizations that focus on specific niche market activities. As part of an industry-wide strategic sector plan in 2015, a goal was outlined to improve collaboration, partnerships, and expertise amongst stakeholders. Stakeholders have worked for the last several years to mold this concept into the Iowa Travel Industry Partners Association and Foundation. This new association aligns with the recommendation from the Governor’s Economic Growth Subgroup of Hospitality and Tourism industry professionals to develop a public/private organization to represent the interests of Iowa’s tourism industry as part of a statewide strategic plan for tourism, including investment strategy.
In December 2020, 501c6 and 501c3 filings were submitted to begin the formation of the new organization.
The goal of the Iowa Travel Industry Partners is to:
- Increase traveler spending in Iowa.
- Unite segments of the travel industry.
- Enhance the travel industry’s political strength and program impact.
- Elevate professionalism within the industry.
- Position travel as a respected revenue generator in Iowa.
- Build private and public funding resources for travel efforts.
- Represent Iowa’s diverse level of tourism entities, which is inclusive of size, geography, culture, business segment, etc.
- Serve as a leading travel and tourism industry resource for key stakeholders and the public.
- Serve as a vehicle for the exchange of information and ideas pertinent to the Iowa travel industry.
The key benefits of a united statewide travel organization include:
- Greater efficiencies of resources, staff, volunteers, programs, and advocacy.
- Streamlined communications, marketing, and advocacy under one voice for the entire industry.
- Connecting more entities to all programs without having to join multiple organizations.
- The intent is to build on successful existing programs and partnerships while looking for additional opportunities
DEVELOPMENT: The development committee focuses on membership and relationships.
RESOURCES: The resources committee focuses on grants, mentorships, professional services, and technical tools. This committee works in synergy with the iTIP Foundation.
EDUCATION: The education committee focuses on networking opportunities, best practices, accessible training, and professional development. This committee works in synergy with the iTIP Foundation.
ADVOCACY: The advocacy committee focuses on identifying key issues, creating meaningful coalitions, empowering members, and engaging in advocacy events and programming.
MARKETING: The marketing committee focuses on the development of the Association’s brand and collateral materials while keeping all the niche markets in mind. The niche markets include but are not limited to sports, group travel, meetings, and Destination Marketing Organizations.
View our Committee Members
Iowa Travel Industry Partners also manages a 501c3 Foundation for Iowa’s travel industry. The purpose of the Foundation is to support education and research activities for Iowa’s tourism industry.
The Foundation Board of Trustees selects and awards the annual Joe Taylor Vision Award. This award is presented annually to an Iowa tourism leader whose exceptional work and achievements not only advance his or her community but the future of Iowa’s tourism industry.
The award is named in honor of the late Joe Taylor, longtime CEO of Visit Quad Cities and industry visionary. Mr. Taylor worked for the region’s official destination marketing and management organization for almost 30 years. He served as executive director of the Davenport Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1989. Then on July 1, 1990, the three local tourism organizations officially merged to become the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, now Visit Quad Cities.