The Travel Industry Association of America announced the launch of its newly upgraded Web site, www.tia.org, to add more member benefits as part of an exclusive two-year partnership with leading travel industry Interactive Agency USDM.net.
Employing interactive best practices and tools, state-of-the-art technology and dynamic design to improve navigation and improve communication of industry news and member services, TIA’s 1,500-page site was overhauled and redeveloped by USDM.net in just three months.
In addition to applying interactive best practices and strategy and redesigning the Web site, the two-year agreement with USDM.net includes ongoing, proactive online marketing and media initiatives such as a bi-monthly electronic newsletter and a search engine marketing program for TIA. The company will also host a variety of Webinars on interactive marketing topics that affect the travel industry and has agreed to co-author TIA’s annual survey report, Travelers’ Use of the Internet.
To assist in educating TIA members on the benefits of using the Internet to market to today’s busy traveler, USDM.net President Jennifer Barbee will serve on TIA’s E-Commerce Committee. The committee was developed to facilitate government affairs issues, provide research and manage the agenda for TIA’s newly acquired Travel Commerce Conference and Expo (TravelCom), taking place April 17-19, 2006 at the Hilton New York.
“We couldn’t be happier with the new look,” said Roger Dow, TIA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, referring to TIA’s Web site. “It perfectly reflects the excitement of travel and communicates the industry’s importance to our economy. When all of the components are put in place over the next few months, it will be an invaluable resource to our members and their associates.”
“The TIA.org site is an important resource for travel professionals, and now offers the Interactive Best Practices and tools that USDM.net brings to the industry” said Leah Woolford, CEO of USDM.net. “The response we are receiving from the industry is very positive.”
The new member-focused site provides personalized content, including research information, press releases and links customized for each industry segment. State tourism offices and destinations are showcased throughout the site with the latest video technology. Message boards for online discussions organized by industry segment and topic are available, as are password-protected areas to share information and documents with other members.
The site also now employs a state-of-the-art smart search capability which will enable users to query not only the entire TIA site, but also information from all TIA member sites. The results will be provided in order of relevance to the search criteria.
Barbee said: “Our team was committed to providing TIA with a site that communicates the fun of travel while enabling people to easily navigate the various sections. We’ve taken the best of our innovations and put it into the TIA.org site.”
Still in development, and expected to be completed by October 1, is a job bank for the industry. Resumes will be able to be posted at no charge, while prospective employers will be able to choose from a range of packages for finding workers, including heavily discounted costs to TIA members.
“As the travel industry’s association, TIA is the natural place for a job bank to benefit the entire industry,” said Mike Pusateri, TIA’s Chief Operating Officer, who led the web site upgrade initiative with Jay Gray, TIA’s Vice President of Technology. “We’re developing the job bank because we’ve been told by our members that there is a real need for this service. Identifying top talent and available opportunities is critical to success and skill-sets readily transfer among industry segments. We fully intend to become the first place people come to find jobs or people interested in travel industry opportunities.”