ne of the American travel industry's
most important events is happening in Orlando this week, the Travel
Industry Association's annual International Pow Wow. It doesn't
directly involve many U.S. retail agents, but it's a vital engine
in the machinery that brings 50 million international visitors to
this country each year.
In 1,375 booths at the Orlando convention center, U.S. suppliers,
destinations, attractions and receptive operators will meet with
1,500 tour operators, wholesalers and travel agents from 74
countries. The result, after four days, should be about $3 billion
in future Visit USA business. And against this backdrop, over 200
journalists from around the world will be broadcasting and
publishing reports about what the U.S. has to offer as a
So even if you're not in Orlando this week, it would be proper
to pause and reflect that there's a bunch of folks down there doing
good work, work that should matter to everybody who cares about
A little 'e'
Every once in a while, somebody will stand in front of a crowd
and give a speech, and a few phrases will give a new twist to an
old truth and make us perk up.
It happened last week at the Travel Weekly Conference in Orlando
when Hal Rosenbluth suggested that the "e" in e-commerce should
stand for "emotional."
And why not? As the sale of travel experiences gravitates to the
impersonal arena of the Internet, why not go out of your way to
invest the process with as much human warmth as possible?
It's a tall order, but one of the answers at Rosenbluth
International is to assemble a team of people who love what they do
and "who like each other," and use that emotional energy as a
Take that, dot-com.