2020 Q4 Newsletter
A Special Note About 2021
The first week of 2021 included an historic assault on the U.S. Capitol during a critical certification vote for our Presidential Election. The violence, intolerance, anger and disrespect for American foundational values and democratic systems reinforced how important our work is—to enhance understanding through travel and education. Many who have traveled beyond our shores deeply appreciate the privileges and freedoms we Americans have at home.
Hindsight is 2020
It was an extraordinary year! We navigated uncharted territory for our organization, industry, and world. Our resilience was tested and we banded together with partners and colleagues alike to pave a path forward.
As is tradition, ATA Executive Vice President, Chase Poffenberger, captured our year in a reflective blog post. Read the full post about both the highs and lows the year brought.
We look forward with optimism to the year ahead and building back even stronger. Happy New Year
Welcoming New Partners
We are delighted to announce several new exclusive ATA partners who will be extending their reach, mission and message with experiential travel programs, beginning in 2021 and 2022.
The Chautauqua Institution will take the unique blend of the arts, religion, education and recreation programming that happens each summer in upstate New York into the wider world.
Country Living will be kicking off a new travel program for subscribers with a trip to the Country Living Fair in Nashville. will take the unique blend of the arts, religion, education and recreation programming that happens each summer in upstate New York into the wider world.
The Great Courses will be working with ATA on itinerary planning and execution for new travel content.
Road and Track has added two international destinations—Japan and Italy—to its new membership travel program called “R & T Experiences.”
There are even more new partnerships on the horizon for 2021 that are not quite ready to go public, so stay tuned for our next newsletter
Valuable Takeaways from Industry Events
Our staff has been Zooming around the globe, albeit not by plane. Another silver lining of the pandemic was that events became more accessible, given their pivot to virtual.
Here are highlights from just a few of the industry events we attended last quarter:
- Tourism Cares’ Virtual Meaningful Travel Summit
This virtual summit showcased Tourism Cares’ evolution as an organization committed to sustainability, with a focus on Colombia, a country that uses social and environmental justice to foster stability and peace.
- The Black Travel Alliance’s Wavelength Networking Event
Black Travel Content Creators (authors bloggers, broadcasters, journalists, photographers, podcasters, social media influencers, and vloggers) came together to increase their representation and visibility. We were delighted to meet these travel professionals who are guiding us as we seek educational travel partners who serve Black travelers, increase the number of People of Color-owned businesses, vendors, restaurants, hotels, venue, and tour staff we work with within the U.S. and in foreign destinations, and assess potential interest from BTA members in serving as content experts and tour managers on future trips.
- National Tour Association’s VTREX
NTA’s first-ever virtual Travel Exchange demonstrated the resilience of the community of operators, suppliers and DMOs who come together each year at TREX as buyers and sellers. The 1:1 meetings were possibly more effective than in “real life” and the speakers top-notch. Chase Poffenberger, NTA’s current Board Chair, hopes to see members in person next November in Cleveland at TREX ‘21!
- World Tourism & Travel Council’s “One Voice – to Recovery and Beyond”
This summit reinforced an important message: governments, businesses, and the health sector need to work together, both seamlessly and globally, to re-ignite the power of the travel industry. There is much to do, but the groundwork is being laid
Doing the Work: Our Progress and Path Towards Social Justice
After the election in November, we shared our Anti-Racism Action Plan publicly. The Plan outlines our commitment to putting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of everything we do. Since then, with input from our directors and teams, we have committed to concrete 2021 goals to ensure we make progress toward the metrics and loftier 10-year goals we have set for ourselves. We plan to review these formally within the organization and set the following year’s goals every January. We’ve already revised our mission statement to reaffirm our commitment to justice and equality as a central component of our organization