Quarterly Update: Q2 2024

All the latest news, plus what’s on the horizon for Q3

Quarterly Update: Q2 2024

After more than a year of developing multiple facets of the product and making good progress toward goals in our first full year of partnership with Brand USA, Tourism Exchange USA is excited to launch its inaugural Quarterly Update. Read on to learn more about what we’ve been up to over the last couple of months, where we’re headed, and how it all contributes to our mission of Making the USA Bookable.

  • A Major Overhaul of White-Label Booking Pages
  • Growing the Number of Connected Booking Systems 
  • Nationwide Engagements with Destinations
  • Our First Educational Roadshow for Suppliers
  • Improvements to Trade Portal Billing Operations
  • Updates From Recent Industry Events + Where We’ll Be This Summer
  • Our New Explainer Video and TXUSA Social Channels

It’s been a busy stretch for the product team, including work to add new integrations, improving backend performance of existing connections, and starting to roll out some major upgrades to user experience. 

The biggest news of the quarter is a major redesign of the white-label booking pages that are available through the Exchange for suppliers and distributors. While the front-end is customizable to align look and feel with branding for a business, there’s been a global upgrade to the user experience, including more visually impactful product listing pages, improvements to usability and booking flows on mobile devices, better visibility of options for travelers with flexible dates, and more.

Screenshot of the updated look and feel of the TXUSA white-label booking page.
The updated look and feel of the TXUSA white-label booking page. Suppliers and Distributors who use these pages can customize them to align with their branding.

In the June release there are also initial improvements to the user dashboards — the first in a series of updates to the dashboards and reporting available in the backend of the system for partners. Additional improvements in the release include updates to existing booking system and distribution connections, development of new connections, bug fixes, and more. 

We’re continuing to grow the number of connected booking systems that suppliers can use to get their products, rates and availability onto the Exchange to connect with global distribution. 

In the past couple of months, we’ve been working on connections with several new booking systems that will help grow the Exchange. A new connection to Ventrata is in final beta testing as this update is being written and is expected to be live in July. Our development team has been hard at work on Peek and Galaxy-Gateway, which are in preliminary testing and development, respectively. We’ve moved into testing for a connection with Bandwango, which will make its Destination-driven multi-attraction passes available on the Exchange, and we’re adding hundreds of new products to the Exchange via a new global connection with Tiqets

There are a few additional systems entering the pipeline that we’re excited to share more about once agreements have been finalized. Connected systems are just one way the Exchange is expanding its reach right now… 

DMO participation continues to increase as we approach the halfway mark of 2024. With 17 active states at different points ​of setup and enablement​, we’re estimating a total of 20 state DMOs will be participating before ​the end of 2024​ – yay! 

As part of our DMO partners’ success, we also have a handful of local DMO pilot programs underway, including Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, and Michigan. These programs include 3-month focused activations to generate broader supplier awareness, and grow connectivity in markets beyond the gateways. We’ll have new pilots launching in California and Colorado before the end of the year as well!

In June, we wrapped up the first-ever TXUSA Educational Roadshow in partnership with Travel Michigan. Members of the TXUSA team hosted a series of workshops for suppliers in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, and Metro Detroit, where attendees learned more about the value of the international travel trade market, foundational tips for success, and opportunities available via the Exchange. 

Interested in bringing a roadshow to your destination? Contact us at [email protected] to get the conversation started.

TXUSA team member Kayla S. sharing insights with Michigan Roadshow attendees.

Developing the National Travel Trade Portal (NTTP) – our B2B travel marketplace connecting suppliers and travel trade – has been a labor of love, but we are close to the finish line! In the past few months, we’ve made significant changes to how the Portal will operate in order to better serve the industry. 

Based on feedback from partners, we’re in the process of changing how transactions will be managed. In the new model, TXUSA serves as a payment facilitator to consolidate and simplify billing between parties. Products can still be reserved on account by trade buyers, but we’ll manage invoicing in-house and aggregate monthly transactions into a single invoice for travel trade to help minimize international transaction fees for partners while reducing administrative overhead for suppliers, who won’t need to provide an invoice to get paid.

This will help us generate more engagement by reducing costs for buyers and suppliers alike. It will also help simplify our cancellation policies, among other benefits. 

We are continuing to register suppliers and distributors for the portal and will be following up with additional communications about the updated launch timeline soon.

National Travel Trade Portal homepage
A sneak peek at the National Travel Trade Portal, which will carry product from across the USA.

The Tourism Exchange USA team has been jet-setting across the country (and beyond) to meet with partners, build new connections and support our mission to make the USA bookable. 

  • IPW: TXUSA team members Andrea Wood, Lindsey Graham, Jayne Stones and Nate Huff were hard at work in Los Angeles representing Tourism Exchange USA at U.S. Travel’s IPW Conference in May. In addition to meetings with the teams from Visit California and the Colorado Tourism Office, the team conducted more than 50 appointments with international tour operators, hotels, attractions, and individual destinations. 
TXUSA team members enjoying U.S. Travel’s IPW 2024 Conference in Los Angeles.
  • Canada Connect: Jayne Stones, on behalf of Tourism Exchange USA, joined 30+ U.S. destinations in June for the very first Brand USA Canada Connect. She met with tour operators, trade media, travel agents and travel agent consortiums in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to spread the word on how the Exchange is helping elevate diverse and unique travel experiences from across the United States.

Couldn’t catch us at IPW or in Canada? No problem! Come say hi at our upcoming events:

  • July 16-18: Destinations International
  • July 27-30: Alabama Governor’s Conference
  • August 11-13: U.S. Travel’s ESTO

If you haven’t heard, TXUSA is now on social media! Connect with us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you can catch our Explainer Video (below)  and more. 

Full-length TXUSA Explainer Video