New USTOA Web Site Helps Travelers Find the Right Fit

Want to visit Italy for the first time, take a quick vacation to Las Vegas or New York, find a customplanned safari, or a walking tour to Bhutan? You may know where you want to go, what you want to do, or the type of travel you want, but aren’t sure where to search for a reliable company that offers what you’re looking for.

The newly revamped web site from the U.S. Tour Operators Association provides a one‐stop database on 150 of the top brands in vacation travel, searchable by three basic questions: Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, what type of traveler are you?

New Searchable World Map
Highlighting the search capability is a new interactive world map with 380 destinations from Abu Dhabi to Zihuatanejo. The map allows users to click on a destination and view a list of USTOA member companies serving that area. Travelers can also search a drop‐down window by activity, special interest or attraction, from adventure to winter sports or archeology to wineries. Another drop‐down window reveals a menu of selections by traveler or vacation type, from student to senior travel, and from beach vacations to safaris. Each menu selection provides links to corresponding company’s web sites.

“Since USTOA’s members must meet the travel industry’s strictest requirements for financial stability and integrity, as a consumer you’re guaranteed a high standard of quality. That takes the guesswork out of knowing whether a company is reliable, which is especially important in this Internet age, when
anyone can put up a web site,” adds USTOA president, Bob Whitley.

Travelers who want to verify whether a company is a USTOA Active Member can key in the company’s name, bringing up a descriptive page with the company’s details, its destinations and programs, as well as a link to the company web site. Or consumers can download a complete list of USTOA members along with their contact information.

A “Destination Spotlight” section profiles a specific country or area, which links to the country’s tourist Mini Travel Guide page. “TravelWise” and “Smart Travel Planning” sections provide timely tips, travel ‐ related quizzes, and useful information, such as how to shop for a tour or vacation package, “Travel Agents: Your Best Bet”, and a Travel Glossary. An “About USTOA” section features the organization’s history, member listings, mission and goals, recent activities, and contact information.

Founded in 1972, the United States Tour Operators Association is a professional association representing the tour operator industry. Its members are made up of companies whose tours, packages, and custom arrangements encompass the entire globe but who conduct business in the U.S. As a voice for the tour operator industry, USTOA represents this sector in matters pertaining to the travel industry as a whole, both here and abroad. Among USTOA's goals are consumer protection and education. 

USTOA member companies have met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the association’s Traveler Assistance Program, which among other things protects consumer payments up to $1 million in case the company goes out of business. USTOA is the premier association of companies providing vacation packages, tours, and custom travel itineraries for more than 11 million people yearly.

U.S. Tour Operators Association

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