"Boards of travel" is a generic term for government-sponsored organizations that promote travel to and within countries where tourism is an important industry. Known by a variety of names, including tourism board, travel commission, tourism agency, tourism office, travel board, travel bureau, tourism commission, et al., boards of travel provide services to help travel industry professionals design, create and sell vacation travel packages.
Partnering with destination owners, hospitality managers, transportation operators and other travel service providers, government tourism boards use websites, newsletters, magazines, videos, travel trade shows, social media, advertising, and information hot lines to promote travel to popular vacation destinations. Most tourism boards sponsor agent specialist programs and organize frequent FAM trips. It's important to get to know them and have them know you!
National, state, provincial and municipal governments spend a lot of time and money to create tourism board services. By understanding and using these services, industry professionals can improve their own customer service, at little or no cost. So, it makes good business sense to take advantage of the help travel bureaus provide.
This is the first of a series of lists that will identify the national travel boards serving major destination countries. In this list, we introduce you to the tourism boards of Canada, Mexico and the United States. Click on the links to visit their websites. Each is well-designed, attractive, easy to navigate, and rich in useful information about travel destinations and tourism board services. These first rate websites are also fun to explore. Each is a "trip" in its own right. Enjoy and learn.
The Canadian Tourism Commission is Canada's official tourism promotion agency. Its English language website includes a tab captioned "Change Country" that links to CTC sites in languages other than English.
The CTC's work in promoting tourism and assisting tour and travel professionals is supported by a network of provincial tourism offices. For a complete list of Canadian travel and tourism offices, national and provincial, visit Canada Online Guide Site.
Mexico is the tenth most popular destination for international tourists. And, it's the top destination for US visitors. Not surprisingly, the Mexican government oversees an extensive network of 19 foreign offices in major cities of the world, including 10 in North America and 5 in Europe. These international offices, and the MTB's websites and publications, offer valuable insights, information, marketing tools, contacts and assistance to travel agents, tour operators and other professionals interested in selling Mexican destinations.
The nation with the most profitable international tourism industry, the United States, does not have a national tourism agency. But links to state tourism board websites are available at the government's central site, USA.gov.
Another excellent resource is the USA State Tourism Offices contacts. The list includes each state's tourism board's website.