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Tourism Exchange USA Offers Michigan Webinars

January and February sessions are aimed at DMOs, suppliers, and distributors

By Kathy Gibbons

International meeting planners will be able to access Michigan destinations, properties, attractions—including Mackinac Island—and more via Michigan's new Tourism Exchange USA platform. || Courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau
International meeting planners will be able to access Michigan destinations, properties, attractions—including Mackinac Island—and more via Michigan’s new Tourism Exchange USA platform. || Courtesy of Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

Travel Michigan has scheduled a series of webinars to help introduce Michigan-based travel destinations and tourism-focused businesses to Tourism Exchange USA.

Michigan is one of the first states to launch Michigan’s new Tourism Exchange USA business-to-business portal, which is sponsored by Brand USA. The purpose is to provide Michigan-based travel destinations and tourism-focused businesses with access to a global online marketplace for domestic and international travel planners.

“In general, the main concept of this is there are international tour operators and travel planners—they could be travel agents, group tour organizers, a lot of folks that work on both sides of the pond, in Europe—planning visits to the United States,” says Nick Nerbonne, media, digital and industry relations director for Travel Michigan. Tourism Exchange USA connects them with travel suppliers who register at the Exchange and can manage live availability, pricing, and bookings across multiple distributors.

“It just makes it easier for international tour operators to plan their visits,” Nerbonne says. “Traditionally, they would actually have to call the hotel—can we plan a tour, much more logistics and planning involved. Now what this does it just enables international operators to plan the visit directly themselves. The inventory is live. If they want to book 20 rooms, they can book 20 rooms.”

DMOs will be able to register their partners and members for inclusion in the Tourism Exchange USA site, which is connected to industry booking systems and channel managers like bookeo, SiteMinder, FareHarbor, RMS, roomMaster, and others. Suppliers like resorts, hotels, tours, attractions, events, and food and beverage experiences are well-suited to participate and may also sign up directly themselves. Online travel agents and tour operators are also encouraged to participate.

Tourism Exchange USA webinars for Michigan DMO and industry association CEOs/presidents, directors of sales, member/partner directors, and marketing/communications professionals can join webinars on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m. or Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 3 p.m.

Sessions for Michigan suppliers are set for Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. and Thursday, Feb. 29, at 3 p.m. Nerbonne expects the platform to be live around April.

“The fact that it makes it so easy for international tour operators and travel operators to plan visits directly in Michigan and book them?” Nerbonne adds. “There’s never been something that makes that so easy.”

tourismexchangeusa.com

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