Want to take advantage of the latest and greatest research methodology for projecting occupancy rates? Thinking of opening another hotel and need some solid data for investors? Interested in hosting a sporting event, but want to know whether it might reap financial rewards as well as goodwill? Maybe the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) can help.
For starters, the TTRA Web site is a great resource. Membership is required for access to articles and complete research studies, but other materials are available to the professional planning and hospitality community at large. Visitors may “Ask a Pro” for answers to specific questions. Although some at first seem to address issues half a world away, many could be relevant anywhere:
• Where can I find data related to security costs?
• Can you please point me in the direction of some travel research related to safari travel in southern Africa, as I am trying to put together a marketing strategy for a safari/fishing resort in Zambia?
• I am conducting economic impact studies at festivals and events in Ontario, Canada, and I am seeking additional information and possibly formulas to input data collected. I have a great deal of background information and know the importance of pre-survey planning/methodologies, etc.
The research database contains 216 articles that cover topics ranging from Alternative Lifestyles and Bed & Breakfasts to Urban Tourism and Visitor Information Centers. Say you’re interested in “sports research” in Canada—make those selections from two drop-down menus, click and you’ll be directed to “Visitor Impressions of Whitehorse During the 2000 Arctic Winter Games.” Although membership is required in order to view the entire piece, the synopsis alone is intriguing: “One of the primary rationales that cities have in hosting major sporting events is the assumption that the event will showcase their community as an attractive tourism destination. This presentation examines secondary data of the experience of visitors to Whitehorse …”)
TTRA’s value starts closer to home. When asked to identify the most important benefits of belonging to TTRA, members almost always put networking and educational opportunities at the top of the list. TTRA members share research and marketing ideas, recommend suppliers and provide advice regarding careers.
Membership benefits include the TTRA CareerNet, where job openings can be posted; and the Business RFP site, where organizations can seek bids from research and marketing contractors for specific projects.
At a glance, TTRA:
• Facilitates access to numerous sources of information to support research efforts
• Educates members in research, marketing and planning skills through publications, conferences and networking
• Fosters development of travel and tourism research and related curricula in institutes of higher education
• Promotes the development and application of professional research in the travel and tourism industry.
The quarterly Journal of Travel Research provides tourism educators and professionals with timely information about travel research, new techniques, creative views about travel research thought and practice, and a synthesis of travel research materials. Depending on membership level, the subscription may be complimentary.