eTraveler - November 29, 2023

December 4, 2023

Deadline: Host a Tourism Insider Meeting

In 2023, the Iowa Tourism Office launched Tourism Insider Meetings to provide opportunities for industry partners from across the state to gather, collaborate, share ideas and network. We would like to invite partner communities, businesses or organizations to express interest to be one of the five hosts for these meetings, which are a great opportunity to show off your visitor assets and success stories to tourism industry partners from around the state. We encourage partnering with others in your area to co-host. Please note if you have already hosted a Tourism Insider Meeting, you cannot host again during this cycle. If you are interested in being a host community for the 2024-2025 cycle, please review the details and apply to the link below by Friday, December 15. Please reach out to Stephanie Neppl ( with questions.


2024 Iowa Tourism Conference Registration Now Open

The annual Iowa Tourism Conference serves as a pivotal gathering for individuals dedicated to promoting Iowa's tourism destinations and attractions through marketing initiatives. In a marketing environment where change is constant, this conference offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into the most innovative and data-driven tactics happening in the tourism industry. The ultimate aim is for attendees to leave the event with actionable solutions, innovative ideas and valuable new professional connections. Registration is $265 and the deadline to register is Friday, March 8, 2024.


FY24 Iowa Tourism Grant Update

The Iowa Tourism Office received 77 eligible FY24 Iowa Tourism Grant applications seeking over $639,100 in grant funding. A team of industry representatives dedicated many hours to carefully reviewing and assessing the applications. They ultimately awarded $398,800 to 45 organizations to help partners implement tourism related marketing initiatives, meetings and events that benefit both local economies and the state's economy. Congratulations to the grant recipients! A full press release with the list of recipients will be shared soon.

The State of the American Traveler Update

Recognized as one of the nation's leading travel studies of American leisure travelers, The State of the American Traveler features quarterly research of over 4,000 adult travelers. The most recent report included survey information that was collected October 17-21.

Here are some key highlights:
  • 34.8% say they're better off financially now than a year ago.
  • 32.8% say now is a good time to spend on travel.
  • High costs remain as top impediment to travel; 80% cite at least one deterrent (airfares, gas prices, etc.).
  • Overnight trip volume has grown; up 4 points from September, a record for post-pandemic era.
  • Day trip volume remains strong; 70.3% have taken one in last month.
  • 51.8% feel they will be better off financially a year from now; 54.4% intend to make leisure travel a priority in their budget.
  • Preferred sources of information are email, Facebook, website and Instagram.
  • Trip planning windows continue to be short; for example, most plan a week-long vacation nine weeks out, or plan an overnight trip just over six weeks out.
  • Almost 16% have used an AI tool to plan their trips; ChatGPT is the most used tool, followed by TripPlanner AI and Trip Advisor's AI assistant.

Upcoming Meetings

  • December 6, 2023 - iTIP Webinar: Tourism Round Table Discussion, virtual
  • December 7, 2023 - CITR Meeting & Seminar, Ankeny
  • December 8-10, 2023 - 2023 AIF Conference, Des Moines
  • January 4, 2024 - iTip Webinar: Preview of the 2024 Legislative Session, virtual
Check out the calendar of events for more details and upcoming meetings.