The South Dakota Department of Tourism is offering a NEW Partner benefit!

Our partners will have the opportunity to participate in Inbound Insider: Steps to Success™, a four-part education and training program that helps destinations and tourism suppliers successfully build international travel business by working with the travel trade. The program is provided by the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA), the leading travel association for tour operators, DMOs, and suppliers involved in growing international travel to the U.S.

Travel trade collectively refers to both international and domestic third-party resellers of travel. The Steps to Success activation program will focus on how to work with U.S.-based Inbound Tour Operators, who are your gateway to the international markets. Inbound Tour Operators are B2B businesses selling U.S. travel services and products to international buyers, i.e. tour operators, travel agents and meetings/events buyers.

Steps to Success provides a framework for travel and tourism suppliers to tap international markets by working with inbound tour operators who have vast networks of international clients eager to sell the USA. The program provides an easy and proven framework for working with the travel trade. You’ll be able to develop and implement strategies tailored for your business and, ultimately, increase ROI and market share from key international travel trade partners across all international markets.

By developing business-to-business (B2B) relationships with inbound tour operator partners, your products will be sold around the world to their network of partners creating the opportunity for year over year growth in off-peak and seasonal business.

Step 1 was presented at the South Dakota Governor’s Conference. Steps 2&3 will be offered together in two locations – Sioux Falls on October 23 and Rapid City on October 24.

Register for Steps 2 & 3 Today!


Date: Monday, October 23, 2023
Time: 9:00 – 12:00 PM (CT)
Location: Sioux Falls
Venue: Outdoor Campus East, 4500 South Oxbow Avenue

Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Time: 9:00 – 12:00 PM (MT)
Venue:  Black Hills Visitor Information Center, 1851 Discovery Circle
STEP 2: Resource Development 

What You Learn:

How to position your products to fit the needs of the travel trade to form B2B partnerships. Develop an understanding of the pricing and resource conventions required to make your products appear attractive to this market, ensuring you gain immediate traction and equitable partnerships.

  • Dive deeper into the various levels of the travel trade and their unique characteristics to begin to shape your inbound tourism development strategy
  • See how to build a dynamic “business profile” that addresses requirements of a 3rd party seller of travel products and gets traction to sell your business more easily
    • Learn what buzz words and influencing points to include in your key documents that will gain the interest of the travel trade
    • Review samples, tips and tricks and take your next step to create your own necessary & useful resources
  • Develop a competitive pricing structure while maintaining industry rate integrity
    • Understand the importance of maintaining rate integrity to build long lasting relationships
    • Obtain repeat business by following the travel trade model and learn how to incorporate rate systems in your business

STEP 3: Product and Operational Strategy

What You Learn:

How to effectively develop strategies and systems that not only maximize opportunities for your business but allow international travel trade partners to easily access and sell your product. Walk away with a foundation that will help you develop strategies to build future and repeat base business, and fill off-peak need periods, for consistent year-round volume from the international market.

  • Position your products/services to be sold in advance to maximize sales and marketing efforts
  • Develop operational support documents
  • Ensure you have the product, systems, and operational support in place to accommodate travel trade business effortlessly
  • Learn more about working with the travel trade from a product and policies standpoint
  • How to set up specific operational practices, internal policies, and systems per category of supplier

Steps to Success Trainer:  Jennifer Ackerson, President, Alon Tourism Solutions

What are the Benefits of Working with the Travel Trade?

Why Should You Attend?

All businesses can benefit from working with inbound operators; see why your business should attend!

You are the reason visitors want to visit! Learn how to have your business booked in advance.
You are the essence of your destination showcasing your destination’s history and uniqueness! Working with the travel trade will be the way to add visitation, increase global awareness, and attract key markets.
Are there key need periods or room types you want to sell? Would you like to develop relationships with select partners you can rely on for long term repeat business?
Every visitor must eat! Travel trade can bring you visitors for all 3 meal periods and during your off-peak periods. Individuals as well as Groups have an opportunity here!
Shopping is the #1 activity for visitors globally. Learn ways to drive visitors to your retail space as a pre made decision before they arrive while creating fun partner programs.
International visitors travel by all modes and take day and overnight trips out of the host city.
Visitors who arrive from travel trade companies make pre-determined choices on where they will visit. If of interest is pushing visitors into year round periods and changing their visitor habits, then this session is for you.
You can see more bookings in advance and be able to push seats that are harder to sell or time periods when you want to increase your ticket sales!
Have partners who promote your events and festivals fill the space, as well as, assist you in having a successful event!
Help your stakeholder tourism businesses achieve success because you understand what is important for them to be doing. In addition to attending yourself, encourage your stakeholders to learn along with you.