Mary Tack


In an effort to better meet the needs of its customers, the United States national tourist office, U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration (USTTA) , surveyed travel and tourism industry organizations to determine their awareness and usage levels for the numerous programs and services offered by USTTA, the value they placed on these programs and services, and where improvements can be made. This survey was especially critical to USTTA as it embarked upon the Total Quality Management philosophy (which focuses on knowing your customers and their needs in order to better serve them) . A secondary issue existed for USTTA to determine if government funding should be spent on programs related to international tourism to the United States. The questionnaire was sent to all organizations from fourteen travel and tourism industry sectors involved in the international arena. The universe of these industry groups was surveyed so the returns within each sector would be large enough to allow the results to be analyzed separately. Of 3,884 surveys mailed, 1,414 organizations returned completed, usable surveys, resulting in a 37% response rate. The survey instrument was divided into four sections: USTTA 's Marketing Function, USTTA' s Research Function, USTTA 's Policy Function, and General Questions. The purpose of the first three sections were to focus specifically on the programs available in each of USTTA 's three functional areas. The desired outcome was to understand which industry groups were aware of which programs, their usage of those programs (except for Policy since their activities cannot be "used") , and their perceived value of those programs. Questions were also developed to learn what specific improvements could be made to better meet the users' needs. The General Questions section was framed to attain information on whether government expenditures should be made on programs related to international tourism to the U.S. and how USTTA should be funded. What USTTA learned from this survey was that awareness of the various Agency programs was relatively high in most cases (two-thirds of the programs had awareness levels above 50%) but it differed among industry groups. The groups which are impacted the most by a program were the most likely to be aware of the program and were the heaviest users of that program. The level of usage provides USTTA with knowledge about where to concentrate its efforts in garnering more users and who to contact with related program information. However, knowing the perceived value allows USTTA to determine if the program is worthwhile providing. The overall value scores for the various USTTA programs were relatively high; on a scale from 1 (low) to 6 (high) , the average value rating for all programs was 4.76. At the individual program levels and industry group levels, these value scores differ. State tourism offices emerged as USTTA 's primary customer group. Within the individual USTTA function areas, other industry groups surfaced as principal customers. For the funding issue, overwhelming approval was voiced for having government expenditures made on programs related to international tourism, with the method of funding being the current method appropriations.

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Career and Human Resource Development (CAST)


Marecki, Richard

Advisor/Committee Member

Burke, James

Advisor/Committee Member

O'Brien, Dan


Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: Z246.E752011 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


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