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Most people in the travel industry have crossed paths with Terry Dale, who has served as the president and CEO of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (also known as USTOA) since 2011. But many may not know that although he currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dale’s roots are firmly planted in Brooklyn, Iowa, a town of 900 that served as the backdrop for his childhood on the Dale family farm.
In this episode of Humans of Travel, listeners will learn about Dale’s early vacations (to Iowa’s State Fair) and his entrance into the travel industry via an entry-level job with Cedar Rapids Tourism in Iowa. They’ll also hear about the career growing pains Dale faced as he hopped between tourism boards in the U.S. (including a tense run-in with the mayor of Providence, R.I.) and how he navigated 9/11 as the executive vice president of NYC & Co.
Finally, Dale will share more information about USTOA’s 50th Anniversary, and how the association and the traditional travel style of touring (what he calls, the “T word”) has evolved since he joined the association.
Inside This Episode
1:00: Meet Terry Dale, president and CEO of United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
2:00: How has Dale seen USTOA evolve since he came onboard?
3:30: Dale talks about his childhood living in Brooklyn, Iowa (a town of 900 people).
7:30: Dale reflects on his earliest travel experiences – to the Iowa State Fair.
12:00: Dale lands his first travel industry job at the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tourism Board.
15:30: Dale speaks of a challenging career relationship, when he butted heads with the mayor of Providence, R.I., during his time at the Visit Providence.
21:00: Dale gives listeners some background about what it’s like to work for a destination.
22:00: Listeners hear how Dale navigated 9/11 during his time at NYC & Co.
28:30: Dale talks about his family, which includes his husband (Rich), his sons and his three grandchildren.
31:00: Dale talks about the evolution of packaged travel (or touring) and its perception of being an antiquated mode of travel. He also shares updates on the future of the association, which will place a heavy emphasis on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode
United States Tour Operators Association
TravelAge West article on USTOA’s 50th Anniversary
About Your Host
Emma Weissmann is Managing Editor of TravelAge West, a print and online magazine for travel advisors based in the Western U.S. She is also the co-host of Trade Secrets, a podcast created with sister publication Travel Weekly.
TravelAge West also produces national trade publications Explorer and Family Getaways, as well as events including the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Global Travel Marketplace West, the WAVE Awards gala and the Napa Valley Leadership Forum.
About the Show
TravelAge West’s podcast, “Humans of Travel,” features conversations with exceptional people who have compelling stories to tell. Listeners will hear from the travel industry’s notable authorities, high-profile executives, travel advisors and rising stars as they share the experiences — the highs and the lows — that make them human.