The Texas Explorer
Your Travel & Tourism Industry Update
February 16, 2011
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Texas Travel Industry Association
3345 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 102A
Austin, Texas 78746

Unity Dinner Logo 






In this issue you will find:

1.  The Unity Day Sessions and Speakers

2.  Converge Transportation

3.  Dinner Menu - A Shellfish & Nuts Warning

4.  Reminders  




We hope you plan to attend the afternoon sessions this year.  


2:15pm - 3:15pm Business Roundtable

The Business Roundtable session is targeted at helping our business members, especially small businesses, better understand and sort through the implications of key government regulations. Dale Craymer, President of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, will brief us on the latest information regarding the state franchise tax and unemployment insurance tax.Stephanie See, Government Relations and Safety Services Manager for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), will discuss the new federal health care legislation and its impact on businesses, along with how changes in the House will impact this legislation.  


3:30pm - 4:15pm General Session
In the General Session, Patricia Rojas, Vice President, Government Relations with U.S. Travel Association will update us on the Travel Promotion Act, the Corporation for Travel Promotion, visa waiver and other issues. Ron Hinkle, TTIA's lobbyist, David Teel, President & CEO of TTIA, David Dunham, Publisher with Texas Monthly and the Chair of TTIA's Legislative Affairs Committee, and Bill Noble, President of Noble Strategic Partners will provide a panel discussion on the very latest regarding our policy priorities at the Capitol, talking points for discussing our issues with legislators, grassroots opportunities, and why Travel Matters to all of us.


For the full schedule of activities, click here



2.  converge transportation:

We commend members in the DFW, San Antonio, New Braunfels/San Marcos and Corpus Christi areas for doing a tremendous job in encouraging people to come to the Converge.  Motor coaches coming from these areas are near capacity, but there are still a few seats available.  If you still need a seat on a motor coach, and you are coming from one of these areas, please contact Jennifer Roush NOW to reserve your seat.  


Due to a lack of participation from the Houston area, the two motor coaches scheduled from Houston have been Cancelled.


See the section below of the current motor coach schedule.



3. Dinner menu - a shellfish & NUTS warning!

This year's dinner menu is fantastic.  But, shellfish is included in the Salad and Lobster Mac & Cheese, and nuts are included in the dessert.  If you have a food allergy to shellfish or nuts, or other dietary needs, please contact Jennifer Roush as soon as possible so that accommodations can be made. 


To see the full dinner menu, click here.  



4.  Reminders: 

Table Sponsors: Remember, our tables this year seat eight (8).  Last call! Avoid the lines at registration by providing the names of those sitting at your table(s) to Jennifer Baker by Thursday, February 17th.


Since Unity Dinner is our opportunity to thank our elected officials for supporting our industry, be sure to invite your legislator to be a guest at your table.  As a constituent, you have tremendous influence in your legislator's decision to attend Unity Dinner.  



TWEET FROM UNITY! Use hashtag  #TTIAUnity and let folks know how Unity Dinner is going, what you are learning, and who you are meeting. 


Dear ,

Your Tourism Unity Dinner is just a little over 5 weeks away!  Have you purchased your table yet? Click here to register


This year, more than any other time in Unity history, your presence matters. The future of our industry as well as our jobs/careers are being placed in harms way. This is our moment to inform the 82nd Legislative body and your elected officials just how much TRAVEL MATTERS  and to thank those who have shown their support of travel and tourism.   

The success of Unity Dinner depends upon your participation...if you, the constituent,  won't attend and show the legislatures your strength for your industry why should your legislator attend or care about you and your industry?   

 Join us as we applaud this year's Silver Spur Award Award winner.  The Silver Spur will be presented by David Dunham of Texas Monthly to Chairman Robert Isler for his continued support of the Travel and Tourism industry. Previous winners of this prestigious industry award have been:


2006 - Governor Rick Perry &

          First Lady Anita Perry

2007 - Speaker Tom Craddick &

          Lt. Governor David Dewhurst

2008 - Representative Lois Kolkhorst

2010 - Comptroller Susan Combs   


Only your participation can make this year a success for tourism legislatively.


Converge on the Capitol follows Unity Dinner the next morning, February 23, 2011. From 9 am to 3 pm we will partner with the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association to conduct the Converge.  This Converge will provide you and your industry associates an opportunity for a one on one visit with your legislator and their staff. Tell them why Travel Matters to you, your business, your community and your state.


We will  arrange motor coach transportation to bring many of you to Austin to participate in the Converge, if you are unable to attend the Unity Dinner.  This is how important the 82 Legislative Session is to each of us in the industry! Our goal is to have 1,000 travel industry advocates crowding the halls of the Capitol Building on February 23rd spreading the message that Travel Matters.  Click here to register for the Converge.





Below is updated information on the motor coaches we have secured, where they will depart from, and the time of departure.  Sign up for motor coach transportation NOW to Jennifer Roush



6:30 a.m.  Traders Village
                2602 Mayfield Rd, Grand Prairie
                Bus company: Red Carpet Charters

6:30 a.m.  Northpark Center
                8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas
                Bus company: Red Carpet Charters







6:30 a.m.  American Bank Center

               1901 N. Shoreline Blvd

               Bus company: Daisy Charters & Shuttles 



8:00 a.m.  SeaWorld San Antonio

                10500 SeaWorld Drive

                Bus company: Daisy Charters & Shuttles




8:45 a.m.  Greater New Braunfels Chamber  

                390 S. Seguin, New Braunfels 

                Bus company: Daisy Charters & Shuttles



9:30 a.m.  Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa & Conv Ctr 

                1001 East McCarty Lane, San Marcos 

                Bus company: Daisy Charters & Shuttles

For more information on the motor coach transportation, please contact
Jennifer Roush.


We look forward to seeing you at Unity Dinner & Converge on the Capitol!



Tell your legislators why Travel Matters to you and why Full Funding for Tourism Promotion is so important to our industry. 

Click here for more information and talking points.

February 11, 2011 Committee Appointments Update

Unity Dinner

 2011 Sponsors


February 22-23, 2011
Texas Tourism Unity Dinner / Converge on the Capitol
Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX

April 27-28, 2011
Texas Travel Fair
Arlington, TX

May 7-15, 2011
Travel & Tourism Week

June 12-17, 2011

Travel & Tourism College
San Marcos, TX




American Airlines

Dallas Cowboys Football Club

Landry's Restaurants, Inc.

SeaWorld San Antonio



Traders Village

Schlitterbahn Waterparks



Phillips Entertainment, Inc.