The US Travel Association (USTA) penned a touching tribute (and accompanying video) to longtime President & CEO Roger Dow in honor of his recent retirement. Dow served as USTA’s chief executive since 2005 and helped to lead the association through two of the travel industry’s most recent crises: the ’08 recession and the 2020 pandemic.
USTA also announced that it would induct Dow into its Hall of Leaders, which recognizes sustained, noteworthy contributions that have positively impacted the travel industry, according to the association. He joins just over 100 other distinguished leaders who have been inducted since it was established in 1969.
“It’s difficult to imagine a more effective advocate for travel today than Roger Dow. His selection to our most distinguished body reflects his countless contributions and our industry’s deep respect and gratitude,” said Carnival Cruise Line President and US Travel National Chair Christine Duffy. “As he concludes a celebrated career as head of US Travel and, previously, as a leader of Marriott, his induction honors all that Roger has achieved to advance and guide this industry and its workers.”
USTA credits Dow for his innovative and forward-thinking approach, which resulted in several legislative victories as well as the creation of Brand USA, the nation’s destination marketing organization. Additionally, his efforts have significantly built the association’s profile in D.C., which has led to positive working relationships with lawmakers and several presidential administrations—especially important for the COVID relief and recovery funding that saved many companies in the travel industries from closing their doors. He also established the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, which positions the value and benefits of business meetings, trade shows, conferences, and conventions.
His most recent victory, however, was announced during the June IPW (the association’s conference) with the lifting of the inbound pre-departure COVID testing requirement—one of the last barriers to reestablishing international travel. According to Travel Weekly, Dow’s next endeavor will be the launch Future Work Solutions, an app-based service that aims to solve staffing issues for hospitality businesses.
Prior to leading USTA, Dow was a global sales and marketing executive with Marriott International. According to the USTA, Dow was behind the development of the hotel’s loyalty program, which is now known as Marriott Bonvoy. However, Dow has often stated that his greatest accomplishment at Marriott was his decades-long commitment to the development and mentorship of tens of thousands of salespeople.
The induction ceremony will take place during the association’s invitation-only board of directors meeting in November.
Visit ustravel.org for more information.