Members of the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus turned out in large numbers at its annual meeting this summer, where CVB execs learned about the umbrella organization's new, for-profit Web initiative called OfficialTravelInfo.com, or OTI (www.officialtravelinfo.com).
OTI will serve as an Internet "front door" for nearly 1,000 CVBs and tourist boards across the globe. With it, CVBs aim to stake their claim as the "official" source of destination information to tourists and professional planners alike in an attempt to compete with the for-profit dot-coms, like Travelocity, which already have established e-commerce platforms, according to William Hanbury, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee CVB.
Hanbury spearheaded the development of OTI along with William Peeper, president, Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hanbury recently announced his resignation from the Greater Milwaukee bureau (effective December 31) in order to devote full-time efforts to running OTI, which will be based in Milwaukee.
Eight technology partners have signed on as partners of OTI, including StarCite, cvent, and Passkey.