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 U.S. Travel Association Announces Six Finalists
for Innovator of the Year Awards
Winners to Be Announced at TravelCom’09, March 31 to April 2

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Travel Association has announced the names of six travel companies that attracted thousands of votes in an online competition to qualify as finalists for its Innovator of the Year Awards. The final winners will be revealed at the Association’s eCommerce and distribution conference, TravelCom’09, March 31-April 2 in Atlanta.

More than 3,000 online votes were cast for the competitors that made their pitch for votes in five minute videos posted on a website developed by TravelScream. 

Finalists in the New Innovator Award category (companies less than five years old) are 

  • Tripology, 
  • TripTelevision and 
  • TripIt. 
Finalists vying for the Established Innovator Award (companies five years or older) are 
  • Hilton Hotels Corp.—Hilton Garden Inn, 
  • Orbitz Worldwide Inc., and 
  • TripAdvisor.
The Innovator of the Year Awards recognize companies or organizations whose outstanding efforts in the areas of technology, innovation, eCommerce and distribution have transformed their business and had a broad impact across the travel industry.

Also at TravelCom, the U.S. Travel Association will be presenting its Second Annual Steve Fossett Innovation Award to Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines. The Fossett Award recognizes a worldwide travel industry leader, who has broken new ground, pushed boundaries and revolutionized the travel business, leaving a legacy of beneficial change.

This year’s TravelCom conference focuses on the growing role of eCommerce and digital distribution during the recession. To provide financial assistance to attend the conference, the U.S. Travel Association has established a Three-for-Two registration rate. Organizations that purchase three registrations receive one for free.  

Besides Kelleher, other TravelCom speakers include OTA presidents Hugh Jones from Travelocity Global and Barney Harford from Orbitz Worldwide and more than 40 executives from brands such as Google, United Airlines, TripAdvisor, Travelzoo,, Forrester Research, and Virgin America.

TravelCom session topics include: generating ancillary revenue, merchandising through distribution, strategic sourcing, loyalty programs, outsourcing/off-shoring, mobile marketing, meta search, and new digital opportunities. For the latest program, go to

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $740 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit


Cathy Keefe
March 24, 2009     202.408.2183


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