AIBA was delighted to meet with a small group from Japan in the US to learn about advancing regional tourism. The State Department recommended they meet with AIBA to discuss the value of local business and how to market local business to tourists. We were honored to be the only Austin organization that they met with.
We met with Harumi Tokuoka, Executive Director of the Iriomote Island Ecotourism Association; Aya Takeda, Sales Manager for Hotel Metropolitan Sendai; and Yoko Akagi, Executive Managing Director of the Beach Hotel Sunshine Ishigaki Island. While all three spoke some English, we had an interpreter from the State Department.
AIBA is by nature, hyper local-focused. It’s wonderful to connect with others from around the world focusing on the same things we are. Across oceans and cultures, we shared stories and goals. I was proud to represent Austin and local business to our foreign visitors. From our recent advocacy on tourism, I felt quite educated about Austin’s tourism industry and able to share knowledge and views freely.
Thank you to our visitors who took the time to share with us and to Global Austin for hosting the meeting. Activities like this broaden our horizons too. #Think Globally Shop Locally!
AIBA is here for you, our member. We take that very seriously and we want to be the organization you want us to be. But we need to know what you want.
We haven’t done a membership survey in several years but we’re asking you now. Please take just a few minutes to tell us your thoughts, what you need, what you want (we all know wants can be different from needs), what would thrill you and maybe even what you’d like for us to stop doing.
The survey will take 9 minutes or less. To make you feel extra special about filling out our survey, respondents will be entered into a drawing for:
1. A free year of membership added to your current membership.
2. A free upgrade to your current membership.
3. A $50 Gift Card to Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill
This survey is for AIBA’s use only. Your name and business name are completely confidential. Any data used for advocacy purposes will be aggregated and unidentifiable to the individual.
Independent We Stand is a national organization promoting shopping at locally owned businesses. They host an Indie Business of the Year contest in which your favorite business could win big!
The eighth-annual Indie Award competition is now underway and the grand prize for one lucky small business will be a $25,000 marketing makeover! Entering is quick and easy. Just tell us a short story about how your favorite business went above and beyond to deliver great customer service and/or community support. But enter now
because the earlier you enter the better chance they have of winning!
AIBA is excited to welcome three new board members to the AIBA Board. Michael Searle, Executive Director of The Austin Fund, Hoover Alexander, Owner of Hoover’s Cooking and Hill Abell, Founder and CEO of Bicycle Sport Shop have joined us in leadership roles at AIBA. Please join us in welcoming them. We look forward to their perspectives and experience guiding AIBA as we move forward.
We were successful in getting the Austin City Council to allocate a one-time $200,000 grant to marketing local business to tourists. The money comes for the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) that visitors pay when they stay at an Austin hotel. This is also called the bed tax since it is charged per night. We are the only city in the nation to devote some of these funds to promoting local business. This was quite an achievement.
AIBA did submit a proposal for this grant but we were not awarded the grant by the City Council. We have been unable to obtain a copy of the proposal from LookThinkMake, LLC so have no idea what they intend to produce with the grant. But the time frame for completion was only a few months so the execution of the project should be very visible very fast. Look for a new campaign around Austin promoting local business.