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TGA Industry News Briefs
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Your Membership is PACKED with Value


Just as the travel goods industry evolved over the course of the last year, so did your TGA membership. You talked and we listened. Your 2021 membership abounds with brand-new FREE benefits, all with one goal in mind – to increase your profitability and improve your bottom line.

  • The Travel Goods HUB is a year-round, one-stop online directory of travel goods products. Updated on a quarterly basis, the HUB features the freshest travel gear – before it even hits the market – on unique profile pages with clickable content, seamlessly transforming browsers into buyers. Get connected to everyone you need to know, all in one place. Learn more and reserve your page here.
  • Packed in a Minute is an opportunity for manufacturer members to introduce products directly to the industry in short videos with their best “elevator pitch!” This new free TGA member benefit will allow buyers to peruse new products quickly and gather high-level product overviews. These videos will live on the Travel Goods Showcase website.

To renew your TGA membership today – or become a member for the first time – contact Membership Director Cathy Trecartin at

TGA Victory on Vietnam Tariffs…for Now


On January 15, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it is “not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time” with respect to its Section 301 Tariff Investigation against Vietnam on currency, even though USTR found that Vietnam is manipulating its currency. TGA strongly opposed the imposition of tariffs in the USTR timber and currency investigations, testifying at USTR public hearings held on December 28 and December 29. There were concerns that outgoing President Trump would impose punitive tariffs on U.S. imports from Vietnam (as high as 25%) before he left office on Jan. 20, 2021. Note that USTR has not announced any decision in the Section 301 timber investigation. Vietnam is the #2 supplier of travel goods to the U.S. market. In the first eleven months of 2020, U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam increased 12.3%, with Vietnam supplying 19.3% of all U.S. travel goods imports during that period.

Biden to Quickly Sign Orders Mandating Masks, Reversing Trump Travel Ban and More


President-elect Joe Biden plans to take a number of policy actions on immigration, climate, pandemic mitigation and other issues in his first days and weeks in office, his chief of staff announced last week. READ MORE

FACT SHEET: Biden Releases Fiscal Plan, Including $1400 Checks for Individuals


President Biden is laying out the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan for rescue, from the depths of this crisis and recovery, by investing in America, creating millions of additional good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, advancing racial equity, and building back better than before. READ MORE

Mask Mandates and Travel Bans: What We Can Expect to See from the Biden Administration Regarding Travel


President Joe Biden became the 46th President of the U.S. yesterday. We already know he’s a big Amtrak fan, but what else could be coming down the pike for the travel industry? New travel restrictions? A national mask mandate? Quarantines? Read on for some answers. READ MORE

Vacation Anticipation Can Boost Happiness – and it Doesn’t Even Require You to Travel


Particularly during the pandemic, when isolation and monotony can add to already high levels of stress and anxiety, having upcoming travel adventures to look forward to can be meaningful for mental-health gains and general well-being. So, by planning a trip, you’re planting a seed of excitement in your mind for future-tense happiness. This vacation anticipation, experts say, can be effective in boosting happiness – perhaps even competing with the effects of actually being able to take a real trip. READ MORE

Disneyland as a Vaccination Site? Airports as Test Centers? The Travel Industry Pitches in


Five months ago, San Francisco International Airport opened the first airport rapid coronavirus testing site in the U.S. Nine months ago, some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, including Claridge’s in London and the Four Seasons in New York, began housing front-line doctors and nurses. And now another entity in the travel world is performing its own pandemic shift: Disneyland. Recently the Anaheim, CA, theme park began serving as a vaccination supersite. READ MORE

Google Launches Suite of AI-powered Solutions for Retailers


Earlier this week, Google announced the launch of Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a suite of services designed to enhance retailers’ ecommerce capabilities and help them deliver personalized customer experiences. Product Discovery Solutions for Retail brings together AI algorithms and a search service, Cloud Search for Retail, that leverages Google Search technology to power retailers’ product-finding tools. READ MORE

Travel Goods Showcase

‘Anti-Facebook’ MeWe Social Network Adds 2.5 Million New Members in One Week


There has been a growing movement away from social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter recently. Users are getting fed up with relentless privacy violations, surveillance capitalism, political bias, targeting, and newsfeed manipulation by these companies. And other social media platforms are benefitting from this tidal wave. Los Angeles-based social media network MeWe, touted to be the ad-free future of social networking, is currently the No. 1 downloaded social app in the Google Play Store, and the No. 3 downloaded app out of all apps in the store. READ MORE

What it’s Like Inside a Luxury Caribbean “Vacation Bubble”


Why on Earth would you take two kids younger than 3 to a remote island in the middle of a global pandemic? I was lured by the aquamarine sea, beaches, 80-degree temperatures, amazing hotels and food. And like everyone else – particularly any parent you know – we were desperate to get out of the house with our kids to someplace warm. But we could have picked any warm-weather spot in North America or the Caribbean for that. We chose Anguilla for the prospect of a COVID-free destination. READ MORE

How to Break into Retail with a Niche Product, According to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey


Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, talks retail expansion and new product development with fellow Texas entrepreneur Aishwarya Iyer, founder of olive oil upstart Brightland. READ MORE

Richard Branson Hopes COVID Vaccination Passports Will Allow for Easier Air Travel


Sir Richard Branson told CNBC this week that he hopes so-called COVID vaccination passports will be available for prospective airline passengers who have been inoculated, potentially allowing them to bypass other virus mitigation measures before traveling. “Vaccination is everything. Once vulnerable people, in particular, have been vaccinated, I think all kinds of businesses can start opening up again: restaurants, travel companies, cruise companies,” said Branson, who co-founded the airlines Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia. READ MORE

Travel Industry Welcomes President Biden, Vice President Harris


Travel leaders across the country welcomed the new administration yesterday as Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the U.S., along with the first female Vice President, Kamala Harris. But U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow and fellow colleagues acknowledged the obvious – no matter who is in office, this is a trying time for the travel industry. READ MORE

7 Reasons Humility is a Highly Desired Leadership Trait


When we think of great leaders, humility may not always be the first word we’d use to describe them. Many bigger-than-life executives such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates would likely be described first as visionary, bold, or charismatic. Yet, if we look more closely, there are also leaders (such as, say, Richard Branson) who are often described as humble and laid-back. READ MORE


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