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Think you know Terry Dale, think again….

There’s more to Terry Dale, president and CEO at United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), than meets the eye, so we decided to ask him those comical, personal and telling questions to reveal the man behind the suit.

Since January 2011, Terry has held the reigns as president of USTOA, a company that has been championing for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years. In January 2013, he also assumed the additional role of CEO, bringing with him years of experience having served as the president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), executive v.p. of NYC & Company (The NYC Convention and Visitors Bureau), and president and CEO of the Greater Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as president of the New England Society of Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus. As the head of a company representing nearly $15 billion in revenue and more than 150 member companies, he’s a busy man, but not so busy that he can’t take time to stop and try chicken feet, check Antarctica off his bucket list, or plan a honeymoon to Istria with his partner Rich. Needless to say, Terry is not your average president/CEO, but we’ll let him explain in the Coffee Time With Industry Vets Q&A series.

Where did you go on your first trip and how old were you?
At the age of four, I visited the Iowa State Fair.

What is your most vivid travel memory?
India…I was completely overwhelmed by the colors and culture.

What was the “Aha” moment that led you into the travel industry?
My internship at the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
I plan to go to Istria.

What was your favorite trip you took last year and why?
My favorite trip last year was to the Philippines. Their 7,000 islands are breathtaking.

Where would you like to go that you have yet to visit?

Do you always buy a souvenir the first time you visit a destination?
If something strikes my eye, I’ll buy it.

You can tell us – do you collect magnets from the destinations you’ve visited?
I crave them but I don’t collect them.

What do you do to pass the time on the plane ride to your destination?
It is where I am most creative and do my best thinking.

Terry and his partner Rich.
Terry and his partner Rich.

Who is your favorite travel companion?
My partner Rich.

If there were one hotel room in the world you could call home the rest of your life, which would it be?
The suite in the Corinthia Hotel in London.

If you were a destination, which would it be and why?
An urban center rich in culture, history and cuisine.

What is the best food you’ve had on a trip? The strangest?
The best food was everything I ate in Israel. The strangest was chicken feet.

What can’t you travel without?
Bose noise cancelling headphones

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while traveling?
Raul Modesto Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro.

Tropical beach or snowy mountain?

City or countryside?