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Do You Want More? | 3 Ways to Meet the Candidates

November 15, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 47

11.1.11 Cracker Barrel Banner
Interested in advertising in TuesdayE-mail Kami Risk.

Do You Want More?
3 Ways to Meet the Candidates
Putting Faces with Names
Visa Vote Could Open U.S. to More International Visitors
2 (Free) Webinars this Week
Successful Shows Highlight NTA’s China Efforts
6 Days Left to Donate to Silent Auction
How to Perk Up 400 Tour Operators…
More Members Referring New Members
We’re Confident You Won’t Regret Your February Courier Bet!
Industry News and Updates

Do You Want More?  

Your hotel room is reserved; your flight is booked (RIGHT?). Business cards are printed; pitches are perfected. You know what’s going down once you’re in Vegas,It's Vegas, Baby! and you know what happens there, stays there (unless it ends up in Tuesday.)

And now, you have your appointment schedule for Convention ’11. The only question is: Do you want more?

Now is your chance to get more business by using the Direct Request appointment scheduling system, which opened today at noon ET. Log in and begin making more appointment requests to fill those currently-open-but-soon-to-be-filled time slots in your schedule. You’ll find helpful tips here for using the Direct Request system.

There are only 19 more days until Convention. That’s plenty of time to get more.

(Not registered yet? It’s time! Get registered here.) 

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3 Ways to Meet the Candidates 

You are invited to participate in the second "Meet the Candidate" Webinar on Monday, Nov. 21, at noon ET. (The first session was held yesterday.) You can register here to join Monday’s Webinar and learn about these five candidates:

Tour Operator Director: Aniseh Dalju, Destination America (Nominating Committee nominee)
Tour Operator Director: Justin Osbon, Image Tours (Nominating Committee nominee)
Tour Operator Director: Grant Pollard, Riviera Tours (Nominating Committee nominee)
Tour Operator Director: Kate Simpson, Academic Travel Abroad (Nominating Committee nominee)
Tour Operator Director: Blair Soucy, Getaway Tours (Floor nominee)

Candidates were invited to submit essays outlining their views; those essays are available in Courier. Additional candidate information is here.

You can also visit with candidates in person in Las Vegas. The nominees will be available in the NTA 60th Anniversary booth (219) during the following times:

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 10:45–11:45 a.m. Tour supplier nominees
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 3:15–4:15 p.m. Officer and tour operator director nominees
Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:45–8:45 a.m. DMO nominees

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Putting Faces with Names 

There’s going to be a lot of "must see" at Convention ’11, and the educational sessions are among the top of that list. We have a talented lineup of speakers, moder11.15.11 McDonaldators and panelists who are bringing what they know—which is quite a bit—directly to you.

And if you like to put a face with a name (who doesn’t?), check out our Facebook album for some of the faces you’ll be seeing on stage in Vegas.

They’re looking forward to seeing yours, too.

(Still not registered for Convention ’11? Do it here.) 

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Visa Vote Could Open U.S. to More International Visitors  

The United States Congress is currently considering seven different bills aimed at improving the burdensome visa process that currently drives millions of overseas travelers to visit other countries. Of immediate concern to NTA members, though, is a "minibus" bill on the State Department budget, said Steve Richer, the association’s public affairs advocate. (A minibus bill asks for a chunk of the federal budget rather than trying to fund everything through an "omnibus" spending package.) 

"This State Department Foreign Operations bill will provide funds for more consular11.15.11 Visa officers and goals for less waiting time for visa interviews," Richer said. "This is especially important for high-demand countries that have had long waits for visa interviews, such as China, Brazil and India."

Richer urges NTA members to contact their senators to support Senate Bill 1601, the minibus bill. The Senate will debate the bill this week through the end of November. If it is approved by the Senate, the House Appropriations Committee will need to consider adopting the Senate’s visa reform provisions.

As a member of the Discover America Partnership, NTA has been working with a number of travel sector partners under the leadership of the U.S. Travel Association to improve the ease of access, timeliness, and procedures to obtain U.S. visas around the world. Along with more consular officers, the bills under consideration also support new criteria for visa waiver country eligibility, extension of existing visas without a new interview, and easier access to interviews, including video interviews.

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2 (Free) Webinars this Week 

You can catch two new Webinars in the next two days. First, join our Convention Insider Webinar Part 2 on Wednesday (tomorrow) at noon ET. This session is geared for first-time Convention attendees, but anyone can soak up the strategies, tips and insights we’ll share on:

  • How to get more appointments
  • What to bring for the floor
  • What to wear in Vegas
  • The benefits to serving as a volunteer (Sign up here when you’re convinced.)
  • The why and how of updating your company profile

Click here to register for Wednesday’s session.

Then on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, you can participate in a Webinar from Sustainable Travel International titled "Destination Stewardship: An Innovative Approach to Sustainable Tourism Development." STI Vice President Jon-Paul Bowles will discuss strategies for:

  • Attracting new visitors while protecting destinations
  • Carbon neutral tourism programs
  • Marketing plans
  • Capacity building

Click here to sign up for this free session on Thursday. (And if you missed STI’s first Webinar, "Sustainable Tourism 201: Putting Pencil to Paper," you can listen to it here.) 

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Successful Shows Highlight NTA’s China Efforts 

Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development, recently spent a couple of NTA Visit USA Center logo Oct2010months in China at the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai. While there Hao gained firsthand perspective on the market, helping implement several events that successfully promoted NTA members and travel to the U.S.

During NTA’s October road shows in Shenyang and Dalian, and at the China International Travel Mart in Kunming, NTA coordinated a U.S. presence with 18 destinations, suppliers and tour operators who gained one-on-one time with Chinese buyers. The road shows generated 20 media reports, and CITM, NTA and the U.S. Pavilion were highlighted in three issues of the official paper published by TTG Asia.

This Travel Market Report story,* based on an interview with Hao, describes how the U.S. inbound travel from China is "skyrocketing" and how the NTA Visit USA Center has been promoting the United States to the Chinese travel trade.

"Even the most savvy Chinese international tourists feel they haven’t really seen the world until they’ve visited the U.S.," Hao said.

To learn more about the Chinese inbound market at Convention ’11, join one of two education sessions on China, or grab a minute with Hao in person.

*We’d like to clarify a point in the linked-to "Travel Market Report" above regarding visas: While the wait time for a visa interview varies at each visa office in China from two weeks to possibly three months, depending on demand, this represents a significant improvement.

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6 Days Left to Donate to Silent Auction 

11.15.11 SixThe deadline to donate to the Tourism Cares Silent Auction is Monday, Nov. 21—that’s plenty of time! The Silent Auction at NTA Convention is one of Tourism Cares’ biggest fundraisers, helping to further an important mission year round.

This year alone, Tourism Cares has brought together more than 550 volunteers to give back to sites in Mystic, Connecticut, and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; awarded more than $100,000 to students studying travel, tourism and hospitality in the United States and Canada; and granted more than $70,000 to sites around the world in need of care (with more grants to be given out before the end of 2011!).

NTA delegates’ support at last year’s auction helped make all those activities possible. Tourism Cares needs your continued support to make an even bigger difference in 2012. Visit the Tourism Cares auction Web site this week and make a donation.

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How to Perk Up 400 Tour Operators… 

Sponsor the coffee and tea station at NTA’s Convention (Dec. 5–9 in Las Vegas)! For only $15,000, your company/destination can be the official coffee and11.15.11 Coffee tea sponsor at Convention, luring the tour operators directly to your booth. It’s a great amenity and a high-visibility sponsorship guaranteed to get you noticed … and appreciated! 

Don’t have the $15K left in your budget? Join together with other sponsors, making this a great co-op sponsorship you can afford with your partners!

For more information, e-mail Karla Dinardo or call +1.859.264.6561. For a list of all sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

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More Members Referring New Members  

When NTA grows and diversifies, your association has a stronger voice in the industry and provides you with expanded product and potential business partners.

The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s growth and diversity by referring a new company that joined the association:

  • Dennis Swayne of Blue & Gold Fleet referred new member Jimmy Acevedo of Blazing Saddles Bike Rental & Tours.
  • Cindy Brown of Boston Duck Tours referred new member Denise George of Receptively Yours.
  • Cathleen Donahue of Collette Vacations referred new member Andrew Martinez of Inverness Hotel & Conference Center.
  • Mark Garrison of Hidden Treasure Charters and Wyoming Eco-tours referred new member Roberta Young of Elk View Inn.
  • Dawn Hopper of Hudson Valley/ Dutchess County Tourism referred new member Sherri Darocha of Crown Maple Syrup of Hudson Valley NY.
  • Heather Falk of Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce referred new member Jason Williams of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris.
  • Maura Eggan of Premium Outlets® | SIMON® referred new member Kris Land of Ultra Diamonds.
  • Marcela Laukova of Discover Slovakia Tours referred new member Zuzana Andreanska of Slovak Tourist Board.
  • Denise Greeno of Ozarks Kirkwood Tour & Travel referred new member Kristy Merritt of The Yakov Smirnoff Theater.
  • Malia Asfour of Jordan Tourism Board North America referred new member Osama Abboud of Two’s Company Travel & Tours.
  • Michelle Kien of Forever Resorts referred new member Amy Butler of Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites.
  • Sandy Haines of Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau referred new member Chris Butler of Pirates Voyage Fun Feast & Adventure.
  • Laurie Lincoln of Main Street Tours, Inc. referred new member Adele Barnard of Wonder Valley Ranch Resort.
  • David O’Gorman of Discover Ireland Tours referred new member Lyubomyr Dykun of Real Ukraine.
  • Paul Larsen of Ed-Ventures, Inc. referred new member Cindi Brodhecker of Priscilla Woman’s Tours.

For a list of all new members who joined last month (plus contact info), click here.

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We’re Confident You Won’t Regret Your February Courier Bet!  

Win big through NTA’s February issue of Courier magazine, set to include the annual Casinos & Gaming Guide, along with the Atlantic Coast, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

When you advertise in Courier, you reach NTA’s 1,500 tour operators, who move 9 million travelers each year. Contact our team by e-mail or call +1.859.264.6559. The space deadline is Nov. 30.

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Industry News and Updates

  • The U.S. federal budget impasse could have disastrous effects on national parks and on related jobs and local economies, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.
  • Detailed, state-level data on Canadian travel to the United States for 2010 are available from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, including reports on spending, province of residence, trip purpose and more.
  • Increased collaboration among governments and the private sector could increase tourism’s social and economic benefits (from the UNWTO & World Travel Market Ministers’ Summit). More info and photos from WTM are here.
  • The United States saw a five percent increase in international visitors during August 2011, with a like increase during the first eight months of 2011 (compared to the same period in 2010).

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