New! Travel Exchange App | Keep Connected in Sandy’s Aftermath
October 30, 2012
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New! Travel Exchange App
Keep Connected in Sandy’s Aftermath
NTA Family Remembers Ruth McKinney
Clayton Whitehead Extends a Personal Invitation
Flip-Flopping for Tourism Cares
NTA Gathers Good News about Visas
Travel Exchange ’13 Is Coming up. How Will You Stand Out?
Tourism Cares Seeks Mentors for Students
Webinar: U.S. Forecast for International Tourism Market
Storm News and Updates
NTA Job Center
There’s an app for just about everything, and we’re excited to announce that Travel Exchange 2013 has one, too! The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad (requires iOS 4.0 or later) and Android devices (requires Android 2.1 and up). On the app, you’ll be able to:
- Sort the full event schedule by day, speaker, category, your favorites and what’s happening now.
- View and exchange contact details with other attendees.
- Find educational sessions and exhibitor booths with maps of the Travel Exchange mall and seminar rooms.
- See details and contact information about all of the exhibitors and sponsors.
- Mark educational sessions you want to attend, take notes during the sessions and rate them when they’re over.
- Receive notifications about networking opportunities and other breaking event news pushed directly to your mobile device.
- Follow the event on Twitter at #NTA13 directly from the app.
To download and install the free app to your device, search for "Travel Exchange 2013" on the iTunes App Store or on Google Play. To maintain the privacy of your contact information, you will need to input a unique mobile code to pair your device with the app (your code was e-mailed to you this morning).
If you have any questions or did not see the email with your unique code, please contact NTA e-Services Manager Chris Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurricane Sandy’s powerful assault on the U.S. East Coast has hit many NTA members, and in an email yesterday President Lisa Simon encouraged the NTA community to stay in touch. "For our colleagues and friends in harm’s way, know that you will be in our thoughts during the difficult days ahead," she said. "I invite you to use Facebook to keep us informed of your situation, both business and personal."
Members can go to NTA’s Facebook page to start a conversation or add to an existing one:
- Tell us the status of your business or property.
- Let us know if you need help from other members.
- And please share your stories-let us know how you’re doing.
Ruth McKinney, longtime NTA friend and supporter, passed away last week at her home in Chanute, Kansas. Recipient of the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award and a past chair of the National Tourism Foundation, Ruth worked tirelessly to support the people and programs of NTA’s outreach.
"Ruth will be remembered by her NTA family as the ultimate volunteer at conventions," said former NTA President Pete Anderson. "I will miss Ruth’s friendship deeply."
NTA President Lisa Simon recalled Ruth’s passion for working with students at NTA conventions. "She took the role of their mentor and friend and made sure they had a great experience," said Simon. "Ruth was a loving, kind, funny and spirited friend. She will be greatly missed by NTA and me, personally."
Ruth’s devotion to NTA-and her zest for life-were highlighted in a stirring essay by NTA Vice Chair Mark Hoffmann in the October Courier. In the essay, Hoffmann describes a box of NTA memories that Ruth gave him during a recent visit to her home. His words about the box can be likened to Ruth herself.
"If you are lucky, perhaps you will receive a gift like Ruth’s box. It will be full of love and smiles and maybe a few tears," Hoffmann said. "It will remind you just how lucky we are to be in the business we are in-and to have the friends that we have."
NTA convention veteran Clayton Whitehead from Sports Leisure Vacations says he can’t imagine starting his year any other way than by attending Travel Exchange (Orlando will be his 25th):
"It’s the best time I know of to get together with suppliers, to put together tour itineraries, dream of the future and also to meet with my fellow tour operators so we can discuss ideas and topics that are of relevance to all of us."
And he’s extending a personal invitation to his fellow NTA members in this video.
If you haven’t registered yet, you can register here. See you in Orlando!
The name of the game is Flip Flop, and this fundraising showdown for Tourism Cares takes place at Travel Exchange after the Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Orlando. If you’re not familiar with the game, here’s how it’s played:
Players flip coasters from the edge of a table and catch them in mid-air before they fall to the table. It’s easy—until you get a fistful of coasters. Each player wins a prize, and finalists will vie for travel prizes.
Feeling lucky? Join with the Tourism Cares Flip Flop team and flip for Tourism Cares, the charity that puts the fun in fundraising. Or plan to be there and cheer for your favorite flip-flopper.
A member recently asked NTA HQ whether there has been any progress in speeding up the ability of Chinese citizens to obtain visas to visit the United States. During the last few years, the sharp upswing in tourism from China into the United States led to months-long waits for approval.
The news from China is good, according to Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development, who is in Shanghai now and received a report directly from U.S. Commercial Service.
"The approval rate is now 90 percent, and the average wait time for visa interviews is six days. This is a huge improvement compared to just a half year ago!" said Hao, who explained that the average is derived from the five visa offices in China, each with different approval rates and wait times. "Visa offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou appear to be the most efficient with the highest approval rates."
With the knowledge that more than one million Chinese visited the U.S. in 2011 and visa-approval rates have increased 40 percent since then, Hao estimates that each month, some 117,000 Chinese visitors are receiving visas to visit the U.S.
Easy. NTA has great marketing opportunities, all of which are geared to reach the anticipated 1,000 tour operators attending the NTA-UMA Travel Exchange in Orlando, Jan. 20-24:
- Profile Form Notebook: Guarantee that your profile is in the hands ofeveryoperator at Travel Exchange by pre-inserting your profile in the Profile Form Notebook.
- Travel Exchange Daily newsletter: Our on-site daily newsletter features updates, need-to-know information and photo recaps.
- Travel Exchange Program: A handy reference given to all delegates on site, the program includes the convention schedule, seminar descriptions and a delegate registry of all attendees-for use at Travel Exchange and beyond.
- Travel Exchange Map & Schedule: This conveniently sized schedule and map of the show floor will be given to all Travel Exchange delegates on site.
The deadline to be included in the Travel Exchange publications is this Thursday, Nov. 1, so contact us right away at +1.859.264.6559, or email NTA Services for more information.
Tourism Cares is gearing up for a successful mentoring program, hosted by NTA and UMA at Travel Exchange in January. The Tourism Cares staff anticipates sending a record number of scholarship recipients to Orlando. All they need now is you.
The mentoring program provides the best and brightest newcomers to the industry the opportunity to learn about potential careers in travel and tourism—along with helping them build their professional networks. If you are attending Travel Exchange and are willing to share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of travel professionals, go to the NTA volunteer page to register.
Tourism Cares extends its thanks to NTA, Rosen Hotels, Margaritaville and Mears Transportation for helping to make this year’s mentoring program possible.
To get an idea of what to expect in international travel into the United States during the next five years, join the Nov. 14 webinar conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and the Commercial Service Travel and Tourism Team.
The focus of the online session is the Forecast for International Travel, prepared by OTTI staff using economic, demographic and social factors; historical visitation trends; and input from U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service staff abroad. The forecast, for 2013 to 2017, is based on independent country-level estimates for the top 40 visitor origin markets, which account for 95 percent of total international arrivals.
The hour-long session begins at noon and costs $50. For more information—and to register—follow this link to OTTI.
- Hurricane Sandy has snarled transportation along the Eastern Seaboard, and that has a trickle-down effect on the rest of the nation. Near the bottom of this article is a series of links to various airlines, with flight updates.
- To get a minute-to-minute snapshot of air travel across the U.S. (or around the world, for that matter), visit Flight Radar 24. Until air travel is restored, you’ll see rare open space in the eastern United States.
- The chairman of the authority that runs the 108-year-old New York City subway system said the transit system experienced more damage during Hurricane Sandy than it had at any other point in its history.
Sun Tours is seeking a director of operations.
Sun Tours is a traditional tour operator based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that sends mostly senior citizens on bus and intermodal tours throughout the United States and Canada. We have been under the same management for 35 years and a member of NTA since 1988. For more information about Sun Tours, please visit our website: www.suntoursus.com .
Our director of operations oversees two other people in our operations department while also handling tours him/herself.
Applicants should be very experienced in tour operations in the U.S. (and/or Canada), fearless negotiators, relentless advocates on behalf of our clients, meticulous with details, and excited to live in Albuquerque.
To apply for this position, please email your resume to Karl Storch, president of Sun Tours, at email@example.com.
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