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NTA and Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Raise More Than $22,000 for the U.S. Gulf Coast

November 7, 2005

NTA and Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Raise More Than $22,000 for the U.S. Gulf Coast

November 7, 2005 – Members of the National Tour Association have shown overwhelming support for those devastated by the hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Donations collected to date during the 2005 NTA Annual Convention totaled $22,325. These funds will be donated to Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s Gulf Coast Restoration Fund for an NTA-specified restoration project.

The Nov. 5 luncheon at the Convention was dedicated in part to those members impacted by the hurricanes. Delegates heard personal stories from NTA members along the Gulf Coast. Ron McConnell from the Mobile Bay Area CVB, Lisa Holland from the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and Steve Richer with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau spoke at the luncheon.

In addition to providing status updates for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, each of the three expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support from their industry friends the past three months and guaranteed their areas would be back as top-flight tourist destinations.

"Tourism is vital to the economy of the Gulf Coast region," Tourism Cares Executive Director Bruce Beckham, CTP, said. "We want to do everything we can to help bring it back by rebuilding and restoring the cultural and historic treasures that are so important to the tourism industry."

Tourism Cares established this fund to assist in the reconstruction and restoration of historic and cultural sites affected by the hurricane. "Tourism Cares for the Gulf Coast" wristbands are currently available online for $10 (plus shipping and handling). Wristband sales up to $35,000 will be matched by both Trip Mate Insurance and Tourism Cares.

"The NTA members continue to demonstrate that this is much more than a trade association," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP said. "When we say that NTA is a family, we mean it because our members display it every time we get together. Their support of their family members in the hurricane-affected areas has been fantastic."

Part of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s mission is to help conserve, preserve and restore natural, cultural and historic treasures of the world so that future generations of travelers can enjoy what we have today. What has taken place on the U.S. Gulf Coast will have a dramatic effect on the future of that area’s tourism industry, an industry that is so vital to its economy. Rebuilding of the tourism infrastructure will take years and part of that rebuilding will be the repair and restoration of natural, cultural and historic sites. Additional information on making a donation to the fund is available at

The National Tour Association has a global membership of nearly 4,000 tourism professional members involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes tour operators – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. The association is committed to providing business results and information to its members, while offering a collaborative, caring environment in which to build relationships. For more information, please visit

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