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NTA Designates 2004 Priority Advocacy Issues

February 10, 2004

NTA Designates 2004 Priority Advocacy Issues
(Lexington, KY) Traveler safety and security and travel industry taxes and user fees top the list of five issues designated by the National Tour Association’s Board of Directors for priority advocacy emphasis in 2004.

Other issues noted for special attention include the updating of the Fair Labor Standards Act, federal lands issues and federal tourism support and promotion. The Board selected these issues based on responses from an annual survey of the association’s tour operators.

"NTA’s government relations efforts have been cited by the tour operator membership as a valuable membership benefit and NTA’s leadership position on these priority issues will be important to the tour operator community in 2004," said Mitch Sussman, CTP, NTA chairman.

The survey also noted that the association’s tour operators, such as members of NTA’s Grassroots Action Network, are increasingly acting as citizen-advocates as the percentage of tour operators contacting an elected official rose from 41 percent in 2000 to 58 percent in 2003.

"NTA’s Grassroots Action Network has proved to be an effective tool in buttressing the association’s advocacy efforts," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "Member involvement is critical, and NTA makes it easy for them to participate in advocacy by distributing alerts, calling our network to action and providing the tools they need to make an impact."

While five issues have been designated for priority attention, NTA’s advocacy efforts will not be limited to those issues. NTA recently became active in the drive to eliminate the

United States travel ban to Cuba, culminating in NTA’s participation in a delegation of tourism officials that visited Havana in October 2003.

"This year is shaping up as one in which NTA will be tackling a number of major issues and opportunities on behalf of the packaged travel industry," said Hank Phillips, CTP, NTA president.

The National Tour Association is an organization of nearly 4,000 tourism professionals representing the packaged travel industry, which had a direct economic impact of $166 billion worldwide in 2001. NTA provides unsurpassed business opportunities, knowledge and information to businesses involved in tour operator packaged travel. NTA also serves as a consumer advocate through it code of ethics, stringent membership requirements and education. For more information, visit

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