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NTA Members Win TIA 2003 Odyssey Awards

September 4, 2003

NTA Members Win TIA 2003 Odyssey Awards
Congratulations go to seven NTA members who have been named winners of the Travel Industry Association of America’s 2003 Odyssey Awards. The winners will be formally honored during an Oct. 21 banquet.

The Odyssey Awards honor excellence and exceptional achievements in travel promotion and public and community service activities. Winning NTA members and their award categories are:

Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau – Education, Training and Employment. The CVB created the Pro Cabbies program, in which they provided hospitality training for cab drivers, developed an incentive and reward component for excellent customer service and promoted program participants with the use of decals, T-shirts and hats.

Missouri Division of Tourism – Environmental Programs and Tourism Awareness. The CVB won two 2003 awards. The Environmental Programs award stemmed from the creation of its Canoe Outfitter Trash Bag program, which distributed open weave trash bags to all canoe outfitters in the state, who, in turn, distributed the bags to canoeists. Trash receptacles were also placed at various pullout points along the state’s rivers.

The Tourism Awareness recognition came from the creation of a grassroots event, Capitol Day. Over a pancake breakfast on the day the Division’s annual report was presented, tourism industry professionals were able to mingle with state legislators and discuss tourism’s importance in their region.

Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction – Public Service & Community. The Black Stallion Literacy Project – a partnership between Arabian Nights and Tim Farley, son of Walter Farley, author of the Black Stallion books – holds "Horse Day" events at the Arabian Nights attraction to provide first-graders with a hands-on experience with horses and equine equipment. Each student also has the opportunity to read to a horse or staff member to help increase self-esteem and reading confidence.

Accor North America/Motel 6 – Travel Advertising (Domestic). When focus groups of people who had stayed at Motel 6 revealed that they were embarrassed to be perceived as "cheap," Motel 6 launched the "Pride in Frugality" campaign with TV and radio spots targeted at senior travelers, young parents and blue-collar business travelers.

Illinois Bureau of Tourism – Travel Advertising (International). Seeking to expand its international markets, the CVB focused on Toronto and were met with the misperception that Chicago was too similar to Toronto to seem attractive as a tourist destination. The CVB developed the "Music Everywhere" promotion that outlined Chicago’s musical heritage, which differs greatly from that of Toronto.

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) – Travel Facilitation. Amtrak developed "Julie," an automated voice response attendant who has been helping customers since May 2002. Julie was created in an effort to improve service, increase telephone bookings and ease customer concerns over the cumbersome touch-tone Voice Response Units system.

North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development – Travel Marketing (International). In an effort to strengthen the Carolina brand in Germany, the CVB developed a "10 Reasons to Visit NC" campaign that outlined 10 selling points attractive to the German market.

To learn more about the awards, go to

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