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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! It’s Convention Time | International Visitors to U.S. Spending More

November 9, 2010

Volume 30, Issue 45

Follow Us at Covention 10

Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! It’s Convention Time
International Visitors to U.S. Spending More in 2010 than in 2009
Saturday Convention Education Features Three China Sessions
New U.S. Congress Poses Challenges for Travel Industry
The Winners of the Weekly ’70s Trivia Contests Are . . .
CTP Prep Webinars Coming Up Nov. 29 and Dec. 3
When Are Your Fans on Facebook?
STI Webinar on Tourism Certification Is Nov. 17
Merci Beaucoup, NTA Sponsors
Voting Open for Tourism Cares’ Save Our Sites Grant Competition
Completing an NTA Survey Pays Off
Industry News and Updates

With the NTA Convention in full swing next week, there will not be an issue of Tuesday. To get updated news on what’s happening in Montréal you can follow the event from the new NTA Facebook page or follow #NTA10 on Twitter. The next issue of Tuesday will be e-mailed Nov. 23.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! It’s Convention Time  Palais des Congres de Montréal

In just a few days, the NTA family will gather at the Palais des congrès in Montréal for this year’s Convention. As you prepare for the trip, here is your final checklist.

  • If you’re registered for one of the sightseeing tours for Convention, you’ll need to stop by the Tourisme Montréal booth to pick up a wrist band before boarding the motorcoach to depart for your tour. If you still need to sign up for one of the tours, you can do that at the Tourisme Montréal booth, too.
  • You should have received your Convention tool kit in the mail with many reminders and details. Make sure to bring it with you on the plane. (If you didn’t receive it, download and print this pdf.)
  • Check your passport and read these travel tips.
  • Don’t forget to check before you pack.
  • Remember to use the hotel shuttles for transportation to and from Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to NTA Convention hotels. The complimentary shuttles run on the hour and the half hour and will be available during the following times:
    Friday, Nov. 12: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
    Saturday, Nov. 13: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
    Thursday, Nov. 18: 4-11 a.m

Upon arrival, go to the NTA/Tourism Montréal welcome booth located in both the international and domestic terminals. The welcome staff will direct you to the shuttles for transportation to your respective hotels.

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International Visitors to U.S. Spending More in 2010 than in 2009  U.S. Visitor Spending Chart

The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce reveal that international visitors spent an estimated $11.6 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of August — $1.6 billion more (16 percent) than was spent in August 2009. That increase marks the eighth consecutive month of growth in U.S. travel and tourism exports and brings the year-on-year average increase to more than $1 billion per month in 2010.

The $11.6 billion total for August includes $8.9 billion in travel receipts and $2.7 billion in passenger fare receipts. The travel receipt total represents purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services such as food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.

Outbound U.S. travelers have spent nearly $68.5 billion abroad this year for an increase of 4 percent over 2009. This has resulted in a $19.8 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the first eight months of 2010.

Learn more about reports generated by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, the organization responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating international travel and tourism statistics for U.S. travel and tourism.

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Saturday Convention Education Features Three China Sessions 

On the first day of Convention, you can gain insights on many aspects of the Chinese inbound market at the following three educational sessions:

"Trends and Insights on the Inbound Chinese Traveler," 8:15-9:30 a.m.
This session features a panel of research experts who will offer perspectives on the characteristics of Chinese travelers. Click here to listen to a seminar preview podcast from the three panelists.

"Developing Product to Attract the Inbound Chinese Traveler," 9:45-11 a.m.
A panel of tour operators, destination representatives and suppliers will discuss the types of travel product that are appealing to the Chinese traveler and the cultural differences that you’ll need to understand to serve them.

"Using the NTA Visit USA Center as a Marketing Resource," 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Join Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development, as she describes the many opportunities you’ll have to utilize the new NTA Visit USA Center as an outlet for creating higher demand for your product and bigger profits. The NTA Visit USA Center Hao will be discussing opens Nov. 20 in Shanghai, China.

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New U.S. Congress Poses Challenges for Travel Industry 

Stephen Richer, CTP, who serves as NTA public affairs advocate, is looking at a new political landscape in Washington and anticipates a challenging time in the 112th Congress. "It’s obvious that any spending legislation will have to meet different criteria in this session," he said. "In the last session, there was an early effort to assist the national economy through stimulus spending, which is unlikely to be the case in 2011."

Richer cited other factors that will make it more difficult to successfully advocate the approval of new measures: 

  • The 100-plus new members of Congress will need time to set up their staffs and get acquainted with Congressional procedures.
  • Both political parties have moved away from the center, making compromise a lot more challenging.
  • The new Congress, said Richer, has "prioritized undoing or modifying legislation enacted in the 111th Session."
  • Both political parties are likely to focus on the upcoming 2012 election, when the presidency and control of both the Senate and House are at stake, making political calculations a major element in any legislative activities.

Richer and other NTA members and officials will make a major effort to acquaint the 112th Congress with the NTA agenda at NTA’s Annual Grassroots Symposium in Washington, D.C. Make plans to join us in D.C., March 14-16, 2011! 

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The Winners of the Weekly ’70s Trivia Contests Are . . .  New NTA Facebook Page

You had to be quick to win NTA’s Facebook/Twitter trivia challenges — answers often came in within seconds of each other. Sometimes the trivia questions were easy ("Who was the lead actor in ‘Saturday Night Fever’?"). And, sometimes you needed help from Google ("How much did gas cost per gallon in the U.S. in 1970?"). Each week, the first follower to respond with the correct answer won groovy ’70s accessories to add to their Tuesday Night Fever outfits.

Congratulations, winners! (Remember to stop by the eNTA booth in Montréal to claim your prize!)

Randy Julian, Julian Tours
Paul Nakamoto, Roaring Camp Railroads
Christiane Skinner, Vermont Department of Tourism
Dené Sinclair, Travel Manitoba
Marlene Chossen, Group Tour Media
Sarah Foster, Oneida County CVB
Daniel Chavez, Sports Empire
Adrienne Baerny, Tailor Made Tours

You could win, too! "Like" NTA’s NEW Facebook page (officially launching at Convention ’10) and you could win a free 2011 membership. Once we reach 500 fans, we’ll draw a name from the list for a lucky winner. What a great way to start off the year!

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CTP Prep Webinars Coming Up Nov. 29 and Dec. 3 

NTA’s Certified Tour Professional program can be a real boost in business-and income. The CTP program helps travel professionals gain a better understanding of day-to-day business operations and opportunities. And studies have shown that earning professional certifications can help you earn a higher salary while advancing in the industry.

The CTP program is a self-study curriculum, but to get information in a more interactive setting, NTA provides a series of preparatory Webinars that cover the core elements of the program. The first session took place in October and the other two are scheduled over the next four weeks. Even if you missed the first one, you can still jump on board:

Nov. 29, 1 p.m. (ET): Strategic Packaged Travel Marketing and Sales
Dec. 3, 1 p.m. (ET): Strategic Packaged Travel Financial Management

If you’re currently enrolled in the CTP program, the Webinars are free. Otherwise each Webinar costs US$35. However, if you enroll in the program before Dec. 31, 2010, we’ll refund the costs of these Webinars.

Click here to complete the registration form and return it at least two days prior to the date of the Webinar to confirm your participation. Contact Ken Goode at NTA Headquarters with any questions.

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When Are Your Fans on Facebook? 

Use your time on Facebook wisely. A three-year study was just released that followed the days and hours that Facebook users are most active. More than 1.64 million posts and 7.56 million comments were examined. Here are some of the best times to make posts and comments:

1. Morning posts perform better.
2. Users are more active at the top of the hour.
3. Weekdays are busiest, Wednesday especially.

You can get a recap of the study on this blog. For a full White Paper on the study, you can supply your e-mail to this Web site.

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STI Webinar on Tourism Certification Is Nov. 17  STI Logo

Don’t miss the next installment of Sustainable Travel International’s Webinar series. "Tourism Certification: Enhanced Quality for Sustainability Management Systems and Eco-certification" takes place Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 9 to 10 a.m. (PST). STI’s Robert Chappell will lead the session, which will focus on STI’s Sustainable Tourism Eco-certification Program and its online Sustainability Management Framework and Sustainability Planning & Reporting Kit.

You can sign up for the session by clicking here. After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail with information about joining the Webinar.

If you are unable to attend the scheduled Webinar and would like to learn more, please register anyway, and you will be e-mailed a link to the recorded session once it is available.

For more information e-mail Matt Kareus, STI’s director of sales and marketing.

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Merci Beaucoup, NTA Sponsors 

As you network, learn and do business at NTA’s upcoming Convention ’10 in Montréal, remember to also take time to thank this year’s generous group of sponsors. Their dedication and commitment to NTA and this event are second to none, and NTA couldn’t plan such a great event without this important group of people. NTA sponsors make all of the association’s events a success and we greatly thank each and every one of them!

Check out this year’s incredible list of Convention sponsors. And, don’t forget to thank them when you see them in Montreal!

If you’re interested in joining NTA’s impressive list of sponsors at any NTA event, please contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada), or +1.859.224.4232. We’d love to hear from you!

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Voting Open for Tourism Cares’ Save Our Sites Grant Competition  Vote Now - Save Our Sites

Voting is now open for the fall Save Our Sites grant competition, administered by Tourism Cares. The theme for this latest round of voting is the homes of famous American authors. And the nominees are:

The F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Association in Montgomery, Alabama
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut
Poe Cottage (Bronx County Historical Society) in Bronx, New York
Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri

You may vote once per day through Dec. 3 at

Please visit the Tourism Cares booth during Convention for more information on the Save Our Sites initiative, which was created to help conserve, preserve and restore tourism-related sites for the benefit of current and future generations. 

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Completing an NTA Survey Pays Off 

Your responses to NTA surveys gives us the information to make sure you’re getting the best service and programming around. Plus, completing your NTA surveys can also mean cool prizes. Just ask Randi Axelsson of the Silver Reef Hotel Casino & Spa in Ferndale, Washington, who just won a $100 American Express gift card for completing the Member Satisfaction Survey.

Watch your inbox for your next NTA member survey and you might be a winner, too. The results of the recent Member Satisfaction Survey will be online soon; check out Tuesday for more information. In the meantime, if you’d like to catch up with the latest member surveys, visit NTA online.

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Industry News and Updates

  • A New York State Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of online travel agencies, ASTA and the U.S. Tour Operators Association challenging the legality and constitutionality of New York’s amended hotel occupancy tax.
  • U.S. airline passengers are facing stricter personal identification rules as enforcement of the Secure Flight program begins.
  • According to a report from the Transport Association of America, an estimated 24 million people are expected to take to the skies this Thanksgiving, a 3.5 percent increase from last year.
  • During last week’s U.S. elections, San Francisco’s Proposition J failed, which means the city’s transient occupancy tax at downtown hotels will not be increased by 2 percent.

The links in this article are not monitored by NTA staff. Any bad links, expired pages, etc. are due to the constantly changing nature of Web sites.

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