October 9, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter Oct. 9, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 41
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Tourisme Montréal.
North American life and European charm, a dynamic cultural scene and vibrant festivals where creativity never fails. Our goal is to help you in organizing events and tour packages. For a sweet escape, Montréal is an absolute must. It is an experience to live and share.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at email@example.com.
Convention Appointment Schedules to be Posted Oct. 12
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Destination Pavilion
Give a Little, Gain a Lot by Volunteering
Submit Questions for "Ask the Operator" Seminars at Convention
Get Ready to "Bid on the Best" at the NTA Convention
Grassroots Symposium Links Members with Congressional Representatives
New Michigan Services Tax Includes Tour Operators
Farr/Porter Bill Would Earmark $50 Million for Travel Promotion
Sponsor NTA’s 2008 Leadership Directory and Get Noticed
Your schedule of Tour & Travel Exchange appointments will be posted at NTAonline this Friday, Oct. 12, at noon ET. The customized schedules include information on who you’ll be meeting with, the day and time of the appointment and the booth number where it will take place.
The Direct Request appointment scheduling system, which allows delegates to schedule additional appointments, also will go live Oct. 12 at noon. You will receive an e-mail with information on your schedule and specific details about using the Direct Request system.
For more information regarding appointment schedules visit the Convention Web site. If you have further questions contact your Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
See you in Kansas City!
The inaugural event at the new Destination Pavilion at Convention takes place Friday, Nov. 2, from 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., and tour suppliers and DMOs will want to be there for this valuable networking opportunity. During that session, tour operators can visit the different geographically grouped areas of the pavilion to shop for product regionally.
Working with your state, provincial and country DMOs and the NTA partners in your region leading up to and during the Convention will help you maximize your experience. It is optimal for each region’s section in the pavilion to be manned throughout the event, since tour operators can stop by any time, not just during Friday’s session. These types of informal meetings provide another avenue for you to sell to tour operators and book business, and you should plan to staff the pavilion during all Tour & Travel Exchange sessions.
NTA member committees recommend you bring the following things to the Destination Pavilion – itineraries for your area including other regional partners, profile forms and 200 copies of your brochure. It is important for members to coordinate with their state, provincial and country DMO to make sure their literature arrives and is available at the pavilion.
Members also should keep in mind that the Destination Pavilion isn’t an area where they can put up banners, or decorate like a typical trade show booth. Since space will be shared with other regional partners, the focus is area specific and not company specific.
For more information on the Destination Pavilion, contact your Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
If you are planning to attend the NTA Convention, you can enhance your experience by volunteering. Once your appointment schedule is posted this Friday you can look it over, see where your openings are and then sign up to volunteer.
As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to meet new colleagues, build new relationships and see big returns, all while helping to make the event a success. Beyond your business appointments, volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get more face time with potential business partners.
If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time to volunteer in these areas: Convention Registration, the Government Relations Booth, the Research Center, the Buddy Program, Seminar Monitor, Mock Appointments, Convention 101 Presenters and the Tourism Cares Booth.
Also, new for this year, is a chance for volunteers to go "Behind the Scenes" to see the magic behind the NTA Convention. If you will be in Kansas City Thursday, Nov. 1, at 3:30 p.m., stop by the convention center for a tour of the Mall and Exchange area, where you’ll see carpet laying, booth construction and NTA staff members in sweat pants. If you take part, you can skip the lines at registration and get your materials a day early. To RSVP for the "Behind the Scenes" tour, contact NTA’s Manager of Member Relations Lori Rempe.
During this year’s Convention, there will be two "Ask the Operator" panel discussion sessions. The seminar for tour suppliers will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, at 9:15 a.m. and the version for DMOs takes place Monday, Nov. 5, at 3:30 p.m.
To help members get more out of those sessions, suppliers and DMOs are encouraged to submit questions in advance. So, if there are questions you’ve always wanted to get an operator’s perspective on, please send them to NTA Vice President of Communications Catherine Prather by Oct. 19.
NTA delegates, get ready to bid high and bid often for a good cause. The Tourism Cares Silent Auction will feature many great items, including vacation packages and event tickets. The Silent Auction runs throughout Convention, with final bids due at 6 p.m. Monday, immediately following the Live Auction.
The highlight of the Live Auction will be the auctioning off of a new SLC 936 Sunliner Coach, graciously donated by Stallion Bus Industries. Between the excitement of that and the Silent Auction, you won’t want to miss out on the bidding at the NTA Convention.
For more information on the auctions, including a list of items and packages, visit http://www.tourismcares.org/NTA_Live_and_Silent_Auctions.aspx. All proceeds from the auctions benefit the mission and programs of Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy.
The NTA Board of Directors met Sept. 22 and 23 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The board reviewed the proposed 2008 NTA budget, continued strategic planning discussions, established an award to honor NTA volunteers and reviewed changes to the election process that would encourage more members to get involved in leadership. Click here for highlights from the meeting.
Cookie Callahan has joined the NTA management team as senior vice president. Callahan has more than 30 years experience in the travel and tourism industry and brings with her an extensive background in marketing and sales.
"Cookie has been a travel and tourism professional for more than three decades," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "Those years of experience will add to the strength of our management team and she brings a wealth of knowledge and fresh ideas to NTA."
As NTA senior vice president, Callahan will manage the daily operations of the association, working closely with the staff and volunteer leadership to meet the strategic objectives of the organization. Callahan says she welcomes "this opportunity to use my skills and knowledge as a long-time tourism professional to help grow the association and bring more business to NTA members."
Callahan has worked with travel brands such as the Audubon Nature Institute, Gaylord Entertainment Company and the Hershey Entertainment and Resort. Most recently, Callahan managed the marketing and sales for Nut Tree in Vacaville, California.
For more information, click here to read the Callahan news release.
NTA members came together to learn about key travel-related legislation and to talk to elected officials about the importance of the tourism industry at the 2007 NTA Grassroots Symposium, which was held Sept. 24-25 in Washington, D.C., immediately preceding the TIA Travel Leadership Summit.
NTA’s volunteer leaders and industry insiders gave participants the latest information from Capitol Hill. Attendees heard from government officials and speakers from allied associations – including TIA, AH&LA, UMA, ASTA and ARC – regarding their activities on topics that affect all NTA members and the industry.
Symposium delegates also got to talk face to-face with their elected officials on Capitol Hill about recent issues. They met with more than 30 members of Congress and found a receptive audience on the topic of creating an Executive Office of Tourism and a cabinet-level tourism position.
Previous editions of the Grassroots Symposium have provided tangible results, including the allowance of group tours at the U.S. Capitol Building after attendees and Congress members talked about the topic at the 2002 event. Discussions at the Symposium also led to the resolution, passed by the U.S. House, expressing the importance of student travel following the 2003 meeting.
Questions regarding this year’s Grassroots Symposium should be directed to NTA’s Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 1, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Grandholm signed legislation that imposed a 6 percent tax on certain services, including those provided by tour operators. The legislation was deemed necessary to solve an acute fiscal crisis in the state and prevent a government shutdown.
Comments from various elected officials on the legislation indicated it was their intention to tax services that were "luxuries" or didn’t need to be used by the average person.
Your Government Relations Department has contacted Michigan officials concerning the tax and their remarks about the industry and also is working with groups in the state that want to introduce legislation to get the services tax repealed. NTA will continue to monitor the situation and send out alerts to our Michigan-based tour operators when circumstances warrant.
Last week, a bill was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide matching funds of up to $50 million to help boost inbound travel to America. Under the Improving Public Diplomacy through International Travel Act, the U.S. State Department would set aside $50 million for tourism companies to entice additional international visitors.
NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini and other industry leaders were on hand with the co-chairs of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus and the bill’s sponsors – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Jon Porter, R-Nev. – at the press conference to introduce the bill. During the announcement, Farr said securing these funds is a critical step to help counter negative perceptions of the U.S. that inbound travelers have developed since 9/11.
NTA members are encouraged to call their members of the U.S. House of Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 3670, the Improving Public Diplomacy through International Travel Act.
Published in January with a year-long shelf-life, the NTA Leadership Directory will be mailed to all members with the January issue of Courier magazine. This conveniently sized 4 x 9 inch booklet is a great resource for members to use throughout the year and contains contact information on NTA’s Board of Directors, Leadership Team and NTA staff.
Advertising for this publication will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. You can secure all three cover positions (inside front, inside back, and back cover) at a cost of $10,000, or select an individual cover position for $4,500.
For more information on this handy resource, contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
|To ensure that you’re doing business with an NTA member, go to the NTA Web site and click on either "Tour Operator Search" or "DMO/Tour Supplier Search" at the top of the page.