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Tuesday Newsletter

November 22, 2005

Tuesday Newsletter November 22, 2005
Nov. 22, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 39

Today’s Headlines
  • Convention Buzz … Detroit Rocked!
  • Thanks to Detroit
  • Full Convention Recap Available at NTA Online
  • Ready for Rhode Island?
  • And Speaking of Product Development Trips …
  • Tour Operators: Recently Opened Ali Center to Welcome NTA in March 2006
  • San Francisco and NTA Tour Operators Giving Back
  • Remembering Dave Herren
  • Convention Lost and Found
  • Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now

    Convention Buzz … Detroit Rocked!

    From the Icebreaker at Comerica Park and the many interesting sightseeing tours, to the Evening at the Henry Ford and the great options on Dine-around night, Convention-goers gave the Motor City high marks. Here is a sampling of some of the comments your fellow NTA members made about Detroit:

  • "We took the Two Nation Vacation post-Fam tour, featuring Detroit and Windsor. We were amazed at the variety of sites we saw where we could bring our groups. Everyone who we spoke to was so positive and excited about what is happening in Detroit and Windsor, and we look forward to planning trips to this area as soon as possible." – Courtney Ashley of About Tours


  • "First of all, the city of Detroit was a pleasant surprise. What I’ve heard about it in the past was not too positive, but my experience there was very good. The Motown sightseeing tour on Sunday was fantastic … what a great experience!" – Jan Hiebert of the Greater Wichita CVB


  • "My response to the Convention was WOW! I found Detroit to be great. From the people staffing the hotels, to the people at the Cobo Center, to the people in the restaurants … they were all so friendly and helpful." – Rita Ostler, Tuacahn Ampitheatre and Center for the Arts


  • "Prior to attending the Convention, I really didn’t know what to expect. But I was very pleasantly surprised to find a city which appears to be experiencing a rebirth. As someone who would previously not have given serious thought to visiting Detroit, I would certainly consider a return for a future leisure visit with my family." – Claire Goold of the Wales Tourist Board


  • "Those of us who were able to attend the Convention now know that Detroit is far more than automobiles and incredible music. It’s no wonder the All-Star Game, the Super Bowl and NTA all chose Detroit." – Sharon Gaiptman of Alaska Discovery


  • "The facilities, attractions and hospitality of Detroit impressed upon us that old perceptions are no longer valid, and that it is indeed a city well along the road to a bright future." – Bob Hoelscher, CTP, of Flemming Tours top of page

    Thanks to Detroit

    The words you just read above wouldn’t be possible without the countless hours of behind-the-scenes work from the people of Detroit and across the state of Michigan, the Convention volunteers and the 2005 sponsors. A big "thank you" goes out to everyone who had a hand in making NTA members feel very welcome in the Motor City at this year’s Convention.

    The people most responsible for the planning and execution of the 2005 Convention were the Detroit Metro CVB and members of the host committee. The committee included Larry Alexander, Harriet Carter, Steve Hert, Richard Hert, Sandra Rice, Chris Shepler, Brad Van Dommelen and George Zimmermann. The following committee chairs also contributed to the event’s success – Sandra Bradt, Donna Buchanan, Nancy Buchanan, Harriet Carter, Xen Castillo-Hunter, Tim Dagg, Brad DePoole, Mary Liz DuCharme, Mary Lou Manier, Renee Monforton, Phil Parrott, Mindy Sands, Taryn Trudell and Bob Williams.

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    Full Convention Recap Available at NTA Online

    NTA has devoted a page on its Web site to the 2005 Annual Convention, which you can see by clicking here. The page includes a wide range of Convention facts, starting with a note from Chris Shepler and a list of "Top 10 Tips for Successful Convention Follow Up," geared to help you make best use of all the information you gathered in Detroit, so you can translate your Convention momentum into bottom-line results.

    The page features member testimonials, Tourism Cares for Tomorrow news, information on Mitch Albom, the latest on the Convention Seminar CD and a Message Center update. Additionally, the Convention Buzz page provides links for more articles, the Convention photos, the Final Night Video, the winning entries in the Courier Story Contest and the 2006 NTA Board of Directors member list.

    So head on over to NTA Online to read about the excitement generated in Detroit.

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    Ready for Rhode Island?

    Tour operators, set your sights on the northeast, as Rhode Island Tourism will play host to NTA’s first North American Product Development Trip from April 23-27, 2006. This trip will give you a glimpse of what the state means when it says, "Rhode Island: Big Things Come in Small Packages."

    The trip will showcase the state’s most exciting cities and venues, and includes site inspections of hotels, restaurants and attractions. Some of the stops along the way include Warwick, Newport, Providence and Block Island to visit historic mansions, enjoy a harbor sail, harvest oysters and much more. Time also will be set aside for operators to meet with Rhode Island suppliers at the conclusion of the trip.

    Space is limited, and you must register by March 1, 2006. The cost to tour operators is $150 per person and that includes lodging, sightseeing and most meals. In compliance with NTA guidelines, only one full-time employee per company may attend and guests/spouses are not permitted. Pre- and post-product development trip stays are welcome.

    For more information on the trip, click here or contact Katrina White by calling 401-222-2601 ext. 150, or e-mailing her at

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    And Speaking of Product Development Trips …

    NTA currently has two Product Development Trips scheduled for North American destinations in 2006 – Rhode Island (April 23-27) and Virginia (June 6-11). Proposals are being accepted for trips outside North America and, due to feedback from NTA tour operators, members are invited to submit proposals to conduct a Product Development Trip in 2006 or 2007 to the following destinations: Australia, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand and Spain.

    Itineraries should relate to one of NTA’s six Areas of Interest and Marketing (AIM) categories, with the exception of receptive services. Member destinations and/or tour operators wishing to submit competitive proposals for consideration should include the following information:

  • Preliminary or suggested itinerary
  • Price, including airfare (not to exceed $700)
  • Suggested dates in 2006 and/or 2007 (cannot be within 14 days of the Tour Operator Spring Meet, Annual Convention or another Product Development Trip)

    For a complete list of hosting guidelines, click here. Complete proposals must be received by Jan. 3, 2006, for consideration. Questions and proposals should be directed to Dawn Pettus, CTP, at

    Members also may submit proposals for other destinations at any time. However, as is the case here, NTA will occasionally target specific destinations and invite members via Tuesday to host product development trips.

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    Tour Operators: Recently Opened Ali Center to Welcome NTA in March 2006

    Louisville, Ky., played host to celebrities, sports stars and politicians, as the Muhammad Ali Center opened in grand style over the weekend. The six-story center is a tribute to Ali’s unparalleled career and his peaceful political views and principles. The 63-year old boxing legend was in attendance, though frail from his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Click here to read more about the dedication and grand opening celebration.

    NTA Spring Meet delegates will have the honor of experiencing the Ali Center during the Friday evening event on March 25, 2006. To get registered for the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet, to be held March 22-25 in Louisville, Ky., click here.

    Tour suppliers and DMOs also can attend the event by becoming sponsors. For more information on available sponsorships, contact Karla DiNardo at 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4232 or via e-mail at

    Spring Meet – It’s all about you!

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    San Francisco and NTA Tour Operators Giving Back

    The San Francisco CVB, the San Francisco Bay Area NTA suppliers, Tourism Cares for Tomorrow and NTA tour operators are teaming up to "give back" to the tourism community.

    All NTA tour operators need to do is book and operate a new tour to San Francisco featuring a minimum of 30 room nights with as few as three of 18 participating tour components. For each qualifying tour, a donation of $200 will be given to Tourism Cares in the tour operator’s name. Additionally, a $200 personal shopping spree at Macy’s will be given to the tour operator, so everyone benefits.

    Details are being sent to NTA tour operators by the San Francisco CVB this week. Tourism Cares for Tomorrow is grateful for this innovative and generous offer.

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    Remembering Dave Herren

    Dave Herren of The Mark Travel Corporation passed away last week. Herron was a long-time NTA supporter who served on the association’s Board of Directors and was the chairman of the National Tourism Foundation. He also was responsible for initiating the NTA/United Airlines partnership.

    Early in his career, Herron worked for United Airlines for a total of 26 years. He was in charge of the tour operator dealings for United, which included the United Vacations brand, before joining Mark Travel in 1994. His first role was as the executive vice president in charge of overseeing Mark Travel’s marketing and operating of the United Vacations brand. The past few years, Herren had served as a consultant for Mark Travel.

    "Dave was a great person in every respect – as a professional, as a colleague, and most of all, as a friend," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "He will be missed by his many NTA friends."

    Funeral arrangements and memorial gift information was not announced at press time. When this information becomes available, it will be included in an upcoming issue of Tuesday.

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    Convention Lost and Found

    There were a few lost items turned in to the Registration Center at Annual Convention, including:


  • Eyeglasses
  • A bracelet
  • A necklace

    If you think one of these might belong to you, please contact your NTA Member Services Department by calling 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444.

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    Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now

    There were many drawings and giveaways at Annual Convention, thanks to the generosity of some key sponsors. Here is a list of the winners and donors:


  • Kate Simpson of Academic Travel Abroad Inc., won a two-year lease on a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, donated by the Detroit Metro CVB
  • Gloria Kenley of The Kenley Konnection won a $500 shopping spree, donated by Prime Retail
  • Vicki Blatt of WIH Hotels LLC won a vacation cruise package, donated by Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Denise Greeno of Ozarks’ Kirkwood Tour & Travel won a weekend Mackinaw package, donated by Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau
  • Cindy Olson of Alex Johnson Hotel won a weekend Mackinac Island package, donated by Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry
  • Teresa Davis of Tourism North Central Island won a 2006 NTA Convention registration and a $500 shopping spree, donated by Great Lakes Crossing Mall
  • JoAnne Billington of Conway Tours won a $500 shopping spree, donated by Fairlane Town Center Mall
  • Lilly Sheldon of Explore Tours won a tote bag of Virginia products, donated by the Virginia Tourism Corporation
  • Beverly Earl of New Ulm Travel won a basket of California foods, donated by the Hilmar Cheese Company Visitor Center
  • Sergei Troubetzkoy, CTP, of Staunton Convention and Visitors Bureau won a gift basket, donated by Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Kate Scopetti of Mid Atlantic Receptive Services won a basket of North Carolina foods, donated by the North Carolina Division of Tourism
  • Phil Azzolino of Group Tours Inc., won a gift basket of Yakima wines, donated by the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau
  • Samantha Atkins of Landmark Hotel Group won a two-night vacation package, donated by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau
  • Tracy Gruber of Western Discovery LLC, Michael E. Neustadt of Coach Tours and Mary McGuire Slevin of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau all won business supply prize packages, donated by NTA Corporate Partner Staples
  • Kim Vincent of Globus, Michelle Pino of Tour Trends Ltd., Kelly Fields of Great Canadian Holidays & Coaches and Theresa Mueller of Unlimited Tours & Travel Inc., each won a Roots leather travel bag, donated by Team Canada top of page
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