October 11, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter October 11, 2005
Oct. 11, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 34
This is the fourth installment of Chris’ Corner, a series of articles appearing in Tuesday leading up to Annual Convention, in which 2005 Convention Chair Chris Shepler shares his thoughts.
Greetings once again fellow NTAers! We are only 24 days away from the start of the 2005 NTA Annual Convention, and I’m getting more and more excited.
I enjoy seeing all of my old friends each year, but what really pumps me up is getting to meet the new people at Convention. There will be 257 first-time delegates in attendance in Detroit, and I hope you will help me give them a warm welcome. We’ve all been in their shoes – not knowing exactly what to expect, feeling out of place among such a large crowd and just trying to figure out where you are supposed to be at any given moment.
We have some great things in store for our first-time guests this year, including taking an individual picture of them at the SharpShooter booth following their orientation tour of the Convention Mall, and a group shot that will be taken after lunch on Tuesday. They will receive copies of both of these, thanks to the folks at Broadway Inbound, as one way to remember their first NTA Convention.
While that is a great deal, the best way I know to make their stay in Detroit memorable is to make them feel like they belong. I’ve always said NTA is just one big family, and Annual Convention is the perfect time to welcome some new brothers and sisters into the fold.
See you soon!
We know your "to do" list is growing as Annual Convention draws near, but we want to assist you by providing timely reminders to help you prepare for your trip to Motown. Do you need to add any of these reminders to your list?
The countdown to Convention is underway. If you have questions related to these, or other Convention items, contact your NTA Member Services Team at email@example.com or by calling 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444.
Better Business. Better Be There.
There is another addition to the growing stable of NTA Corporate Partners, as Staples Business Advantage is now on board. U.S. members will be able to order office supplies through Staples convenient Business Advantage Web site and qualify for discounts on more than 30,000 products.
Here are some of the benefits for U.S. members:
To start saving with NTA’s newest Corporate Partner, Staples Business Advantage, contact Keith Nolfi at 800-617-1712 ext. 245, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you’re an NTA member interested in joining the NTA/Staples program.
To learn more and sign up online, click here. Once you’ve registered online, you’ll receive your Welcome Kit with an account number, catalog and your online User ID and Password so you can begin to take advantage of this program.
A Canadian program will be available in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to Tuesday and This Just In for further information on this.
As the rebuilding process picks up momentum across the Gulf Coast region, one of the key things that can aid the recovery is for tourists to return as soon as possible. In order for tour operators to plan their trips, they need to know what attractions, hotels and restaurants have resumed operations.
This issue was discussed at the September NTA Board of Directors meeting, and one of the main things the board felt NTA could do was to gather and post a list of what businesses are open or when they expect to reopen.
In order to compile this information, NTA will be contacting local DMOs in the path of Katrina and Rita. We also need your help. If you have information on the status of any business in the affected area, please contact NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4425 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4425.
The list will be updated as information comes in, and you can check it at NTA Online on the hurricane page.
Once again, NTA was the leader in the travel industry in responding to news that affects you. On Sept. 26, President Bush made a statement at a U.S. Department of Energy meeting urging Americans to "cut back on unnecessary trips" due to the fuel crisis following the recent hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. While NTA recognizes the importance of fuel conservation, without strong group tours continuing to the hurricane-affected states, the region could have a second significant economic hit.
NTA immediately sent out a news release entitled "National Tour Association Encourages Group Travel as the Best Form of Conservation for Travelers" and the release has received tremendous trade and consumer coverage.
In response, the White House later clarified that the President did not intend to include leisure travel in his message. The Washington Post addressed NTA’s statement and the President’s response in its Sunday, Oct. 2 issue. Click here to access the article.
If you’re interested in receiving NTA news releases, please contact NTA Public Relations Specialist Sara Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget that, if you want to vote for candidates seeking seats on NTA’s Board of Directors before Annual Convention, you must do so before Oct. 21. Another e-mailed ballot will be sent to those members who have active e-mail addresses and have not yet voted on Oct. 17. Of course, you also may wait and cast your ballot in Detroit. Voting for each election will conclude after speeches from the candidates in each membership category’s business meeting.
NTA members can get discounted registration for TIA’s National Conference for Attraction Professionals, to be held Oct. 25-26, in Seattle at the Westin Hotel. The event is open to attractions of all sizes from across the United States, and the delegates include primarily attraction sales and marketing professionals. It is being held in conjunction with TIA’s Marketing Outlook Forum (Oct. 26-28, also at the Westin).
NTA members can sign up for just the NCAP at a discounted rate of $275, or register for both events at a combined rate of $995. To get signed up, click here (you’ll need your NTA company ID number). If you have any questions, contact Kathleen Riley at 202-408-8422.
The 2005 NTA Annual Convention is the place to be for the best educational seminars around. This year’s group is no exception, and two of the most exciting opportunities are Certified Speaking Professional Jim Bearden’s sessions.
Bearden will be in Detroit on Sunday to present, "Selling vs. Hopin’ to Get Bought: Playing to Win in a Competitive Marketplace." In his humorous style, Bearden will explain how to create value when developing your travel products and using that value to differentiate your business from competitors to sell more effectively. If you want to learn more about how to meet the needs of your customers and increase revenue, this is the session for you.
Bearden will follow that up with another session on Monday called, "Leadership & Winning: The Relentless Search for Better Ways." In this seminar, you will discover how to lead your business more effectively by influencing others and creating a change-friendly culture. This type of corporate culture encourages people to challenge the status quo and look for better ways to do business.
The NTA Annual Convention is your one place for conducting business, networking opportunities, educational sessions and so much more. For more information on educational programming, please click here or e-mail Jason Jones at email@example.com.
Alaska tourism trailblazer Charles "Chuck" West died of natural causes Oct. 4, with his family by his side. He was 90 years old.
West founded Alaska’s first tour company, Arctic Alaska Tours, and was the pioneer of marketing North Country packages. Additionally, he founded Alaska’s first all-tourist hotel chain, motorcoach network and Inside Passage cruise line. These package tour components were later consolidated under Westours, a dominant operator in Alaska. After he sold Westours to Holland America in 1973, he started another Alaska travel company that has become the present day Cruise West.
The family is in the process of planning a wake to provide an opportunity for West’s many friends to honor his memory and details will be forthcoming. Past President Robert Brennan, CTP, will represent NTA at the wake.
You can send your sympathies to:
2301 5th Ave, Suite 40
Seattle, WA 98121
Attn: Family of Chuck West
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow reached out to the traveling public for the first time as the official charity of the Luxury Travel Expo held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City last month. A silent auction of travel packages was open to the general public and raised more than $30,000 for the Tourism Cares – Gulf Coast Restoration Fund.
Tourism Cares is furthering its efforts to raise money for that fund by selling wristbands which say "Tourism Cares for the Gulf Coast." The wristbands will be on sale at NTA’s Annual Convention, or you can purchase yours now at http://www.tourismcares.org/ and at the Tourism Cares booth at the NTA Convention.
Sales up to $35,000 will be matched by both Trip Mate Insurance and Tourism Cares, so purchase your wristband today and make the most of your contribution toward the restoration of the Gulf Coast’s cultural and historic sites that have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.