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Tuesday Newsletter

October 4, 2005

Tuesday Newsletter October 4, 2005
Oct. 4, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 33

Today’s Headlines
  • New Benefit for Canadian Members – Paymentech Canada
  • Convention Countdown – Three Quick Reminders
  • September Board Meeting Recap
  • Support for Members Affected by Hurricanes
  • VIP Buyer Status Available for NTA Members at World Travel Market
  • Networking Sessions Coming Up
  • Convention Volunteers Make a Difference
  • ".travel" Names Now Available to Purchase
  • New Format for an Old Convention Favorite
  • Suppliers/DMOs See Value in Spring Meet Exposure

    New Benefit for Canadian Members – Paymentech Canada

    The addition of NTA’s newest Corporate Partner, Paymentech Canada, is great news for the association’s Canadian members. Paymentech, which specializes in credit card processing services, is no stranger to NTA members. For the past six years Paymentech has been processing credit cards for NTA’s U.S. members, but now, through this new alliance, Canadian members also can save on their credit card processing.

    Some of the benefits of the Paymentech Canada’s partnership include:

  • Rates from as low as 1.95 percent for MasterCard and VISA transaction processing (subject to approval and certain requirements)
  • $50 enrollment fee is waived
  • Deposit all your card transactions directly into the bank of your choice – no additional fees are charged by Paymentech Canada
  • Competitive point-of-sale terminal pricing from $25.95

    NTA also has negotiated preferred rates for its members, and to learn more, click here or contact Paymentech Canada via e-mail or by calling 877-552-5533. Make sure to mention you’re an NTA member.

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    Convention Countdown – Three Quick Reminders

    There are just 31 days until the 2005 NTA Annual Convention kicks off in Detroit. Here are a few reminders to help you prepare for better business:


  • Appointment schedules are available – Pre-scheduled appointments for the 2005 NTA Annual Convention in Detroit, Nov. 4-8, have been posted on NTA Online. To access your appointment schedule, log on to NTA Online (you will need your first name, last name and registration number).
  • Submit flight itinerary online – Delegates must submit their Annual Convention arrival/departure information by Wednesday, Oct. 5. Click here to submit your itinerary and become eligible to win one of two Detroit-area shopping packages. NOTE – There is no need to respond again if you have previously done so or if your flight information changes (click here to see if you’ve responded and are entered in the drawing).
  • Final mailing – The final mailing, which is packed with valuable Convention information, was mailed to registered delegates last week. If you live in a hurricane-affected area and are unable to receive mail, please contact NTA Member Services at 859-226-4444 to have the information faxed to you.

    The 2005 NTA Annual Convention in Detroit is going to rock, and we look forward to seeing you in the Motor City, Nov. 4-8!

    Better Business. Better Be There.

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    September Board Meeting Recap

    The NTA Executive Committee and Board of Directors met in Grand Junction, Colo., Sept. 23-24. The following are key developments resulting from those meetings:


  • Approved NTA’s operating budget for 2006
  • Adopted a resolution calling for the creation of a U.S. Secretary of Travel and Tourism to be pursued by NTA in conjunction with other allied industry associations
  • Approved initiatives to benefit hurricane-affected members (see full story on this below)
  • Revised tour operator membership requirements to accommodate the increasing diversity of NTA tour companies, while retaining high-quality standards for admission to membership. Revised requirements will be posted in coming weeks on NTA Online
  • Established 2006 dues and Annual Convention and Tour Operator Spring Meet fees (click here to see that information)
  • Selected 2006 Nominating Committee (click here to see that list)
  • Discussed issues adversely affecting tour operators’ business relations with airlines and cruise lines and identified strategies for addressing those issues
  • Selected NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini to receive the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2006 Annual Convention in Detroit
  • Established policies for the sale of a limited number of guest passes for evening events at the NTA Annual Convention. Convention delegates wanting to purchase a guest pass should contact NTA Member Services at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444 top of page

    Support for Members Affected by Hurricanes

    At its recent meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., the NTA Board of Directors approved the following series of initiatives designed to benefit members affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:

  • Dues payments for 2006 from member companies in the hurricane-affected areas will be delayed until mid-year or later, as needed
  • Registration for the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet will be waived for tour operators from the affected areas
  • NTA staff was directed to identify and publicize operating status of member companies from affected areas in order to encourage business from NTA tour operators
  • Members facing difficulty in attending the 2005 Annual Convention should contact NTA Member Services by calling 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444 or via e-mail at

    There will be some special things happening at Annual Convention, too. The Saturday Luncheon will be dedicated in part to members impacted by the hurricanes and, during that Luncheon, funds will be collected and donated to Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s Gulf Coast Restoration Fund for an NTA-specified restoration project. Tourism Cares also is selling wristbands to raise money for the Restoration Fund and will match all proceeds from those sales. Finally, there will be a special media forum in Detroit where journalists can talk to NTA members from hurricane-affected areas.

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    VIP Buyer Status Available for NTA Members at World Travel Market

    Through an alliance between NTA and World Travel Market, NTA tour operator members can visit World Travel Market 2005 as special VIP buyers. World Travel Market, the world’s only global business exhibition for the international travel industry, takes place in London, Nov. 14-17.

    Thousands of senior executives and decision-makers will be in attendance ready to conduct business with you. In addition to getting industry updates from a world perspective at WTM, you have access to more than 5,500 leading travel and tourism suppliers from more than 190 countries.

    By registering to attend WTM, NTA tour operators can become a member of the travel industry’s most prestigious business club, Meridian Club. Members of Meridian Club receive a personal event planner, have VIP buyer status, have access to an online diary to pre-book your meetings with exhibitors and have exclusive use of a members’ only lounge.

    You can register online at

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    Networking Sessions Coming Up

    Join NTA Chairman and CEO Ann Thomas, CTP; board of directors members Mark Hoffman and Laurie Lincoln; and leadership team member Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, Oct. 19 and 20 in California as they host an informal networking session to talk about association and industry business. These events allow you to see old friends, make new ones and cook up new business with other NTA members, in addition to helping prepare you for better business in Detroit and throughout the year.

    The Northern California session takes place Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Studio 76 at Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara. Lunch is included, and the session is free thanks to our generous sponsor, Gretchen Gates of Paramount’s Great America. Overnight accommodations are available at the Fairmont San Jose, and you can call Craig Sandoval at 408-998-3906 or e-mail him at to make a reservation.

    The Southern California session takes place Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Hilton Irvine Hotel (in Irvine across from John Wayne Airport). Lunch is provided, and the session is free thanks to our generous sponsors, Susan Firth of the Costa Mesa CVB, Firooseh Tahmassebi of Destination Irvine and Betty Thurston of the Hilton Irvine Hotel. Overnight accommodations are available at the Hilton Irvine Hotel for $89 per night plus tax, and you can call Betty Thurston at 949-833-3331 (ext. 1207) or e-mail her at to make a reservation.

    For both of these events, please RSVP to Laurie Lincoln of Main Street Tours via e-mail at or by calling 310-212-0791.

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    Convention Volunteers Make a Difference

    You’ve registered for the 2005 Annual Convention. You’ve made your travel arrangements. You’re gearing up for some great appointments. Now there’s only one thing left to do … get signed up to volunteer.

    "The relationships forged through volunteering have given me some of the greatest mentors I have ever had, not to mention giving me friends for a lifetime," says Theresa Main-Kyzer, tour and travel sales manager for the Little Rock CVB.

    There are many ways in which you can give a little and make someone else’s Convention experience better. You can help out with the new concierge program or pitch in at the Research Center, Government Relations booth or with Registration. You can be a seminar monitor or student mentor on Pro-Am Day by allowing a Tourism Cares for Tomorrow student to shadow you during the DMO Exchange.

    Just take a look at your Convention schedule, identify your open times and sign up to help in one of those capacities. Both veteran and first-time delegates are needed, and there are a variety of days and times from which you can choose.

    To get registered so you can help your association and meet new people through volunteering, visit NTA Online by clicking here. If you want to be a student mentor, contact Carolyn Viles, CTC, at Tourism Cares for Tomorrow by calling 888-821-5990 or via e-mail at

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    ".travel" Names Now Available to Purchase

    The limited launch of the ".travel" Internet domain got underway Oct. 3. NTA members who were authenticated before Sept. 27 can go ahead and purchase their new ".travel" domain name by clicking here and then clicking on the "Step 2/EnCirca" box on the right side of that page.

    For information on how NTA can help you obtain your ".travel" domain name click here.

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    New Format for an Old Convention Favorite

    The Silent Auction, sponsored by Celebrate Virginia to benefit Tourism Cares for Tomorrow, will have a different look and feel to it this year with all bidding taking place online. Registered delegates can place bids and check up on their favorite items via computer from anywhere at any time. And, donations will be showcased in more ways than ever; there will be photographs with a description of each item on the auction display table, a loop will play on TV monitors throughout the Cobo Center and each item will have its own page in the online system.

    This new format includes a Watch Page which enables you to keep an eye on the items that most interest you virtually 24 hours a day. Whether checking from your PDA between Exchange appointments, on your laptop from your hotel room, on any of the Team Canada Message Center computers or at one of the auction display terminals, you can keep track of your bidding from almost anywhere.

    Another user friendly component is that tangible items will be shipped directly to the high bidder by the donor, so there are no worries about how you’ll get an item home. High bidders receive information on items they have won at the Auction Payment Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

    "This is still the same Silent Auction that Convention delegates have always loved and supported," says Tourism Cares Executive Director Bruce Beckham, CTP. "It will be different, but we feel the cyber component makes it much more accessible to people. And we’re still accepting donations to the auction, so contact us via e-mail to make a donation."

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    Suppliers/DMOs See Value in Spring Meet Exposure

    Ready for some exposure that your fellow members see as having great value? One hundred percent of the 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet sponsors have indicated they will renew their sponsorship for the 2006 event, and you can join them to showcase your destination/property to this key target audience.

    In addition to this prime publicity, tour suppliers and DMOs who sponsor are permitted to attend this operator-only event. Spring Meet will be held March 22-25, 2006, in Louisville Ky., and an estimated 160 tour operators and more than 300 total delegates are expected to attend.

    For a complete list of sponsorship benefits, click here or contact Karla DiNardo via e-mail at or by calling at 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4232.

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