September 13, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter September 13, 2005
Sept. 13, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 30
As the reality of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina begins to settle in and the affected areas start the rebuilding process, NTA is committed to doing everything that it can to support its members. NTA has been facilitating the flow of information and communication for and about members, we have begun working with the Small Business Administration and we also have received numerous requests from the media.
In order to accurately paint a picture of what this tragedy means to tourism in the affected states and as a whole, it is important that we hear from you. NTA wants to fully understand what its members are facing today and down the road as a result of this natural disaster. To that end, we will be distributing a short survey to start gathering data on the overall effects of Hurricane Katrina on packaged travel.
For tour operators, you’ll receive these questions as an add-on to the already planned Benchmarking Survey – the third and final section of the Member Needs Survey. And don’t be alarmed, the original Benchmarking Survey was very brief, as is this Hurricane Katrina survey. It won’t take up more than 15 minutes of your time to provide this valuable information. Tour suppliers and DMOs also will receive a similar survey that will help us gauge the overall impact of the hurricane on all of our members.
I would like to close by saying we completely understand that many of our members who are most affected by this tragedy will more than likely be unable to complete this survey. We understand that our friends and colleagues along the Gulf Coast are rebuilding their lives and businesses and would never assume that this would be a priority. To that end, the survey will ask respondents to give the state or province in which they are located so we can consider that when reviewing the results. Additionally, you can look for follow-up surveys down the road to continually monitor the impact.
Thank you for your continued support as we all help each other through this tragedy.
Ann Thomas, CTP
NTA Chairman and CEO
The October issue of Courier magazine will feature a special Hurricane Katrina supplement, which will provide a look at the storm from many different perspectives. You can show your support for you colleagues in the affected areas by sponsoring a message in the supplement from your company/destination, but act fast … the deadline is Sept. 15. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sponsorships will be donated to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s "Build Back Our Coast Fund."
A 1/4 page sponsorship is $500, and all you have to do is provide 100 words of text and your company logo, and we will include your message in this special section. If you would like to participate by making a donation of any amount, your company will be listed in the supplement as a contributor. For more information on Hurricane Katrina donations, please contact Karla DiNardo via e-mail, or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4232.
The fund will aid the economic recovery, rebuilding efforts and job regeneration in the coastal region. Donors may earmark funds specifically for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s similar efforts in Louisiana, Alabama or Florida via its sister foundations in New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it will offer loans to businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Loans of up to $1.5 million are available to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans also are available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.
"NTA will continue working with the SBA regarding assistance to small industry companies adversely affected by this terrible natural disaster," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini, who had spoken with Director of Small Business Loan Assistance Gary Jackson on Sept. 1 about the issue. "NTA is happy to explore every avenue of support as we confront this tragic situation."
Impacted people or businesses can begin applying online at http://www.fema.gov/, or by calling 800-621-FEMA (ext. 3362), or 800-462-7585 (TTY, for the hearing and speech impaired). These toll-free numbers will operate 24 hours daily until further notice. Additional information is available online at the SBA’s disaster page, which includes "help" locations in the impacted area.
The Travel Industry Association of America, in partnership with the Travel & Tourism Coalition and the Travel Business Roundtable, is offering free use of a job bank to help workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina find new employment. The rollout for this new Web site – http://www.katrinajobs.org/ – is Thursday, Sept. 15.
The Web site will include a section for postings by both those seeking employment and companies with positions available. While the impetus is to help those in the travel industry, the job listings will include information from all types of businesses, whether they are travel related or not.
If you have jobs to post for KatrinaJobs.org before Thursday, you can e-mail the information to email@example.com. Once the site goes live, you will be able to post them yourself.
Later this week, NTA will send out an all-member e-mail including Katrina updates from the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi DMOs. Important issues such as the status of businesses, information on group travel and current travel conditions may be covered.
After this update, all information from the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi DMOs will be communicated to NTA members through Tuesday, the Hurricane Katrina page of NTA Online or on the Member Forums.
The Sept. 20 deadline to submit appointment requests for the 2005 Tour & Travel Exchange is quickly approaching. Have you logged on and made your requests? To access the scheduling system, you’ll need your personal registration number, which is printed on the inside front cover of the 2005 NTA Convention Guide that was mailed at the end of August.
If you need assistance making your requests, please contact your Member Services Team at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444.
Better Business. Better Be There.
All tour operators registered for the 2005 Annual Convention are asked to submit five copies of their 2005-06 company catalog, brochure or CD-ROM to NTA by Oct. 7. The information will be available to suppliers and DMOs in the Research Center during Convention, so they can educate themselves and make your Tour & Travel Exchange® appointments more productive.
Please submit information to:
NTA Research Center
Attn: Sandy Stansfield, CTP
546 East Main St.
Lexington, KY 40508
Be sure to update your company profile at NTA Online, and include any information highlighting new packages or destinations you are offering. Tour suppliers and DMOs need your most up-to-date information so they can be better prepared to get down to business during their Exchange appointments. Click here to access your profile.
Have questions? Feel free to call your NTA Member Services Team at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The special DMO election candidate slate is now set. There were no nominations from the floor submitted so the three candidates are Becky Gruening, Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ed Hall, CTP, Greater Rochester Visitors Association; and Mikie Wall, CTP, North Carolina Division of Tourism.
In other recent developments Maria Traylor, CTP, has decided to withdraw from the two-year term DMO election, citing business developments that would preclude her from giving the race and board service her full attention. Therefore Joan Niemeier, CTP, Tourism Kelowna will be the sole candidate for that position.
Make sure to be on the lookout for more information on the candidates in the special election section of the October issue of Courier magazine. It includes biographical info and a statement from each candidate, with the exception of the three people listed above in the special DMO election to fill Wendy Kelman’s seat. Based on the production deadlines, it wasn’t possible to include their information and Maria Traylor’s biography will appear, even though she has withdrawn from the other DMO race.
Do you want to help out at Annual Convention and share your experience with other members? NTA is seeking experienced Convention attendees for several volunteer positions, and we need your help.
Volunteering is a great way to network and meet new people while helping make the Convention a success, and here are four ways you can help:
There are openings available on Saturday, Nov. 5 for these two positions, and if you are interested, contact Jason Jones for additional details at mailto:email@example.com
Veteran Convention-goers can help share their knowledge and make someone else’s Detroit experience a great one through these two programs. To sign up to be a Buddy, or for the Concierge program, click here.
If you have questions about volunteering contact Wendy Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NTA Chairman and CEO Ann Thomas, CTP, announced that John Shaffer has accepted the 2008 Convention Chairman appointment. Shaffer, the director of marketing and sales of Luray Caverns of Luray, Va., is a long-time NTA member who currently serves on the association’s Leadership Team.
"I’m very pleased John has agreed to be the 2008 Convention Chair," Thomas said. "Based on his long-standing commitment to this association – including his outstanding work with the Grassroots Symposium, the NTA Leadership Team and his service as a director at-large on the NTA board – I know he will do a great job."
The 2008 Convention will be held in Pittsburgh from Nov. 15-19.
What has taken place on America’s Gulf Coast is having a dramatic effect on the future of that area’s tourism industry, one that is so vital to its economy. Rebuilding the tourism infrastructure will take a long time, but it will be done. A major part of that process will be the repair and restoration of natural, cultural and historic sites.
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow has established the Tourism Cares – Gulf Coast Restoration Fund for that inevitability. Part of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s mission is to help conserve, preserve and restore natural, cultural and historic treasures for future generations of travelers to appreciate and enjoy. Tourism Cares will be monitoring the needs of the Gulf Coast and will be making appropriate grants. Please check http://www.tourismcares.org/ in the days and weeks ahead for special announcements and fundraisers.
Tourism Cares also recognizes the extreme need for help for the victims of this devastation. Those wishing to contribute to disaster relief should do so through their choice of various funds including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.