March 8, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter March 8, 2005
March 8, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 5
The Berkely Group will be conducting two Web seminars for CrossSphere tour operator members – one on March 15 and one on March 22 (both at 2 p.m. ET). For any tour operator who will be renewing their Errors & Omissions and Liability insurance in the coming months, the session will help to answer many of the questions that you may have with the new application.
Once you have registered, you will receive an e-mail with the link for the online portion of the session and a phone number so you can access the audio. If you can’t join us for either session, a recording will be available on CrossSphere.com shortly after the March 22 presentation.
Berkely has prepared a sample application and helpful hints sheet that operators can review or print out prior the session. If you would like to access these documents, click here. You will need your individual ID and password to access this information.
If you have questions about the Web seminar or need help with registration, e-mail Lisa Nelson at lisa.nelson@CrossSphere.com or call her at 800-682-8886, ext. 4215 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4215.
Tour operator members are reminded that the name-change bylaw vote is underway and that ballots must be received at CrossSphere Headquarters by 5 p.m. (ET) on March 25, 2005. Vote counting will be conducted that evening by CrossSphere Legal Counsel Rob Maclin, and association members are invited to come to Lexington, Ky., to observe the count. Results will be posted that night on "This Just In" at CrossSphere.com, and an e-mail will be sent to all members.
If you have any questions, please contact Todd Hamilton, assistant director of industry and government relations, at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205, or via e-mail at mailto:todd.hamilton@CrossSphere.com
Due to member feedback regarding last year’s Tour Operator Spring Meet, the Partnering Session has been replaced with an Operator-to-Operator Networking Session for the 2005 Spring Meet in Sacramento, Calif.
In this speed-dating session, to be held Friday, April 1 from 12:15-1:30 p.m., tour operators will have two-minute meetings with one another. During every appointment, both operators are given 60 seconds to explain what fresh and unique ideas they have for packaging their product. This new format will bring increased value to the session, as delegates will meet with an increased number of potential partners.
Here are a few more details:
There are some marquee items up for grabs at CrossSphere’s Government Relations Silent Auction to be held in conjunction with the Tour Operator Spring Meet. Bidding begins on Thursday, March 31 at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. on April 2, with proceeds going to benefit the association’s Government Issues Fund. Among the items up for auction are:
There is still time for you to donate items to go in the Silent Auction. To do so, contact Matt Grayson, CrossSphere’s director of government relations, via e-mail at matt.grayson@CrossSphere.com, or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4250.
The Government Issues Fund helps support association advocacy efforts, such as the annual grassroots symposium, legislative tracking service and the Travel Council for Fair Competition, as well as current activity on the tour director overtime issue (see related article on this below).
You won’t want to miss the Power Breakfast at the 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet, as Dewitt Jones will be on hand to present his inspirational session, "Extraordinary Visions." An Academy Award-nominated movie director and freelance photographer with National Geographic, Dewitt will lead you on a journey to discover how to make your life less of a struggle and more of a joy by examining the images we hold about ourselves, our future and the way in which we grow.
Using his stunning photographs, Dewitt will illustrate how you can reach your own creative potential by looking for more than one right answer to a situation and gain a better understanding of how to focus on your vision and goals. This session, which takes place Thursday, March 31, promises to rekindle your spirit and leave you feeling motivated, rejuvenated and ready to begin a great Spring Meet.
It’s not too late. The deadline to register for a Spring Meet sightseeing or Fam tour has been extended to March 11. Trips take you to the California State Capitol, the state’s great National Parks, the area’s world-renowned wineries and shopping venues and many of the region’s world-class restaurants and resorts. To register, contact Julie Reilly with the Sacramento CVB at 916-808-7247 or, if you would like to learn more, click here for a full list of Fam and sightseeing tours and descriptions.
The Tour Operator Spring Meet wouldn’t be a success without the support and participation of the more than 50 sponsor companies from all over North America. Click here for the full list of 2005 Spring Meet sponsors.
As the summer approaches and you are putting together vacation details for trips to Europe, don’t forget about discounts available through ACP Rail. One of CrossSphere’s transportation providers, ACP Rail offers association members a nine percent commission on rail products, as well as member-only discounts on selected rail passes.
ACP Rail is the exclusive supplier for BritRail and a leading supplier of EuRail, Italian Rail, German Rail, Spanish Rail, Sweden Rail, Scandinavian Rail and Norwegian Rail. To learn more about ACP Rail’s money-saving offers to the association, click here.
Interested in what your fellow members see as their biggest challenge for 2005 or what industry trends are affecting them most? Thanks to the Chairman’s Conversation Club, you can gain insights from your association co-horts on these – and other important – travel-related topics.
CrossSphere Chairman Ann Thomas, CTP, is holding an ongoing series of conference calls with randomly selected members. The calls are done within a specific membership category and include Thomas, four to five members from the category, the Board of Directors’ representative in that category and a CrossSphere staff member.
So far, two calls have taken place. The discussion points and member feedback from both calls are posted at CrossSphere.com. Continue to refer to this link to read what your peers are saying on all the calls.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, U.S. employers have long struggled in applying a set of outmoded legal standards for determining whether or not they are legally required to pay overtime. The standards – embodied in Department of Labor (DOL) regulations – have plagued tour operators seeking to define their relationship with tour directors. Due to the unclear standards, tour companies have been prey for plaintiff lawyers who have launched class action litigation for retroactive time and one-half benefits for tour directors.
On March 31, 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor attempted the first revision of these standards to determine whether employees were "exempt" or "non-exempt." CrossSphere and the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) weighed in with an extensive comment letter, arguing that tour directors are exempt employees and that treating them otherwise would harm the industry. The International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), the leading voice for the tour director employees, agreed in a separate commentary.
ITMI argued that the DOL’s failure to clarify the standards for tour directors would unnecessarily increase litigation and jeopardize the independence of tour directors. Although CrossSphere and USTOA worked hard to get the DOL to focus on their unique plight, the rule failed to define if those standards were applicable to tour directors.
The issue is still unresolved, but it will be brought up later this year. CrossSphere and USTOA want to seize this opportunity to ensure the DOL rectifies this problem in the form of policy pronouncements. If successful, the allied association efforts will address the treatment of tour directors as exempt employees and provide a final set of rules on the matter. The efforts would not influence the distinction between independent contractors and employees except that, if successful, the regulatory environment for having tour directors as employees would be improved, as opposed to the legally ambiguous status of tour directors as independent contractors.
Barbara Bowman of the Grand Junction (Colo.) Visitor & Convention Bureau recently was named chairman of the 2006 Annual Convention, to be held Nov. 3-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bowman, a 13-year member of the association, served as the DMO representative on the CrossSphere Board of Directors in 2003 and 2004 and has been on the Convention Committee. As Convention Chair, she will serve as a link between the members and the Board of Directors leading up to and during the event.
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow, the nonprofit organization that was created from the combining of CrossSphere’s National Tourism Foundation (NTF) and USTOA’s Travelers Conservation Foundation, is pleased to announce the return of NTF’s internship program. Tourism Cares hopes to assemble dozens of internship offerings to benefit both students around the country, who will gain hands-on experience within the travel industry, and travel professionals, who will benefit by having these bright young minds working alongside them.
To learn more, visit http://www.tourismcaresfortomorrow.org/, then go to "How You Can Help," and click on "Sponsor an Internship." Once you’ve done that, Tourism Cares will be promoting the internship listings to tourism schools/colleges and universities. One note, after you post an internship, you cannot go back and edit or delete it.
For more information about any of the university programs at Tourism Cares, contact Executive Director Bruce Beckham (email@example.com) or Program Manager Sarah Graham Mann (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Daniel J. Sullivan Sr., chairman of Collette Vacations, passed away at his Arizona vacation home Feb. 24 at age 83. Sullivan had a vision and a passion for travel that led him, after serving in World War II, to seek a career in the industry. Seeing expanding opportunity for the vacation market, he bought Collette Tours (Collette Travel Service Inc.) from Jack Collette in 1962 and became the patriarch of what has turned in to a three-generation, family-owned business.
Sullivan served as Collette’s president until 1990 when his son, Dan Jr., took over. The past 15 years he remained involved as the company’s chairman, a role in which he focused his attention on sales efforts and new product development.
Donations in Sullivan’s name may be made to The Catholic Relief Services for Tsunami Aid, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD, 21203-7090.
In order to streamline its communication with you, CrossSphere is planning to cut down on the amount of items it sends by transforming this e-newsletter – Tuesday – into a weekly publication next month.
Currently, Tuesday is sent out on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and you routinely receive separate e-mails from CrossSphere. By sending out the e-newsletter each week, most announcements would be incorporated into Tuesday, which would become your primary source of association information.
As we prepare for this transition, we need your input. Typically, you receive an e-mail with a list and short synopsis of every story in that edition of Tuesday and a link to the CrossSphere Web site, where all the stories are posted in one place. We are considering the following methods of distribution for the weekly Tuesday. All three are modifications to the current system.
Please let us know which of these three ways you’d prefer to receive Tuesday by e-mailing newsletter editor Pat Henderson by March 11.
There are many options available for you to get exposure in front of CrossSphere’s diverse membership. Here are three ways to showcase your company/destination:
You can take advantage of frequency discounts by advertising in multiple publications. Call 800-682-8886, ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada), or 859.219.3549 or e-mail Taryn Lendrum.
Position Available – Sales Manager
Sales manager position in New York-based company dealing in FIT and group sales of TV/movie location bus tours. Qualified candidate must have good tour operator relationships and a minimum of eight years experience in tourism sales. Candidate’s location can vary. E-mail resume and cover letter to email@example.com.