February 22, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter February 22, 2005
February 22, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 4
During a teleconference meeting last week, the CrossSphere Board of Directors unanimously approved the dates for the 30-day voting period on the bylaw amendment to formally establish CrossSphere as the name of the association. Ballots will be mailed to tour operator members Feb. 23 and voting will conclude at 5 p.m. ET March 25.
The Board wants to have the issue decided prior to the Tour Operator Spring Meet, so that the event can begin the process of moving beyond the name-change debate and help members focus on moving forward in the association’s traditionally strong and unified manner.
If two-thirds of the tour operators voting approve the amendment, the name of the association will continue as CrossSphere. If the amendment fails, the name will revert to National Tour Association, and the association will no longer use CrossSphere as its primary identity. However, any members who are currently using the name CrossSphere would be permitted to use the name as they need.
Tour operators must be members in good standing for their votes to be accepted. Due to the high level of interest in the bylaw amendment, the Board of Directors has extended an invitation to any member who wants to observe the vote count at the association’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky., on March 25.
With the first seven weeks of the year complete, many state legislatures are back in session. So far, there are two seller of travel laws – one in Washington and one in Pennsylvania – which are of interest to CrossSphere members:
CrossSphere’s Government Relations Department is continuing to monitor these situations. If you have questions on how you can help, contact Director, Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205, or via e-mail.
Between seminars and social functions, make time to meander through the InfoZone – the heart of the 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet. There you will learn about corporate partner discounts, sightseeing tours, government relations efforts and much more. Here are some of the booths you could visit during Spring Meet:
The InfoZone Reception, sponsored by Spirit Cruises, will be held on Thursday, March 31 from 4-5 p.m. Be sure to make plans to attend.
There are many other exciting events taking place at the 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet, including the Icebreaker, the Friday night reception and the Government Relations Silent Auction. To learn more, click on the following links:
You’ve been reading a lot about the Areas of Interest and Marketing (AIM) program in Courier and heard a lot about it at Annual Convention. And, if you haven’t found out what the AIM program is all about, now is the time.
The program is designed to offer members a variety of useful industry resources that pertain to specific markets within the travel industry. Each of the six AIM categories – Active & Adventure Travel; Affinity & Custom Group Travel; Cultural & Life Enrichment Travel; Receptive Services Travel; Self-guided & Independent Travel and Student & Youth Travel – provide professionals that have similar business interests with their own community.
Following up on the success of the crackerbarrels held at Annual Convention in Toronto, there will be another round of information-sharing sessions for all six AIM categories at Spring Meet. The Toronto forums provided the first face-to-face contact for AIM members to exchange ideas.
To find out more or to get signed up for the AIM program, click here.
Don’t forget to register for the 2005 Grassroots Symposium, to be held May 10-12 in Washington, D.C. A block of rooms has been secured at the Hotel Washington for $150 per night (not including taxes). Don’t miss this opportunity to introduce yourself to your elected officials and tell them how they can help your business.
Contact Todd Hamilton via e-mail or call him at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. or Canada), or 859.226.4205, to learn more about the sixth annual Grassroots Symposium.
Join your friends and colleagues in New York City on Tuesday, June 14, 2005, to honor two of the tourism industry’s true professionals for their lifetime of achievement and devotion to the betterment of their industry. John Stachnik, president and cofounder of Mayflower Tours, Downers Grove, Ill., and Gil Haroche, president and cofounder of Liberty Travel and GoGo Worldwide Vacations, Ramsey, N.J., will be the 2005 recipients of the Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Hall of Fame Awards at a gala dinner at the Sheraton New York.
The award, originated by the National Tourism Foundation in 1998, recognizes individuals who, among other business accomplishments, have made significant personal contributions to travel and tourism through philanthropic, volunteer and mentoring activities. These two gentlemen epitomize those qualities and will join inductees such as Arthur Tauck, Lois Anderson and William LaMacchia.
Tickets may be purchased individually or as tables of 10, and discounted rooms are available at the Sheraton New York. Also, a limited number of sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information about the Hall of Fame and this special event, check out the Hall of Fame Page under "Programs" at http://www.tourismcaresfortomorrow.org/ or contact Bruce Beckham, executive director, at 781-821-5990 or via e-mail.
If you’re looking for customized travel insurance, CrossSphere Corporate Partner The Berkely Group should be your first call. Berkely provides assistance with a variety of policies, including Travel Protection Insurance, Professional Liability, Errors & Omissions Insurance and Travel Supplier Bankruptcy Legal Liability Protection.
Tour operators are encouraged to take advantage of Berkely’s comprehensive Travel Protection Plan, which includes terrorism and evacuation coverage, liability protection and more, all at discounted rates. Two types of plans allow tour operators the option of either selling an Individual Plan (administration-free; simply hand out Berkely brochures to your clients) or Group Plan (affords you flexibility in compensation and pricing to your clients with minimal administration).
There are certain criteria that tour operators need to meet to receive coverage through Berkely. To find out more about that or any other insurance-related issues, call 800-383-9617 or visit http://www.berkely.com/
The Berkely Group and CrossSphere will be presenting a pair of Web seminars on March 15 and March 22. Both Web seminars will be held at 2 p.m. ET, giving tour operator members a chance to review the new application process and procedures for renewing their Tour Operators Professional Liability Insurance with Maureen Kaye, the CrossSphere representative from The Berkely Group.
The Program’s new underwriter, Zurich of North America, developed a more in-depth application form than the one used by Royal & SunAlliance, which withdrew from offering this coverage effective Dec. 31, 2004. During these sessions, Berkely will review the questions on the new form and offering advice on additional information that might be required on these new applications. And, as always, we’ll have plenty of time for questions at the end of the session.
If your policy is due to renew in either February, March, April or May of this year, you or your broker should have received the new application form and the "Helpful Hints" document. We suggest that you refer to this form when attending the seminar.
CrossSphere is looking at making modifications on how we communicate with you. One of the things we’ve been hearing is that you get too much e-mail from us. In order to cut down on the amount of items we send, we are planning to transform this e-newsletter – Tuesday – into a weekly publication in the coming months.
Currently, Tuesday is sent out on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and you routinely receive separate e-mails from CrossSphere headquarters containing time-sensitive issues that need action between issues of Tuesday. By sending out the e-newsletter each week, we would incorporate most all of our announcements into Tuesday, which would become your primary source of association information.
As we plan this transition, we need your input. Typically, you receive an e-mail with a list of stories and short synopsis of the articles in each edition of Tuesday. After each synopsis, we provide a link to the CrossSphere Web site. We are considering the following three methods of distribution for the weekly Tuesday:
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.
Looking for a way to attract a large group of tour operators to visit your city? Hoping to gain valuable exposure and reap economic benefits for your area? Then put in your bid to play host to the 2008 or 2009 CrossSphere Tour Operator Spring Meet.
Typically held in March or April, Spring Meet offers educational programs, social functions and is a good way for you to get to know and explore linkages with other tour operator members.
One of the changes implemented in the 2004 bidding process, which is still in effect, is that both DMOs and tour suppliers can bid. To find out more on what is required to host, click here, or if you have more specific questions on the process, contact Lee Carter, CrossSphere’s assistant director of conventions at 800.682.8886, ext. 4270 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4270.
All bids need to be submitted by May 15, 2005.
Dates and Sites of Upcoming Spring Meets
Travel industry veteran Ron Leister Jr. passed away Feb. 4 at his home in Niantic, Conn. Leister, 48, was the president of Paragon Tours, which is one of the largest wholesale travel and tour companies in New England.
"Ron was an excellent businessman who always displayed a great deal of patience and analysis in his decision-making process," Kevin Higham, Paragon Tours director of product development said. "He taught me so much. and I am grateful for the impact he had on me and our staff. He always displayed a great deal of compassion for his employees, especially those individuals who had been with Paragon for a number of years."
Leister began his career in the travel industry in 1980 at Kaplan Tours. He became that firm’s president before taking over the reins at Paragon in 1990. Donations can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation at 940 White Plains Road, Trumbull, CT 06601.
Holding back on making CrossSphere.com your Internet Homepage because you love your Google? Well, now that CrossSphere has made a Google search available on its Homepage, you can have the best of both worlds. The latest addition is designed to give you the flexibility you want, while still allowing you to stay current with all of the latest happenings in your association.
If you are using Internet Explorer and want to make CrossSphere.com your Homepage, go to Tools in the top toolbar and then click on Internet Options. In the Homepage field, type in http://www.CrossSphere.com and click OK.
If you are using Netscape, go to Edit in the top toolbar and then click on Preferences. In the Location box located in the center of the pop-up box, type in http://www.CrossSphere.com and click OK.
The May issue of Courier will feature a Preview to Annual Convention and a Beaches Guide, as well as Travel Guides for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwest Territories, Nunavut & Yukon and a Trip Planner for the Canyonlands. Advertise in this popular issue packed with information destined for CrossSphere’s members. But hurry – the deadline to reserve your space is Feb. 26, with artwork due by March 11. For more information on Courier magazine, click here or e-mail advertising@CrossSphere.com.
March 1 is the deadline for reserving advertising space in the 2005-06 Membership Directory. Click here to learn more about the advertising opportunities available.
You can take advantage of frequency discounts by considering other publications when booking your Membership Directory ad. 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.