September 4, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter Sept. 4, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 36
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Tourisme Montréal.
North American life and European charm, a dynamic cultural scene and vibrant festivals where creativity never fails. Our goal is to help you in organizing events and tour packages. For a sweet escape, Montréal is an absolute must. It is an experience to live and share.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
Give a little, Gain a lot. That is the motto delegates to the NTA Annual Convention should adopt when considering helping out as a volunteer during the event.
Beyond your business appointments, volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get more face time with potential business partners during Convention. Below are some ways you can help yourself and NTA
- Buddy Program: Veteran buddies mentor first-time delegates before and during the Convention and provide them with someone to contact if they have questions. Contact Lori Rempe
- Convention Registration: Volunteers help welcome guests to the event and answer questions as they hand out badges and registration bags when delegates check in. Contact Krista Browning
- Government Relations Booth: Help distribute Issues Luncheon Tickets, Grassroots Action Network literature and assist a good cause. Contact Matt Grayson
- Research Center: Help fellow delegates find tour catalogs and brochures and information online. Contact Sandy Stansfield
- Seminar Monitor: Assist NTA in the facilitation of seminars. Contact Krista Browning
- Tourism Cares: Serve as a mentor to a student in the Tour & Travel Exchange or share insights during the student roundtable discussion session. Contact Carolyn Viles
See you in Kansas City, Missouri, Nov. 2-6, for the 2007 NTA Annual Convention.
Don’t forget to submit your appointment requests in preparation for the 2007 NTA Annual Convention by utilizing the appointment request system. It is your key to success at Convention and is available until Friday, Oct 5.
Check back often to review your request list and to see who has been added to the system. If you have not made updates to your list recently, you should use the search feature to find any companies that may have been added since you last made changes to your list.
For more information, contact your NTA Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
Would your organization like to get some great visibility at the NTA Convention while at the same time help a great cause? Both are possible if you donate unique items and/or packages to the Tourism Cares silent and live auctions.
In keeping with NTA’s new Destination Pavilion that will be unveiled at Convention, Tourism Cares is featuring a new "Bidding on the Best" auction that invites the industry to make attention-getting donations that will highlight "the best" that a city or region has to offer. Tourism Cares wants to promote packages that include features such as hard to get tickets for a special show or event, perhaps suite accommodations and dinners at out of the ordinary restaurants – packages that will get high visibility, generate attention and generate high bids.
Other ideas might include meeting a famous person, a signed book by a local famous author, a walk-on part in a play or show, backstage passes at a headliner show, private classes or lessons from a professional in sports, theater or culinary arts. Perhaps you can obtain a collectible from a sports team or a piece of art or jewelry that signifies your destination. It’s time to be creative and make your destination stand out and raise money for a good cause.
Proceeds of the auction will help Tourism Cares carry out its mission to grant scholarships to students in travel or hospitality programs and make grants to tourism related sites around the world that need help. Please click here to donate, or e-mail Jill Talladay with questions.
Please note that there will be a limited number of auction items this year and all donations must be received no later than Oct. 1.
NTA is entering its second year as a strategic partner in THETRADESHOW, to be held in Las Vegas, Sept. 9-11. As such, your association is looking forward to promoting its tour operators and their diverse product options to both home-based and brick-and-mortar travel agents from America and Canada.
In addition to having a booth at ASTA’s event, NTA and USTOA will present an educational session to spread the word about how the combination of travel agents and tour operators spells profitability for everyone. Panelists for "How to Sell Packaged Vacations to Increase Profits" include NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian of Julian Tours and NTA Board member Sherri Guiborat of Mayflower Tours Inc. Rounding out the panel are USTOA President Bob Whitley, who will serve as the moderator, Brian Stack of CIE Tours International Inc. and Jimmy Murphy of Amadeus Waterways.
The session, which takes place Monday, Sept. 10, will focus on audience questions, but there will be a few "how-tos" added, including earning commission on air tickets; selling the concept of tour packages; making the Internet effective when dealing with tour operators; selling cruise tours; and building better groups.
NTA members dominated the awards that were handed out last month at TIA’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations in Phoenix, Arizona.
The National Council of State Tourism Directors announced its 2007 Mercury Awards winners, which honor the best in state tourism office marketing and promotion programs each year. Ten states were honored with 13 separate Mercury Awards, including three organizations that received two awards each – Travel Michigan, South Dakota Department of Tourism and Virginia Tourism Corporation. Single-category winners included Georgia Department of Industry; Trade and Tourism; Illinois Bureau of Tourism; Mississippi Division of Tourism; Travel Montana; Visit North Carolina; Utah Office of Tourism; and Wyoming Tourism.
The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority were recognized with 2007 Destiny Awards for Marketing Programs, and the Lee County (Florida) Visitor & Convention Authority received the Destiny Award for Special Projects. The three awards are given by the National Council of Destination Organizations.
Bud Nocera, president & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, was named TIA’s State Tourism Director of the Year. Nocera’s leadership at VISIT FLORIDA began just after it was founded in 1996 and under his direction it continues to grow as a model for successful privatization. His dedication to the tourism industry has spanned 35 years, which included his work in Fort Myers and Jacksonville before he joined VISIT FLORIDA.
Make plans to join your colleagues to learn about key travel-related legislation and to talk to your elected officials about tourism issues during the 2007 NTA Grassroots Symposium. Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the first woman to chair the House Committee on Rules and a proponent of smart and secure border policies, headlines a strong lineup of speakers for the event. Geoff Freeman, executive director of the Discover America Partnership, is scheduled to present, and a panel of industry leaders will discuss hot industry topics.
Spirit Cruises will treat symposium attendees to a meal event on the Potomac River Monday evening, while Union Station D.C. and NTA host a reception Tuesday evening to which attendees can invite Congressional members and staff.
The event takes place Sept. 24-25 in Washington, D.C., and you can register at http://www.ntaonline.com/includes/media/docs/2007grassrootsregform.pdf. E-mail NTA Industry and Government Relations Director Matt Grayson with any questions.
Now that the 2008 NTA Board of Directors slate of nominees is set, there are many ways you can learn more about the candidates, including:
- Visiting the Election Page at NTA.travel. The page includes profiles of each candidate and is a good source to help you learn more about the office-seekers.
- Asking the candidates a question on the Election Forum page of the member forums.
- Reading the October issue of Courier magazine, which will include biographical info and a Q&A with each candidate.
E-mail ballots will be sent Sept. 21, and paper ballots will be mailed to those NTA members without functioning e-mail addresses Sept. 20. You can vote on those ballots, or during your membership category’s election meeting at the 2007 Annual Convention.
Any questions regarding the 2008 NTA election can be directed to NTA Industry and Government Relations Director Matt Grayson.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Aug. 20 that Vermont has been given permission to explore the creation of an enhanced drivers license. The state of Washington is also exploring an enhanced license as an acceptable border-crossing document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
An enhanced drivers license differs from a regularly issued drivers license in that it contains citizenship information; thus, it qualifies as a secure alternative border-crossing document.
An update of the Washington state project will be given from 2:30-3:45 p.m., Sept. 27, at the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington, D.C. NTA supports the creation of secure alternative documents for land and sea border crossings.
As early as Jan. 31, 2008, U.S. citizens will need a passport or other approved document for all North American border crossings. The Congressional deadline, which NTA supports, would postpone this deadline until June 2009.
This year’s hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, has been an active one so far. Today, Hurricane Felix hit Nicaragua’s Miskito Coast near the country’s border with Honduras, while Hurricane Henriette bore down on Cabo San Lucas, one of the resort towns along Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
On its Web site, the U.S. Department of State offers a valuable resource, a list of 11 tips for travelers to know before they head out on a vacation to places in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico or along America’s Atlantic coast.
Despite providing a great scare the season’s first big storm, Hurricane Dean, ended up doing much less damage than feared to the affected areas in the southern Caribbean. Things are nearly back to normal on three of the Caribbean Islands – Martinique, St. Lucia and Jamaica – that were in Dean’s path. Major airports in those countries all were open 72 hours after the storm passed and, after minor repair work and road clearing, the hotels and attractions on the islands are open for business.
Eduardo Chaillo, regional director for the Mexican Tourism Board, said that the popular tourist areas along his country’s Yucatan peninsula suffered no significant damage. Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya were virtually unharmed, but Costa Maya, which is south of Cancun, is still cleaning up.
The North American cruise industry last year generated $35.7 billion in gross U.S. economic output, supported 348,000 American jobs and paid $14.7 billion in wages, according to a new report from the Cruise Lines International Association.
The report shows total cruise industry spending increased by 10 percent in 2006. Direct purchases by the cruise lines for goods such as food and beverage, fuel, supplies and equipment and for business, port and maintenance services totaled $17.6 billion last year. The figure more than doubles when the indirect economic impacts are factored in for such things as transportation services to deliver finished products to the cruise lines and utilities needed to run manufacturing equipment.
Additional key findings included:
- The cruise industry operated in 2006 at an occupancy rate of 104 percent.
- 12 million people worldwide took a cruise vacation, an increase of 7 percent over 2005.
- Embarkations at U.S. ports increased by over 4 percent, totaling 9 million, and accounted for 75 percent of total global embarkations.
- U.S. residents accounted for 78 percent of the industry’s total passengers.
- Based on passenger survey data, approximately 40 percent of embarking passengers stayed one or more nights in a port city and averaged $289 per visit.
The full economic study and summary can be downloaded at http://www.cruising.org/.
The first title from NTA’s series of Trip Planner publications was mailed out with the September issue of Courier and a digital version is available at NTA.travel.
The Trip Planner for Group Leaders is targeted at more than 20,000 qualified group leaders that represent alumni groups, seniors, bank travel, hospitals, religious and travel clubs, among others. The articles in the publication highlight the diversity and professionalism of NTA and its members, and will be a year-round resource for the group leaders.
The next in the series, The Trip Planner for Student Travel, will be published in February 2008 and go out to 24,500 student travel planners who represent the following segments: science and social studies teachers, choral and music educators, principals and university music directors. In August 2008, the second edition of the The Trip Planner for Group Leaders will be finalized.
More information about this series of new NTA publications is available at http://www.nta.travel/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=27&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=3499&change_well_id=2, or by calling NTA Vice President of Sales and Publishing Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. or Canada), or 859.226.4232.
NTA prides itself on having one of the best sponsorship programs available to its sponsors/members and according to the sponsors, 83 percent indicate they will renew year after year due to the value they receive and the additional networking opportunities sponsoring provides.
If you would like to join our distinguished group of sponsors and set your company or destination apart from the other 2,500 delegates attending Convention, contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Publishing Karla DiNardo, or click here for more information on available sponsorships and the associated benefits.
And don’t just take our word for it…
"I can honestly tell you that this whole cocktail of your very well organized ‘sponsorship’ concept and our good product combined with being in business for the past 26 years gave us an end result which was not just satisfactory but exceeded our expectations." – Dr. Paul Holevas, president, CruiseClub Holidays