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Tuesday Newsletter

October 12, 2004

October 12, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 19

Articles at a Glance
Update on HR 10 Member APB for All Potential Buddies
NTA Branding Update Are You Ready to Travel to Toronto?
Register for Switzerland PDT, PDQ Canada’s National Security Council Needs Advisory Members
NTA Board Fall Meeting Recap Remembering Industry Leaders Ron Drake and Peter Picknelly Sr.
Convention Web Seminar Available at NTA Online Auction Action Escalates as Foundation Announces New Event
Convention Seminar Collection CD a Must-Have Convention Appetizers
See More of Toronto During Convention for Free Spring Meet Sponsorships Available

Update on HR 10

NTA’s drive to create an Undersecretary for the Private Sector and Tourism gained major momentum late last week. An amendment introduced by Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.) to create this position within the Department of Homeland Security was tacked on to HR 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, and the amendment passed on Friday, Oct. 8. The House of Representatives passed the full bill later that day.

The Senate already has approved the 9/11 bill without the Porter Amendment. The bill now moves to a conference committee. It is highly likely that the Porter Amendment will be included in the bill coming out of conference, but NTA may need to activate its Grassroots Action Network again. Stay tuned to NTA Online for updates on this issue.

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Member APB for All Potential Buddies

The Buddy Program for Annual Convention is looking for help from seasoned NTA delegates. The deadline for buddy signups is Oct. 18, and you are encouraged to register now to be a "veteran buddy" to a first-time Convention attendee. The goal of the program is to tap your knowledge and background to help enhance the Convention experience for first-timers.

Being a buddy is easy. Even though veterans don’t have their appointment schedule for the Exchanges yet, they can go ahead and sign up to be a buddy without fear of having a time conflict. The two main things a buddy needs to do is to call his/her buddy once before Convention and then make contact with them at least once during Convention, like meeting at the Welcome & Information Center. The pair is encouraged to try to attend another event together, such as a luncheon, a seminar or one of the socials, but that is optional.

In addition to providing a valuable service, all veteran buddies get the chance at an additional networking opportunity – getting to know a first-timer – and they, like all volunteers, will be recognized in a variety of ways throughout Convention.

If you are interested in helping out as a buddy, contact NTA Member Specialist Wendy Payne via e-mail or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4291 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4291.

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NTA Branding Update

As reported in the July 27 issue of Tuesday and NTA President Hank Phillips’ column in the August Courier, the association is undergoing a comprehensive assessment of its brand, corporate identity and market position in the industry.

In April, NTA secured YPB&R, an international branding, marketing, advertising and public relations firm, for review of NTA’s current brand. The process has involved extensive interviews with NTA members and industry professionals, several in-person meetings with the NTA leadership and assessment of NTA’s position in relation to other associations.

"It’s been a fascinating process," said NTA Chairman Mitch Sussman, CTP. "From a professional perspective I’ve learned so much about what branding is – it’s not just a logo and a name – it’s the experience members have when they interact with the association."

He added that as the association continues to evolve and make progress toward growing and diversifying the member base, developing a brand platform that creates a unique position for NTA is invaluable.

"Beyond attracting, nurturing, and rewarding the best and the brightest members, we recognized that a solid brand will allow us to articulate our position in the industry. Our brand signals to all a clear investment in our association’s future success."

In the coming weeks, the NTA membership will be learning more about the association’s brand.

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Are You Ready to Travel to Toronto?

With NTA Annual Convention four weeks away, now is the time to make sure you have everything you need to travel to Canada.

When traveling to and from Canada, U.S. citizens must have either a passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal and one photo ID. A U.S. driver’s license alone IS NOT acceptable as proof of citizenship. Those traveling from other countries must present a valid passport and other documents as needed (visas or alien cards).

If you are a U.S. citizen who can’t find your birth certificate, click here to learn how to order a certified copy (which contains the requisite raised seal). Or, if you want to get a passport, click here for information on obtaining or renewing a passport.

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Register for Switzerland PDT, PDQ


Don’t miss an excellent chance to experience all that Switzerland has to offer on NTA’s fourth Product Development Trip. There is still space available for this excursion for tour operator members, but you must sign up by this Friday, Oct. 15. To register right now, click here.

The PDT takes you to eastern Switzerland and the Lake Geneva region from Dec. 3-9, 2004, and is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism. It will feature stops in St. Gallen, the Appenzellerland, Bern, the Bernese Oberland, Montreaux, Lake Geneva and the Matterhorn region. A workshop with Swiss suppliers and special product seminars on the cities and cultures in Switzerland will give participants information on cultural interest programs, wine & dine itineraries, golf excursions and much more.

The cost of the trip is $550 and includes airfare from a gateway city, lodging, meals and ground transportation while you are in Switzerland. It is reserved for full-time employees of NTA tour operators and only one participant per company may attend.

If you have questions, contact Noelle Tscherrig at 212-757-5944, ext. 231 or Patrick Flad at 212-757-5944, ext. 230 top of page

Canada’s National Security Council Needs Advisory Members

The Government of Canada is seeking applications from Canadians interested in serving as members of the country’s Advisory Council on National Security. A maximum of 15 members will be selected for the council, which will provide confidential expert advice on issues related to national security to the Cabinet Committee on Security, Public Health and Emergencies through the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.

The Advisory Council’s Terms of Reference and Selection Criteria and application forms are available at the Canadian Government’s Web site. Or, for more details, call Canada’s Security and Intelligence Secretariat at 613-957-5279. All applications should be postmarked no later than Oct. 31, 2004.

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NTA Board Fall Meeting Recap

The NTA Board of Directors met September 23-24 in Cancun, Mexico, and began its first review of the proposed 2005 association budget. The Board will finalize and approve the 2005 budget during its November meeting, which will convene prior to the Annual Convention in Toronto.

Besides reviewing the budget, the Board discussed the association’s branding initiative as well as the following topics:

Transportation Provider Program: The Board approved ACP Rail International as a Transportation Provider. ACP Rail holds marketing and ticketing rights for BritRail, Eurail and ScanRail and as a Transportation Provider offers exclusive benefits to NTA members including discounts and a dedicated 800 number for NTA tour operators. Watch for more information on this program in the Oct. 26 issue of Tuesday.

Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award: Last year the NTA Board established the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the late Everidge, owner and president of Shenandoah Tours Inc. in Staunton, Va., and his lifetime commitment to NTA. The award honors individuals who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to NTA and its members. Lois Anderson, past president of the association, received the first award last year. The Board has selected a recipient for 2004 and the honor will be bestowed during Annual Convention.

Nominating Committee: In compliance with the policy governing the composition of the Nominating Committee, the Board appointed the following past Board members to serve on the 2005 committee: John Shaffer; Phil Otterson, CTC; Celeste Krolak, CTP; and Dave Snyder, CTP. Also serving on the committee will be Mitch Sussman, CTP (committee chairman); Charlie McIlvain, CTP; Kathy LeTarte, CTP; Ed Dresel; Barbara Bowman; and Bob Hofmann. Ann Thomas, CTP, and Judith Thomas, CTP, will serve as ex-officio members. The committee’s main objective is to recognize, recruit and nominate talented NTA members for the association’s Board of Directors.

The Board thanks the Cancun CVB for its assistance in planning this meeting and appreciates the hospitality and warm service provided by the Westin Hotel & Resort Cancun and Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach.

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Remembering Industry Leaders Ron Drake and Peter Picknelly Sr.

The travel industry lost two of its favorite sons recently, when Ron Drake and Peter Picknelly Sr. passed away earlier this month. Both Drake and Picknelly were innovators in the business, Drake through his work with nature-based tourism at Royal Palm Tours and Picknelly during his 50 years at Peter Pan Bus Lines.

Drake believed every tour should be educational, entertaining and interactive. He was known nationally for creating one-of-a-kind tour-group experiences, including offerings varying from horseback treks across Florida to orchid nursery tours based on the novel "The Orchid Thief." He also served the industry by being on the NTA board of directors and the state of Florida’s Tourism Commission.

There will be a memorial service for Drake on Sunday, Oct. 17, from 2-4 p.m. at Flora and Ella’s Restaurant in LaBelle, Fla., which is 26 miles east of Fort Myers. NTA is working with the Ron’s wife, Brenda, on the development of a grant fund in Ron’s name through the National Tourism Foundation to assist travel students with internship expenses. More information on this will be forthcoming.

Picknelly took over at Peter Pan Bus Lines, which operates 400 buses and carries more than 4 million passengers each year, in 1964 after his father passed away. The company has continued to flourish under his leadership and provides service throughout the northeastern United States including to New York City; Boston; Washington D.C.; Philadelphia; Providence; and Baltimore. Among his many industry-related activities, Picknelly served as director and past president of the New England Bus Association and director of the American Bus Association.

Services for Picknelly will be Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield, Mass. Contributions can be directed to the Peter L. Picknelly Celebrate Springfield Fund, c/o Community Foundation Of Western Massachusetts, 1500 Main Street, P.O. Box 15769, Springfield, MA, 01115.

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Convention Web Seminar Available at NTA Online

If you missed "The Nuts and Bolts of NTA’s Convention" Web seminar last month you don’t need to worry, as you can still get all of the valuable Convention information that was presented. The audio and PowerPoint presentation from that one-hour session is now available if you click here.

This presentation contains great information for first-time Convention attendees or for those who just want a Convention refresher. Three presenters share their insights on Convention to give you a better understanding of the Tour & Travel Exchange format and how to conduct business, as well as learn about the variety of networking and educational opportunities available at Convention.

Be sure to use this valuable resource to provide you with the information you need to better prepare yourself and make your Convention experience a success.

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Auction Action Escalates as Foundation Announces New Event

The National Tourism Foundation Auctions are a Convention tradition, and this year there’s a twist. In addition to the Silent Auction and the Live Auction, a collection of the most valuable and unique items will be auctioned live during the luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The all-star auctioneer will be none other than NTA Chairman Mitch Sussman, CTP.

The new event, known as the Auction Finale, will showcase these four items:

  • A three-night vacation in Whistler, British Columbia, including golf and sightseeing. Retail value: $1,350
  • The NASCAR Nextel Cup VIP Suite Package for Two, including suite tickets, VIP garage tours and three nights’ accommodations. Retail value: $1,500
  • The Ski Salt Lake Vacation Package, including four nights’ accommodations, ski passes and car rental. Retail value: $1,300
  • The Grand Alaska Escort Land Tour, a 10-day adventure that includes a day cruise in Prince William Sound, a Riverboat Discovery Cruise and a Tundra Wilderness Tour. Retail value: $3,495

    Proceeds from the National Tourism Foundation’s Auctions help provide scholarships, grants and educational programs for travel and tourism students. To learn more about the Auction Finale or any of the items featured in the 2004 Auction Catalog, click here. top of page

    Convention Seminar Collection CD a Must-Have

    This year’s NTA Convention in Toronto is your "Ultimate Package" for educational opportunities. One of the best resources available to attendees is the Convention Seminar Collection CD, which will be mailed to all registered delegates a few weeks after Convention.

    The complimentary CD-ROM, developed for last year’s Charlotte Convention, received rave reviews and this year’s version is sure to be even better. It will contain PowerPoint presentations, handouts and links to the audio recordings from every seminar offered during Convention. So, even if your schedule causes you to miss an educational session, you will still be able to get all of the valuable information presented in the seminar. In addition, the CD will again contain a downloadable delegate registry.

    NTA also is excited to bring back the seminar handout library in Toronto. If you miss a seminar or are not able to get the onsite handouts you wanted, this is the place to get the information you need. Be sure to stop by the handout library located in the Seminar Office in room 712 and gather any of the handouts you need to complete your collection.

    The Convention Seminar Collection CD and handout library are just two of the educational resources that are available to you at the Convention. For more information on the educational sessions available in Toronto, click here or contact Jason Jones, NTA’s assistant director of education, at

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    Convention Appetizers


  • Don’t forget that ballots for the director seat elections are due to NTA headquarters by Oct. 14. This includes the positions on the Board of Directors for DMO director, tour supplier director and tour operator director. The results of those elections will be announced in the Oct. 26 issue of Tuesday.
  • Buddy Program signups close Oct. 18
  • Hotel reservations deadline is Oct. 19
  • Southern Ontario Fam tour registration deadline is Oct. 29 top of page

    See More of Toronto During Convention for Free


    Four of Toronto’s marquee tourist spots are offering free admission to NTA Convention delegates. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the CN Tower, the Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum will let anyone wearing their delegate badge in for free Nov. 12-19.

    Here is more information on each of the participating attractions:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas Street W.; 416-979-6660 or 416-979-6648; Tu/Th/F 11 a.m.-6 p.m., W 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Sa/Su 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; M closed
  • CN Tower – 301 Front Street W.; 416-86TOWER; Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Ontario Science Centre – 770 Don Mills Road; 416-696-3127 or 416-696-1000; Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Royal Ontario Museum – 100 Queen’s Park; 416-586-8000; Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. top of page

    Spring Meet Sponsorships Available

    As you work toward finalizing your marketing budget for 2005, NTA is pleased to present a selection of sponsorship opportunities for its 2005 Spring Meet, to be held March 30-April 2, 2005, in Sacramento, Calif. Options range from the Handbook divider pages and inserts to meals and social functions. One of the great benefits of a Spring Meet Sponsorship is that it allows you attend the conference.

    To let the NTA Sales & Publishing staff assist you in determining the right fit for your goals, or for a complete list of sponsorship opportunities, please email Cheryl Ealy, director of sales, at or phone 859-226-4238.

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