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Tuesday Newsletter

August 24, 2004

August 24, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 16

Articles at a Glance
NTA Tackling Alcatraz Ticket Issue Get to Know Your Board and Officer Candidates
NTA Survey Indicates Tour Operator Sales Continuing to Rise AIMs are Your Source for Ongoing Dialogue
Technology Pavilion to Premiere at Convention NTA Members Receive Odyssey Awards
Change to NTA/United Airlines Partnership Web Site Provides Airport Security "Wait Time" Chart
More NTA in the News Mark Your Calendars
Convention Speaker Will Help You Get a Foothold On Demographics Bob Everidge Award Nomination Deadline is Sept. 3
Foundation Hall of Fame Nominations Due Sept. 1 Convention Daily is Your Best Source to Reach Delegates
Convention Sponsorships Still Available NTA Job Center

NTA Tackling Alcatraz Ticket Issue

The National Tour Association is seeking a reversal of an announcement made last week by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that Alcatraz Island will eliminate the sale of tickets to the tour and travel industry, effective Jan. 1, 2005. GGNRA reports that high visitation demand has left it unable "to meet the needs of existing and emerging tour and travel companies and of the public."

NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, expressed his "strong concern" about this action and the long-term effect it could have if other federal parks take similar action.

"This will obviously have a detrimental impact on those operators who take visitors to Alcatraz Island," said Phillips. "Even worse than that, though, is the precedent of excluding ticket sales to the tour and travel industry."

Federal parks issues are a priority for the association’s government relations efforts. Phillips stated that NTA will initiate discussion with the National Park Service – a group with which NTA has maintained a strong working relationship – to work toward restoration of access for the industry.

"Frankly, I find that action to be unbelievable," said Phillips. "NTA will involve other industry groups in our efforts to reverse that decision."

In reaction to the announcement from GGNRA, NTA Legislative Council Jim Santini said, "NTA has worked closely with the Park Service for over 20 years. It is disappointing that we must continue fighting the same battles that we fought some 20 years ago."

If your company will be affected by this situation, please contact Matt Grayson, NTA’s Director of Industry and Government Relations, so NTA can compile a list. He can be reached via e-mail or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4250.

NTA will continue to relay information on this situation as it becomes available via "This Just In" on the homepage of NTA Online.

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Get to Know Your Board and Officer Candidates

Now is the time to get better acquainted with your 2005 NTA Board of Director and officer candidates. Your first stop should be the elections page of NTA Online. Just click here and read about each candidate’s qualifications, experience, views, etc.

Once you’re familiar with each candidate then ask him or her a question on the Candidates Forum (just look for the link on the elections page). Don’t be afraid to challenge them to think outside the box and get their views on the tough issues.

After you’ve read their profile and engaged them on the Candidates Forum then get ready to participate in the Meet the Candidates Web seminars. These sessions will allow you to listen and view a five-minute presentation from each candidate. Once they finish their presentation you will have the opportunity to ask questions in real time. The Web seminars are scheduled as follows:

  • DMO Candidates – Sept. 14, 2 p.m., EST
  • Tour Supplier Candidates – Sept. 9, 1 p.m., EST
  • Tour Operator Candidates – Sept. 9, 3 p.m., EST
  • Officer Candidates – Sept. 13, 2 p.m., EST (for tour operators)

    Watch your e-mail for an invitation to these informative Web seminars.

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    NTA Survey Indicates Tour Operator Sales Continuing to Rise

    Results from the National Tour Association’s latest member survey shows a continuing recovery in tour operators’ overall sales volume during the second quarter of 2004.

    The upswing continues what has been a strong year of bouncing back for the travel and tourism industry. In the survey, 60 percent of NTA tour operators report their sales volume was greater during the second quarter of 2004 than for that period of 2003, while 18 percent said it was about the same, leaving only 22 percent who’s sales had decreased.

    NTA Chairman Mitch Sussman echoed those results in his recent statement to CNBC, "The year 2004 has been the year of recovery."

    Those surveyed are optimistic for on-going revival, as nearly one half (49 percent) said they expect their third quarter sales volume will be greater than that of 2003 and another 29 percent figure their numbers for that period will be similar to 2003’s. NTA tour operators consistently recount that consumer confidence, an improving economy and pent up demand provoke a continuing recovery in 2004 and beyond.

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    AIMs are Your Source for Ongoing Dialogue

    NTA’s Areas of Interest and Marketing (AIM) Program is in high gear. The initiative gives members a place to explore business solutions with their peers and come together to learn more about different areas of the travel industry.

    Updates to each of the six AIM homepages have been made recently, so go to NTA Online to see the latest articles, links, product development news and other category-specific information. Or, if you haven’t signed up for an AIM yet, click here.

    In addition to staying current via the Web site and its forum section, AIM members will have opportunities for face-to-face gatherings at Annual Convention. There will be crackerbarrel sessions in Toronto for AIMs and here is a list of the dates and times:

  • Active & Adventure Travel – Friday, Nov. 12, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Affinity & Custom Group Travel – Friday, Nov. 12, 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Cultural & Life Enrichment Travel – Sunday, Nov. 14, 9-10:15 a.m.
  • Receptive Services Travel – Friday, Nov. 12, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Self-Guided & Independent Travel – Friday, Nov. 12, 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Student/Youth Travel – Friday, Nov. 12, 1:45-3:15 p.m. top of page

    Technology Pavilion to Premiere at Convention

    NTA’s new Technology Pavilion will make its debut at the 2004 Annual Convention in Toronto. This new high-tech area of the Convention Mall brings NTA’s technology members together in one place to demonstrate their products and answer questions about technology products available for NTA member companies.

    Tour operators can browse the pavilion any time during Convention week, or they may purchase a two-day technology pass for an information technology staff person from their company to investigate these product offerings. The two-day pass is good for full-admission on Sunday, Nov. 14, and Monday, Nov. 15. Tour operators interested in signing up an IT staff for Convention, should send an e-mail inquiry to

    In addition, Monday, Nov. 15, is "Technology Day," when technology seminars, presented by travel technology professionals, will be held in the Welcome & Information Center. Also, throughout the day, the benefits of technology will be highlighted at a variety of venues. The day will close with an all-member reception in the Convention Mall that evening.

    At press time, the pavilion will be filled with the following companies, but registrations continue to be received. An updated list of registered technology companies will be available in upcoming issues of Tuesday.

    • DataWeb Dynamics provides Internet solutions for packaged travel, including custom Web site design, hosting and administration tools for updating and managing every aspect of your Web site.
    • Discovery Travel Systems provides Tour Partner software, which delivers a highly sophisticated, yet easy-to-use reservations and web content functionality designed to allow tour operators and travel re-sellers to take better control of their business.
    • Protechnologies provides Tripz software, which is designed to give tour operators the ability to manage their tour inventory more efficiently by having all tour data available to all of their agents and offices in real time.
    • TCI provides a variety of software products for the tourism industry. TCI’s solutions range from supplier software and tour operator software to global markets for tourism organizations.
    • VERSYSS provides Tour Manager (or TM) software, an integrated reservations and booking system designed to manage the entire tour process from tour creation through final reporting and settlement.

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    NTA Members Receive Odyssey Awards

    Eleven travel industry organizations – including eight NTA members – have been selected by the Travel Industry Association of America to receive 2004 Odyssey Awards, the premier recognition program for the $552 billion travel and tourism industry. The Odyssey Awards recognize the outstanding achievement of TIA member organizations that have successfully journeyed to a higher level of excellence and accomplishment.

    The eight NTA members who received the award include:

    • Arizona Office of Tourism
    • Greater Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Holiday Inn (Intercontinental Hotel Group)
    • Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
    • Missouri Division of Tourism
    • Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Tauck World Discovery

    "These outstanding programs underscore the level of innovation, dedication and the unprecedented spirit of cooperation prevalent in the travel and tourism industry today," said TIA President and CEO William S. Norman. "The industry continues to be filled with some of the nation’s most creative and ambitious minds. By embracing change and pushing beyond the status quo, they have a set a new standard and raised the bar a little higher for all of us."

    Odyssey Award recipients will be formally honored at TIA’s Annual Awards Banquet, which takes place Thursday, Oct. 28, during the TIA Marketing Outlook Forum in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.

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    Change to NTA/United Airlines Partnership

    At the request of United Airlines, information on the NTA/United Airlines program available at NTA Online has been password protected. United asked for this because the terms and conditions/pricing information was accessible to the general public when, in fact, this information is intended for NTA members only.

    Should you have any questions about accessing this information, do not hesitate to contact NTA’s Government and Industry Relations Department at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205.

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    Web Site Provides Airport Security "Wait Time" Chart

    Always find yourself wondering far much in advance of your flight you really need to get to the airport? Feel like it never fails that when you do go two hours early you get right through security, then when you arrive an hour prior the line is 12 miles long?

    To help address security-related wait time issues, the Transportation Security Administration unveiled a Web-based service that can help you out. The site gives travelers the ability to find out the average wait time for airport security checkpoints for a specific day of the week and time. The Security Checkpoint Wait Times link to the database is under the Travel Tips section of the TSA Web site.

    The TSA strives to keep the database as up-to-date as possible and gathers information every half hour at airports by handing a time-stamped piece of paper to a traveler entering the line. The paper is then collected and time stamped when the traveler begins to go through screening and that data is entered into a computer system.

    Wait times listed on the site are based on data collected by TSA at security checkpoints only. When calculating your airport arrival time, remember to build in time for non-security related issues, including parking, checking in with your airline, getting to the gate and other activities.

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    More NTA in the News

    Travel trade and consumer press continue to use NTA as a source for news on a wide range of topics. Two hot issues for NTA in recent news have been the Foundation’s Hall of Fame Dinner and the 9/11 Commission’s Report. NTA also received international coverage on Aug. 19 on cable news channel CNBC. NTA Chairman Mitch Sussman and NTA President Hank Phillips were featured in a story about the recovery of international inbound travel since Sept. 11. The segment, which also included interviews with tourists and an expert from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, highlighted that travelers are coming to America once again despite alleged terrorist threats.

    In late June, publications such as USAE, Travel Trade and Travel Agent featured the National Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner that honored William E. La Macchia. The event itself was a huge success, with nearly 300 family members, friends and colleagues attending. The family’s donation, combined with individual contributions and money raised through a silent auction, totaled approximately $120,000 in gross revenue. To read the article that appeared in Travel Trade, click here.

    The 9/11 Commission’s Report was released at the end of July. Travel Weekly reporter Michael Milligan contacted NTA about the findings and to find out how NTA thought the report’s proposed security measures would impact inbound and domestic travel. Phillips commented on how the report provides hope that our travel securities can be made even more effective. Phillips also mentioned that NTA continues to lobby for the creation of the Office of Tourism Impact Assessment within the Department of Homeland Security. Click here to read the complete article.

    Keep reading Tuesday to learn more about NTA in the news. You may also read more association coverage on NTA Online under Publications at NTA in the News.

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    Mark Your Calendars

    Within the next three weeks, there are two important deadlines coming up regarding Annual Convention.

  • Sept. 10 – Deadline for states/provinces to inform the NTA Conventions Department of the time and location of their caucus, should they decide to host one.
  • Sept. 10 – Deadline for tour operators to register for the Partnering Session. Click here to access a registration form. top of page

    Convention Speaker Will Help You Get a Foothold On Demographics

    Dr. David Foot is one of the many great speakers lined up for 2004 Convention.

    A travel professional with a good understanding of demographics has a strong foundation on which to build a business. Demographics provide a basic understanding of past trends and help define a vision for the future. As society changes and grows older, demographic shifts will redefine society needs and impact the way you do business.

    Join Dr. David Foot for the Learning Luncheon on Saturday of Convention week as he presents "Boom, Bust & Echo." In this session, Dr. Foot will explore how shifting demographics, especially the aging of the massive boomer population, and the entrance of their children, the echo generation, into the marketplace will change the way business is conducted in the travel industry.

    Immediately after the luncheon presentation, Dr. Foot will also conduct a breakout session to answer your individual questions and have a more in-depth discussion on shifting demographics. As you develop your business plan for the future, these sessions will provide you with information that will truly impact your bottom-line.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to get practical information for your travel business from one of the world’s leading experts on demographics and economics. Be sure to attend the 2004 NTA Annual Convention for what will be an outstanding schedule of educational sessions and a great week of business and networking.

    For more information on the educational programming at this year’s Convention please click here or e-mail Jason Jones, NTA’s Assistant Director of Education, at

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    Bob Everidge Award Nomination Deadline is Sept. 3

    The second Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the 2004 NTA Convention and nominations are due Sept. 3. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members and can be made by any person employed by an NTA member company.

    Nominations should be made for members who display active dedication to the mission of NTA and seek the best for its members; make extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members; consistently conduct himself/herself in a manner in keeping with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA; and are involved in the travel industry beyond NTA to further the interests of NTA and its members.

    Nominations should be submitted to Christy Stigall at NTA headquarters.

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    Foundation Hall of Fame Nominations Due Sept. 1

    Since the National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame was created in 1998, 12 industry visionaries have been inducted. Recent honorees include Bill La Macchia with The Mark Travel Corporation, Arthur C. Tauck Jr. with Tauck World Discovery and Eric Freidheim with Travel Agent Magazine. The time has come to add more outstanding individuals to the list and nominations for the 2005 Hall of Fame class are due by Sept. 1.

    The National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame honors individuals who are committed to the Foundation’s mission to benefit society through the support of education and research contributing to the values of travel and the preservation of tourism resources. To be considered for this award, nominees should demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following areas:

    • Contribution(s) to the National Tourism Foundation from either a volunteer perspective or financial commitment
    • Volunteerism to the travel and tourism industry
    • Contribution(s) to travel and tourism education
    • Contribution(s) to travel and tourism research
    • Contribution(s) to the travel and tourism industry by enhancing historic or cultural preservation, community development and/or the environment

    To make a nomination, go to the Nomination Form link under the Hall of Fame section at The Web site also contains information on the 2004 Hall of Fame dinner and biographical information on the previous inductees. If you have any questions, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886, ext. 4251 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4251.

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    Convention Daily is Your Best Source to Reach Delegates

    Have you decided to target those attending the 2004 NTA Convention? You can reach this group by advertising in the Convention Daily newsletter, a full-color publication that is new each day of Convention and is delivered every morning to ALL attending delegates.

    Offer special on-site deals, or simply get your product or service in front of the members at Convention – where everyone is thinking about buying. You can choose between a full five-day package, which gives you exposure in each edition of Convention Daily, and a new three-day package. With either, you can change your message daily, if you so choose.

    Call Taryn Lendrum today for rates and availability at 800-682-8886, ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-219-3549.

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    Convention Sponsorships Still Available

    Get the visibility you deserve by sponsoring one of the many events at 2004 Annual Convention. Many seminar and other sponsorships are still available and this year’s new sponsorship opportunities include: the NTA Welcome & Information Center education stage, the Technology Pavilion and floor mats.

    Contact Cheryl Ealy, director of sales/sponsorships, at 800-682-8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4238, or via e-mail.

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    Product Manager, Tauck World Discovery

    TAUCK WORLD DISCOVERY has an excellent opportunity for an experienced professional to join our team in Norwalk, Conn., as a product manager. Person will be responsible for product strategy, development, enhancement and maintenance, as well as inventory management and sales analysis. The qualified candidate needs a proven track record of travel product management, a history of success in purchasing negotiations and executive level communication skills. Please mail/fax/e-mail your resume and a cover letter along with salary requirements to Human Resources Department, 10 Norden Place, Norwalk, CT 06855. Fax 203-899-6612. E-mail Equal opportunity employer m/f/h/v. Please, no agency calls.

    If you have a job listing to post in the Job Center section of Tuesday, please e-mail NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson. The cost is $1 per word for NTA members and $1.50 per word for nonmembers and NTA will send an invoice upon publication of the posting. top of page

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