July 27, 2004
|July 27, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 14
The NTA Leadership Team held its final meeting of 2004 in Philadelphia, Pa., July 9 and 10. The group shared information on such topics as the branding initiative and the Strategic Plan, while enjoying the best hospitality the city of Philadelphia and its area partners could offer.
NTA’s branding initiative was a major topic for the Leadership Team (for branding-related stories see Hank Phillips’ column in the August issue of Courier or click here for details from the May 25 issue of Tuesday). In addition to hearing a presentation on the branding process from YPB&R, the company retained to help with this initiative, those gathered also took some time to act as a focus group for YPB&R. With their years of experience in both the packaged travel industry and with NTA, this group of members provided invaluable feedback and insights for the branding initiative.
In addition to branding, the Leadership Team reviewed the 2004 Strategic Plan, as updated by the Board of Directors during its May 2004 meeting, discussed the continued enhancements for the upcoming Convention in Toronto and even found time to break out into groups – based on their category of membership – to talk about topics and issues specifically related to tour operators, tour suppliers and DMOs. As always, the leadership of this association is one of the reasons NTA remains a strong, powerful leader in the industry. Plenty of input and direction were provided to guide NTA through the rest of this year and into the future.
NTA’s Areas of Interest and Marketing (AIM) Program is off to a rousing start after launching in mid-June. One hundred people have signed up so far for the initiative, which gives members a place where they can explore business solutions with their peers and come together to learn more about different areas of the travel industry.
The six specific AIM categories are: Active & Adventure; Affinity & Custom Group; Cultural & Life Enrichment; Receptive Services; Self-Guided & Independent; and Student. New resources have been added to each AIM page on NTA Online and here is a look at some of the new information you’ll find in each.
If you haven’t signed up for an AIM or two yet or you’re seeking more information on the program, click here.
NTA members are encouraged to send in nominations for the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members.
The NTA Board of Directors established the award in 2003 to honor the late Everidge, owner and president of Shenandoah Tours Inc., in Staunton, Va., and his lifetime commitment to NTA. Everidge, who died in 2001, served as president of the association in 1996.
Any person employed by an NTA member company is eligible to make a nomination which, at minimum, should include a brief narrative (approximately 250 words) about the nominee. Additional material may be included with the narrative.
Nominations for the award, which will be presented at Convention, are due by Sept. 3 and should be submitted to Christy Stigall.
It is NTA’s policy, under specified guidelines, to permit individuals’ names to be placed into nomination for seats on NTA’s Board of Directors in addition to those nominated by the Nominating Committee. These nominations are referred to as "nominations from the floor." Anyone interested in making this type of nomination should contact Todd Hamilton at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205 for details concerning required guidelines. A nomination from the floor must be received in writing at NTA Headquarters no later than Aug. 6, 2004.
How can your tour operator company save money by coming to the 2004 NTA Annual Convention in Toronto? Just attend one of two educational seminars on risk management offered by The Berkely Group and receive a five percent premium credit toward your next insurance policy through Berkely. If you want to save your company money and receive bottom-line results, make sure to attend one of the two sessions.
In addition to the five percent premium discount, those who attend one of the sessions will learn practical methods for managing risk in the tour operator business. Maureen Kaye, CPCU, and Greg Takehara, CTC, from The Berkely Group are back again to share information on the trends and issues affecting tour operator liability, actual claims and lawsuits, how to avoid or minimize liability claims and what to do – or not do – when a lawsuit occurs. Tour operators will gain a better understanding of the liability exposures that exist and will learn how to incorporate a risk management approach into virtually every facet of their business.
The Berkely sessions are scheduled for Friday and Sunday of Convention when the Exchange is closed so every tour operator can take advantage of this great opportunity. Attendance at one of these sessions is mandatory to receive the premium credit voucher for The Berkely Group’s premium discount.
The Berkely seminars are just two of the outstanding educational opportunities available at the 2004 NTA Convention and, if you haven’t done so already, you can still register to be part of the Ultimate Package. If you have questions on the insurance seminars, e-mail Jason Jones, NTA’s assistant director of education.
The National Tour Association and NPR have come together to offer tour operators a special opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of consumers in target areas.
Support NPR’s 2004 Public Broadcasting Online Auctions by donating a travel package and your company will gain excellent promotional opportunities, such as on-air coverage, online and e-mail promotions and logo placement. You can even choose the market you want to target.
According to NPR’s Audience Profile, 74 percent of listeners have traveled domestically in the past year, while 40 percent have traveled internationally in the past three years.
Auctions in Dallas and Minnesota, in addition to the NPR nationwide promotion, get underway in September. Commitments for items need to be made by Aug. 13 and packages/materials need to be in by Sept. 1.
To learn more about the benefits of this program click here. For questions about the program, contact NPR’s Priscilla Rawlins at 877-332-7199 (U.S. and Canada) or 202-332-7199 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NTA Corporate Partner Airborne Express has merged with DHL, but members should see no significant changes in service. The combined companies will operate under the DHL name and NTA members will continue to receive a full suite of domestic and international shipping services to more than 220 countries and territories around the globe.
Members can take advantage of the complete menu of DHL services, including:
Through NTA’s partnership with the new DHL, members are eligible for the special association pricing they had before. Members previously participating in NTA’s Airborne program will be automatically transferred to the new DHL program by year’s end and will receive new shipping supplies as the transition continues.
Members can now use both Airborne and DHL drop boxes anywhere in the United States for their shipments but, in the coming year, the Airborne drop boxes, trucks and uniforms will transition to the new DHL brand. The Airborne Web site, www.airborne.com, has been migrated over to http://www.dhl-usa.com/, but all of the first-class shipping tools remain in tact.
One change of note is that ShipExchange has changed its name to DHL WebShip and will be accessed through the DHL Web site. Members can process and track shipments and manage all shipping needs online from that site while continuing to use their existing account number and customer profile.
For any questions on the transition or on your account, please call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET. This number is your dedicated hotline for the Partner Savings Program customer support during the transition. You can also refer to NTA Online for further information.
NTA has arranged special deals for your Convention-related travel. The following companies have offered discounted Convention rates for travel to and from Toronto. For specific discount information click here.
When making reservations with United, Amtrak or VIA Rail, be sure to inquire about applicable fare restrictions and if any special promotional fares are lower than NTA discounts.
Additionally, Alamo Rent-A-Car, Avis Rent A Car, and National Car Rental are offering special discounts for Convention attendees. For information on those rates click here.
For the first time, the National Tourism Foundation’s auction donor form can be submitted online. The new feature, located in the "Events & Programs" section of http://www.ntfonline.org/, allows donors to provide information through an online form and then print a packing slip to use when mailing the items.
Completing a donor form online is fast and easy. Simply enter your contact information, select a category for your item and provide a description. The form even includes a link to an online currency converter to assist with estimating the item’s retail value in U.S. dollars. Once you have submitted the form, you will be able to print a packing slip displaying your particular item’s identification number. In addition, you will receive a confirmation e-mail to verify all of the information entered.
Donations are due Sept. 10 to guarantee inclusion in the 2004 Auction Catalog. Click here to submit your item online or access the printable form.
Time is running out for members to advertise in the NTA Tour Catalog, a special supplement in the September 2004 issue of The Group Travel Leader. The deadline is Aug. 2 for the supplement, which will include editorial content on the importance of partnerships, creative marketing during budget cuts, NTA’s government relations initiatives and much more.
For advertising information, contact Kelly Tyner of The Group Travel Leader by calling 888-253-0455, or e-mail her at Kelly@grouptravelleader.com
NTA apologizes to the following members for their incorrect or missing listing in the 2004-2005 NTA Tour Supplier/DMO Directory. All members are encouraged to make the following updates in their directories:
Carnival Cruise Lines
Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon
Jaffa Travel & Marketing Services – Jaffa Receptive Services
Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau
Washington State Business and Tourism Development
Also there was an error made to the New York map on page 338. Warren County Tourism is located in Lake George, however Lake George is in the northeastern part of the state above the city of Glens Falls. We would also like you to note that Catskills Association for Tourism Services in Catskill was accidentally omitted from the map. The #5 marker for Catskill should appear in the southeastern part of the state below Coxsackie along Interstate 87.
The Table of Contents on page ii is incorrect. It should read:
If you liked the old Great Government Giveaway, you’ll love the new 50/50 Fundraiser. For $50 (or three tickets for $100) you’ll make a contribution to NTA’s advocacy efforts, increase the prize pot and be entered to win. The winner will be drawn at Convention on Tuesday Nov. 16.
So, buy your tickets to the 50/50 Fundraiser before the Convention rush. Half of the ticket price supports NTA advocacy funds and half goes into the prize pot. The final amount you could win increases with each ticket that is sold and the prize total will be updated constantly in Toronto at the Issues Booth in the Welcome & Information Center.
Contact Todd Hamilton at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205 to purchase your tickets or if you are interested in selling tickets. The 50/50 Fundraiser is sponsored by the Philadelphia CVB.
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.
Just prior to the NTA Annual Convention in Toronto, NTA and the Ontario Motorcoach Association have designated Joe Badali’s Ristorante Italiano & Bar as the "Meeting Place" on Thursday evening, Nov. 11. A stone’s throw from the Metro Convention Centre and SkyDome in the heart of the entertainment district, Joe Badali’s is the place for NTA and OMCA members to meet and network. Beginning at 9 p.m., Joe Badali’s will provide complimentary appetizers, live entertainment (no cover charge) and a cash bar will be available. Come early for dinner (reservations recommended) and stay for the fun.
As background, NTA has a reciprocal agreement with OMCA, who’s Annual Conference will be held in Toronto Nov. 7-10. To provide more opportunities to facilitate business for NTA members, this arrangement between NTA and OMCA has been developed to provide complimentary registrations for each association’s non-member tour operators (buyers). NTA also has established a similar relationship with the Student & Youth Travel Association of North America to provide complimentary registrations for each association’s non-member tour operators (buyers) provided you have not previously attended a SYTA Conference or Summit.
If you are an NTA tour operator who has registered for the Annual Convention and you would like more information on these reciprocal agreements, please contact NTA membership services by calling 800-682-8886.
Get the visiblity 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.