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Tuesday Newsletter

June 22, 2004

June 22, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 12

Articles at a Glance
National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts William E. La Macchia Convention Buzz is Building
And Speaking of Convention… "Buddy-Up" at Convention
IRS Clarifies Tour Operator Tax Issue Tourism Industry Numbers Improving
NTA in the News Want the NTA World to Come to You?
Convention Session to Revisit Life’s Rules Maximize Your Company’s Exposure at Annual Convention
NTA Adds to its Sales and Publishing Staff

National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts William E. La Macchia

Bill La Macchia (center) shared his National Tourism Foundation Hall of Fame induction with his wife and children. In conjunction with the event, the family made a significant donation to the Foundation, which will be used to establish a scholarship in their name.

The National Tourism Foundation celebrated its ongoing efforts to help future travel industry leaders through education and research at its annual Hall of Fame Dinner on June 10. The event, held at the Westin Chicago River North, was highlighted by the induction of William E. La Macchia into the Foundation’s Hall of Fame.

The dinner was a success with nearly 300 people, including industry representatives and many members of La Macchia’s family, in attendance.

"This was a great night for the Foundation and the travel industry as a whole," said NTA president Hank Phillips, CTP. "While the money raised in support of the Foundation’s programs was very gratifying, on a different level the real success of the event was Bill La Macchia, his family and his company. They epitomize what this industry is all about – good people doing great things for others."

To mark the occasion, the La Macchia family offered a generous donation to the Foundation. This contribution will be used to fund a new La Macchia Family Scholarship to be awarded for the first time in 2005.

The family’s donation, combined with individual contributions and money raised through a silent auction at the dinner totaled approximately $120,000 in gross revenue. These funds will aid the Foundation in achieving its mission of benefiting society through the support of education and research contributing to the values of travel and the preservation of tourism resources.

In his induction speech, La Macchia highlighted the value of the Foundation’s work in education.

"We are here tonight because it is our responsibility to create new opportunities for the next generation," said La Macchia. "A friend of mine once told me … ‘Our children are a living message that we send to a future that we will never see.’ Providing children with opportunities and education are ways to ensure our future."

La Macchia has been an industry leader throughout his career. He founded the Mark Travel Corporation, which includes 16 leading vacation companies and is recognized as one of the largest and most diversified leisure travel companies in the United States.

Thanks to the efforts of people like La Macchia, the National Tourism Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to travel and tourism students in the form of grants, scholarships and awards since 1982. For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or visit

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Convention Buzz is Building

Despite the start of NTA’s 2004 Annual Convention in Toronto being nearly five months away, momentum is already building. Registration opened June 8 and, in the first two weeks, nearly 1,300 people already have signed up to be part of another exciting Convention experience.

The 1,297 total registrants include 173 tour operator delegates and 1,124 tour supplier and DMO delegates. Of that group, more than 600 registered on the first day, representing the largest opening-day total in history. The percent of people signing up online has continued to increase, reaching 93.8 for the first two weeks of 2004.

While an exact comparison isn’t available, there were 1,553 people signed up after the first three weeks in 2003. The final number of delegates who attended the Charlotte Convention was 2,500.

At the heart of the Toronto Convention is an ever-improving Tour & Travel Exchange. In addition, the event is designed to put you in touch with other members at seminars, crackerbarrel sessions and social outings. You won’t want to miss it so, if you haven’t signed up yet, register now online.

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And Speaking of Convention…

Two big registration deadlines are coming up at the end of this week. June 25 is the date for tour suppliers and DMOs to register to be eligible for pre-scheduled appointments in the Tour & Travel Exchange. June 25 also is the last day for tour operators to register and still receive the $100 (U.S.) discount off their registration fee, as well as to be eligible for the full tour operator rebate of $650.

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"Buddy-Up" at Convention

For those who haven’t attended the NTA Annual Convention the past few years, this year’s "Ultimate Package" is by far the best investment your company can make. And if you’re looking to take full advantage of all that this year’s power-packed event has to offer, there’s no better way to do it than with the help of someone who already knows the ropes – your very own Convention Buddy.

The Buddy Program sets you up with a veteran NTA Convention-goer, someone in your membership category who will assist and guide you throughout the week, since Convention has evolved into a much more networking-oriented and business-friendly event the past few years. Your Buddy will help you optimize your schedule, make the most business contacts, take advantage of educational and technological opportunities that you may not know about and – perhaps most importantly – have fun!

To get a Buddy, simply sign up for the Buddy Program when you register for this year’s NTA Annual Convention. You don’t have to be a first-timer to benefit from this program, and it just may make a world of difference to your bottom line.

You can register for this year’s NTA Annual Convention, to be held Nov. 12-16 in Toronto, by filling out and mailing in the registration form that was mailed to you, or – better yet – register at NTA Online.

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IRS Clarifies Tour Operator Tax Issue

On June 1, 2004, the Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines that clarify the tax treatments of advance deposits. In 2001, several NTA and United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) members were hit with high tax bills because deposits held on December 31 were counted as income even though the tours would not run until the following year. What this means is that tour operators across the country were taxed on deposits held for travel the next year, since the IRS recognized those deposits as current-year income.

In December of that year, NTA worked with the IRS to clarify tax treatment for tour deposits made to tour operators earning less than $10 million. The USTOA continued to work with IRS to clarify the issue for all tour operators. As a result of USTOA’s ongoing efforts, tour deposits held for future travel will not be subject to taxation and so the accounting and cash-flow problems for all U.S.-based tour operators pertaining to this will be erased.

The new rules allow deposits to be treated as income in the year of departure, as long as the year of departure is the year immediately succeeding the year of receipt. Also, the advance payments are recognized in the year of departure on the tour operator’s applicable financial statements and the advance payments are partially earned in the year of departure.

For more information on this issue, contact NTA’s Government Relations Department at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada).

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Tourism Industry Numbers Improving

Tourism-related sales in the United States hit $757.7 billion in the first quarter of 2004, up 11 percent from the first three months of 2000, when travel sales peaked at $746.7 billion, according to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Statistics.

But, while the industry’s numbers are improving, the bureau’s figures showed that the airline and lodging sectors declined in their sales percentages. "As a result, the combined sales of air transportation and hotels and lodging places, which accounted for 59 percent of total tourism sales at the fourth quarter 2000 peak, now account for 52 percent of total tourism sales in the first quarter of 2004," the BES said.

Nevertheless, the BES noted that direct sales of air transportation and hotels and lodging grew 18.6 percent (up 18.2 percent). (Travel Management Daily)

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NTA in the News

Have you seen Travel Weekly lately? What about The Group Travel Leader? Or Travel Trade? Or what about The Washington Post? Did you notice the NTA name popping up as your were reading the articles?

NTA often receives coverage in these publications, as well as from many other national and international media outlets, and now you can keep up with your organization in the news by visiting the NTA In The News section under News & Publications at NTA Online.

This section of NTA’s Web site will post an updated sampling of stories that appear in publications of trade and consumer outlets, and is designed to be a useful resource and aid your own research and knowledge base. Here are a couple of the recent articles featuring association-related information:

  • One of the stories that received widespread coverage stemmed from your positive responses to the April Member Needs Survey. The input gleaned from this Web-based, quarterly survey generated a lot of news, including coverage in Travel Agent, Packaged Travel Insider, Travel America, Travel Weekly, Travel Daily News and Travel Mole.


  • NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, also was quoted in May in an international consumer outlet, The Washington Post. Phillips was interviewed on family travel and the article in which his comments appeared was picked up by many regional papers in the United States.

So, make it a point to be a regular visitor to this new feature of NTA Online and stay current on the industry’s premier organization in the news.

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Want the NTA World to Come to You?

Looking for a way to bring a large group of NTA tour operators to your city? Hoping to gain valuable exposure and reap economic benefits for your area? Then put in your bid to play host to the 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet.

Typically held in March or April, the 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 in the 2004 bidding process is that it is open to both DMOs and tour suppliers. 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, assistant director of conventions
    800.682.8886, ext. 4270 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4270

All bids need to be submitted by Aug. 2, 2004.

Dates and Sites of Upcoming Spring Meets

  • March 30-April 2, 2005 – Sacramento, Calif.
  • March 22-25, 2006 – Louisville, Ky. top of page

    Convention Session to Revisit Life’s Rules

    Kathleen Passanisi

    "Don’t rock the boat."

    "Be the best."

    "If you don’t like it, lump it."

    We were taught to play by the rules … but whose rules? And why haven’t we challenged them?

    Revisiting these rules and their place in your life can allow you be happier and healthier, according to Kathleen Passanisi. Passanisi will be on hand at the 2004 Annual Convention in Toronto’s Super Session to give her hilarious presentation, "A Seat at the Buffet – Challenging Life’s Unwritten Rules."

    In this session you will learn how doing away with false assumptions and worthless expressions can help you change your behavior and become more successful in both your personal and professional life. If you like to laugh and have fun, this is the session for you.

    Passanisi is just one of the many outstanding speakers on the Toronto seminar schedule. Again this year, the Super Session is scheduled with no conflict from the Tour & Travel Exchange, so all members can take advantage of this chance to network with peers while gathering the valuable information presented in the Super Session.

    Make sure to attend the 2004 NTA Annual Convention for what will be a great week of educational programming. For more information on the educational programming at this year’s Convention, please contact Jason Jones, NTA’s assistant director of education, at

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    Maximize Your Company’s Exposure at Annual Convention

    NTA’s Annual Convention is quickly approaching. Maximize your return on investment by utilizing the many promotional vehicles:

      Sponsorship – Invaluable exposure to thousands of industry partners geared to fit any budget (starting at $1000). E-mail Cheryl Ealy for sponsorship information.

      Profile Form Notebook – Reach all Annual Convention tour operators by inserting your company profile sheet in the NTA Tour Operator Annual Planning and Resource Tool.

      Convention Daily Newsletter – This publication takes an inside look into what’s happening at the Annual Convention and includes daily schedules, seminar highlights, information on nightly entertainment and more.

      Courier – The official monthly publication of NTA delivers multiple benefits to your business through tour bookings and the development of long-term professional alliances with packaged travel specialists. Call to reserve your space in the October 2004 issue, which previews the Annual Convention.

    For information on any or all of these NTA Annual Convention promotions, contact the sales and publishing division at 800-682-8886, ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-219-3549, or the following sales executives:

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    NTA Adds to its Sales and Publishing Staff

    Three new people have joined the sales and publishing staff. They include:

    Cheryl Ealy, director of sales/sponsorship executive

      Prior to joining NTA, Ealy was vice president of sales with the Quad Cities CVB and the former chair of the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitors Bureaus Sales Committee. Her responsibilities with NTA include managing the sponsorship sales and promotion for the NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet and Annual Convention, as well as managerial oversight of advertising sales of all NTA’s official publications and promotional opportunities.
      800-682-8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada); 859-226-4238

    David Krause, Western region and international sales executive

      A past recipient of the Andrew Bernstein NTF Scholarship, Krause is a graduate of Michigan State University and a former sales manager with the Greater Lansing CVB and Holiday Inn Express and Comfort Inn and Suites. His responsibilities with NTA include managing the advertising sales in the Western and International regions for all of NTA’s official publications and promotional opportunities.
      800-682-8886, ext. 4350 (U.S. and Canada); 859-226-4350

    Taryn Lendrum, administrative assistant in sales and publishing

      A 2003 Graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Lendrum has a broad knowledge and understanding of the travel and tourism industry. She spent a semester at the Regent’s British American College in London, England, studying international business and communications. Her role at NTA is to provide administrative/clerical support for the sales and publishing division and assist in servicing the association’s corporate partner program.
      800-682-8886, ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada); 859-219-3549

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