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Tuesday Newsletter

April 13, 2004

April 13, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 7

Articles at a Glance
Spring Meet Proves Business Can Be Fun NTA Uses Your Feedback to Make 2004 Convention Enhancements
Stay Informed About Changes to NTA’s Election Process NTA Partners to Host 2nd Annual National Travel & Tourism Summit
Tour Suppliers, DMOs – Last Chance to Renew Your Membership NTA’s Efforts at ITB Deemed Successful
Headlines Goes High Tech Tour Operators – Don’t Let Your NTA Advantage Slip Away
NTA to Attend Rendez-vous Canada Take Advantage of Tour Supplier/DMO Directory Promotional Opportunities
Courier’s 2005 Editorial Calendar Now Online Extension of Biometric Passport Requirements Sought
Clinton Presidential Center Set to Open Nov. 14-18 See Who’s Looking to Join Us and Who Already Has

Spring Meet Proves Business Can Be Fun

New member Mark Kang with TUI China Travel Co. Ltd. talks with Phil Otterson with Tauck World Discovery during the Tour Operator Spring Meet’s Partnering Session.

More than 150 NTA tour operators gathered in Little Rock, Ark., March 24-27 to talk business, look for partners, learn how to be better at what they do and have fun at the Tour Operator Spring Meet.

Not only did longstanding tour operator members get a chance to catch up with each other, but new members, including ones representing China and New Zealand, were able to break the ice and make new contacts.

"I really enjoyed it, and I think NTA is going to be a good fit for our company," said Darin C. Minghella with Tumlare Corporation A/S in Sudbury, Mass., which specializes in outbound travel to Scandinavia, Russia, the Baltics and Eastern Europe. "I made a lot of good contacts, and I’m looking forward to going to Toronto in the fall."

Many tour operators were complimentary of Little Rock’s hospitality and the wealth of itinerary ideas available in the area.

Attendees were treated to:

  • An opening Power Breakfast that left the crowd laughing and ready to start the meet
  • A video message from former President Bill Clinton
  • Pre-Spring Meet Fams, sightseeing and Post-Spring Meet Fams that showed off the beauty of "The Natural State." At least one sightseeing group was charmed with a personal tour of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion led by First Lady Janet Huckabee.
  • A visit from Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
  • Singing "All That Jazz" with Broadway stars
  • Twenty information-packed seminars including general sessions from leading economist Delos Smith with The Conference Board and a look at consumer trends from J. Walker Smith with Yankelovich Partners.

    Melody Johnson, director of Gray Line Portland, a division of Raz Transportation, was especially appreciative of a seminar that featured National Park Service personnel.

    "The National Park Service session was a great help to me because their current reservation system is negatively impacting business," said Johnson. "Based on what I’ve already learned and the assistance and support that NTA has offered, the value of that session alone more than paid for my trip."

    The audio portion of all Spring Meet educational sessions will soon be available on NTA Online for association members only. And for those who want to relive Spring Meet memories or see what went on without you, click here to view the online photo album.

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    NTA Uses Your Feedback to Make 2004 Convention Enhancements

    NTA used your feedback to make enhancements to plans for the 2004 Convention. The event, set for Nov. 12-16, will offer even more opportunities to conduct business and network with fellow travel professionals.

    It’s not too early to start thinking about the business, networking and educational opportunities in store at the 2004 NTA Annual Convention. Changes to NTA’s traditional Convention were implemented last year, and NTA has listened to your feedback to build on those improvements and give you more of what you need to conduct business effectively.

    Here are a few of the key changes you have to look forward to Nov. 12-16 in Toronto:

  • Parts of the traditional Sunday and Monday schedules have been switched, allowing DMOs more time to prepare leads and to hold caucuses if desired. Sightseeing tours will be offered Sunday afternoon. The Dine-Around, which traditionally has been held Sunday night, will be on Monday night so that more downtown restaurants can participate. This change will also allow members plenty of time to enjoy Dine-Around without rushing to attend the Rock the Foundation event, which will keep its traditional Sunday evening spot.
  • Tour supplier appointments will be pre-scheduled in three of four Tour & Travel Exchange sessions, leaving one full session free for each tour supplier to volunteer, attend educational seminars or conduct impromptu business meetings. This change will alleviate lengthy periods in between appointments. The open session may also be used to schedule additional appointments if desired.
  • Appointment scheduling – the time period before an Exchange that is designated for making additional appointments – will take place in one, hour-long combined session for both DMOs and tour suppliers. The session, which will be prior to the DMO Exchange on Saturday morning, will ensure equal opportunities for DMOs and tour suppliers to schedule additional appointments on site.
  • Members will be able to print appointment schedules in different formats and will be able to print appointment labels.
  • Pre-Convention Fams will start and end a day earlier this year so that participants won’t miss educational sessions and networking opportunities on Friday. Tours will begin on Monday, Nov. 8 and end on Thursday, Nov. 11.

    NTA listens to you. Make plans now to attend the 2004 Convention and see your suggestions put into action.

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    Stay Informed About Changes to NTA’s Election Process

    NTA’s election season is kicking off, and there are changes in this year’s process due to a bylaw amendment approved by tour operator members last December. Tuesday will be where you can find out about the nominations process, learn more about the candidates and be reminded of the voting deadline. Keep reading Tuesday, and you’ll be an informed voter when it comes time to cast your ballot.

    What’s changing?
    The most significant change instituted by last year’s bylaw amendment is that the elections for director positions will take place prior to the Annual Convention. The Nominating Committee will be making nominations in June for three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat, and one DMO seat to fulfill two-year terms.

    Voting will be conducted by e-mail or mail ballots, and the election results will be published in Tuesday in late October.

    What’s staying the same?
    Nominations will also be made in June for the officer positions of vice chair, treasurer and secretary, which each have one-year terms. The election of officers will conclude at its traditional time: at the Tour Operator Annual Meeting at Convention after each officer candidate has made a speech. Tour operators not attending Convention will be able to cast their ballots by e-mail or mail prior to Convention.

    How to qualify
    There are two ways to qualify to run for the NTA board. One way is to have served two years as a member of an NTA committee, council, task force, or related board of directors.

    The other way is to meet three of the following five criteria:

  • serving at least one term of subcommittee/committee service
  • being employed by an NTA member for no less than five years
  • achieving the certified tour professional (CTP) designation
  • participating in 10 NTA Annual Conventions and/or NTA Tour Operator Spring Meets/Spring Exchanges
  • serving as a Convention volunteer for three years

    Want to be considered?
    The Nominating Committee will accept interest forms through the end of May. The committee will utilize the forms and also learn about potential candidates through written profiles, questionnaires and personal interviews. The committee will then formally nominate the individuals they feel deserve their recommendation. Those receiving a nomination will be announced to the full membership in early July via Tuesday.

    All interest forms are due to NTA by May 30. If you have any questions or wish to obtain a form, contact Janna Clark at And keep reading Tuesday for the latest election news.

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    NTA Partners to Host 2nd Annual National Travel & Tourism Summit

    NTA members are being offered a discounted registration rate to attend the 2nd Annual National Travel and Tourism Summit, "Securing the Future of Travel and Tourism" May 12 in Washington, D.C. Hosted by The National Chamber Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with NTA and the Travel Business Roundtable, the summit will address the need to promote travel to and within the United States and facilitate mobility in the wake of enhanced security.

    Speakers include Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Department of Transportation; Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman, Travel Business Roundtable, and Steven C. Anderson, president and CEO, National Restaurant Association.

    Others scheduled to speak include presidents and CEOs from travel-related associations and companies such as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American Hotel and Lodging Association, International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Air Transport Association and International Council of Shopping Centers.

    To register for this event online, click here. For more information, call Scott Griset with the National Chamber Foundation at 202- 463-5500.

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    Tour Suppliers, DMOs – Last Chance to Renew Your NTA Membership

    Tour suppliers and DMOs, if you haven’t renewed your NTA membership, you are on the verge of losing one of the best investments you can make for your packaged travel business.

    NTA knows that budgets are tight and companies must choose wisely. That’s why NTA is the perfect solution when it comes to reaching the widest and most diverse audience possible.

    Where else can you reach more than 630 top-notch tour operators all at once? Whether you are targeting the group travel market, FIT, student travel, special interest operators or even international inbound business, NTA membership is your inside track to connecting with the very best.

    NTA membership means the greatest industry exposure for your company or destination. Access to popular business-building events such as the Annual Convention (this year held in Toronto), as well as your business’ inclusion in the Tour Supplier/DMO Directory, are just a few of the endless opportunities that come only through NTA membership.

    Don’t put the best investment in the travel industry on the back burner. Return your renewal invoice today, and say hello to another year of industry excellence.

    If you have questions about your membership, call 800-682-8886 (U.S. & Canada) or 859-226-4444, or e-mail us at

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    NTA’s Efforts at ITB Deemed Successful

    ITB was "very successful" for NTA this year, according to NTA Leadership Team Member Ed Hall, CTP, who represented the association along with NTA Senior Vice President Lisa Simon, CTP, at the March 12-16 event in Berlin.

    "It was successful both from generating leads for our existing tour operator membership, and developing prospects for new members in all membership categories, which would help everybody," said Hall, president/CEO of the Greater Rochester Visitors Association in Rochester, N.Y. ITB is the world’s largest travel and tourism industry show, attracting more than 60,000 trade visitors.

    Hall and Simon met with 45 potential members, 14 of whom were inbound to North America tour operators. Leads from the show will be distributed to NTA tour operators who participated in the association’s Tour Operator Receptive Services in North America directory.

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    Headlines Goes High Tech

    The National Tourism Foundation distributed the first electronic version of its Headlines newsletter April 9. The issue features the upcoming Hall of Fame dinner in Chicago, an update on 2002 Yellow Ribbon Scholarship Recipient Tim Vernon, and fund-raising ideas from Tour Colorado. Chairman Roland Kreps also writes about other exciting changes the Foundation has planned for this year.

    Headlines is distributed to NTA members, travel and tourism schools and former Foundation award recipients four times per year. If you did not receive the latest issue, contact Courtney Shannon at to confirm your e-mail address.

    To view the latest issue, click here.

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    Tour Operators – Don’t Let Your NTA Advantage Slip Away

    There’s only one way to continue to take advantage of all the outstanding business opportunities that come with being an NTA tour operator member, and that’s by making sure that you renew your membership by the April 30 deadline.

    NTA has one goal: to provide cutting-edge networking and business opportunities to all its members. With an increasingly diverse membership, and with constant improvements to invaluable events such as the Annual Convention (held this year in Toronto), tour operator members have the inside track to the best in the industry.

    And as far as business investments go, NTA membership can’t be beat. Annual membership dues are already lower than they’ve been in years – only $400 – but NTA is also adjusting its dues cycle to begin and end with the calendar year, therefore you only need to pay $300 now to renew your membership through the end of 2004.

    Renewing your membership is easy with two simple steps: (1) complete the renewal form recently sent to you and (2) mail it, along with your $300 payment, to NTA Headquarters (please note that submitting a completed renewal form along with your payment is necessary to renew your membership). Renewal forms may also be faxed to 859-226-4414. Contact NTA’s Member Services Team with questions by calling 800-682-8886 (U.S. & Canada) or 859-226-4444, or via e-mail at

    Don’t let your NTA membership expire. April 30 is your deadline to continue to receive all the benefits of NTA membership, so be sure to send in your membership renewal registration form and payment today.

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    NTA to Attend Rendez-vous Canada

    NTA will promote its membership and distribute its Tour Operator Receptive Services in North America directory at Rendez-vous Canada, May 1-5 in Montreal.

    Rendez-vous Canada is Canada’s premier annual international tourism industry marketplace, bringing together selected international buyers and media to meet invited suppliers of Canadian tourism products, services and information.

    Annie Barret, NTA’s manager of marketing projects, will represent NTA in the Tourism Mall. Stop by the NTA booth (TM03) to get your NTA member ribbon and a copy of NTA’s Tour Operator Receptive Services in North America directory.

    For more information on Rendez-vous Canada, click here.

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    Take Advantage of Tour Supplier/DMO Directory Promotional Opportunities

    NTA’s Tour Supplier/DMO Directory has a one-year shelf life, and 95 percent of NTA tour operators find the directory useful when planning itineraries. Those facts alone make it THE place to put your message.

    There’s still time to get in on two advertising opportunities related to the 2004-2005 NTA Tour Supplier/DMO Directory.

    Premium spots
    April 15 is the deadline to schedule cover and tab divider page positions in the directory. Here’s what’s available on a first-come, first-served basis:
    Cover positions:
    Inside front cover
    Inside back cover

    Tab Divider Page Positions:
    Canadian Tab-Front
    Canadian Tab-Back
    US Members-Back
    International Members-Front
    International Members-Back
    Receptive Divider-Front
    Receptive Divider-Back
    Corporate Divider-Front
    Service Provider Divider-Front
    Service Provider Divider-Back

    Another way to distribute your message or product to NTA tour operators is to include your brochure, profile form, CD or promotional item in the bag in which the new directory is mailed. Options available include:

  • 4-by-9-inch brochure – $2,500 net
  • 81/2-by-11-inch single-sheet insert – $1,750 net
  • CD in paper sleeve – $3,000 net
  • Your company’s promotional item (notepads, pens, keychains, mouse pads, etc.) – $3,000 net

    There are size and weight restrictions for items, and 1,000 of each item is required. April 16 is the deadline to reserve your spot in the bag.

    Call 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 to take advantage of these opportunities.

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    Courier‘s 2005 Editorial Calendar Now Online

    By now, you have noticed that Courier magazine has taken on a new look and – more importantly – a new focus on the business of travel and the community of NTA.

    This redesign of your official NTA publication came about as a result of the NTA management team listening to you, the membership, and hearing the ways you felt the magazine could better serve you. As a result, Courier now has an advisory council made up of tour operators, tour suppliers and DMOs.

    With help from the Courier advisory council, the 2005 Editorial Calendar has been designed to make the magazine an even more useful product development tool. Its new Trip Planners will reflect the ways tour operators actually plan trips: across country borderlines and throughout entire regions. You’ll find that Canadian destinations have been given more coverage than ever, and are seamlessly interspersed throughout the calendar instead of just in a few issues. In addition, state, territorial or provincial DMOs will help write the Travel Guides in 2005, placing more emphasis on member input and ownership of the magazine.

    To access the 2005 Courier Editorial Calendar is accessible online at click here. To receive the calendar via fax or e-mail, contact Karla DiNardo at or at 800-682-8886, ext. 4232.

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    Extension of Biometric Passport Requirement Sought

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State have asked Congress to pass legislation that would extend for two years, the Oct. 26, 2004 deadline for Visa Waiver Program countries to have machine readable passports which include biometric identifiers, and also for DHS to have readers for these biometric passports at all ports of entry.

    In conjunction with this request, Homeland Security announced that it will begin processing visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program in the new US-VISIT security program beginning Sept. 30 at air and sea ports of entry.

    An estimated 13 million visitors from Visa Waiver Countries enter the United States each year. Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries are allowed to enter the United States for up to 90 days for business or pleasure using only a passport.

    The following 27 countries are currently in the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

    For more information, click here.

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    Clinton Presidential Center Set to Open Nov. 14-18

    Although it was still under construction, the Clinton Presidential Center in downtown Little Rock, Ark., got good reviews from tour operators who got a sneak peek during Tour Operator Spring Meet sightseeing tours.

    Located on the banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock’s River Market District, the Clinton Center will house the largest archival collection in American Presidential history. The center will include the museum, the archival collection, and educational research facilities.

    The center’s grand opening celebration is set for Nov. 14-18. To find out more about the celebration and the center, click here.

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    See Who’s Looking to Join Us and Who Already Has

    NTA is working hard to increase business opportunities for its existing members by growing the association’s membership base. Click here to see a list of new tour operator membership applicants, and click here to check out the most recent list of new members encompassing all membership categories.

    These lists can always be found on NTA Online under "Member Benefits."

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