August 14, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter Aug. 14, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 33
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by National City Bank. National City’s Travel Funds Protection Plan is no ordinary protection plan – it’s a "true" escrow program that promotes your company’s professionalism and dependability to the travel agents and consumers you service.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.
Enhancements Made to Convention First-Timer Program
Resources Make Appointment Request Research Easier
CBS’ "The Early Show" Showcases Kansas City
Be a Student Mentor for Tourism Cares at Convention
Gain Exposure with the Profile Form Notebook and Convention Daily Newsletter
Final 2008 NTA Election Slate Announced
Updated NTA "Guide to Seller of Travel Laws" Available
New York Passes Passenger Bill of Rights
Courier Story Focuses on Partnering through the Destination Pavilion
Want to Host a Product Development Trip in 2008?
Getting in on Girlfriend Getaways
Benefit Basics – United Airlines
In order to help first-time delegates prepare for this year’s Annual Convention, NTA has expanded its outreach program leading up to and at the event. The program has been upgraded in 2007 and a couple of the new components include:
- A new publication, "The First-Timer’s Guide to the NTA Annual Convention," is available in PDF format. It includes details on what first-timers can expect at the various events, a section on business appointments, tips from experts and a "what to pack" list. This document is a good resource for anyone who wants to brush up on the Convention.
- To help first-timers perfect their business appointment presentations, mock Tour & Travel Exchange appointments will take place between first-timers and veteran delegates at the Welcome & Information Center on the Convention Mall floor.
Other resources to help first-timers prior to Convention include the Buddy Program, which pairs a group of first-timers with a veteran who will call them before the event, and a first-timers Web seminar, which provides an overview of Convention and includes an extensive question and answer session. The Web seminars, presented by NTA Convention Chairman Bob Hofmann, will take place Monday, Aug. 27, at 1 p.m. ET and Friday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. ET. During the Convention, a series of Convention 101 seminars provide an A-Z orientation on the event and include a tour of the convention center.
If you didn’t identify yourself as a first-time delegate, or if you have attended Convention but think you can benefit from the program, contact NTA Manager of Member Relations Lori Rempe to sign up.
The Tour & Travel Exchange at the NTA Annual Convention brings together tour suppliers/DMOs and tour operators for seven-minute business meetings. Participants can utilize the appointment request system to do research as they compile a list of companies they want to meet with during the Exchange.
In addition to requests for the Tour & Travel Exchange, tour operators will need to submit a list of requests for the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange. Anyone taking part in this session will only meet with the companies that they requested or that have requested to meet with them, so filling out this list is crucial. This information also is accessed through the appointment request system.
Through NTA’s "We’ll Do It for You" initiative, tour suppliers and DMOs can contact NTA to request a custom lead sheet of the tour operators who visit their region. This list can help members in those categories get started with their research.
Click here to log on and begin making your requests for the Tour & Travel Exchange and Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange (NOTE: you’ll need your registration number to access the system). If you have further questions, contact your Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
The host city for the 2007 NTA Convention, Kansas City, was in the national spotlight Friday, Aug. 10. CBS’ "The Early Show" broadcast live for two hours from the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial and featured highlights of Kansas City and a live concert from country music stars Big and Rich.
The Kansas City broadcast was the final installment of the show’s "Summer in the City" tour across America that included stops in Orlando, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; and Dallas, Texas. More information on the "Summer in the City" tour is available at http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?channel=/elements/2007/07/06/earlyshow/videoarchive3024053_1_videosection_page.shtml.
Tourism Cares is inviting scholarship recipients and local Missouri travel and tourism students to participate in the "Tourism Cares Experience the Industry Student Program" at the NTA Convention.
Tour operators, tour suppliers and DMOs are encouraged to volunteer to serve as a mentor during the Tour & Travel Exchange to show a student what the business appointments are like. Mentors also are needed to participate in roundtable discussions, which provide a way for students to ask questions and learn more about careers in the travel industry.
If you are interested in giving back by mentoring, please contact Tourism Cares Program Director Carolyn Viles as soon as possible.
Two of the guides that members access each day during the NTA Annual Convention are the Profile Form Notebook and the Convention Daily newsletter. Marketing your company in these publications spreads your message to the thousands of Convention delegates.
Premium space is available in the Profile Form Notebook for many state/province tabs for your company’s full-page advertisement, and there is unlimited space behind each tab for your company’s double-sided profile sheet. The Profile Form Notebook, which NTA members gave an 8.1 on a scale of 10 for usefulness, is a three-ring binder that is placed in every tour operator’s booth at Convention. The notebook serves as both a great reference guide during Convention and as a year-long planning tool, so advertisers get great visibility at a great price.
Packages for the Convention Daily newsletter include three or five days, so you can showcase up to five different ads throughout the Convention. This four-color newsletter will be hand-delivered at the convention center each morning as delegates step off their shuttles, and it is placed at every tour operator’s booth, so your advertising message will be in the hands of all attending delegates.
The space deadline for these publications is Sept. 1, so book your space now. For more information, contact your account executive by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 or 859.226.4232 or via e-mail at advertising@NTA.travel.
The NTA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the final slate of candidates for 2008 officer and board positions. The one nominee received from the floor for the upcoming election is Anne Davis, CTP, of Cruises and Tours Worldwide, who chose to run from the floor for a tour operator director seat. Election ballot materials will be distributed electronically and via mail Sept. 20-21 for advance voting.
The final slate of candidates is as follows (NC indicates Nominating Committee):
Chairman and CEO
Vice Chairman/Chairman and CEO Elect
Three tour operator director seats (two-year terms) will be filled. The candidates are:
One DMO director seat (two-year term) will be filled. The candidate is:
One tour supplier director seat (two-year term) will be filled. The candidates are:
Detailed questionnaires and photos are available on the 2008 Election page at NTA.travel. For questions regarding nominations or the overall election process, please e-mail NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
The latest version of "A Guide to Seller of Travel Laws," is now available at www.NTA.travel. The publication contains valuable information for tour operators regarding the U.S. states and Canadian provinces that currently have a seller of travel law and details on what a tour operator must do to be in compliance with those regulations.
If you need to register to sell travel, you must obtain a seller of travel number or obtain a bond from the states and provinces that regulate the sale of packaged travel. The publication has all the information you need so you can be in compliance with these various regulations.
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed what many are calling a Passenger Bill of Rights into law last week. The new legislation, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2008, is the first of its kind to be passed that provides legal recourse for passengers who suffer unreasonable delays while on planes.
The law requires air carriers operating out of New York airports to provide flyers – who have been stranded on the aircraft for more than three hours after it leaves the gate – with food, water, fresh air, power and working restrooms. It also mandates that airlines must provide passengers with a phone number for complaints and establishes a new position, consumer advocate, which works in the New York state government.
If airlines are in violation of the law, they could face fines of up to $US1,000 per passenger for failing to provide the amenities.
In the September issue of Courier, Scott Hartcorn of Shilo Inns Suites Hotels provides an in-depth look at the Destination Pavilion and how it is providing new partnering options for his area’s DMOs and tour suppliers in advance of the NTA Annual Convention. The Destination Pavilion, a revamped version of the DMO Workstations, groups suppliers and DMOs into regional pods on the Mall floor at Convention where tour operators can shop based on geographic interests.
In the article, Hartcorn writes, "With the backdrop of the new Destination Pavilion, the Washington/Oregon delegation recognized the tremendous buying/selling opportunity and formed a separate group … to focus entirely on this. Delegates from Alaska, who are part of the Pacific Northwest section within the pavilion, were also contacted."
Hartcorn said this grassroots effort between the three states, has created a stronger bond among the DMOs and tour suppliers, which will result in increasing the quality of product offerings. He also said that members who are unable to attend Convention still can have a presence by getting information to delegates who can represent their interests in Kansas City, Missouri. "The collection of travel products was assembled into workable and sellable travel offerings for tour operators and truly represents the best that each state has to offer."
The full text of the article will appear in the September Courier.
All destinations and tour suppliers are encouraged to explore these types of partnerships prior to Convention for product ideas. A list of members in your area can be accessed through the NTA members searches or by contacting your Member Services Team.
The NTA Product Development Trips continue to gain momentum and popularity among NTA tour operators as a way to get new destination and product ideas. In 2007, NTA members hosted or will host trips to Poland, Alaska and Peru, with a total to date of more than 40 tour operators taking advantage of these packaging and networking options.
If you would you like to host a Product Development Trip for 2008, now is the time to pass along that information. NTA is taking bids for next year’s trips through Sept. 14. Information about hosting a Product Development Trip is available at http://www.ntaonline.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=16&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=2707&change_well_id=2. If you wish to submit a bid or have questions, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
The list of Product Development Trips for 2008 will be announced at the Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, in November.
Women-only travel continues to be a very popular travel trend. In fact, 20 percent of NTA tour operators offer women-only packages. A recent travel study shows that 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years.
The survey, conducted by AAA and Aspire, shows that travel which helps women spend time bonding with their female friends and family is in demand. Women participating in the survey said that the most common activities include time at the beach, going to the spa, taking a shopping trip or going on a cruise.
NTA wants to know about the women-only tours you are planning. E-mail NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton to let her know what you’re up to so that NTA can be prepared for media calls on this hot topic.
As one of NTA’s official Transportation Provider partners, United Airlines offers discounted rates to association members. The current agreement entitles NTA members to 20 percent off the normal domestic/Canada and international deposit rates.
To request a group agreement, members need to use United’s GroupPlus information page and the online request form. They must identify themselves as NTA group agents and must mention "NTA" in the remarks field when requesting an agreement.
For more information on the United Airlines-NTA program, contact Laura Ziliak, United’s NTA Account Manager at 847.700.6394 or visit http://www.nta.travel/index.php?s=&change_well_id=2&url_article_id=1973