May 29, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter May 29, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 22
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Group Travel Technologies.
Managing groups is no easy task! The GroupMinder reservation system takes the hassle out of booking and managing groups, both large and small. For more information, please visit http://www.grouptraveltech.com/.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
NTA, National City Gain Recognition for Escrow Program
Updating Your Tour Operator Profile Just Got Easier
Watch for 2007-08 NTA Membership Directory
Trends Analysis Survey Distributed
June Courier Preview
August Courier: Orlando, Pacific Northwest, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin
Tour operators won’t want to miss the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange, which will replace the Tour Operator Speed Dating session Friday, Nov. 2 from 9:15 a.m. to noon at the 2007 NTA Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
During the Friday Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange, tour operators will have the opportunity to both buy and sell during the seven-minute pre-scheduled appointments.
NTA has extended an invitation to professional travel buyers to attend Convention on Friday and participate in the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange. This will give NTA tour operator members a way to sell their products directly to travel agents, bank and educational travel planners, to name a few.
Beginning in July and ending in October, tour operators who sign up to participate in the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange can log in to NTA’s appointment scheduling Web site, see who’s participating and submit a list of companies with which they wish to schedule meetings. A customized schedule will be created and posted Oct. 12 on http://www.nta.travel/.
For further information on the Exchange, please contact your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 or visit the Convention Web site.
Your association’s volunteer leaders are traveling to both Northern and Southern California in late June for upcoming NTA Road Shows. The Northern California NTA Road Show will be held June 19 at Great America in Santa Clara (sponsored by Great America), and the Southern California event takes place June 20 in Garden Grove/Anaheim at the Anaheim Marriott Suites (sponsored by Marriott Hotels of Anaheim).
The NTA Road Show is a way for your volunteer leaders to update members and prospects on what’s new with NTA this year as well as answer questions. If you are interested in attending a Road Show, contact NTA Events Manager Bobbie Chandler.
Besides the California stops, Road Shows will take place June 21 in Chicago (sponsored by The Field Museum), July 18 in New York City (co-sponsored by TDI/Showtix and Madame Tussauds New York) and the Florida Road Show will take place in September (date to be determined). If a Road Show is coming to your area, watch your e-mail for an invitation. Finalized dates and details for the Florida Road Show will be published in Tuesday.
Make plans to join your colleagues to learn about key travel-related legislation and to talk to your elected officials about tourism issues during the 2007 NTA Grassroots Symposium. At the event, which will be held Sept. 24-25 in Washington, D.C., elected officials and industry insiders will give you the latest information from the Hill.
A highlight for 2007 will be the first ever NTA Washington, D.C., gala event on Sept. 25. Invite your member of Congress and/or staff to learn about NTA and the packaged travel industry at this new and exciting event. Watch Tuesday and NTA.travel for more details.
Click here to access the Symposium registration form. A limited number of rooms are available at the Hotel Washington for a special rate, and you must indicate on the registration form if you’d like to be in the NTA room block to receive this rate.
As always, there is no registration fee to attend the Symposium and all event-related programming is free. E-mail NTA Director, Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson with any questions.
NTA urges you to contact your U.S. senators about co-sponsoring the Western Hemisphere Traveler Improvement Act. Introduced by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the legislation aims to lessen the burden of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which could take effect for land and sea border crossings as early as January 2008.
The amendment would:
- Ensure that low-cost passport alternatives are available when WHTI takes effect
- Allow children under the age of 16 who are traveling with parents, and children under 18 who are traveling in a school or other group to cross the border with a birth certificate rather than a passport
- Provide sufficient staffing to meet increasing passport demand
- Require analysis of a pilot program that explores enhanced driver’s licenses as documentation for cross-border travel
- Undertake a full cost-benefit analysis of WHTI
- Designate permanent locations near the border where passport applications can be accepted without a processing fee. It requires mobile free enrollment centers for smaller and rural communities
Both senators are attempting to get other senators to sign on and co-sponsor this legislation before it is submitted to the floor. Therefore, NTA is asking American members to contact their two senators and encourage them to co-sponsor The Western Hemisphere Traveler Improvement Act to S. 1348.
To get contact information on your senators, please visit www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm.
Friday, June 1 is the deadline for members to declare their interest in running for a spot on the 2008 NTA Board of Directors. If you want to be considered for an office, you’ll need to complete an interest form, which you can get by e-mailing NTA Director, Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
Forms will be reviewed by members of the Nominating Committee, who make nominations for three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat to serve two-year terms, along with nominations for the officer positions of vice chair, treasurer and secretary, which all are one-year terms to be filled by tour operators.
The nominees will be announced to the full membership in mid-July via Tuesday, which will be your source for all news pertaining to the 2008 board of directors and officer elections.
The 2008 NTA Board of Directors and Leadership Team meetings are available for bid. Hosting an NTA meeting is a great way to showcase your destination or venue to your association’s leaders.
Meetings available for bid include:
- Winter Board and Leadership Meetings (Wednesday-Sunday, 75 attendees)
- Summer Board and Leadership Meetings (Thursday-Sunday, 75 attendees)
- Fall Board Meeting (Thursday-Sunday, 27 attendees)
The bid specification form is due to NTA June 29.
Earlier this month, NTA announced its endorsement of a true escrow account program with National City Bank that will ensure travelers total protection of their deposited funds. This valuable program, known as the Travel Funds Protection Plan, is unique to the industry, and NTA has been recognized by various travel trade media outlets for endorsing the program.
NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian and representatives from National City were interviewed by Travel Weekly recently. In the May 21 article Julian was quoted as saying, "We have been working diligently to identify programs and other tools for our operators that they can use to market their membership and their tour operator services to the marketplace."
Other outlets that have covered news of the program to date include: Leisure Group Travel, Group Tour Magazine, Travel Pulse Daily, Packaged Travel Insider and Travel Daily News.
If you would like to promote your participation in this program, please e-mail NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton to receive a copy of a hometown news release you can send to your local media. To learn more about the Travel Funds Protection Plan, click here.
Recent enhancements to the online tour operator profile form on NTA.travel will make updating the information easier for NTA tour operator members. Based on recommendations from the Convention Committee, the following adjustments have been made to the form:
- Outdated information, such as "tour origin," has been eliminated.
- Fewer click-throughs are required to navigate the profile.
- A "Top 10 Cities" section has been added.
- Operators can designate their "Business Classifications." Choose from customized, receptive, FIT, wholesale, online or retail.
- The Destination section allows tour operators to indicate if they have visited a specific state within the last two years or if they intend to visit it.
Tour suppliers and DMOs depend on the online company profiles of tour operator members for Convention preparation. NTA will contact all tour operators during June to assist with profile updates. Should you want to log on prior to being contacted, call your NTA Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 for assistance.
Click here to log on and access your company’s online profile. For operators who plan to apply for the Convention rebate of US$650, profiles must be updated by Friday, July 6.
The 2007-08 NTA Membership Directory is the perfect tool for planning the most effective itineraries. It puts contact information on NTA members at your fingertips so you can work together with them throughout the year.
Information on every NTA member – tour operators, tour suppliers and DMOs – is included in this annual publication. NTA online searches provide a good complement to the Directory, as they are updated throughout the year and include information on members that join after the Directory is printed.
The 2007-08 NTA Membership Directory is scheduled to be mailed this week.
This year’s NTA Trends Analysis Survey was e-mailed to all member companies recently and responses are due back June 8.
For tour operators, the questions are designed to acquire important information about member products, markets and distribution channels, as well as to get responses on the packaged travel industry as a whole. Similar data has been gathered for the past 10 years from NTA operators, and provides a good annual baseline for comparison and analysis. Feedback on how business is going for the association’s DMOs and tour suppliers is at the core of the questions for those membership categories.
If you have any questions regarding the survey, e-mail NTA Research Analyst Sandy Stansfield.
In the June issue of Courier, the Gulf Coast and student and youth travel get double coverage. Culinary options along the Gulf Coast are explored in one of the Trip Planners, and a business section piece explores voluntourism to the Katrina-affected areas. Student and youth product is highlighted in one of the feature stories and is the topic for this month’s "Travelin’ Light" piece. Other June articles include a feature on experiential options at North American native cultural sites and product-packed destination pieces on Atlantic Canada and Québec, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia.
September Issue – Ad Space: June 22; Editorial: Past
Museums; Rail Travel; South Pacific; Southwest (Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas); Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina.
October Issue – Annual Convention Issue – Ad Space: July 19; Editorial: June 1
Annual Convention Issue; Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming); Central and South America; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont.
November Issue – Ad Space: Aug. 24; Editorial: July 1
Dining; Shopping; Chicago; America’s Historic East (Colonial Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania); Delaware; New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Québec; New Jersey; New York.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Autry National Center – Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal City – Greater Birmingham CVB – Boyds Bear Country – Carnival Center for the Performing Arts – Coach America – Colorado Springs CVB Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Gatorland – John G. Shedd Aquarium – Laredo CVB – Mashantucket Pequot Museum – Norfolk CVB – Ocean City CVB – Pala Casino Spa and Resort – Philadelphia Museum of Art – Pirate’s Dinner Adventure – Riverbarge Excursion Lines – Southwest Louisiana/Lake Charles CVB – Virginia Beach CVB – Yankee Candle Company Inc. – YOUR DC HOTELS
The August 2007 issue of Courier offers plenty of ways to get your company in front of tour operators. Feature stories in this issue cover theaters and fall foliage, the Trip Planners showcase Orlando and the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Northern California, Oregon and Washington) and the Travel Guides highlight Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin.
"We are a National Tour Association tour supplier who knows that advertising in NTA publications is the best value for our marketing dollars. Promoting our property to professional tour operators results in a new tourism experience for both of us!" – Mary Cook, Cuneo Museum & Gardens, Vernon Hills, Illinois, Member since 1994
The space deadline for August Courier had been extended to June 8 so there is still time to get in the magazine ranked No. 1 in the industry by tour operators.
Click here to view the full 2007 Editorial Calendar. To reach your account executive call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or e-mail advertising@NTA.travel for more information.