April 24, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter April 24, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 17
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New Search Options Available at NTA.travel
Calling All Volunteers to Virginia City
Six Days Remain to Get Your Company/Destination in July Courier
Winners Announced for Communications Survey Giveaways
May Courier Preview
From the seminar sessions and Speed Dating to the Icebreaker event and sightseeing tours, the 2007 Spring Meet in Kelowna, British Columbia, is the place to be for tour operators. The event kicks off this Thursday and highlights will include:
- Paul Vitale of Vital Communications will speak at two separate sessions on Saturday, April 28. "It’s Your Business: It’s Your Name," will encourage participants to focus on quality customer service. During the closing session, "Inspired Teamwork and Leadership," Vitale will illustrate the importance of uniting people for a common cause, understanding and respecting diversity and encouraging individuals through positive actions.
- Speed Dating will take place Friday, April 27, and will provide tour operators and receptive tour operators with opportunities to buy and sell their product. This is the premier partnering opportunity for tour operators during Spring Meet.
- Attendees will experience Summerhill Pyramid Winery during the Icebreaker on Thursday night. Organic wines and locally inspired cuisine, prepared by Executive Chef Grant deMontreuil, will be offered in a picturesque setting along Okanagan Lake.
- Sightseeing tours and leisure activities will allow delegates to experience Kelowna for themselves. Optional outings include a garden tour, a visit to a local orchard, a cruise down Okanagan Lake and gallery hopping in the cultural district of Kelowna.
The 2007 Spring Meet in Kelowna – it’s where experience and knowledge unite and fresh ideas are born.
Got questions about the 2007 Annual Convention? The Convention Web site is now available and contains details regarding NTA’s marquee event, to be held Nov. 2-6 in Kansas City, Missouri. Be sure to mark your calendar since registration launches at noon ET on May 15.
Two of NTA’s corporate partners – The Berkley Group and ITS Design & Printing – will be attending this year’s Spring Meet. You are encouraged to stop by and talk with them about the many benefits they have made available to NTA members.
The Berkley Group offers professional liability coverage and customized travel insurance products to NTA tour operators. Some of their products include:
ITS Design & Printing offers graphic design, printing and full bindery services along with technical support. Their NTA member benefits include:
Take the opportunity to learn what your corporate partners can do for you.
The National Park Service announced that Highway 67 to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is closed each winter, will be open to the public beginning Tuesday, May 15. Xanterra Parks & Resorts at the North Rim and Grand Canyon Trail Rides also will begin their season that day and operate through Oct. 16. All concessions facilities will open the morning of the 15th and all services provided by the Park Service, including the Visitor Center and campground, will be available at noon.
For more information call 928.638.7779 or go to www.NPS.gov/grca.
According to the National Mall & Memorial Parks office in Washington, D.C., motorcoach pick-up and drop-off via Daniel French Drive on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial is open again. This area is available for motorcoaches at all times with no rush hour restrictions. Tour operators and group leaders should encourage motorcoaches to use Daniel French Drive rather than Henry Bacon Drive during rush hour periods.
Click here to see a map of the motorcoach routes at the Lincoln Memorial.
Results from the 2007 National Travel Monitor, a study conducted by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, revealed some interesting information. One of the main findings from the survey, which polled travelers that take at least one overnight trip per year, was that the rate at which consumers use the Internet to plan travel is not growing and is projected to continue to drop off.
Of the respondents, 56 percent said they use the Internet as a planning tool, while eight percent use travel agents and 28 percent use both. These numbers are off from previous years, and YPB&R Chairman & CEO Peter Yesawich attributes the drop in part to the number of Web sites that come up in searches and the proliferation of advertisements on such sites.
Other tidbits from the survey included:
- The incidents of using the Internet to book travel is growing but at a slower pace than observed between 2002 and 2004.
- 76 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement, "On my next vacation, I would like to visit some place I have never been before."
- 71 percent disagreed with the statement, "I am planning to take fewer leisure trips this year."
- 47 percent said they feel like they don’t have enough vacation time.
Last year, the NTA Technology Committee made suggestions to enhance the search features on http://www.nta.travel/, and today some of those improvements are now in place to better serve you. A new radius search option allows tour operators to develop product by searching for members based on their travel routes, and tour suppliers and DMOs can find qualified tour operators coming to their area.
You can search for partners within five, 10, 30, 50 and 100 miles of your destination and easily download the results into your own sales system. This is a huge advantage to tour suppliers and destinations representing properties in nearby areas because, if a tour operator is searching for a hotel in Boston, the search will not only return hotel properties in the city but will return properties in the surrounding suburbs. The search will include headquarters locations as well as property locations.
The radius search is available within the Tour Supplier/DMO Search, which you can access from the home page. You will need your ID and password.
Additionally, the tour operator profile form is being revamped and should be available May 1. The updates will make it easier for tour operators to complete the form. Elements of the profile that are no longer relevant to the tour suppliers and DMOs were removed and the form is now more visually appealing and condensed so it fits on one screen. The tour destinations section also was updated so tour operators can choose whether they currently visit a location or plan to visit a location.
Please contact your member services team if you need assistance in using these tools.
Volunteers of all levels of skill and strength are needed to help restore Virginia City, Nevada, during the Tourism Cares for America event, May 17-19. Participants will be helping with a wide range of projects this year, including:
- Building a staircase at world famous Piper’s Opera House
- Restoring pews at beautiful St. Mary’s in the Mountains Catholic Church
- Painting St. Mary’s Art Center (formerly one of Virginia City’s hospitals)
- Restoring a 1916 caboose at the Virginia and Truckee Railroad
- Archiving period dresses at the Fourth Ward School Cultural Center
- Repairing the tracks at a railroad crossing
- Cleaning and preserving street lanterns, or painting curbs along the wooden sidewalks of the city’s main street
This extraordinary little town will leave you feeling like you’ve been working on an Old West movie set. As a matter of fact, Virginia City has been the authentic set of many a Western movie.
So, regardless of your skill level or physical ability, you are welcome to come and join new and old friends from NTA, USTOA, SYTA, ASTA, ABA, TIA and UMA in Nevada next month. Please click here for more information or contact Natalie King via e-mail or by calling 781.821.5990, ext. 205.
A special note to tour suppliers and DMOs – more than a third of the current 240-plus participants are tour operators.
See you soon out West!
The July 2007 issue of Courier offers plenty of opportunity to get your company/destination in front of tour operators. The space deadline for July Courier is April 30, so six days remain to get in the magazine ranked No. 1 in the industry by tour operators.
Feature stories this month cover national parks and zoos & aquariums. The Trip Planners showcase Coastal California to Baja and Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). July Travel Guides highlight Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
"We choose to partner with Courier magazine, as they are a driving force of industry news, have a high-quality publication and provide great ROI for their advertising partners and education for their members. They are a true partner and supporter of travel." – Corey Marshall, Anderson Vacations, Calgary, Alberta, member since 2001
Your association would like to thank the nearly 700 members who took the time to respond to the recent NTA Communications Survey. Your feedback will provide valuable information to the NTA Communication and Education Development Committee.
The three participants who won $50 Visa gift cards were:
Thanks again to everyone who took part in the survey. Results will be available at NTA.travel in the coming weeks.
The May issue of Courier looks ahead to the 2007 Annual Convention. The preview story includes information on the business, education and networking opportunities that await you at Convention, Nov. 2-6, in Kansas City, Missouri. The second feature story in May takes a look at innovative beach offerings like kayak and hiking wetland tours, hang gliding lessons and spotted dolphin encounters.
Destinations covered in the May issue are the dramatic Canyonlands of the American West; one of the world’s hottest growth markets – Asia; the Midwestern states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska; and the remote and beautiful Canadian territories of Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories.
August Issue – Ad Space: May 28; Editorial: Past
Theaters; Fall Foliage; Orlando; Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Northern California, Oregon & Washington); Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; Wisconsin.
September Issue – Ad Space: June 22; Editorial: May 1
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; Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota & Wyoming); Central and South America; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Autry National Center – The Berkely Group (TPP) – Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal City – Greater Birmingham CVB – Callaway Gardens – Chase Paymentech – Coach America – Colorado Springs CVB – Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak – Gatorland – GE Consumer Finance (Travel) – Grand Canyon IMAX Theatre – International Floral Garden & Exposition – Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association – The Liberace Museum – Menopause The Musical – MotorCity Casino – Primm Valley Resorts – Rapid City CVB
Click here to view the 2007 NTA Editorial Calendar.