March 6, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter March 6, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 10
|The Berkely Group provides a competitive Travel Protection Plan to NTA members. The plan includes an administration-free product that operators can sell to their clients and a group product that offers flexibility in pricing and compensation. To learn more click here or contact Geni Priolo at email@example.com.|
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian announced today to the membership that Lisa Simon, CTP, has been selected as NTA’s chief staff officer.
Simon, who has been serving the association in an interim position since August, was selected following a national search.
"In the end, we knew we had the best possible candidate working with us all along," Julian said in his letter to the membership. "We’re thrilled to have her back at NTA, and she’s looking forward to working again with our great association."
Julian also said that Simon’s strengths in visionary thinking, strategic planning and association management will complement the travel industry expertise and NTA passion shared by the NTA Board, Leadership Team and members.
NTA has set the fee schedule for its new Certified Tour Profession program that Temple University is designing. NTA will fully roll out the program at the 2007 Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, Nov. 2-6.
The price for a new enrollee is $600 and this will include the enrollment fee, study guide and all related testing. NTA’s Communication and Education Development Committee gave input on the pricing and wanted to ensure that the program is affordable, offering access to the kind of specialized, continuing education that will further a member’s career in the packaged travel industry. For non-members, the enrollment fee will be $900.
Anyone currently enrolled in the CTP program has until Dec. 31, 2007, to complete the program and graduate under the old CTP guidelines, or they may choose to rollover into the new Temple-designed program for only $75, which would be invoiced in January 2008. Current CTP participants should watch their mail for details on either graduating in ’07 or enrolling in the new program, but need to fill out and return a form regarding their intentions.
NTA is extremely excited about this program and the collaboration with Temple. The joint effort brings an unparalleled level of quality and prestige to NTA’s continuing education program. If you have questions about the new program or about your status as a current enrollee, please contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s vice president of marketing, at lisa.thompson@NTA.travel.
The Person-to-Person Tracking Project is under way and has been well received by the operators who have participated. As Ed Dresel of Destinations Unlimited said, "I just completed my interview with RoseMarie, and I want to encourage all operators to get involved with this program and provide the information our destination partners need."
When asked about the process itself, he goes on to explain, "This was an easy and straightforward process. The initial data collection form took about 30 minutes to complete. It is basic information such as destination, number of passengers and number of nights – that’s it. And, the interview was very enjoyable. This is the most painless process to achieve the most needed results that could be offered. This small time investment will yield not only tangible data for DMOs but also a good insight on how DMOs can better assist us, the tour operator."
NTA would like to thank all of the tour operator companies who, to date, have completed the process in its entirety. Our sincerest thanks to:
Tour operators’ participation in this program is vital to the continued growth and support of tour suppliers and DMOs. For more information on the initiative, contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s vice president of marketing, at lisa.thompson@NTA.travel.
Time is running out to save on registration for the 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet, April 26-28, in Kelowna, British Columbia. Tour operators and receptive tour operators must register by March 9 to secure the US$50 savings. And, the deals don’t end there.
Tour operators and receptive tour operators are eligible to receive free airfare on United Airlines from any U.S. airport serviced by United to either Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia. Act quickly, as there are a limited number of vouchers remaining. Click here for more information.
Finally, attending Spring Meet could earn you CDN$500. Tourism Kelowna is so confident their destination will increase your business, they are offering two incentive options to those tour operators coming to the event. Click here for details.
The education and product development, coupled with the incredible savings, makes the Spring Meet a must-attend event. Register online or contact NTA at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444. Visit the 2007 Spring Meet Web site to learn more.
Speaking to their U.S. counterparts at the recent National Governors Association conference, some of Canada’s provincial premiers called for greater flexibility for U.S. and Canadian seniors regarding travel documents required as part of Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative’s land and sea border entry provisions.
"I think it’s a natural for us to exempt seniors," said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in an article published in last Monday’s Victoria (British Columbia) Times Colonist. "I think some of the very same reasons that would have motivated the exemption of children could apply to seniors."
NTA wholeheartedly joins with our Canadian friends in urging the U.S. Congress to adopt the same less-restrictive document measures for seniors that it recently outlined for students. That has been an NTA advocacy position from day one. The request is in keeping with a July 2005 letter that NTA submitted regarding lower passport fees for students and seniors – in partnership with the Student & Youth Travel Association and the United States Tour Operators Association – to the U.S. Department of State Counselor Affairs and to the Department of Homeland Security.
The letter cited the difficulties the initiative would add for the senior and student markets, stating that it would cause a "significant expense to cross-border travel for these groups, for negligible security gain." The letter further added that as a result, "student travel will be limited in its scope and educational impact, while fixed-income seniors will have to budget more money for a cruise or cross-border trip."
NTA and GE Money have been working together since last fall to offer tour operators a new selling tool – consumer financing. Being able to offer a deferred interest financing option on tours can help operators attract new buyers and presents a huge opportunity for consumers to take that dream trip and pay for it later, with no interest penalty if paid within the stated time period. The program can:
Additionally, representatives from GE will be on hand in Kelowna, British Columbia, for this year’s Spring Meet. Operators who are interested in offering this program to their clients can get more information there, too.
Tourism Cares has added a new dimension to its traditional student offerings in the form of a Service-Learning Scholarship Program.
Through the first-year program, Tourism Cares is awarding scholarships to cover participation fees, meals and transportation (from anywhere in the continental United States or Canada) for students wishing to help out with its annual volunteer projects. This year, scholarships will be available for Tourism Cares for Virginia City, which takes place May 17-19 in this historic mining town just outside of Reno, Nevada.
The new program was the brainchild of Tourism Cares’ Chairman of the Board of Directors, Arthur Tauck, as a response to his experience at the 2006 project. "I was so impressed with the students who worked with us in Mississippi," said Tauck. "They brought such enthusiasm to the project and carried away an experience that they will never forget."
To learn more about how you can support this new program, contact Tourism Cares Program Director Carolyn Viles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are only five sponsorships remaining for the 2007 NTA Spring Meet, and those sponsorships provide a way for tour suppliers and DMOs to attend this operator-exclusive event. With an anticipated 150 tour operators in attendance, your sponsorship at Spring Meet is guaranteed to reach the right audience.
According to Spring Meet registration data, 63% of tour operator attendees are the decision makers in their companies. This year the event will be held in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, April 26-28. Spring Meet networking and social events offer a great way for tour suppliers and DMOs to interact with these key tour operator contacts.
NTA has finalized its 2008 Courier Editorial Calendar. Now is the time to plan ahead and get your company or organization into the magazine that’s rated as the industry’s most valuable magazine by NTA tour operators.
What better way to get noticed than to advertise in the magazine that 87% of NTA tour operators read. In addition to some familiar topics, the 2008 Courier lineup offers new and exciting features on subjects such as religious travel and culinary tourism.
You can receive 2007 rate protection by booking your 2008 advertisements before March 30, 2007. 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.