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Tuesday Newsletter

November 21, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter November 21, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 46

This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Tourism Montréal.

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Today’s Headlines
  • Welcome from 2007 Chairman and CEO Randy Julian
  • NTA Board Meeting Recap from Salt Lake City
  • 2006 Convention Highlights
  • Convention Photos Available
  • Tell Us How Lounge Helped Gather Member Feedback
  • Suzanne Slavitter to Chair 2009 NTA Convention
  • Italian Government Withdraws Plans for Tourist Tax
  • Save the Dates for 2007
  • Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Named Benefactor of Tourism Cares/NTA Fund
  • Receive Bonus Distribution for Your Advertisement

    Welcome from 2007 Chairman and CEO Randy Julian

    Greetings NTA friends! I want to take this opportunity to say a quick hello as your 2007 NTA chairman and CEO. A special thanks to each of you who helped make the Annual Convention in Salt Lake City such a resounding success. It was an incredible five days. The energy was contagious, and I am truly excited about the year ahead. What a great honor it is to represent you and our association.

    We have a lot to accomplish in the next 12 months and I look forward to working with you to make it happen. Together we are going to enhance our personal connection with each other and strengthen NTA’s position as the one-stop shop for worldwide packaged travel.

    I ask for your input, your voice and your loyalty. Please feel free to e-mail me at or call me any time on my NTA cell phone at 502.682.6521; members outside of the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico will need to dial 001 and then this number.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

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    NTA Board Meeting Recap from Salt Lake City

    The 2006 NTA Board of Directors held its final meeting of the year Nov. 2, prior to the start of the Annual Convention. Some of the key topics included the management contract, approval of amendments to the election process and campaigning and designation of monies to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi.

    For highlights of the discussions and actions taken, click here.

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    2006 Convention Highlights

    Member feedback regarding the 2006 NTA Annual Convention in Salt Lake continues to roll in. Delegates were treated to unseasonably warm weather, Olympic-caliber hospitality and unparalleled business. From their appreciation for the Tell Us How Lounge to the awe-inspiring performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, delegates are sharing their most memorable moments from the 2006 Convention.

  • "Being a first-timer attending the event, I was amazed at how much business potential and partnering opportunities are out there to be had. Because of this I now have a HUGE amount of leads to follow up on. Everything was fantastic – from the seminars to the meals and entertainment! Could not have been a better introduction to NTA for me!" – Seth Downs, Anderson Vacations


  • "Regarding the five-minute appointments at the DMO Exchange, all I can say is ‘I’m quick but not that quick.’ At this point, my suggestion is to either go back to the seven-minute appointments for everyone or perhaps look at six-minute appointments, which may satisfy those who like a compromise." – Fred Huffman, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula


  • "Salt Lake City was fantastic. It is a beautiful city with wonderful people. From the moment we landed at the airport, we only met nice and genuine people. The next group that I have will not be traveling through Utah, they will be traveling to Utah!" – Tiffiny Trump-Humbert, Trump Tours


  • "The Exchange sessions are still the best component of the Convention for us. The ‘speed dating’ is another highlight. These two events generate immediate business deals, both in our finding suppliers to fill needs, and our finding leads for business where we can offer our services to fellow operators." – Mark Larsen, Ed-Ventures Inc.


  • "The Wine and Cheese Reception stood out exclusively at this Convention. This event gives the buyers and sellers – both new and existing – [the opportunity] to exchange ideas and create new business relationships." – Tony Chawla, InterContinental Hotels Group

    Click here for a detailed recap of the week’s events, including more member testimonials and Convention photos.

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    Convention Photos Available

    Do you want to relive the work and play that made the 2006 NTA Annual Convention such a memorable event? Photos taken in Salt Lake are now available for members to view, courtesy of PhotoVision Inc. Delegates are invited to access the collection of Convention pictures and to view the 2006 Week in Review video from the Final Night Gala.

    Special thanks goes out to Dave Martinson of PhotoVision Inc., who served as the official photographer of the 2006 NTA Annual Convention, for his hard work and the long hours he put in at Convention.

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    Tell Us How Lounge Helped Gather Member Feedback

    Did you know that the idea for having tour operator speed dating sessions at NTA events came from a member of your association’s Leadership Team? To facilitate further big ideas such as this, NTA set up the Tell Us How Lounge at this year’s Annual Convention.

    This area allowed members to provide NTA’s volunteer leaders with instant feedback on whatever was on their minds about NTA, their business or the industry in general. In addition to visiting face-to-face with board members, delegates also could jot down their thoughts via flip charts and suggestion boxes.

    NTA gathered more than 180 comments, and they will be shared with the appropriate NTA committees for review and consideration in the coming year. Many suggestions were related to the length of business appointments during the Saturday Exchange. These ranged from not liking the five-minute appointments, to favoring them, to suggesting that NTA add one-minute travel time between appointments. Here’s a sample of some other ideas and suggestions:

  • Booth numbers should be larger.
  • The new Direct Request appointment scheduling system went offline too early; make the system available for a longer period.
  • The Convention 101 intro was "FABULOUS." Could you include a Dos and Don’ts list?
  • Love the way the association is constantly making changes for members trying to meet the diversity.

    If you weren’t able to make it to Convention, or did and have other things you’d like to discuss with your board of directors, please send suggestions to

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    Suzanne Slavitter to Chair 2009 NTA Convention

    Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, will serve as the 2009 Annual Convention Chair. The event will take place in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 14-18. Slavitter was appointed by NTA Immediate Past Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP.

    Slavitter is the co-owner of Sports Empire Inc., a Lakewood, California-based sports and special events tour company, and is president of The Empire Consulting Group. She has served on the NTA Leadership Team and as a member of various association committees, in addition to being an NTA Ambassador and a regular volunteer at Convention.

    Slavitter will follow Bob Hofmann of Broadway Inbound in New York City, New York, who will chair the 2007 Convention in Kansas City, Missouri (Nov. 2-6), and John Shaffer of Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia, who will chair the 2008 Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Nov. 15-19).

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    Italian Government Withdraws Plans for Tourist Tax

    There will be no tourist tax in Italy after the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi failed to finalize a measure that would have seen visitors pay between 2 and 5 euros a day to help fund services in local vacation destinations.

    The government withdrew the proposal, included in its original draft of the 2007 budget, amid heavy criticism, especially from the Italian tourist industry. Tourism professionals warned that, even though the amount of the tax seemed fairly small, the country was risking losing visitors to other countries because of the added expense.

    Tourists would have had to pay the tax when settling their hotel bill, with the amount of the tax varying according to the size of their destination. Visitors in small communities would have paid less than those in Rome, Milan and Naples, for example, and the money was slated to go into the town or city’s coffers and to be used to improve tourist services.

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    Save the Dates for 2007

    NTA is nearing completion of its 2007 meeting and event calendar. Between Annual Convention, the Tour Operator Spring Meet, Board and Leadership Team Meetings and Product Development Trips, there is a lot in store next year. Here is a list of dates and events for 2007:

    • Jan.11-14 – January Leadership and Board of Directors Meeting, Alexandria, Virginia
    • April 26-28 – Tour Operator Spring Meet, Kelowna, British Columbia
    • April 29-30 – Executive Committee and Board of Directors Meeting, Kelowna, British Columbia
    • May 17-19 – Tourism Cares for America Work Project, Virginia City, Nevada
    • May 19-27 – NTA Product Development Trip to Poland
    • July 12-14 – Summer Leadership and Board of Directors Meeting, Lexington, Kentucky
    • August – Executive Committee Budget Work Session, Lexington, Kentucky (exact date[s] to be determined)
    • Sept. 6-13 – NTA Product Development Trip to Alaska
    • Sept. 21-23 – Executive Committee and Board of Directors Meeting, Outer Banks, North Carolina
    • Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – Executive Committee and Board of Directors Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri
    • Nov. 2-6 – Annual Convention, Kansas City, Missouri
    • Dec. 6-12 – NTA Product Development Trip to Peru

    Information on additional industry events can be viewed by clicking here. top of page


    Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Named Benefactor of Tourism Cares/NTA Fund

    The NTA Board of Directors has selected the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, as the recipient of the funds NTA members raised for the Tourism Cares Gulf Coast Restoration Fund Grant.

    These monies were collected during a luncheon at the 2005 Convention in Detroit, at which delegates placed donations into baskets on each table; more than $4,000 was raised for this fund. The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum has a special place in the hearts of the volunteers who participated in the 2006 Tourism Cares for America Gulf Coast Cleanup Event as many worked at the devastated site.

    "The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art would not be proceeding today without the generous help of grants from around the country. The support of NTA is so meaningful," said Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art Executive Director Marjie Gowdy. "Our museum has hosted so many great tours throughout the years and is grateful to the ongoing support of the travel industry. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"

    The awarding of this grant is just one of the many ways that the NTA community has supported its colleagues on the Gulf Coast. To learn more about Tourism Cares, please visit

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    Receive Bonus Distribution for Your Advertisement

    The March 2007 edition of Courier is the annual Tour Operator Spring Meet issue. The issue will have bonus distribution to 800 prospective new tour operator members, so your message will reach even more potential business partners.

    Feature stories in the March issue will cover the Hotels, Resorts & Spas and the 2007 Tour Operator Spring Meet, to be held in Kelowna, British Columbia. The March trip planners will highlight the Toronto & Niagara Region (New York and Canada) and the Mississippi River Valley (Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi & Tennessee) and the travel guides take you to the American West by profiling Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

    Don’t miss out on the chance to reach beyond our NTA family with your company advertisement in the March issue. You can package your Courier advertisement with a placement in our annual Membership Directory, the 2007 Convention Daily newsletter, on or in the Profile Form Notebook for great savings.

    Call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or e-mail for more information. Click here to view the full 2007 Courier Editorial Calendar.

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