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Tuesday Newsletter

September 5, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter September 5, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 36

This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Tourism Montréal.

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Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at

Today’s Headlines
  • On the Convention Trail
  • NTA Convention: Have You Submitted Your Appointment Requests?
  • Board and Officer Candidate Profiles Available
  • Pat Smith Memorial Information
  • Need a Travel Restriction Refresher?
  • Update on Trip Assured Inc.
  • NTA Members Receive Awards from TIA
  • Tour Operators Chairman’s Conversation Club
  • NTA Thanks Its New Zealand Hosts
  • Students "Give Back" During NTA Annual Convention
  • Guaranteed Delivery for Your Ad

    On the Convention Trail

    This is the fifth installment of On the Convention Trail, a series of Tuesday articles by 2006 Convention Chair Barb Bowman of the Grand Junction (Colo.) Visitor and Convention Bureau. The stories are aimed at getting you ready for Annual Convention, which will take place Nov. 3-7 "on location" in Salt Lake City.

    One of the aspects I love about the NTA Convention is the emphasis on etiquette during the Exchange. Politeness and consideration for other members are essential when you have so many people conducting business at the same time – especially with the open-floor format.

    For example: Have you ever found yourself so engaged in an appointment that you inadvertently keep talking into the next appointment timeslot? I must admit that I have. Once, the person who had the next appointment gracefully slid in behind me to announce his presence. After I noticed him, he stepped back to allow me to excuse myself. I can also remember a time when I didn’t see the person who had the next appointment approach, and she politely said, "Excuse me, but this is my appointment time."

    Going over during Exchange appointments happens from time to time, but practicing a polite approach to let someone know their time is up goes a long way.

    With the new five-minute appointments for Saturday’s Exchange, we will all have to quicken our pace and sharpen our presentation skills to avoid infringing on another’s appointment – it will be a fun challenge. It’s important that we respect each other and remember that we are all at Convention for the same reason … to do business!

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    NTA Convention: Have You Submitted Your Appointment Requests?

    The online Appointment Request System for the 2006 NTA Annual Convention is available. While the deadline to submit your requests is not until Sept. 19, delegates are encouraged to make requests early. Those requests will show up on the shopping list for those companies that you request. This allows others to see that you are interested in meeting with them, so they can request you as well, resulting in more perfect match appointments.

    Click here to log on and begin making your requests – you’ll need your registration number to access the system. Remember to check back from time to time to update your selections. Want more information? E-mail your Member Services team at

    Better Business. Better Be There.

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    Board and Officer Candidate Profiles Available

    Now that the slate of candidates for the 2007 NTA Board of Directors is set, the Election Page is now available at The page includes profiles of each candidate and is a good source to help you learn more about the office-seekers. Additional information on the candidates will appear in the election section of the October issue of Courier magazine, which includes biographical info and a Q&A with each candidate.

    After you have a chance to learn more about the candidates, head over to the Election Forum page of the member forums where you can ask the candidates questions and see their responses.

    E-mail ballots will be sent Sept. 26, and paper ballots will be mailed to those NTA members without functioning e-mail addresses Sept. 22. You can vote on those ballots, or during your membership category’s business meeting at Convention.

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    Pat Smith Memorial Information

    In last week’s issue of Tuesday, we reported the death of Pat Smith, who was a regular Convention attendee as an NTA consultant. The funeral for Smith, who died Aug. 27 in an airplane accident at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., was held Saturday, Sept. 2.

    Members had contacted NTA Headquarters about sending memorial donations, and that information is now available. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Lexington Habitat for Humanity, with the blessing of Smith’s family, has set up an endowment fund in Pat’s memory. Mark Hoffmann, owner of Sports Leisure Vacations (Sacramento, Calif.), and Jim Host, founder of Host Communications (Lexington, Ky.), have each generously agreed to match the first $1,000 in donations from the NTA family. Checks should be sent to:

    Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Endowment Fund
    Lexington Habitat for Humanity
    1260 Industry Road
    Lexington, KY 40505

    Please write "NTA Family" on the subject line of your check so that contributions can be tracked. Lexington Habitat for Humanity will maintain a list of NTA donors and provide them to Jean Smith, Pat’s wife. Also, if you wish to send condolences directly to Jean, her home address is 138 Chenault Road, Lexington, KY 40502.

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    Need a Travel Restriction Refresher?

    Officials in both the United States and United Kingdom have made security their first priority and are continuing to monitor regulations regarding the types of things passengers can bring on planes. To answer your clients’ questions about what they can and cannot carry onto flights, the following links will take you to the most recent information:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom (see the right-hand side of the page for security information)

    Also, is your company doing anything different or special to help your customers adapt to the new restrictions? If so, please let NTA know. Contact NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4418 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4418 or via e-mail at

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    Update on Trip Assured Inc.

    NTA has learned that Trip Assured Inc. has been issued an emergency cease and desist order by the Texas Department of Insurance regarding the sale of travel insurance in Texas without a license. The letter from TDI said that the Crossville, Tennessee-based firm was "soliciting, marketing, selling, administering, executing and issuing travel insurance policies to Texas residents," despite not holding a license to sell insurance in the state, and wanted citizens and travel sellers to beware.

    Related articles from the Associated Press and Travel Weekly provided some additional information on the subject. An Aug. 14 Travel Weekly article said Texas was the second state to issue a cease-and-desist order for Trip Assured and that "in October 2005 … Trip Assured, signed a ‘voluntary settlement’ with North Carolina, agreeing to stop doing insurance-related business in the state until it is licensed there."

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    NTA Members Receive Awards from TIA

    Congratulations go to many of NTA’s DMO members, who were the recipients of some of the awards handed out by the Travel Industry Association at its recent annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations in Minneapolis, Minn.

    TIA announced the three winners of its Destiny Awards, which are given for marketing programs and special projects. The 2006 winners were the Alexandria (Va.) Convention and Visitors Association, the Alaska Travel Industry Association and the Finger Lakes (N.Y.) Visitors Connection.

    NTA members received all but one of TIA’s Mercury Awards, which honor the best in state tourism office marketing and promotion programs each year. The list of 2006 winners included the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel; Arizona Office of Tourism; Idaho Commerce and Labor, Division of Tourism Development; Louisiana Office of Tourism; Missouri Division of Tourism; Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Travel Oregon; Virginia Tourism Corporation; and West Virginia Division of Tourism.

    TIA also presented its State Tourism Director of the Year Award for 2006 to Travel Oregon’s Chief Executive Officer Todd Davidson. The award is voted by state tourism directors and the main criterion for selection is the obvious and measurable improvement of a state’s "travel and tourism profile" while under the current director’s leadership.

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    Tour Operators Chairman’s Conversation Club

    NTA members continue to exchange ideas through participation in the Chairman’s Conversation Club, a conference call moderated by NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP.

    The next call, which includes tour operators, will take place Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 3-4 p.m. (ET). If you would like to share your thoughts on changes in, and challenges of, the packaged travel industry, e-mail NTA Executive Assistant Celeste Moore at right away to sign up. A toll-free dial-in number will be provided to those who register in advance.

    Notes from previous Chairman’s Conversation Club calls are available if you click here.

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    NTA Thanks Its New Zealand Hosts

    NTA just completed a highly successful Product Development Trip to New Zealand and would like to extend a sincere thank you to New Zealand Tourism, Air New Zealand and to Peter Askin and the entire Southern World Group team who helped make the trip a reality. Twelve NTA tour operators enjoyed the hospitality and diversity of New Zealand – leaving with some great new product ideas.

    NTA’s next Product Development Trip will be taking place the end of this month to Oregon, and it is still not too late to register for the December trip to the Georgia Coast. For additional information on Product Development Trips, contact Lisa Nelson at

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    Students "Give Back" During NTA Annual Convention

    Nevada Rocks for Tomorrow is a signature event at the NTA Annual Convention. Past attendees know they are guaranteed an entertaining and exciting night.

    One NTA member commented, "The Hard Rock Detroit was an excellent venue for the event, yet I will never forget the students who operated the coat-check. To see their gratuity collection plate with the sign ‘All gratuities to be donated to Hurricane Katrina Relief’ confirmed our next generation of travel professionals is already giving back in the philanthropic spirit of Tourism Cares."

    In addition to hosting students at the 2006 Convention, Tourism Cares looks forward to a night of fun, great music and camaraderie at Nevada Rocks for Tomorrow Sunday, Nov. 5, at The Depot. Tickets can be purchased when you register for Convention or by calling NTA Member Services at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444. Remember, if you are a tour operator, your ticket is free thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors, the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

    Your continued support of the Tourism Cares auctions also makes it possible for students to attend Convention. By donating, you participate in a premier opportunity to showcase your product or service to the attendees, while supporting a good cause. To donate items, please contact Natalie King at or by calling 781.821.5990.

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    Guaranteed Delivery for Your Ad

    What better way to get your company’s message in the hands of every attending tour operator at the NTA Annual Convention than by placing an advertisement in the Convention Daily newsletter?

    Issues of this magazine-quality publication will be delivered to every attending delegate’s hotel room before their bedside alarm starts ringing each morning. By advertising, you can call attention to your booth or tout the great specials you are offering. Whatever you want your message to be, it will be seen bright and early by NTA tour operators.

    Space is still available in three- or five-day packages, so call NTA now to reserve your space at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232. Click here to see about combining this offer with advertising opportunities in other Convention-specific publications.

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