May 16, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter, May 16, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 20
|NTA’s newest Corporate Partner, Staples, is committed to providing the association’s members with competitive prices on office supplies, access to thousands of office items, Internet ordering solutions and free next-business-day delivery. U.S. members wanting more information should click here or contact Keith Nolfi at email@example.com. Canadian members wanting more information should click here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.
Registration for the 2006 NTA Annual Convention opened today at noon ET. Visit http://convention.nta.travel/ to register online or to access registration forms that can be mailed or faxed to NTA Headquarters. Don’t delay if you want to participate with prescheduled appointments, as availability is limited.
Salt Lake City is preparing to welcome NTA, Nov. 3 – 7, for great business, quality product development and Olympic-sized fun. During the course of five short days, you can meet face-to-face with thousands of the most qualified professionals in our industry. Register to join us in Salt Lake, and experience the quality that NTA delivers.
Better Business. Better Be There.
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) has asked for NTA’s assistance in securing co-sponsors for his amendment to improve the severe effects of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (otherwise known as the passport issue.)
Coleman’s legislation would waive fees for a PASS card for those under 18, would cap the cost of a card at $20 and provide for a 72-hour "pass" for those not having a passport or other approved document.
Please contact your members of the U.S. Senate and urge their co-sponsorship of the Coleman amendment to S. 2611. For the full text of the legislation and more information, click here.
Once you’ve signed up for Convention, one of the next steps is to request prescheduled business appointments for the Tour & Travel Exchange. Even though you cannot make your requests until July 19, here are some tips to help you as you compile and monitor your appointment request list for the 2006 Convention.
- Register early. Appointment requests are run in the order that registrations are received.
- Do your research with searches and profiles. The searches allow you to find out as much as you can about the companies you want to have appointments with, and learn what you can offer the partnership. (see related article below)
- Update your profile. When delegates invest time to research their appointments, it is essential for your information to be as up-to-date as possible. Tour operators must make their updates by July 7 to remain eligible for the Convention rebate.
- Watch your Shopping List. This list, which is available through the scheduling system, will show you which companies have requested appointments with you. To create a "perfect match," request them, too.
- Use the Message System. Communicate in advance to ensure a productive Convention appointment. Buyers can inform sellers of their needs, or sellers can initiate the dialogue. Be proactive, so everyone is informed.
Click here for additional pointers related to the Tour & Travel Exchange at Convention.
One of the most valuable tools that can help you be better prepared for Annual Convention is NTA’s online member searches. In addition to being a great place to do research on companies you want to take appointments with at Convention, these searches can help you develop targeted prospect databases to use in your marketing campaigns.
Designed for ease and flexibility, they allow you to search by a number of criteria to create detailed lists of potential partners, including company contact information, location, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. With the "advanced search" option, you can develop databases of NTA tour operators by the type of packages they offer, seasons in which they operate, the customers they serve and much more. Best of all, once you’ve done your specific search, you can download the results in an Excel file to your desktop with the click of a button.
To access the searches, go to http://www.nta.travel/ and click on the "For Members Only" search links at the top of the page. You will need your individual ID and your password to access the searches and, if you’ve forgotten them, call your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
The 7th annual NTA Grassroots Symposium will be held Sept. 11 – 12 in Washington, D.C. The Hotel Washington again will serve as the event headquarters, with a special NTA symposium rate of $150 available.
Come to Capitol Hill and learn about hot tourism issues in Congress and talk to your congressman about this industry and your business. Program details will follow in the coming months so be sure to watch Tuesday.
To get registered for the symposium, contact Todd Hamilton at 800.682.8886, ext. 4205 or todd.hamilton@NTA.travel.
It is often said that experience is the best teacher. Tour operators who like to gain first hand knowledge of a destination before packaging it will have plenty of opportunity to do just that the rest of the year through NTA’s product development trips.
In August, New Zealand will welcome NTA for an eight-day tour of Auckland, Waitomo, Rotorua, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford, Queenstown, Mount Cook and Christchurch. The trip, hosted by Southern World Group, takes place Aug. 20 – 30. The $1,270 price includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles International Airport to New Zealand (does not include transportation to/from your city to LAX).
September will showcase Oregon on a trip that includes stops in Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Recreation Area, Mt. Hood Territory, Bend, Ashland, Crater Lake National Park, Newport and Willamette Valley. The Sept. 26 – Oct. 1 trip is sponsored by the Oregon Tour & Travel Alliance and costs $150 (does not include transportation to/from Oregon).
In December, the Georgia Coast Travel Association presents "Georgia Coast Holiday Delights." With visits to Savannah and its low country, Brunswick, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, participants will enjoy Southern hospitality at its best. The Dec. 8 – 12 trip costs $100 (does not include transportation to/from Georgia).
Each of these trips is limited to one participant per company and, for more information on any of them, click here. Questions about product development trips should be directed to NTA Marketing Coordinator Dawn Pettus at dawn.pettus@NTA.travel.
If you have interest in helping lead your association, here is more information on running for one of the spots on the 2007 NTA Board of Directors. In order to qualify to seek an office, members must either have served two years as a member of an NTA committee, council, task force or related board of directors, or they must meet three of the following five criteria:
If you want to be considered, the first step is to fill out an interest form and turn it in by June 16. The Nominating Committee will utilize the forms, along with a detailed questionnaire, to determine the individuals they feel deserve their recommendation for the three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat, one DMO seat and the officer positions of vice chair, treasurer and secretary. Those receiving a nomination will be announced to the full membership in early July via Tuesday.
For more information on NTA elections, or to receive an interest form, contact Todd Hamilton at todd.hamilton@NTA.travel.
NTA joined nearly 300 of its members last week as an exhibitor at TIA’s International Pow Wow. Held in Orlando, the 2006 Pow Wow event drew approximately 1,500 buyers from more than 70 countries.
NTA’s presence served to promote the benefits of creating partnerships with its members. The association met with 24 international buyers and as a result, will pass along 19 leads for receptive services to its members. These tour operators will be bringing groups and individuals to North America from destinations including the Ukraine, the Philippines, Taiwan, Kuwait, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Romania, South Africa, Croatia, Sweden, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and India. Of particular interest to the international tour operators was the ability to connect directly with receptive operators offering specialized and niche product through NTA.
Additionally, NTA participated in the annual Market Update to gather key information regarding targeted international markets and held strategy meetings with representatives from the U.S. Commercial Services Department and VISIT USA committees. NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, represented NTA at the annual U.S. Commercial Services Global Travel & Tourism Team meeting and discussed ways that NTA and Commercial Services could work together to bring value to members interested in travel inbound to the United States.
Based on the results of the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet evaluation, delegates came to Louisville to network. The survey says that the event delivered, as did our gracious hosts.
- "Networking with other operators" rated 9.6 on a 10-point scale when asked to rate the importance of the reasons they attend Spring Meet.
- Ninety-two percent reported enough networking opportunities during the three and a half day event.
- Delegates found the speed-dating session so valuable that many requested the time block be lengthened to accommodate more "dates" and partnering.
- Host city Louisville received high marks from the delegates, too. When asked how their perceptions of Louisville had changed after attending Spring Meet, 85 percent said they view the city more positively.
To see photos and highlights from the 2006 Spring Meet, click here. Make plans to join us for the 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet in beautiful Kelowna, B.C., located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley.
When planning your marketing and branding campaign, remember NTA offers numerous opportunities to spread your message, starting with Courier magazine. The August and September issues of Courier will feature stories on the Lewis & Clark Trail, theatres, museums and railroads, and the October edition is the year’s biggest and most widely read issue, since it contains all the details on the 2006 Annual Convention.
And, with Convention approaching quickly, you may want to investigate advertising in some of NTA’s Convention-related publications, including:
Your NTA account executives can help create the perfect marketing mix to maximize your exposure and reach your target audience. Contact them by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238, or you can e-mail them at courieradvertising@NTA.travel.