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Tuesday Newsletter

March 28, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter, March 28, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 13

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

Today’s Headlines
  • NTA Spring Meet Highlights
  • Sacramento CVB Makes Donation to Tourism Cares at Spring Meet
  • The Late Chuck West Receives NTA’s First Pioneer Award
  • New Jersey, Louisiana Introduce Seller of Travel Legislation
  • Prepare to Register for the 2006 Annual Convention
  • Benefit Basics: Photo Resources Just a Click Away
  • NTA Representatives at Rendez-vous Canada and Pow Wow
  • April Courier Preview
  • Free Admission to TravelCom’s Exhibit Hall Available to NTA Members
  • Membership Directory Polybag Sales Option

    NTA Spring Meet Highlights

    Last week, more than 250 NTA members met in Louisville, Ky., for the 2006 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet. Host city Louisville shined, as it served up horses and hospitality to complement the meet’s huge helping of business.

    "There was a great mood and feel to this year’s Spring Meet, and it was a terrific event," NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP, said. "The members I talked with felt it was more relaxing and that they really had time to talk operator-to-operator, learn from each other and form partnerships. The speed dating session was again a marvelous event, there were some strong educational seminars and the crackerbarrels exemplified what NTA is all about. Thank you Louisville, you did a fantastic job of hosting and made it a very memorable Spring Meet for everyone."

  • Speed-dating for tour operators made its third appearance at an NTA event, attracting 95 tour operator participants who experienced a total of 2,090 "dates" in 66 minutes.
  • The general crackerbarrel generated a lot of discussion on such topics as the importance of DMO tracking and the Western Hemisphere Passport Initiative.
  • The AIM program roundtable sessions gave members a chance to share ideas about specific niches of the travel industry
  • The Government Relations Silent Auction raised $3,680 for TourPAC and the Government Issues Fund. Thanks to all the NTA members who provided items for bid and those who bid.
  • Highlighted by Erik Wahl’s "The Art of Vision" session, educational seminars stayed in the spotlight.
  • Delegates experienced Kentucky at its finest through evening events at the Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby Museum and the Muhammad Ali Center, and on the sightseeing tours and Fams.

    Special thanks to the Greater Louisville CVB and to all the Spring Meet sponsors for making this event such an overwhelming success.

    Mark your calendars for next year’s NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet in Kelowna, B.C., April 26-28, 2007.

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    Sacramento CVB Makes Donation to Tourism Cares at Spring Meet

    Dustin Teichman of the Sacramento CVB presented a check to Tourism Cares for Tomorrow during NTA’s Spring Meet last week. This was the second year that the organization had made a philanthropic contribution. When it played host to last year’s Spring Meet, the CVB donated money to breast cancer relief fund, in lieu of a tour operator gift.

    In accepting the check for $2,500, Tourism Cares’ Assistant Development Manager Natalie King thanked the Sacramento CVB, saying, "Tourism Cares is honored to be Sacramento’s chosen philanthropy. With donations like this, we are all giving back to our industry through volunteerism, grants and scholarships."

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    The Late Chuck West Receives NTA’s First Pioneer Award

    At Spring Meet, NTA presented its inaugural Pioneer Award to the late Charles "Chuck" West, founder of Westours and Cruise West. The award, which will honor individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members have benefited, was established by the Board of Directors during its November 2005 meeting in Detroit.

    West’s son, Dick, was on hand to accept the honor for his father and said, "On behalf of our family and everyone at Cruise West, thank you for honoring my dad as the first recipient of the Pioneer Award. Travel was dad’s life, as it is for many of us. But few have had the challenges and opportunities that he had over his 60 years in the travel business. I know dad would be, and is, truly honored to receive this recognition for his trailblazing efforts."

    A long-time innovator of the Alaska tourism product who was dubbed "Mr. Alaska" by his peers, West founded Alaska’s first tour company, Arctic Alaska Tours, in the late 1940s and was the pioneer of marketing North Country packages. Additionally, he founded Alaska’s first all-tourist hotel chain, motorcoach network and Inside Passage cruise line.

    These package tour components were later consolidated under Westours, which became a dominant operator in Alaska. After he sold Westours to Holland America in 1973, he started another Alaska travel company that has become the present day Cruise West. Today, Seattle-based Cruise West owns and operates a cruising yacht, plus a fleet of 10 small cruise ships that visit 24 Alaskan and Russian ports.

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    New Jersey, Louisiana Introduce Seller of Travel Legislation

    A quiet U.S. state legislative session just made a little noise, when Seller of Travel legislation was introduced in New Jersey and Louisiana. NTA has already contacted sponsors of the legislation and sent information out to NTA members in those states.

    NJ S. 1657 and LA H 929 would require sellers of travel to register with the state annually, identify themselves as a seller of travel in advertising and contracts, and obtain a bond for the protection of consumers. The New Jersey legislation would apply to all sellers of travel selling travel to New Jersey residents, whether they are based in the state or not. The Louisiana bill isn’t specific as to whom it would apply and NTA is working to get that clarified.

    The New Jersey bill has been introduced but defeated several times before, and there is no indication that it will get any further this time. The Louisiana bill is new and particularly troubling, in that the state’s tourism industry has been hurt enough by Katrina without adding the burden of more questionable regulations.

    NTA will keep you posted on the fate of these bills via Tuesday.

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    Prepare to Register for the 2006 Annual Convention

    In just 221 short days, the 2006 NTA Annual Convention kicks off in beautiful Salt Lake City. Mark your calendars and plan to join your NTA colleagues, Nov. 3-7, for better business. Online registration will open at noon ET May 16 at

    Watch your mail for a "Save the Date" postcard that includes registration fees and related information, so you can be ready to register. Sign up early to reserve your spot in the Tour & Travel Exchange® – NTA’s innovative and totally open marketplace. Also, if you missed last week’s article of the updated Exchange schedule, click here to read it.

    Better Business. Better Be There.

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    Benefit Basics: Photo Resources Just a Click Away

    NTA’s online photo gallery is a one-stop shop for tour operators who are looking for destination images to promote their itineraries in printed or web-based catalogs. The gallery is sorted by U.S. state, Canadian province or country and further broken down by city or region. Click here to peruse the gallery’s offerings.

    DMO members are encouraged to submit a link to their online photo resources. Take a minute to see if your destination is represented in our gallery and, if not, please e-mail your organization’s name, contact person, phone number and photo gallery’s Web address to NTA Member Services at

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    NTA Representatives at Rendez-vous Canada and Pow Wow

    The National Tour Association will have representatives at two upcoming industry events – Rendez-vous Canada and International Pow Wow. NTA will be on site to represent and support all association members, including NTA’s receptive service providers. At both of these shows, NTA tent cards and ribbons will be available for members.

    At Rendez-vous Canada, held in Toronto, Ontario, April 22-26, NTA’s booth is located in the Delegates’ Lounge in Hall E (booth #8), and 168 NTA members have signed up. The NTA booth will be #846 for International Pow Wow, which takes place in Orlando, May 6-10, and there are 277 NTA members registered.

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    April Courier Preview

    Soon you’ll "experience" the April Courier, with a bold pink cover to go with its colorful cover story on customized historic homes and gardens tours. Experience is what this issue is all about. The business section places an emphasis on Boomer-driven travel with its "experiential" itineraries and demand for options and flexibility. This issue also contains two separate Student and Youth Travel pieces, which demonstrate how experiential tours are starting with the youngest travelers these days. And, speaking of the young, you’ll want to be sure to check out Travelin’ Light on the back page for an exclusive report from Keith Griffall about his son’s Olympic experience.


    July Issue – Ad Space: May 1; Editorial: Past
    Music Destinations; Zoos & Aquariums; Coastal California & Baja; Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island & Vermont); Kentucky; Ohio; Tennessee; West Virginia.

    August Issue – Ad Space: May 29; Editorial: April 1
    Theatres; Lewis & Clark Trail; Atlantic City; Latin America; Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; Wisconsin.

    September Issue – Ad Space: June 23; Editorial: May 1
    Museums; Railroads; Alaska & Western Canada (Alberta, British Columbia & Yukon); Southwest (Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas); Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina.

    Autry National CenterThe Berkely Group (TPP)Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal CityChicago CTBCircle Line Sightseeing Yachts Inc.Coach USA Colorado Springs CVB Gaylord Opryland Resort & Attractions ITS Design & Printing Inc.John G. Shedd AquariumLaredo CVBGreater Louisville CVBMadame Tussaud’s New YorkMaid of the MistMotorCity CasinoNew Orleans Metropolitan CVBPaymentech Merchant ServicesPort Arthur CVBRogers CVBSan Antonio CVBTop of the RockWalt Disney Theatrical ProductionsWilliamsburg Area COC & CVBWilliamsburg Hotel Associates

    Please click here to view the 2006 editorial calendar online.

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    Free Admission to TravelCom’s Exhibit Hall Available to NTA Members

    The Travel Industry Association of America has offered NTA complimentary passes good for free admission to the VIP Exhibit Hall at its 2006 edition of TravelCom. The event, which brings together a variety of experts in the area of e-commerce and online travel marketing, will be held April 17-19 at the Hilton New York in New York City.

    For more information on acquiring the free passes, please contact NTA Vice President of Operations Tonya Littlefield Cummings via e-mail at or by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 3547 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.219.3547.

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    Membership Directory Polybag Sales Option

    The 2006-07 NTA Membership Directory will be in the hands of all NTA members very soon. Why not take advantage of a top of mind opportunity by being the first thing our members see when they receive the Membership Directory?

    Your company’s name can be instantly visible to your industry colleagues when they get their directory. The polybag, containing your printed marketing message, will enclose the directory.

    The deadline to submit materials is April 19. Various sizes and rates are available so call your account executive today to find out more at 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238.

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