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Tuesday Newsletter

February 21, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter, February 21, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 8

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

Today’s Headlines
  • Hurricane Update: Louisiana – Five Months Later
  • Benefit Basics: Join the World of ".travel"
  • Hoffmann Selected To Fill NTA Board Vacancy
  • Zurich Canada Ending Tour Operator Insurance Program
  • Tour Operators: Prepare for Spectacular Power Breakfast
  • Keith Griffall – Olympic Journal
  • Learn the Language on Rhode Island Product Development Trip
  • Scholarships Available From Tourism Cares for Tomorrow
  • Time is Running Out to Reserve Space for the Directory

    Hurricane Update: Louisiana – Five Months Later

    Tuesday is running a series of articles on hurricane recovery in the U.S. Gulf Coast area. The stories are aimed at giving you a firsthand perspective from NTA members on how things are going at their destination. Today’s final installment focuses on the state of Louisiana, not including New Orleans (since it was covered in a separate article last week).

    Apart from some residual damage done by Hurricane Rita in the southwestern part of the state, Louisiana is open for business. That is the message both Darienne Wilson of the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Megan Monsour of the Southwest Louisiana CVB want to deliver to NTA members.

    "(Except for parts of New Orleans) Other areas of the state are open and ready for business," Wilson said. "There were problems with hotel availability across the state immediately following the storms, but rooms are now available. No storm damage or closings were noted in major Louisiana tourist destinations like Lafayette, Houma, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe."

    "Hurricane Rita took its toll on Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes, which includes the Lake Charles area," Monsour added. "Southwest Louisiana is rebounding more quickly than anyone expected, and, fortunately, many homes, businesses and attractions hit by the storm have already been repaired and are open."

    To read more of Wilson and Monsour’s comments, click here.

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    Benefit Basics: Join the World of ".travel"

    ".travel" has launched … has your company registered a new ".travel" domain name yet? Being a part of the ".travel" community gives your company credence in the world of travel, as only legitimate travel operations are granted domain names. NTA has been declared an "authentication provider" and can verify that your organization meets the criteria to possess a ".travel" domain name.

    There are two steps to securing your ".travel" domain. First, you must submit information about your company to be authenticated as a bona fide member of the global travel community. After you are "authenticated," you will be permitted to register your ".travel" domain(s) through the ".travel" registry.

    If you are still unsure about the process, or have questions on why you should be part of ".travel," contact your NTA Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 for more information.

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    Hoffmann Selected To Fill NTA Board Vacancy

    The 2006 NTA Board of Directors has selected Mark Hoffmann, CTP, of Sports Leisure Vacations to fill the secretary position vacated by Martin Elson’s resignation. According to the NTA bylaws, the role of selecting replacements falls to the board, and the process to select Hoffmann honored that stipulation.

    Hoffmann, who not only served as NTA president in 2000 but also as an elected board member in 2004 and 2005, will provide continuity as he serves out Elson’s term in 2006. An election will take place in November to fill the position permanently.

    "I am thrilled that we were able to add Mark Hoffmann to the Board of Directors as our secretary," NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP, said. "I have worked with Mark on the board the past few years, and I know he brings a great deal of knowledge, insight and enthusiasm to the position."

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    Zurich Canada Ending Tour Operator Insurance Program

    NTA has learned that Zurich Canada is ending the program offered through The Berkely Group for tour operators’ professional and general liability insurance. The company will handle the renewal of current policyholders through May 2006. All Canadian accounts up for renewal after May 31 will receive a non-renewal notice.

    Berkely is recommending that Canadian operators contact their insurance brokers for replacement coverage. According to Berkely, it appears that Lombard Canada is the only Canadian insurance company that, at this time, will be offering professional and general liability insurance to tour operators after Zurich Canada leaves the market. To learn more about Lombard Canada, visit

    As a reminder, you can review the membership requirements for North American-based tour operators at NTA Online by clicking here.

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    Tour Operators: Prepare for Spectacular Power Breakfast

    Be sure to catch the featured educational session during the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet on Thursday, March 23. The Power Breakfast, sponsored by the San Diego CVB, Shop San Diego and San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, will feature Erik Wahl and his presentation called "The Art of Vision." The session will challenge you to think outside the box to build a vision for your future. Wahl’s warmth, humor and personal experiences will get your creative juices flowing and kick off Spring Meet in inspired fashion.

    Wahl holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego, where he studied both art and business. After some time in the business world, he founded The Wahl Group, a consulting firm specializing in helping organizations identify and implement breakthrough thinking to achieve extraordinary results.

    Click here for more information on the 2006 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet, to be held March 22-25, in Louisville, Ky.

    Spring Meet – it’s all about you!

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    Keith Griffall – Olympic Journal

    Preston Griffall and teammate Dan Joye finished eighth in the doubles luge competition at the Winter Olympics last week in Torino, Italy. Griffall is the son of Western Leisure CEO and NTA Past President Keith Griffall, CTP.

    Keith took time out of his busy schedule of being a fan and a tourist to provide NTA with another entry in his Olympic journal. In this week’s posting, he provides the inside scoop on Preston’s event, along with expressing many of the emotions he was feeling watching his son compete.

    You can read the full text of Keith’s update by clicking here.

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    Learn the Language on Rhode Island Product Development Trip

    As with any visit to a new area, it’s important to know the language. And Rhode Island is no exception. Considering guests will hear an accent that’s somewhere between "de Bronx and Baahstan," communication can be a challenge at times. We offer the following guide to prepare you for your visit to Rhode Island on the NTA Product Development Trip (All translations authored by Mark Patinkin, excerpted from "The Rhode Island Dictionary" copyright 2002)

    Lesson #1 – Know where you are:

  • Prahvidince: The capital of Rhoe D’ylin
  • Newpawt: Where the Mansions are
  • Sow County: Location of "Point Jude," home of RI’s fishing fleet
  • P’tucket: Largest city in Blackstone Valley
  • Jeffison: Name of the Boulevard in Warwick where our hotels are located for the Product Development Trip
  • Blah-kyelin: Island 12 miles off the coast, our host the last night of the trip
  • Warn: Town in the East Bay between Barrington and Bristol

    Need more practice? Join us on our Product Development Trip, April 23-27, and speak with the locals for yourself! The cost is $150, which includes lodging, sightseeing and most meals, and you must register by March 1.

    In compliance with NTA guidelines, only one full-time employee per company may attend and guests/spouses are not permitted. For more information on the trip, click here, or contact Katrina White by calling 401.222.2601, ext. 150, or e-mailing her at

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    Scholarships Available From Tourism Cares for Tomorrow

    Tourism Cares for Tomorrow has announced its 2006 scholarship opportunities for students studying travel and tourism at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Tourism Cares is especially proud to offer two NTA scholarships – the $1,000 NTA State and Provincial Scholarship and the $2,500 National Tour Association Scholarship.

    Both scholarships will go to a travel and tourism student entering his/her junior or senior year at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States or Canada. In total, 34 scholarships, one graduate research grant and one internship will be available in 2006. The scholarships range from $500 to $10,000.

    Tourism Cares for Tomorrow is dedicated to the future of the travel industry and to the students who are that future. If you know of an eligible student, please pass along the detailed information and downloadable applications that are available at Deadline for applications is April 1.

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    Time is Running Out to Reserve Space for the Directory

    The deadline is fast-approaching to reserve your advertising space in the 2006-07 NTA Membership Directory. This 600-plus page publication will be delivered to our entire membership and will have valuable contact information for your industry partners.

    What better way to put your company in front of so many tourism professionals? Advertising space is available from 1/6 of a page to a full page. This year’s directory will include easy-to-navigate, color-coded sections for the second-straight year. In addition to your company’s ad, choose to upgrade your membership listing. An enhanced listing will highlight and bold your contact information and includes space for your company’s four-color logo.

    The space deadline for advertising in the directory is March 1 and materials are due March 15. Talk to your account executive today for more details by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238.

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