February 7, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter February 7, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 6
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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 installment is the second segment of a two-part interview focusing on Mississippi.
Voluntourism efforts will go a long way toward helping the Mississippi Gulf Coast get back on its feet, according to Steve Richer, executive director at the Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB. Accordingly, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the Tourism-Caring for America project, which will be held March 16-19 in the Gulf Coast area.
"The Tourism-Caring for America project is the best thing that could be scheduled here for us this year. We want the travel industry to see what happened and are so pleased to have this special assistance," Richer said. "There also will be a need for volunteers to come and help with homes, public facilities, clean-ups and a variety of other tasks for at least the next two years."
Richer also talks about the "Build Back Our Coast Fund" and other ways NTA members can help out. Click here to read the full text of his comments.
Overhead expenses associated with running a business can be daunting. Insuring your business is necessary, but paying premium prices for your coverage isn’t. Have you spoken with NTA Corporate Partner The Berkely Group about its professional liability coverage? If not, click here to take the Berkely Challenge.
The Berkely Group offers competitive prices on professional liability coverage to NTA tour operators. In addition to low rates, NTA members can earn a premium credit worth five percent toward their next policy by attending the Berkely Risk Management seminar at Convention each year. Contact Maureen Kaye at 516.342.2629 for more information.
Additionally, Berkely offers NTA tour operators in the U.S. exclusive customized travel insurance products for their clients. Protect your clients and earn up to a 35 percent commission on travel protection plan sales. Contact Geni Priolo at 516.342.2684 for more information.
International tourism figures continued to climb in 2005, as total arrivals for the year exceeded the 800 million mark for the first time, according to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The number of arrivals hovered around the 700 million mark each year from 2000-03, only topping it in 2002, before spiking up to 766 million in 2004 and reaching 808 million this year.
"The tourism sector has gained substantially in resilience over the past years," says UNWTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli. "In spite of the turbulent environment we live in nowadays, destinations worldwide added some 100 million international arrivals between 2003 and 2005."
Each of the five regions – Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East – posted its highest arrival total in the 2000s and saw a combined increase of 5.5 percent over 2004. Here are the individual figures for those areas:
The recently remodeled 1,300-room Galt House Hotel and Suites in Louisville, Ky., is preparing to welcome the 2006 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet. The $60-million renovation is scheduled to be completed in February – just in time to unveil the updated, downtown property to NTA delegates, March 22-25. All tour operators and receptive tour operators will receive accommodations in a suite for the incredible rate of only $69 (U.S.) per night.
Check out the Galt House’s new look during the 2006 NTA Spring Meet. Click here to register online, or contact your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 for more information.
Spring Meet – it’s all about you!
It’s an exciting time for Western Leisure CEO Keith Griffall, CTP. The NTA past president will be heading to Torino, Italy, for the Winter Olympics to watch his son Preston, who will compete in the doubles luge race Wednesday, Feb. 15.
During the Games, Keith will be providing NTA with weekly updates, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of him being a fan and as technology permits. You can read the first one – in which he talks about the challenges of tour planning on such short notice, gives background on the sport of luge and shares other personal reflections – by clicking here.
The weekly updates, if available, will be publicized in the next two issues of Tuesday.
Martin Elson informed NTA that he closed Parker Tours and has resigned from the NTA Board of Directors. Elson said he will keep operating his other tour company, Biss Tours, but he has resigned that company’s membership from NTA.
In accordance with the NTA bylaws, the seat vacated by Elson will be filled shortly by the NTA Board of Directors. More information will provided in future issues of Tuesday.
United Airlines emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 1, 2006, and, as such, travelers purchasing the NTA Travel Protection Plan on or after that date will again be eligible to receive insolvency coverage for United Airlines.
Here is a summary of United’s insolvency coverage through the plan:
Please note, insolvency coverage is not provided for any travel supplier operating under bankruptcy protection at the time of protection plan purchase, nor is coverage provided for any travel supplier that ceases operations before or within 10 days after protection plan purchase.
For more information, contact the NTA Travel Protection Plan Help Line at 800.388.1470.
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Executive Director Bruce Beckham, CTP, and Dinner Chairperson Becky Casey of Starwood Hotels are pleased to announce the induction of two outstanding travel and tourism professionals – Bob Dickinson and the late Dave Herren – into the Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Hall of Fame this year. Dickinson serves as president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines and Herren was an executive vice president of The Mark Travel Corporation and a former chairman of the National Tourism Foundation.
The ceremony will take place Thursday, May 11, at a gala black tie dinner at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla. Discounted rooms, along with individual tickets and tables of 10 in preferred and premium locations are available. Click here for more information.
You can help advance your association’s advocacy efforts by donating an item or travel package for the Government Relations Silent Auction, to be held during Spring Meet in Louisville, March 22-25. Proceeds will benefit the association’s Government Issues Fund, and last year the 12 auction items brought in more than $5,500.
The Government Issues Fund helps make your voice heard in Washington D.C. It supports association advocacy efforts, the annual Grassroots Symposium, the legislative tracking service and the Travel Council for Fair Competition, as well as funding NTA’s work on the tour director issue.
To donate a tour package or item, please contact Matt Grayson, NTA’s director of government relations, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
For only $150, NTA tour operators can experience the best Rhode Island has to offer as part of NTA’s first domestic Product Development Trip. The trip, which takes place April 23-27, will include stops at Newport, Providence, Warwick and Block Island, and operators will have time at the end to meet and talk shop with Rhode Island suppliers.
The price 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 email@example.com.