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Tuesday Newsletter

January 24, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter January 24, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 4

Don’t miss the Britain 2006 Trade Fair and Fam Trip, March 1-7, 2006. The trip consists of the British Travel Trade Fair and U.S. buyers workshop followed by a three-day Fam trip to one of four regions of Britain. Click here to book now.
Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at

Today’s Headlines
  • Hurricane Update: Alabama – Five Months Later
  • PASS Card a Good First Step, but Not a Final Solution
  • Tour Operators: Spring Meet Deadline Approaching
  • Benefit Basics: NTA Membership Directory
  • The Perfect Way to Reach Out
  • Gulf Coast CVBs Honored
  • Next Steps for ".travel"
  • Suppliers and DMOs Can Attend Spring Meet Through Sponsorship

    Hurricane Update: Alabama – Five Months Later

    Starting today, Tuesday will be running a series of articles on hurricane recovery in the Gulf Coast area. The series is aimed to give you a firsthand perspective from NTA members on how things are going at their destination. The first installment focuses on Alabama.

    While Hurricane Katrina had an impact on the Alabama Coast, it was minimal compared to the damage done to Mississippi and New Orleans. That good fortune has allowed many businesses to get back up and running quickly, according to Ron McConnell, manager of tourism sales and services at the Mobile (Ala.) Bay CVB.

    "I am pleased to report that the Mobile area has recovered well from the hurricane season," McConnell said. "All roads, utilities and neighborhoods are functioning as usual."

    McConnell also said that, from a strictly tourism standpoint, nearly all of the area’s tourism components are open for business and travelers already are returning. He cautions that full recovery in Alabama will not be possible, though, unless people continue to visit the other nearby areas like New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

    To read the entire transcript of the in-depth interview with McConnell and get his thoughts about many other issues related to the area and its recovery, click here.

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    PASS Card a Good First Step, but Not a Final Solution

    NTA applauds the creation of the People Access Security Service (PASS) card announced by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff last week. However, the association cautions that more details are needed to gauge the impact this alternative to passports will have on student/youth and senior travel.

    "The creation of a cheap, secure alternative to passports is good for the industry and good for the traveling public," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "Until we know more about it, however, we cannot accurately gauge the impact on student and senior travel. How much of a step forward this is remains to be seen."

    The travel industry has raised concerns that the cost of U.S. passports, approximately $100 for adults, might be prohibitive to infrequent travelers and family vacationers who, under previous regulations, didn’t need them to travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

    "By the end of 2006, our departments anticipate issuing a new, inexpensive, secure traveler PASS card for land-border crossing," Chertoff said. "It will meet the documentation requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, but in a way that does not necessarily require people to have passports."

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    Tour Operators: Spring Meet Deadline Approaching

    This Friday, Jan. 27, is the last day to get signed up at the early-bird registration rate for the 2006 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet. By attending Spring Meet, you can meet new business partners, stay current on industry trends and explore a wonderful destination. Choose to do all of this with us at the 2006 Spring Meet in Louisville, Ky., on March 22-25.

    Here are three good reasons to join us in Louisville:

  • The evening events will take you to two world-class attractions – the famous Kentucky Derby Museum & Churchill Downs and the brand-new Muhammad Ali Center.
  • Speed dating is back for a third time, and you’ll get to talk shop with many of your fellow operators during the 75-minute session.
  • You’ll get to stay at the newly renovated Galt House in the heart of downtown. All the rooms in this historic property are suites and the special rate is just $69.

    To find out more, you can access the schedule of events and registration information on the Spring Meet Web site.

    Spring Meet – it’s all about you!

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    Benefit Basics: NTA Membership Directory

    NTA members use the annual Membership Directory as a primary reference for planning and partnering throughout the year. The directory, which is broken down by member category and location for easy perusing, is mailed to all active members in June. Your directory is a great resource you can use to easily find information on NTA members. Online member search directions and international calling instructions also are part of the 600-plus-page directory.

    Since this is such a valuable reference guide, make sure that your contact information is accurate by updating your company profile on NTA Online. Only active NTA members will be included in the 2006-07 directory, so be sure to renew your membership by the Jan. 31 deadline.

    Advertising space also is available in the Membership Directory. For more information, please call 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238 to talk to your account executive today.

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    The Perfect Way to Reach Out

    Have you been looking for another way to do more to help your colleagues affected by the hurricanes last fall? The 2006 Tourism-Caring for America project, which will be held in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area from March 16-19, provides such an opportunity.

    Participants will be doing cleanup and restoration work at tourism-related sites in Biloxi, Gulfport, D’Iberville and Long Beach. Volunteers will sleep on cots in communal housing facilities and put in two days of hard work in this devastated region.

    Space is limited, and the early response has been good, so reserve your space today. Click here to find out how you can take part and give back to a region that needs our help.

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    Gulf Coast CVBs Honored

    Four Gulf Coast CVBs were recently recognized with Chairman’s Awards at the Professional Convention Management Association’s 50th anniversary meeting. The recipients of the prestigious awards, given annually for extraordinary efforts by tourism professionals, include three NTA members – the New Orleans Metropolitan CVB, the Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB and the Greater Houston CVB – in addition to the Cancun and Mexico Tourism Board.

    "We are honored to be recognized," Jordy Tollett, president of the Greater Houston CVB, said. "Our hospitality community, restaurants and major contractors made life as comfortable as they could, and this award honors what they helped the city of Houston accomplish."

    Each group received the designation for the way it responded in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In addition to the presentation of the awards at the meeting in Philadelphia, PCMA also made a donation to the Hospitality Relief Fund, which goes to benefit recovery efforts.

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    Next Steps for ".travel"

    The ".travel" Registry is in full-fledged operations mode and companies have begun using their new domain names. By the end of this month, the Registry’s inauguration will be complete and ".travel" will be a part of our industry as long as the Internet exists.

    Companies who have registered for ".travel" domain names need to add their business profiles to the ".travel" Directory. The directory will be a valuable resource to help consumers learn more about the benefits of doing business with companies who use a ".travel" name. There is no cost to add your profile, and you can do it now by going to to load your product and/or service profiles.

    If you haven’t signed up for this initiative yet, you can begin the process by clicking here to submit an online authentication application. NTA will review your application and then send you an e-mail with further instructions.

    For more information on ".travel," call your NTA Member Services Department at 800.682.8886, ext. 4444 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 or e-mail

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    Suppliers and DMOs Can Attend Spring Meet Through Sponsorship

    NTA’s Tour Operator Spring Meet will be held March 22-25, 2006, in Louisville, Ky. Although this event is exclusively for tour operators and receptive operators, suppliers and DMOs are permitted to attend if they are a sponsor. An estimated 200 tour operators will be in attendance, and your sponsorship allows you an excellent opportunity to network in this informal setting and establish relationships with tour operators to help grow your business.

    Click here to see a list of the companies that already are signed up as 2006 Spring Meet sponsors. Click here for sponsorship availability, or contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232, or via e-mail at

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