December 18, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter Dec. 18, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 50
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by VisitBritain.
For everything you need to know about developing tours to Britain, and to find out more about the British partners who joined us at the NTA Convention in Kansas City, go to www.visitbritain.com/operators. We look forward to hearing from you!
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Visa Fee Increase Announced
The NTA Board of Directors and staff hopes you have a joyous and peaceful holiday season and wants to thank you for being a part of the NTA family in 2007. We are happy you choose to belong to this association and look forward to working with you to make 2008 great.
The next edition of Tuesday will be e-mailed Jan. 8.
NTA would like to extend sincere thanks to Akorn Destination Management for its sponsorship of the Peru Product Development Trip, which took place Dec. 6-12. The 21 tour operators in attendance visited Lima and Cusco and closed it out with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu – the lost city of the Incas.
In between, the group was able to take in the sights, sounds and culture of this diverse country. From dinner in a Peruvian home, to a weaving exhibition and navigating the maze of vendors in the market of Pisac, the group left with new memories and many new product ideas.
Information will be available soon on the 2008 Product Development Trips to Greece (April 13-20) and Vancouver Island/British Columbia Coast (Oct. 6-11). If you are interested in hosting a Product Development Trip, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
With the holiday season now fully upon us, everyone at Tourism Cares – the board, staff and all of our scholarship and grant recipients – would like to wish everyone at NTA a happy and healthy holiday. Your support helped to make 2007 a successful year for all of us and we cannot thank you enough.
We look forward to an even more successful 2008 and hope you can join us in April for the 6th Annual Tourism Cares for America event taking place at Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, Louisiana. Registration for what is sure to be a worthwhile and memorable event is now available.
The January issue of Courier will help you kick off the year properly. In his monthly column, NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, calls for members to get in touch with the 2008 presidential candidates by sending them a copy of the letter that is posted on the NTA Government Relations homepage to urge the candidates to make tourism issues a part of their platform. The January Courier includes an article about the new voluntourism initiative between NTA and the National Park Service and the feature stories cover the 2007 Tour Operator Spring Meet, cruise ships and sightseeing cruises. The travel guides include the latest product information from Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, while the trip planners focus on the Antebellum South and the British Isles and Ireland.
April Issue – Ad Space: Jan. 28; Editorial: Past
Historic Homes; Wine Tours; New York City; Great Lakes Loop (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Ontario and Wisconsin); Arkansas; Mexico; Oklahoma; Texas.
May Issue – Ad Space: Feb. 25; Editorial: Jan. 4
Preview to Convention; Beaches; Canyonlands (Colorado, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Sedona and Utah); Asia; Iowa; Kansas; Missouri; Nebraska; Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
June Issue – Ad Space: March 31; Editorial: Feb. 4
Native American, First Nations and Western Heritage; Gardens; Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas); South Pacific; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Pennsylvania; Virginia.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Alaska Wild Berry Products – Autry National Center – The Berkely Group (TPP) – Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal City – Greater Birmingham CVB – Chase Paymentech – Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts Inc. – Destination Irvine – GE Money – Hollywood Casino Hotel – Maid of the Mist Corporation – Metropolis at Metrotown – Norfolk CVB – Pala Casino Spa and Resort – Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism – Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc. – Riverbarge Excursion Lines – Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa – Sourdough Mining Company – Southwest Louisiana/Lake Charles CVB – Greater Summerville/Dorchester Co. Tourism Council
More information on the 2008 NTA Editorial Calendar is available.
NTA is in support of the Discover America Partnership’s call for the U.S. Department of State to couple its visa fee increase with a mandate to reduce wait times for non-immigrant visas. Last week it was announced that the visa application fee is rising from $100 to $131 as of Jan. 1, 2008.
The Department of State said the rate increase is necessary to help offset the costs of collecting and reviewing finger scans under the new 10-fingerscan policy. However, NTA maintains its position that if fees are going up, the money raised should go back into tourism-related efforts, such as ensuring that steps are taken to expedite visa applications abroad.
Wait times remain unnecessarily high in several locations, which continues to have an impact on inbound travel to the United States. In Brazil, wait times hover between 90 and 120 days and it is not unusual in other international locations for the processing time to be around 100 days. Discover America is pushing for the applications to be reviewed in no more than 30 days.
"We understand the Department of State’s need to raise fees to cover appropriate costs, but applicants rightfully will demand better service in exchange for higher fees," said Geoff Freeman, executive director of the Discover America Partnership. "(The Department) should pledge to improve service and reduce wait times at all consulates with unacceptably chronic delays."
As the National Park Service continues visioning for the future of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., public comment is again needed. A range of alternatives were developed following the public scoping phase after suggestions were made regarding development at this most important national civic and memorial space.
After that first phase, the National Mall Plan published an alternatives newsletter, which listed a series of choices regarding future usage of the Mall. NPS officials are seeking additional public comment by Jan. 15, 2008, before developing a preferred alternative, completing analysis and finalizing a Draft National Mall Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.
Additionally, a series of public meetings are scheduled for Jan. 8, 9, and 12, 2008, which will include interactive discussion on topics of interest to the National Mall plan and the options presented in the alternatives newsletter. Here is more specific information on each of the three open forum sessions, which will be held in room M09 at Washington, D.C.’s Old Post Office Tower (1100 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.):
- Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, 4-8 p.m. – Discussion Topic: Unifying Design Elements, Visitor Facilities and Relocation of the Washington Monument Food and Gifts Facility
- Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, Noon-4 p.m. – Discussion Topic: Historic Preservation/Section 106: Cultural Resources, Landscapes and Character; Views and Viewshed Protection; Nighttime Lighting and Character; Archeological and Ethnographic Resources and Interests
- Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Discussion Topic: Recreation, Events and Circulation
Contact National Mall Plan team via e-mail or by calling 202.245.4706 for more information.
Nominations for the Pioneer Award are due tomorrow, Dec. 19. The award, which honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members (specifically tour operators) have benefited, will be presented at Tour Operator Spring Meet at the closing dinner on Friday, April 4.
A nomination should include a brief narrative (approximately 250 words) about the nominee and any additional information or material may be included with the narrative. The NTA Board of Directors established the award in 2005 and presented the inaugural one at the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet to Charles "Chuck" West (posthumously). The 2007 recipient was Earl Harmon (presented posthumously).
Nominations can be made by any person employed by an NTA member company, although it is not required that nominees be NTA members. They should be sent to NTA Executive Assistant Celeste Moore.
Position Available – Executive Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau
Outstanding candidate to serve as CVB Executive Director, located in Gulfport, Mississippi. Position promotes, markets, sells, manages and develops the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a premier destination. Works through a series of focused committees and semi-monthly board meetings, manages staff of approximately 20, prioritizes annual budget of approximately $5 million.
Requires a four-year college degree in one or more of the following fields: Business, Management, Marketing, Travel, Hospitality or other business/management related field or directly related experience equal to or better than 10 years of progressive management experience within the tourism industry; Partial SKAs: Convention and Leisure Sales; Media Relations; Intergovernmental Relations; Constituent Relations; Marketing and Advertising. Salary $90,000, based on experience. Benefits package. EOE.
Go to http://www.gulfcoast.org/ for directions to view and apply for this job.
Position Available – Account Executive/Student Group Tour Planner
Hemisphere Educational Travel
Hemisphere Educational Travel is looking for the right individual to join our successful team in Prospect Heights, Illinois. If you would like to have a career in the student and youth travel industry, fax your resume for the following position to 847.541.7602 or e-mail email@example.com. Please include a cover letter with your salary history/salary requirements.
The position that is open is Account Executive/Student Group Tour Planner. This full-time position handles sales, proposals, itinerary-building and tour planning. Applicant must be proficient with MS Office and have excellent organizational, phone, keyboarding and grammar skills. Multi-tasking is a must! The ideal candidate must be a team player, have an outgoing personality and a sense of humor. Tourism/hospitality experience is a plus. Compensation plan includes base salary plus extra commission opportunities, health/dental insurance, Simple IRA and personal travel discounts/benefits.
If you have a listing to post in the NTA Job Center section of Tuesday, e-mail NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson. The cost is $250 and your ad will run in two consecutive issues.
|To ensure that you’re doing business with an NTA member, go to the NTA Web site and click on either "Tour Operator Search" or "DMO/Tour Supplier Search" at the top of the page.|