September 25, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter Sept. 25, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 39
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Tourisme Montréal.
North American life and European charm, a dynamic cultural scene and vibrant festivals where creativity never fails. Our goal is to help you in organizing events and tour packages. For a sweet escape, Montréal is an absolute must. It is an experience to live and share.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
The deadline to submit your appointment requests for the Tour & Travel Exchange at the 2007 NTA Annual Convention is Friday, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m. ET. You can utilize the appointment request system to do final research before submitting a list of companies you want to meet with during the Exchange.
Check back during the next week and a half to review your request list and to see who has been added to the system. If you have not made updates to your list recently, you should use the search feature to find companies that may have been added since you last made changes to your list.
Should you have questions related to the appointment request system or the 2007 NTA Annual Convention, contact your NTA Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
There is still time to join your fellow NTA members to explore the Kansas City, Missouri, region before, during and after the 2007 NTA Annual Convention. The six Fam tours and 10 sightseeing tours will introduce you to the area and aid in product development to the city, which is undergoing a $4.5 billion downtown renaissance.
The registration deadline for the three pre-Fam tours (Oct. 29-Nov. 1) and three post-Fams (Nov. 7-10) is Oct. 2. To register for any one of the Fam tours, visit the Convention Web site, or if you have questions, contact Donna Cordle at 816.444.0991.
In addition to the Fams, sightseeing tours provide another way for delegates to explore the Kansas City area. Advanced reservations are highly encouraged for the sightseeing tours, which will take place Sunday, Nov. 4, from 2 to 6 p.m. To sign up, contact Barbara Kusnierkiewicz at 816.691.3857.
You can help Tourism Cares by making a donation to one of its auctions at the 2007 NTA Annual Convention. The funds raised through the live and silent auctions help NTA’s official philanthropic organization carry out its mission of offering scholarships to tourism students and providing grants to tourism-related sites around the world.
You are encouraged to create a unique package that will give your region high visibility, generate attention and entice high bids. The deadline to confirm you donation is Oct. 1 and meeting it will ensure that your item or package will be listed in the auction catalog. You can submit information online, or if you have questions, contact Jill Talladay, CTP, at 508.760.8187.
Since the introduction of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative legislation in 2005, NTA has been working to make sure that border integrity is maintained while promoting cross-border travel. Teaming with industry allies, NTA has pushed for a delay in implementation of WHTI, and Congress is now considering an amendment that would postpone enforcement of the land and sea requirements until 2009.
The Sept. 23 edition of The New York Times pointed to NTA as a leader on this critical issue. Both association Chairman and CEO Randy Julian and NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini worked with the reporter to explain the industry’s position and to offer advice to travelers.
Julian was quoted in the article, saying "If they are traveling outside the U.S. anytime in the near future, NTA is encouraging travelers to obtain their passport now. It’s certainly the safest course of action. It will prevent possible confusion and possible border bottlenecks later on."
Working in partnership with NTA, TIA President Roger Dow recently sent NTA members an invitation to attend TIA’s Marketing Outlook Forum at a discounted registration rate.
This year’s event, to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 22-25, is more robust than ever and filled with data on the latest trends, best practices and research on travel marketing. Among program highlights of special interest to NTA members:
- The release of one of the most comprehensive studies done on outbound Chinese travelers along with a visit by high ranking Chinese travel officials to the U.S.
- Practical advice and insight on social networking
- Insight into how NASCAR harnessed the power of branding
- Updates and forecasts for all major travel sectors as well as the outlook for U.S. destinations, international travel to the U.S. and leisure and business/convention travel
NTA members are being extended the TIA membership registration rate for the Marketing Outlook Forum. To review the program and register, visit www.tia.org/marketingoutlook. While registering online, select the non-member option and enter NTAMEM in the promotion code box at the top of the form.
Your association, in conjunction with the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association, is conducting a brief survey of NTA tour operators to gather information about the state of technology in the mainly unautomated wholesale segment. The link to the survey was e-mailed Sept. 19 to all tour operator companies.
The goal in gathering the information is to be able to recommend the best path for the industry to take to capitalize on new technology. NTA and HEDNA are interested in how you communicate with external hotel business partners, as opposed to how your proprietary systems work within your own organization. The deadline to submit your completed survey is Tuesday, Oct. 2.
HEDNA is a not-for-profit trade association whose activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of Global Distribution Systems, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together to evolve systems and services into electronic distribution that is easy and efficient.
For more information on the survey, contact NTA Industry and Government Relations Director Matt Grayson.
Ballots for the 2008 NTA Board and Officer elections were e-mailed Sept. 21 and paper ballots were mailed to NTA members without functioning e-mail addresses Sept. 20. You can either cast your vote on the ballots that were sent last week or wait and vote during your membership category’s meeting at the 2007 Annual Convention.
To learn more about the candidates for secretary, treasurer, tour operator director, DMO director and tour supplier director, visit the Election Page. Additionally, you can ask the candidates a question on the Election Forum page of the online member forums and read a Q&A with each nominee in the October Courier.
Any questions regarding the 2008 NTA election can be directed to NTA Industry and Government Relations Director Matt Grayson.
NTA has been a longstanding advocate for equitable and reasonable entrance and user fees at America’s national parks, and because of its partnership with the National Park Service, the two groups have been able to ensure that visitors have equal access to the national parks. As a result of recent meetings between NTA and the park service, there will be no increases in National Park group entry fees until 2010.
"NTA continues to work on behalf of its members on issues related to visitation and fees at these treasured national sites," said NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian. "NTA appreciates the conscientious effort by NPS to respond to the Department of Interior’s directive to ensure that the agency receives public input whenever their agency decision making will directly impact one of their private sector partners."
While entrance fees for individual travelers did increase in 2007 at many park sites and will increase in 2008 and 2009 at additional sites, NTA and NPS have worked to ensure that group fees will remain at the current rates until 2010. Additionally, the industry will be notified of the 2010 rates by August 2008.
NTA Vice Chairman Bob Hoelscher, CTP, is a longtime park advocate who plans on building on the cooperative efforts between NTA and the NPS during his year as NTA chairman and CEO in 2008.
"While NPS has historically agreed to give NTA at least 12 months notice of any group fee increases, they built extra lead time so that tour operators can adequately prepare for the 2010 increase," said Hoelscher. "Additionally, NTA will participate in the process that will ultimately determine what those 2010 rates will be, as well as how they will be configured."
The current restrictions regarding liquids in carry-on luggage will continue into 2008 according to a recent announcement from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Since the plot to smuggle liquid bomb-making materials on board airplanes was uncovered in London last August, U.S. and international officials have banned liquids in quantities larger than three ounces in carry-on luggage.
Authorities are not expected to ease restrictions on liquids and gels in carry-ons until sometime in 2008. TSA officials are working with the National Laboratories to develop reliable testing devices which will enable screeners to more easily spot potential explosives in bags, but the new technology won’t be ready this year.
As the one-year anniversary of the rules came and went last month, federal security officials said they will continue to confiscate any liquids over the three-ounce limit until such devices are in place. For more information on what is allowable, TSA has provided a handy reference guide.
NTA would like to thank its host, the Alaska Travel Industry Association, for putting together an outstanding Product Development Trip to the last frontier – Alaska.
A dozen NTA tour operators explored this fantastic destination from Sept. 6 to 13, and several took advantage of a three-day extension to Sitka, Haines and Juneau. Add to that a workshop with Alaskan suppliers and this was another fantastic product development opportunity for NTA tour operators. Watch for more details on this trip in the November issue of Courier.
Registration for the final 2007 Product Development Trip, which will take operators to Peru, closes Oct. 2. The trip takes place Dec. 6-12, and more information is available at NTA.travel.
If you have questions about attending or hosting an NTA Product Development Trip, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
The October issue of Courier turns the spotlight on Kansas City, Missouri, and the 2007 NTA Annual Convention. This annual double issue includes more than 80 pages of coverage on the upcoming Convention, including information on what’s new for 2007, the Tour & Travel Exchange, educational seminars, Tourism Cares programming, social and special events, volunteering, the host city, sightseeing tours and the Board of Director election candidates. The October Trip Planners focus on America’s Great Plains and Latin America, while the Travel Guides cover the six New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
January Issue – Ad Space: Oct. 29; Editorial: Past
Tour Operator Spring Meet Preview; Sightseeing Cruises; Cruise Ships; Antebellum South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee); British Isles and Ireland; Alaska; British Columbia; California; Hawaii; Nevada; Oregon; Washington.
February Issue – Ad Space: Nov. 26; Editorial: Oct. 1
Casinos/Gaming; Culinary Tourism; Atlantic Coast (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia); Continental Europe; Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan; Idaho; Montana; North Dakota; South Dakota; Wyoming.
March Issue – Ad Space: Jan. 3; Editorial: Nov. 5
2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet; Hotels and Resorts; Toronto and Niagara Region (New York and Canada); Branson; Arizona; Colorado; New Mexico; Utah.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Anderson Vacations – Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism – Autry National Center – Boyds Bear Country – Coach America – Colorado Springs CVB Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak – Detroit Metro CVB – El Paso Convention & Visitors Bureau – Empire State Building Observatory – FamilySearch and Mormon Historic Sites – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Historic Temple Square LDS Church – John G. Shedd Aquarium – The Liberace Museum – Louisville CVB – Maid of the Mist Corporation – Mashantucket Pequot Museum – Menopause The Musical – Mohegan Sun – MotorCity Casino – Niagara Parks, Restaurants & Attractions – Norfolk CVB – Oceana Resorts – Pennsylvania Tourism & Marketing Office – Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism – Rapid City CVB – Riverbarge Excursion Lines – Sacramento CVB – Sears Tower Skydeck – Southwest Louisiana/Lake Charles CVB – Virginia Beach CVB – Yankee Candle Company Inc.