September 6, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter September 6, 2005
September 6, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 29
As the nation continues to try to put into perspective the events of the past week, one thing is clear … NTA members want to pitch in. Many of you already are providing various kinds of support to make a difference in the lives of those affected and your efforts are paying off.
In addition to the tangible kinds of aid you’ve provided, another way to continue to help is by passing along updates on what you are seeing and hearing. If a displaced company has a temporary office address or new contact phone number, send it along. If you’ve been able to assist with the effort, let us know. If you’ve seen a press release from a DMO in the affected area that contains valuable information, we want to share it with everyone. All of these items can be e-mailed to NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson at email@example.com.
These updates will be posted on NTA Online’s Hurricane Katrina Web page and/or on the Member Forums. The Katrina page includes airline, cruise and lodging updates, along with additional news about how the storm is affecting NTA members and the travel industry in general. The forums have been busy the past week, as members shared their stories, offered special discounts to those affected and exchanged thoughts on this tragedy.
The October issue of Courier magazine will feature a special Hurricane Katrina supplement, which will provide news of member businesses that were damaged by the recent disaster, share news of members’ philanthropic efforts to help victims of the storm and offer industry perspectives on the recovery process and initiatives to create future tourism opportunities in the affected areas.
There are two ways for you to get involved with this supplement:
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sponsorships will be donated to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s "Build Back Our Coast Fund." The fund will aid the economic recovery, rebuilding efforts and job regeneration in the coastal region. Donors may earmark funds specifically for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s similar efforts in Louisiana, Alabama or Florida via its sister foundations in New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola.
The Sept. 20 deadline to make your appointment requests is drawing near. You have two weeks remaining to review your appointment requests and make changes. The scheduling system has some very helpful features, so be sure to take advantage before the deadline passes.
Click here to log in and access the appointment scheduling system. If you have questions about some of these special features, please contact your Member Services Department at 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444.
Better Business. Better Be There.
The National Tour Association is encouraged but not fully satisfied with the first steps taken in amending the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. While the proposed changes represent a partial victory, the association will continue to press for further clarification on this issue.
The initiative would require U.S. citizens, Canadians, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda and citizens of Mexico to have a passport to enter or reenter the United States. The Dec. 31, 2005, deadline for compliance by Bermuda and the Caribbean countries has been pushed back. The Department of Homeland Security is now proposing a two-phase implementation, where passports will be required for air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda by Dec. 31, 2006. The requirement also will be extended to all land border crossings by Dec. 31, 2007.
"There is no question the tour and travel industry has gained some important issue ground here. The immediate calamities were averted," NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini said. "However, more challenges remain. If we collectively tackle these remaining issues through our efforts with the Passport Coalition, I am confident we also can succeed in the future regulatory arena."
NTA plans to submit written comment on the proposed rules. The association will continue to push for an extension of the deadlines and to lower passport fees for students and seniors to a maximum of $50.
The NTA Nominating Committee has selected Becky Gruening of the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau; Ed Hall, CTP, of the Rochester Visitors Association; and Mikie Wall, CTP, of the North Carolina Division of Tourism as nominees for the 2006 special DMO election. This election will fill a DMO director seat for one year due to the resignation of Wendy Kelman. The individual elected to this position will sit on the Executive Committee for their year of service.
Voting for this position and all other director and officer positions will occur via e-mail ballots, mailed ballots or in person at the Annual Convention in Detroit. Ballots will be e-mailed to members with valid e-mail addresses in mid-September and mailed to all other members immediately thereafter.
It is NTA’s policy, under specified guidelines, to permit individuals’ names to be placed into nomination in addition to those brought forth by the Nominating Committee. These nominations are referred to as "nominations from the floor." A nomination from the floor for this special DMO election must be received in writing at NTA Headquarters no later than Sept. 13, and anyone interested in such a nomination should contact Todd Hamilton at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205 for details concerning required guidelines.
NOTE – Don’t forget to sign up for the Web seminars for all NTA Board of Directors positions, which begin Monday, Sept. 12. For more information on getting registered for these seminars, click here.
The National Tour Association has named WorldSpan L.P. and DataWeb Dynamics Inc., as the first participating companies in the association’s Preferred Technology Partner Program. This program was developed as part of NTA’s ongoing effort to provide a menu of technology solutions for its members in order to strengthen the partnership between tour operators, DMOs, suppliers and the consumers they serve.
Preferred Technology Partners must be associate members of the association, meet strict requirements as established by the NTA Board of Directors and be approved by the NTA Technology Steering Committee.
DataWeb Dynamics provides Web site solutions that give motorcoach companies, tour operators and DMOs tools to market their services and grow their businesses over the Internet. DataWeb also has developed Web site administration software – WebArc – which is a valuable business tool. WorldSpan is a leader in travel technology services for travel suppliers, travel agencies, e-commerce sites and corporations worldwide, and offers industry-leading fares and pricing technology, hosting solutions and customized travel products.
Stay tuned to Tuesday for more information on NTA’s Preferred Technology Partner Program.
Detroit is changing and the world is taking notice. The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times have recently featured the Motor City in their respective travel sections. The articles highlight the sights and sounds of this exciting city, noting many things you might not expect to find in Detroit.
As delegates of the NTA Annual Convention this November, you will be privy to an amazing collection of the new and old. A metropolis of extraordinary history, Detroit bursts with new attractions and a style all its own. You can see what these esteemed national newspapers have to say about your host city by clicking here to read the Chicago Tribune article and by clicking here for the recent The New York Times piece. You may have to register for free with each newspaper’s Web sites to view the articles.
For more details about your Convention host city, click here.
"It’s so easy!" That’s what NTA members are saying about donating an item to Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s improved Live and Silent Auctions at the NTA Annual Convention. Just click here, type in the information and submit your donation. You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation and that’s it. It is that easy!
The deadline to have your mini-vacation, group tour package, regional gift, artwork, apparel or other item placed in the official auction catalog is Sept. 10. Keep in mind you’ll be donating to a good cause and getting terrific exposure for your product or destination at the same time.
Calling all photographers! Bring your digital camera to the NTA Annual Convention in Detroit and help create a scrapbook of memories. Whether you capture exciting photographs from a pre-Convention Fam or on a sightseeing tour, or photographs with friends during the numerous networking and social functions, we want them all.
The photographs will be used as part of a video presentation to be shown at the Final Night Gala. Just stop by the PhotoVision booth and download your digital memory card, or e-mail photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org, by the end of day Monday, Nov. 7.
If you haven’t registered for Annual Convention yet, click here to get signed up.
NTA’s Wine & Cheese Reception will be held the first day of Annual Convention – Friday, Nov. 4 – from 5:30-6:30 p.m., just prior to the popular Tour Operator Dinner. Sponsors of this new event include: title sponsor The Berkely Group, and wine sponsors North Carolina Division of Tourism, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, Virginia Tourism Corporation and Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hilmar Cheese of Hilmar, Calif., will provide a variety of fine cheeses for this reception.
For more information on NTA’s Wine & Cheese Reception or to learn how you can join this fine group of sponsors, click here or contact Karla DiNardo via e-mail email@example.com, or by calling 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4232.