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Tuesday Newsletter

May 24, 2005

Tuesday Newsletter May 24, 2005
May 24, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 14

Today’s Headlines
  • Chris’ Corner
  • Grassroots Symposium a Huge Hit
  • And Speaking of Lobbying, Industry Effort Helps Passage of Key Provisions
  • June 1 is Election Nominations Deadline
  • Get Signed Up for Code Amber Alerts
  • Lodging Discount Cutoff for Hall of Fame Dinner is Today
  • June Courier Preview
  • AIM Program Begins Second Year
  • Volunteer Leaders Needed for 2006
  • Chris’ Corner

    Today marks the debut of Chris’ Corner, a series of articles that will appear in Tuesday offering thoughts from 2005 Convention Chair Chris Shepler. The stories are aimed at getting you prepped for Annual Convention, which will take place Nov. 4-8 in Detroit.

    Question: What did you learn about the 2005 host city, Detroit, on the recent Fam trip for NTA’s Michigan-based members?
    Answer: That Detroit has a ton of cool restaurants! And it’s really easy to get around the city, be it on the People Mover or on foot. Almost everything is within walking distance of the Convention site, Cobo Center. Plus, The Henry Ford’s layout is awesome for ease of movement, so there won’t be any crowding at the Sunday night event.

    Q: What’s going to make the 2005 Convention experience unique?
    A: Detroit is about music and music is about entertainment. Convention delegates will immediately notice and enjoy the fact that Detroit knows how to entertain whether it’s on the exchange floor, at a luncheon or on final night.

    Q: What can readers expect with future installments of Chris’ Corner?
    A: As Convention plans evolve, I want to keep readers updated and have them share with me in my excitement as we learn together about new developments.

    To get signed up for the 2005 Annual Convention, or for more information, click here.

    Better Business. Better Be There.

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    Grassroots Symposium a Huge Hit

    May 10-12 was a busy stretch for the more than 40 participants in the sixth annual NTA Grassroots Symposium. In addition to becoming more familiar with the many aspects of your association’s government relations and lobbying efforts, attendees had a chance to meet face-to-face with their senators and representatives during the more than 50 visits they made to Congressional offices.

    "This was our most productive symposium to date," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "It is a credit to our members that they gave their time to lobby on everyone’s behalf. There are many critical issues confronting the tourism industry, and our members made sure that Congress heard from them."

    The group talked about NTA’s lobbying efforts regarding the association’s desire to obtain clarification of the employment status of tour directors and discussed the passport changes with US-VISIT representatives and members of Congress. Guest speakers Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) addressed the group about these and other industry-related issues.

    To read more about the 2005 Grassroots Symposium, which laid the groundwork for some exciting activity for the rest of the year and for initiatives that may have an impact on the travel/tourism industry for years to come, click here. Or, to follow up and get involved on these issues, contact NTA Government Relations at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205.

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    And Speaking of Lobbying, Industry Effort Helps Passage of Key Provisions

    Thanks to a great industry-wide lobbying effort, tourism-related businesses should be allowed to have continued access to foreign guest workers as they gear up for a busy summer. Congress recently passed key provisions of the "Save our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2005," which should ease the concern about staffing shortages and a potential drop off in level of service provided to visitors as a result of the lack of access U.S. companies have to foreign guest workers.

    The legislation, known as S. 352 and H.R. 793, will allow the United States to continue accepting applications for H-2B visas even though the Congressionally mandated cap on foreign workers had been reached for the fiscal year.

    "NTA wholeheartedly supports S. 352 and H.R. 793, which were spearheaded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association," NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "We will work with them to ensure that tour operators have the best working environment and can provide the best possible visitor experience for their customers."

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    June 1 is Election Nominations Deadline

    Don’t forget that the date to submit your interest form to be considered for nomination by the nominating committee for a 2006 NTA Board of Directors seat is June 1, 2005. Nominations are being sought for the positions of association vice chair, treasurer and secretary, which are one-year terms, and for three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat (two-year terms).

    If you would like to be considered, please contact Todd Hamilton via e-mail at, or by calling him at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. or Canada) or 859-226-4205 to get an interest form.

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    Get Signed Up for Code Amber Alerts

    Wednesday, May 25 – National Missing Children’s Day in the United States – serves as a reminder to make child protection a national priority. Since 1983, this day has marked the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in New York City, who was on his way to school in 1979, and serves as a reminder of the responsibility we all have in the safe return of a child.

    At last year’s Annual Convention, NTA announced its participation in Code Amber, the World Wide Web’s Amber Alert System that assists in the search and safe return of missing and abducted children. Travel professionals, by the very nature of their jobs, can play a large role in helping save children’s lives by staying aware of the latest alerts.

    NTA members can be notified by the Code Amber Ticker, or by banners and buttons on their Web site or desktop, or they may receive e-mail Amber Alerts when an alert is issued. Most recently, Code Amber Alerts became available to cell phones, pagers or PDAs. Also, you can check the NTA Member Forums for Amber Alert updates.

    If you would like assistance in signing up to receive Code Amber Alerts, please contact Sara Morton, NTA’s public relations specialist at

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    Lodging Discount Cutoff for Hall of Fame Dinner is Today

    May 24 is the last day to obtain real savings through the discounted room block at the New York City Sheraton for the June 14 Gala Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner. Your last chance to make a reservation for the dinner itself is June 7, but the room discount for this event expires today.

    More than 300 friends of the 2005 inductees – Mayflower Tours’ John Stachnik and Liberty/GOGO’s Gilbert Haroche – have signed up to be on hand to congratulate them and to participate in Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s first major fundraiser. Tourism Cares will be announcing its 2005 scholarship winners soon, and proceeds from the dinner will help support such educational programs, as well as its preservation and conservation efforts.

    To get signed up to honor two of the industry’s greats and help a good cause, visit or contact Sarah Graham Mann via e-mail or by calling her at 508-540-1990.

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    June Courier Preview

    In June’s issue of Courier we celebrate diversity. It’s evidenced in our cover story about Native American travel product. You’ll see it in the business section in Gary Powell’s Travel Essentials on alternate revenue streams; in Luca Arioli’s NTA Advantage article calling for education about international differences; and in Stella Dante’s One Member’s Perspective, detailing the work of NTA’s Cultural Diversity Task Force. This issue also features Modes of Transportation, Trip Planners for the Canadian Maritimes and the Gulf Coast, and Travel Guides for Maryland/D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia.

    August Issue – Ad Space: May 30; Editorial: Past
    Theatres; Festivals; Adirondacks & Upstate New York; Continental Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Sweden & Switzerland); Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; Wisconsin.

    September Issue – Ad Space: June 25; Editorial: May 1
    Museums; Student Product; Alaska, British Columbia & Yukon; Mexico & Southwest U.S. (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas); Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina.

    October Issue – Ad Space: July 21; Editorial: June 1
    Annual Convention Issue; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts New Hampshire; Vermont; New Brunswick; Newfoundland/Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island.

    Ambassatours Gray LineAutry Museum of Western HeritageBarnhill’s BuffetBoyds Bear CountryBrandywine ValleyFoxwoods Resort CasinoFredericksburg Office of TourismHopewell Office of TourismJohn G. Shedd AquariumL’Auberge du Lac Casino ResortLaredo CVBMohegan SunMontana Tourism DivisionNorfolk Convention & Visitors BureauPechanga Resort & CasinoPhiladelphia Museum of ArtTurning Stone CasinoWilliamsburg Area CVBWilliamsburg Hotel Associates

    Please click here to view the 2005 Editorial Calendar online.

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    AIM Program Begins Second Year

    NTA’s Area of Interest & Marketing (AIM) program is getting ready to enter its second year of serving as another resource for you to help learn more about the industry and grow your business. NTA’s AIM program brings like-minded individuals together to share ideas, success stories and provide solutions for one another through six distinct categories – Active & Adventure Travel; Affinity & Custom Group Travel; Cultural & Life Enrichment Travel; Receptive Services Travel; Self-Guided & Independent Travel; and Student & Youth Travel.

    Some of the main benefits you’ll get by being involved in this program are:

  • AIM Category Home Pages – Posted on NTA Online, these pages contain many valuable resources and research information on each of the six AIMs
  • Face-to-Face Interaction – The inaugural interactive sessions, held at the 2004 Annual Convention in Toronto and the 2005 Spring Meet in Sacramento, allowed for some quality idea sharing. There will be AIM-specific sessions in Detroit at this year’s Annual Convention.
  • Forums – You can keep the information exchange and story-swapping going all year long through the member forums on NTA Online

    You’ll be reading more specific information on the six AIM categories, as well as other AIM program updates, in coming issues of Tuesday. To learn more about the AIM program, click here.

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    Volunteer Leaders Needed for 2006

    Ready to get more involved with your association? Whether you’ve been to 30 Annual Conventions or your company just became a member last month, you can help out as part a volunteer leader on an NTA committee or council for 2006.

    Incoming NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP, will make appointments in the fall, and the length of service is one year. All membership categories need to be represented, and depending on the committee, the amount of travel will vary. Some hold face to face meetings, while others are done via conference call.

    If you want to submit your name for consideration, contact NTA Director of Member Services Janna Clark via e-mail or call her at 800-682-8886, ext. 4381 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4381 and send her a letter of interest.

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