March 22, 2005
Tuesday Newsletter March 22, 2005
March 22, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 6
Many tourism-related businesses rely on foreign guest workers to provide essential services during the peak tourism season. On Jan. 4, 2005, the United States stopped accepting applications for H-2B visas because the Congressionally mandated cap on foreign workers had been reached for this fiscal year. In response, S. 352 and H.R. 793, known as the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2005," was introduced.
CrossSphere supports the act, which would provide a big benefit to the tourism industry by exempting temporary seasonal workers from the cap. Industry officials are concerned that staffing shortages, due to the lack of access to foreign guest workers, will negatively impact the experience of tourists visiting hotels and attractions on tour operator packaged vacations.
"CrossSphere wholeheartedly supports this legislation, which was spearheaded by the American Hotel and Lodging Association," CrossSphere 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."
With the 2005 Tour Operator Spring Meet set to kick off in Sacramento on March 30, here are a few last-minute tidbits:
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow is continuing the scholarship program that was a mainstay of one of its parent organizations, the National Tourism Foundation. The 2005 list of scholarships, which totals more than $40,000 in offerings, has been posted at http://www.tourismcaresfortomorrow.org/.
"The Board, staff and I are all proud and honored to be building upon the National Tourism Foundation’s tradition of supporting wonderful tourism students around the country," Bruce Beckham, CTP, executive director of Tourism Cares, said. "We hope to work with all of our members to build these scholarship funds in the years ahead."
For information about the scholarship and intern programs at Tourism Cares, or to find out how you can make a contribution, contact Program Manager Sarah Graham Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details for the 2005 CrossSphere Grassroots Symposium are falling into place. The Symposium, to be held May 10-12, includes visits with legislators, a panel discussion with key members of the industry and educational sessions focused on how Congress works and hot topics in travel and tourism. Again this year, participants can be part of informative workshops, voice their views to members of Congress and enjoy complimentary social events.
Invited speakers for the annual gathering on Capitol Hill include Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, special assistant for the private sector and tourism, Dept. of Homeland Security; Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.); Rep. Mike Sodrel (R-Ind.); Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.); Roger Dow, President & CEO, Travel Industry Association of America; and Fran Mainella, director, National Parks Service. Attendees also will have time to network during various evening events, including a reception on Capitol Hill, a reception and performance at the Kennedy Center and a reception and tour at the International Spy Museum.
Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s signature event, Tourism – Caring for America, is coming up May 13 and you can still sign up. This annual "clean up day," which attracted hundreds of volunteers from around the country in its first two years, brings industry members together to get their hands dirty for a good cause. The 2005 edition will be held this year at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Va.
The tourism industry has used (and profited from) cultural and historic sites around the globe for many years. The Mount Vernon event allows tourism and travel professionals to publicly demonstrate to local and national audiences, as well as those on Capitol Hill, their commitment to protect, preserve and conserve our natural and cultural assets.
Tourism Cares is seeking donations of rooms, cash, meals and gifts to support, feed and house the 400 expected volunteers. These sponsorships provide great visibility for your company, and you can contact Bruce Beckham, CTP, at 781-821-5990 or go to http://www.tourismcaresfortomorrow.org/ for more information.
Please be advised that no entity other than The Travel Partnership Corporation (TTCP) members, such as CrossSphere, has the right to promote the registration of ".travel" top-level domains at this time. Any company purporting to sell ".travel" top-level domain names is doing so without authority from Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). If you purchase or pre-register a ".travel" top-level domain prior to the start-up period (anticipated to be April 2005), your transaction will not be recognized.
Tralliance Corp. and the TTCP are currently finalizing negotiations with ICANN to make the ".travel" top-level domain name available to qualified travel organizations as soon as possible. Unlike other top-level domain names like ".com" or ".net," which are widely available, ".travel" domains will be available only to travel companies and organizations that can prove they are members of the travel industry. The goal is to increase consumer confidence in purchasing travel online because the consumer will know that an organization with a ".travel" domain name has been authenticated by a reputable source.
For more information on the ".travel" initiative, please visit http://www.crosssphere.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=18&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=2093&change_well_id=2 or http://www.tralliance.info/.
Parks Canada got some good news recently, when it was announced that items in Canada’s 2005 Budget Plan would increase its funding by $315 million in the next five years. Parks Canada will receive $46 million in that timeframe, in addition to a permanent expenditure of $8 million annually to work with partners in building heritage conservation. The system also will receive $209 million for asset recapitalization and $60 million over the next five years for ecological integrity.
"The additional funding outlined in the 2005 budget will insure that Parks Canada sites will continue to be a vital component of tour operator itineraries and be preserved for future generations," CrossSphere President Hank Phillips, CTP, said. "CrossSphere values the close relationship we have with Parks Canada and recognizes that the Canadian national park system is one of North America’s truly special destinations."
Tour operator members are reminded the association’s name-change bylaw vote is underway and that ballots must be received at CrossSphere headquarters by 5 p.m. ET on March 25, 2005. CrossSphere Legal Counsel Rob Maclin will count votes from members in good standing that evening. Results will be posted that night on "This Just In" at CrossSphere.com and an e-mail will be sent to all members.
If you have any questions, please contact Todd Hamilton, assistant director of industry and government relations, at 800-682-8886, ext. 4205 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-226-4205, or via e-mail at todd.hamilton@CrossSphere.com.
Tourism Cares For Tomorrow is deep in the planning process to make the 2005 Hall of Fame Dinner the most exciting ever. Mark your calendars for June 14, when industry luminaries will gather at the Sheraton New York to honor Liberty Travel’s Gil Haroche and John Stachnik of Mayflower Tours.
Different levels of sponsorships will be available for this event. To learn more about them, go to http://www.tourismcaresfortomorrow.org/.
Jim Engler of East Coast Touring Company passed away on March 9 at the age of 62. Not only was he an employee of East Coast Touring Company for the past 11 years, but he also was the uncle of East Coast CEO/Owner Bob Buesing.
Online condolences may be left at http://www.palmerifuneralhome.com/. The family has asked that memorials be donated to the American Diabetes Association.
Sponsoring at Annual Convention is one of the best ways to showcase your company or destination and stand out among the 3,000-plus delegates. In addition to receiving premium visibility at one of the industry’s leading shows, sponsors qualify for a variety of benefits, including guaranteed acceptance in the Tour & Travel Exchange, promotional listings, delegate mailing lists and booth space for those at the Silver, Gold or Platinum level.
The deadline for reserving advertising space in the 2005-06 Membership Directory has been extended to March 31. For the first time, suppliers, DMOs and tour operators all will be listed in this great reference publication.
Get your company the global exposure you need by reserving ad space today, or enhance your listing with bold and highlighting or by running your company logo in color. Click here and then select "Membership Directory Advertising Information" to learn more about the advertising opportunities available.
Don’t miss your opportunity to get into this expanded publication, and remember to take advantage of frequency discounts by considering other publications when booking your Membership Directory ad. For more information, contact Taryn Lendrum at 800-682-8886, ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-219-3549. You also can e-mail her at email@example.com.