September 28, 2004
September 28, 2004: Volume 24; Issue 18
NTA’s new AIM (Areas of Interest & Marketing) program will be on full display in Toronto as the association works to provide support and education for the expanding interests of all members. If you want to discuss industry issues with other members who have similar business interests, then signing up for the AIM program is a must.
As part of the program, NTA will offer a crackerbarrel session at Convention for each of the six AIM categories – Active & Adventure Travel; Affinity & Custom Group Travel; Cultural & Life Enrichment Travel; Receptive Services; Self-Guided & Independent Travel; and Student & Youth Travel. The crackerbarrels are designed to provide an opportunity for members to share information and ideas with other members who have common interests.
All members are welcome to participate whether they have already signed up for the AIM program or just want to learn more about these different business areas. The crackerbarrels are scheduled on Friday and Sunday during Convention so there is no conflict with the Tour & Travel Exchange.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a part of the AIM program can go to the Welcome & Information Center in Toronto or simply click on the link above right now. Then, be sure to join us for the AIM crackerbarrels, as well as the other outstanding educational seminars at Convention.
For more information on the Toronto seminar programs, please click here or contact Jason Jones, NTA’s assistant director of education, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Tour Association and the NTA Grassroots Action Network (GAN) praised the recent action to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 in the Department of Homeland Security for Local Government and Tourism.
At the urging of NTA and its allied associations, Congressman Jon Porter (R-Nev.) introduced the "Local Government and Traveler Assistance Act of 2004" (HR 5007). The legislation would create an Undersecretary for Local Government and Tourism in the Department of Homeland Security. This official would be the third-highest-ranking officer in the Department of Homeland Security and provide a valuable link to the travel and tourism industry from this important government agency.
Through GAN, NTA is mobilizing members to contact their local senators and representatives and urge them to co-sponsor HR 5007.
"Members of Congress need to hear from the industry right now," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "Having an Undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security with a tourism focus will ensure that our voice is heard on important safety and security measures, now and in the future."
NTA has pressed for a tourism presence within the Department of Homeland Security since fall 2001.
"This is a huge step forward in our efforts to create a voice for the traveler and the travel industry within Homeland Security," said NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP.
Voting is now underway for the 2004 NTA Board of Director seats and officer positions.
Remember that the voting process had changed from previous years. You must vote for director seats by Oct. 14, 2004, while you have the option of waiting and voting for the officer candidates at the Tour Operators Annual Business Meeting on Friday, Nov. 12, in Toronto. The results of Board of Director seat elections will be announced in the Oct. 26 issue of Tuesday.
For more information about the candidates click here. That address also allows you to listen to the recent "Meet the Candidate" web seminars that included each candidate’s presentations and their responses to member questions.
Hey tour operators, looking for another reason to sign up for the "Experiences That Leave You Wanting More … Encore, Encore" Pre-Convention Fam tour? Well, we’ve got a monster addition – an R.E.M. concert. That’s right, by registering for this Fam, you’ll also get tickets (courtesy of Tourism London) to see one of the world’s most renowned bands in concert at John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The concert joins an already outstanding lineup for the Southern Ontario Fam, which takes place Nov. 8-11. It includes a stop to learn about Underground Railroad history, a tour of the Canadian Club Whisky Distillery, a chance to meet the actors at Stratford Festival Theatre, a performance of "Stardust Follies" and an overview of the tour opportunities in St. Jacobs Country.
This Pre-Convention Fam for southern Ontario departs from the Toronto Airport late in the afternoon on Monday, Nov. 8, and returns participants to their Convention hotels around dinnertime on Thursday, Nov. 11. All aspects of the tour – including R.E.M. tickets – are included in the $50 registration fee and you can sign up by filling out this form. You’re not "out of time" yet as the deadline to register for this Fam only has been extended to Oct. 29.
Registered for Convention but forgot to signup to volunteer? No worries … yet.
There are still spots available in different areas, and one particular role in need of more people is that of Convention buddy. This program pairs a Convention veteran with a first-time delegate and, so far, those wanting a buddy far outnumber those signed up to be buddies. As a buddy, the veteran would guide a newcomer through the five days, answering questions and offering suggestions to help them make the most of their time.
"Being a volunteer is very rewarding in so many ways," says Becky Gruening, director of tourism for the Greater Des Moines CVB. "Volunteering as a buddy is the most rewarding. Personally, you develop long lasting friendships that become stronger year after year. Professionally, you develop new contacts that you make through your buddy. Your circle of friends grows year after year and the knowledge you pick up from them is invaluable."
To read more about becoming a Convention buddy, as well as other volunteer positions, click here. You will need your Member ID to access the registration form.
If you have any questions on volunteering, e-mail Sandy Stansfield or call her at 800-682-8886, ext. 4214 (U.S. or Canada), or 859-226-4214.
After all the volunteer schedules have been compiled, yours will be mailed to you.
Here are key dates for some Convention-related items:
Ready to do a little dancing at this year’s NTA Annual Convention? You’ll get your chance at the 11th annual Rock the Foundation fundraiser. For the second year in a row the event has been dubbed "Michigan Rocks & Rolls the Foundation." It is being sponsored by Circle Michigan Inc., Travel Michigan and Michigan suppliers.
Entertainment will be provided by SugarFuzz Orchestra, a power horn rock band from Youngstown, Ohio. The band’s repertoire includes classic songs from groups such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears, as well high-energy material from artists like Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones.
"Michigan Rocks & Rolls the Foundation" will take place Sunday, Nov. 14, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tickets purchased through Oct. 3 are $35 and, as of Oct. 4, the price is $45. You can request tickets through the Convention registration process; contact the Foundation at 800-682-8886, ext. 4211 (U.S. or Canada) for them; or you can complete the order form in your Convention Portfolio.
The Research Center is an essential component of the Convention package and DMOs and tour suppliers depend on tour operator materials to prepare for their Tour & Travel Exchange appointments. The more prepared they are, the better your time is spent. If you haven’t already sent in your brochures please do so by Friday, Oct. 8.
Please mail five copies of your company’s 2004-05 brochure, catalog or CD-ROM to:
NTA Research Center
Attn.: Sandy Stansfield, CTP
546 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40508
The Adventures in Travel Expo 2004 is right around the corner, but you can still register. The Expo will be held Oct. 8-10 at the San Mateo County Expo Center, located between San Francisco International Airport and downtown San Francisco.
NTA members who want to attend the show can get in for $25. This price includes full access to all seminars, entrance into the trade and public expo, a luncheon and a cocktail reception. If you want to go to the expo portion only, that is free. When signing up, make sure to enter Organizational Code DM to receive the NTA member discount.
For more information or to register for the Bay Area Expo, click here, or call Jason Geddes at 203-878-2577, ext. 118.
It’s not too late to donate items to the National Tourism Foundation’s auctions and get an added bonus – publicity for your company in Toronto.
Nearly 300 items have already been submitted for the Silent Auction (Nov. 12-15) and the Live Auction (Nov. 15), but there is room for more. To get donation ideas, donate online or print a faxable donor form, click here.
Items submitted by October 15 will be promoted in the 2004 Auction Addendum. Watch for a link to the 2004 Auction Catalog in the next issue of Tuesday.
Proceeds from the Silent and Live Auctions help the Foundation provide scholarships and grants, bring students to the NTA Annual Convention and develop educational programs such as Practitioners in the Classroom.
Your company deserves year-round exposure to travel planners around the globe. You can get that by advertising in the 2005-06 Tour Supplier/DMO Directory. If you book your advertisement by Oct. 15 you can lock in the 2004 rate card prices.
Here are some facts about the Directory:
This publication is used by more than 1,100 NTA tour operators as a planning resource. You can’t afford to miss out on this wonderful opportunity to get your company name into so many industry professionals’ hands.
Visit http://www.ntaonline.com/ to view the Directory rates or call 800-682-8886 ext. 3549 (U.S. and Canada), or 859-219-3549 to talk to your account executive.