May 22, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter May 22, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 21
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Group Travel Technologies.
Managing groups is no easy task! The GroupMinder reservation system takes the hassle out of booking and managing groups, both large and small. For more information, please visit http://www.grouptraveltech.com/.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
No Commercial Fee Increases for 2007-08 at National Park Service Sites
NPS Seeking Comments on Grand Canyon Road Improvements
Tourism Cares Event in Virginia City a Success
NTA Communications Survey Findings Revealed
Reach 20,000 Group Leaders Through The Trip Planner for Group Leaders
Alaska and Peru Product Development Trip Registrations Available
NTA Supports Missouri on Research Project
Based on a proposal from the NTA Convention Committee, your association has reworked the DMO Workstations at the Annual Convention and is introducing a more effective solution for 2007, The Destination Pavilion. The Destination Pavilion will be located on the Convention Floor and will be available to tour operators throughout Convention. The Pavilion will consist of larger pods that will group destinations by geographic region.
The new format will allow tour operators to shop regionally, based on geographic interest, which is a preference tour operators have voiced. Also, specific time on Friday afternoon (from 3-5:45 p.m.) has been set aside so tour operators can visit the destination pods in order to develop product.
Tour suppliers and DMOs will be able to use the designated pods as their central meeting point. The space is complimentary to all state, provincial and country DMOs and they can distribute promotional materials from their individual tables within the regional pod.
You can receive premium visibility at the 2007 NTA Annual Convention in Kansas City, Nov. 2-6, through sponsorship. Sponsors receive a variety of benefits, which include booth space at the platinum, gold or silver level, guaranteed acceptance into the appointment scheduling process and numerous promotional listings.
Receive premium benefits and visibility through one of the following sponsorships:
- Saturday Luncheon
- Tuesday "On the Go" Breakfast
- Tuesday Luncheon
- Registration Bags
"Sponsorship at NTA helps increase the awareness of our company with the operator members. You can’t ask much more than that. The booth space we receive can at times be as valuable as my appointments."
– Bob Hofmann, Broadway Inbound
Sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information visit the Convention Web site or call Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
Due to the widespread confusion surrounding recently announced National Park Service entrance fee increases, NTA met via conference call with NPS officials to determine what, if any, entrance fees would be increasing for tour operators in 2007-08.
NTA was assured that announced increases pertained to individual visitor fees and not the flat commercial fees tour operators pay. NPS also held fast to its commitment to give NTA at least 12 months notice of any increase in commercial fees and to continue communicating with association members in the future.
The National Tour Association Board of Directors has extended its management contract with Host Communications Inc. for another five years. HOST has served as NTA’s professional management firm since 1974.
"I speak for the NTA Board of Directors when I say we couldn’t be more pleased to continue the association’s management contract with HOST," said NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian. "We believe strongly in the longstanding partnership we have with our management firm and believe the strength and stability of HOST will take NTA far into the future."
HOST CEO and President Tom Stultz added, "Through this partnership, NTA has grown from a North American group travel association to the premier organization for global travel professionals in all segments of the packaged travel industry. The NTA volunteer leaders and management staff have worked closely for many years. We look forward to continuing this invaluable relationship."
Host Communications provides a full range of management services for NTA, including publishing, government relations, education, Web management, financial management, sponsorships sales, public relations, membership growth activities and convention and hospitality services. HOST’s mission is to maximize its partners’ growth by providing customers with unique and exceptional solutions, with integrity, passion, respect and commitment.
NTA relies heavily on member volunteers to assist in guiding the association and enhancing its programs. The purpose of the volunteer Leadership Team is to allow NTA to fully utilize the tremendous wealth of talent available from you, the members, to advance the mission of the association.
Incoming 2008 Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, will appoint individuals to serve one-year terms on various working committees and task forces. These groups are a vital link between NTA’s Board of Directors and the membership. Some are standing committees, while others are established each year based on the needs of the association at that time. Some of NTA’s committees require in-person meetings, while others conduct business via periodic conference calls.
Members are selected based on several criteria and guidelines. Please note that NTA Leadership volunteers are required to attend two meetings in the course of the calendar year, one in January and the other in July.
To put your name in for consideration, simply submit a Volunteer Interest Form to NTA prior to July 2. Additionally, you should e-mail Hoelscher at firstname.lastname@example.org, outlining why you are interested in volunteering for the 2008 Leadership Team, your areas of expertise and what makes you a good candidate. Appointments will be finalized in November.
NTA members are encouraged to send in nominations for the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members. The NTA Board of Directors established the award in 2003 to honor the late Everidge, owner and president of Shenandoah Tours Inc., and his lifetime commitment to NTA. Everidge, who died in 2001, served as president of the association in 1996.
Any person employed by an NTA member company is eligible to make a nomination, which, at minimum, should include a brief narrative (approximately 250 words) about the nominee. Additional material may be included with the narrative.
The nomination criteria are as follows:
- Display active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interests of its members
- Extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members
- Consistently conducted himself/herself in a manner in keeping with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA
- A minimum of 20 years involvement in the travel industry that has served to further the interests of NTA and its members
The National Park Service is now accepting public comments for proposed improvements to Grand Canyon National Park’s South Entrance Road (Highway 64) between Tusayan, Arizona, and the park entrance station. The park service is looking to find a system that would address the crowding and safety issues that occur during the high visitor use season at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
The project proposal includes the construction of two additional northbound lanes and an independent bypass lane that will be available to transit vehicles, employees and residents, and other users as determined by the NPS. Besides improving visitor experience, this proposal would reduce the impact on park resources and improve overall safety.
An environmental assessment for the proposal will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. During this process, the public has two opportunities to formally comment on the project – once during initial project scoping and again following release of the environmental assessment.
The NPS is currently in the scoping phase and the public can submit comments until June 17, either online or via mail to: Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attn: Office of Compliance and Planning, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.
Documents containing additional information about this project can be found on the park’s Web site.
NTA members joined nearly 300 tourism industry professionals, including association Chairman and CEO Randy Julian and President Lisa Simon, CTP, in historic Virginia City, Nevada, last week to give back at the 5th Annual Tourism Cares for America volunteer restoration project.
The tourism community participants included CEOs, transportation executives, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents, executives of convention and visitors bureaus and other travel industry professionals. Those who volunteered to participate in the restoration event provided a full day of work at local sites and had a chance to interact with locals and learn about the history of this Old West destination. Work details included everything from cataloging historic artifacts at museums to painting, carpentry and general maintenance.
"It was great to see so many of our friends and colleagues gather and roll up their sleeves and make the huge difference they did," said Bruce Beckham, CTP, executive director of Tourism Cares, the organization that sponsored and coordinated the effort. "What perhaps impressed me the most was that Collette Vacations once again brought 45 of its employees to the event. They do it every year. It’s amazing."
Julian added, "The Tourism Cares staff, the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s Larry Friedman, Virginia City Convention & Tourism Authority’s Susan Sutton and 2005 NTA Chairman Ann Thomas,CTP, of Western Discovery did an outstanding job of getting people settled, getting them to the work sites and entertaining the volunteers during off hours. And it was great to see and volunteer with so many NTA members and people from our sister associations. This was truly a unified tourism industry gathering."
Pictures and stories from the event will be available soon at http://www.tourismcares.org/. Also, a recap will appear in the July issue of Courier.
The results of the recently completed NTA Communications Survey, commissioned by your Communications and Education Development Committee, have been finalized. The survey asked members for opinions on NTA’s communications vehicles like Courier, Tuesday, NTA.travel and all Convention-related publications.
Some of the key findings include:
- Members read Courier. Responses indicate that 88 percent of NTA tour operators, 87 percent of NTA tour suppliers and 84 percent of NTA DMOs regularly read the association’s monthly magazine. The feature articles are the most read section by all member categories.
- Members read Tuesday as well. Responses indicate that 84 percent of NTA tour operators, 71 percent of NTA tour suppliers and 82 percent of NTA DMOs read the association’s weekly e-newsletter. More than 80 percent of each member category reported that they only read the articles they are interested in. NTA is making it easier to do this, as Tuesday articles are grouped by topic.
- Members from each category prefer to receive communications via e-mail, as opposed to mail, phone or fax. The challenge is to strike a balance in the amount of e-mails you receive from NTA, since you also get hundreds of other e-mails each week. One way to make sure you get your NTA news is to whitelist all NTA addresses.
Using these and other results from the survey, the committee will work with your association management team to plan for the future.
NTA would like to thank everyone who completed the survey.
The Trip Planner for Group Leaders offers a huge opportunity to get your company/destination in front of 20,000 group leaders as well as NTA’s 1,400 tour operators. The publication includes editorial that is specifically geared toward these 20,000 group leaders and provides a way to reach this audience, which has major buying power.
The advertising space deadline for The Trip Planner for Group Leaders is June 22, so there is plenty of time to reserve space for your company or destination. Click here for more information or to reach your account executive, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or e-mail advertising@NTA.travel.
Registration for the Alaska and Peru Product Development Trips is available at NTA.travel. Limited space is available for the Alaska trip, which will be held Sept. 6-13. You have your choice of two separate itineraries on this trip plus an added three-day trip to Sitka following the workshop. Registration closes July 31.
The Peru trip, scheduled for Dec. 6-12, has plenty of space remaining. This trip will provide a glimpse of the product available by showcasing historic Lima, the majestic and mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu, and the country’s Spanish and Incan inhabitants. Registration closes Oct. 2.
For question about any of this year’s Product Development Trips, or to host one for 2008, contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s vice president of marketing.
NTA is supporting the Missouri Division of Tourism on an important research study. Between now and approximately Aug. 1, NTA tour operators may receive a telephone call from Davidson-Peterson Associates, the independent market research company contracted by the state to conduct this survey among tour operators who plan itineraries in the Midwest.
Your responses will help both NTA and the Missouri Division of Tourism have a better understanding of group tour visitation to the state of Missouri and specific cities, such as Kansas City, host of the 2007 NTA Annual Convention. The interview should take 10-15 minutes to complete, your individual responses will remain completely confidential and all data will be reported in the aggregate only.
If you have any questions about this research project, please contact Kristine McNeil at Davidson-Peterson Associates at 207.985.1790 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
NTA and the state of Missouri thank you in advance for your participation in this study.