May 1, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter May 1, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 18
|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.|
Progress Made on Canadian Rebate Program
NTA Had a Strong Presence at Pow Wow
Trip Planner Targets Thousands of Group Leaders
Tourism Cares Awards Service-Learning Scholarships
Book Your Advertisement by June 1 and Lock in at 2007 Rates
Registration for the 2007 NTA Annual Convention – to be held in Kansas City, Missouri – will launch May 15, at noon ET. Be sure to mark your calendars so you can sign up when registration starts two weeks from today.
Information on Convention highlights, registration and housing details and a list of important dates and deadlines will be mailed to you soon.
If you have questions before you register to join your association colleagues in Kansas City, Nov. 2-6, visit the Convention Web site or contact your member services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
The 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet in Kelowna is already receiving high praise. Upon returning home, Chris Donnelly, president of Sugar Tours in West Dover, Vermont, posted his thoughts on the event on the NTA member forums.
"The folks in Kelowna put on one of the best events that I have attended in a long time," said Donnelly. "Great seminars, the best food that I can remember at the functions and great networking – what more could you ask for?"
"I couldn’t agree more with Chris," said NTA Chairman and CEO Randy Julian. "The Spring Meet was spectacular. From the natural beauty of Kelowna to the camaraderie of my NTA friends and educational seminars without peer, this event was a great success."
In addition to enjoying what Kelowna had to offer, attendees experienced education, networking events and product development during the three-day retreat. Among those in attendance were a record nine international tour operators. A recap of the Spring Meet will be available on NTA.travel next week and in the July issue of Courier.
The NTA Board of Directors gathered following Spring Meet. Outcomes from the meeting will be included in next week’s issue of Tuesday, and a full update will be posted under the "Leadership" channel of the NTA Web site then.
Visit the NTA member forums (ID and password required) to share your thoughts on Spring Meet.
Association representatives are hitting the road and bringing all that is great about NTA directly to you. The NTA Road Show is a way for volunteer leaders to update you on the new and exciting happenings at NTA this year and answer your questions.
The first Road Show takes place next Wednesday, May 9, in the city that will host this year’s Annual Convention – Kansas City, Missouri. NTA members will gather for a lunch meeting at the Marriott Downtown Kansas City to exchange ideas with association Vice Chairman Bob Hoelscher, CTP.
Information on dates and sites of additional Road Shows is now available. Upcoming shows include:
If a Road Show is coming to your area, watch your e-mail for an invitation. Announcements regarding additions to the schedule will be published in future issues of Tuesday.
If you are interested in attending a Road Show, contact NTA Event Manager Bobbie Chandler at bobbie.chandler@NTA.travel.
Travel professionals received some good news last week when the Canadian government granted the industry’s request regarding provisions of the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program, which replaced the Visitor Rebate Program.
According to an FAQ document released by the Canadian Tourism Commission, "there will be no changes to the process of purchasing tour packages that include eligible accommodation from receptives. Receptives selling such tour packages can still pay or credit approximately 50 percent of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and the federal component of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) to qualifying non-residents at the point of purchase and claim a deduction for the amount on their GST/HST return, provided they file a prescribed information return."
Clarification is still needed on many questions raised by travel industry members, and the program has been a topic of discussion at this year’s Rendez-vous Canada, which wraps up tomorrow.
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada was the major force pushing for the change and NTA applauds and thanks TIAC officials for their good work on behalf of the industry.
Parts of the Oakland-San Francisco Bridge collapsed Sunday after a tanker explosion caused part of one overpass to crumple onto another. Connector ramps from Interstate 80 to Interstate 580 and 880 are closed and authorities predict the crash will cause the worst disruption for commuters since a 1989 earthquake.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to speed up the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. However, state transportation officials cautioned it could take months to repair the damage. Every day nearly 75,000 vehicles travel on the part of the road which was damaged during the explosion, but because the accident occurred where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people. Motorists are advised to use public transportation in and out of San Francisco.
Many Bay Area transportation companies are doing what they can to help ease the burden.
- On Monday, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) added extra trains during the morning and evening rush hours and lengthened the regularly scheduled trains to expand capacity by more than 50 percent overall.
- The Alameda/Oakland Ferry will double its service to San Francisco and speed up service by running one boat directly from Oakland’s Jack London Square to San Francisco’s Ferry Building and another from Alameda to San Francisco.
- AC Transit will add buses for the afternoon commute from San Francisco to the East Bay and it is rerouting other buses heading over the Bay Bridge to avoid slowdowns on connector ramps.
- Golden Gate Bridge officials said they may open four northbound lanes during the evening commute if traffic is heavy.
Caltrans is suggesting detours for common Bay Area routes. Click here for more information.
Here are some recent developments in the airline industry:
- American, Delta, Northwest and US Airways followed United Airlines in adding a $10 surcharge per passenger on all flights taking off at Los Angeles International Airport. The group of carriers that enacted the surcharge represents nearly 44 percent of the market share at the airport, led by United (15 percent). United began imposing the fee three weeks ago as a way to offset a rent increase that Los Angeles’ aviation authority applied last year to all carriers operating at the airport.
- Delta Air Lines has joined with The Conservation Fund to become the first U.S. airline to provide a way for customers to buy carbon offsets to counteract emissions from air travel. Starting June 1, customers who purchase tickets at delta.com can make a voluntary donation to The Conservation Fund. Contributions of $5.50 for a domestic roundtrip flight and $11 for an international roundtrip flight will be used by The Conservation Fund to plant trees in the United States and abroad. The newly planted forests will help to absorb carbon dioxide, filter water, restore wildlife habitat and enhance public recreation areas.
- The United States has approved an open-skies air transport agreement with the European Union yesterday. The agreement, which eliminates restrictions on prices and services, will expand the ability of airlines to fly between Europe and the United States. This is expected to spur lower priced and more accessible air travel for American and European consumers, promote greater access to U.S. and European markets and increase healthy competition.
London posted record visitation numbers in 2006, according to final yearly data from the International Passenger Survey. The data indicated that an extra 1.3 million overseas visitors came to London last year, boosting the total visitation figure for 2006 to a record 15.2 million (a 9.4 percent increase over 2005).
The largest increase in visitor numbers came from Europe, which saw an 11.6 percent increase over 2005 to 9.6 million, followed by the United States, which rose 5.2 percent to 2.4 million. Despite a weakening American dollar, spending by U.S. visitors also went up to US$3 billion, the highest it’s been since 2000.
The increase in visitors boosted London’s global share of international tourism market from 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent. That seemingly small jump did bring nearly US$1.2 billion in new revenues to the city. The increase was part of record expenditures by overseas guests, as the total amount spent rose from US$13.8 billion in 2005 to US$15 billion in 2006.
Last week, more than 300 NTA member companies participated in TIA’s International Pow Wow in Anaheim, California. During the event, NTA leaders worked to further partnerships in the international inbound market by meeting with more than 30 tour operators to provide more information on the benefits of using member receptive operator companies.
NTA has prepared hometown news releases for members who wish to promote their attendance at Pow Wow. Tour operators and tour suppliers and DMOs can send the release to your local media and state or local tourism offices by simply replacing the information in parentheses with the appropriate information to make the material newsworthy in your community.
If you have any questions, please contact NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton via e-mail or by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4418 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4418.
NTA tour operators identified group leaders as a very important component of the packaged travel industry. In response, NTA is publishing The Trip Planner for Group Leaders, a publication that will promote NTA members and their services to 20,000 qualified group leaders and 1,400 tour operators that use tour planning services.
Scheduled to be distributed in September, the Trip Planner will help members directly market to group leaders representing market segments such as alumni, senior, bank travel, hospitals, religious and travel clubs. It will feature articles on trends in the industry and association updates, as well as a tour operator directory and advertising opportunities.
The publication will offer NTA members an affordable avenue to place their companies and product in front of group leaders. If you have any questions regarding The Trip Planner for Group Leaders, contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or via e-mail at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.
Tourism Cares is proud to announce that three students are being awarded the organization’s first ever Service-Learning Scholarships. These scholarships will allow recipients to attend the Tourism Cares for America service project later this month in Virginia City, Nevada.
Bria Wentzel and Jonathan Kim from New York University and Matthew Maturo from Central Connecticut State University will learn about giving back to the industry they have chosen for their careers as they participate in the fifth installment of this project. While they are working in Virginia City, they will have a chance to network with travel and tourism industry volunteers from all over North America. Scholarship funds were raised at the American Bus Association conference in January through a raffle generously hosted by Mohegan Sun.
As the new 2008 Media Kit is getting ready to be published, NTA is offering its members a special discount for booking their 2008 advertising plans early. Whether it’s placement in Courier, the Annual Membership Directory or a 2007 Annual Convention publication, you can determine the best advertising package for your company.
If you book your 2008 insertions with your account executive by June 1, you can lock in 2007 rate card prices. Only a few weeks remain, so don’t miss out on your chance to save 5 percent. For additional information call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or click below to e-mail your account executive.
To see the 2007 Media Kit, click here.