March 20, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter March 20, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 12
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|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
President Bush recently issued a challenge to the National Park Service and the American people to work together to strengthen national parks and to prepare them for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment. In response, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar announced last week the plan to hold a series of listening sessions to seek suggestions and ideas from Americans as part of the National Park Centennial Initiative.
The initiative’s aim is to reinvigorate and strengthen national parks over the next decade as the park service gears up for its 100th birthday in 2016. NTA will be submitting comments on the project and encourages members to do the same. The guiding questions for the comments and the listening sessions, which began last week, focus on these three things:
- Think of your children and grandchildren enjoying national parks in 2016 and beyond. How do you imagine their visit? What are your hopes and expectations?
- What role do you think national parks should play in the lives of Americans and visitors from around the world?
- What are the signature projects and programs that you think should be highlighted for completion over the next 10 years?
Upcoming listening sessions are schedule for the following cities – Grand Junction, Colorado; Durango, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; and San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 21); San Francisco, California; and Miami, Florida (March 22); Richmond, Virginia; and Cleveland, Ohio (March 26); Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Torrington, Wyoming; Seattle, Washington; and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (March 27); Tucson, Arizona (March 28); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Alamosa, Colorado; St. George, Utah; and Los Angeles, California (March 29); and Flagstaff, Arizona (April 2). Click here to see the full list of sessions, which may include additions to those just mentioned.
Additionally, those not able to attend a session can submit comments by March 31 at www.nps.gov/2016. Once the comment period is over, Kempthorne and Bomar will identify signature projects and programs and then present their recommendations to President Bush by May 31.
The 2007 NTA Spring Meet, April 26-28, provides tour operators multiple ways to build itineraries and package product. Join us in Kelowna, British Columbia, next month for a weekend of one-on-one partnering and firsthand product development.
The Speed-dating Session at Spring Meet is designed to give tour operators and receptive tour operators a venue to introduce one another to their businesses. Mini business appointments allow attendees to quickly exchange product overviews. They can use the session to find new vendors to complete packages or sell product to each other.
Have you considered Western Canada for your next itinerary? Spring Meet delegates will have the opportunity to explore both the city and region directly during complimentary leisure excursions, sightseeing tours and familiarization tours.
Visit http://springmeet.nta.travel/ for more information on the 2007 Spring Meet. Tour operators and receptive tour operators can fly free. Click here to get registered or call your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
Because of the significant increase in the number of applications for U.S. passports, the wait time has gone from four to six weeks to 10 weeks, according to information posted recently on the State Department’s Web site, www.travel.state.gov.
In addition to the lengthening turnaround time for regular applications, those requesting expedited service may wait four weeks or "possibly longer" instead of the usual two weeks. To cope with the demand, passport agency employees are working overtime, including nights and weekends, and 49 new employees were hired in the past six weeks.
The spike in applications also has extended wait times at the 14 regional passport centers, where passport-seekers can typically get one right away after securing an advance appointment. The Web site update said that these 14 "production centers are working extended hours, including around-the-clock operations at the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and we have increased our overtime staffing at the other passport agencies. In April, we will open a mega-processing center in Arkansas that will produce as many as 10 million passports a year."
The unusually high demand is due to people striving to be in compliance with the two-month-old requirement of the Western Hemisphere Passport Initiative, which mandates that all citizens who are returning to America from any international destination via air transportation have a passport.
The United States will celebrate 2007 National Tourism Week May 12-20, through a series of activities wrapped around this year’s theme, "Tourism: America’s Front Door." The nine-day recognition provides cities, states and travel-related businesses nationwide the opportunity to collectively champion the power of travel.
Since the initiative was introduced in 1984, many NTA-member companies have participated in this effort by organizing or taking part in celebrations in their local communities. Please share your National Tourism Week plans with Courier magazine Editor in Chief Penny Mullinix via e-mail at penny.mullinix@NTA.travel for possible inclusion in an upcoming article.
The Kansas City CVA, which will host the 2007 NTA Annual Convention, plans many annual events around National Tourism Week. This year, as part of its celebrations in May, the CVA will present its first ever Visitors Choice Awards. The program will recognize winners in 19 different categories, ranging from Favorite Festival or Special Event to Favorite Jazz Venue.
The CVA also has developed a hospitality training and certification effort, the Heartland Tourism Ambassador Program, which it kicked off during National Tourism Week in 2005. The program’s goal is to enhance a visitor’s travel experience in Kansas City by sharpening the hospitality skills and tourism knowledge of the city’s front-line hospitality employees. As of February 2007, the CVA had certified 341 ambassadors.
NTA’s first Product Development Trip for 2007 will be to Poland May 19-27. Registration deadlines are drawing closer as all participants must be registered no later than March 31. Because the host is so certain that NTA tour operators will find plenty of new product ideas on this trip, the trip is open to two registrants per company.
The cost is $450 with an added $813 for round-trip air from New York City’s JFK Airport. To learn more about the itinerary or to find a registration form click here, or contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s vice president of Marketing, at lisa.thompson@NTA.travel.
With the Tour Operator Spring Meet just a few weeks away, this is the last call to donate an item or travel package for the Government Relations Silent Auction. Proceeds will benefit the association’s Government Issues Fund.
The Government Issues Fund helps make your voice heard to national governments. It supports NTA’s advocacy efforts, the annual Grassroots Symposium and the legislative tracking service, as well as funding NTA’s work on the tour director issue.
To donate a tour package or item, please contact Matt Grayson, NTA’s director of Government and Industry Relations, right away via e-mail, or by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
Gordon Croil, of Perimeter Transportation, passed away March 14 after a short but vigorous battle with cancer. He was 52.
Croil began working for the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company in 1981 and quickly made his mark. After leaving to work for Charter Bus Lines, also in British Columbia, he returned to Perimeter in 1996 as vice president of marketing and sales, before more recently becoming executive vice president. Through his work in these roles, he became well known and highly respected in the industry. The relationships he developed with the tour operators and wholesalers helped Perimeter experience extensive growth.
A memorial service for Croil will be held at South Delta Baptist Church in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Wednesday, March 21, at 2 p.m. (PST). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Delta Hospital Foundation Palliative Care, P.O. Box 18527, Delta, BC V4K 4V7.
Lawrence A. Anzuoni Sr., of Brush Hill Transportation Co. Inc., passed away March 11 after losing his battle with a long-term illness.
The 80-year-old Anzuoni, who was president of Brush Hill in Randolph, Massachusetts, enjoyed a 60-year career in the transportation and tourism industry. He was instrumental in furthering the cause of tourism in Massachusetts through his lobbying efforts, was a Lifetime Director (Emeritus) of the Greater Boston CVB and received the NorthEast Passenger Transportation Association Hall of Fame Award in 2004. Besides Brush Hill, he and his brothers George and Richard, owned the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, McGinn Bus, North Shore Bus, Gray Line Sightseeing of Boston and Cape Cod and the Beantown Trolley.
Memorials in his honor can be sent to The National Liver Foundation – New England Chapter, 88 Winchester Street, Newton, MA 02461. Please make sure to list them in memory of Lawrence A. Anzuoni Sr., Brush Hill Transportation.
Tourism Cares is pleased to announce the upcoming induction of Dan Sullivan Jr., president and CEO of Collette Vacations, and the late Daniel Sullivan Sr. into the Tourism Cares Hall of Fame. The official ceremony will take place at a gala dinner and celebration Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Tourism Cares Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who, among other business accomplishments, have made significant personal contributions to travel and tourism through philanthropic, volunteer and mentoring activities.
"The personal values set forth by Dan Sullivan Sr. have been carried on and amplified by his son, Dan Jr.," said Bruce Beckham, executive director of Tourism Cares. "Both honorees will be recognized for their success in business as well as their philanthropy both in their local communities and in the hospitality and tourism industry."
Platinum- and gold-level sponsorships, as well as individual tickets, are available for the Hall of Fame Dinner. For details or to participate as a host for this spectacular annual event, please click here or contact Natalie King at email@example.com. Additional information about this event and the very worthy honorees is available if you click here.
All proceeds from the evening benefit the initiatives of Tourism Cares, the non profit supported by the travel industry that gives back through grants, scholarships and volunteer projects.
Through sponsorship, tour suppliers and DMOs can attend NTA’s operator-exclusive event. With an anticipated 150 tour operators in attendance, your sponsorship at Spring Meet is guaranteed to reach the right audience.
According to Spring Meet registration, 63 percent of tour operator attendees are the decision makers in their company. Held in beautiful Kelowna, British Columbia, April 26-28, Spring Meet is a great way to interact with these key tour operator contacts through networking and social events, and only five sponsorships remain.
"Spring Meet provides and excellent opportunity for sponsors to ‘get close’ with tour operators. It also allows for in-depth conversation and great networking opportunities that, when navigated correctly, leads to booking business." – Joe Donnelly, Gaylord Hotels & Entertainment, Nashville, Tennessee, NTA member since 1975