March 13, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter March 13, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 11
|The Berkely Group provides a competitive Travel Protection Plan to NTA members. The plan includes an administration-free product that operators can sell to their clients and a group product that offers flexibility in pricing and compensation. To learn more click here or contact Geni Priolo at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
With the 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet still about six weeks away, there is plenty of time to register. With education, product development and leisure options slated for the three-day event, there are a myriad of reasons to attend. But, don’t take our word for it. NTA members share their experiences at the Spring Meet and in Kelowna.
Why Spring Meet?
"Spring Meet allows you to take a step back from your own business and focus on what you can do to improve it, with no pressure or hassles."
– Corey Marshall, CTP, of Anderson Vacations
"I attend a lot of industry events, but I have to say that others aren’t like this one. The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed and, as a newcomer, it did not intimidate me to be there. In addition, the seminars were well organized and the topics chosen could only add to our experience and knowledge."
– Merehani Parker of Tahiti Nui Travel
"There is a tremendous growth in demand for ‘experiential travel.’ Kelowna is a destination that offers all the components that tour operators are looking for to satisfy this new market – unique experiences combined with fine food, great accommodation and a welcoming climate." – Jim Warren of Exclusively Canada
Visit http://springmeet.nta.travel/ for more information on the 2007 Spring Meet, April 26-28, in Kelowna, British Columbia. 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.
NTA is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc., a Canadian company that specializes in travel insurance for the Canadian market. This is especially good news for NTA’s Canadian members, who lost coverage when Royal & SunAlliance withdrew from both the U.S. and Canadian markets. Although The Berkely Group was able to secure a long-term commitment from Zurich on the U.S. accounts, this was not possible on the Canadian accounts due to regulatory issues.
Pottruff & Smith is a privately owned Canadian company and one of the largest and most reputable group and association insurance brokerages in Canada. They offer a complete line of travel and medical insurance packages and currently serve many Canadian retail travel agencies and travel fulfillment organizations.
"We are so excited to be partnering with the NTA," said Michael Fitzgibbon, vice president & partner of Pottruff & Smith. "NTA’s long history of quality membership services and advocacy is right in line with the principles of Pottruff & Smith. We look forward to serving the business insurance needs of Canadian members of the association."
Pottruff & Smith will offer commercial property and commercial liability coverage to NTA members. The commercial property coverage for business property and buildings includes all risk coverage, replacement cost, stated amount co-insurance and more. Business Interruption coverage also is available and includes actual loss up to 12 consecutive months. The Commercial Liability coverage available to NTA members includes errors and omissions liability and comprehensive general liability, with higher limits being available.
For more information on the details of the partnership, click here. Please contact Rose Siciliano, your NTA representative at Pottruff & Smith, with any questions. You can reach her at 416.798.8001, ext. 401 or by e-mailing her at email@example.com. Or if you’d like to contact NTA Headquarters, please call Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 or e-mail her at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.
NTA, along with several other travel partners, helped to fund the recent SYTA study on student and youth travel. The study, "Characteristics, Scale, and Economic Importance of Independent, Overnight Group Travel by 12-18 Year Olds in the United States," was conducted by Michigan State University and the Student & Youth Travel Research Institute and released last month.
A combination of Web and traditional paper survey instruments were used to obtain data on 400 overnight groups (8 percent of which were international trips). The study gives insights into the demographics and psychographics of the student and youth traveler, including what they spent on trips and much more.
Because NTA helped to fund the study, all NTA members have access to that report. The study is available on NTA.travel and you will need your ID and password to access it.
For those attending the Tourism Cares for Virginia City Restoration Project May 17-20, be sure to extend your stay and enjoy more of Nevada’s hospitality on one of four optional excursions. Enjoy beautiful Lake Tahoe with a tour of the amazing historic Thunderbird Lodge perched on the lake’s edge, a cruise to Emerald Bay on the M.S. Dixie Paddlewheeler and an evening at the Horizon Casino Resort on the glittering North Shore. Visit Carson City and see where Nevada’s colorful story began. Walk in the footsteps of residents of more than 100 years ago as you take a guided tour of the Kit Carson Trail. Enjoy Reno, America’s Adventure Place, with a Midway Tour of Fun at Circus Circus and more. Or enjoy a golf excursion on one of The Divine Nine’s courses – 70,000 yards and 171 championship holes will make you think you are in golf heaven. All extensions include transportation and an additional overnight in Virginia City for only $75 per person. Click here to learn more about these extensions or call Tourism Cares at 781.821.5990.
The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment to a pending security bill that would permit additional countries to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. NTA supports the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program.The security bill, referred to as the Implementing Unfinished Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, includes an amendment sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif. If passed, it would allow travelers from qualifying countries to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. Participating countries would then extend the same privilege to travelers from the United States.
"This legislation will improve both our national security and economic interests while helping to solidify relationships and improve good will toward the United States," said U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio.
The amendment also would increase the visa refusal rate from three percent to 10 percent. It would also include new standards to monitor overstays, or foreign visitors who do not return home once their visitor visas have expired.
At least 19 countries are seeking entry into the program, including Argentina, South Korea and Turkey. Currently, there are 27 countries in the Visa Waiver Program. Those are Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.
NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson attended the 2nd Annual BiNational Tourism Summit, held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, March 4-6. The summit, conducted by the BiNational Tourism Alliance, brings together tourism organizations from the United States and Canada to discuss border crossing and regional marketing opportunities.
NTA was able to discuss border-crossing concerns with John Nay, U.S. Consul General in Toronto, and Greg Goatbe, the vice president of admissibility and head of Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Portfolio in the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Summit attendees, chiefly from the Niagara region, reported that much confusion and frustration surrounds the passport issue due to mixed messages coming from the U.S. government. The region also is reporting that a slight increase in cross-border trips will occur this summer ahead of a projected 2008 implementation of the passport requirements for land and sea crossings. After implementation of the passport requirement, a downturn is expected.
A seminar on tourism trends was presented by Deloitte and Touche, which highlighted the increasing customization and personalization of travel product and the increasing importance of Asia as an inbound market for North America.
The June 2007 issue of Courier offers plenty of opportunity to get your company in front of tour operators.
Features for June are Native American, First Nations, & Western Heritage as well as Student & Youth Travel. The trip planners showcase Canadian Maritimes and Quebec (New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island & Quebec) and the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas). June travel guides highlight Maryland/D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia. The space deadline for June Courier is March 30 so one month remains to get in the magazine ranked No. 1 in the industry by tour operators!