February 6, 2007
Tuesday Newsletter February 6, 2007
Volume 27: Issue 6
|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.|
Concerned about a significant decline in business and leisure travel to the United States and its impact on the country’s deteriorating image abroad, the Discover America Partnership released a comprehensive roadmap for helping the nation restore travel and tourism. Discover America, an initiative the NTA Board of Directors endorsed last September, is an advocacy campaign that is supported by many renowned national business leaders and hundreds of travel industry leaders.
Discover America’s three-part plan, "A Blueprint to Discover America," comes as the United States grapples with a steep, sustained decline in overseas travel and a simultaneous drop in the nation’s image abroad. Overseas travel to America is down 17 percent since 2001, resulting in a loss of $93 billion in economic activity and nearly 200,000 jobs.
The blueprint’s three main components include:
- Creation of a "21st century visa system" that will improve security and process travelers more quickly
- Modernization and securing of the nation’s points of entry
- Changing perceptions of America that are keeping travelers away
The Travel Industry Association has been awarded a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to encourage international travelers to visit America. The funds would be used primarily to create a new multi-lingual Web site.
TIA and several industry partners – including many state tourism offices and CVBs, American Express, Travelocity, Yahoo! and Fodor’s – will build, market and maintain a set of Web sites aimed at the markets that account for roughly 75 percent of international inbound travel. Web sites in English and Japanese will be developed over the next nine months to attract attention primarily from travelers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan. The second phase includes activating sites that target residents of Mexico and Germany. Sites for additional markets will be added after that.
Roger Dow, TIA president and CEO, noted the importance of reaching overseas travelers in particular because that portion of international inbound travel to the America has declined by 17 percent since 9/11, and the U.S. share of the world travel market has declined by 36 percent since 1992.
"Research shows that people who visit our country think far more favorably of our country than those who have never been here," Dow said. "Attracting more visitors to the U.S. will help with our image around the world and be a tremendous benefit to our overall economy. These Web sites are important first steps toward achieving a fully integrated international marketing campaign to market America as a destination to the rest of the world."
Last week, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., introduced a bill to lift the 40-year-old travel ban from the United States to Cuba. Currently, Cuba is the only country to which travel by Americans is illegal, and H.R. 654 would allow U.S. citizens to travel to the island nation.
NTA has long supported the lifting of the ban in order to give tour operators the ability to package product to Cuba as the rest of the world currently does. And, in keeping with the association’s view that travel is the perfect freedom, the ability to go, see, do and experience should not be infringed upon.
If you believe the travel ban to Cuba should be lifted, contact members of the U.S. House of Representatives and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 654.
Additional questions should be forwarded to NTA Director of Government and Industry Relations Matt Grayson at matt.grayson@NTA.travel.
Visitors to Kelowna during the 2007 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet will have numerous opportunities to get acquainted with the city and region. Review the schedule of events and take advantage of the complimentary offerings that are available courtesy of host city Kelowna.
- Fam tours are offered prior to and following the retreat in Kelowna. Consider extending your stay a few days to participate.
- An early arrival tour is planned for attendees who get to Kelowna prior to the kick off of the official event. Click here to read more.
- Thursday afternoon will feature local sightseeing tours from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Seven tours are available, and delegates are encouraged to sign up in advance.
- Complimentary leisure activities will entertain delegates on Friday from 2-6 p.m. Golf, gardening, outdoor activities and spa services are available. Click here to reserve your preferred activity.
Registration is still available for the 2007 NTA Spring Meet, to be held April 26-28. Complimentary airfare from United Airlines is still available for tour operators and receptive tour operators. Contact your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 for more information. top of page
NTA applauds the appointment of Jon Porter, R-Nev., as co-chair of the U.S. Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus. The caucus exists to recognize the economic importance of travel and tourism and the need for a congressional advocacy organization to support the industry in Congress.
"The selection of Porter as a co-chair is good news for all NTA members," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini, who was the founder and the first secretary/treasurer of the caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. "The Nevada congressman is a proven champion of both the tourism industry and NTA members. This is a vital stepping stone to the creation of a cabinet-level tourism position within the executive branch of the U.S. federal government."
Porter joins Representative Sam Farr, D-Calif., as co-chair of the CTTC. Farr has co-chaired the caucus since 1997. Together, they have pledged to promote issues important to the travel and tourism industry and to educate members of Congress about these topics.
NTA and Porter have worked together closely in the past on travel-related issues. At the urging of NTA and its allied associations, Porter introduced the "Local Government and Traveler Assistance Act of 2004." This legislation secured a tourism position in the Department of Homeland Security, which is currently held by Alfonso Martinez-Fonts.
Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy, was recently presented with one of seven prestigious World Travel Market Global Awards. WTM’s Global Media Network, representing key travel industry media around the world, sought nominations for companies who have made a remarkable contribution to their region’s travel and tourism industry.
Tourism Cares was nominated for this award by Travel Weekly USA and recognized for its efforts to benefit society by preserving, conserving and promoting the responsible use of the world’s natural, cultural and historic treasures and supporting education and research that helps secure the positive future of travel and tourism worldwide.
Other Global Award winners included Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (Middle East Travel); Dagomys Health Improvement Complex (Tour Business); Delta Hotels (Canadian Travel Press); Embratur (Mecado & Eventos, Brazil); le pasage to india tours and travels (Trav Talk, India); and 4 Operatori-1 Filosofia (L’Agenzia Di Viaggi, Italy).
The 2007 NTA Grassroots Symposium will be held in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24-25. The symposium allows you to make your voice heard on the issues that affect you most by giving you a chance to meet face-to-face with U.S. legislators, in addition to updating you on travel-related legislation.
NTA has stayed busy recently working on the key issues facing the industry, including the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the classification of tour directors. Your association’s government relations efforts have helped keep the industry’s opinions and ideas in front of key decision-makers on these and other travel and tourism topics.
A scholarship is being created at Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in honor of Travel Trade magazine’s Joel M. Abels, who passed away Jan. 25. Abels and his wife, Lenore, were appointed "Executives in Residence" at Temple in 2006.
This annual scholarship will be awarded to the student whose career goal mirrors the activism and dedication to travel and tourism Joel exhibited for so many years. To learn more about the fund, visit www.temple.edu/sthm.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution now, should either:
- Make a donation via credit card on the Temple School of Tourism and Hospitality Management’s Web page.
- Mail a check Dr. Joe Goldblatt, c/o Joel M. Abels Scholarship Fund, Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, 1700 North Broad Street, Room 412D, Philadelphia, PA 19122-3429. Checks should be made payable to Temple University and please indicate your gift is for the Joel M. Abels Scholarship Fund on the memo line.
The April issue of Courier offers plenty of opportunity to get your company maximum exposure. Feature stories this month will focus on historic homes and gardens as well as wine tours. The trip planners will showcase New York City and the Great Lakes Loop (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Ontario & Wisconsin). April travel guides will highlight what’s new in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
From east to west and north to south, this issue covers it all. The space deadline has been extended to Feb. 8, so there is still plenty of time to reserve your marketing space in this issue. Call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or e-mail advertising@NTA.travel for more information. Click here to view the full 2007 Editorial Calendar.
Only a month remains to reserve your advertising space in the 2007-08 NTA Membership Directory. This 500-plus-page publication, which includes valuable contact information for your industry partners, will be delivered to all of the association’s members.
The space deadline for advertising in the Membership Directory is March 1 with materials due March 15. Talk to your account executive today for more details. 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or contact them via e-mail at advertising@NTA.travel.
Click here to see all the advertising opportunities the Membership Directory can offer your company.