October 24, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter October 24, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 43
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by VisitBritain. For everything you need to know about developing tours to Britain, and to find out about all the British partners who will be joining us at the NTA Convention this year, go to www.visitbritain.com/operators. See you there!.|
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
One of the many enhancements to the 2006 NTA Annual Convention is the new Direct Request scheduling feature. This part of the online appointment request system gives you the option to secure additional business appointments before you leave for Salt Lake City.
Through NTA’s advanced online scheduling system you may:
Please click here to log on and review any Direct Requests that you may have received. You are not required to approve the requests, but you are encouraged to answer them. The Direct Request feature will be available through Nov. 2.
If you have any questions about how Direct Request scheduling works, please contact your Member Services team at questions@NTA.travel or call 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
Better Business. Better Be There.
The 2006 Annual Convention begins in just 11 days. Have you begun thinking about the things that you need to do before you board that plane for Salt Lake? Here are a few tips to start the list:
- Log on to the online scheduling system and print your appointment schedule. Dedicated computers in the Research Center will be available to printed updated schedules on site.
- Answer any Direct Requests for appointments that you receive. This feature will be available until Nov. 2.
- Access the Message Center to send and answer correspondence from other attendees. The Message Center will be available throughout Convention.
- Sign up to volunteer at Convention. This is a great opportunity to network and meet more of your industry colleagues.
- Review the schedule of events so you know when certain events take place. The schedule will be available on site in the Convention Program and in the Convention Map & Schedule.
- U.S.-based members who want to vote in their local elections should contact their local county clerk to get an absentee ballot.
Got a suggestion for how to improve Convention? Been thinking of a better way NTA could help your business? Then make sure to take a few minutes and visit the new "Tell Us How" Lounge, sponsored by Carolina Crossroads (featuring the Randy Parton Theater).
Members of the NTA Board of Directors are volunteering and will be available in the lounge throughout the Convention, and you are encouraged to stop by and share your thoughts by "telling us how…"
- – we can be a better association
– we can help you grow your business
– we can provide educational opportunities
– we can provide more valuable member benefits
The lounge will be located on the Convention Mall near the refreshments area and Silent Auction tables. Once you are in that section of the Mall, be on the lookout for the big Tell Us How sign. In addition to the lounge, there will be Tell Us How suggestion boxes around the convention center where you can share your thoughts.
This Friday, Oct. 27, is the deadline to turn in ballots for the NTA elections unless you are planning on voting in Salt Lake City at Annual Convention. Ballots were distributed last month and all member companies should have received either an electronic ballot via e-mail or, if NTA does not have an e-mail address on file for you, a paper ballot.
Final voting will take place during each of the three membership category business meetings at Convention (tour operators, Friday; tour suppliers, Saturday; and DMOs, Sunday). If you have any questions on the process, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at matt.grayson@NTA.travel or go to the elections page of NTA.travel.
Tourism Cares is pleased to announce that the Tourism Cares for America cleanup event will take place in Virginia City, Nevada. The organization plans to gather 300-plus travel industry volunteers to this historic mining city from May 17-19, 2007. This national historic site was once "the richest place in the world," as it produced gold and silver believed by some to have financed the Civil War.
"This restoration project fits our mission perfectly as it combines our mission to bring the tourism community together to give back, as well as to preserve and restore a historic site," said Lisa Schmiemann, Tourism Cares’ director of development and coordinator of the event.
More details on the 2007 project will be available soon.
During the past year, the National Tour Association has continued its focus on growing and diversifying its membership base and is reporting a strong year for recruitment and retention overall.
- NTA wraps up 2006 ahead of projections for both bringing in new members and for keeping the current membership. More tour suppliers came into the association this year than have any of the last five years.
- NTA brought new and diverse buyers into the association, both from North America and overseas. New tour operators members from Nepal, India and Switzerland are just a few of the international members NTA has welcomed in 2006.
- NTA also is welcoming more special interest tour operators into the association. Some examples of the unique tour product that new NTA tour operators offer are wrestling team travel, RV tours and culinary-based packages.
Additionally, members that help NTA continue to expand and diversify can receive rewards. For each tour operator you pass along that becomes an NTA member, you’ll receive $100 off Annual Convention registration through the recruitment rewards program.
The Canadian government recently announced it will eliminate the Visitor Rebate Program that reimburses international travelers for the Canadian Goods and Services Tax and the Harmonized Sales Tax. NTA and other industry groups are asking the Canadian government to reinstate this rebate, which is valuable to both travelers and tour operators.
If you are a Canadian member of NTA, your association, in conjunction with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, encourages you to send a letter to your member of parliament (MP) outlining your concerns about the cancellation of the rebate program and asking for his or her assistance in defeating the measure. Those letters also should be faxed to:
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (613.992.8320)
- National Revenue Minister Carol Skelton (613.943.2010)
- Treasury Board President John Baird (613.996.9880)
- Industry Minister Maxime Bernier (613.995.0687)
Letters also can be mailed, postage-free, to those four people care of the House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6.
If your MP supports maintaining the program, ask him or her to deliver an S.O. 31 statement to that effect in the House of Commons.
If you are a non-Canadian member, please let NTA know how this lack of rebate will impact the business you do in Canada. Company names will be kept confidential, but having some good financial data to give the Canadian government will help make our case stronger. This information should be sent to NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson either via e-mail, or by faxing it to 859.226.4404.
According to the U.S. Travel Forecast, prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce and research firm Global Insight, record arrivals and receipts from international travelers are expected in 2006 and 2007 to the United States. In 2007, the United States is projected to host more than 54 million international visitors, generating $113 billion in exports.
In 2005, the United States hosted 49 million international visitors, a 7 percent increase from 2004. The arrivals forecast for 2006-2010 predicts that by 2010 international arrivals will reach 63 million, an increase of 28 percent between 2005 and 2010. Exports are projected to grow steadily in 2007 to nearly $113 billion. By 2010, the United States will reach at least $135 billion in travel exports.
"Today’s forecast is significant for America’s travel and tourism industry as well as our economy. A strong global economy will certainly boost visitation to the United States in the future," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Services Ana M. Guevara. "This is particularly good news after international visitors added nearly $103 billion to our growing economy in 2005."
For official information on international travel to the United States, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/.
Habitat for Humanity and Pat Smith’s family want to thank NTA members for their generous contributions to the Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Endowment Fund. This fund was established by the Lexington (Ky.) Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, with the support of the Smith family in honor of Pat, who was killed in an airplane accident Aug. 27.
Contributions from the NTA family are nearing $1,000, and will grow considerably thanks to $1,000 matches from both Sports Leisure Vacations (Sacramento, Calif.) and Jim Host (Lexington, Ky.). Funds will be used to preserve Pat’s memory and to continue specific work in Lexington and globally that was so important to him.
As NTA’s Annual Convention approaches, we remember Pat’s many years of service to the association as a Convention consultant. If you would like to honor Pat through a memorial gift, please send your donation to:
- Pat Smith Habitat for Humanity Fund
Lexington Habitat for Humanity
1260 Industry Road
Lexington, KY 40505
Please write "NTA Family" on the subject line of your check so that contributions can be tracked. Donor names will be provided to Jean Smith, Pat’s wife.
The January 2007 issue of Courier offers you a great way to ensure your company name is still on the minds of tour operators after the hustle and bustle of Convention is over.
This post-Convention edition will have coverage of all the exciting news and happenings of the 2006 Annual Convention. You can ensure every meeting you have in Salt Lake City is followed up with an advertisement in next year’s opening issue by stopping by the Courier Sales & Publishing booth (#413/415) at Convention to reserve your 2007 January advertising space at 2006 prices.
January will also feature Cruising Overnight/Daytrips, and there is no ship too big or too small for this information-filled story. The January trip planners focus on the Antebellum South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina & Tennessee) and the British Isles & Ireland. Travel guides will include Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.