July 11, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter July 11, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 28
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by VisitBritain. Find out more about developing tours to Britain by requesting an appointment with VisitBritain at this year’s NTA Convention. In the meantime visit our new Britain for Tour Operators Web site, www.visitbritain.com/operators.|
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
This is the third installment of On the Convention Trail, a series of Tuesday articles written by 2006 Convention Chair Barb Bowman of the Grand Junction (Colo.) Visitor and Convention Bureau. The stories are aimed at getting you ready for Annual Convention, which takes place Nov. 3-7 "on location" in Salt Lake City.
Can you remember the first time you scheduled your Tour & Travel Exchange® appointments for the NTA Convention? I remember the time with distinct clarity … in the days before online scheduling. I was so nervous that I decided to do my research at home in a quiet place where I could concentrate. My husband compared our family room to a ski mogul field as he attempted to maneuver through the piles of papers on the floor to get to his favorite chair.
For two days I put together mounds of handwritten lists of tours coming to Colorado. Next, I compared the lists with other Colorado destinations and then compared them again to each other, to finally arrive at a tentative list for my appointments which I would continue to adjust and change. On Monday, I would arrive at work exhausted and still nervous about whether I had truly made the correct selections. And then I worried when I mailed or faxed these appointments off into what I perceived was the big black scheduling hole.
Even though that black hole never existed, today the process is much easier to negotiate. Technology has made doing the research and requesting appointments a snap, and it is a whole lot less time consuming. Now all you have to do is study up … make your requests … press submit … then sit back and relax.
NOTE – Online scheduling for the 2006 Convention in Salt Lake City goes live next Wednesday, July 19.
Casinos and state-managed parks and beaches in New Jersey have reopened after an agreement was reached over the weekend on the New Jersey state budget. After the state legislature passed the budget, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed it, clearing the way for lottery ticket sales to resume, state parks and beaches to reopen and casinos to resume full operations.
For more information on the status of things in Atlantic City, call 866.ACVISIT or go to http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/.
NTA has learned that CALTRANS (the California state transportation agency) and the California Highway Patrol are considering short-term alternatives in light of the State Route 140 closure, which has blocked the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite National Park. The road has been closed since June 11 due to the Ferguson Rockslide and has caused serious traffic disruptions in and out of the Yosemite area.
According to Robert Boswell of CALTRANS, several possible solutions are being contemplated to allow 45-foot motorcoaches to have access to the area. "CALTRANS has authorized the construction of two temporary bridges around the Ferguson Rock Slide on State Route 140," said Boswell. "However, no actual work can begin until concurrence from resource agencies is received. We are confident that all resource agencies will be providing their full cooperation. Completion dates are currently not available."
In addition, Boswell noted that "CALTRANS and CHP are doing further analysis to see what can be done short-term and long-term to accommodate 45-foot buses." Yosemite officials said that, currently, 45-foot motorcoaches can enter Yosemite at both Highway 120 entrances – Tioga Pass from the east and Big Oak Flat from the west – and through the park’s south entrance (via Highway 41).
NTA will stay on top of this issue and updates will appear in upcoming editions of Tuesday or on the NTA.travel home page under "This Just In".
The August issue of Courier features a series of articles that focus on national parks, including interviews with Dean Reeder of the U.S. National Park Service and Carol Sheedy of Parks Canada. Reeder and Sheedy share their thoughts on partnerships with tour operators, future visitation, potential fee increases and other issues facing the two parks systems.
Both talk about ways to reach different types of travelers and discussed strategies for the parks to remain relevant now, and in the coming years. In his interview, Reeder said, "Long term, the role of parks and the park experience will be an important part of a life well lived for millions of Americans and our guests from abroad."
The August issue also addresses lesser-known national parks, national park concessionaires and NTA’s relationship with the park service. Look for your copy in the next few weeks.
NTA Chairman and CEO Judith Thomas, CTP, invites tour suppliers to participate in the next Chairman’s Conversation Club on Thursday, July 27, from 3-4 p.m. (ET). To register, e-mail NTA Executive Assistant Celeste Moore at celeste.moore@NTA.travel. Registrants will be sent a toll-free dial-in number.
Said Brent Kalemkiarian of Fun Tours Inc., who participated in last month’s tour operator call, "I felt it was very beneficial to be able to talk with other operators about the issues of the day and to express ideas with NTA management and get feedback. It was well worth my time."
The conference call format allows members within a certain membership category to share thoughts about changes occurring in the package travel industry and to discuss challenges they face. Notes from previous Chairman’s Conversation Club calls are available by clicking here.
Continuing education is a vital component to professional development. While you might typically think of NTA as your first stop for networking and business partners, we are also your greatest resource for education:
Annual Convention – Each year, more than 40 educational sessions are offered to NTA delegates on a host of subjects. Click here to review the 2006 schedule of seminars.
Tour Operator Spring Meet – Tour operators gather at Spring Meet to brainstorm and share ideas. Nearly 15 seminars over the three-day meeting get the creative juices flowing and spark fresh ideas. Search the seminar archives from previous Tour Operator Spring Meets to listen to any sessions you may have missed.
CTP Program – Earn NTA’s professional designation when you become a CTP. The program curriculum will train you on packaged travel and set you apart from your industry colleagues.
For more information related to NTA education programs, contact Assistant Director of Education Jason Jones at jason.jones@NTA.travel.
It’s time for NTA members to begin making donations to the live and silent auctions that benefit NTA’s official philanthropic outreach, Tourism Cares. These events are important fundraisers, as well as a great opportunity for suppliers, DMOs and tour operators to showcase their destinations, properties, travel packages and services.
Donated items for this year’s Silent Auction will be displayed online prior to Convention with each donor’s logo and Web site link on their item’s page. Bidding on Silent Auction items will be done via bid slips at the Convention in Salt Lake City, and the auction will conclude with a basket sweep of final bids. Additionally, some items will be available for online bidding prior to Convention. The Live Auction will include some of the most unique donations and feature the award-winning talent of World Champion auctioneer Shane Ratliff.
For a preview of the Silent Auction or to donate a package, service or tangible item, please go to www.tourismcares.cmarket.com/nta. If you have any questions, contact Natalie King at 781.821.5990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Directors of The Travel Partnership Corporation, in conjunction with Tralliance Corporation (the ".travel" Registry), is encouraging states, cities and tourism entities across America to protect their tourism assets by activating their ".travel" Internet domain names. While many domestic tourism entities have already claimed their ".travel" domain names, there are still others on the ".travel" Place Name Priority List that remain unclaimed, according to the Tralliance Corporation.
TPPC President and Chairman Birger Backman said one of the main reasons for companies to more actively take part in ".travel" is the promotional value. "All of us using our ‘.travel’ e-mail addresses equates to thousands and thousands of no cost advertisements going out everyday to our industry colleagues, as well as travel consumers, all over the world." He also suggested that companies which have already claimed their ".travel" names, should load their organization’s profiles into the ".travel" Directory (click here then click on "Load Profile" at the top to do that).
To learn how NTA can help you be authenticated for a ".travel" domain name, click here. Authentication is free for NTA members, but ".travel" domain names are given based on the order in which they are requested, so act now.
The Profile Form Notebook is a great way to ensure every tour operator at the NTA Annual Convention receives your company profile sheet. By reserving space in advance, you eliminate the need to ship boxes of profile sheets to Salt Lake City, since they will be pre-inserted in this three-ring binder. Tour operators will have a Profile Form Notebook waiting for them at the start of the Convention, and your message will be at their fingertips.
Arranged by country, state/province and corporate destinations, the notebook also has limited advertising space available on each tab. Many tab sides have already been reserved, so call today to book yours. Plus, you can combine this opportunity with other Convention publications to maximize your exposure.
To see a full list of Annual Convention publications, click here. To reserve your space in the Profile Form Notebook or for more information, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238 or e-mail darby.schulman@NTA.travel.