July 5, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter July 5, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 27
|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.|
NTA thanks senators Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for their efforts in sponsoring legislation that modifies the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The Stevens/Leahy amendment, which passed the U.S. Senate June 29, sets June 1, 2009, for WHTI implementation and ensures that the government has sufficient capability to facilitate cross-border travel in light of WHTI requirements.
"This is a good step for the travel industry," said NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "A delay in implementation would allow for sufficient education of the traveling public as well as allowing the government to ramp up its capabilities to deal with new border-crossing requirements. However, NTA is still working for more substantive changes."
The first phase of WHTI is scheduled for implementation Dec. 31, 2006, and will eventually require passports to enter and re-enter the United States from countries in the Western Hemisphere. NTA has pressed for changes, specifically outlined in the previously adopted Coleman/Dorgan amendment, that would move back WHTI deadlines and softens some of its strict provisions.
Both the Stevens/Leahy and Coleman/Dorgan amendments are now awaiting conference. NTA, through its work with other associations and its own legislative and grassroots efforts, will continue to work for substantive change on this important legislation. For more information on this issue, contact Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250 or via e-mail at matt.grayson@NTA.travel.
Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim and Arizona State Highway 67, both of which were closed most of last week do to warm fires in the area, reopened to the public July 3. All services provided by the National Park Service including the Visitor Center, Grand Canyon Association bookstore, backcountry permit reservations and campgrounds are operational and ranger programs have resumed.
Also, Xanterra Parks & Resorts Inc., which provides lodging, restaurant services at the North Rim – including a snack bar and coffee bar, a general store, a gas station and Grand Canyon Trail Rides (mule rides) – is fully functional again.
Anyone needing to check the status of their hotel reservations on the North Rim should call Xanterra reservations at 888.297.2757 (in the U.S.) or 303.297.2757 (elsewhere). Questions regarding campground reservations for the North Rim Campground should be directed to 800.365.2267 (in the U.S.) and 301.722.1257 (elsewhere). For questions on mule rides, please call Grand Canyon Trail Rides at 435.679.8665.
To stay current with updates on all fires and potential closings at National Park Service sites, click here.
Friday, July 7, is the deadline for tour operators (buyer delegates) to register for the 2006 NTA Annual Convention at the early-bird rate (a savings of $110). Also, to remain eligible for the Convention rebate, which is worth up to $650 (U.S.), tour operators must register and update the online company profile by Friday.
If you have questions about registration for Convention, e-mail your NTA Member Services Department at questions@NTA.travel or call 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
The 2006 NTA Annual Convention will be held in Salt Lake City from Nov. 3-7.
Better Business. Better Be There.
One of the main ways you can make the most of your NTA membership is by getting involved. As a member-driven association, your involvement helps determine the strategic direction of NTA. Also, involvement facilitates networking and collaboration, which go beyond the scope of NTA and can directly impact the growth of your business. Read below to learn how you can get involved and make a difference:
- Learn about the different areas in which you can volunteer at Convention.
- Are you a writer? Do you have an idea or business success (or failure) to share? E-mail editor Penny Mullinix at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute to Courier magazine.
- Submit a Volunteer Interest Form to be considered for the NTA Leadership Team.
Click here to learn about additional areas of the association where there are chances to get involved
With questions related to these or other NTA volunteer opportunities, please contact your NTA Member Services Department at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
New Jersey’s 12 casinos, 42 parks and numerous beaches have begun closing after no budget agreement was reached during the emergency July 4 session of the state legislature. The state lottery also has been shut down and road construction work has been halted. Although essential workers, including state police and child welfare employees, have been kept on the job but are working without pay for the time being, more than 40,000 state workers are at home today
Tour operators who have groups in areas such as Atlantic City will be affected. While most attractions – museums, restaurants, shops, theaters and amusement parks – remain open, traditionally popular spots like casinos, parks and beaches, are closed. For more information on the status of things in Atlantic City, call 866.ACVISIT or go to http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/.
Governor Jon Corzine ordered lawmakers into special session yesterday despite the holiday, but they were unable to agree on a compromise budget. Committee members worked through the night and the governor plans to address lawmakers again today hoping to spur some movement. New Jersey lawmakers missed the July 1 deadline for coming up with a new budget, and without an agreement, the state can’t spend money.
The casinos’ hotels and their amenities, including restaurants, shopping, showrooms and nightclubs, remain open because they don’t require state involvement in their day-to-day operations. But, no gambling will be allowed because the state casino inspectors, who keep tabs on the money, are off the job until lawmakers approve the budget.
Through the end of the year, NTA will conduct three more Product Development trips, one to New Zealand (Aug. 20-30), one to Oregon (Sept. 26-Oct. 1) and one to the Georgia Coast (Dec. 8-12).
There are still a couple of spaces remaining for the New Zealand trip, but tour operators need to act quickly as the deadline to register is July 24. For more information or to sign up, click here.
Built around the Cultural and Life Enrichment AIM, the Oregon Product Development Trip will give tour operators an up-close look at some of the state’s premier destinations, including Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Recreation Area, Mt. Hood Territory, Bend, Ashland, Crater Lake National Park, Newport and Willamette Valley. The trip is sponsored by the Oregon Tour & Travel Alliance and the cost to participate is $150 (does not include transportation to/from Oregon). For more information or to sign up for the Oregon Product Development Trip, click here.
The Georgia Coast trip features stops in Savannah and its low country, Brunswick and the Golden Isles, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island and costs $100 (does not include transportation to/from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport). For more information or to sign up for the trip, click here.
All three trips are limited to one operator per company and, if you have questions on any of them, please contact Lisa Nelson at lisa.nelson@NTA.travel.
Hey tour operators, looking for a no-cost way to explore emerging overseas markets and generate new sales? The U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce, in cooperation with National Association of Manufacturers, is presenting a series of hour-long webinars and video market briefs created to introduce profitable new markets to small- and medium-sized businesses.
To date, the department has conducted six webinars, and all of them are archived online and can be accessed for free by clicking here. The topics covered so far include:
The Commercial Service Web site also includes archived videos on marketing overseas. Videos have been produced on Hong Kong and China’s Pearl River Delta, Israel, Russia, South Africa, China, Chile and Singapore.
More webinars and videos are in the works, and you can find out more about those offerings at http://www.globalspeak.com/html/export-gov/webinars.asp.
The 2007 NTA Leadership and Board of Directors meetings are available for bid. Playing host to an NTA meeting is a great way to showcase your destination or venue. Available meetings include January Leadership (Wednesday-Sunday, 75 attendees), July Leadership (Thursday-Sunday, 75 attendees) and September Board of Directors meeting (Thursday-Sunday, 27 attendees).
To receive bid specifications please contact Bobbie Chandler via e-mail at bobbie.chandler@NTA.travel. Also please indicate which meeting(s) you are interested in. The deadline to submit final bids is Aug. 11, 2006.
NTA has learned that Ray Lloyd, general manager of Festive Holidays for 16 years, is doing well in his recovery from back surgery.
During his six- to eight-week recuperation, Ray’s son, Daniel, will be working with CEO/Owner Joe Rymer and the rest of the team at the New Jersey-based company before heading off to the University of Pennsylvania law school. You may send your well wishes to Ray at Festive Holidays, 5501 New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260.
If you have something you’d like to pass along to be added to the Family News page of NTA.travel – milestone birthday/anniversary, birth of a child or some other a personal highlight – please forward it to NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson at pat.henderson@NTA.travel and it will be posted.
In May 2006, Julia Adam was awarded Tourism Cares’ Liberty Travel Scholarship. She is presently enrolled in the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies Master of Science Program in the Tourism and Travel Management curriculum, with a concentration in strategic marketing. She carries a 3.93 GPA and has assisted the Hospitality Tourism Graduate School Society by facilitating a clothing and toiletries collection for underprivileged people.
Julia’s philanthropic spirit extends to Tourism Cares, as she attended the 2005 NTA Annual Convention and participated in the 2006 Tourism Caring for America Gulf Coast restoration and clean-up project. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue employment in destination marketing.
This is just one of the many examples of the students who Tourism Cares is able to help thanks to your support of its scholarship program.
The Convention Daily newsletter will be available each morning to every attending delegate at the NTA Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. Each day the latest Convention news will be included in the magazine-quality newsletter.
You can ensure that your company is on the minds of all tour operators with an advertisement in the newsletter that includes your booth number. Three- and five-day advertising packages are available, so you can run up to five different messages in Convention Daily. And, to maximize your exposure, pair your newsletter advertisement with another available Convention publication.
To see a full list of Annual Convention publications, click here. To reserve your space in the Convention Daily newsletter 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.