May 30, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter May 30, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 22
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTA.travel.|
Last Thursday, May 25, the U.S. Senate passed the Coleman/Dorgan bipartisan amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The amendment addresses several critical issues embedded in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to have a passport or other accepted document to enter or re-enter the U.S. from Canada, the Americas and the Caribbean.
Currently, the WHTI has an implementation date of Dec. 31, 2007, but the Coleman/Dorgan amendment postpones implementation until June 1, 2009, allowing time for a comprehensive public education campaign on cross-border travel requirements.
NTA and the Student Youth Travel Association told senators that WHTI would seriously curtail educational travel to and from Canada. The Coleman/Dorgan amendment addresses this concern since it "authorizes the Secretary (of Homeland Security) to waive documentary requirements for children traveling in groups of six or more to/from Canada, provided that each child can demonstrate parental consent."
Furthermore, fees established for the proposed People Access Security Services card, which would be accepted for cross-border travel, have been capped at $20 and would be waived for travelers age 18 and under. The amendment also establishes a 72-hour "day pass" for those not possessing a passport or a PASS card.
"This is a major, common sense step forward on this issue," said Ed Dresel of Destinations Unlimited Inc., primarily a student tour operator. "It demonstrates the value of educating our officials and working together with other associations. I know that the problems aren’t fully solved yet, but I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel. Once again, NTA’s government relations efforts are a major benefit to all members."
To read more on this topic, click here.
Next week will be a big week in Canada, as the Tourism Industry Association of Canada is sponsoring its Tourism Week June 5 – 11. The theme for this year’s Tourism Week, which aims to increase the profile of Canada’s $57.5-billion tourism industry among the media, general public and at all levels of government, is "Tourism, Canada’s Passport to Prosperity."
That message plays off feedback TIAC received at its 2006 Tourism Leadership Summit about enhancing the visibility and strengthening lobbying efforts of the travel industry. As part of Tourism Week, TIAC is planning to run an eight-page tourism supplement in the June 6 edition of the Globe and Mail that includes information on the size and scope of Canada’s travel industry and on the immeasurable contributions that tourism and related businesses make to the country’s economy.
To see a list of examples of activities being held during Tourism Week, click here. For more information on how to get involved, contact TIAC’s manager of communications, Susan Wong, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 613.238.9400.
You may have seen his recent appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and Tim Russert’s "Meet the Press." He looks like, acts like and talks just like President George W. Bush. Who is this mystery man? He’s Steve Bridges, the comedic man of the hour.
The self-proclaimed "Mr. President" has drawn the attention of fans and media since appearing side-by-side with President Bush at the recent White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. NTA is pleased to announce that Bridges will be the featured speaker at the Issues Luncheon during the 2006 NTA Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Nov. 3 – 7.
The Issues Luncheon, hosted by Destination Arkansas and the Little Rock CVB and co-sponsored by Motor Coach Industries, is a fund-raiser that supports NTA’s Government Issues Fund and TourPAC. As the featured entertainer, Bridges will give his hilarious impersonation of President Bush in a bipartisan comedy performance.
"Every year NTA offers engaging entertainment at Annual Convention," said NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP. "From Jay Leno and Alex Trebek, to Mitch Albom and now Mr. President himself, NTA provides some fun for delegates to complement the business aspects of Convention."
Better Business. Better Be There.
The 2006-07 NTA Membership Directory is hot off the press and headed to your mailbox. This annual directory is a virtual "who’s who" of the packaged travel industry, providing you with the vast NTA network of qualified business partners.
When your directory arrives, take a few minutes and check out the following features and ways you can use this resource:
NTA strives to provide its members with tools to facilitate better business. We invite you to take advantage of your 2006-07 Membership Directory.
As a follow up to the article from last week’s edition of Tuesday on the construction to the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/I-94) in Chicago, Ed Kramer of Portage Wis.-based Kramer FunTours notified NTA Headquarters that the project is also having an impact on many of the roads people typically use to bypass downtown Chicago.
He sited interstates 294, 90, 80 and 55 as ones that are getting heavier traffic as motorists route around the Dan Ryan. With the project slated to last through the fall of 2007, members should continue to monitor the project’s status and the best place to get updates is http://www.danryanexpressway.com/gcmramps.html. On the right-hand side, there are links to information on each of the affected roads in the tri-state area.
If you have further updates to share on this project, please post them on the NTA member forums. You will need your individual ID and password to do so.
NTA and USTOA will participate in a joint panel at the THETRADESHOW in Orlando, Sept. 10 – 12, 2006. The tour operator panel, titled "The Road to Profitability – Selling Vacation Packages," will educate delegates on how to grow their business by focusing on the lucrative package vacation market. Panelists will discuss the latest destinations, trends and tips on increasing packaged travel sales.
The panelists are: Mayflower Tours CEO/Owner John Stachnik Sr.; Sports Empire Inc. Owner Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, CTIE; USTOA President Robert Whitley; and NTA President Hank Phillips, CTP. ASTA is awaiting word on who from Tauck World Discovery will be part of the panel. James Shillinglaw, editor-in-chief of ModernAgent magazine, The Travel Pulse and Agent@Home magazine, will moderate the panel.
"NTA was the first to sign on as a strategic partner with THETRADESHOW as part of the association’s effort to build member value through alliances with other leaders in the travel industry," said Phillips. "Participating in this panel represents another integral step in the longstanding relationship between travel agents and tour operators."
A few spaces still remain on NTA’s upcoming Product Development Trip to New Zealand Aug. 20 – 30. Tour operators are invited to participate in the trip, hosted by Southern World Group, and discover the beautiful South Pacific.
The group will stop in Auckland, Waitomo, Rotorua, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford, Queenstown, Mount Cook and Christchurch. In addition, a workshop will be conducted to allow participants to meet with suppliers from New Zealand. The trip falls into the Cultural & Life Enrichment AIM category.
Cost to participate is $1,270 (does not include airfare to/from Los Angeles International Airport). For more information, click here.
The Tourism Cares Board of Directors is meeting this week at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Conn., with NTA Board member J.P. Dansereau serving as the group’s host.
The Tourism Cares Board, which is comprised of a combination of former National Tourism Foundation and Travelers Conservation Foundation board members, will discuss future fund-raising and volunteer events, as well as grant and scholarship criteria. So far in 2006, Tourism Cares has awarded $65,000 in grants and distributed $56,000 in scholarships.
For more information on Tourism Cares click here.
The NTA family expresses condolences to Kevin Pottie of Advantage Tours in Fredericton, New Brunswick, whose wife, Cynthia, passed away May 21.
Cynthia was the tour development assistant with Advantage Tours. Her love for outdoor activities including walking, biking, camping and horseback riding was representative of the zest she had for life and her family and friends, even through the difficulties she faced in her later days.
A memorial service was held in Fredericton last Saturday, May 27. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Kevin at Advantage Tours, 57 Sanders Street, Fredericton, NB E3B 1N2, Canada. Memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for the Worldwide Work.
The June issue of Courier offers an overview of the tracking issue by tour operator Corey Marshall, CTP, of Anderson Vacations, an account of the Tourism-Caring for America cleanup on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and a report from the 2006 Tour Operator Spring Meet by attendee Paul Larsen of Ed-Ventures. June feature stories cover how tours encompass Native American and Western Heritage themes and explore active and adventure travel destinations around the world. Trip planners for Atlantic Canada and Quebec and the Gulf Coast, as well as travel guides for Maryland/D.C., Pennylvania and Virginia round out the issue.
September Issue – Ad Space: June 23; Editorial: Past
Museums; Railroads; Alaska & Western Canada (Alberta, British Columbia & Yukon); Southwest (Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas); Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina.
October Issue – Annual Convention – Ad Space: July 20; Editorial: June 1
Annual Convention Issue; Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota & Wyoming); Scandinavia; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Vermont.
November Issue – Ad Space: Aug. 25; Editorial: July 1
Dining; Shopping; Chicago; America’s Historic East (Colonial Virginia, D.C., Maryland & Pennsylvania); Delaware; New Brunswick; Newfoundland & Labrador; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; New Jersey; New York; Quebec; Rhode Island.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Autry National Center – The Berkely Group (TPP) – Greater Birmingham CVB – Boyds Bear Country – Coach USA – Colorado Springs CVB – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Hopewell Office of Tourism – Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel – Jefferson CVB – John G. Shedd Aquarium – Laredo CVB – Mohegan Sun – Montana Department of Commerce – Norfolk CVB – Pala Casino Spa and Resort – Pennsylvania Dutch CVB – Philadelphia Museum of Art – Riverbarge Excursion Lines – Shreveport-Bossier CTB – Staples – Top of the Rock – Turning Stone Casino – Williamsburg Area COC & CVB – Williamsburg Hotel Associates – Yankee Candle Company Inc.
Please click here to view the 2006 editorial calendar online.