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Tuesday Newsletter

April 11, 2006

Tuesday Newsletter, April 11, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 15

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
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Today’s Headlines
  • Additional Legislator Introducing Passport-Related Bill
  • More on the Annual Convention Schedule Change
  • Tour Operators: DMO Tracking Survey Deadline is April 14
  • NTA Members to Help Tourism Cares Honor Dave Herren
  • Celebrate See America Week
  • Tourism Cares Announces Grant Recipients
  • Blast Off With Virginia Product Development Trip
  • Membership Directory Advertising: It’s in the Bag

    Additional Legislator Introducing Passport-Related Bill

    NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini, along with SYTA’s Michael Palmer and Brittany Windman of ABA, met with Sen. Bryon Dorgan (D-N.D.) last week to discuss his bill, the "Common Sense Cross Border Travel and Security Act of 2006," and similar legislation that was filed by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). Both proposals seek to remedy the inequities and dire economic impacts of the December 2004 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passport mandate.

    Before the Dorgan meeting, Santini and Palmer visited Coleman regarding his version of a passport fix bill. Coleman’s legislation includes the following provisions:

  • No passports are required for children on land border crossings
  • Set a $20 ceiling for a 10-year PASS card for adults
  • Create a free 24-hour PASS to cross the U.S. northern border

    These stipulations are very similar to what Dorgan came out with two weeks ago (click here to see his legislation), which Santini and Palmer felt was a good sign. At the meeting with Dorgan, the group pushed for communications between Dorgan’s and Coleman’s staffers to produce a unified, co-sponsored bill.

    "This is very encouraging," Santini said. "NTA is providing early industry impetus and support for the Dorgan/Coleman legislative solutions to the passport issue. If this cooperative legislation emerges, it will be the only meaningful Congressional legislative game in town."

    The first step NTA members can take to get involved on this issue is to get in touch with their U.S. Senators. To search for contact information on your senators, click here.

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    More on the Annual Convention Schedule Change

    As previously reported in Tuesday, there has been a change in the days the Tour & Travel Exchange® will be held at the 2006 NTA Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Nov. 3-7. The second Exchange day (formerly all day Monday) has been divided into two half days on Sunday and Monday mornings. The other two Exchange sessions – full days on Saturday and Tuesday – remain unchanged.

    Now that Sunday is an Exchange day, requiring business attire, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Casual day has been switched from Sunday to Friday and dress for Friday night’s Tour Operator Dinner, sponsored by Best Western International, also will be casual (whereas it used to be business or cocktail attire).
  • Sightseeing tours will still take place on Sunday, so delegates wishing to go casual for those excursions may want to find time to go back to their hotel and change or bring casual clothes with them to the convention center.

    The complete Convention schedule will be available May 16, when the NTA Annual Convention Web site goes live.

    Better Business. Better Be There.

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    Tour Operators: DMO Tracking Survey Deadline is April 14

    NTA tour operators should have received a survey related to DMO tracking via e-mail last week. It is important to note that the deadline to return this survey, which takes about 15 minutes to fill out, is this Friday, April 14.

    The survey is an effort to gather data that will help DMOs as they seek critical information to prove the return on investment of the packaged traveler and the volume their destination receives from NTA tour operators. It is being conducted by George Washington University students, in conjunction with the NTA Tracking Task Force.

    You can stay current with the ongoing discussion about DMO tracking on the NTA Member Forums. Once you’ve logged on to the forums – you will need your individual ID and password – go to the "General Discussion" folder and click on the "Tracking Survey" or "Tracking Crisis" folder.

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    NTA Members to Help Tourism Cares Honor Dave Herren

    Several NTA members will be in Hollywood, Fla., May 11 at the Tourism Cares for Tomorrow Hall of Fame induction of the late Dave Herren, who worked for United Airlines and The Mark Travel Company and is a former chairman of the National Tourism Foundation. The other 2006 inductee is Bob Dickinson, the president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines.

    Herren was instrumental in many aspects of NTA. He was a champion for tourism students, initiating the largest state scholarship fund – the Chuck Gee Hawaii fund – which awards a $1,500 scholarship to someone studying tourism each year. He also was the architect of the partnership between NTA and United Airlines, which provides a group fare program exclusively for NTA tour operators.

    NTA members are encouraged to attend the special black tie event honoring Herren and demonstrate to his family and friends their appreciation of his lifelong efforts to give back and make a difference. Click here to learn more about the event or to get registered.

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    Celebrate See America Week

    It’s time to start thinking again about See America Week, which is coming up May 13-21. This annual event, sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of America, was previously known as National Tourism Week. NTA joins TIA in encouraging U.S. destinations to promote greater public awareness of the economic, social and cultural impacts of travel and tourism through local events and celebrations.

    See America Week is a great opportunity for you to spread the word about the importance of tourism. For instance, did you know that travelers to the U.S. spend an average of $1.6 billion a day, $68 million an hour, $1.1 million a minute and $19,000 a second?

    TIA can help you promote activities related to See America Week in a variety of ways. To read additional industry statistics, view a list of event ideas and check out other ways to promote travel and tourism, visit

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    Tourism Cares Announces Grant Recipients

    Tourism Cares for Tomorrow recently awarded grants to seven worthy nonprofit organizations. Projects or programs that protect, restore or conserve sites of exceptional cultural, historic or natural significance or programs that educate local host communities and the traveling public about conservation and preservation of sites are considered for the grants.

    The spring 2006 recipients are:

  • A Rocha: Arabuko-Sokoke Schools and Eco-tourism Scheme (ASSETS) Sustainable Development Program for the Local Community, Kenya, Africa
  • Central Balkan-Kalofer Ecotourism Association, Kalofer, Bulgaria
  • Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, Harkers Island, N.C.
  • Four Corners Outdoor School of Education, Monticello, Utah
  • Mount Vernon Cultural District, Baltimore, Md.
  • The Wharton Esherick Museum, Paoli, Pa.
  • Winslow Homer Studio, Portland Museum of Art, Prouts Neck, Maine

    Click here to read more about the grants and all seven recipients.

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    Blast Off With Virginia Product Development Trip

    There will be an "air" of excitement surrounding the Hampton stop on the 2006 NTA Student & Youth AIM Product Development Trip. Participants will visit the Virginia Air & Space Center, which serves as the visitor center for NASA Langley and Langley Air Force Base. During their visit, NTA tour operators can embark on an aviation adventure that begins at the origin of flight and blasts into the future to the latest exciting NASA advances in space.

    A variety of hands-on, one-of-a-kind exhibits and simulators transform would-be aviators of all ages into pilots for a day at the center. Those who prefer to keep their virtual feet on the ground can try their hands at air traffic control and practice talking in ATC slang. Images leap off the giant IMAX screen in the center’s Riverside 3D IMAX Theater, maximizing the audience’s experience.

    The trip, which takes place June 6-11, also includes stops in Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. The cost is $100, which includes lodging, sightseeing and most meals. Additionally, tour operators who sign up will get to meet with local suppliers and DMOs through a special "Putting It All Together" marketplace session.

    In compliance with NTA guidelines, only one full-time employee per company may attend and guests or spouses are not permitted. For more information on the trip, click here, or contact Todd Swindell by calling 888.493.7386 or e-mailing him at

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    Membership Directory Advertising: It’s in the Bag

    The 2006-07 NTA Membership Directory is in production and will be ready to mail to all NTA members soon. But, you still can reserve space to get your message out in this valuable resource.

    If you missed the advertising deadline, but still want to call attention to your company through an information sheet, we can help. Here’s the deal – we will insert your double-sided flyer, brochure or printed materials in the mailing polybag that will encase the directory. By putting your information in the bag, you are guaranteed to be the first thing NTA members see when they open their directory.

    The deadline to submit materials for the polybag is April 24 and various sizes and rates are available. Contact your account executive today by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238 or e-mailing to find out more about this high-visibility way to reach the entire NTA membership.

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