February 14, 2006
Tuesday Newsletter, February 14, 2006
Volume 26: Issue 7
|Interested in becoming a sponsor for Tuesday? Contact Karla DiNardo at email@example.com.|
Tuesday is running a series of articles on hurricane recovery in the U.S. Gulf Coast area. The stories are aimed at giving you a firsthand perspective from NTA members on how things are going at their destination. Today’s installment focuses on New Orleans.
There are still many challenges ahead for New Orleans as a whole, but from a strictly tourism standpoint, things are functioning better than expected in the city, according Lisa Holland, tourism sales manager for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"Our historic areas came through the storm with very little damage, so visitors can come to the city right now and enjoy the wonderful hotels, restaurants and attractions that make New Orleans such a unique destination," Holland said. "The French Quarter is bustling again, and the Garden District and Central Business District are in good shape. Unfortunately, many of our residential neighborhoods have been devastated and some areas are still without utilities."
Holland also talks about the excitement last weekend’s NYC – NOLA project brought to New Orleans and highlights the city’s upcoming events, including Mardi Gras. Click here to read the full text of her comments.
As a follow-up to the NTA Board of Directors update that appeared in the Jan. 31 issue of Tuesday, the association is proud to launch a new program designed especially for its tour operator members. This program – Tour20 Group – allows tour operators to join together in groups that will benchmark key financial data, identify industry trends and learn from each other.
These groups will help you understand more about where your money comes from, where it goes and how to make more of it. To see some answers to frequently asked questions about this new program, click here.
If you’d like to be part of a Tour20 Group, print out the Tour20 Group Form, fill it out, then fax it to NTA at 859.226.4404. The cost for a tour operator to participate in a Tour20 Group is $250 per year, with all monies going to pay for the professional facilitator, printed materials and other program costs.
Tour20 Group is a great way to move your company forward and learn the tools that lead to more efficient, money-making operations, so don’t miss out. Questions about the program can be directed to Lisa Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4215 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4215.
Last month, tour operator membership growth was at its highest point in four years, reaching a level not exceeded since before the events of Sept. 11. The number of tour operator members joining the NTA family has been increasing since the 2005 Annual Convention, and this rise translates into good news for your business.
While the numerical growth is important, the type of growth also is key. Included in the diverse group of tour operators that have joined NTA recently are companies specializing in culinary tours, motorsports tours and family/multigenerational vacations. Those niche operators, along with others that package Biblical tours, youth soccer team trips, adventure tours and FIT, continue to expand the association’s extensive and broad-based membership.
For you, this type of growth and diversification translates into additional business partners and more ways you can increase your bottom-line. The expanded tour operator base provides myriad new packaging options to help you meet the increasing consumer demand for vacations that are both experiential and unique.
The history: The National Tour Association was formed 55 years ago this week to protect tour operators (they were called tour brokers at the time) from potentially harmful legislation that would stifle their businesses. At a meeting of 12 tour brokers in New York City, on Feb. 19, 1951, NTA was established as the National Brokers Association (shortly thereafter the name was changed to the National Tour Brokers Association). The pioneering group emerged as a unified voice to fight legislation in the newly formed packaged travel industry.
The present: Today, NTA’s government relations involvement is just as influential as it was during its early years. In some part, today’s victories of your association’s Grassroots Action Network (GAN) and industry lobbyists are often quiet, as much of the work is accomplished before the issues become problems that affect the day-to-day operations of your business. Recently, NTA has worked with national government officials on the tour director issue, border crossing and security issues and on National Parks challenges including ticketing, access and fee increases.
Click here to learn more about GAN or to get involved in government and industry relations.
Happy birthday, NTA, and congratulations on 55 remarkable years!
NTA members and others in the tourism community have enthusiastically embraced the Tourism-Caring for America Mississippi Gulf Coast cleanup event March 16-19.
"The support for this region through our ‘give-back’ program has been outstanding," Bruce Beckham, CTP, executive director of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow said. "Many volunteers have cleared their schedules to become part of this life-changing experience, and companies from across travel and tourism have come forward as sponsors of this historic event."
Beckham also noted that many individuals who are unable to attend have made donations and even offered airline miles to Tourism Cares to offset operational costs. You can do the same by contacting Lisa Schmiemann at 888.821.5990.
Registration is still open, and you can click here to access the form you’ll need to fill out and fax to Tourism Cares (781.821.8949) prior to Feb. 24 to ensure housing availability. Information and a helpful frequently-asked-questions page is available at http://www.tourismcares.org/.
No matter where your interest lies, Kentucky has cooked up some diverse Fam offerings to introduce you to the region during the 2006 NTA Spring Meet, March 22-25 in Louisville. Come early or extend your stay in the Bluegrass state to take advantage of one of the two pre-Fam tours or three post-Fam tours that are offered.
To access the Fam registration form, click here.
Spring Meet also includes an assortment of sightseeing tours on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Click here to check out what you’ll be part of in Louisville during the 2006 Spring Meet.
Spring Meet – it’s all about you!
Sponsoring at NTA’s Tour Operator Spring Meet is an excellent way of reaching a concentrated group of tour operators (an estimated 150 tour operators will be in attendance). This year’s event will be held March 22-25 in Louisville, Ky., and suppliers and DMOs are permitted to attend through sponsorship.
The following sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis:
Contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or via e-mail at email@example.com and secure your sponsorship today or click here for more details about sponsorship benefits.
Tomorrow is the big day for Preston Griffall, as he will compete in the doubles luge competition at the Winter Olympics. His father Keith, CEO of Salt Lake City-based Western Leisure and an NTA past president, is in Torino, Italy, to watch his son go for the gold.
The doubles luge competition, in which each team gets two runs and the lowest combined time wins, starts at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Based on the information available on the NBC Web site, the event will not be aired live, but it will be shown during the network’s primetime coverage that begins at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT and 8 p.m. PT.
If you have something you’d like to pass along to be added to the Family News page of NTA Online – milestone birthday/anniversary, birth of a child or some other a personal highlight – please forward it to NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be posted.
In spite of having only 12,000 square miles of land area, Rhode Island boasts more than 400 miles of coastline and is a wonderful microcosm of everything New England has to offer. From lovely rural landscapes to lively cities, agriculture to aquaculture, Colonial America to modern art, Rhode Island is packed with great experiences waiting to be had.
Tour operators wanting to learn how Rhode Island can become your group’s next destination can join NTA’s first domestic NTA Product Development Trip, "Rhode Island: Big Things Come in Small Packages," April 23-27. The cost is $150, which includes lodging, sightseeing and most meals, and you must register by March 1.
In compliance with NTA guidelines, only one full-time employee per company may attend and guests/spouses are not permitted. For more information on the trip, click here, or contact Katrina White by calling 401.222.2601, ext. 150, or e-mailing her at email@example.com.
NTA’s new 2007-08 Planner will be delivered to all 1,500 NTA tour operators. Limited advertising space is being sold in this 18-month, 5.5" x 8.5", spiral-bound weekly planner by month on a first-come, first-serve basis. Spaces are filling up, so reserve yours now.
Your advertising package will include:
For more details or to secure your spot, click here. Four-color cover positions also are available.
To brand your company by placing your logo and contact information in front of tour operators through the 2007-08 NTA Planner, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4238 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4238.