Tuesday Newsletter – April 1, 2008
April 1, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter April 1, 2008
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Volume 28, Issue 13
Update of China Inbound Program
Open Skies Pact Begins Between U.S. and European Union
How Can Americans Use Their Government Rebate?
NTA Product Development Trip Takes You to British Columbia
June Courier to Feature the Gulf Coast, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virgina
The 2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, April 2, at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, and runs through Friday, April 4. Here are just a few reminders to help you prepare for this year’s Spring Meet:
- According to http://www.weather.com/, temperatures for Uncasville, Connecticut, in April tend to be in the low 50s. Be sure to pack warm clothing as the temperatures may drop to the upper 30s in the evenings.
- The attire for all Spring Meet activities, including sightseeing and familiarization tours, is casual.
- Pack plenty of business cards to hand out, especially for the Speed Dating session on Friday.
- Upon your arrival to the 2008 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet a complimentary shuttle service will be available to and from Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Mohegan Sun. Arrival shuttles will run on the hour and the half hour Tuesday, April 1, from Noon to 9 p.m. and Wednesday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Additionally, departure shuttles will run on the hour and the half hour on Saturday, April 5 from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
NTA has scheduled two more of its upcoming Road Shows for this year. On May 6, NTA will be at PIER 39 in San Francisco and on May 8, NTA will be at Museum of Flight in Seattle. The NTA Road Shows give current and prospective members a chance to come together to share ideas, learn more about NTA programs and events, and to ask questions of their association peers and leaders. This year, Road Shows have already taken place in Orlando and Boston.
NTA Road Shows help the association communicate with members on a local basis. NTA wants current and future members to hear an update on what’s ahead for this year and give valuable feedback on how NTA can be even better. This year, NTA leaders also will be speaking more about NTA’s Strategic Plan and Core Purpose as first outlined at the 2007 Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
If you have any questions regarding the Road Shows, contact NTA Director of Membership Development Christina Horsley at christina.horsley@NTAstaff.com.
NTA transmitted an updated list of tour operators to the U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday as part of NTA’s China Inbound Program. The U.S. government is still waiting on Chinese action regarding procedural issues, which means that the Chinese government has not received the approved list as of yet. It is anticipated that these issues will be worked out shortly. When the list is transmitted, NTA will communicate with all tour operators on the list, and the list will be posted on NTA Online.
If your company would like to be added to the list of approved tour operators who are eligible to work with Chinese outbound travel agents, complete an application now.
If you have any questions regarding the NTA China Inbound Program, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
On March 27, the Departments of State and Homeland Security issued their final rules regarding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. According to a joint statement, the land and sea regulations on passports and other WHTI-compliant documents will go into effect June 1, 2009. On that date, all U.S. travelers re-entering the United States will need to have a passport, a passport card, an enhanced drivers license or another WHTI-compliant document.
The air portion of WHTI went into effect last year and requires all U.S. citizens to present a passport when re-entering the country via air.
Cruise passengers departing from a U.S. port and returning to the same U.S. port will not have to have a passport to re-enter the country. A birth certificate and driver’s license will be sufficient. The birth certificate and driver’s license requirement also will suffice for escorted school groups crossing via land.
"We hope that the June 2009 implementation will enable a smooth transition, and we are encouraged that the departments will conduct public information campaigns," said NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer, CTP. "Additionally, the exceptions made for cruise vacations and youth travelers are provisions the association has been fighting for since WHTI was first announced in 2005. We are pleased the departments took the travel industry’s concerns into consideration."
For additional information, please visit a WHTI FAQ on NTA Online.
Whether you win big at Mohegan Sun, or you’re just feeling lucky, be sure to place your bid at the Government Relations Silent Auction. Trips to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia, are among this year’s items, as well as a Bateau New York Cruise, theater tickets, baseball tickets, sports memorabilia, handmade jewelry and more.
All proceeds of the auction benefit NTA’s government relations efforts, so bid early and often!
The "open air" Air Transport Agreement between the European Union and the United States took effect on March 30. Under this agreement, European airlines will be able to fly without restrictions from any point in the EU to any point in the United States for the first time. Experts predict this will result in more options and cheaper airfares for passengers.
Airlines within the European Union are now able to operate direct flights to the U.S. from anywhere in Europe and not just from their home country. The agreement eliminates all restrictions on routes, prices and the number of weekly flights previously in place.
The EU and U.S. markets make up 60 percent of the world’s aviation traffic. According to an announcement from the EU, flights between London-Heathrow and the U.S. are expected to increase immediately by 20 percent compared with April 2007.
Last month, NTA distributed a news release to travel trade and consumer media encouraging Americans to use their government rebate to travel. The rebate, as part of the economic stimulus package, will give Americans a rebate of $600 to $1,200.
A survey by Access America reports nearly 10 percent of Americans are planning to use their rebate on a vacation or other type of travel. NTA would like to hear your creative product ideas that will appeal to these Americans.
Please send a description of your tours and/or services to NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton at sara.morton@NTAstaff.com. NTA will choose examples of the most creative and appealing ideas that fit within the $600-$1200 price range and promote these to reporters. NTA hopes to gain the attention of major news outlets with these unique products to further promote how Americans can do their part to stimulate the economy and benefit U.S. hotels, restaurants and attractions.
Space is still available for the British Columbia Product Development Trip, which will take place Oct. 6-11. Our hosts for the trip – Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region and Tourism Vancouver Island – have planned an incredible itinerary.
Starting and ending in Vancouver, this Product Development Trip will take participants to the Sunshine Coast, a 110-mile stretch of paradise on the southwest corner of British Columbia. Then it is on to Princess Louisa Inlet and Vancouver Island. The cost of the trip is $100 and attendees must make their own arrangements in and out of Vancouver International Airport. The hosts also are offering pre- or post-Product Development Trips stays in Vancouver at no additional charge.
Register today to make sure you have a spot on this fantastic trip. Space is limited to 10 participants, so make your plans today. For questions regarding this trip, contact Lisa Thompson, NTA vice president of marketing.
The June 2008 issue of Courier offers plenty of opportunities to get your company or destination in front of tour operators.
Features included in the June edition are Native American, First Nations & Western Heritage and Gardens. The trip planners showcase the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) and the South Pacific. June travel guides highlight Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The space deadline for June Courier has been extended to April 4, so there are a few days left to get in the magazine ranked No. 1 in the industry by tour operators!
Correction: Last week’s issue of Tuesday contained an error. Sports Travel and Tours is located in Hatfield, Massachusetts. NTA regrets the error.
|To ensure that you’re doing business with an NTA member, go to the NTA Web site home page and click on either "Tour Operator Search" or "DMO/Tour Supplier Search" at the top of the page.|