Tuesday Newsletter – April 22, 2008
April 22, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter April 22, 2008
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Off Square Theatre Company — where the majestic and magic meet! Offering live professional theatre year-round in the heart of Jackson Hole Wyoming in the magnificent Tetons. Let us complete your adventure in the Tetons. Off Square loves groups and provides special group discounts. Visit us online at www.offsquare.org or call 307.733.3021.|
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTAstaff.com.|
Volume 28, Issue 16
Grassroots Symposium Coming Up in Two Months
Travel Trade Media Publicizing NTA’s Government Relations Efforts
Thanks to Cruise Club for Hosting the Greece Product Development Trip
Tourism Cares for New Orleans a Success
July Courier to feature Zoos and Aquariums, Coastal California and New England
For the more than 150 NTA tour operators who gathered at Mohegan Sun recently, the 2008 Spring Meet provided many ways to enhance their businesses. A full schedule of events offered attendees a variety of ways to network, ranging from the Speed Dating session and leisure activities to the sightseeing tours and educational seminars, including a session on NTA’s China Inbound Program and the Chinese market.
Here is a sampling of what some of the Spring Meet delegates had to say:
"As a tour operator, this event gives me the opportunity to discuss new ideas with potential clients and above all gives me the opportunity to get to know these people on a one-to-one level which can be so difficult during the Convention in November." – Oliver Appleyard of Sovereign Tourism Ltd. (London, England)
"I really enjoyed the seminars. All that I attended had good speakers and interesting topics that fit into my real world." – Pam Hoffee of The Globus Family of Brands (Littleton, Colorado)
"The most beneficial aspect of Spring Meet is a list of contacts and relationships that hopefully will lead to future business opportunities both ways across the Pacific." – Graeme Mitchell of Quadrant Australia (Brisbane, Australia)
Are you looking forward to this year’s Annual Convention? You can find out more about the event and get ready to register at noon ET on Tuesday, May 20, by visiting the 2008 Convention Web site.
The site includes preliminary information to help you learn about all of the great things you’ll experience at the 2008 Convention, coming up Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh. Please note that this year’s event will begin on Saturday and end on Wednesday.
Mark your calendars now for both of those key dates – registration going live (May 20) and the Convention itself (Nov. 15-19).
In last week’s issue of Tuesday NTA introduced the first of its Questions of the Month, based on member support for the idea at the crackerbarrel during the recent Tour Operator Spring Meet. The first question is: "What do you think about NTA holding its Annual Convention in the first quarter of the year?"
The question has drawn responses from people in each of NTA’s three membership categories, and you can pass along your thoughts by logging on to the member forums.
Your member ID and password were included at the top of the e-mail you received showing the headlines for newsletter articles, so you can access the member-only, password-protected forums. If you have not created your password, when you click the link below to go to the NTA Member Forums, you will come to a login page. To the right of the screen you’ll see easy directions for setting a password as a first-time user. For that you will also need your company ID, which was also included with the e-mailed headlines.
To learn more about the factors leading to the posting of this particular question, you can read the original article from last week’s Tuesday or see the question on the member forums.
There is still time to get your tour operator company on the first approved list to be transmitted to the Chinese National Tourism Administration. Interested companies are urged to sign up for NTA China Inbound Program as soon as possible so that the initial list is as complete as it can be.
Currently, NTA is awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the transmission of the initial list to CNTA. A few details regarding the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding are still in negotiation between China and the U.S. government, and it is hoped that these issues will be resolved in the next few weeks.
Program details are available at NTAonline.com or you can contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250 with questions.
Would you like to help make a difference in your association? Do you like planning new programs, brainstorming ideas or planning strategically for the future? If so, NTA has a number of volunteer opportunities for you to put those strengths to work.
NTA will begin planning for the 2009 Leadership Team and committees this summer and we want to hear from members who would like to serve. The first step to becoming a volunteer leader for NTA is to complete the Volunteer Interest Form. This form simply lets NTA know what areas you are most interested in and in what capacity you’d like to serve the association – from in-person Leadership Team meetings to conference call committees.
If you have questions about volunteering for NTA, you can contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s vice president of marketing. Completed forms should be faxed to her at 859.226.4404 no later than Friday, June 27.
Last Friday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Korea to add the country to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The security enhancements outlined in the agreement put Korea on the path toward visa-free travel to the United States, and potential designation as a program member as early as later this year.
Korea becomes the eighth country in recent weeks to sign this type of MOU, joining with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Malta. The U.S. Congress paved the way for the recent increase last August when it urged DHS to reform the program by strengthening the security provisions for the existing 27 participating countries and by expanding the conditions for aspiring countries to join.
As part of the promotions for U.S. National Tourism Week, to be held May 10-18, AOL Travel is providing a way for destinations to gain some additional exposure through its Web site. This no-cost publicity opportunity is available if destinations agree to post a reciprocal link from their Web site to AOL and submit editorial ideas and photos for consideration in AOL’s themed galleries.
You can provide AOL editors with approximately 100 words detailing a unique feature of your destination that corresponds to one of the following nine themes – natural wonders; arts and culture; American heritage; museums; weird and wacky landmarks; zoos and aquariums; theme parks; food; and boardwalks. Additionally, you can include images that are 300 x 400 pixels. Information can be submitted in multiple categories, and the text and photos should be sent to TourismWeek@AOL.com.
To see full details on what you need to do to participate in this program, visit TIA’s Web site. Any National Tourism Week inquiries can be directed to TIA Manager of Communications Greg Staley at 202.408.2128 or questions related to the AOL promotion should be sent to TourismWeek@AOL.com.
Details are falling into place for the 2008 NTA Grassroots Symposium, to be held June 24-26 in Washington, D.C. A tentative schedule is available on the event Web page, including a link for registration.
Symposium attendees will receive an update from NTA’s government relations staff and hear from elected officials on current issues affecting the travel industry. Again this year, participants will head to the Hill for a series of one-on-one meetings with their Congressional representatives.
Contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson with questions.
NTA is making great strides in its efforts to bring travel and tourism issues to Capitol Hill by reaching out to the current and future administrations. Beyond revitalizing the Grassroots Action Network and communicating with the 2008 presidential candidates, NTA also is using the power of the media as part of its efforts to create a more positive travel experience for travelers around the globe.
The issues on which NTA is urging federal action include improving the U.S. image abroad, growing the travel and tourism portion of the U.S. economy, increasing inbound travel and enhancing the U.S. entry and visa application process.
Two recent NTA news releases on these topics have gained favorable coverage in the travel trades. On April 10, NTA distributed "NTA Says Airline Issues Underscore Need for Executive Office of Travel and Tourism," which was covered by nine media outlets to date. On April 17, NTA released the statement, "National Tour Association Applauds Air Travel Measures," which was been covered in six articles thus far.
NTA thanks media outlets such as Travel Pulse Daily, Travel Daily News, Packaged Travel Insider, Travel Agent, Travel Industry Wire, Hotel Executive, Travmedia.com and Travel Advance for their continued support of the association and the industry overall. To view a sample of the media coverage NTA receives, visit "NTA in the News".
NTA would like to extend its sincerest thanks to Dr. Paul Holevas and Cruise Club for the fantastic Product Development Trip to Greece. Eighteen NTA tour operators were exposed to a bit of the old – with trips to the new acropolis Museum, ancient Mycenas and the home of Zorba the Greek – as well as the new – with an afternoon of golf at the new PGA course on Crete, a jeep safari and wine tasting. The trip offered a detailed overview of Greece and many new product development ideas.
Three more trips are coming up this fall, including Vancouver Island/British Columbia Coast (Oct. 6-11), Bavaria (Oct. 24-31) and Egypt (Oct. 30-Nov. 4). Registration is open for the British Columbia and Bavaria Product Development Trips, and you can access it via NTAonline.com. More details on Egypt will be available soon.
If you are interested in offering a Product Development Trip in 2009, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson for more information.
On Friday, April 19, nearly 350 tourism industry volunteers descended on New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong Park for the 6th annual Tourism Cares for America project. The event was a tremendous success, as participants finished major repairs that would have taken the site’s staff several months to complete.
The restoration of Louis Armstrong Park had a significant impact on the community. The project highlighted the legacy and dignity of Louis Armstrong and all of the jazz greats who honed their skills performing along the African-American Jazz Corridor, an area of New Orleans stretching from Storyville to the Eagle Saloon on North Rampart Street. Together with Congo Square, this area represents the single most important location of African-American heritage in the United States – truly hallowed ground – the legacy of which must be preserved for generations to come.
Thank you to all the volunteers who made the trip to New Orleans and to the sponsors for helping with this truly worthwhile project. Visit http://www.tourismcares.org/ for more information on this event.
The July 2008 issue of Courier shines the spotlight on a pair of prime packaging types – zoos and aquariums and religious travel. The issue offers plenty of ways to get your company/destination in the magazine read each month by 88 percent of NTA tour operators.
The trip planners for the July edition cover Coastal California and Baja and Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), while the month’s travel guides highlight Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. The issue also will include a story on the greening of motorcoaches.
The space deadline for July Courier is April 30, and you can reach your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information. Click here to view the full 2008 Editorial Calendar.
|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.|