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Tuesday Newsletter – Jan. 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

Volume 30, Issue 3 

Tuesday’s title sponsor is Ripley’s New York

Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at

Help for Haiti from NTA
Save the Date: U.S.-Cuba Summit
MONTAGE Memo #5: Build/Construir
Update from NTA/CNTA Meeting
Jan. 20 Starts Mandatory ESTA Compliance
Tourism Cares for Angel Island Change of Date
Access Key Findings on Gay and Lesbian Tourism at No Cost
Have your Voice Heard at NTA’s Grassroots Symposium
NTA Members Invited to U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar in D.C.
Courier to Feature Historic Homes, Gardens, Antebellum South and NYC 

Help for Haiti from NTA     Help Haiti

Dear NTA Members,

I want to express my deepest condolences to all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti. I am terribly saddened by the reports of extensive loss of life and damage, and I urge all NTA members to contribute to the relief efforts in any way you can in the coming days and months. Let’s support Haiti, not just with our prayers and thoughts, but also with our time and resources. Please see our posting on NTAonline to find ways you can help.

Time and time again we have pulled together to aid those in need. I know this will be no different.

Sincerely,Cathy's Signature



Catherine Greteman
NTA Chairman and CEO

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Save the Date: U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit     

NTA is excited to officially announce the U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit, March 24-26 in Cancun, Mexico. Presented by Alamar Associations in association with NTA and sponsored by the United States Tour Operator Association, the U.S.-Cuba Travel Summit gives U.S. travel professionals the unique opportunity to meet personally with Cuban travel officials to discuss future business potential in this untapped market for U.S. travelers.

As NTA finalizes details, please look for more information in the February Courier (coming out next week), online, and in e-mails. Exclusive sponsorship opportunities are available as U.S. travel executives learn about the business potential in Cuba directly from Cuban travel officials and specialists.

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MONTAGE Memo #5: Build/Construir   Seville

Explore the historic host city of Seville and learn about its people, history, cuisine and more while networking with your NTA friends and new travel colleagues during the team-building sightseeing tours on Wednesday, April 14, during MONTAGE.

Sightseeing opportunities include:

  • Arab Baths: Aire de Sevilla
  • Cooking Class: Taberna del Alabardero
  • The Fine Arts Museum
  • Flamenco Lessons and Museum
  • Guided Introduction to Shopping

For descriptions about each sightseeing adventure, which are sponsored by the Tourism Office of Seville, click here. Once you decide which adventure to take, please fill out the Team Building and Leisure Activity Registration Form and fax it to +1.859.226.4434, Attn: Lee Carter by March 10, 2010.

MONTAGE is a great outlet for reaching NTA operators as well as new domestic and international buyers. For exposure throughout the entire event, become a MONTAGE sponsor and receive a variety of sponsor benefits including complimentary registration fees and sponsor promotions before, during and after the event. Click here to learn how your company can attend, exhibit and/or sponsor at MONTAGE or contact NTA Sponsorship Manager Melisa-Beth Rooke at +1.859.219.3549 for more details. Sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis so call today!

No restrictions on attendance. No Boundaries to Selling. That’s MONTAGE. Register today

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Update from NTA/CNTA Meeting    China   

In meetings last week in China, NTA continued its leading role in facilitating inbound leisure group travel from China for the U.S. market. The meetings provided NTA the venue to review status of its China Inbound Program, discuss challenges and opportunities with inbound travel to the U.S. and plan for the opening of the Visit USA Center in Shanghai, which NTA will operate in cooperation with U.S. Commercial Service.

NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP, and Director of Government and Industry Relations Matt Grayson participated in the meetings with top-ranking officials from the China National Tourism Administration led by Vice Chairman Zhu and the U.S. Department of Commerce led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Joel Secundy.

In discussions related to the NTA China Inbound Program, which facilitates leisure group travel inbound to the U.S. from China, the CNTA and NTA reviewed the following:

  • Concerns over extreme price competition that were affecting quality of product
  • The need for more education, for both the Chinese and U.S. professionals, on working together
  • Reports of Chinese travel agents not using approved U.S. tour operators, which is specified in the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Chinese governments. The CNTA has asked to be made aware of Chinese travel agents using tour operators who are not on the approved list.
  • The need for more promotion in China of the diverse range of U.S. product (a need which the Visit USA Center in Shanghai will address)

On this last point, as many of the approved operators are located on the east and west coasts, the CNTA would specifically like to see product for the Chinese interested in visiting mid-America. As the approved operators within the China Inbound Program network more and find ways to work together, this can easily be addressed. Product for the entire United States is represented by the approved operators.

NTA also conducted interviews for the Shanghai office representative, and plans are on track to open the office as planned in April. If you have any questions about the NTA China Inbound Program or the Visit USA Center, please contact Grayson.

CAPTION: (from left) NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson and NTA President Lisa Simon pose with U.S. Commercial Service’s Keenton Chiang and Lynn Jiao during meetings in China last week.

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Jan. 20 Starts Mandatory ESTA Compliance 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has advised that starting January 20, it will be mandatory for all passengers traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program to receive approval using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program. All passengers traveling to or transferring through the United States from this date are advised to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours in advance of their journey. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will now be unable to accept U.S.-bound travelers without ESTA approval or a valid visa or Green Card.

The ESTA can be obtained free of charge by visiting the ESTA Web site.Completed and approved ESTA applications are valid for two years and allow multiple visits without the need to reapply. Travelers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the United States.

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Tourism Cares for Angel Island Change of Date        TOurism Cares

The date for the Tourism Cares for America project at Angel Island has changed to June 4, 2010.  

Angel Island is an historic and picturesque island located in San Francisco Bay. Its rich and diverse history dates back nearly 3,000 years, beginning as a hunting and fishing ground for the ancient Miwok Indians. Angel Island has served as:

  • A Civil War encampment
  • A discharge depot and recruitment center during WWI
  • An embarkation station and POW camp during WWII
  • An immigration station for thousands of Chinese immigrants from 1910-1940

Today, the island is visited by thousands of people who experience its history and recreational activities. Due to extreme budget cuts to California State Parks, Angel Island needs the travel industry’s help to clear and restore recreational areas and trails throughout the island.

More information will be available in the coming weeks. Check your e-mails for details!

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Access Key Findings on Gay and Lesbian Tourism at No Cost    

Available now for download is a complimentary NTA copy of Community Marketing’s 14th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study. This 50-page document presents a top 10 findings section starting on page three and includes annual gay and lesbian destination rankings, effects of the recession and a list of the top travel brands reaching to the market. The report also contains a detailed statistical analysis of the 4,700 gay and lesbian consumers who reside in the United States.

For the report, please log in with your username and password at then click here.

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Have your Voice Heard at NTA’s Grassroots Symposium   Smilebox

Be where the action is for three days and tackle issues that can impact your business as well as travel and tourism overall. Participate in the NTA Grassroots Symposium, Feb. 8-10, in Washington, D.C.

"The Symposium provides a unique opportunity to get engaged in the process," said John Shaffer of Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. "I have seen how one constituent contact with a sitting committee member can really make a difference.  Believe me, a voter whose business is affected by legislation, or the lack thereof, commands attention when personally visiting an elected official."

Watch this short video to learn more about Symposium and how you can make a difference. Put yourself in the action and make connections.

Interested in sponsorship? Click here to learn more or contact Karla DiNardo, NTA vice president of sales and sponsorship, at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4232.

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NTA Members Invited to U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar in D.C.

Interest in Africa as a destination continues to grow and NTA’s strategic partner, the Africa Travel Association, is extending an invitation to NTA members for a special one-day seminar to learn more about selling Africa.

The seminar begins with an evening networking reception from Destination Gambia, the site of ATA’s 35th Annual Congress, on Thursday, March 4, followed by a day of workshops on Friday, March 5, at the Washington Convention Center. The workshops will offer two learning tracks: Africa’s tourism agenda focusing on the issues facing Africa’s travel industry and professional development offering best practices on marketing and branding African travel product. Special highlights include sessions about the Africa marketplace from leaders and experts on Africa as a destination.

NTA’s partnership with ATA is designed to bring expertise directly to you through your NTA membership. Because of this partnership, ATA is offering NTA members the ATA-member pricing to register for this event. To learn more, contact ATA directly or visit their Web site for more details and to register.

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Courier to Feature Historic Homes, Gardens, Antebellum South, and NYC   

The April 2010 issue of Courier offers plenty of ways to have your company or destination directly in front of experienced tour operators.

The key features focus on historic homes and gardens. The trip planners will showcase Antebellum South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee) and New York City. Travel guides highlight Arkansas, Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The space deadline is January 27. Don’t miss your chance to be included in the #1 valued magazine in the industry as rated by operators.

Contact your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4241 for more information.

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