Tuesday Newsletter – Jan. 22, 2008
January 22, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter Jan. 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 http://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 3
Tour Operators: GST Rebate Survey Coming
In addition to the personal connections tour operators can make at the NTA Spring Meet, another benefit is the connection they can make with the host, Mohegun Sun, and the surrounding area.
During the 2008 event, to be held April 2-4, sightseeing tours and Familiarization tours will allow operators to get a feel for southeastern Connecticut’s renowned sights like the Florence Griswold Museum & River Quest, Gillette Castle State Park, the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration and the Mystic Seaport.
If you register for the 2008 Spring Meet by the March 3 early-bird deadline you’ll save $50 off of the regular registration fee.
For more information, contact your NTA Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
NTA, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and ABA will be surveying their tour operator members to gauge the impact of changes to Canada’s Goods and Services Tax rebate program.
Under the GST, tourists received a sales tax refund for items purchased in Canada. But, as of April 1, 2007, the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program replaced the GST. This new program reduced the amount of the GST rebate and also increased the paperwork involved in obtaining the rebate.
NTA has voiced its concern over the changes in the program, particularly when cross-border security issues have caused so much confusion in the marketplace. This survey will allow the associations to get your thoughts on how the current program is working and perhaps offer suggestions on how to make changes in the FCTIP that would benefit the industry.
Information on the survey will be coming your way soon, and your participation on this key issue is appreciated. To learn more, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson.
According to a new report from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security travel advisory panel, integrated technology strategies could go a long way toward improving efficiency and accuracy in handling the processing of international business travelers.
The Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee issued a 51-page study urging the United States to be more welcoming to foreign travelers, while also maintaining security, to help reverse a downward trend in overseas travel to the United States.
The report recognizes that international visitors face many obstacles when trying to obtain a visa and urged the DHS and U.S. Department of State to work together to set up an integrated electronic file and a joint program for business visa applicants. Currently, there isn’t an Internet-based way for international business clients to apply for a visa that would be linked to the State Department’s electronic visa application system.
Among the panel’s other recommendations:
- The two departments should improve the coordination of their redress systems for applicants denied visas.
- They should create and maintain performance measures that can be tracked over time. Ideally, the data should be standardized with international systems so that wait times or visa adjudication times can be compared among countries.
- They should set a higher priority on Internet communication to visa applicants by standardizing Web sites at the world consular offices. Currently, those offices maintain dozens of different Web sites and offer inconsistent information, the report said.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses last week. Chertoff said the new rules will make it harder for terrorists to get through security checks, curb illegal immigration and reduce identity theft.
The new standards aim to enhance the integrity and reliability of driver’s licenses and identification cards and increases security at production facilities. They should also reduce state implementation costs by roughly 73 percent.
The new cards must meet specific requirements such as proof of identity and U.S. citizenship or legal status of an applicant; verification of the source documents provided by an applicant; and security standards for the offices that issue licenses and identification cards.
By Dec. 31, 2009, states must upgrade the security of their license systems, to include a check for lawful status of all applicants. According to USA Today, compliance will be needed to enter a federal facility, board a commercial aircraft or visit a nuclear power plant. Enrollment will be completed for all individuals under 50 years of age by Dec. 1, 2014. For all others, enrollment may be extended three additional years to Dec. 1, 2017.
Chertoff says his department reviewed more than 21,000 comments from citizens, states and organizations before finalizing the rules.
Each issue of NTA’s Courier magazine includes a minimum of four member profiles in the Meet the Member section, and your company could be featured in one of these stories in an upcoming edition. The articles are about 250 words in length and include a high-resolution photo of the company contact.
To submit your company’s name for possible inclusion in the Meet the Member section, e-mail Courier Managing Editor Doug Rentz. In selecting members to profile, Courier writers aim to balance geographical representation and membership categories. If you are chosen for an upcoming issue, you will be contacted by a Courier staff member and asked to answer a few questions to help them write the article on your company.
The new year is here and once again it’s time to think about the annual NTA Membership Directory. This 500-page publication contains valuable, easy-to-access contact information on your NTA member colleagues, and it will be distributed to every member in June.
There is no better way to put your company in front of so many tourism professionals all year long than through this reference guide. According to an NTA survey, 84 percent of tour operators use the NTA Membership Directory, 82 percent use the directory to look up company contact information and 54 percent use it for itinerary planning purposes.
"The NTA directory is like a bible! Comprehensive, extensive and inexpensive, I use it every day and advertise in it every year." – Dawn Dowling, Group Tour Coordinator, Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, NTA member since 1987
As an NTA member, your listing is complimentary, but you have the option of choosing to upgrade your membership listing or purchasing ad space within the Directory. An enhanced listing will include your company’s logo as well as highlight and bold your contact information.
The space deadline for advertising in the Membership Directory is March 3, but if you book space by Jan. 25, you’ll receive a 5 percent discount. Click here for more information, or call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com.
Continuing its efforts to partner with other associations, NTA took part in the 2008 UMA Motorcoach Expo from Jan. 16 to 20 in San Francisco. The event was UMA’s largest Expo to date and included the NTA Destinations and Attractions Aisle, which featured booths of 18 tour supplier companies.
NTA coordinated this section of the exhibit floor during the Expo as part of an agreement between NTA and UMA announced last November. In return, the UMA Motorcoach Exhibit will make its debut at the 2008 NTA Convention in Pittsburgh from Nov. 15 to 19.
"There were nearly 20 booths in the Destinations and Attractions Aisle and everyone who took part was happy," said Bob Hoelscher, CTP, 2008 NTA Chairman and CEO. "The leadership of UMA was pleased, too, and so it was a win-win situation. This type of partnership has tremendous potential because we are not in competition with UMA members, but rather complement what their members do."
NTA’s volunteer Leadership Team gathered in early January in Portland, Oregon, for its first meeting of 2008. NTA’s newly adopted strategic plan served as a frame for the discussion and work of NTA’s 10 member committees. The NTA Board of Directors also held its first meeting of the year.
A recap of the Board and committee meetings will be distributed in the Jan. 29 issue of Tuesday.
Position Available – Group Travel Coordinator
European Incoming Services
EIS, a wholesale, Mediterranean destination management company headquartered in Rome, Italy, is looking for an experienced Group Travel Coordinator to join our Boston team. Position is responsible for creating travel solutions for a broad portfolio of Leisure and Affinity Group clients. Tasks include destination consultation, proposal/itinerary creation and client management.
Candidate must be extremely detail oriented; cope easily with complex issues and situations; be able to identify clients’ needs; and to consult on a variety of travel niche topics. Bachelor’s degree and excellent written and verbal communication skills required. Knowledge of Italy and/or Italian language important. Spanish, Greek or French language skills are a plus.
Position Available – Executive Director/CEO
Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau (Waterloo, Iowa) is seeking an outgoing, self-motivated Executive Director/CEO. Responsibilities include administrative, operational and marketing functions of the Bureau; reports to the Board of Directors. Assume all financial management; maintain and oversee distribution of Hotel/Motel tax grants plus increasing these revenues annually through all tourism markets.
Requirements include bachelor’s degree in business, hospitality/tourism major preferred with proven experience in tourism industry. Strong financial management, leadership, communication and presentation skills. Competitive salary/benefits with bonus plan. Send resume by Feb. 15 to: Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Attn: Search Committee; 313 East 5th Street; Waterloo, Iowa 50703.
Position Available – Executive Director
Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau
Outstanding candidate to serve as CVB Executive Director, located in Gulfport, Mississippi. Position promotes, markets, sells, manages and develops the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a premier destination. Works through a series of focused committees and semi-monthly board meetings, manages staff of approximately 20, prioritizes annual budget of approximately $5 million.
Requires a four-year college degree in one or more of the following fields: Business, Management, Marketing, Travel, Hospitality or other business/management related field or directly related experience equal to or better than 10 years of progressive management experience within the tourism industry; Partial SKAs: Convention and Leisure Sales; Media Relations; Intergovernmental Relations; Constituent Relations; Marketing and Advertising. Salary $90,000, based on experience. Benefits package. EOE.
Go to http://www.gulfcoast.org/ for directions to view and apply for this job.
If you have a listing to post in the NTA Job Center section of Tuesday, e-mail NTA Communications Specialist Pat Henderson. The cost is $250 and your ad will run in two consecutive issues.
|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.|