Tuesday Newsletter – July 22, 2008
July 22, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter July 22, 2008
|Register today to attend the 2008 NTA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, Nov. 15-19. Whether your business needs are domestic, inbound, outbound or all of the above, you’ll find the partners you need and the business you want at NTA. Click here to learn more and to register.|
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTAstaff.com.|
Volume 28, Issue 29
Piano Great Marvin Hamlisch to Highlight Final Night Gala
Amtrak Offering Discounted Rates on Convention Transportation
Destination Pavilion Webinar is Today
Creating Your Profile Form for Convention
Renowned composer Marvin Hamlisch will headline the Final Night Gala Dinner and Dance, sponsored by VisitPittsburgh, at the 2008 NTA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh from Nov. 15 to 19.
Hamlisch, perhaps best known for composing "The Way We Were" and adapting Scott Joplin’s music for the Robert Redford/Paul Newman movie "The Sting," is currently the principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony and the San Diego Symphony. He has won many awards including Oscars, Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize for writing "A Chorus Line."
NTA is excited to have this world-class entertainer on tap to close out a fantastic week of business, friendship and fun. Click here to sign up to join NTA for what is sure to be another exceptional Annual Convention.
Amtrak will be offering a 10 percent discount off the lowest available rail fare to get you to and from Pittsburgh for the 2008 NTA Annual Convention, Nov. 15-19. Discounted fares, available for travel to Pittsburgh between Nov. 12 and Nov. 22, must be booked by calling Amtrak at 800.872.7245. You will need to mention fare code X55T-941 when contacting Amtrak to book your discounted rate.
Visit the Convention Web site for more information on this discount, as well as NTA’s new Ride Share program, which helps Convention attendees locate fellow NTA members looking to carpool to Pittsburgh.
If you aren’t registered for Convention, click here to sign up to make sure your company will be represented this November.
A Webinar on the value of the Destination Pavilion takes place today at 3 p.m. (ET). "The NTA Annual Convention: Making the Destination Pavilion Work for You," is aimed to help DMO and tour supplier members learn how they can get the most from their Convention experience and the Destination Pavilion.
During the one-hour session, Greg Eckhart from Travel Portland and Scott Hartcorn of Shilo Inns Suites Hotels will walk you through the Destination Pavilion and share success stories from last year that are sure to give you great ideas to implement for the 2008 Convention.
E-mail NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson by 2 p.m. to register.
During the Tour & Travel Exchange at the NTA Convention, delegates are asked to distribute only business cards and profile forms. Profile forms are one-page sheets (front and back) that contain information on your company.
The forms must be printed or typewritten and they should be three-hole punched to make it easier for tour operators to place them in their Profile Form Notebooks. Suggestions on what to include on the profile forms can be found at http://ntaonline.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=75&url_subchannel_id=78&url_article_id=3822&change_well_id=2.
For details on how you can have copies of your company profile form automatically inserted into all Tour Operator Profile Form Notebooks when they are printed, e-mail NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo or call her at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232. Advertising options also are available on your state/provincial tabbed divider page. Space is very limited, so call one of those numbers now for pricing and availability.
Additional questions about the profile forms can be directed to the NTA Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
The July meeting of the NTA Leadership Team was another energy-filled weekend of great ideas that will continue to move your association forward and advance the packaged travel industry.
The Leadership Team, which consists of the NTA Board of Directors and 10 committees, task forces and subcommittees, met July 10-13 in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the second in-person meeting this year for the member committees, and NTA’s Strategic Plan provided the framework for the discussions. NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, kicked off the meetings with an overview of the many significant things happening at NTA, including the record number of tour operator members, NTA’s China Inbound Program and the alliances NTA is creating with industry partners.
NTA thanks the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting the events and the Galt House Hotel & Suites for its support.
NTA members are encouraged to send in nominations for the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members. The NTA Board of Directors established the award in 2003 to honor the late Everidge, owner and president of Shenandoah Tours Inc., and his lifetime commitment to NTA.
Any person employed by an NTA member company is eligible to make a nomination which should include a brief narrative (approximately 250 words) about the nominee. Additional material may be included with the narrative. The nomination criteria are as follows:
- Display active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interests of its members
- Extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members
- Consistently conducted himself/herself in a manner in keeping with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA
- A minimum of 20 years involvement in the travel industry that has served to further the interests of NTA and its members
Nominations for the award, which will be presented in Pittsburgh at the 2008 NTA Annual Convention, are due by Aug. 22 and should be submitted to NTA Executive Assistant Celeste Moore.
The launch of DiscoverAmerica.com last week marked the creation of the first official travel portal to promote inbound tourism to the United States. This series of language-specific Web sites include interactive content for all 50 states, the five U.S. territories, dozens of cities and attractions and official entry information from U.S. government sources.
The Web sites are targeted at the five countries that account for 75 percent of all inbound travel to the United States – Canada (English- and French-speaking), Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany. It is anticipated that sites for additional markets, such as China, France and South Korea, will be developed.
DiscoverAmerica.com is the result of a cooperative agreement awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce to the Travel Industry Association in January 2007. To find out more about the Discover America initiative, contact 202.408.8422.
Convenient, reliable and secure identification is critical in today’s era of global travel. Many countries use biometrics to facilitate the international travel process as a way to protect travelers against identity theft and prevent document fraud. The United States establishes and verifies the identity of international travelers through the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT Program and oversees the collection of biometric data including a digital photograph and digital fingerprints.
US-VISIT’s most recent upgrade includes installing new, faster fingerprint scanners that collect 10 fingerprints, instead of two, which enables DHS to more quickly and accurately identify international visitors. DHS has updated technology at 10 U.S. airports and will upgrade all remaining air, sea and land border ports of entry by the end of 2008.
In the near future, DHS also plans to collect biometrics from international visitors as they depart the United States. DHS recently completed a public comment period on a proposal to develop this capability at U.S. airports and seaports. Following a review period, DHS will announce new exit requirements and an effective date. In the meantime, visitors have to return their Form I 94 (Arrival Departure Record) or I 94W to airline or ship representatives.
Consumer-friendly educational materials are available with more details about these enhancements. To stay current with other DHS program information, visit www.dhs.gov/us-visit or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for important US-VISIT announcements.
NTA has a great fall lineup of Product Development Trips, which provide ways for NTA tour operators to learn more about British Columbia, Egypt and Bavaria.
The British Columbia Product Development Trip, taking place Oct. 6-11, starts and ends in Vancouver. This trip, hosted by Tourism Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, offers operators a look at the incredible range of cultural, recreational, natural and wildlife attractions to package in western British Columbia. Spaces are still available, and the registration deadline is Sept. 1.
Registration also is open for the NTA Product Development Trip to Egypt, which is presented by the American Tourism Society. ATS is allowing NTA tour operators to its Annual Conference in Cairo, Oct. 27-30, at the member rate. After attending the show, participants will take a five-night, six-day cruise on the Nile River – the Product Development Trip portion – from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.
Finally, there are still a limited number of spots available for the Best of Bavaria trip, hosted by Bavaria Tourism. From Oct. 24 to 31, tour operators will be exposed to the German region’s rich culture and find out more about product development ideas in Bavaria.
If you have questions about any of these upcoming Product Development Trips or would like to host one for 2009, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
Tourism Cares recently moved to a new office. Please be sure to update your address book and contact information, so that you don’t miss important announcements. The new address is:
- 275 Turnpike Street, Suite 307
Canton, MA 02021
Be sure to visit the Tourism Cares Web site for information on upcoming events including the Tourism Hall of Fame Dinner and Tourism Cares for Gettysburg 2009, as well as the Live Auction and Tourism Rocks! event at the NTA Annual Convention.
The October 2008 issue of Courier shines the spotlight on NTA’s premier event – the Annual Convention. The issue offers plenty of ways to get your company or destination in front of tour operators, because it is not only mailed to every NTA member but also is distributed in November at Convention.
In addition to providing all the information you need to prepare for Convention, the issue includes trip planners that showcase the Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming) and Central and South America. The monthly travel guides feature Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The space deadline for the October Courier is July 25, so there are only a few days left to book your ad for the magazine read by 86 percent of NTA tour operators monthly. Click here to view the full 2008 Media Kit or to reach your account executive for more information, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
|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|