Tuesday Newsletter – March 17, 2009
March 17, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 11
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Conduct Business with NACTA Agents at NTA Spring Meet
Operators: Join NACTA for a Seminar at Sea
Travel and Tourism Getting the U.S. President’s Attention
Members Involvement Means a Stronger NTA
NTA Operators Invited to TPOC Conference and Trade Show
Make an Investment in Your Development with NTA’s CTP Program
April Courier Article Gives Tips for Staying Positive
Silent Auction Items Needed for Spring Meet
Register Today for Idaho Product Development Trip
Calling All Suppliers and DMOs
Tourism Cares Offering New Scholarship
June Courier to Feature Maryland, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania
NTA’s Spring Meet, to be held from June 4 to 6 in Monterey, California, has always been an exceptional avenue for tour operators to partner with each other and buy and sell each other’s products. This year, NTA has enhanced your selling abilities by working with the National Association of Career Travel Agents, which will hold its Western Regional Meeting in conjunction with the NTA Spring Meet.
While the NACTA members will have their own schedule during seminar breakouts, they will be mixing and mingling with you at social functions. Most importantly, they will be included in the Speed Dating session, where you’ll have a chance to talk to agents one-on-one. A recent profile survey of NACTA members revealed that tours are listed as their second greatest form of revenue, with nearly 23 percent selling tours, which means more buyers for your products at this event.
Register today and be in Monterey for this unique opportunity to increase your bottom line.
In addition to the National Association of Career Travel Agents holding their Western Regional Meeting in conjunction with this year’s NTA Spring Meet, the relationship between the two associations has garnered yet another benefit for tour operators.
NACTA, and its partner Norwegian Cruise Lines, have invited NTA tour operators to take part in the Seminars at Sea program. You’ll have the chance to experience an NCL cruise ship while attending educational programs alongside NACTA’s travel agents. Not only is it great product development and education, but also you can increase your networking with agents who are looking for unique and enticing tours to sell their clients. Operators will receive a registration rate that is hundreds less than the regular cost for the sailing and educational program.
All you need to do is check out the schedule of Seminars at Sea programs, pick the one you want and register online. When you click the "more information" button from the Sem@Sea schedule, you’ll see the pricing and the "register now" button. Make sure you enter your NTA membership number when you sign up to get the discount.
Questions about the Sem@Sea schedule or registration can be directed to NACTA’s Director of Industry Relations Mary Clegg.
Thirteen travel industry CEOs held a 20-minute White House meeting with President Obama last week. The CEOs, who were in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Travel’s inaugural CEO Roundtable, focused on the industry’s concerns related to business and meetings travel.
The following day, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "The president believes it’s important to have a strong tourism industry and that it’s important, as the president said earlier … that we shouldn’t retrench. He would encourage people to travel."
Many in the industry are rallying behind U.S. Travel’s Meetings Mean Business campaign. To help people support this important grassroots initiative, U.S. Travel has created a Web site, www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com, to give facts about the economic impact of business- and meetings-related travel and a tool kit for taking action.
Travel and tourism representatives have been banging a consistent drum of messages on the importance of this sector of the economy even before Obama took office. NTA sent a proposal to Obama’s transition team on behalf of two dozen organizations that met for a summit in December to develop ideas to stimulate the national economy through travel and tourism. To continue emphasizing these points, NTA members spoke about these legislative priorities during meetings with congressional leaders during the NTA 9th annual Grassroots Symposium in late February.
To get involved at the grassroots level with NTA’s advocacy efforts, contact Directory of Government and Industry Relations Matt Grayson.
One of the things that has always made NTA great is the fact that the association is completely focused on you, the members. You have a number of opportunities to voice your opinions, share your expertise and provide the feedback that makes NTA the place to be if you’re a packaged travel professional.
There are many avenues you can take to get involved, including serving on the NTA Board of Directors. Learn more about running for the NTA Board by contacting Matt Grayson. You also can get involved by sharing your experience and ideas through serving on a committee as part of the NTA Leadership Team. You can start by completing a Volunteer Interest Form, and as committees arise and 2010 Leadership Team planning starts, NTA will know you’re interested.
But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can volunteer at various NTA events, be a part of the Grassroots Action Network and ensure that not only you association, but also your governmental leaders are working for you. Another way you can make your voice heard is by simply completing the NTA surveys that hit your inbox. All of these things help you association as it works to best serve your needs.
The Travel Professionals of Color, an NTA strategic partner, have extended an invitation to NTA tour operators to the 7th Annual TPOC Conference and Trade Show, which will take place May 14-17 at the Adams Mark Buffalo Hotel in Buffalo, New York.
The conference is an outstanding place to network with hundreds of minority travel professionals, and will include a number of top speakers, seminars and workshops. You can even earn Cruise Lines International Association Certification or Heritage Certification credits.
Continuing education and professional development help you remain competitive. Through NTA’s Certified Tour Professional certification program, your association gives you the tools to enhance your credibility, improve your knowledge and receive new information.
NTA members who have earned their CTP designation demonstrate their commitment to packaged travel through this certification. The program curriculum was created by Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management with input from more than 100 NTA members. NTA members can earn their certification within a year, and everything needed to graduate is based on Temple’s online Blackboard system, making it ideal for the busy NTA member.
Allen Glander with Main Street Tours, who is a current CTP candidate, said, "The new online CTP learning system is making it more efficient and accessible for me to complete the classes needed for this extremely important and relevant certification. With my very busy schedule, the ease of the Blackboard system and the guidebooks are helping me tackle the classes and curriculum in a focused and productive manner."
There is no denying that many countries are currently facing trying times. From dealing with the mortgage meltdown, credit crisis and job layoffs, to the stock market roller-coaster, many people have simply reached their maximum stress level.
Travel professionals know the importance of maintaining a good attitude, and that is the theme of an article by Paul Vitale for the upcoming issue of NTA’s Courier magazine. Vitale will share ways to respond to a changing economy while enjoying what you do, providing a quality product or service and influencing people through the legacy you leave. You can read the article, "Coping with Uncertain Times," in a couple of weeks when the April Courier is distributed.
Vitale, who founded Little Rock, Arkansas-based Vital Communications Inc. and sits on the Arkansas Travel Council’s board, was a speaker at the 2008 NTA Annual Convention. He will release his new book, "Sell with Confidence," in early April and can be contacted at www.paulvitale.com or by calling 501.663.1454.
NTA’s advocacy efforts annually receive a boost thanks to the Government Relations Silent Auction during Spring Meet. You can aid this effort by donating an item or travel package, the proceeds of which will go to support NTA’s Government Issues Fund and TourPAC.
The Government Issues Fund helps the industry work on travel-related issues with national governments. It supports association advocacy efforts, the annual Grassroots Symposium and the legislative tracking service. TourPAC is a voluntary, non-partisan fund supported by NTA members to back federal candidates that have demonstrated their commitment to the packaged travel industry.
To donate a tour package or item, please e-mail NTA Government Relations Manager Christy Cleveland.
If you are looking for some new U.S. itineraries, get ready to join NTA and the Idaho Division of Tourism for an upcoming Product Development Trip to unlock all of the history and adventure that Idaho has to offer.
The Idaho trip, which features stops in Boise, Hells Canyon and Northern Idaho, will take place Sept. 10-15. The deadline to register is Aug. 15 and the cost is only $50. Additionally, tour operators can register up to two attendees per company at that same $50 per registrant rate with same company delegates booked in shared rooms.
NTA’s Spring Meet will feature all the business you’ve come to expect, not to mention three days in the luxurious setting of Monterey, California. Join your fellow NTA tour operators along the California coast from June 4 to 6 for this tour operator-exclusive event by sponsoring and elevate your presence to those decision-makers.
Sponsorships start around $3,000 and include a wide range of valuable benefits, including a complimentary registration to attend. Plus, not only will you reach the anticipated 150 NTA tour operators, but also the valuable audience of NACTA agents. You’ll gain exposure to these new buyers and have the chance to grow your business through these additional contacts.
Click here to see a list of available sponsorships and benefits. Sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can reserve your sponsorship by contacting NTA Vice President of Sales Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 859.226.4232.
Tourism Cares will be awarding a new scholarship, the Dr. Bill Newton-Kathy Neville Scholarship, which was established by long-time NTA member Ted Bravos who is the CEO of the International Tour Management Institute in San Francisco.
The scholarship was established in memory of Dr. Bill Newton, co-founder of ITMI. For 25 years, Newton was an outspoken advocate of critical tour industry issues and helped raise the bar for tour directors and tour guides worldwide. It also is in memory of Kathy Neville, who for 15 years at ITMI was the heartfelt voice giving support and assurance to tour directors and tour operators.
Two scholarship awards are available for 2009. The first is for $1,000, which will be applied to the cost of the ITMI Tour Director Certification Training, and the other in the amount of $500, which will be applied to the cost of the ITMI annual symposium.
The June issue of NTA’s Courier magazine will include Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. There will be two trip planners in this issue, one on the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) and the other on Australia and New Zealand. The issue also will include a business article on Working with Receptives and an accompanying directory, for which receptive operators can purchase enhanced listings at a cost of $299.
In addition, with nearly every U.S. state and Canadian province having Native American or First Nations tourism sites, the June issue of Courier provides a way to showcase your offerings in this niche market and get your company or destination in front of tour operators. The issue will include a feature story on Native American, First Nations and Western Heritage product, and you can purchase display advertising and/or a listing in NTA’s newly created "The List," which will include company contact information, your company’s color logo and 75 words of text for $750.
The space deadline for June Courier is April 1 so there is still time to get in the magazine read by 86 percent of NTA tour operators monthly. To reach your account executive call 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or +1 859.226.4241 or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information.