Tuesday Newsletter – March 18, 2008
March 18, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter March 18, 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 11
The 2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet is shaping up to be one of the most diverse events in NTA history. The list of this year’s participants includes:
- Members from a dozen countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Italy, Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
- Prospects representing 12 national tourist offices will take part in a half-day guest program April 3.
- The guest tour operator program is back this year and will bring more prospects to the event. In the past two years, all of the program’s participants ended up becoming members.
- Representatives of some of NTA’s association partners also will be in attendance.
Additionally, delegates will have a chance to network with NTA tour supplier and DMO members who are sponsoring at Spring Meet.
There is still time for you to register for Spring Meet so you can join this diverse group at Mohegan Sun, April 2-4.
The second NTA Road Show of 2008 will take place in Boston Friday, March 28. The Road Shows provide a small-group setting where members and prospective members can come together to share ideas, learn more about NTA programs and events, and ask questions of their association peers and leaders.
The event will begin at 4 p.m. at the Radisson Boston Hotel with remarks from NTA leaders, followed by a cocktail reception from 5 to 6:30. Individuals interested in attending the Boston Road Show should contact Krista Browning at 800.682.8886, ext. 4402 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4402.
As you know, NTA will be working to "green" its Annual Convention, starting this year in Pittsburgh. And, while you’ll be hearing more about the many changes that NTA is making to be more environmentally friendly, you can get involved by providing your suggestions.
Submit your best idea for "greening" the Convention to NTA Vice President of Meetings and Events Lee Carter by June 13. The ideas will be passed on to the Pittsburgh Convention WOW Task Force in July, and the top suggestions will be incorporated into this year’s Convention planning. If your submission is selected, you’ll be recognized at Convention.
NTA is organizing the travel industry’s most comprehensive grassroots network as part of its ongoing efforts this presidential season. Expanding on the association’s existing Grassroots Action Network, NTA is organizing a permanent team of travel and tourism professionals at the state and Congressional District levels, which will help elect a U.S. president committed to addressing travel and tourism issues. The complete network will include 55 state chairs and co-chairs and 435 Congressional District coordinators, as well as an appointment for the District of Columbia.
The network is currently focused on keeping travel and tourism in front of U.S. candidates running for federal office, and state and district chairs are tasked with visiting their congressional district office a few times a year to present NTA materials and talk about issues of importance to the packaged travel industry. By making this connection, this NTA network will become the source of tourism information for elected officials and their staffs.
The association launched the Grassroots Action Network in 1998. Over the years, the group has tackled issues such as seller of travel laws and unfair travel taxes. Such legislative successes provide a strong foundation for this revitalized group.
With the U.S. presidential elections coming up, this is a pivotal time to be involved with NTA’s government relations efforts, so make plans to attend this year’s NTA Grassroots Symposium. The event will be held in Washington, D.C., June 24-26, and registration opens Monday, March 24, at noon (ET).
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.
Registration details will be available March 24 at NTAonline.com, or you can contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson prior to then with questions.
There is still time for you to fill out an application to get your company’s name on the first list of approved tour operators that NTA will forward to the Chinese National Tourism Administration March 19. Sending the list is the first step in activating the NTA China Inbound Program, which will allow approved U.S. destinations and companies to market themselves in China to leisure travelers via Chinese travel agents.
NTA will update the approved tour operator list periodically to reflect additions and deletions, so even if you miss the March 19 deadline, you can still sign up to be part of this important initiative.
If you have any questions regarding the NTA China Inbound Program, 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 the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center slated to reopen later this year, discussions have resumed regarding how and where motorcoaches will be allowed to drop off and pick up tourists. The current plan would prevent tour and charter motorcoaches from dropping off passengers directly at the Capitol; instead they would be routed to Union Station (located nearly a mile from the Capitol), where visitors will be dropped off and then have to board a shuttle that takes them back to the Capitol. The U.S. Capitol Police cited security reasons for banning these motorcoaches from the Capitol grounds.
Leaders of NTA, ABA, SYTA and UMA have joined forces on the issue, which puts an extra burden on the traveling public and tour operators. The group’s first step is sending a letter to the editor of Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, in response to an article the publication ran March 13 titled "Members Query Transport Plans for CVC Visitors." The associations will continue to hold follow up meetings as they work toward a better solution for visitors and travel companies.
Additional information on this issue will be posted in Tuesday and on NTAonline.com. If you have any questions, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
Would you like to help make a difference in your association? Do you like planning new programs, brainstorming or planning strategically for the future? If so, NTA has a number of volunteer opportunities to tap into your strengths.
NTA will begin planning for the 2009 Leadership Team this summer and we want to hear from you if you would like to serve. To get the process started, please 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, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson. Completed forms are due by Friday, June 27, and can be faxed to her at 859.226.4404.
Tourism Cares is pleased to announce the upcoming induction of J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, into its Tourism Hall of Fame. The official induction ceremony will take place at a gala dinner and celebration benefiting Tourism Cares at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, Tuesday, Sept. 16.
Marriott’s impact on the travel business is far reaching, as his company is one of the world’s largest lodging companies. His leadership spans more than 50 years, and he has taken Marriott from a family restaurant business to a global lodging company with approximately 3,000 properties in 68 countries and territories.
Marriott has made extensive personal contributions through philanthropy, as well. He serves as a director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation and is on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society, The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation and the National Business Council. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and is the chairman of the President’s Export Council, a presidential advisory committee on export trade.
The Tourism Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who, among other business accomplishments, have made significant personal contributions to travel and tourism through philanthropic, volunteer and mentoring activities. Marriott will join the list of recent inductees that includes Arthur Tauck, chairman of Tauck World Discovery; Gilbert Haroche, co-founder and chairman of Liberty Travel; Bob Dickinson, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines; William E. (Bill) La Macchia, chairman of The Mark Travel Corporation; and John Stachnik, founder and co-owner of Mayflower Tours.
According to sponsors of the 2007 NTA Annual Convention, 86 percent indicated they gain additional networking opportunities from the exposure of being a sponsor. Therefore, not only does your sponsorship guarantee your company or destination additional exposure at NTA events, it also can affect your overall Convention success.
To join the ranks of NTA’s distinguished sponsors and learn how you can get noticed by NTA’s key buying audience, the tour operators, click on the following list of Annual Convention sponsorships.
Contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
In the past week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania to add the five nations to the Visa Waiver Program. Those agreements put the countries on the path toward joining the 27 other nations that currently enjoy visa-free travel to America.
Estimates indicate that once the five European nations become Visa Waiver Program members, which could happen later this year, an additional 125,000 visitors from the countries will travel to America and spend more than $441 million over a five-year period.
NTA continues to support initiatives such as the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program that ease visitation restrictions while maintaining security.
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.|