Tuesday Newsletter – March 24, 2009
March 24, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 12
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Breathtaking Views and New Product Ideas Await at NTA Spring Meet
Survey Says Affordability Increasing U.S. Residents’ Intent to Travel
Economic Survey on the Way for Tour Operators
Bylaw Vote Coming Next Week
DMOs: Help Spread the Word on Tracking
"Magical India" Product Development Trip Open for Registration
Study Examines Value of Green Thinking for Travel Businesses
Special Offer from NTA Industry Partner IGLTA
How to the Use the NTA Member Searches
Host 150 NTA Tour Operators in Monterey, California
Register for Tourism Cares for Gettysburg
July Courier to Feature Zoos and Aquariums, Faith-based Travel
The Spring Meet has always been a great way for tour operators to visit a new area and get incredible product ideas through a multitude of pre- and post-Fams and sightseeing tours. This year’s event in Monterey, California, is no exception.
Monterey and its California partners are ready to showcase new and exciting things about their incredibly beautiful destination. The pre- and post-Fam options will have you dining your way through California’s renowned wine country, cruising the scenic coastlines or visiting many of the state’s national parks.
The sightseeing trips are equally enticing. You can walk the bustling streets of Carmel, see places that have been immortalized in movies for years, visit spots made famous by author John Steinbeck or play a round of golf on one of the area’s popular courses.
Go to the Spring Meet Web site to register for this incredible event, which is coming up June 4-6. Registrations for the pre- and post-Fams and sightseeing tours are taken on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you sign up early.
According to the most recent results of the travelhorizons quarterly survey, the U.S. Traveler Sentiment Index rose to 90.2 in February 2009 from 78.2 in October 2008 due to an increase in the perceived "affordability of travel." The survey, which was conducted from Feb. 7 to 13, polled a representative survey of 2,270 adults, from which the Index is calculated.
The spike in the perceived affordability appears to be a direct result of the promotional pricing and related incentives now being offered by tour suppliers who represent practically every segment of the travel industry. Many airlines, cruise lines, hotel companies, attractions and rental car companies are featuring rates and fares that are up to 50 percent off the prices being quoted just six months ago.
"We are very encouraged that more people are signaling a willingness to travel for leisure purposes," said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman of Ypartnership, which co-authors travelhorizons with the U.S. Travel Association. "This is the first increase we have observed in the Index since January 2008, which indicates that the discounts travel providers and destinations are offering are working to attract more travelers, even in this down economy."
NTA is working with George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on a survey to see how the economy is affecting tour operators. The first in a series of surveys on the economy conducted by the GW graduate students will be e-mailed to operators this week.
The survey won’t take more than 15 minutes to complete and NTA will be sharing the results with you throughout the year so we can all track business trends and gauge how the economy is affecting your business. Questions about this economic survey can be directed to NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
Tour operators received a letter last week from NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz, CTP, about an upcoming bylaw vote. The board hopes to better explain the reason behind this proposed change in the NTA bylaws, which was put out for a vote earlier this year.
The NTA Board is proposing a change to the bylaws that would enable arts and cultural entities, such as ballets, museums and symphonies that hold nonprofit status, to share a single membership in the association. As it stands, the NTA Bylaws currently forbid the sharing of memberships by separate legal entities. The proposed change would enable these small, nonprofit suppliers to join together to promote themselves to our tour operators through NTA.
For instance, while an orchestra, ballet and art museum might not independently have the funds to join NTA, through this proposed amendment, they could combine funding and align themselves to join as one tour supplier membership. Currently, these arts and cultural entities are broadly under-represented in the membership. Bringing them under the NTA umbrella would make their products and services readily available to NTA operators.
Details on the bylaw vote will be disseminated electronically or via a paper ballot (for those tour operators without a working e-mail address) next week. Voting period will run from April 1-May 1 with the results announced in the May 5 edition of Tuesday.
For more information on the bylaw vote, contact NTA Directory of Government and Industry Relations Matt Grayson.
NTA’s new Grassroots Tracking Project, which is part of the ROI/Tracking E-mail System, is designed to help DMOs educate NTA tour operators on how to use the system. The information that is provided by operators through the easy-to-use system is critical to the success of their DMO partners.
The premise is to pair DMOs with a group of no more than five "operator tracking buddies." These will be tour operators who a DMO would contact quarterly to remind them to submit tracking information, show them how to use the three-step system and answer questions. This personal touch will be a great complement to the other education NTA has planned on the importance of tracking.
DMOs who want volunteer to be a tracking mentor should contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson by Friday, March 27.
NTA is happy to announce a new Product Development Trip for 2009 to India. Akorn Destination Management has put together the "Magical India" trip, which will take place Aug. 8-16 and give anyone looking to add India to their product line a firsthand look at this incredible destination.
The trip starts in Delhi, then participants will go to Agra, see the world famous Taj Mahal, and visit Jaipur and Udaipur. The cost to register is $639, which includes land, in-country air and double accommodations (add $150 for single supplement). The trip is open to two registrations per company, upon approval by the host, and unless otherwise indicated same company registrants will be provided double accommodations.
The deadline to register is Friday, July 10. Click here for complete itinerary and registration information. Questions about this Product Development Trip can be directed to NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
Through NTA’s strategic alliance with Sustainable Travel International, NTA members can receive a discount for a short time on a new report, "Going Green: The Business Impact of Environmental Awareness on Travel." The study, produced in partnership with STI and PhoCusWright, examines the value of green thinking and decision-making among consumers and travel companies.
The findings of this study profile the business impact of implementing sustainable strategies and marketing them effectively. Until March 31, you can get a $100 discount off the introductory price, which already represents a 20 percent savings. To help your company evaluate the value of going green, you can place your order now by clicking here. To receive the discount, you should enter the promo code "STImember" during checkout.
NTA members are invited to attend the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s 26th Annual Global Convention, taking place May 7-10 in Toronto, Ontario. The gay, lesbian, bi and transgender travel market is one of the most dynamic and lucrative travel markets and can open doors to increased business.
Through NTA’s strategic partnership with IGLTA, you can target this market at a reduced cost. IGLTA is offering NTA members a 10 percent discount on convention registration, and the host hotel for this conference — the Toronto Hilton — is offering a rate of $179CDN. The early-bird deadline to register is March 31, and you can save more if you sign up by then.
Additionally, as part of the IGLTA-NTA partnership, NTA will be hosting an education breakout session on Friday, May 8.
NTA’s members include more than 700 tour companies and more than 2,100 tour suppliers and DMOs. The fastest and easiest way to connect with these travel professionals, representing 40 different countries, is through the NTA Member Searches.
NTA has created a quick guide that walks you through using the searches and downloading your search results in an easy-to-use format that puts information on potential partners at your fingertips. Whether you need to search by product type, destination or hotel amenities, NTA makes it easy. Click here to access a "How To" guide and be sure to share this with others in your company who may not visit NTAonline.com as frequently.
Thanks to the suggestion of the 2009 Technology Committee, NTA is preparing guides for you that offer step-by-step directions on how to use other specific sections of NTAonline.com, as well as other online "How-to" documents for using Facebook and LinkedIn.
NTA is working hard to ensure the upcoming Tour Operator Spring Meet, to be held June 4-6, is as beneficial as possible. If you attend, you’ll find a solid schedule of education sessions and numerous opportunities to help increase your business in these difficult times, including the chance to connect with the nearly 50 NACTA agents who will be joining NTA in the beautiful Monterey, California, for the event.
Tour suppliers and DMOs can attend by sponsoring a meal function, which gives them a complimentary registration to attend Spring Meet. This opportunity gives you a chance to promote your company or product to key buyers and wow them with a delicious meal and memorable presentation. Co-sponsoring a meal is also a great way to package products together while helping to keep it affordable.
Click here for 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.
Registration is still open for the upcoming Tourism Cares for Gettysburg. This year Tourism Cares will bring its annual restoration event to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, April 16-18, to help restore the George Spangler Farm.
The 80-acre farm is located at what was the logistical center of the Union battlefield during the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. During and after the battle, Spangler Farm served as a field hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers.
Until last year, the site was privately owned and is in need of considerable restoration, and many of the fields, buildings and boundary lines associated with the property are still intact but in poor condition. Volunteers will help with restoring original buildings, demolishing modern structures, landscaping, trail building, painting, cleaning and much more to aid the Gettysburg Foundation’s campaign to preserve Gettysburg and give visitors a sense of how the town actually appeared in 1863.
Take a day and join your industry colleagues at Tourism Cares for Gettysburg to make a difference.
The July 2009 issue of Courier offers plenty of ways to get your company or destination in front of tour operators.
Feature stories in the July edition highlight zoos and aquariums and faith-based travel. The trip planners showcase three beautiful areas: Coastal California and Baja; Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont); and Australia and New Zealand. The month’s travel guides highlight Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The space deadline for July Courier is April 29 so there is plenty of time to get in the magazine read by 86 percent of NTA tour operators monthly. To get more information, contact your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4241.