Tuesday Newsletter – March 4, 2008
March 4, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter March 4, 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 9
Tour Operators: Take Part in Canadian Rebate Program Survey
Discounted Rate Available for the PATA CEO Challenge
Spread the Word … and Enjoy a Latte on Us
Network and Give Back at Tourism Cares for New Orleans
Introducing the 2009 Courier Editorial Calendar
A complimentary shuttle service will be available for the 2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet, to take you back and forth between Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Mohegan Sun. Here is the schedule for the arrival and departure shuttles, which will run on the hour and half hour:
Additionally, in order to ensure that you have the best arrival and departure experience possible, please take a few minutes to complete this form with your flight details. Thank you for your assistance, and we look forward to seeing you at Mohegan Sun.
The 2008 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet, coming up April 2-4, provides tour operators with a way to get acquainted with this year’s host, Mohegan Sun and the surrounding area. The sightseeing tours and Fam tours will allow delegates to get a feel for the magic of southeastern Connecticut.
Operators will visit the Florence Griswold Museum & River Quest, Gillette Castle State Park, the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, the Mystic Seaport and much more when they take part in a sightseeing tour or one of the pre-Fam or post-Fam tours.
"We are very much looking forward to Spring Meet, as we will be hosting a truly unique pre-Fam where everyone will have the opportunity to experience New England and culinary travel," said Chris Donnelly of Sugar Tours Inc.
There is still time to register for your chance to see Mohegan Sun and the beautiful surrounding location, as registration will remain open until March 31. For more information about the event visit the Spring Meet Web site or contact your Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
Lee Carter, NTA’s director of meetings and events, recently attended the 2008 Greening the Hospitality Industry Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event featured speakers from across all avenues of the hospitality and tourism industry who discussed the benefits of hosting sustainable meetings.
A full complement of educational sessions provided details on how-tos and best practices in putting on a greener event. Seminars covered topics such as Sustainable Catering; Sustainable Off-Sites: Exploring Green Tourism and Transportation Options; Ethics of Sustainability and Green Meetings; and Partnering for Sustainability.
Carter works with the Pittsburgh WOW Committee, a subgroup of the NTA Leadership Team that’s focused on enhancing the delegate experience at this year’s Annual Convention. The team identified greening the 2008 Convention as a top priority, and plans to make that a reality are being developed. One of the key components is the host facility, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which was the world’s first and largest certified green convention center when it was built in 2003.
More information on specifics regarding a greener Annual Convention will be available in the coming months.
Late last week, letters were sent to NTA member tour operators and receptive tour operators announcing the launch of the NTA China Inbound Program. The program facilitates group leisure travel from China to the United States by compiling a list of approved tour operators who are eligible to work with Chinese outbound travel agents.
Any company that wants to be on the first approved list needs to complete an application by MARCH 14. Although the approved tour operator list will be updated on a regular basis, you must have your application into NTA by the close of business on March 14 in order to make it onto the inaugural list.
Since qualification for NTA tour operator membership is a major factor in determining eligibility for the approved list, NTA tour operator members have cleared a significant hurdle. China Inbound Program registration is free to NTA tour operator members.
NTA receptive operators will have to satisfy tour operator membership requirements to get on the approved list and can upgrade to a dual membership. Non-member tour operators also can participate in the program by satisfying NTA membership requirements and paying a registration fee.
If you have any questions about the China Inbound Program or the March 14 deadline, contact Matt Grayson, NTA’s director of industry and government relations, at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
Laurie Lincoln, CTP, has been named the chair of the 2011 NTA Annual Convention, which will take place Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lincoln, who is the president/CEO of Main Street Tours in Torrance, California, has been very active with NTA as a volunteer leader. She served on the association’s board of directors in 2004-05, has been a member of the NTA Leadership Team and is a regular speaker and volunteer at Annual Convention.
"Laurie has a lot of valuable experience with NTA after serving on the NTA Board and a number of committees," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, who appointed Lincoln to the position. "She is well liked by her peers, plus she knows Las Vegas like the back of her hand after taking a lot of tour groups there."
Lincoln will follow John Shaffer of Luray Caverns, chair of the 2008 Convention in Pittsburgh (Nov 15-19); Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, of Sports Empire Inc., chair of the 2009 Convention in Reno, Nevada (Nov. 14-18); and Dawn Rueckl of Wells Gray Tours, chair of the 2010 Convention in Montréal (Nov. 13-17).
NTA’s U.S.-based tour operators who package Canada are encouraged to take part in a survey to gauge the impact of changes to Canada’s Goods and Services Tax rebate program. This research, a joint venture between NTA, TIAC and ABA, concerns the Foreign Convention & Tour Incentive Program that the Government of Canada introduced in April 2007 as a replacement for the GST.
If you take groups to Canada, click here to participate in the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. It consists of primarily multiple choice questions, and your answers are anonymous, although there are some demographic questions to help categorize responses. All data collected will be reported only in aggregate, so respondents and the organizations they represent cannot be identified.
TIAC will be passing along the findings from the survey to the Canadian government at the earliest opportunity in an effort to provide legitimate feedback on the performance of the program, including ways to enhance its usefulness to travel and tourism organizations.
Questions about the survey can be directed to TIAC Research Manager Jennifer Hendry at 613.238.6378.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Czech Republic to add the European nation to the Visa Waiver Program. Through the program, citizens from approved countries may travel to America without a visa.
The MOU is the inaugural step in a process that would lead to the Czech Republic joining the 27 existing member countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program. Many other nations, including Argentina, Greece and South Korea, also are hoping to receive visa waiver status.
Estimates show that inclusion of the Czech Republic in the program will result in 61,000 additional visitors to the United States over the next five years and $220 million in new visitor spending.
NTA continues to support initiatives such as the expansion of the Visa Waiver Program that ease visitation restrictions while maintaining security.
A quintet of NTA meeting spots from the past four years were among the top 10 places mentioned as underrated American destinations in an article from Shermans Travel.
Kansas City, site of the 2007 Annual Convention checked in at No. 4, followed by 2006 Spring Meet site Louisville, Kentucky, at No. 5. This year’s Convention host, Pittsburgh, ranked seventh, with the site of the first 2008 meeting of the NTA Leadership team, Portland, Oregon, coming in at No. 8. Rounding out the top 10 was 2005 Spring Meet host Sacramento, California.
Regarding its top 10, the article said, "Everyone knows cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago are among the best in the U.S., but there are many other fabulous – albeit smaller – American cities that just don’t get their fair share of the limelight." It also included short bios highlighting the strengths and appeal of each of the 10 destinations.
Topping the list was Baltimore, Maryland, with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ranking second, and Houston, Texas, coming in at No. 3.
NTA members have been extended the special PATA member rate to attend the PATA CEO Challenge, "Confronting Climate Change," that will take place April 29-30 in Bangkok. The event is the first opportunity for all sectors of the travel industry to come together to work on practical solutions to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
The event will feature a keynote address from 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. R.K. Pachauri. Additionally, high-profile media personalities will moderate the CEO Challenge seminars, where NTA members can learn about the latest initiatives and discuss ways to collaborate and apply best practices and marketing strategies to their own businesses.
The PATA CEO Challenge is attracting some of the biggest names in the travel industry with CEOs and leaders from the Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism New Zealand, the Korea Tourism Organization, Tourism Tasmania, Tourism Vancouver, the Sri Lanka Tourism Board and the UNWTO already confirmed. From the private sector, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Marriott, Accor, First Choice Holidays/TUI Travel, Emirates Holidays, Carlson Hotels Worldwide and Lonely Planet executives will be sharing their insights and responses during the event.
NTA members wishing to take part in the PATA CEO Challenge, can take advantage of the special PATA member rate of US $1,390, which represents a $300 savings. For full program information and online registration details, visit http://www.ceochallenge.pata.org/.
As a valued NTA member, you know firsthand how membership in NTA has helped your business grow and how it has aided in your personal successes. You are perfectly positioned to promote NTA to your colleagues and help your association strengthen its membership base.
NTA is off and running to do many great new things in the coming months and years, and we don’t want anyone to miss being part of the exciting ride. And, by helping us get the word out, you will receive a complimentary $25 Starbucks gift card for each tour operator, tour supplier and DMO that joins as a result of your efforts. To submit potential new members, e-mail christina.horsley@NTAstaff.com and a packet of information will be mailed to them.
The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by referring a new company that joined the association the past quarter. Please join us in congratulating the newest inductees in the recruitment rewards club:
With only six short weeks until the 6th Annual Tourism Cares for America event, Tourism Cares for New Orleans registration is heating up. Since tour operators comprise more than half of the event’s attendees, Tourism Cares for New Orleans is the perfect opportunity for DMOs and tour suppliers to make a lasting difference in the city of New Orleans while networking with this key group.
The event, to be held in New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong Park from April 17-19 is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. You’ll get a chance to help give back to a site in need of restoration and can enjoy the company of your industry colleagues. Visit the Tourism Cares Web site for more information or to register. See you in New Orleans!
NTA has finalized its 2009 Courier Editorial Calendar, and now is the time to plan ahead and get your company or organization into the magazine rated as the industry’s most valuable magazine by NTA tour operators. What better way to get noticed than to market your company or organization in the magazine that 87 percent of NTA tour operators read?
Courier will include one trip planner in each issue on an international destination, ranging from stories on the UK, Italy, France and Spain to a first-ever story on Africa. Additional topics receiving specific focus for 2009 are golf resorts and destinations, Québec, the San Francisco Bay Area and Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky.
Click here to view the full 2009 Editorial Calendar and see what Courier has to offer to you. You can receive 2008 rate protection if you book your 2009 advertisements before March 31. To reach your account executive, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241 or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information.
If you have an employment 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.|