Tuesday Newsletter – May 5, 2009
May 5, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 18
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Spring Meet Attendees: Learn More on Crisis Planning
NTA Receives Service Quality Award at Chinese Trade Show
Take Action through NTA’s Legislative Action Center
Majority of NTA Tour Operators Not Impacted by H1N1 Flu Outbreak
Tucson Board Meeting Recap Coming Next Week
NTA Reps Headed to Rendez-vous Canada and Pow Wow
Tourism Cares Jump Starts Restoration of the George Spangler Farm
NTA Operators: Take Part in NACTA’s Seminars at Sea Program
Tidbits from The Trend
NTA Updating its Database Management Software
Explore Idaho on Upcoming Product Development Trip
Introducing a New Way to Be Seen at Convention: NTA Convention Catalog
The past couple of weeks have reminded everyone in the travel industry that crisis planning is a crucial part of doing business. To help NTA tour operators be even better prepared for unexpected events that arise, big or small, this year’s Spring Meet seminar lineup includes a session focusing on the topic.
Risk management expert Dr. Peter Tarlow will present "How to Tailor Risk and Crisis Planning for Your Business" on Friday, June 5, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. This session, sponsored by Tulalip Resort Casino & Spa, will help operators be more prepared during uncertain times and plan for risks that are part of being in the tour and travel industry.
For more information on the seminars available at this year’s Spring Meet, visit the Spring Meet Web site. Also, registration is still open for the event, which will take place June 4-6, in Monterey, California.
Tour suppliers and DMOs can attend the event and visit with some of the industry’s leading buyers by sponsoring one of the many stimulating Spring Meet seminars. You’ll receive presentation time, the chance to introduce the speaker and numerous other sponsor benefits designed to help you profit. Contact NTA Vice President of Sales & Sponsorship Karla DiNardo or click here for information on all sponsorships.
During the fifth annual Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, NTA was recognized for its China Inbound Program by the Chinese Outbound Travel Research Institute with a bronze award for promoting service quality for inbound travel to the United States.
At the show, which was held in Beijing and brought together companies focused on the outbound sector of the Chinese travel industry, gold, silver and bronze awards were given in five categories — service quality, product innovation, internet/media, marketing and overall performance. To see a full list of the COTRI award winners, click here.
NTA Government and Industry Relations Director Matt Grayson was on hand to receive the award, and he also was a presenter at one of COTTM’s educational sessions. Additionally, NTA and eight of its members had access to the more than 4,000 Chinese professionals in attendance through the U.S. pavilion that NTA developed for the show.
NTA members can become more familiar with the U.S. political process and actively participate in influencing the policies that affect the travel industry by utilizing the new Legislative Action Center. The online program provides a simple and efficient way to keep you informed on important issues and gives you up-to-the-minute legislative data and online tools to enable you to make a difference in the political process.
The Legislative Action Center includes a section on important bills and votes and the action alert section allows you to receive e-mail updates on specific legislation. You also can do online searches via an interactive map to help you easily find biographies and contact information for your U.S. state’s elected officials.
You can put the new software program to use right now, as NTA’s government relations and advocacy team needs you to encourage your local congressman to join the House Tourism Caucus. Please go to the advocacy site and click "Take Action." To see if your representative is already a member of the caucus, click here.
Contact Christy Cleveland, NTA’s government relations manager, with questions about this exciting new way to stay active and involved.
In response to a quick-read survey of NTA tour operators related to the H1N1 flu, 67 percent report that their business has not been impacted by the outbreak. Of those impacted, some have had minimal trip cancellations or postponements. Primarily, NTA tour operators are reporting that they are receiving customer inquiries.
Here are other details from the NTA tour operator survey:
- Very few of their customers are asking about alternate destinations.
- The majority of NTA tour companies has not changed policies but some are extending the time allowed for full refunds or allowing customers to rebook for future dates at no penalty, for example.
- They feel the media is focusing too much on the negative and not providing a helpful, balanced message to educate people and help them make wise decisions.
NTA joined a conference call yesterday with travel industry communications and public relations professionals from around the country to gauge response to the current situation. The call was conducted by U.S. Travel, and the organization’s latest H1N1 flu update stated, "With medical experts in both the U.S. and Mexico stating that they see encouraging signs that the severity of the health risk seems to be declining, there is cautious optimism throughout the travel industry."
The NTA Board of Directors gathered recently in Tucson, Arizona, and a full recap of the meeting will be included in the May 12 issue of Tuesday.
Your association will have representatives at two upcoming industry events — Rendez-vous Canada (May 9-13) and International Pow Wow (May 16-20). NTA will be exhibiting at these events to support all association members, including its receptive service providers.
There are 137 NTA members registered for Rendez-vous Canada in Calgary, Alberta, and you can find NTA at Booth 10 in the Tourism Mall. At International Pow Wow, which takes place in Miami, NTA will be joined by 285 members promoting inbound travel to the United States and will occupy booth #2392.
If you are attending either Rendez-vous or Pow Wow, please stop by the NTA booth and say hello.
More than 300 travel industry volunteers from across North America came together to kick off the major restoration of the George Spangler Farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as part of the 2009 Tourism Cares for America event. During the one-day project, volunteers spent a combined 2,000 hours clearing brush and removing vines and other vegetation from Civil War era structures, roadways and stone walls around the property.
Years of work are still ahead before the George Spangler Farm is brought back to the state it was in around the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. To help with the ongoing restoration, Tourism Cares and Trip Mate, a travel insurance company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, made a special presentation of a $10,000 check to the Gettysburg Foundation.
"The Spangler Farm is such an important piece of land related to the Battle of Gettysburg," said Dru Anne Neil, director of marketing and communications for the Gettysburg Foundation. "This grant will allow us to keep working toward our goal of returning the farm as closely as possible to its battle-era appearance and eventually welcome visitors to the site for educational programming. We are grateful to Tourism Cares for helping us with this vital preservation work so we can continue to excite and inspire people about their history."
For more information on the project and other Tourism Cares events and programs, click here.
The National Association of Career Travel Agents, and its partner Norwegian Cruise Lines, are inviting NTA tour operators to join its Seminars at Sea program. This is a unique way for NTA members to experience an NCL cruise ship while attending educational programs alongside NACTA’s travel agents, and is a good follow up for operators who will meet with NACTA agents during the NTA Spring Meet.
Besides providing a great avenue for product development and education, the seminars also allow you increased 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. When you sign up, make sure you enter your NTA membership number to get the discount.
Questions about the Sem@Sea schedule or registration can be directed to NACTA’s Director of Industry Relations Mary Clegg.
Did you hear that one of the hot travel trends for 2009 is all-inclusive packages? That news is sure to put a smile on every tour operator’s face. For those working with the European market, did you know that Germans spend the most of all European travelers, averaging more than $2,200 per trip.
Want more information like that to help you make important business decisions? That’s exactly what you can get if you subscribe to The Trend, NTA’s research e-newsletter. Information on consumer and economic trends, industry research and more appears in your inbox each month via this useful tool that can help you successfully navigate today’s travel landscape.
Subscriptions to The Trend are $10 a month ($120 for the year) and when you sign up, you’ll have access to back issues. To subscribe, e-mail NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
Over the next couple of weeks, NTA is upgrading its software systems and during that time, the Member Services Team will be unable to make changes to member records. So, beginning May 8, changes to your membership will be placed in a queue for updating after the transition is complete on May 19.
During that time, you can continue to pass along your changes — either via e-mail or by submitting them on NTAonline.com — and then they will be made as quickly as possible after May 19. Thank you for your patience during this transition.
Join NTA and host, the Idaho Division of Tourism, for an adventure out west from Sept. 10 to 15. The Idaho Product Development Trip, featuring Boise, Hells Canyon and northern Idaho, will take you through the history, museums and outdoor adventure in the great state of Idaho.
The Idaho trip starts in the capital city of Boise and ends in Spokane, Washington. In between, you’ll experience the museums and adventure of Idaho, including a Hells Canyon jet boat experience and river rafting on the Salmon River.
The cost of the trip is $50, but participants are responsible for obtaining their own flights to Boise and home from Spokane. Registration is open to a maximum of 20 people and there is a limit of two participants per company. Also, unless other arrangements are made, representatives of the same company will be booked in a shared room.
The registration deadline is Aug. 14, and further details on the trip are available at NTA Online. Questions about this and the other 2009 NTA Product Development Trips — India and Germany — can be directed to NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
NTA is proud to announce the launch of a brand new publication for this year’s Annual Convention — the NTA Convention Catalog. The catalog, which has a year-long shelf life and will be distributed to all Convention delegates in their registration bags, will include the official program, delegate registry and paid advertisements.
You can get involved by purchasing display advertising, advertorial positions or include itineraries. By reserving your space in this new publication, you will not only ensure visibility for your company or destination to NTA buyers, but also to World Religious Travel Association buyers who will receive it as well. According to the 2008 NTA communications survey, 71 percent of tour operators said the delegate registry was useful, while 87 percent said the Convention program was useful.
NTA also will produce the annual Profile Form Notebook again, but an addition to this year’s notebook is the fact that it will be divided by geographic regions to match the layout of the Destination Pavilion. Each state and province will still have its own tab divider page and there will be one international tab, however new regional tabs will be added and states and provinces will be grouped under their appropriate region for more tour operator functionality. Your company can purchase a regional tab, state/provincial/international tab or an insert.
Reserve your space in the Convention Catalog by May 15 and you’ll save $250 off your advertisement in this new publication (Note: This cannot be combined with any other offer). Packages also are available that combine insertions in both the Profile Form Notebook and Convention Catalog. Contact your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4241 for more information, including pricing details.