A ‘Renaissance of Appreciation for Tourism’ | How Does Your Tour Company Mea
May 15, 2012
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Summit Attendees Discover ‘Renaissance of Appreciation for Tourism’
How Does Your Tour Company Measure Up?
Take a Glance at the Travel Exchange Daily Schedule
See Anyone You Know?
Hoffmann Honored at Grassroots Summit
Reserve your Place on a PDT to Morocco
Canada’s Tourism Week Includes Advocacy, Rendez-vous
Welcome, New Members!
Only Two Ad Spots Remain in NTA’s 2012–2013 Membership Directory
5 Ways to Play Social Media Catch-up
Industry News and Updates
For the 70-plus tourism professionals who gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit (including 45 NTA members), the mood was positive and the meetings were productive. The tourism industry has gained prominence in Washington this year, beginning with President Obama’s executive order in January that called for a national strategy to increase tourism and created the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
"This is the kind of awareness we have dreamt about for years," said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon and chairman of the TTAB. "We’re experiencing a renaissance of appreciation for tourism from all levels of government." Davidson also spoke about the significance of tourism as a job creator. During the same session, Joel Secundy of Brand USA discussed the organization’s global marketing campaign.
Todd’s positive sentiment was later echoed by Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, who spoke at the Congressional Tourism Leaders Luncheon. "Some time ago, we didn’t have a lot of friends up here. But through the efforts of NTA and others, we’re really gaining on it," Dow said. "All of us working together make a huge, huge difference."
Luncheon attendees, including members of NTA, Southeast Tourism Society and Destination Marketing Association International, also heard from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). During the next two days Summit-goers spoke with more legislators and their staff during 100 scheduled appointments on Capitol Hill.
On the final day of the Summit, NTA President Lisa Simon joined other industry leaders in a session with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, Rep. Farr and Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) for a dialogue about the National Travel &Tourism Strategy just prior to the document’s public release.
To join a discussion about the national strategy and its next steps, you can participate in an industrywide conference call, sponsored by U.S. Travel, on Wednesday, May 16, at 3 p.m. EDT. The dial-in number is (866) 200-6965, and the passcode is 89918667#. Click here to RSVP.
To see photos from the Summit, including pictures taken during a reception at the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy, follow this link to Facebook.
Benchmarking is an important business practice that helps you assess your company’s processes or procedures by allowing you to compare your numbers with specific (but anonymized) numbers from other companies of similar size in your industry.
Ever wonder how your tour company measures up on:
- How you compensate your employees?
- What kind of benefits you offer?
- How your company is staffed?
- Operating policies and procedures?
So did the members of NTA’s Owners Network. At their urging—and with their invaluable help!—we developed our first benchmarking survey just for tour operators. And we’re sending all NTA member tour companies the survey next week so we can help you find those answers.
"I am delighted NTA is taking the lead to give members valuable data that will help them operate their businesses more efficiently," said Chase Poffenberger of Academic Travel Abroad, a member of NTA’s Owners Network.
Tour operators: Please watch your e-mail carefully for the Compensation and Benefit Benchmarking Survey. We’ll be sending one to each member company. You may need to work with your Human Resources person to fill it out, but rest assured, the process is confidential and no identifying company information will be associated with any results or reports.
The survey responses will be collected, tallied and separated into company size. The anonymized results will be shared initially at Contact, Aug. 16–18, in San Diego, during the CEO/Owner-track seminar, "Setting the Bar: How Do You Compare?" and will be made available after Contact to NTA tour operator members.
For this benchmarking survey to be a true tool, we need every tour company’s participation! Please spend some time filling out the survey, so together you, your tour operator peers and the industry can continue toward greater successes.
"This is a true benefit to tour operators," said Mark Hoffmann, 2012 NTA vice chair and also a member of the Owners Network. "Finding out how your expenses compare to others is absolutely ‘A’ list material!"
If you have questions about the survey, please e-mail Jason Terwilliger or call him at 859.264.6546.
Travel Exchange is shaping up to be a great combination of business appointments, Orlando adventures and out-of-this world networking. Just look at the Schedule at a Glance and all our great sponsors, including Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, with co-sponsors, Delaware North Companies and Florida’s Space Coast, who are hosting our Icebreaker this year!
Ready to sign up? Register here.
The best part of our recent road shows is that we get to spend time with you, our members. And, really, that’s what this association is all about-making connections.
Here are photos from our latest road shows:
See anyone you know?
Mark Hoffmann, CTP, was presented the James D. Santini Award at the NTA TourPAC Breakfast during the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit, held last week in Washington, D.C. Hoffmann addressed his comments to the award’s namesake, who was seated in the audience.
"To get this award with your name on it means a lot to me," Hoffmann said to Jim Santini, who served as NTA’s legislative counsel in Washington for more than 25 years. "We put together a lot of events here, and we always went up on the Hill. Over the years, we’ve made some things happen, and it wasn’t always easy."
Santini followed Hoffmann at the podium and talked about advocacy efforts within NTA. "We’re dealing with issues that affect the livelihood of our members," Santini said. "It’s so impressive to see the action corps here. You can be a part of substantive legislation that affects our members."
Coming this fall is an NTA Montage product development trip for tour operators to the "Exotic Land of Morocco," Oct. 20–30, 2012. The trip, hosted by Morocco Destination Management (Hospitality Marketing Services International Division) will explore the exotic northwestern African nation.
You’ll begin your journey with a tour of Casablanca, the famous port city that sits along Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Following a tour of the nation’s capital, Rabat, the group moves on to Fes for a tour of this ancient city known as "the Athens of Africa."
Next up is a scenic drive into the High Atlas Mountains for a look at the natural beauty of the Moroccan countryside around Efroud and Ouarzazate, including spectacular kasbahs, canyons and valleys. You will spend the next few days experiencing Marrakech and its many attractions, landmarks, outdoor markets and legendary cuisine, and then you’ll return to Casablanca for your flight home.
The cost for the PDT trip is $1,595 (double occupancy) or $1,795 (single occupancy), which includes roundtrip air from New York’s JFK International Airport to Casablanca; participants are responsible for their own airfare to JFK. For participants who book their own air, land-only packages are available for $999 (double) and $1,299 (single). The price for spouses is an extra $250. This PDT requires the participation of at least 15 passengers. To get started, contact Lauren Ashley Pope at NTA HQ
It’s Tourism Week in Canada through May 20, the ideal time for our Canadian members to remind their elected officials about the importance of tourism to the nation’s economy. Tourism is a CDN$74 billion industry that directly supports 617,300 jobs nationwide. This represents 9.2 percent of all jobs in Canada, making tourism the third largest job creator in the country. To help you spread the word, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada has several resources available on their Web site, including a grassroots advocacy kit. Follow this link for details.
NTA is in Canada this week at Rendez-vous Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. Your association is represented by Canadian Task Force chairman Jim Warren, NTA board member Grant Pollard and Cheryl Adams, NTA membership specialist. All three are taking appointments and hosting NTA events during the four-day show. If you’re at Rendez-vous Canada, be sure to stop by booth No. 1242 and say hello to Team NTA.
NTA welcomed 22 new members in April: six tour operators, seven DMOs and nine tour suppliers. All but one, Agenzia Genius SAS from Italy, are based in either the United States or Canada. (Those new members come from 13 states and three provinces).
If you’d like to see the names and locations of your newest potential business partners (and maybe drop them a welcoming e-mail), see the list on NTA Online.
This is the last week to promote your company in NTA’s annual Membership Directory. Book one of the two remaining ad spots to stand out on the page and give your company the impact you want!
Nearly 80 percent of NTA tour operators say they use their Membership Directory in their day-to-day jobs, so you do not want to miss out on this opportunity. Artwork deadline is this Thursday, May 17 so contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 859.264.6559 today to make one of the last remaining spots yours for year-long exposure.
If you predicted that tweeting, blogging and Facebooking would be passing fads, you probably haven’t been paying attention to social media innovations and strategies. Alastair Turner, on B2Bmarketing.net, provides some basic steps that can help you jump aboard and make the most of social media outlets to market, build brand awareness and gather feedback. Here are five of his recommendations:
- Define your objectives: Deciding what you want to accomplish and how you can measure it will help you determine your strategy.
- Match your media with your target audience: Not all social media channels are created equal. Find out how your audience stays engaged and connect with them accordingly.
- Develop a social media policy: Employees should be clear about what they can and can’t say online about your organization.
- Keep up your end of the conversation: What makes social media social is its interactive nature. You’ll need to allot time (yours or staff members’) to respond, repost and retweet.
- Measure your results: You’ll need to know what’s working, and there’s a range of tools (some free) available online.
Turner has more suggestions. To read the article, follow this link. And to get more industry-specific advice, tour operators can attend Contact ’12 to learn from Kelly McDonald in her general session, "Tips & Tricks for Taking Social Media to the Next Level." Click here for the list of Contact seminars.
- A new Web site, Allergy Eats!, allows you to evaluate the "allergy friendliness" of thousands of U.S. restaurants, providing ratings and allergy information. And yes, there’s an app for that.
- Early Boomers (age 45 to 54) have lagged behind other demographics in travel consumption, according to a PhoCusWright study. Overall, the percentage of U.S. adults who traveled last year remains under pre-recession levels.
- Air passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region increased nearly 11 percent over 2011 (through March). Other gains: Middle Eastern airports (up 16.4 percent in March) and Tokyo Narita (up 30 percent over 2011).
- Using attribution and analytics software, travel marketers who track their customers’ online purchase path—not just the last click—can better understand what channels customers use and what topics they research.
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