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And the Winners Are … | Market Focus | NTA Awards

July 3, 2012

Volume 32, Issue 27

Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Karla DiNardo.

And the Winners Are …
Market Focus: Adventure, Culinary, Faith-based and Sports Tourism
NTA Awards: Call for Nominations
Latest Stops on the NTA Road Show
Big Week in Washington
Interested in Hosting an NTA Meeting in 2013?
U.S. Again Voted as Chinese ‘Dream Destination’
NTA Tour Operators: Your Colleagues Are Waiting
Member Attraction Destroyed by Colorado Wildfire
Brand USA Seeks Four New Board Members
Get Business as a Travel Exchange Sponsor
Industry News: Focus on London Olympics Travel

And the Winners Are …  

Congratulations to the winners of the Contact registration drawing!

  • Randy Case from AFC Vacations won a $500 Delta Flight Voucher
  • Tom Edgerton from Edgerton’s Travel Service Inc. won a free registration for Contact ’12 and
  • Chris Babb from The Group Tour Company, Inc. Washington & NY Group Tours won a free FAM tour at Contact.

Have you signed up for Contact yet? Register today for the only tour operator retreat in the industry! 

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Market Focus: Adventure, Culinary, Faith-based and Sports Tourism 

FocusTuesday’s newest feature connects you to articles about specific industry segments  to inform and inspire you. Beneath each article title is a link to the NTA member to contact for more information. This week’s markets are adventure, culinary, faith-based and sports tourism.

Adventure Tourism
10 Ecotourism Opportunities in Florida
NTA member to contact: Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism, VISIT FLORIDA

Birds Mean Business in New York: Fastest Growing Outdoor Recreation Generates $1.6 Billion Annually
NTA Member to contact: New York State Division of Tourism

Family-friendly Cycling Tours in the Toronto Region
NTA member to contact: Tourism Toronto, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau

Culinary Tourism
A New Menu for Tourism in Atlantic Canada
NTA members to contact: New Brunswick Tourism and Parks, Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism, Nova Scotia Dept. of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Tourism Prince Edward Island

Food Network Star Chef Geoffrey Zakarian to Open Restaurant on Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway
NTA member to contact: Norwegian Cruise Line

Faith-based Tourism
Israel Launches Program to Attract Christian Visitors
NTA member to contact: Israel Ministry of Tourism

Religious Pilgrimages: 14 of the World’s Most Spiritual Destinations
NTA members to contact: Mexico Tourism Board, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office

Sports Tourism
Bahamas Sports Tourism Eyes $13 Million for Economy
NTA member to contact: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Still a Hero for Baton Rouge Sports Tourism
NTA member to contact: Baton Rouge Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisiana Travel Promotion Association

Do you have a news story or educational article about your organization’s involvement in a key industry market? If so, send your story for possible republication to Kevin Wright, NTA’s director of growth markets. And join our discussions on NTA’s Faith-based Tourism Network.

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NTA Awards: Call for Nominations 

Do you know a colleague who deserves recognition for his or her work in the industry? NTA is accepting nominations now for the Bob Everidge Lifetime7.3.12Award Achievement Award and the Pioneer Award. This is your chance to honor someone who has worked to advance the association, the industry or both.

The Bob Everidge award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members. Here are additional nomination criteria:

  • Displays active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interests of its members
  • Makes extensive volunteer contributions to NTA and its members
  • Consistently conducts himself/herself in a manner in keeping with the ethics, quality and sense of community espoused by NTA
  • Has a minimum of 20 years involvement in the travel industry that includes service that furthered the interests of NTA and its members

The Pioneer Award honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members (specifically tour operators) have benefited. Pioneer award nominees do not have to be NTA members.

Any person employed by an NTA member company is eligible to make a nomination for either award by submitting a brief narrative (250 words) about the nominee. Additional material may be included with the narrative.

 Nominations for the awards, which will be presented at Travel Exchange in Orlando this January, are due by Monday, July 30. Please submit them to NTA Executive Assistant Beth Ward.

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Latest Stops on the NTA Road Show  

The NTA Road Show keeps rolling! Last week featured stops in Alabama and Tennessee, where current and prospective members gathered to spend time together and hear about Travel Exchange and NTA. Our wonderful members in each area make these events possible, productive and fun. 7.3.12RoadShowBirm

For the Birmingham Breakfast, thanks go out to:

  • Alabama Travel Council
  • Huntsville-Madison County CVB
  • Alabama Tourism Department
  • Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center
  • Sheraton Birmingham

For the Memphis Reception, we thank:

  • Graceland
  • Memphis Travel

And for the Nashville Luncheon, a big thanks to:

  • Nashville CVB
  • Dave & Buster’s
  • Opryland Hotel

Has the road ended? Of course not! Look for the next stop of NTA’s Road Show in Seattle on July 19.

In the photo above, three Road Show attendees chat prior to the presentation in Birmingham (left to right): Rosemary Judkins of the Alabama Tourism department, Beakie Powell of the Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission, and Tara Walton of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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Big Week in Washington 

On the last day of business before its Fourth of July break, Congress passed the Federal Highway Reauthorization bill after a long series of negotiations, providing $105 billion in federal funds through September 2014. The legislation also keeps the student loan program at the same interest rate, allocates 80 percent of BP oil spill penalties to the Gulf Coast-affected communities, and reauthorizes federal flood7.3.12DCbubble insurance.  All Democrats and a majority of Republicans in both houses of Congress voted for the bill.

The bill is the first new authorization in years, replacing the continuing resolutions used for the last nine years.  This compromise bill will fund highway transportation programs using a myriad of revenue sources beyond the Highway Trust Fund, allocating 50 percent of the appropriation to the states and 50 percent to counties and municipalities. 

"Up to 10 percent of the money is discretionary and could include support for Scenic Byways," said Steve Richer, NTA public affairs advocate. "Discretionary funding carries no mandate, though, so a Scenic Byway will need to fight for it."

NTA supported passage of the highway bill, Richer said, noting that the United Motorcoach Association was instrumental in the legislation’s passage. The bill provides a timetable for the implementation of motorcoach safety measures that include roof strength and safety belts (in new coaches), and electronic logging devices.  

Also in D.C. last week: Richer participated in a meeting of organizations looking to support funding for the National Park Service, which will have its budget cut for a third consecutive year. Richer suggested forming a closer working relationship between parks advocates, outdoor recreation organizations, and tourism organizations that promote and use the parks.

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Interested in Hosting an NTA Meeting in 2013? 

When you host an NTA meeting, you’re able to showcase your destination or venue to your association’s leaders. The bid process is now open for destinations interested in playing host to a 2013 NTA Board of Directors meeting. Meetings available for bid are:

  • 1st Quarter Board Meeting (Feb. 26–March 2, 2013)
  • 3rd Quarter Board Meeting (Aug. 10–12, 2013)
  • 4th Quarter Board Meeting (Dec. 4–6, 2013)

Interested? Please complete the bid specification form and return it to Beth Ward by July 18, 2012.

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U.S. Again Voted as Chinese ‘Dream Destination’ 

7.3.12ChinaAwardFor the second year in a row, The United States won first place—the Gold Award—in the "My Dream Destination" competition at the World Travel Fair, held May 10–13 in Shanghai. NTA and U.S. Commercial Service co-hosted the show’s U.S. Pavilion and are also partners in the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai. Along with marketing the United States for leisure travel, the center connects Chinese travel agents with U.S. tour operators.

The award was based on a vote of the show’s 7,250 attendees, which included trade professionals and consumers. Chinese spending for travel and tourism in the United States has increased six of the last eight years and totaled US$5.7 billion last year.

The plaque was awarded to the NTA Visit USA Center last week. The Silver Award went to Japan, and France took the Bronze Award.

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NTA Tour Operators: Your Colleagues Are Waiting 

Think about it: If every NTA tour operator completed the association’s wage and benefits survey, every NTA tour operator would have a better grasp on issues that could increase his/her company’s stability and bottom line.

That’s a lot of benefit from one 15-minute survey!

Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for most surveys to be returned. If the survey is still in your inbox (from around June 5), please retrieve and complete it. As a participant, you’ll get a (free) report of the results, compiled into peer standards and sorted by location, staff size and annual sales. Or, you can get the results in person if you come to Contact in San Diego and attend the seminar, Setting the Bar: How Do You Compare? We can’t tabulate results, though, if we don’t get the needed data-from you.

If you have questions about the survey (sent to all NTA operators), contact Jason Terwilliger, research and education manager, by e-mail or by calling +1.859.264.6546.

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Member Attraction Destroyed by Colorado Wildfire 

Following the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history last week, most of the businesses and attractions in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area have reopened, including Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Cripple Creek. We’re sorry to report, however, that one NTA member attraction has not reopened, though: Operated since 1953 by the Wolfe family, the Flying W Ranch Chuckwagon burned to the ground. The company’s Web site has this information:

"If you have made an online reservation or a deposit, your money will be refunded at a later date when we have had a chance to gather our thoughts. We ask that you pray for all the families within the area, and we assure you we will do our best to hopefully rebuild the ranch."

As the fires spread, the Colorado Tourism Office added a Web page with updates for affected areas, and the Colorado Springs CVB maintained a Web page with links to the latest information and status updates of attractions and hotels. Another online resource, the U.S. Wildfires Map, not only pinpoints areas of fires throughout the U.S., it also tracks local tweets with fire-related comments.

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Brand USA Seeks Four New Board Members  

The Corporation for Travel Promotion, established in 2010 and doing business as Brand USA, is governed by a board of directors: 11 members with knowledge of7.3.12BrandUSA travel promotion and marketing, representing various travel sectors and U.S. regions.

The Department of Commerce, which oversees Brand USA, is seeking four new board members to represent the following sectors:

  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • State tourism office
  • City CVB

To be considered for board membership, you will need to submit a résumé and brief statement that are received by next Tuesday, July 10. For the many details, follow this link.

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Get Business as a Travel Exchange Sponsor 

"The 2011 NTA Convention in Las Vegas was my best yet! The combination of our sponsorship booth, business appointments and the opportunity to network with new tour operators all resulted in new business!"
—Lisa Itel, Travel Oregon

Want to increase your business and visibility to the estimated 1,000 travel buyers anticipated at Travel Exchange ’13 (January 20-24, 2013, in Orlando)? Sponsor and put your company in the spotlight! Click here to learn all about Travel Exchange sponsorships, including what’s available, the benefits you’ll receive and more! If you have questions about sponsoring or would like to learn more about becoming a sponsor, contact Karla DiNardo by e-mail or phone: 859.264.6556.

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Industry News: Focus on London Olympics Travel

  • Wait times at London’s Heathrow Airport, where 80 percent of the Olympic Games’ athletes and fans will arrive, have been "unacceptably long" in recent days, according to an airport official.
  • As millions visit England for the Olympic Games this summer, British foodies and British Airlines are trying to erase the country’s reputation as a "culinary wasteland." 
  • Organizers of London 2012 are dispensing tips for ticketholders to the Olympic Games. Along with being prepared for security checks, the tips include pack lightly, read the list of prohibited items and remember that VISA is the only credit card accepted inside Olympic venues.
  • Nearly 20 percent of Britons plan to travel during the Olympic Games, but fewer than half have booked their entire vacation. The article gives insight into how residents of host cities and nations plan travel around a major event.

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