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Appointment Scheduling Opened Today | Look Who’s Collecting $100

August 16, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 34

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Appointment Scheduling Opened Today
Now Accepting Applications: The U.S. Travel & Tourism Board
Look Who’s Collecting $100
Earn Compensation and Get ‘Peace of Mind’
China Inbound Travel to the U.S. Continues to Rise, NTA Reports Show
Nominate Your Colleague Now for an NTA Award
One-Minute Walk
Tourism Cares and NTA Bring Students to Contact
4 Big Benefits of Stepping Up to Lead
Join These Sponsors at Convention ’11
Industry News and Updates

Appointment Scheduling Opened Today  

Appointment scheduling for the business appointments at Convention ’11 in Las Vegas opened today at noon! To make the most of your time on the Exchange floor, follow these steps:

  1. Register for Convention (if you’re not already registered).
  2. Update your online profile. Your profile is your most important Convention marketing tool. Make sure it’s up to date! You can also add a logo or business-related photos. If you need help, e-mail Lori Rempe or call 800.682.8886 (U.S. & Canada) or 859.264.6540.
  3. Do your research. Spend some time reviewing member profiles to determine who you’d like to sit down with at Convention ’11—whether in Exchange or Destination Pavilion appointments or at a social function.
  4. Find the e-mail we sent around noon EST today with your personal login information and the appointment scheduling link. Your login will be your login, but we sent it to you, in case you’ve misplaced it.

Tips to remember as you make your requests:

  • Rank your requests in order of importance.It's Vegas, Baby!
  • Your customized schedule will be created by request priority:
    (1) perfect matches
    (2) operator requests
    (3) supplier/DMO requests
  • The more requests you make, the greater your chance to receive more appointments. If you only submit 20 out of 60 requests, you only have 20 chances for an appointment to be scheduled, instead of 60!
  • View the companies that are requesting to meet with you by clicking on "My Shopping List."

This is just the beginning.
Prescheduling your appointments is just the start. There are additional opportunities to schedule appointments before you leave for Las Vegas and on site through NTA’s open business floor and Direct Request scheduling system. Until Oct. 21, that is, when all lists will be finalized and the system will be closed.

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Now Accepting Applications: The U.S. Travel & Tourism Board 

The Department of Commerce is currently seeking applications for membership on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which advises the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the U.S. travel and tourism industry. The board, established as a means of ensuring regular contact between the U.S. government and the travel and tourism industry, advises the secretary on government policies and programs that affect U.S. travel and tourism and serves as a forum for discussing solutions to industry-related problems.

Members of the board represent U.S. companies and organizations in the travel and tourism sector: travel and tourism companies, private-sector organizations involved in the export of travel and tourism-related products and services, and other tourism-related entities.

To be considered for membership, an applicant must submit a number of items, including a letter that details the applicant’s travel and tourism-related experience, resume, information about the applicant’s organization, and a brief statement describing how the applicant will contribute to the work of the board. Applications close Sept. 16.

For a thorough discussion of the board, application requirements and procedures, and contact information, visit this Web site. And to see a list of the current board members, click here. Finally, for more information, e-mail Jennifer Pilat, U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board executive secretariat.

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Look Who’s Collecting $100 

Halfway through Member Referral Month (August!), we can brag on several members whose referrals have joined NTA! Thanks and congrats to the following:

  • Sandy Haines from the Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, who referred Hampton Inn Oceanfront.
  • John Meyer from the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, who referred Riviera Hotel & Casino.
  • Malia Asfour from the Jordan Tourism Board, who referred United Travel Agency.
  • Rich Gilbert from the Maryland Office of Tourism Development referred the National 4-H Youth Conference Center.
  • Scott Cowden of Hallmark Hospitality referred Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver.
  • Paul Larsen of Ed-Ventures Inc. referred Priscilla Woman’s Tours.

There’s still plenty of August left, so get busy! For each potential member you refer to us now (who joins NTA before Nov. 1), you’ll receive US$100. Here are some online tools to help you make your NTA pitch.

After you’ve laid the groundwork for a new member, send your referral’s contact information to Lori Rempe at NTA headquarters, and she’ll take it from there. But do it before August ends!

(While this special bonus is only available during Member Referral Month, you can refer new members at any time during the year and still make some cash. For each new member you refer during the other 11 months, you’ll receive a US$25 gift card plus your name will be entered into a drawing this November to have your 2012 membership dues paid in full.) 

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Get ‘Peace of Mind’ for Yourself and Your Clients 

"One of my clients broke her leg while in the airport. Berkely Insurance contacted her and her husband, even before the ambulance arrived, and took care of everything seamlessly. Service like that helps me keep loyal clients. The commission adds nicely to our bottom line, and I know my clients are protected. That gives them, and me, peace of mind."
—Katherine Setness, Setness Tours

Berkely Aon logo

Aon Affinity | Berkely Travel, an NTA Corporate Partner, offers customized travel insurance products that are available exclusively to NTA members*, such as:

  • an administration-free product that can be distributed to clients for purchase
  • a group product that offers you more flexibility in pricing and compensation

Both programs offer you up to 35 percent compensation per sale, and tour operators also have access to exclusive toll-free customer service numbers. And, Berkely Travel’s best-in-the-industry automated claims-handling system enables the company to handle and follow up quickly on claims.

You can browse additional protection plans here.

For more information, contact NTA’s representative Geni Priolo, Aon Affinity | Berkely Travel, at or call 800.383.9617, or 516.342.2684 (direct).  Don’t forget to identify yourself as an NTA member!

* The travel protection programs designed for NTA by Aon Affinity l Berkely Travel are available only to NTA members in the United States.

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China Inbound Travel to the U.S. Continues to Rise, NTA Reports Show 

Chinese travelers are visiting the United States in increasingly large numbers—and will continue to do so—according to two recent NTA reports.

The majority of Chinese tour operators reported that bookings to the United States increased, by an average of 16 to 20 percent, in the second quarter of 2011, as reported in the China Travel Trade Barometer. None of the surveyed operators reported a decline. The Barometer, produced quarterly by NTA in partnership with Travel Market Insights and Ivy Alliance captures input from top Chinese travel firms that promote and sell travel to the United States.

This increase is in line with an NTA report of its China Inbound Program. Based on a survey of U.S. tour operators registered with the program, which serves Chinese tourists visiting the United States, the number of tourists during the first quarter of 2011 was 99,752. Prior to the 2010 opening of the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai, a baseline of 46,709 leisure group travelers visited the United States during the second quarter of 2010. The baseline was established to monitor the progress of the NTA Visit USA Center and inbound travel from China to the United States.

"The increase of travelers served by tour operators in the NTA China Inbound Program essentially doubled," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "And those visitors represent nearly $600 million in travel and spending on U.S. lodging, food, entertainment and shopping."

The Department of Commerce estimates that every Chinese visitor spends an average of more than $6,000, including airfare with U.S. carriers. In 2010, 802,000 Chinese travelers visited the United States, which includes all travelers from China, not just those calculated by the NTA China Inbound Program.

And continued growth is on the horizon, according to the Barometer. Nearly all Chinese tour operators surveyed (92 percent) project an increase in third-quarter bookings from China to the United States. And for the fourth quarter of 2011, 77 percent of operators project bookings to be higher, with only 8 percent anticipating a drop from the same period in 2010.

(For more about NTA’s efforts to bring Chinese tourists to the United States, see this story in Travel Market Report by Nick Verrastro.) 

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Nominate Your Colleague Now for an NTA Award 

Through Friday, Aug. 26, NTA is accepting nominations for the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pioneer Award. If you know someone who deserves recognition for their work to advance the association or the industry, this is your chance to honor a colleague.

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

The Bob Everidge award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding,new nta logo no tag 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.

The awards will be presented at Convention ’11 in Las Vegas. You’ve got 10 days to submit your nomination! 

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One-Minute Walk 

So you think you cover a lot of ground? Take a look at this 60-second film showing one man’s 38,000-mile journey through 11 countries. Titled MOVE, the video was commissioned by an Australian student travel company.  (Also on the Web site are two other short films, EAT and LEARN.) 

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Tourism Cares and NTA Bring Students to Contact 

Seven students attended Contact in Newport, Rhode Island, as part of Tourism Cares’ effort to provide career-building opportunities for those exploring the industry. The students are all studying travel, tourism, and hospitality at nearby colleges, including Bristol Community College, Boston University and Johnson & Wales University.

At Contact, the students were able to meet and network with industry professionals as well as participate in seminars and workshops on social media, marketing, the cruise industry, etc. All student participants shared positive feedback and expressed deep appreciation for the opportunity, including this note to the Tourism Cares staff:

"Thank you so much for inviting me to the CONTACT conference hosted by the NTA. It was such a great pleasure to meet you and I really appreciate all the time that you took to introduce me to various contacts that relate to my prospective career path. It was absolutely priceless to network with tourism professionals and learn about real-life cases in the tourism sector, especially for individuals like me who are looking to transition from another career and into the sustainable tourism development sector."
—Arvind Singh, Boston College 

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4 Big Benefits of Stepping Up to Lead 

Offering your services on a nonprofit board or committee is a selfless act, right?4 red Absolutely. But beyond helping others, volunteerism also carries rewards for you and your business. Vincent Hyman explores four ways that stepping forward as a volunteer can also elevate you and your company:

  • 1. Good business. Most executives say that acts of corporate citizenship add to the bottom line, and nearly three in four Americans consider a company’s commitment to social issues when deciding which stocks to invest in.
  • 2. Good marketing.When you join a group of talented business people on a board, you and your business will be listed among leaders in your community, enhancing your reputation. You’ll also make valuable connections with other board members.
  • 3. Good career development.There’s a reason that some large corporations use nonprofit board service as a professional-development tool: Board service allows you to exercise the skills you’ve mastered while expanding into new challenges involving law, marketing, fund development and human resources.
  • 4. Good for you.Not only will board service enhance your reputation, it will also improve your emotional health: Volunteer board members report a profound sense of engagement and renewal as they share their talents for a worthy cause.

Hyman’s article includes questions you should ask yourself before volunteering to make sure you have the necessary time and commitment. Click here for his article.

Of course, NTA relies on volunteers to serve the association as planners and innovators. If you’d like to step forward and help, visit the NTA Leadership Team Volunteer page on our Web site.

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Join These Sponsors at Convention ’11  

NTA sponsor support is incredible and worth great recognition. Without the support of these fine sponsors, NTA’s upcoming Convention ’11 (being held December 5-9 in Las Vegas) wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful, beneficial or fun as it’s going to be!

Want to join these companies and receive great sponsor benefits, including loads of sponsor promotions? Click here for a look at our complete sponsor guide for more details and contact Melisa-Beth Rooke by e-mail or phone (859.264.6561) today to reserve your sponsorship! 

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Industry News and Updates

  • A new security-screening program called Known Crewmember took off at Chicago O’Hare last week, with six more cities set to start the program later this year.
  • The United States Virgin Islands will target U.S. African American travelers in a marketing campaign to highlight the history, heritage, natural beauty, shopping and attractions of the islands.
  • The Statue of Liberty will close for a yearlong repair project, starting in late October. Liberty Island will remain open during that time.
  • U.S. airlines carried 63.8 million domestic and international passengers in May 2011, a 3.9 percent increase over May 2010 and 6.9 percent above May 2009. Delta had the highest number of passengers, and Southwest carried the most on domestic flights.

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