Convention ’11 Making Headlines | VIDEO: National Parks Ranger Wows Crowd
December 20, 2011
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Convention ’11 Makes Headlines—Enjoy these Reads
VIDEO: National Parks Ranger Wows Crowd
Legislative Threat to Cuban Travel Removed
NTA Hit the Jackpot with Volunteers in Vegas
Holiday Hours at Headquarters
Courier Gets a Refresh for 2012
Convention Gives Tourism Students Real-world Experience
Got Wine & Spirits on Your Mind?
Trending Travel Forecasts for 2012
Industry News and Updates
Nearly two dozen members of the media attended all or part of our Las Vegas gathering, and so far, we’ve seen some two dozen news stories generated by Convention ’11, not including postings on member companies’ Web sites and Las Vegas calendar sites. Here are some of the most noteworthy:
- an essay from David Cogswell in TravelPulse
- an overview by Group Tour Magazine
- coverage of NTA awards (here, here and here) and a joint NTA-ASTA initiative
- a lengthy story surrounding the North American panel in the Las Vegas Sun
- a one-on-one interview with NTA President Lisa Simon in Travel Weekly
- a piece about speaker Peter Kerr in the Las Vegas Business Press
- an item about National Parks’ Ranger Shelton Johnson
- Travel Market Report published two stories covering North American border issues, here and here, along with a story about the U.S. Hispanic market.
The Convention stage in Las Vegas hosted a parade of intriguing personalities, including North American and international tourism officials, an NTA legend, a national network newsman, destination dignitaries, and even a part-time showgirl.
One of the most compelling characters at Convention ’11 was Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. His talk during the America’s National Parks Luncheon was both informative and inspiring, and something we just had to share. To see Ranger Johnson’s presentation, click the link here or view below.
Following an outcry from travel professionals, Cuban-Americans and the Latin America Working Group, language that restricted the ability of Cuban-Americans to travel and send money to relatives in Cuba has been dropped from a $1 trillion spending bill in front of the U.S. Congress.
The provision would have harshly tightened restrictions on Cuban-Americans who want to visit family members in Cuba. NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer, CTP, said the restrictions on families would have led to fewer travel options for all U.S. citizens.
"If Cuban-Americans can make only one visit every three years to visit their families, demand for air travel to Cuba will drop precipitously," Richer said. "And when demand drops, airlines could cut flights, which means the rest of the traveling public would be restricted, too."
For more details on the resolution of the issue, see this story in the Washington Post.
More than 200 members pitched in to help make Convention ’11 a smooth-running, always-smiling machine. Check the scrolling list to see the names of the volunteers who staffed registration and NTA Central, and served as greeters, tour guides, student mentors, seminar monitors and dining room distributors.
Volunteers help with a myriad of tasks during Convention, and just as important, they demonstrate the member-centric makeup of NTA. Quite simply, we couldn’t do it without them! Thank you to all of you who made the week possible.
The NTA offices will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, and there will be no Tuesday newsletter on Dec. 27. If you wish to contact a staff member during the holiday week, please e-mail our main address: headquarters@NTAstaff.com, which will be checked daily. Tuesday will resume its weekly publication on Jan. 4.
Here at Courier, we’ve been cooking up some fresh and vibrant changes for 2012. Beginning with our new, energized banner, we’ve also updated our set of typefaces within the magazine to be easier on the eyes.
Another key change is how we’re approaching our Where to Go section. We’ve learned from reader surveys that shorter, more concise stories and information is what you prefer. In our redesigned Where to Go section, you’ll see that each featured destination is represented by a one-page compilation of several stories that describe regional product options that member DMOs or suppliers have shared with Courier’s editorial team. Following this page, you’ll find short updates on various supplier members in the region divided into categories (such as museums, hotel properties, restaurants, etc.) for easy browsing.
Since we can’t provide an exhaustive guide of every NTA member in every region, we’ll shine the spotlight in different directions each time a destination gets featured. If you’ve got something exciting going on that you want to share with other NTA members, check the editorial calendar in our media kit to find out when your region is next featured, and get in touch with Courier’s editor in chief Penny Whitman before the editorial deadline.
A thank-you from Tourism Cares:
NTA welcomed more than 20 travel, tourism and hospitality students at this year’s Convention for the Experience the Industry Student Program, which allows local students and Tourism Cares scholarship recipients to interact with delegates during the event.
The students participated in a roundtable session, shadowed delegates during their appointments, and attended lunch with a mentor, giving them the opportunity to network with industry professionals who are in careers that many of them hope to work in some day.
The students expressed their appreciation for how delegates fully included them in their appointments and explained terminology and processes so they could understand what was transpiring.
Developing relationships both with peers and industry professionals, students instantly felt like they were part of the NTA family. Thank you to all the mentors and NTA staff who made this year’s Experience the Industry Student Program a success.
Interested in getting involved next year? Be sure to e-mail Danielle Belanger, student programs coordinator at Tourism Cares.
NTA’s 1,500 tour operators will be focused on fabulous possibilities when they read the Wine & Spirits feature coming up in the March issue of Courier magazine. They’ll be checking out the destinations and suppliers featured in this special section that offers varied aspects of this tour product.
Other coverage in this issue will include Africa; Holy Land; Toronto & Niagara; Arizona; Colorado; New Mexico; Utah; Boston; and Branson, Missouri. To be included, contact your NTA Services Team at +1.859.264.6559 or firstname.lastname@example.org. But do it soon: Space deadline is January 4.
This issue closes out Tuesday for 2011, and no year-end publication should fail to include forecasts for the new year. Here are a few heads-ups for 2012:
USA Today published a list of "Destinations to watch in 2012," which includes:
- Mayan sites in Mexico and Central America
- Los Angeles (the site of the 2014 Travel Exchange)
- Cuba (the subject of recent U.S. Congress debate [see story above])
- Hawaii (the home of new Board chairman, Jim Reddekopp, Jr.)
- And others: Japan, Arizona, Switzerland and more
A Conworld.net story explores the top menu trends for 2012. The list includes locally sourced meats, seafood and produce, sustainability as a culinary theme, local produced wine and beer, artisan ice cream, and culinary cocktails.
And finally, a brief from Hotwire.com explains why travel may be the key to a happier, healthier 2012.
- A study released by the World Travel & Tourism Council shows that Japan’s domestic and international tourism has recovered from the March earthquake and tsunami more quickly than expected.
- Travelocity ranks the top 10 destinations for New Year’s Eve, and it might surprise you to learn that New York City rests at No. 2.
- U.S. gas prices continue to slide, and the oil futures market does not point toward significant change in the coming months.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.