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D.C. Summit Takes Industry Issues—and You—to the Hill | Contact Sightseeing and Fams Show the Best o

January 17, 2012

Volume 32, Issue 3

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D.C. Summit Takes Industry Issues—and You—to the Hill
Contact Sightseeing and Fams Show the Best of San Diego
Join NTA at COTTM and Tap the U.S.’s Fastest-growing Market
New Blog Aims to Help You Do Big Things
Celebration Destinations for 2012
New Rules for Air Fares Take off this Month
Have you Reached 20,000 Qualified Student Travel Planners Lately?
Tourism Cares Announces Global Outreach: GO Peru, May 3–7
How to Sell when your Price Isn’t the Lowest
Industry News and Updates

D.C. Summit Takes Industry Issues—and You—to the Hill  

Giving members a stronger voice on Capitol Hill, NTA will again team with the Southeast Tourism Society to produce the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit, May 8­ to 10, in Washington, D.C. Along with access to key legislators, the attendees will gain specialized training, said Steve Richer, public affairs advocate for NTA.

"Summit sessions will deal with the top-most issues of our industry: NextGen air travel technologies, the TRIP Act, Federal Highway Reauthorization and streamlining the visa process," Richer said. "We’ll also have a session on how to lobby your representatives on the Hill."

Grassroots SummitIn addition to education and Hill visits, the Summit will include a Congressional Tourism Leaders Luncheon, a federal agency exhibition, a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill, and a luncheon focused on tourism marketing and financial strategies.

A detailed schedule and hotel information will be released soon, Richer said, adding that members should plan flights around a 9 a.m. start on Tuesday, May 8, and a late afternoon conclusion on Thursday, May 10.

For more information, e-mail Richer.

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Contact Sightseeing and Fams Show the Best of San Diego 

This year’s Contact—NTA’s popular operator-focused* meeting—heads to San2012 Contact logo headline Diego Aug. 16–18. And our host city and state have put together a delightful slate of sightseeing and pre- and post-Contact Fam tours:

Sightseeing tours happen on Thurs., Aug. 16, and will include:

  • North County & Safari Park
  • La Jolla & SeaWorld
  • San Diego Embarcadero
  • Coronado & Balboa Park

There will also be an a la carte option.

The Pre-Contact Fam runs Aug. 13–15 and will showcase Los Angeles and all that the City of Angels has to offer, from the varied geography to shopping, museums, nightlife and entertainment industry.

Two Post-Contact Fams have been created for Aug. 19–21:

  • Anaheim/Orange County & Beach Cities
  • Palm Springs & Temecula

Details on each are available on the Contact Web site. Registration for Contact is open now. See you there!
*Tour suppliers and DMOs: Click here to see how to attend Contact.

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Join NTA at COTTM and Tap the U.S.’s Fastest-growing Market 

COTTM 2012You are invited to reach the 4,000 trade visitors expected to attend the 2012 China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market, the only B2B show in China for outbound travel business. The U.S. Department of Commerce projects travel from China to the United States to increase 274 percent through 2016, the strongest growth of all visitor countries.

For the fourth year in a row, NTA will host the U.S. Pavilion at COTTM, held in Beijing April 18–20. "Since the United States is the most-desired destination country for Chinese tourists, we expect the U.S. Pavilion to be sought out by most Chinese attendees," said Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of International development.

Your company can be part of the pavilion for US$3,950 and receive the following:

  • A standard exhibiting space
  • Ads on the NTA Visit USA Center Web site for two months
  • Printing 500 copies of a double-sided, four-color flyer (Chinese language recommended)
  • A five-minute presentation about your destination or company to the Chinese trade/media at the COTTM official seminar room
  • The opportunity to be covered in the COTTM Show Daily publication. Four extra pre- and post-show issues will be distributed to 50,000 trade subscribers to help exhibitors gain more brand awareness and increase business opportunities.
  • Bottled water and snacks throughout the show

NTA is also offering upgraded exhibiting space at COTTM.  Contact Hao for details.

Can’t go to China? You can still put your collateral material into the hands of the thousands of Chinese travel trade professionals at COTTM. Use NTA’s professional translation/production services to turn your English flyers into Chinese, and then let NTA handle distribution at the show. Questions? E-mail Hao.

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New Blog Aims to Help You Do Big Things  

"My goal for this year is to serve the best I can … I am called to serve my peers, my colleagues and anyone who believes in the tourism industry."
—Damian Humphreys

Damian made the above comment on the first post of NTA’s new blog, "Do Big Things," just launched in December. The blog was created for one simple purpose: to help you do big things. To that end, we’re going to share articles, photos, stories and videos that we hope you find useful along the way and that will help you move toward and achieve your goals—whatever they are!

Ideally, Do Big Things will be a frequent stop for you—a place where you feel comfortable sharing your big things, your hopes and, especially, your successes with your fellow members. In addition to the camaraderie of working toward your individual goals with the help of your NTA peers, we plan to make this blog a resource for you to find inspiration and information to put to work in your business, such as the most recent post, "10 Lessons from Steve Jobs" (let us know which lesson is your favorite!)

They say a goal is just a dream with a timeline. Use this site to share your goals/dreams with your industry peers, so we can do big things together.

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Celebration Destinations for 2012 

On travel writer Peter Greenberg’s Web site, Lauren Herstik highlights several destinations that are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2012. Each presents1.17.12Balloons unique travel opportunities, both for travelers and the travel professionals.

2012 is the centennial year for both the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and the sailing (and sinking) of the Titanic in the North Atlantic. Several NTA member destinations are celebrating big years, too:

  • Louisiana celebrates its 200th birthday this year, and the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission offers up "200 Free Things to Do."
  • Many people will visit Great Britain for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and they can also celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens and the sites that commemorate the author.
  • This is definitely the year to visits sites associated with the Mayan culture, as their centuries-old calendar ends in 2012 (gulp). Some resorts in the Maya area are offering end-of-the-world specials. For more ideas about travel to Mexico, you can attend Tianguis Turístico México, March 25 to 28, in Puerto Vallarta.
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    New Rules for Air Fares Take off this Month 

    Tougher consumer-protection rules for airlines will make it easier to compare prices online. Starting Jan. 26, the U.S. Department of Transportation will require airlines to include all taxes and fees—including those for baggage and reserved seats—in advertised fares.

    "NTA has been working closely with the American Society of Travel Agents on this issue, as sellers of travel are required to provide all costs and fees to consumers," said Steve Richer, NTA’s public affairs advocate.

    NTA member Olga Ramudo is quoted in a USA Today article about the new rules.

    "Everybody is frustrated with the entire process," said Ramudo, president of Express Travel in Miami. "What is happening now is that they can’t make decisions based on the total cost of their airline ticket."

    1.17.12AirplaneOther new rules, set to take effect a week from today, include one that allows passengers to change or cancel tickets without penalty for 24 hours after booking. And the DOT is delaying a rule requiring airlines to show baggage fees on e-tickets for certain flights. (See details in this TravelPulse story).

    The airlines have objected to the changes, claiming their systems are not ready to comply with the new requirements. They also hold that by telling them how to advertise, the DOT is infringing on their freedom of speech. The changes will benefit tour operators, though, Richer said.

    "The proposed regulation will bring transparency, allowing tour operators to meet the seller-of-travel requirement and completely price out the cost of any air-inclusive tour," Richer said. "That’s a hard trick if the airlines are unwilling to be completely transparent."

    Airlines may face even more changes in the future. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is pushing for additional rules to help consumers and travel professionals compare fares and fees.

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    Have you Reached 20,000 Qualified Student Travel Planners Lately? 

    Whether it’s yes or no, there’s still time to reach 20,000 qualified studstudent trip planner 2011 160ent travel planners—while they’re planning!—by advertising in NTA’s Trip Planner for Student Travel. Published in late February, this publication will be distributed to 20,000 planners and NTA tour operators who coordinate trips for elementary- to college-age students. That audience includes science and social studies teachers, choral and music educators, principals and university music directors.

    Take a look at last year’s issue (and advertising info) and contact NTA Services Inc. to learn how you can be promoted in this publication. Space deadline is Jan. 27, so contact us today!

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    Tourism Cares Announces Global Outreach: GO Peru, May 3–7 

    It’s official! Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley of Peru will be the sites for the first Global Outreach program of Tourism Cares. The mission will unite colleagues and peers from the travel and tourism industry interested in preserving and conserving cultural, historic and natural sites in Peru. 

    Designed to mirror Tourism Cares’ successful domestic model, Global Outreach (GO) allows industry leaders to share expertise, talent and passion in the preservation of iconic tourism destinations worldwide. GO Peru is a collaborative program of both U.S. and Peruvian travel and tourism supporters, who are investing time and money to support this five-day expedition.

    Travel to Peru is growing rapidly, with 3.5 million annual visitors exploring the country’s diversity, from the high Andes to the Amazon rainforest.  Peru has 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Machu Picchu, Cusco and the historic center of Lima; seven more are on the organization’s "Tentative List."

    For more information on GO Peru’s effort to build partnerships among tourism stakeholders, please contact Alyssa O’Driscoll at Tourism Cares.

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    How to Sell when your Price Isn’t the Lowest 

    Unless your price of your product or service is the absolute lowest on the market, you’re always at risk of losing sales to cost-conscious customers (and most are). The trick to selling, then, according to Tom Searcy on, is to show customers how your product will solve their problems. Here’s his advice:

    • Make your customer confident that your product will help him meet his goals, and then price will take a back seat.
    • Move the discussion of price outside the context of your own competitive market and into the real-numbers context of your customer’s business.
    • Help your customer see other ways to measure the value of your product. Otherwise, she will fall back on price as a comparative tool.
    • Remind your customer of the reason he got away from using price as the deciding factor, and reinforce the positive outcomes your product or service can generate.

    Searcy also suggests that while telling your customer how your product is the best fit, don’t hide situations where it’s not. For more details and the full story, click here.

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    Industry News and Updates

    • U.S. hotels added 38,409 rooms in 2011, about half the number projected at the start of the year. The projection for 2012 is for hotels to add 70,291 rooms; 40,371 are currently under construction.
    • Employment in the U.S. travel industry outpaced the rest of the economy by nearly 50 percent in 2011, according to the Department of Labor. The industry accounted for 7 percent of all jobs created lasted year, bringing the total travel employment to 7,528,000.
    • U.S. travel to overseas markets was up three percent in the third quarter, while U.S. travel to other North American markets was down two percent, resulting in flat growth overall. The biggest gains in overseas markets were travel to the Mideast (9 percent), Asia (5 percent) and Central America (5 percent).

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