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Facebook and Twitter Buzz with Convention Comments, Photos | Steve Hartman’s Convention Takeaway

November 23, 2010

Volume 30, Issue 46

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Facebook and Twitter Buzz with Convention Comments, Photos
Steve Hartman’s Convention Takeaway
NTA Honors Leaders in Montréal
NTA Visit USA Center Opens in Shanghai
Legislative Agenda for 2011
Thank You from Tourism Cares
WRTA EXPO Draws Faith Tourism Professionals
Thanksgiving Travel: Pat-downs and Protests
2011 Student Trip Planner Features Help You Reach the Student Market
Dine America: America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood
Industry News and Updates
NTA Job Center: Collette Vacations

Facebook and Twitter Buzz with Convention Comments, Photos  Convention Icebreaker

  • Kelly Dean shared tidbits she learned in the educational sessions.
  • Damian Humphreys thanked NTA tour operators for being open to new ideas from smaller suppliers.
  • Patrick Dault posted a photo of the band from the Final Night Gala.
  • Ed Dresel complimented Convention chair Dawn Rueckl and drew a lot of "likes" and comments.
  • Edita Krunic declared Convention one of the most useful trade shows ever.
  • Allison O’Sullivan called the connections she made "first class."

These are just a few examples of member interactions, discussions and reviews found on NTA’s new Facebook page and Twitter account.

There’s also an album of Convention photos already posted to Facebook, and we’ll be adding more in the next few days. Visit NTA’s social media sites to check out the posts, add your comments, tag your friends in the photos, find members you met and continue those relationships, and get travel industry updates and association news.

(While you’re there, don’t forget to become a fan of NTA’s new Facebook page. One of the first 500 fans of the new Facebook page will win a free 2011 NTA membership!)

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Steve Hartman’s Convention Takeaway  Steve Hartman

In addition to opening Convention ’10, CBS journalist Steve Hartman served as NTA’s master of ceremonies throughout the week. Known best for his "Everybody in the World Has a Story" reports, Hartman learned that every NTA member has a story-and they also have one in common.

"They don’t just want to make a buck and take people for a ride — literally and figuratively," he said. "They are doing their part to make the world a better place. I’m glad to see it."

Hartman, a correspondent for "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric," said being surrounded by NTA members was an uplifting experience that led him to wonder: "Are happy, positive people drawn to the tourism industry? Or does the tourism industry make people happy and positive?"

What do you think? Share your thoughts about the people in our business on NTA’s Facebook discussion page.

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NTA Honors Leaders in Montréal  Scott Hartcorn - 2010 NTA Volunteer of the Year

With some 1,500 tour operators, tour suppliers and DMOs looking on, the association recognized four longtime supporters:

  • The late Bob Whitley, USTOA president for 32 years, was honored with the Pioneer Award, which recognizes individuals whose accomplishments in the travel industry created significant change that benefited NTA and its members.
  • John Stachnik, a former NTA president who has attended every NTA Convention since 1968, received the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award. Established in 2003, the award honors an individual whose active dedication and contributions to the mission of NTA span at least 20 years.
  • received the NTA Shining Star Award. This newly established award recognizes a company or organization that has made a significant contribution to NTA during the past year-as well as historically. For nearly two decades, has sponsored the Convention’s Broadway luncheon.
  • Scott Hartcorn (pictured here) of Shilo Inns Suites Hotels in Portland, Oregon, received the 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award. A seven-term member of the NTA Board of Directors, Hartcorn also has served on NTA committees for the past 12 years. He is a past chair and current member of the NTA Meetings & Events Committee.

This year’s award winners reveal a great deal about the association, said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "If the strength of an association can be measured by the commitment of its members, NTA is incredibly strong."

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NTA Visit USA Center Opens in Shanghai   NTA Visit USA Center Opening

The NTA Visit USA Center opened in Shanghai on Nov. 20, attended by representatives of Shanghai Municipal Tourism, the China National Tourism Administration, the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce, representatives from the local Commercial Service office and more than two dozen journalists. 

The center, which promotes leisure travel from China to the United States, has three priorities:

  • to educate both U.S. and Chinese tourism professionals
  • to facilitate connections between U.S.- and Chinese-approved tour operators and agents
  • to market the United States as a tourism destination

"We could not have opened this center as quickly as we did without such strong support from our U.S. and Chinese partners," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "Thanks to them, we’re now able to highlight and promote the best of the U.S. tourism industry to one of the largest inbound travel markets in the world."

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Legislative Agenda for 2011 

The NTA Board of Directors has set NTA’s legislative priorities for 2011, including freedom to travel to Cuba, the release of Highway Reauthorization funds, quicker access to visas for international travelers to the United States and a rapid implementation of technological upgrades to the air traffic control system. As reported in the Nov. 9 issue of Tuesday, Stephen Richer, CTP, NTA public affairs advocate, thinks gaining traction with these issues in the new Congress will be difficult. Read Richer’s assessment of the emerging political climate.

For a full list of NTA’s 2011 legislative priorities, click here.

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Thank You from Tourism Cares  Tourism Cares in Montréal

From Bruce Beckham, CTP, Executive Director of Tourism Cares: Last week’s NTA Convention was a great success for Tourism Cares. To auction donors and bidders, thank you for your help in raising much-needed funds so that we may continue to fulfill our mission. To the delegates who acted as mentors to our scholarship recipients and local students, thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and experience. To those who spent their Saturday night giving back, thank you for making such a difference at St. Joseph’s Oratory. And to the many people who danced the night away at Tourism Rocks, thank you for helping us put the "fun" in fundraising. Tourism Cares would not be able to continue our good works without the support of NTA members, and we sincerely thank you for it.

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WRTA EXPO Draws Faith Tourism Professionals WRTA Expo Delegates

For the second year, the World Religious Travel Association held its Expo and Educational Conference alongside the NTA Convention. NTA and WRTA attendees had nearly unlimited access to both shows as a combined 2,000 travel professionals from more than 40 countries converged to create one of the industry’s largest events.

Faith tourism is an $18 billion market, and the World Religious Travel Expo is the largest global event in faith tourism. Currently, 35 percent of NTA tour operators offer religious tour product, and WRTA’s Web site gives more information on this burgeoning marketplace. Also, NTA members, you can start building your faith tourism network now by downloading the delegate registry from this year’s Expo.

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Thanksgiving Travel: Pat-downs and Protests 

Thanksgiving air travelers could be hit with a double-delay whammy. New Transportation Security Administration search procedures send passengers through a time-consuming pat-down if they are randomly selected or trigger an alarm in the full-body scanner machine.

To protest both the new scanners and the more invasive hand searches, several grassroots Internet groups are encouraging passengers to request a pat-down to intentionally slow the process even further. TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a statement Sunday he would try to make airport screening "as minimally invasive as possible."

Prepare your clients for delays, though, by passing along these tips for a speedier trip through the airport:

  • Check in online up to 24 hours before scheduled departure, and print your boarding pass at home.
  • Avoid checked-bag procedures and fees by bringing carry-on luggage only.
  • Arrive two hours early (three hours for international travel).
  • While waiting for security, slip off your shoes and coat, empty your pockets, and place your laptop in a separate bin.
  • Don’t wrap gifts.
  • Be patient. Be positive.

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2011 Student Trip Planner Features Help You Reach the Student Market   2010 NTA Student Trip Planner

Did you know 52 percent (or 369) of NTA tour operator companies are actively packaging student travel? That makes student travel one of the most popular niches with NTA tour operators. Reach these top tour operators, plus qualified student trip planners, by advertising in the 2011 NTA Trip Planner for Student Travel. Don’t miss your chance to be seen in this publication that has a total distribution of 20,000.

"Our ad in the NTA Trip Planner for Student Travel was a great way for us to kick off our new outdoor adventure program," said Paul Nakamoto of Roaring Camp Railroads. "It brought us lots of contact with our NTA student tour operators.

Features of the 2011 Trip Planner for Student Travel include:

  • Theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums, and other attractions that welcome student groups and offer interactive, educational programs and product tailored for students
  • Civil War history with the sesquicentennial being observed at historic sites in America’s East through 2015
  • I Want to Go There, a special section spotlighting 20 North American and international destinations that have special appeal for student groups
  • Q&As to round out the publication’s focus on presenting NTA members’ expertise and experience with the student market

Click here to learn more and/or contact or +1.859.219.3533.

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Dine America: America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood 

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, more than 150 chefs and restaurants in cities across the country will participate in the first "America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood." All participating restaurants will be serving a special dish that includes either fish, oysters, shrimp or crabs from the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies nearly half of the seafood consumed in the United States.

America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood is intended to show that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, the most scrutinized and tested seafood in the entire world, is safe and enjoyable to eat. The special night out is also meant to honor the thousands of Americans and their families in the Gulf seafood industry who are now back to work, fishing the Gulf waters after the oil spill. You can learn more at

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Industry News and Updates

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that for the first eight months of 2010, 40.2 million international visitors traveled to the United States, a 12 percent increase year over year, and those travelers spent 15 percent more in 2010 than in 2009.
  • Delta has filed plans with the Department of Transportation to bring back Atlanta-Shanghai service and begin Detroit-Beijing and Tokyo Narita-Guangzhou flights.
  • Marketing specialist Amber Cleve of VerticalResponse offers 13 tips on how to improve your e-mail and online copy.

The links in this article are not monitored by NTA staff. Any bad links, expired pages, etc. are due to the constantly changing nature of Web sites.

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NTA Job Center 

Collette Vacations — Air Operations Supervisor

Collette Vacations currently is seeking an Air Operations Supervisor for our Pawtucket, Rhode Island, office. This person will be responsible for the supervising, scheduling and coordinating work of all air operations staff in an effort to increase revenue and maximize profit. The supervisor will act as liaison to the director for all operational functionality within the air department and collaborate with other departments. Additional responsibilities include strong time management skills with focus on operational efficiencies and customer retention. As well, they will be responsible for first tier air emergency response on and off hours, to the director’s second tier. To view a full job description and apply online please visit

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