For your Viewing Pleasure … | The Greening of Convention
January 10, 2012
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For your Viewing Pleasure …
Earn your CTP in 2012. You Can Do It!
The Greening of Convention
Membership Renewal Even Easier with Online Payment
Webinar on U.S. Hispanic Market Set for Jan. 25
Free Admission to all U.S. National Parks this Weekend
It’s a New Year: Get Ready to Volunteer!
Meet with 100-plus NTA Tour Operators in Warm, Sunny San Diego!
7 Sales and Marketing Trends for 2012
Careful with your Cupcakes
Industry News and Updates
If you were at Convention ’11, you know the North American tourism panel discussion was a must-see event. That’s why we’ve added it to the NTA YouTube channel. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy.
Also, be sure to check out the 60th Anniversary Luncheon, as we celebrated everything you’ve done to make this association what it is. More videos from our wonderful sponsor-hosted luncheons will be available soon!
And one more thing: We have photos for you … 908 photos to be exact … and you’ll find them on our Facebook page. They include shots from everything—the Icebreaker, the Totally Awesome ’80s Party, the Convention floor and more.
You might want to grab another cup of coffee.
NTA’s Certified Tour Professional designation is the only certification program in the industry that’s developed by tour and travel professionals and meets the specific needs of those in the packaged travel industry. It’s also one of the most affordable program you’ll find.
The program—a study-at-your-own-pace curriculum—was designed to be completed in one year, and all the course materials are available online.
NTA members pay only $150 to enroll. If you complete the program and graduate within two years of enrollment, that’s all you pay. If you do not complete the program in two years, that’s OK. However, you’ll have to pay an additional $450 once your two-year term expires. How’s that for motivation?
Visit NTA online for more details and to sign up. Push yourself forward in your career and show your industry peers that you’re an experienced, motivated tour and travel professional: Sign up to earn your CTP today.
For years, green blazers were worn throughout Convention week by NTA staff members. Now the blazers are gone, but the green remains.
During our week at Mandalay Bay, the host hotel for Convention ’11, we recycled 6,408 pounds of cardboard, paper, wood and metals. That represents 80 percent of what we collectively threw away! (Not all of the recycled material was placed in recycling bins; our trash was sorted for recyclables.)
While our rate of recycling is impressive, so is our rate of overall reduction: At our 2008 Convention in Pittsburgh, where attendance was comparable to last month’s event, we recycled 11,950 pounds of materials. The amount recycled in ’08 was nearly 50 percent higher than the total amount of trash generated in ’11.
"It’s gratifying that our efforts to recycle and reduce are paying off," said Jim Reddekopp Jr., NTA chairman. "Sustainability is one of NTA’s core values, and we can do a lot to help protect the planet when we travel to Convention."
Here’s the breakdown of Convention materials recycled last month in Las Vegas:
- Cardboard: 1,986 pounds
- Mixed Paper: 1,538 pounds
- Mixed Plastics: 1,410 pounds
- Wood: 1,346 pounds
- Mixed Metals: 96 pounds
- Aluminum: 32 pounds
- Total recycled: 6,408 pounds
- Nonrecycled waste: 1,602 pounds
Did you know you can pay your membership dues online?
Just visit NTA Online and click on the "Online Membership Renewal" link—it’s under "Quick Links" just below the blue member log in box on the top right of the page. All you need is your company’s primary contact login/password, and you’ll be taken quickly through the process. Questions? Call NTA headquarters at +1.859.264.6540.
With a rapidly growing purchasing power, the U.S. Hispanic market is the focus of a Webinar, slated for Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. ET.
The Webinar, hosted by ASTA, is free to NTA members as part of an NTA-ASTA joint task force aimed at meeting the needs (and reaping the rewards) of this growing market. In the online session, "Understanding the U.S. Hispanic Traveler," researcher Laura Mandala will examine the behaviors of Hispanic travelers and explain how travel professionals can serve the market.
To register, contact Jason Terwilliger, NTA’s education and research manager.
Some parks have direct ties to King, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama, or the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Other parks will hold special events honoring Dr. King, including the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C; Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey; Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Tennessee; and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, also in Washington, D.C.
All national parks provide an opportunity to exercise, enjoy family time, learn some history, expand your horizons or enjoy the natural world-even in the middle of winter. A list of activities can be found at the National Park Service Web site.
Plan ahead: The National Park Service will also waive admission fees on 14 other days in 2012: National Park Week (April 21 to 29), Get Outdoors Day (June 9), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 29) and the weekend of Veterans Day (Nov. 10 to 12).
The 2012 April issue of Courier does. The new Historical Trails Special Section will highlight interpretive trails that help travelers connect pivotal events and famous characters in history with iconic sites. A series of articles and sidebars will cover a variety of destinations and member attractions.
If you’re a DMO or attraction with history, you need to be seen in this issue. To advertise, call +1.859.264.6559 or e-mail NTA Services Inc. Space deadline is Feb. 1.
What were your New Year’s Resolutions? To see new places? To build your business? To give back?
The whole Pensacola Bay area is an ecological and historic treasure. Having bounced back from the scourges of a devastating oil spill, the area needs our help in bringing help and attention to its history, beauty and welcoming community. Volunteers will be involved in a number of painting and landscaping projects at the historic Pensacola Lighthouse as well as conservation efforts at Bayou Texar, including planting native vegetation.
Accommodations are available at a special rate.
Registration is $99 ($49 for students). For more information and to sign up, click here.
Tour suppliers and DMOS: Imagine having the opportunity to network and do business with 100-plus NTA tour operators in a casual, relaxed environment while enjoying the gorgeous destination of San Diego. Got the picture? That can be you if you sponsor at Contact ’12! And because the majority of attendees are tour operators, the ratio of buyers to sellers is incredible.
Author and business consultant Barry Moltz wowed Convention attendees at his seminar focused on customer service in today’s social media environment. If you missed Moltz’s session—or welcome more of his advice—check out his article, "Hot or Not: Sales and Marketing Trends in 2012." Here is Moltz’s take on seven current strategies:
Direct Selling: Referrals and references are better than cold calls.
Deal-a-Day Web sites: A series of follow-up e-mails is better than one-shot daily deals.
Generating Web Traffic: Showing long-term value is better than creating a social media stunt.
Using Pay-Per-Click: Hiring a certified pay-per-click pro is better than going it alone, uninformed.
It’s Still the Web: Optimizing your Web presence is better than ignoring the Web because you think it won’t help your local business.
More Mobile: Having a mobile app for your company is better than having a Web site that can’t be viewed from a smartphone or tablet.
More Content: Including the latest sharing buttons is better for spreading your company’s message than only putting up a weekly blog.
For more tips and details, see Moltz’s article in Small Business Trends.
When you were leaving Las Vegas, chances are you weren’t carrying a cupcake … in a jar … that was barred from air travel by the Transportation Security Administration.
Somebody did, though, and the ensuing "cupcakegate" recharged the push-and-pull debate over public safety and individual freedoms. On the TSA Web site, TSA blogger Bob Burns makes a compelling argument for halting the cupcake, which had a heavy layer of icing that surpassed the limit on liquids and gels.
It helps to see the pictures that accompany the blog entry. In the meantime, consider cupcakes something else that happened in Vegas … and stayed in Vegas.
- Direct employment in U.S. travel and tourism industries increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to the Department of Commerce. Of the T&T subgroups, traveler accommodations experienced the largest growth, at 3.4 percent.
- With more people shopping via smartphone, mobile commerce sales (including travel) grew 91.4 percent last year, and expected growth for 2012 is predicted to top 73 percent.
- Collette Vacations is seeking to gain more spaces for its educational tours to Cuba, which sold out within weeks of being put on the market.
- Among its forecast of lifestyle trends for 2012, SCB partners predicts several for tourism, including ancestral travel, remote destinations and mobile shopping trucks.
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