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Hotel Rates Just Got Lower for Convention ’11 | Joplin’s Tornado Victims Include Tourism Staff

May 24, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 21

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sales ad mayTODAY’S ARTICLES
Hotel Rates Just Got Lower for Convention ’11
Joplin’s Tornado Victims Include Tourism Staff
This Week’s Winners!
Love Seafood? Operators: You Could Win a Seafood Dinner Shipped to You
What’s It Like Working with NTA Corporate Partner ADP?
Our Walls Are Bare. Let’s Fill Them with Your Photos
NYC to Host Caribbean Forum, Celebration
June Courier Leads to Adventure, Insights and Information
An Invitation to an Unforgettable Fam
Tourism Cares Introduces New Development Director
What’s Your Claim to Fame?
Asian Markets Predicted to Lead Record U.S. Visitation Numbers
Industry News & Updates: Focus on U.S. Summer Travel
NTA Job Center

Hotel Rates Just Got Lower for Convention ’11  

mandalay bayNTA has adjusted its agreement with Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (our Convention ’11 host hotel) to give our members lower rates! Weekday rates are now $20 lower per night for all Convention attendees—tour operators, suppliers and DMOs.

If you have already booked your room, don’t worry—your reservation will be adjusted to reflect the new and improved rate.  If you haven’t yet registered, now would be a good time, while our Early Bird registration fees are still in effect. (Buyers save $110 and sellers save $200 during the Early Bird registration!) The block of NTA rooms (and prices) is limited, so register now.

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Joplin’s Tornado Victims Include Tourism Staff 

Sunday’s tornado in Joplin, Missouri, killed more than 100 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. While rescue efforts continue, the Missouri Division of Tourism’s Welcome Center on southbound I-44 has power and water, and staff members are assisting travelers who need information, according to NTA member Cyndi Morris-Sapp of the Division of Tourism.

Several of the center’s employees (or close relatives) have lost their homes, though, and NTA members are invited to join Morris-Sapp and her colleagues in support of those workers. "We’ve got some awesome people down there, and we as a staff are sending Wal-Mart and Target gift cards so they can buy groceries and toiletries," she said. "They have nothing."

Send your gift card to the Joplin Welcome Center, attention Kammy Bramlett, P.O. Box 2275, Joplin, MO 64803. 

You can help in other ways, too. To contribute $10 immediately to the relief effort, text the word "Redcross" to 90999. To make a donation online, visit the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army Disaster Services or the Convoy of Hope.  

Travelers are advised to check the Missouri Department of Transportation Web site for road conditions in and around Joplin.

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This Week’s Winners! 

Congratulations to our Contact drawing and Facebook trivia winners for this week:

  • Steven Grasso with Yankee Holidays/Amtrak Vacations (Contact registrant winner)
  • Jeffrey L. Mills with Mills Marketing Group (Facebook trivia winner)

You’ve won a tasty collection of Rhode Island gifts! (See below for details.)

Thanks to Rhode Island’s generosity, we’ll be giving away a summer-full of their local treats—a fitting taste of the state where the diner industry was founded. (In 1872, a local man began selling sandwiches, pies, boiled eggs and coffee from the back of his horse-drawn cart.)

If you know trivia like this about our Contact host city and state, be sure to check our Facebook page each Wednesday for JP’s trivia question, and you can be a winner, too. Or simply register for Contact.  We’ll draw a winner each week from our pool of tour operator attendees. Here’s what you could win:


Rhode Island gifts


Autocrat Coffee Syrup: Autocrat is the world’s leading producer of coffee syrup, the main ingredient in coffee milk, the Official State Drink of Rhode Island. Now run by fourth-generation owners, Richard Field Jr. and Cynthia Field Wall, Autocrat continues to use the same driving force put in place by their great grandfather: "only the best."

Del’s Frozen Lemonade: The first Del’s frozen lemonade was made in Naples, Italy, in 1840. Great Grandfather DeLucia carried snow to nearby caves and insulated it with straw. When the lemons were ripe in the summer, he mixed the lemon juice with just the right amount of snow and sugar, and the refreshing drink was created! Grandfather DeLucia brought his father’s recipe to America in the early 1900s. In 1948, Del’s Frozen Lemonade was created and sold at a small stand in Cranston, Rhode Island. The business grew mobile and franchises popped up all over the state. Still a family business, Del’s can be found around the world, even at the Olympics!

Kenyon’s Johnny Cakes: You may know Paul Drumm from Convention; he’s the one serving Johnny Cakes to you every morning from the Rhode Island booth. His family owns and operates Kenyon Grist Mill, the oldest manufacturing business in Rhode Island, dating back to 1696. (You’ll get to go to the mill if you participate in the Contact pre-FAM.) And the original method of grinding is used today! But the mill doesn’t just make Johnny Cakes. Clam Cakes, chowder, pancake mixes, Stone Ground Corn Meal and Flours, and New England Delicacies can be purchased at the mill or from their Web site.

Millie’s Soups: Thirty years ago, Millie Pezillo, an Italian-American mother of four, began feeding her hungry boys hearty soups, while also feeding her own passion for cooking. Looking for a way to make a little money, Millie and her husband, John, began packaging a variety of soups to sell at the local grocery. Their goal: Give customers a quality product at a good value. It worked! Now 30 years in the business, Millie’s Meals, through the QVC Shopping channel alone, have made more than 7 million servings of soups.

Contact, the next generation of NTA’s popular Spring Meet, is where tour operator owners/CEOs and their employees go to expand their professional education and share ideas, partner and network. Connect at Contact. Register today.

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Love Seafood? Operators: You Could Win a Seafood Dinner Shipped to You  

seafood dinnerThree lucky operators who are registered for both Contact and Convention (and are participating in the Convention Exchange) will have their names drawn to win a seafood dinner! How can you win? Make sure you’re registered for both Contact and Convention by June 30. We’ll draw and call the three operator winners July 1.

The prize, known in Rhode Island as a Clambake, will be dinner for two (a $173 value). We’ll send you (the winners) a gift card to B&M Catering Company, so you can choose when you want the meal shipped. (The meal contains fresh seafood and must be cooked and eaten the day of delivery.) The dinner includes lobster, steamers, mussels, chourico, corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes and onions, a lobster cracker, bibs and a red and white table cloth—all in a reusable pot. You’ll have all the ingredients you need to enjoy a Traditional Old Fashioned Clambake.

Good luck! We’ll see you this August in Rhode Island and December in Las Vegas.

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What’s It Like Working with NTA Corporate Partner ADP? 

ADP logo smallerAs an NTA Corporate Partner, ADP offers discounts to NTA members on their payroll services. Now until July 31, new clients receive a $200 cash-back bonus.

NTA signed on for ADP’s payroll services in January. Having used the system for a few months now, Cathy Boyd, NTA’s controller and director of human resources, answered a few questions about working with ADP. 

Have you used a payroll system before?

I’ve only used me. Whether I was doing payroll for 100 individuals or 13 individuals, it was all me.

You’ve been using ADP now for a few months. What do you like about it so far?

From my professional experience, being able to use ADP is a real time-saver, especially having them be responsible for so much of the reporting, like the W-2s at the end of the year. And I no longer have to prepare the quarterly/monthly payroll reports. ADP is responsible for filing all the monthly forms and payments—all that. The money is pulled out of our account, they hold it and pay it when it’s due. Then, I can go into the ADP system at any point and run the tax reports I need.

How do you get your information to ADP?

We use their online system. I can go in and do every step of the payroll process, and I can verify things along the way. I can check numbers and amounts and make changes, all before I hit that final send button. Then I can print off reports, for example, details for that single payroll or for quarterly or yearly reports that include employee as well as employer information. I can also run a sample check to show an employee how various benefit deductions will affect their paycheck.

Any other extras our members need to know about?

ADP helps keep me up to speed on changes that are coming up. For example, this morning when I came in I had an alert on my computer from ADP to tell me that, effective June 11, the Social Security Administration is going to change some of the ways they handle SSN numbers. That was something ADP pushed out to me. And they are adjusting their systems now to allow for that change in the future.

Here are the exclusive deals offered to U.S. NTA members through ADP:

  • A 20 percent discount on payroll-processing costs
  • FREE month of payroll-processing services
  • Waived one-time setup fee

Jeremy DyeContact NTA’s new ADP representative, Jeremy Dyer, at 866.506.9447 (his direct line) or for more information. Don’t forget to identify yourself as an NTA member.

Visit for more details on NTA’s Corporate Partner member benefit program.

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Our Walls Are Bare. Let’s Fill Them with Your Photos 

NTA's new offices NTA’s new offices are loaded with modern equipment, efficient work stations and friendly people. But our walls are empty. We need you to fill them up! Between now and June 7, we’re accepting photos of destinations from members: iconic landmarks, scenic landscapes, natural wonders, etc.

We’ll need high-resolution JPEG images, as they can be enlarged (to fill a lot of wall space!). Ready?

  1. To submit your best shot, go to and click "Sign In" at the top of the page.
  2. To log in, use the following info. Yahoo ID: ntaoffice2011; password: ntapics
  3. Click "Upload Photos & Video" at the right of the page.
  4. Click "Choose Photos & Video," then upload your high-resolution JPEG photos one by one.
  5. After each photo has uploaded, click "add a description" (below the photo), type in where the photo was taken and list your company name, contact name and e-mail address.

Your NTA staff will select the photos to showcase our membership and make our new HQ enticing. All photos that adorn our walls will be identified by location and source. Questions? E-mail Doug Rentz.

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NYC to Host Caribbean Forum, Celebration 

How can you get a taste of the islands in the middle of a city? Go to Caribbean Week in New York 2011 this summer. The event, June 5 through 11, is a celebration of the sounds, color, culture and unique vacation experiences of the Caribbean. Organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Caribbean Week in New York combines business sessions and consumer-oriented events with food, fashion, entertainment and networking opportunities.

Caribbean tourism officials, media members, artists, performers, celebrity chefs, fashion designers, models, investors and other strategic partners will converge on New York City. Travel professionals can participate in workshops for travel agents and NTOs and attend the student colloquium and the awards luncheon. For more information, visit the event Web site

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June Courier Leads to Adventure, Insights and Information 

june 2011 courier 200June is a good time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors for a majority of NTA members, and the newest issue of Courier plays up that theme. The feature stories focus on adventure travel, ecotourism product and top Native American and First Nations festivals. And two of the destination articles cover walking tours in Virginia, as well as agritourism in Hawaii. Updates from Latin America, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., round out this month’s destinations section.

Also in the June Courier, you can learn more about the value of working with NTA’s receptive operators, who share their thoughts through an insightful Q&A. And you can read about all the fun you missed if you were unable to attend Montage in Aberdeen, Scotland, or the recent Tourism Cares for America clean-up project in Mystic, Connecticut.

Repeat advertisers in this issue are Angstrom Graphics; The Berkely Group (TPP); Calvert County, Maryland, Tourism; Capital One Merchant ServicesCherokee Heritage Center; Empire State Building Observatory; Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center; NASCAR Hall of FameNorfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

We’re grateful to our repeat advertisers (those who book in three or more issues of Courier per year.) Click here for more information.

Upcoming content and deadlines: 

September Issue: Museums; Sightseeing Rail; Literary Tours & Attractions; Florida; Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina; Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas); Czech Republic; Poland & Slovakia.
Ad Space: June 29
Editorial: June 6

October Issue: Gay & Lesbian Travel; Music, Music, Music; Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont; Connecticut & Rhode Island; Massachusetts; Great Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota); London & Paris.
Ad Space: July 27
Editorial: July 5

November Issue: Convention; Delaware; New Jersey; New York; New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island; Quebec; America’s Historic East (Maryland; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington, D.C.); San Francisco Bay Area; India.
Ad Space: Aug. 24
Editorial: Aug. 1        

Please click here to view the 2011 editorial calendar.

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An Invitation to an Unforgettable Fam 

Sustainable Travel International is extending to any qualified tour operator a last-minute invitation to participate in a six-day familiarization trip of Namibia, June 6–12. The organization, an NTA strategic partner, is part of a team helping the Namibia Tourism Board develop and implement a North American marketing campaign.

All expenses will be covered, providing participants an opportunity to experience the quintessential African vacation, said Brian T. Mullis, president and CEO of STI.

"Namibia is famed for its spectacular natural beauty, remote and intimate lodges, and rich diversity of cultures and wildlife," Mullis said. "It’s a soul-stirring country of startling contrasts; it is sparsely populated yet has inherited a solid modern infrastructure. Here, the colorful African vigor blends in with the European influences on architecture, food, customs and art, creating a distinctive Namibian character."

A trip to Namibia will be filled with plenty of sunshine, beautiful sights and unforgettable experiences found nowhere else on earth. Interested applicants should contact Hubert Nashenda.

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Tourism Cares Introduces New Development Director  

Tourism Cares photoAn accomplished nonprofit and philanthropic leader, Desiree Whitney brings a wealth of experience to her new role as director of development at Tourism Cares. Her expertise in corporate donor development, nonprofit management and financial services will help lead the organization’s new corporate donor give-back programs and fundraising initiatives.

Prior to joining Tourism Cares, Whitney was vice president of the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Support. She also served as vice president of philanthropic consulting services at The Minneapolis Foundation.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Whitney continues to be active in both the San Antonio and Minneapolis communities, serving on numerous nonprofit boards.

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What’s Your Claim to Fame? 

We know you have a compelling story to tell and a unique product to offer tour operators. Why not promote it in the August issue of Courier magazine, in the "Our Claim to Fame" feature? This is a reader-friendly opportunity to share with the entire NTA membership (including 1,500 tour operators) what makes you stand out.

The August issue will also feature Theaters & Broadway Shows, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, Pacific Northwest, Greece & Turkey. E-mail or call (+1.859.264.6559) NTA Services today for details.

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Asian Markets Predicted to Lead Record U.S. Visitation Numbers

As the number of travelers into the United States is predicted to set new records every year between now and 2015, visitors from Asia will set the pace, increasing by an estimated 100 percent during the five-year period, according to a report on five key Asian markets by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Here are highlights:

Australia: Visitor growth to the U.S. was up significantly from previous years and is expected to continue at an average of 10 percent until 2015.

China: China is currently a top 10 market for U.S. inbound tourism; expect Chinese visitors to become the dominating segment of the long-distance market. By 2015, Chinese visitors are expected to reach 2,350,000 per year, a 346 percent increase since 2009.

India: Arrivals from India to the U.S. were approximately 651,000 in 2010, which was 18 percent higher than the previous year. Business travel attracts the largest amount of Indian travelers to the U.S. Expect it to dramatically increase due to the recent agreements between the two countries.

Japan: Following a 10 percent decrease in 2009, the Japanese outbound market bounced back with a 16 percent increase in travelers to the U.S. in 2010. Even higher numbers of Japanese travelers were projected for 2011, but that forecast was made before the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.

South Korea: 2010 was a record year for visitors from South Korea, with more than 1.1 million arrivals. Expect this increase to continue into the future.

See the full report in the research section of NTA’s Web site.

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Industry News & Updates: Focus on U.S. Summer Travel

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NTA Job Center

Gilmore Entertainment Group, a leading live show entertainment company in the Southeast for 25 years, located in Myrtle Beach, SC, is seeking a Group Sales Director. Gilmore Entertainment’s flagship theater is The Carolina Opry Theater; productions include The Carolina Opry, Good Vibrations, The Carolina Opry Christmas Special, and LIGHT laser shows.

Position involves leading company’s group sales department including its marketing and sales.   
Skills and Experience:

  • 10+ years experience in the Group Sales Industry
  • Established relationships in the travel industry including motor coach, tour operators, travel agents, etc.
  • Familiarity with various group travel trade organizations
  • Passionate salesperson
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Works well with a team as well as independently
  • Ability to build and maintain partner relationships
  • Positive public persona and networking skills
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Easily use technology for corresponding, networking, tracking, reporting, etc.
  • Innovative and Creative ideas for increasing sales, productivity, and/or efficiency


  • Achieve annual growth goals in group sales attendance and revenues
  • Develop and implement strategies and tactics to achieve targeted growth goals
  • Continually reinforce a customer-centric view in all strategic ideas
  • Work with Marketing department to create annual marketing plans
  • Implement marketing plans
  • Track results of marketing efforts
  • Prepare and present monthly status reports on sales and marketing initiatives
  • Identify opportunities to build partnerships and cross-marketing programs
  • Work with executive committee to establish pricing, policies and procedures that support sales goals
  • Travel to trade shows, conventions and tourism related events as needed
  • Involvement in community chamber and take advantage of local networking opportunities

For more information and to apply email

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