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How to Volunteer at Travel Exchange | Bruce Beckham to Retire | Simon Elected to CTO

October 16, 2012

Volume 32, Issue 42


Interested in advertising in Tuesday? Email Karla DiNardo.

How to Volunteer in Orlando at Travel Exchange
Bruce Beckham to Retire in 2013
Simon Elected to Caribbean Tourism Board
Win Up To $10,000 in the FedEx Advantage Sweepstakes!
Market Focus: Adventure, Agritourism, Faith-based and Student Tourism
Suppliers, DMOs Get China Market Insights at Workshop
New England Wins ‘Destination of the Year’ Commendation
American Latino Heritage Itinerary Featured on Parks’ Website
Industry News and Updates
NTA Job Center

How to Volunteer in Orlando at Travel Exchange  

Travel Exchange volunteers are the backbone of the event. Whether you’re an NTA convention veteran or first-timer, we need you! Plus, it’s a good opportunity for you toVolunteer09 meet and network with other attendees. There are volunteer opportunities throughout the show week and we suggest you sign up to volunteer with an NTA friend or two—it’s all about having a great time, learning and building relationships.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Convention greeters—Welcome your peers, help point them in the right direction and hand out Convention Daily Newsletters.
  • Convention registration—Hand out registration bags and badges and answer general questions.
  • Luncheon/Opening Ceremony volunteers—Assist with pre-dining set-up of centerpieces and promotional materials from sponsors.
  • Seminar monitors—Serve as the contact person for a featured speaker, count the number of seminar attendees and (possibly) introduce speakers.
  • Mentors for Tourism Cares students—Share your NTA and industry experience with the 2012 Tourism Cares scholarship recipients by allowing them to shadow you during your appointments.
  • Tourism Rocks event—No one throws a party quite like Tourism Cares, and you can help make this fundraising, networking event a success by working as a volunteer.

You can sign up to volunteer here. You’ll need to be registered first, though; go here to register. Questions about volunteering? Email NTA Headquarters or call 800.682.8886 (U.S. & Canada) or +1 859.264.6540.

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Bruce Beckham to Retire in 2013 

After serving more than 12 years as the first executive director and CEO of Tourism Cares, Bruce Beckham is stepping down. A former tour operator and past president of NTA (1983), Beckham helped create Tourism Cares in 2005.

"I was there on the first board of trustees of [NTA’s] National Tourism Foundation back in the ’80s," Beckham said. "Combining it with USTOA’s Travelers Conservation Foundation—and adding student programs to the other ways we give BeckhamMegaphoneback—has taken Tourism Cares to a different level."

The organization Beckham launched and led is now the official philanthropy for not only NTA and USTOA, but also ASTA, the Receptive Services Association of America, and the International Airlines Travel Agent Network.

NTA President Lisa Simon recalled Beckham’s influence on her career. "Bruce was a mentor to me in the early days of the National Tourism Foundation, when he was the foundation’s chair and I was its director," she said. "He taught me so much about the industry and how giving back through scholarships, research and grants would help build a sustainable future for travel and tourism."

During Beckham’s tenure, Tourism Cares brought more than 3,500 tourism industry volunteers to more than 20 iconic sites across the United States for restoration projects. In addition, Tourism Cares awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships to students studying travel and tourism, and gave more than $2 million in grants to tourism-related sites in 42 states and 31 countries.

"His passion and leadership have resulted in thousands of people and businesses getting involved in Tourism Cares in various ways," said Simon. "And Bruce has been a mover and shaker in the travel industry for decades. Even before Tourism Cares, he worked tirelessly for NTA as a volunteer through committees and board service."

Last year in Las Vegas, Beckham was the recipient of NTA’s Pioneer Award, whichBeckham2011Pioneer honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry.

Beckham’s time at Tourism Cares will end June 30, 2013; leading up to that he will work with the Tourism Cares Board of Directors to provide a seamless transition, said Simon. "As a member of the board, I know we have big shoes to fill to follow Bruce, and it gives me great comfort that he’ll be there to lead the transition for us."

For more information about the people and projects behind Tourism Cares, visit the website.

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Simon Elected to Caribbean Tourism Board 

NTA President Lisa Simon was elected to the board of directors of the Caribbean LisaCTOwithDotyTourism Organization last week at the CTO’s annual State of the Industry Conference in Basseterre, St. Kitts. As a member of the CTO board, Simon will help guide the organization’s efforts to develop policies for increasing tourism to its more than 30 member-nations.

NTA formed a strategic partnership with CTO last year to cross-promote and provide resources to the members of each organization.

"With NTA’s focus on enhancing travel to, from and within North America, there are powerful synergies between NTA and CTO," said Simon. "Our primary purpose is to help tour operator members find ways to increase their business, and with the extensive variety of cultural, natural, historical, and outdoor attractions throughout the Caribbean, I believe there are tremendous opportunities for product development in the Caribbean."

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Win Up To $10,000 in the FedEx Advantage Sweepstakes!  

NTA members could win $10,000 when they apply for our FedEx Advantage® NTA Corporate Partner discount program!

FedExlogoFedEx is giving new and existing program participants a shot at energizing your business with hundreds of prizes. You’ll be automatically entered in the sweepstakes and eligible to play the game when you submit your enrollment application for our FedEx Advantage® discount program. Use passcode 8S877C.

You could also win multiple ways and multiple times by making eligible shipments with FedEx from now through Nov. 7, 2012. Prizes are:

  • $10,000 Grand Prize Winner
  • $5,000 First Prizes (two winners)
  • $25 Instant Win Reward Cards (200 winners)

As a member of NTA, you’ll also save up to 26 percent on FedEx® services during the sweepstakes and beyond!

Again, hurry! Sweepstakes ends Nov. 7, 2012; click here to enter! For complete details, see official rules here.

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Market Focus: Adventure, Agritourism, Faith-based and Student Tourism 

To help you stay current on key industry segments, we’re providing the articles below, each with a link to an NTA member or event. And if you have a news story or educational article about your organization’s involvement in a key industry market,Focus send it for possible republication to Kevin Wright, NTA’s director of growth markets.

Adventure Travel
"New Mexico True" Campaign to Re-Brand the State
NTA Member: New Mexico Tourism Department

Agritourism is a $60 million business in New Jersey with 20% of farms participating
NTA Member: New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism

Faith-based Tourism
The Coalition of Quebec’s National Shrines (Canada) Receives U.S. Tourism Industry Representatives
NTA Member: Quebec’s National Shrines

NTA Faith-based Tourism Webinar to International Audience
NTA Webinar: The Basics of Faith-based Travel

Sports Tourism
Visit Sarasota County has new sports tourism leader
NTA Member: Visit Sarasota County 

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Suppliers, DMOs Get China Market Insights at Workshop 

More than three dozen travel and tourism professionals from New England gathered last week in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, to gain a better understanding of Chinese travelers. Hosted by Rhode Island Tourism, the product development workshop was led by Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development. Hao led participants in a discussion that included market information, travel trends and strategies for attracting Chinese tourists interested in visiting parts of the United States beyond the primary gateways.

"Haybina did an amazing job of presenting very useful information on the market," said Katrina White, travel trade manager for Rhode Island Tourism. "Our plan is to build itineraries with the suppliers and DMOs who attended the meeting and market them to NTA members in the China Inbound Program that attend Travel Exchange."

With Hao providing in-house expertise, NTA assists members in exploring the China inbound market. Please contact her directly if you have questions.

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New England Wins ‘Destination of the Year’ Commendation 

New England received a Highly Commended award for "Destination of the Year" at the Travel Trade Gazette’s 2012 TTG Travel Awards, finishing second only to Malta Tourism Authority in the finals. New England was the only U.S. destination to reach the finalist list, and the only finalist that was a region rather than a country.

Discover New England, the official tourism organization for the New England region, is a nonprofit cooperative marketing entity funded by six states, all of which are NTA members: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Destination of the Year was awarded to the country or region judged to have been most effective in engaging with the UK travel trade in the past 12 months based on innovation in marketing, brand positioning, joint marketing activities with tour operators and best use of marketing funds. The awards ceremony was held on Oct. 4 in London’s Leicester Square.

For more information about Discover New England, visit the organization’s website.

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American Latino Heritage Itinerary Featured on Parks’ Website 

The U.S. National Park Service’s website now offers detailed descriptions and background information that bring alive the nation’s American Latino heritage. The online resource, American Latino Heritage Itinerary, includes maps, a list of parks and historic places by state and a series of essays that focus on the many ways National Parks LogoLatino peoples contributed to the development of the United States.

The itinerary is part of the Department of the Interior’s American Latino Heritage Initiative, which encourages visits to historic places throughout the country. The initiative meshes with NTA’s priorities, said Steve Richer, NTA public affairs advocate.

"This development fits perfectly with the work of our joint NTA-ASTA Hispanic Business Development Task Force," Richer said. "We’re seeking to expand opportunities for Hispanic customers and businesses that build business for NTA members."

The task force will hold its second Hispanics in Travel caucus at Travel Exchange on Jan. 22 in Orlando.

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Industry News and Updates

  • U.S. international outbound travel was down 3 percent in July, but remains 3 percent up for 2012. Travel to overseas markets is up 7 percent for the year, while travel to North American markets is flat.
  • Amtrak ridership grew 3.5 percent during its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Along with ticketing a record 31 million passengers, Amtrak revenues grew 6.8 percent, and on-time performance was the highest in 12 years.
  • Subway-style self-boarding for airlines, popular outside the U.S., is being tested in a few U.S. airports.

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NTA Job Center  

Sun Tours is seeking a director of operations.

Sun Tours is a traditional tour operator based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that sends mostly senior citizens on bus and intermodal tours throughout the United States and Canada.  We have been under the same management for 35 years and a member of NTA since 1988. For more information about Sun Tours, please visit our website: .

Our director of operations oversees two other people in our operations department while also handling tours him/herself. 

Applicants should be very experienced in tour operations in the U.S. (and/or Canada), fearless negotiators, relentless advocates on behalf of our clients, meticulous with details, and excited to live in Albuquerque.

To apply for this position, please email your resume to Karl Storch, president of Sun Tours, at

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