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Last-minute Deals and Reminders for Convention | Wall, Beckham and Two Others to Receive NTA Awards

November 22, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 48

11.1.11 Cracker Barrel Banner
Interested in advertising in TuesdayE-mail Kami Risk.

Last-minute Deals and Reminders for Convention
Wall, Beckham and Two Others to Receive NTA Awards
Early Arrivals to Convention Have a Special Opportunity
Leave Your Comments, Ideas, Tips in the Convention Comment Box
December Courier Is Packed with Info and Ideas
Keep an Eye on Your Mailbox!
Broadcast Your Message across the Convention Floor
Catch a Replay of First-timers Webinar
Reach 20,000 Student Trip Planners and Tour Operators
Student Mentors Needed at Convention
Industry News and Updates

Last-minute Deals and Reminders for Convention  

There are only 12 more days until Convention ’11, and we have a few last-minute reminders and offers for you. Let’s get started!

Install the Convention ’11 App on Your Smartphone
If you have an iPhone or Android, be sure to install the Convention ’11 app before11.8.11App you leave for Vegas! Use the App to view the daily Convention schedule; follow what’s being said on Twitter about Convention (Hashtag #NTA11); access a map of Mandalay Bay; answer the Convention question of the day; and keep up with updates/messages posted on NTA’s Facebook page. Click here for complete installation instructions.

Special Limo Group Rates for the Dine Around
Celebrity Coaches, the transportation provider for Convention ’11 events, is offering these special group rates for the Dine Around nights:

  • Limo Bus for up to 16 people: $243 round trip to any Las Vegas Strip location (e.g., Rio, Monte Carlo, Luxor, Caesar’s Palace, etc.)
  • Limo Bus for up to 16 people: $364.50 round trip to locations off the Las Vegas Strip (e.g., South Point, The Bootlegger, etc.)

For more information, contact Connor Casey of Celebrity Coaches at +1.702.736.6491.

Want to catch a show while in Vegas?
If you’re looking for a deal on some select Vegas shows (including a few from Cirque du Soleil), click here for some great offers.

NTA 5K Fun(d) Run/Walk/Sleep
runnerJoin us bright and early Wednesday morning at Convention for a 5K to support NTA’s Government Relations fund! For just a $25 donation to the NTA GR Fund, anyone can participate-walkers, runners and even skippers! Or, if you’d rather invest in your beauty sleep, feel free to put your $25 down and "Sleep in for G.R." To sign up, contact the NTA member relations team.

Sit down with an Expert in International Travel to the U.S.
Scott Johnson, president of Travel Market Insights, will be available at Convention ’11 to help you find answers to your international travel questions. (See details in this Tuesday article.)To lock in an appointment prior to leaving for Vegas, e-mail Jason Terwilliger, NTA’s education and research manager. Give your first and second choice for a 15-minute appointment during the following times:
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2:30–3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 8, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

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Wall, Beckham and Two Others to Receive NTA Awards 

Two NTA veterans will be honored with association awards at Convention ’11 during Tuesday’s Lunch, sponsored by Switzerland Tourism and the Jordan Tourism Board.

Mikie Wall will receive the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award, which 11.22.11recognizes individuals who have made outstanding, ongoing contributions to NTA and its members. Wall, vice president of sales and services for the Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast CVB, was a tour operator for 20 years before working with DMOs in North Carolina.

Wall was NTA president in 1986 and served on the NTA Board of Directors for 10 years. (She was appointed to serve as the DMO representative on the executive committee by Bob Everidge himself). Wall also volunteered for years in the Convention Resource Center, helping first-time attendees learn how to get the most out of their Convention experience. 

Bruce Beckham, CTP, will receive the Pioneer Award, which honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the tra11.22.11 Beckhamvel industry—a change from which NTA and its members have benefited. Beckham is the executive director and CEO of Tourism Cares, the travel industry’s premier nonprofit organization—and NTA’s official charity. Beckham, a former tour operator and travel industry consultant, took the helm of what would become Tourism Cares in 2000.

Under Beckham’s guidance, the organization has provided some 26,000 hours of volunteer labor—many of them from NTA members—to preserve and protect treasured sites. Tourism Cares also awards grants to tourism sites worldwide and scholarships to industry-bound students.

Two more award-winners will be revealed in Las Vegas. Recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Shining Star Award will be announced during the Mexico Tourism Board Luncheon on Thursday.

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Early Arrivals to Convention Have a Special Opportunity 

If you’re arriving for Convention in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 4, you’ll have an opportunity to meet U.S. Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, one of the founders 11.22.11 Begichand co-chairs of the new United States Senate Tourism Caucus.

Senator Begich is a vocal advocate for tourism and has sponsored most of the key tourism legislation in this session of Congress. (Read here about the TRIP Act he introduced.) Let him know your opinions and ideas by attending an event in his honor at 5 p.m. on Sunday in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Room Reef C. This is a fund-raising event, so attendees should plan on making a political contribution.  

Interested? Contact Steve Richer by e-mail or phone (228.596.7004).

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Leave Your Comments, Ideas, Tips in the Convention Comment Box  

 Convention 11 Comment Box QR CodeThis is the Convention ’11 virtual comment box.

Scan this QR code on your mobile device and you’ll be taken to an online comment page.

Want to give a review of the educational session you just attended? Scan the code and post it there. Want to provide a helpful tip to other attendees? Scan the code and let them know. Want to make a suggestion for the Tour & Travel Exchange? Scan the code and make it!

There is no login required and, if you prefer, your comments can be completely anonymous. The only thing you need is a QR code reader installed on your mobile device and a thought you’d like to share. (You’ll find instructions for installing a QR code reader here.)

Or, you can also simply go to: in any Internet browser to leave your comments. If you need any assistance while on site, please stop by e-NTA at NTA Central … we’ll be happy to help! 

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December Courier Is Packed with Info and Ideas 

Curious about the dates of Restaurant Weeks for 2012 in top cities across North America? Need a refresher on top shopping spots and retail centers? Wondering about the tendencies of UK travelers when they visit the United States?

The December edition of Courier provides those details and many more. The year-11.22.11 Courierclosing issue takes you to top student spots in the Rockies, profiles springtime events in the Smoky Mountains and highlights faith-based attractions in Spain and Portugal. The other destination stories offer a look at Alabama’s culinary scene, three great hotel/resort properties in Mississippi and a variety of history-based experiences that await you in Louisiana. Additionally, you can read updates from Sustainable Travel International and Tourism Cares—two of NTA’s strategic partners—and find out the latest on your association’s government relations efforts.

Repeat advertisers in this issue are The Berkely Group (TPP), Buca di Beppo, Empire State Building Observatory, Maid of the Mist Corporation and Yankee Candle Company Inc. 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: 

March Issue: Africa; Holy Land; Toronto & Niagara Region (New York & Canada); Arizona; Colorado; New Mexico; Utah; Boston; Branson, Missouri; Special Section: Wine & Spirits; Guide: Multiple Service Members
Ad Space: Jan. 4
Editorial: Dec. 5

April Issue: Mexico; Caribbean; Arkansas; Oklahoma; Texas; New Orleans; New York City; Contact ’12 (San Diego, California); River Cruising; Historical Trails
Ad Space: Feb. 1
Editorial: Jan. 2

May Issue: Italy; Smoky Mountains (Ashville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge); Iowa; Kansas; Missouri; Nebraska; Chicago; Montreal; Industry Topic: Adventure Tourism; Special Section: America’s National Parks.
Ad Space: Feb. 29
Editorial: Jan. 30

Click here to view the entire 2012 editorial calendar

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Keep an Eye on Your Mailbox! 

Convention ’11 folders were mailed last week, so if you haven’t received yours yet, keep your eyes open for it! In the meantime, you may be wondering two things:

The Answer: Mini-buses will provide free shuttle service from the airport to Mandalay Bay on Sunday, Dec. 4, and Monday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For return flights, free shuttles will depart from Mandalay Bay on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 4:30 to 11 a.m., on the hour and half-hour, and from THEhotel on the quarter and three-quarter hour.

There’s much more information included in the folder, so keep checking your mailbox and we’ll see you in Vegas!

(Still haven’t registered? Register today!) 

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Broadcast Your Message across the Convention Floor 

Want to be heard by literally every delegate in Vegas? For the first time ever, sponsoring the Destination Pavilion/Tour & Travel Exchange includes a broadcast of your message up to three times a day, read by NTA’s official announcer over the loud speaker during the appointment sessions on Tuesday through Friday of Convention. You’ll also receive additional silver-level sponsor benefits.

This sponsorship, available for US$10,000, is being sold on a first-come, first-served basis-so act now! (A single-day sponsorship is available for US$3,000.) If you’re interested, contact Karla DiNardo by phone (+1.859.264.6556) or e-mail today! And for information on other sponsorships, click here.

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Catch a Replay of First-timers Webinar 

Nearly 100 members joined our Convention First-timers Webinar last week. If you happened to miss it, though, you can listen to it here. The session covered a lot of topics:

  • How to get more appointments
  • What to bring for the floor
  • What to wear in Vegas
  • The benefits to serving as a volunteer (Sign up here)
  • The why and how of updating your company profile

To learn more ways to maximize your first Convention, visit the First-timers Program page on the Convention ’11 Web site.

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Reach 20,000 Student Trip Planners and Tour Operators  

Students are traveling all over the world, making this a valuable market for the packaged travel industry. Are you reaching them? You can through NTA’s Trip Planner for Student Travel.

The NTA TriStudent Trip planner 2011p Planner for Student Travel will present a wide range of NTA member attractions and destinations that are perfect for student groups. The publication will cover NTA-member theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums, and other attractions that welcome student groups and offer interactive, educational programs and product tailored for students. Our I Want to Go There special section will spotlight 20 North American and international destinations that have special appeal for student groups. Q&As will round out the publication’s focus, presenting NTA members’ expertise and experience with the student market.

There’s no better way to reach 20,000 travel buyers as they plan than by advertising in the only publication for the student market endorsed by NTA. (55 percent of NTA tour operators currently offer student group packages.)

View the 2011 Student Trip Planner, and for more information, contact +1.859.264.6559 or e-mail NTA Services Inc.

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Student Mentors Needed at Convention  

The NTA Convention is just around the corner and Tourism Cares and NTA are getting ready to host scholarship recipients and local tourism students for the Experience the Industry Program.

DMO, supplier and tour operator volunteers are needed on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 7 and 8, to act as mentors to our students who will shadow business appointments and accompany their mentors to lunch. Due to the new schedule, tour operator mentors are especially needed.

If you are interested in mentoring a student, please e-mail Jessica Ahern, events manager for Tourism Cares.

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Industry News and Updates

  • Travel professionals booking Las Vegas now have a new Web site that includes unique itineraries, maps, marketing templates, a photo gallery and information on booking incentives.  The release is here.
  • Higher air fares and a lowered economy have put a dent in Thanksgiving travel, off 2 percent from last year and 12 percent off the high in 2006.  Some changes in airport security went into practice before the holiday rush started.
  • The Office of Travel & Tourism Industries reports that in the first quarter of 2011, 55 percent of U.S. international outbound travel was to Mexico or Canada. Of the remaining 45 percent, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia captured the most travelers.

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