Meet the Travel Exchange Ambassadors | NTA Road Shows | Distinguished Dozen
October 2, 2012
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NTA Road Shows Hit East, West, North and South
22 Travel Exchange Ambassadors Set to Assist First-timers
In Today’s Inbox: Distinguished Dozen Survey
Market Focus: Adventure, Faith-based, Family and Student Travel
How to Pull a Member Leads List
NTA and Brand USA Add Value for U.S. Exhibitors at CITM
Old Sacramento Makes New Friends with Tourism Cares Project
Referrals Bring These New Members
Want Qualified Operators to Have your Profile?
Tame the Roller-coaster Ride of Owning a Business
Industry News and Updates
In September, NTA Road Shows made visits to Charleston, South Carolina; San Francisco; Salt Lake City; Portland, Oregon; and Toronto, Ontario.
"It’s been great to meet both veteran NTA members and lots of possible new members who stopped by just to see what the NTA family was all about," said NTA Chair Jim Reddekopp of the road shows. "Many of our members stood and shared why they are members and how many years they’ve been attending NTA events, which truly made an impact on those looking in to see what this association is all about."
Thank you to all our members who came out to see us and spend some time with us! And a special thanks to all our sponsors who made these road shows possible!
Charleston Road Show:
- Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Charleston Marriott
San Francisco Road Show:
- Aquarium of the Bay
- San Francisco Travel
Salt Lake City Road Show:
- Temple Square Hospitality
- Plaza Hotel at Temple Square
Portland Road Show:
- Shilo Inns
- Shilo Inn Portland Airport
- Rose Festival
- Travel Portland
- Travel Oregon
Toronto Road Show
- Fairmont Royal York Hotel
- Ontario Tourism
- Toronto Convention & Visitors Association
- Niagara Falls Tourism
- Ottawa Tourism
Visit our Facebook page to view all 2012 road show photo albums, and we’ll see you next year for the 2013 road shows!
NTA members making Travel Exchange their first convention experience don’t have to wait until Opening Day in Orlando to get the lay of the land. Thanks to volunteers in the Travel Exchange Ambassador Program, NTA newbies can find out facts (and opinions) on anything ranging from how to work the convention floor to what to wear to social events.
The program’s webpage features a roster (with photos) of 22 Travel Exchange Ambassadors who are ready and willing to field questions about the big event in January. There’s a brief bio on each ambassador, in case you want to match an ambassador’s industry background with your own.
Here are additional opportunities for Travel Exchange tips and support:
- Before you leave for Orlando, listen to a recording of the First-timers’ Webinar conducted Sept. 20 and 25. It’s on the First-timers Program page.
- And when you arrive, take a Travel Exchange floor tour to help you map out your appointments and prospects. Find a schedule of tours on this page.
- You can also attend Clayton Whitehead and Mark Hoffmann’s on-site seminar, "Travel Exchange 101," on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2:45 p.m.
- When you’re on the convention floor, visit NTA Central to get answers and assistance from NTA staff members.
To get more information—or to register and become a first-time attendee—visit the Travel Exchange website.
It’s time for Courier magazine’s second annual Distinguished Dozen survey. Tour operators: This is a fun opportunity for you to recognize your favorite NTA supplier and destination partners. Suppliers and DMOs: Now’s the time to remind the tour operators you work with to vote for you.
This year the survey is even easier. There are only 12 questions, and each one offers a drop-down box that lists relevant NTA members to choose from. It will take just 12 clicks for tour operators to recognize partners whose dynamic product, excellent customer service and focus on relationship-building makes them a go-to again and again.
The gold, silver and bronze winners will be recognized at Travel Exchange and in the February 2013 issue of Courier, and they will receive the special Distinguished Dozen logo for their website and marketing materials.
Tour operators: Look for today’s email with the survey link. Take just a minute to vote for partners who have helped you look good!
Keep current on key industry segments with the articles below, each with a link to an NTA member or event. If you have a news story or educational article about your organization’s involvement in a key industry market, send it for possible republication to Kevin Wright, NTA’s director of growth markets.
Adventure Travel & Small Group Travel
Abercrombie & Kent to Cruise the Artic in 2013
More Tour Operators Continue to Debut Small Group Journeys, A&K Most Recent
NTA member to contact: Abercrombie & Kent
Group Travel including Family and Multi-Generational Travel a Growth Category
NTA Event to Attend: Family Travel & Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum at Travel Exchange
Student & Youth Travel
Brightspark Travel and ProjectExplorer.org to Spread Benefits of Educational Travel with New Partnership
NTA member to contact: Brightspark Travel
As a member, you have access to NTA’s online database of tour operator, tour supplier and DMO members. Looking for a new partner or a list of leads for your product? Here’s how to find both:
Halfway down the NTA Online homepage on the right hand side you’ll see two links: "Find a Tour Operator" and "Find a Tour Supplier/DMO." Clicking on either of these links will bring you straight to a Search Options page, where you can fill in various search criteria, click "search" and immediately obtain your leads list.
A few search engine pointers:
- Looking for a wider net of leads? Enter as few qualifiers as possible.
- For more specific results narrow your options by entering special interests, region, hotel ratings, kinds of packaged tours, etc.
- Once your results are pulled, you’ll have the option to download your list into an Excel spreadsheet so you can import contacts for a mail merge, print labels, and save your results in your database for easy access later on. To download your list to Excel, simply click on the link at the top of your search results page.
- Results change daily! Check back often because new members are added and profiles are updated.
- Remember: the more you use this resource, the more familiar you’ll become!
And while you’re viewing member profiles, check out these great features:
- Use the "Map It" button to see the exact location of the company in comparison to other points of interest located nearby.
- Make sure you read the company summary, view the website, note the phone number, import the email address and check out the location for a complete member overview.
NTA members have 24/7 access to these important tools. And with Travel Exchange only a few months away, this is a great way to start opening up those communication lines!
NTA is partnering with Brand USA to present the USA Pavilion at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai, Nov. 15–18. Our value-added services to American exhibitors at CITM include the following:
- Pre-show orientation—Exhibitors are invited for a Nov. 14 seminar, "Attending CITM."
- USA Pavilion Block Party—All exhibitors are invited to meet on Nov. 15 with officials from the United States and the China National Tourism Administration, along with Chinese trade and media. Companies are invited to contribute in-kind donations for additional exposure.
- USA Pavilion bags—Bags will be distributed on trade days. Exhibitors may pay to have their logos imprinted on the bags for additional promotion.
- USA Pavilion Directory—Thousands of copies of the directory produced by NTA will be distributed at CITM. All 89 American companies and destinations attending the show will be included, and sponsorship opportunities with this publication will be announced soon.
For more information, contact Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development.
Tourism Cares for Sacramento took place Friday, Sept. 29, in Old Sacramento, a California National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park located along the Sacramento River. More than 200 travel industry volunteers, from every coast and representing more than 70 companies, participated. Volunteers painted, landscaped and rebuilt areas in the historic district, at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park and at the Historic City Cemetery. In just one day, travel industry participants donated more than $32,000 in labor costs to the city. Old Sacramento and Sutter’s Fort welcome more than 1.1 million visitors a year.
The impact of Tourism Cares‘ recent efforts in California, including 2010’s clean-up event on Angel Island, includes $48,000 in grants, $50,000 in scholarships and the efforts of 575 volunteers who provided more than 4,000 labor hours to the state.
Each newcomer to NTA brings expanded product and business opportunities for current members. And for the following members who referred a company that joined the association, a new member means a recruitment award. (Details are here.)
The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by referring a new company that joined the association:
- Amy Starnes of Nashville CVB referred new member Mark James of Belle Meade Plantation.
- Deborah Duerr of Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation referred new member Dorothy Furtney of Made in America Store.
- Tim Moulder of Sweet Magnolia Tours referred new member Michelle Pino of Northeast Unlimited Tours.
- Stacy Shreffler of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau referred new member Bob Leikauskas of Super Tours.
- Marcia Shelton of America’s Premier Shopping Places General Growth Properties referred new member Julie La Benz of Fashion Island & Irvine Spectrum Center.
- Mindy Shea of Visit Savannah referred new member Angela Lightsey of Hampton Inn & Suites Savannah Historic District.
- Patti Culp of Alabama Travel Council referred new member Robert Hendrix of Dothan Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- Kai Williams of Country Inn & Suites Savannah Historic referred new member Chesley Owens of Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown.
- Jeffrey Witt of Aramark Parks & Destinations-Alaska referred new member Carol Fraser of Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage.
- Susan Damon of Nomad Adventures referred new member Kim Vance of AdVance Tour & Travel.
For the list of all the new colleagues NTA gained recently, see the New Members page.
Guarantee your profile is in the hands of every operator at the NTA-UMA Travel Exchange by pre-inserting your profile in the Profile Form Notebook.
Given to every appointment-taking tour operator, this three-ring binder is used to organize profile forms. Profiles can be pre-inserted into the book, and advertisements can be placed on the tabs! (Seventy-four percent of tour operators use the Profile Form Notebook for year-round itinerary planning!)
Increase your visibility at Travel Exchange and all year long! Call +1.859.264.6559 or email NTA Services for more information!
Entrepreneur expert Rhonda Abrams equates owning a small business to the white-knuckle ride of a roller coaster: Both have exhilarating highs and frightening plunges. To level out the ride (of your business, anyway), she makes the following suggestions:
- Maintain your bread-and-butter business: Identify your most reliable source of income, which can be a customer or a product, and make sure to never turn your back on it.
- Pay yourself a regular salary: Rather than spend money freely during an up-cycle, give yourself a consistent monthly draw, and sock away the rest for tough times.
- Open a tax account: Avoid tax-time anxiety by establishing an account dedicated to taxes-and feed it monthly.
- Remember your retirement: Take advantage of a tax-sheltered retirement plan available for the self-employed.
For more suggestions, see Abrams’ article in USA Today.
- British Airways is testing a service that will automatically check in passengers and assign seats before their flights, eliminating the need for online check-in.
- Funding for U.S. transportation infrastructure projects becomes available this week, as the spending provisions of the transportation bill approved by Congress in June get into gear for fiscal year 2013.
- During disasters, tourism businesses can use social media as a ‘digital word of mouth‘ to share information and dispel rumors.
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