NTA Board to Push for Support of State Tourism Budgets | With Only 48 Days to Montage …
February 22, 2011
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NTA Board to Push for Support of State Tourism Budgets
With Only 48 Days to Montage, Here’s the Latest on Flight Prices
Which Travel Web Sites Pack the Biggest Punch?
Collect Kudos (and Cash) for Referring New Members
Is This Spam or Potential Business?
See It, Love It, Sell It: The Saskatchewan PDT
7 Ways to Drive Visitors Away from Your Web Site
Explore Africa at DC Seminar
80 Percent of Operators Are Looking. Will They Find You?
Peek Under the Sea with Tourism Cares
Attend IGLTA Convention at Member Rate
Industry News and Updates
Showing support for state tourism funding and developing business strategies for the religious market were among the discussion topics for NTA’s Board of Directors during its first meeting of 2011. The 17-member NTA Board met Jan. 20 and 21 in Tampa, Florida, in conjunction with the UMA Expo.
Based on the ongoing financial struggles that are plaguing many U.S. states, the NTA Board developed a resolution to help state legislators see the value of fully funding state tourism offices. States needing NTA’s support may contact our public affairs advocate, Steve Richer.
The board also directed staff to explore strategies to help members continue to tap into the religious/faith-based travel market. Religious travel involves everything from people of faith traveling on pilgrimages and conducting mission trips to members of a church simply taking a group vacation together, such as a cruise. Many members are already in the market and may not even be aware. Through education and facilitating business connections, NTA plans to bring these market opportunities to the industry.
As reported in an earlier Tuesday, the board committed to using member feedback from a recent survey on the NTA Convention to responsibly explore all facets of expanding the event to include other associations and markets.
The board also named Lee Carter and Catherine Prather as senior vice presidents for the association, and Karla DiNardo will serve as president of the newly formed NTA Services, which produces the association’s various publications, including Courier magazine and the Trip Planner series.
See NTA Online for other meeting details, including the complete text of the state budget resolution.
Just this afternoon, we did a quick search to price flights from North America to Scotland for the Montage dates. Here’s what we found:
For Scotland Product Development Trip participants, here are some round-trip flight prices into Edinburgh on Friday, April 8, with a return flight on Friday, April 15:
- From LAX (Los Angeles, Calif.) – $1,082 (one stop in London)
- From ATL (Atlanta, Ga.) – $916 (one stop in London)
- From JFK (New York, N.Y.) – $814 (one stop in Shannon, Ireland)
- From ORD (Chicago, Ill.) – $791 (one stop in London)
- From ORL (Orlando, Fla.) – $1,193 (one stop in London)
- From YUL (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – $1,124 (one stop in Paris)
- From YVR (Vancouver, British Columbia) – $1,124 (stops in Seattle and Amsterdam)
For flights directly into Aberdeen on Monday, April 11, with a return flight on Friday, April 15, we found these flight prices:
- From LAX (Los Angeles, Calif.) – $1,347 (one stop in Paris)
- From ATL (Atlanta, Ga.) – $1,529 (one stop in Paris)
- From JFK (New York, N.Y.) – $1,163 (one stop in Dublin, Ireland)
- From ORD (Chicago, Ill.) -$1,264 (one stop in Paris)
- From ORL (Orlando, Fla.) – $1,478 (stops in Atlanta and Amsterdam)
- From YUL (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – $1,886 (one stop in Amsterdam)
- From YVR (Vancouver, British Columbia) – $2,108 (stops in Seattle and Amsterdam)
We’re only 48 days out from Montage (and 45 days away from the PDT). Are you coming? Better book your flights now! If you find better rates, let us know; we’ll share the information on the Montage site.
Buyers: Review these guidelines to see if you can get your hotel paid for by Visit Scotland.
Influencers in Travel maintains lists of the Internet’s most influential travel sites, ranked daily using Klout’s API, the standard for online influence. A Klout score represents a Web site’s success in engaging their audience and is calculated using factors such as the number of followers, friends, retweets, commenters and likers.
Here’s the No. 1 Web site for each of six different categories:
- Corporate influencers: Orbitz (Orbitz.com)
- Independent influencers: Paul Steele (http://www.baldhiker.com/)
- Cruise vacation influencers: CruiseBuzz (http://www.cruisebuzz.net/)
- Travel marketing and PR influencers: HotelPRGuy (http://www.ihg.com/)
- Most influential tourist boards and DMOs online: visitPA (http://www.visitpa.com/)
- Most influential airlines online: SouthwestAir (http://tinyurl.com/SWAContact)
Refer a new member to NTA and you’ll receive a $25 American Express gift card—and that’s for every new member you recruit. Plus you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free NTA membership.
You won’t be the only one to benefit in this deal, either. Your referral—our new member—will be joining a network of talented professionals with lots of ways to interact with them. Your fellow current members benefit, too, when you add expanded product and another potential business partner into the mix. Finally, the addition of a new member gives NTA a stronger voice in the industry.
It’s easy to put a bug about NTA in someone’s ear with this recruitment toolkit. Join the team of members who have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by bringing a new member aboard. Here’s a look at our recent referrals:
- Pilar Laguaña of Guam Visitors Bureau referred new member Elton Koon Pong Koo of Favour Tour.
- Terri Stolz of Holiday Inn Sheridan referred new member Katie Constable of Tower West Holdings.
- Craig Howard of SST Tours and John Stachnik of Mayflower Tours Inc. referred new member Steve Vassiliades of Andy’s Tours.
- Barb Bowman of Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau referred new member Jennifer Wesselhoff of Sedona Chamber of Commerce.
- JeanPierre Dansereau of Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort referred new member Bill Oliver of Tennessee Express Tours LLC.
- Gaynelle Riddick of Royal Tours Inc. referred new member Shelby Lilly of Shelby’s Travelers.
- Harry Wade of Duty Free Americas referred new member Anne Pugsley of Souvenir City Headquarters.
Thanks, all! For more information on how you can help build your association, visit the Recruitment Rewards Club.
We recently heard from a receptive operator member questioning several sketchy e-mails she received. In them, the writer claims to be "coming to your area" and needs help with hotel or flight reservations.
Here’s an example:
Departure date 14th of Jan 2011
Return date one week later
Operate by Egypt or Emirate Airline
I am waiting for the quotation so that i can forwards you our credit card details.Kindly advice the type of credit card that is acceptable by your company.
Sometimes the request mentions dates, other times not. These e-mails are sent to people regardless of their business. But if you’re in the travel industry and a member of an international business association, you may feel compelled to respond. So we looked into it.
Every source we consulted advised caution in handling these e-mails. The experts say many of these spammers seek only to harvest working addresses, which you confirm when you reply or click "unsubscribe." In other cases, the e-mailer will make a reservation using a fraudulent credit card but later cancel and ask you to credit his refund to his real card.
So how do you distinguish between spam and legitimate requests from travelers or travel professionals with limited English? Here are a few suggestions for handling suspicious e-mails:
- If you feel certain it’s spam, delete the e-mail without responding.
- Delete; do not click "unsubscribe."
- If you’re confident enough to respond, but still suspicious, explain that the only form of payment that would be accepted is a bank transfer cleared in advance.
- Consider activating a secondary e-mail address to use for responses to questionable e-mails.
- For more tips on avoiding spam, read this eHow.com article.
Finally, as a good rule of thumb for members contacting each other, identify yourself as an NTA member.
Tour Operators: Don’t miss Tourism Saskatchewan‘s Explore Saskatchewan Product Development Trip—a combination of rural beauty and urban vitality—Aug. 30–Sept. 4, 2011. If you’d like a visual, check out this video, which showcases the woods and water of the province:
Only four spots remain, so register now!
The itinerary is packed with unique experiences including Prince Albert National Park, the Seager Wheeler National Historic Site and Dakota Dunes Casino. The $100 cost of the PDT includes round-trip airfare to Saskatoon from the U.S. or Canada. One registration per company, please.
For the complete itinerary and registration form, visit NTA online. You can also visit NTA Online for information about the Exotic Land of Morocco PDT, Sept. 3–13. If you have questions on either of these PDT offerings, contact Lisa Thompson, NTA’s director of research and education.
According to a story on e-releases.com, you risk losing visitors to your Web site soon after they land if your site has one of these annoying characteristics:
- Slow load-time
- Autoplay music or video
- Too much clutter
- Illogical navigation
- Forced registration
- No "contact us" info
- Too much Flash
Does your Web site annoy visitors, driving away potential business? Read the entire article and the comments to find out.
The Africa Travel Association will convene under the banner of "Africa’s Economic Growth through Tourism Partnerships" during its fourth annual U.S.-Africa Tourism Seminar, held March 11, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Join high-level representatives from more than 15 African countries to meet potential business partners and get the most up-to-date information on tourism to Africa. Seminar programs will highlight strategic partnerships with the African Union Commission, Africa’s tourism boards, North American industry partners, airlines serving Africa and the private sector. Professional development workshop topics include e-tourism (online marketing), emerging trends and niche markets.
Thanks to our ATA partnership, NTA members can register for the same price as ATA members (a 44 percent savings). Click here to see the program and here to register. As a kickoff to the Friday seminar, ATA will host a reception on Thursday evening, March 10. Questions? E-mail ATA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eighty percent of tour operators report using the NTA Membership Directory in their day-to-day jobs. Are they seeing you?
With contact information for all members, the NTA Membership Directory stays on desktops year-round as a critical business resource for members. Make sure you’re visible. Advertising options include a variety of sizes, upgraded positions and enhanced listings. But hurry, time is almost up. Contact your NTA Services team today to stand out in this year’s directory: +1.859.219.3533 or email@example.com.
Mystic Aquarium & the Institute for Exploration is more than just a place to see aquatic animals and archaeological exhibits. It is a recognized leader in oceanic research that helps the public learn more about various species. The institute also assists in the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded animals, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. The aquarium, a tourism staple in Mystic, shares a similar goal with Tourism Cares: to preserve our world’s natural treasures.
Volunteers in town for the Tourism Cares for Mystic Seaport event in May will have an opportunity to explore the aquarium’s exhibits and network with other industry professionals. The opening reception for the two-day event will be held at the Mystic Aquarium on Thursday, May 5.
Registration is now open for Tourism Cares for Mystic Seaport. Please click here to sign up.
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is gearing up for "Fort Lauderdale Unleashed," the association’s annual global convention, set for May 10–15 in Florida. Thanks to a partnership between the two organizations, NTA members can register for the event and use the IGLTA member rate—a savings of hundreds of dollars!
To save even more money, register before April 15. For complete pricing information, click here.
The 2011 convention promises to be the premier event in LGBT tourism and will include businesses from all over the world. Post-convention FAMS are scheduled for Key West and St. Petersburg. Check here for more information.
- The U.S. Senate decided to not consider two senators’ proposal to prevent the expansion of direct flights from the U.S. to Cuba.
- The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts an 80 percent increase in air passengers during the next 20 years.
- With stronger leisure and business occupancy, hotel prices nudge upward toward pre-recession room prices.
- The U.S. is pondering an end to exemptions of the passenger inspection fee currently extended to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Gulliver’s Travel Associates, one of the world’s leading wholesalers of hotels, ground products and services to the travel industry is seeking a seasoned Director of National Accounts to lead the strategic planning and National Accounts sales operations team. This position will have a high impact on the company revenue and margin of the company. The Director of National Accounts will evaluate, analyze and implement key partnerships, provide innovative thinking, work with the North America and the Global leadership teams to execute, plan and conduct statistical analysis. S/he will also establish and cultivate key business relationships. This includes utilizing statistical analysis to support partnerships, products and services; interpreting market research to identify new business areas and recommending opportunities operational efficiencies. S/he will also be responsible for periodic reporting and business insights. Qualified candidates will possess a BA with a focus on Business and between 4 to 7 years of experience in project management and/or business development and strategic planning. Travel industry experience is required. Please submit your resumes online to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Gulliver’s Travel Associates, one of the world’s leading wholesalers of hotels, ground products, and services to the travel industry is seeking a Group Sales Manager to qualify and develop sales leads into a successful business project and, as a result, increase both revenue and profit within the sales and operations department. This key role involves working with existing clients to target high-yield repeat business, but also requires new opportunities within a market to be identified and actioned. Primary responsibilities will include negotiating and managing group customer accounts, achieving targets and objective sets, building on business within a market through personal contact, phone and regular e-mail updates. Qualified candidates will possess a BA with experience in a sales role within the travel or leisure industry; proven commercial awareness of hotel pricing, service and travel-industry issues; and product knowledge of leading European and worldwide group travel destinations. Please submit your resumes online to email@example.com.
NTA Chief Representative in China (Shanghai)
- Manage operations of the NTA Visit USA Center to achieve its three-fold purpose: developing education for both U.S. and Chinese trade, facilitating connections between U.S. and Chinese approved tour operators and agents, and marketing the U.S. as a tourism destination.
- Develop and implement a business and marketing plan to achieve the vision and purpose of the center while expanding the business scope in China.
- Develop and implement the Center budget while maintaining a clear understanding of the Center’s bottom line so all budgetary goals are met and even exceeded.
- Coordinate trade shows and other marketing/promotional events in China, as well as organizing activities to the United States such as study tours.
- Supervise personnel to help effectively manage day-to-day operations of the Center.
- Bilingual in Chinese and English.
- Work experience in the United States is preferred.
For more information about this position, e-mail Haybina Hao, NTA’s director of international development.
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