NTA in DC: Greteman, Simon, Richer Advance Association Issues | The U.K. Is now No. 7
March 8, 2011
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NTA in DC: Greteman, Simon, Richer Advance Association Issues
The U.K. Is now No. 7
Positive Signs for Tourism Surface amid Rising Oil Costs
9 Things You May Not Know about NTA
Upcoming Webinars Focus on Outbound China, Sustainable Tourism
6 Tips for the Shy Networker
Get Lower Cost and Better Targeting with Courier
Travel to Mystic by Train
Collette Foundation Reaches Out to New Zealand
Industry News & Updates
NTA Job Center
Cathy Greteman and Lisa Simon (NTA chair and president, respectively) were in Washington, D.C., on your behalf last week: strengthening industry ties, following up on key initiatives and raising the visibility of NTA.
Steve Richer, public affairs advocate for NTA, enjoyed seeing NTA’s top leadership in action during their visit. "Cathy and Lisa are a dynamic duo," Richer said. "They know the issues, make great impressions and elicit the kind of cooperation that NTA seeks."
On Wednesday, Simon and Richer met with Consul Hani Nagi at the Egyptian embassy to strategize NTA’s effort to help restore tourism to Egypt, Jordan and the region. Egyptian diplomats will be working with NTA on the association’s mission to Egypt this spring.
Simon also met with Lucien Echavarria, Dominican Republic tourism director; Michael Gehrisch, president of Destination Marketing Association International; and Tony Gonchar, CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents
On Thursday, Greteman joined Richer and Simon for meetings on Capitol Hill with the co-chairs of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus and their staff: Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Alabama) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-California). Among the topics discussed were growth of the caucus, NTA priority issues such as the Federal Highway Reauthorization bill, tourism grants for domestic destination marketing and a legislative summit proposed for May. The group had lunch with Art Sackler, executive director of the Interactive Travel Services Association, and discussed reseller and facilitation taxes.
The afternoon schedule included State Department briefings on Latin American and Africa and a general session of Sister Cities International, which hosted the briefings. The final meeting of the day was with James Feldman, aide to Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), covering NTA legislative issues and the proposed legislative summit.
On Friday Cuban Ambassador Jorge Bolaños welcomed the NTA group at his home, where they discussed conditions for travel to Cuba and a broad range of other issues.
This week Greteman and Simon are in New York City to continue building relationships on behalf of NTA.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report measures and analyzes the drivers of travel and tourism competitiveness in 139 countries. This year the United Kingdom moved up four spots to No. 7—giving credit to the royal wedding and 2012 Olympic games.
Tour operators, the U.K is heating up! Will you have a tour to the U.K. ready when your customers ask for it? You can.
Come to Montage, experience Scotland and make the connections that will help you put together a once-in-a-lifetime tour. There are just 34 days left to Montage! Join us in Scotland this April to:
- expand your product offerings.
- participate in the VisitScotland EXPO.
- discover "shocking" travel trends at the education sessions.
- join the Scotland Product Development Trip.
To learn more about the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report and to see the top 10 countries, visit http://www.weforum.org/issues/travel-and-tourism-competitiveness/.
While surging oil prices command the attention of consumers, there are positive signals within the travel industry that suggest fuel cost hikes will not derail steady progress on the road to economic recovery.
The latest Traveler Sentiment Index, issued last week by the U.S. Travel Association, showed that consumers are significantly more positive about travel now than at any time since April 2007. "Affordability of travel" is only one of six factors used to determine overall attitudes toward travel. Others include "time for travel" and "interest in travel." The most recent survey, conducted before the recent spike in oil prices, suggested that consumers are increasingly more positive about their ability to afford travel than just three months ago.
Additional reasons to remain upbeat about travel were evident in NTA’s Economic Snapshot Survey, collected from association members and based on the fourth quarter of 2010, as reported previously in Tuesday. When asked to project their sales volume for the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010, all segments of members were optimistic. Among tour operators, 43 percent predict growth, as do 53 percent of DMOs and 45 percent of suppliers.
Finally, the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released today, shows Leisure and Hospitality as the industry sector with the highest hiring outlook for the second quarter of 2011. The overall report, measuring confidence among U.S. employers in 13 sectors, scores +8, while the Leisure and Hospitality sector scores +21.
- 76 percent of NTA tour operators package travel within North America.
37 percent package travel into North America from abroad.
45 percent package travel outbound from North America to countries around the world.
- The NTA Online member search engine is used nearly 8,000 times a month. (Make sure your profile is up to date!)
- Contact, NTA’s newest show, takes the rich heritage of NTA’s popular Spring Meet and kicks it up a notch with more focused—and higher-level—education sessions. (This year’s Contact is in Newport, Rhode Island.)
- NTA tour operators move 9 million travelers a year.
- NTA’s China Inbound Program—which includes tour operators registered to serve the leisure group market, discounted COTTM participation for all member segments, and the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai—was created to place NTA members in a first-choice position for the quickly expanding Chinese tourism market coming into North America. (Since 2008, total visitation from China to the United States has increased by 54 percent [as of November 2010], and total spending for 2010 [through September] was $3.6 billion, a 28 percent increase.)
- Montage, which took place in Spain last year and goes to Scotland April 12–14 this year, was designed to fulfill member requests for help in navigating the international market. If you’ve never worked in the international arena and would like to, or you already work internationally but want to expand your business and contacts, Montage is the place to do it.
- NTA members represent more travel product and have access to more business-to-business networking than in any other association in the industry. That includes product in every U.S. state, every Canadian province and more than 40 countries.
- 1,500 tour operators, 1,500 tour suppliers and 600 destinations from around the world have all chosen NTA as their avenue for expanding their businesses.
- NTA enjoys a high annual member retention rate of 90 percent (Thank you!), and in 2010 we had more operator members than 2008.
Two Webinars are on the horizon; one on March 9 and 10 (this week!), the other on March 22.
"Trends in Outbound Chinese Travel" features Xiang (Robert) Li, who will provide insights on the fast-growing Chinese outbound travel market. He will explain the geographic distribution of Chinese tourists, provide an overview of Chinese tourists’ service expectations, identify top "dream destinations" from Chinese tourists’ perspectives, and reveal key "push" and "pull" factors that may affect long-haul Chinese outbound tourists’ destination choice. There are two offerings of the 75-minute presentation: March 9 at 8 p.m. ET and March 10 at 10 a.m. ET. Register for this event on the Travel and Tourism Research Association site; it’s free to TTRA members and $50 for nonmembers.
"Sustainable Tourism 201: Putting Pencil to Paper" helps you learn to customize and integrate sustainable practices into your organization. Geared to travel professionals who already understand the importance of biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency and waste reduction, the Webinar will show participants how to put pencil to paper and make a commitment to create "positive triple-bottom-line results for your business, employees and community." Led by Robert Chappell, director of eco-certification and standards development at Sustainable Travel International, the free Webinar is scheduled for March 22 at noon ET. Click here for registration.
If you’ve ever been tempted to avoid a networking opportunity because you don’t know anyone in the room, you’re not the only one. And because the fear of flying solo into a reception or seminar is so common, there’s loads of advice.
We’ve collected several suggestions, which you can use the next time you attend an NTA event—because you do not want to miss meeting the great people there!
- Timing. Rather than waiting until a reception is in full swing before dropping in, go early, while it’s calmer and everyone hasn’t clustered into groups yet.
- Placement. Pick your spots to maximize breaking the ice: Stand near the nametag table, pick a seat near other solo attendees or look for groups standing in a U shape rather than a closed circle.
- Heads Up. Make yourself receptive to greetings from others by holding your head up (away from your phone), making eye contact, and remaining ready to smile.
- Openers. Rather than launching into your company’s elevator speech, start with an easy question or comment like, "What brings you here?" or "That’s an interesting name."
- Be prepared. If you’re at a seminar, an easy way to make friends is to share a power strip or an extra pen you’ve packed. At a conference, be that person with a schedule and map, ready to help a lost soul.
- Follow up. Using the business cards you collect (and you’ll dispense yours, right?), send your new friends a LinkedIn invitation a day or two after the event. That way, you’ll be likely to have people to meet up with at the next event, such as NTA’s Contact or Convention.
A full-page ad in a typical travel publication (that may or may not hit buyers) costs as much as $17,000. But advertising in Courier to a target market of qualified buyers costs only $3,700.
That deal is hard to resist! Advertise in the June issue of Courier magazine today. This issue features a business article on working with receptives, along with stories about soft and hard adventures; ecotourism; Native American, First Nations and Western heritage; Maryland; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas) and Latin America.
E-mail the NTA Services team to discuss advertising today! Or call +1.859.219.3533.
Tourism Cares, through a partnership with Amtrak, is hoping to make your trip to the 2011 Tourism Cares for Mystic Seaport event a little bit easier. Amtrak has generously donated a limited number of complimentary and discounted tickets for regional transportation, available to Tourism Cares volunteers. The event is May 5 and 6, and volunteers can book travel to Mystic Wednesday, May 4, through Sunday, May 8.
Transfers are available regionally on the Northeast Regional line that includes these cities: Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Lynchburg, Newport News and Virginia Beach, Virginia. For more information about the Northeast Regional line please click here.
The Collette Foundation is supporting relief efforts in Christchurch, New Zealand, through the Salvation Army. That organization’s earthquake response program has been helping those affected by the earthquake that hit downtown Christchurch, devastating the city center and leaving thousands without shelter, water and other major necessities.
To support these efforts and its vendors, partners, and friends in New Zealand, The Collette Foundation will be making a donation of US$15,000.
"Many of our employees have reached out looking for a way to help," Daniel Sullivan Jr., Collette Vacations’ president and CEO, said in a release. "It is important at times like these for the travel community to come together. This beautiful part of the world has given us so much."
Collette will also match any donations made through the Collette Foundation-up to US$15,000. Visit http://www.collettefoundation.org/ for more information on how to donate by check or online. One hundred percent of your donations will go to those in need, and all donations are tax deductible.
Have you set up a fund to support relief efforts in New Zealand? Please let us know and we will communicate this information.
- The National Park Service is accepting comments about a plan to limit the amount of noise from helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. Comments on the plan are being accepted through June 20.
- A TripAdvisor survey shows that 83 percent of respondents plan to vacation with family members this year, up from 79 percent in 2010. The survey includes spending trends, top destination types and interesting opinions about child-free zones.
- Speaking of families, vacation groups that include three generations are a growing travel trend. Thirty-two percent of U.S. grandparents who vacationed last year took a trip with their grandchildren, up from 22 percent in 2007.
- The Obama Administration, creating space for more growth of Cuba travel from the United States, boosted the number of airports allowed to host Cuba flights from three to 11.
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. The position is based in the NYC metro area.
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. The position is based in the NYC metro area.
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