NTA Supports JOLT Act | The (Broadway) Hits Just Keep on Coming
May 22, 2012
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NTA Supports JOLT Act
IBM Study Reveals Power of Partnerships for CEOs
The (Broadway) Hits Just Keep on Coming
How to Create a Memorable Customer Experience, Increase Group Business
Rendez-vous Canada Connects NTA with Leaders, Suppliers and DMOs
10 Members Discover Slice of Slovokia
Native American, First Nations Section Highlights June Courier
Celebrate Small Business Week
Kudos (and Cash) to Members Referring New Members
One Sponsorship. Two Associations. Invaluable Exposure.
Is Your Landing Page Landing New Business?
Industry News and Updates
A new piece of travel legislation that combines parts of earlier bills has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2012, or JOLT Act, contains provisions for stimulating international travel by improving the entry process, expanding the Visa Waiver Program and lengthening the time Canadian visitors can stay in the U.S. It’s a bill that NTA can get behind, said Steve Richer, NTA public affairs advocate.
"The JOLT Act combines the best elements of previous bills into one, stronger bill with bipartisan support," Richer said. "We’re going to work with our travel sector friends to get this passed."
"Extensive partnering is providing the edge CEOs need to take on radical innovation."
—Anthony Marshal, program director of IBM’s 2012 Global CEO study
IBM’s recently released 2012 Global CEO Study reveals that "amplifying innovation with partnerships" is one of the top three "essential imperatives" for CEOs. To conduct the study, the company talked to more than 1,700 CEOs and senior public sector leaders in 18 industries across 64 countries.
"Combining partnering and innovation together is correlated very strongly with performance," said Anthony Marshal, program director of IBM’s 2012 Global CEO study, in a series of videos on the study. "We find that ‘outperformers’ use innovation 28 percent more than underperforming organizations in the sample of CEOs that we interviewed."
Commitment to external partnering has grown significantly since IBM’s 2008 Global CEO Study, from 55 percent to 69 percent. "Partnering in a very real sense has become an engine of growth and a key source of sustained economic value," said Marshall. You can watch Marshall’s videos here and learn more on the study here.
Fostering partnerships and innovation among our members is a key driver at NTA, shaping the majority of our benefits and programming. Contact, NTA’s operator-exclusive Business Builder, grew specifically out of that drive. This event was built to bring operators together in a relaxed, collaborative environment to build relationships, swap ideas, share successes, commiserate on challenges and find solutions, or, in other words: partner and innovate.
Jenifer Robertson, of About Tours, attended Contact last year and said she came back to work "refreshed and ready to look at new ideas for our business."
Select Travel Service’s Judee Kaplan said Contact was one of the best conferences she attended last year: "This was a chance to explore how we could work together."
Plus, it’s in an ideal setting for relaxation and innovation: gorgeous San Diego! Check out this video of the Contact hotel, the San Diego Hotel & Marina—it’s lovely. Then register for Contact and meet your next partner and co-innovator.
Travel Exchange ’13 will mark a 20-year run of bringing Broadway to NTA. Last week, NTA and Group Sales Box Office/ Broadway.com signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement that will keep the hits coming-not only in Orlando but also in Los Angeles (2014) and New Orleans (2015).
Group Sales Box Office, which recently merged with Broadway.com, will showcase the best of Broadway during the Group Sales Box Office/Broadway.com Luncheon during Travel Exchange on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (Follow this link for the full schedule.)
At last year’s Convention, NTA members enjoyed musical productions from top Broadway shows that included "Lion King," "Sister Act," "Spiderman," "Mary Poppins" and "Godspell." Stay tuned for details of the performances in Orlando!
There are two new posts for you on the Do Big Things blog:
- "Things You Can’t Un-see" takes a look at an entertaining video (worth a watch all by itself) and provides six ways to create a memorable customer experience.
- "Doing Big Things by Looking at the ‘Bigger Picture’" gives you insight from Mark Tenholder, NTA member and director of sales at the Crowne Plaza St. Louis Downtown. He shares how his property went from $20,000 in annual group tour revenue to more than $300,000 a year. That alone makes this one a must-read.
And remember, it’s your comments that make the blog come to life! So please feel free to add your thoughts and ideas to the comments section of each Do Big Things blog post.
NTA played an active and visible role at Rendez-vous Canada, May 13-16, in Edmonton, Alberta. Members of the NTA Canadian Task Force, chaired by Jim Warren, kicked off the week by hosting a breakfast with provincial tourism leaders to educate them about the committee’s initiatives. NTA members also gathered together at a Travel Exchange Road Show reception. (You can see photos on NTA’s Facebook page.)
Three NTA representatives—Warren, Riviera Tours’ Grant Pollard (Canadian Task Force liaison to the NTA Board of Directors) and Cheryl Adams (NTA Membership Department)—handled more than 150 formal and ad hoc meetings with Canadian suppliers and DMOs.
"The show itself was great, but NTA’s presence was big. Everybody knew NTA was there," Warren said. "The response from the industry, our members and nonmembers was really positive."
Task force members also were able to visit with David F. Goldstein, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and with representatives from the Canadian Tourism Commission.
In mid-May, Discover Slovakia Tours and the Slovak Tourist Board hosted 10 North American NTA tour operators for NTA’s product development trip to Slovakia. Participants had a taste of the many experiences available to visitors in Slovakia including opera, history, wellness/spas, wine, cheese, agritourism, adventure and sport. The rich Slovakia experience was bookended by a morning in Vienna and an afternoon in Budapest, both easily reachable from Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava. The North American group was joined by 10 European tour operator participants who added to a great cross-cultural experience! Look for the story in the July issue of Courier.
The next Montage PDT is "The Exotic Land of Morroco," Oct. 20-30. Click here for information.
Top row, left to right: Brana Bahylova, Discover Slovakia Tours; Dawn Rueckl, Wells Grey Tours Ltd.; Heather Moffatt, Ellison Travel and Tours Ltd., Lyle Ceruti, Sunrise Tours; Pamela Lohse, Global Travel Design; Lori Greteman, Star Destinations; Gail Arndt, Tour Trends;
Front: Elsa Lo, China Silk Tours; Jane Larson, Witte Travel & Tours; Marcela Lauková, Discover Slovakia Tours; Robert King, U.S. Embassy, Elizabeth Walker, Rail Source International; Cathy Greteman, Star Destinations.
This June issue of Courier offers you many opportunities to enrich your product offerings and your industry knowledge. Don’t miss Greg Takehara’s report from the IGLTA Annual Global Convention in Florianópolis, Brazil. Another must read is tour operator Karl Storch’s end-page essay on Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly. His beautiful descriptions of this inspiring Native American site add to the section on Native American and First Nations product. That special section includes details on four top First Nations festivals, and profiles six NTA members that provide guided tours, interactive programs and traditional performances based on tribal customs. The issue also includes destination stories the U.S. Gulf Coast, Latin America, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Repeat advertisers in this issue are Aon Affinity Berkely Travel, Empire State Building, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Norwegian Cruise Line, Pensacola (Florida) Convention & Visitor Information Center, Royal Gorge Route Railroad and VisitNorfolk. 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:
September issue: Eastern Europe (Czech Republic,Croatia, Poland & Slovakia), Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas), Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ontario; Special Section: Sightseeing Rail; Guide: Museums.
Ad Space: July 3
Editorial: June 4
October issue: Asia; Great Plains; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont; Hawaii; Special Section: Music, Music, Music; Guide: Motorcoach Companies
Ad Space: Aug. 1
Editorial: July 2
November issue: India, America’s Historic East (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.), New Jersey, New York, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Las Vegas, Special Section: Sun and Sand, Guide: Restaurants.
Ad Space: Sept. 5
Editorial: July 30
This week is National Small Business Week, and NTA is joining the celebration. Small businesses (those employing fewer than 500 workers) employ about half of all private-sector employees in the United States and create more than half of the non-farm private gross domestic product. The latest data shows there are more than 27 million small businesses, and they accounted for 65 percent of new jobs.
Most NTA-member tour companies are small businesses, and all NTA tour companies and operators rely on partnerships with small businesses to create unique tour product with local flavor: specialty stores and shops, attractions, restaurants, inns and hotels.
NTA Chairman Jim Reddekopp Jr. has been invited to share information about our association during a May 30 Webinar with members of the Small Business Association, and our message will be one of mutual benefit: NTA members rely on local small businesses for myriad products and services, and in turn, our product and customers bring more revenue to local businesses.
For more a list of small business resources from SBA, follow this link. And for a lineup of seminars targeted to tour company owners (along with sales and operations tracks), see this description of Contact ’12 education.
Whenever you recruit a new member of NTA, you’re giving your association a stronger voice in the industry. You’re also giving all members a new potential business partner and expanded product. So we want to give you something in return!
Join the Recruitment Rewards Club and receive an American Express gift card as a reward: a $25 gift card for any supplier or DMO who joins and (new this month) a $50 gift card for any tour operator who joins. Plus, for every new member you help recruit, your name will go into a year-end drawing that will give your company complimentary dues for the upcoming year!
There’s no limit to the number of tour operators, suppliers or DMOs you recruit or the amount of gift cards you can earn.
The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by referring a new company that recently joined the association:
- Sonny Shang of ACC America China Connection has referred new member Jian Xin Wang of US King Travel, Inc.
- Brad Lattin of Sunsational Tours has referred new member Lainie Pekich of Nickelodeon Suites Resort.
- Virginia Dionisio of South African Tourism has referred new member Sabine Blehle of Welcome Tourism Services.
- Renate Graham of Desert Adventures Tourism LLC has referred new member Chanphen Ruksakulkiati of Asian Trails Ltd.
- Jeannette Yetman of Destination St. John’s has referred new member Laura Walbourne of Go Western Newfoundland-Western NL DMO.
- Matthew Squire of Select Travel Service Ltd. has referred new member Roberto Sannipola of Agenzia Genius SAS.
- David O’Gorman of Discover Ireland Tours has referred new member James Grieve of Europe Incoming Scotland Ltd.
- Cathy Greteman of Star Destinations Inc. has referred new member Nicola Iannone of MSC Cruises.
- Jessica Herring of Dubai Tourism has referred new member Renate Graham of Desert Adventures Tourism LLC.
Travel Exchange ’13 (Jan. 20–24 in Orlando) sponsors will have exposure to 800 buyers from NTA and UMA! Sponsoring at Travel Exchange ’13 creates the ideal and elite marketing experience for tour suppliers and DMOs looking to reach current and new business. Interested in learning more about how you can promote yourself to NTA and UMA buyers? Contact Karla DiNardo by e-mail or phone (859.264.6556) today for more information. You can also click here to access a list of available sponsorships and benefits that you don’t want to pass up!
"The 2011 NTA Convention in Las Vegas was my best yet! The combination of our sponsorship booth, business appointments and the opportunity to network with new tour operators all resulted in new business!"
—Lisa Itel, Travel Oregon (NTA Member Since 1983)
s You know the importance of driving consumers and B2B partners to your Web site, right? But you want to make sure they stay headed in the right direction when they get there. The landing page, where visitors are sent by your ads or links, is your opportunity to convey information and capture leads, says John Jantsch in Duct Tape Marketing.
And to illustrate what makes a landing page effective (or not), Jantsch directs readers to an analysis of 20 landing page examples on Unbounce.com. See how content, colors, fonts and design can enhance your chances of Web visitors responding to your call to action.
- Spending by international visitors to the United States has increased by 13 percent, according to the Department of Commerce. Last year’s increase of 8.1 percent supported an additional 103,000 U.S. jobs.
- Improving visa facilitation could create more than 5 million jobs and generate an extra US$200 billion by 2015 in G20 economies, according to UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council. (G20 is composed of 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union.)
- Eighty-six percent of U.S. residents say they plan to take a leisure trip this summer, up from 81 percent who traveled last summer. Four out of 10 travelers will visit a favorite or traditional destination, while 27 percent are planning a new travel experience.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.