(pre)Convention Checklist. 8 Things to Do in the Next 10 Weeks;Tour Operators, Cathy Needs Your Help
September 7, 2010
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Your (pre)Convention Checklist. 8 Things to Do in the Next 10 Weeks
Hey, Tour Operators, I Need Your Help
ESTA Scam Warning for U.S. Visa Waiver Country Travelers
Bob Whitley, John Stachnik to Be Honored at NTA Convention
U.S. Consumer Confidence up in August
JP Dansereau Chosen as Inaugural CONTACT Chair
Still Thinking about Running for the NTA Board?
Thanks for Tracking
Tourism Cares Awards Professional Development Scholarships
Target your Marketing Using Travel Trade Barometers Tailored to Your Business
Industry News and Updates
Get your red ink pens ready. Here are eight things to mark off before Convention begins (it’s only 10 weeks away!):
? Register. It’s the first step to getting new business.
? Check your passport-is it up-to-date? Click here for information.
? Reserve a hotel room. Two of the six host hotels are sold out, so make your reservations now to get your choice hotel.
? Book your transportation. Don’t forget to check out NTA’s transportation deals: Save up to 10 percent on flights from participating airlines or fly into Burlington, Vermont, and take the complimentary shuttle to Montreal.
? Check out which companies are coming to Convention. Watch this scrolling list.
? Update your online profile, making it as accurate and enticing as possible.
? Schedule your appointments and see who has requested to meet with your company here.
? Get your platform shoes and polyester ready for Tuesday Night Fever! Sponsored by The Berkely Group and The Big Bay, San Diego’s Waterfront and Bartell Hotels.
Join me in supporting and thanking our DMO and supplier members at Convention. Their commitment to and investment in NTA’s Convention each year is truly amazing; the event just would not be at the level it is without them.
I’ve contributed US$250 toward an appreciation reception to be held in Montreal on Tuesday evening. Please do the same. To contribute, contact Karla DiNardo at 1.800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4232.
Let’s let our tour suppliers and DMO partners know how much we appreciate them!
-Cathy Greteman, NTA Chairman and CEO
NTA members dealing with the U.S. inbound market should warn their clients about a new scam impacting the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, the program travelers from the 36 U.S. Waiver Program countries must register through as part of the process of entry into the United States. The scam helps hackers steal information personal information.
"The fake programs are designed to fool travelers into thinking they are filling out the real travel authorization forms and by doing so they steal personal information, steal credit card information and/or infect the applicant’s computer with a virus," said the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors. Travelers can be turned away when trying to enter the United States if they have filled out a fake form rather than the actual one. The official U.S. Homeland Security site and only place to receive the official ESTA form is esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
Since the U.S. government announced a US$14 fee for using ESTA effective Sept. 8, several fake Web sites have been created to capitalize on the new requirement for travelers to use a credit card to pay for the service. "Searching ESTA on Google produces no less than four front page hits claiming to be the official site," said the CITC. "Some fake sites are taking full advantage of those who are not comfortable filling out a government form by charging fees ranging from US$30 to US$250 to assist in the completion of the form. Adding insult to injury, the fake sites offer a downloadable version of the travel authorization form, which the real ESTA site does not do. The very act of clicking yes to the download allows ‘malware’ to infect your computer with everything from viruses to scanning programs that expose your personal files, leading to identity theft and other crimes."
The late Bob Whitley, USTOA president for 32 years, will be honored this year with the NTA Pioneer award and John Stachnik of Mayflower Tours will receive the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement award. Both awards will be presented at the 2010 NTA Convention in Montreal.
The Pioneer award, established by the NTA Board in 2005, honors individuals whose accomplishments have resulted in a significant change in the travel industry from which NTA and its members have benefited. Established in 2003, the Bob Everidge award honors an individual who has had an active dedication to the mission of NTA and the best interest of its members while making professional and personal contributions to the industry over a span of at least 20 years.
Whitley’s distinguished career in the tourism field spanned more than 40 years. He was selected to be president of USTOA in 1978 and he served in this role until his passing earlier this year. Before joining USTOA, Whitley held positions as director of the Florida and Pennsylvania departments of tourism and director of the Virginia Beach (Virginia) Convention and Tourist Bureau.
Stachnik began his career in 1966 with a hotel company based in Washington, D.C. In 1970, he co-founded a Midwestern regional tour company, and, along with his wife Mary, established Mayflower Tours in 1979, now one of America’s most widely-recognized tour companies. John served on the board of Tourism Cares, TIA (now U.S. Travel Association), and 14 years on the NTA Board of Directors, including a year as NTA president in 1982.
To be a part of these award celebrations, register today for the NTA Convention.
The Conference Board said its index on consumer confidence—which examines how Americans feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months—rose in August to 53.5 points. It had declined to 51 in July. The rise in the index was above forecasts of 50.5.
Consumer confidence is closely watched by many business professionals including those in travel and tourism because consumer spending typically accounts for 70 percent of the American economy and is crucial to a sustained recovery.
Americans expected a modest improvement in business conditions and were less pessimistic about job prospects, according to the survey. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead rose to 14.6 percent, from 14.2 percent, the survey said, while consumers anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 19.4 percent, from 20.9 percent.
Jean Pierre Dansereau of Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort will serve as the chair of NTA’s first CONTACT event, which will be held in Newport, Rhode Island, Aug. 1-3, 2011. NTA Chairman and CEO Cathy Greteman appointed Dansereau to the position.
"I am honored to be part of this new event focused on education and business," said Dansereau. "This new format gets to the heart of our business. I am looking forward to returning home to New England and serving our association in this capacity. I am confident this new conference will open more doors for our members and provide the knowledge necessary to grow our businesses."
Dansereau has worked in the travel industry for 17 years and is currently director of travel industry sales for Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort. Dansereau has worked in sales for Mohegan Sun, Coach USA and Foxwoods Resort Casino. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors for NTA and has served on numerous other travel industry committees.
Accommodations for this new event will be at the Newport Marriott, which sits waterfront facing the Harbor with a view of Rhode Island’s famous sailboats. Suppliers and DMOs may sponsor to attend the event and participate in the education and networking.
Want to make a difference in your association and the travel industry? Serve on the NTA Board of Directors! You still have time to run for a seat as the deadline for submitting a Willingness to Serve form and other necessary items is Sept. 15.
Eligible NTA members will vote in their respective member categories to elect their representatives to the board. The voting will be conducted electronically and by paper ballot at the category talk times at the NTA Convention in Montreal this November.
If you are interested in running for the NTA Board, please contact Katey Pease at 800.682.8886, ext. 4245 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4245 for further information.
In August, tour operators sent nearly 100 e-mails to DMOs with tracking information. Thanks to the following operators for taking the time to share valuable tracking information with their DMO colleagues through NTA Online’s Tracking System:
Cruises and Tours Worldwide, St. Louis, Missouri
Daytripping Inc., Santa Rosa, California
Setness Tours, Stockton, California
Western Leisure Inc., Midvale, Utah
Would you like to see your name on this special list? Be a hero to your DMO colleagues. Go to NTA Online, use the Tracking System and help ensure your DMO partners continue to offer their invaluable services to your company today and tomorrow! Remember—you don’t have to be a tour operator to track! NTA is asking its tour operator and supplier members to use this online system to share important tracking information with their DMO partners. It’s quick, easy and will make a DMO’s day.
Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropy and the tourism industry’s premier charitable organization for conservation, restoration and education, is pleased to award nearly US$10,000 in Professional Development Scholarships to 11 graduates of travel and tourism or hospitality certificate programs in the United States.
For nearly 30 years, Tourism Cares and its predecessor foundations have provided more than 700 students with scholarships and other awards valued at more than $1 million. This year’s 11 winners, who completed tour management or tour guide certificate programs in California and Colorado, are receiving American Society of Travel Agents, the International Airlines Travel Agent Network Ronald A. Santana Memorial and NTA Professional Development Scholarships. NTA welcomes Tourism Cares scholarship winners to attend Convention and participate in the Mentor program.
Keep an eye on Tuesday for more information and sign-ups to become a Tourism Cares scholarship recipient mentor.
Bookings to the U.S. for the first half of 2010 registered growth from the top international visitor markets. Will the second half remain positive? More importantly-what is the change in bookings to your destination?
NTA members receive a 5 percent discount on specific (proprietary) destination data available through a subscription to the U.S. Department of Commerce-sponsored Travel Trade Barometers. To take advantage of this NTA member discount, complete this order form or contact NTA Director of Research and Education Lisa Thompson with questions. For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html.
Here’s a look at recent research, statistics and news that may apply to you and your business:
- Israel tourism has recorded an all-time high with 1.6 million tourists arriving in the first half of 2010, a 39 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
- Another British Airways strike is possible. Click here for more.
- Travel Leaders says its Fall Travel Trends Survey finds that its travel agents are not seeing any impact from the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster on travel bookings to the region for the remainder of the year.
- New Zealand Earthquake leaves travel largely uninterrupted.
- France strike disrupts flights and rail services. Click here for story.
The links in this article are not monitored by NTA staff. Any bad links, expired pages, etc. are due to the constantly changing nature of Web sites.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.