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Special Travel Exchange Issue: Info, Insights and Ideas for Orlando

December 4, 2012

Volume 32, Issue 49


Interested in advertising in Tuesday? Email Karla DiNardo.

New Business: It’s the Floor and More
Making News in Orlando
How to Stay Connected at Travel Exchange
Out and About in Orlando
New Members on Board in November
The Heart of Travel Exchange
Expanded Event Means More Education
Reducing Their Carbon Footprint One Step at a Time
Visit the ‘Clubhouse’ to Putt—and Save!
And Now, a Word to Our Sponsors

New Business: It’s the Floor and More  

You may be wondering how to make the most of Travel Exchange in Orlando. That’s understandable, given the addition of United Motorcoach Association members who will also be exploring new-business opportunities in Orlando. For an overview of the convention floor—and tips for buyers and sellers on how to work it—follow this link.

(A quick note about UMA: The association has more than 900 motorcoach operator members, which are the buyer members of their association. When surveyed about their involvement in packaging tours, 55 percent said they provide group tour services that include hotels, restaurants and attractions.)

ApptVegasSpeaking of the floor, you’ve got 10 days to wrap things up in the Appointment Request System, which closes Friday, Dec. 14. Go here to get started—or to finish your list of requests, and be sure to update your online profile; it’s your No. 1 marketing tool.

Every appointment is a chance to expand your business horizons, according to Brad Lattin, director of sales for Sunsational Tours, who did just that at his first NTA convention last year.

"The great thing about NTA is that we got exposure to companies that were doing international FIT, international group inbound, senior citizen travel and baby boomer travel, so we exposed our company to several different markets that we’re trying to tap into," Lattin said. "I was going after every single market that I could get my hands on at that show."

Business doesn’t stop when the five o’clock whistle blows, though. Mindy Shea, director of tourism and travel sales for Visit Savannah, said she stresses the importance of after-hours networking events to her Savannah colleagues.

"It’s important to take full advantage of NTA’s show," Shea said. "You make your real connections at evening and networking events. It’s great to have a few minutes during your scheduled appointment time, but where you get to know about them personally is at these networking functions."

Click here to get information about all the networking events at Travel Exchange.

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Making News in Orlando 

For NTA members, Travel Exchange is a source of new business connections. But for the trade journalists who cover the event—and their readers—the event is aExtraExtra source of news.

"Travel Exchange is a superb opportunity for Travel Market Report on several fronts," said Robin Amster, contributing editor for the online publication. "Several of the sessions [listed below] promise to be good stories. It’s also a chance to network and meet the industry’s players because there’s no substitute for that personal, face-to-face interaction."

Following the 2010 NTA Convention in Montréal, David Cogswell wrote in that he found the event to be not only beneficial for business, but for the industry, too. "I love the gigantic buzz that is generated by conferences, as well as the explosion of collective energy that is ignited when you gather large numbers of people together around a shared set of beliefs and objectives," Cogswell wrote. "That was certainly true of NTA’s annual gathering."

Amster, Cogswell and other journalists will find Travel Exchange to be a ripe with insights and information about travel trends, product development and specialty markets:

  • Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Faith Tourism Leaders Forum, NTA will again bring together a broad collection of professionals experienced in faith-based travel. The Sunday session already has more than 150 participants. (Click here to see an earlier Miami Herald story on this market.)
  • New this year is a leaders forum that combines two markets. The Family Travel & Adventure Tourism Leaders Forum on Tuesday will be highlighted by Nancy Schretter of The Family Travel Network, who said that families are one of the fastest-growing parts of the adventure travel market. "I’ll be discussing the demographics and psychographics of family travelers, how to connect with them,and what all of this means for product development," she said.
  • Another Tuesday event that will generate news is the Hispanics in Travel Caucus, a result of the NTA-ASTA Hispanic Business Development Task Force (introduced at Convention ’11.) To read about the program’s first session, conducted at ASTA’s annual conference, click here. For more information email NTA HQ.
  • Finally, another program making news is the NTA Young Professionals group, which will hold its first meeting in a town hall format on Sunday afternoon. This important part of our industry’s future already gained attention when the NTA Board of Directors hosted a group of young professionals at a recent meeting. Read about that session here, and follow NTA’s new group on Twitter: #NTAyp.

To see where you can catch news as it happens during Travel Exchange, consult the main schedule and education lineup.

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How to Stay Connected at Travel Exchange 

You’ll be making a lot of face-to-face connections at Travel Exchange, but in today’s world, we know there’s other connecting you’ll need to do, too. We’ve got you covered:

Get a charge

You’re on the Travel Exchange floor and your cell phone or laptop battery is almost dead. What do you do? No worries. You’ll find a free charging station in the Cyber Center (sponsored by Niagara Falls Tourism) where your important mobile devices can get a boost to make it through the rest of the day.

Go surfing

You’ll have many options for connecting to the Internet while at Travel Exchange: Free Wi-Fi is available in the concourses of the Orange County Convention Center; the Cyber Center’s PCs give you quick access to your appointment schedule and email; and a plug-and-play station, where you can connect your laptop to the Internet, will be available in the Cyber Center.

There’s an app for that

There’s an app for just about everything, and Travel Exchange 2013 has one, too!AppTravEx The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad (requires iOS 4.0 or later) and Android devices (requires Android 2.1 and up). On the app, you’ll be able to:

  • Sort the full event schedule by day, speaker, category, your favorites and what’s happening now.
  • Exchange contact details with other attendees.
  • Find educational sessions and exhibitor booths with maps of the Travel Exchange mall and seminar rooms.
  • See details and contact information for all exhibitors and sponsors.
  • Mark educational sessions you want to attend, take notes during the sessions and rate them when they’re over.
  • Receive notifications about networking opportunities and other breaking event news pushed directly to your mobile device.
  • Follow the event on Twitter at #NTA13 directly from the app.

To download and install the free app to your device, search for "Travel Exchange 2013" on the iTunes App Store or on Google Play. To maintain the privacy of your contact information, you will need to input a unique mobile code to pair your device with the app. (Your code was sent via email from NTA headquarters.) Like a password, the mobile code simply tells the app that you are a registered attendee of Travel Exchange.

If you have any questions or have not received your mobile code, please contact NTA e-Services Manager Chris Reed at

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Out and About in Orlando  

Plan to enjoy sunny Orlando before or after Travel Exchange? Or maybe you’re looking for activities to enjoy during your down-time at the convention. Here are a few OrlandoSkylineideas to get you out and about:

Sightseeing Tours: Take advantage of Orlando’s average January daytime highs of 73 degrees and lows of 51 at night and sign up for a sightseeing tour! The tours take place Sunday morning (Jan. 20) and you must sign up by Jan. 8, to participate. But we suggest you sign up today; seats are limited and some tours are full.  

Dine-around night: Have a craving for local cuisine? Dine-around on Monday night is your chance to sate your appetite at a local restaurant and hang out with your peers. Find out your options and make your reservations at the Orlando guest services desk in the lobby near Registration (not on the convention floor).

Stay and Play: When you extend your Orlando stay after Travel Exchange, hang onto your Travel Exchange badge and ID, you’ll need it to take advantage of several special offers from Orlando’s surrounding attractions. Here are just a few exciting possibilities:

  • 50 percent off a Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
  • Private group tours at Friends of Casa Feliz
  • 20 percent discount at Hawthorn Suites Universal
  • Complimentary admission to Dinosaur World
  • 50 percent off Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
  • Complimentary I-Ride Trolley ride
  • Complimentary admission ticket to Medieval Times
  • 30 percent off Orlando Balloon Rides
  • $15 off an Orlando Magic ticket
  • Special Walt Disney World Resort deals
  • BOGO airboat tour at Wild Florida

And there’s more. See the full selection of adventures here and book yours today! Check back often, as new offers are frequently added.

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New Members on Board in November 

NTA welcomed 28 new members in November, plenty of time to get geared up for6.12.12New Travel Exchange. They represent five countries (Austria, Canada, Israel, Norway and the United States) and 12 U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia).

To see the list of new members and potential business partners, which includes a contact name and email address, go to the New Member page on NTA Online.

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The Heart of Travel Exchange 

While you’re building business in Orlando, you’ll also be able to build bridges. Travel Exchange offers several opportunities to give back to the industry—while enjoying Heartevery minute of it.* Here are the heartfelt highlights:

Mentor: Share your knowledge of the industry with Tourism Cares scholarship students who are coming to Orlando to soak up insights and information. This year’s record number of students needs a record number of mentors. Sign up here.

Rock: Wednesday night is Tourism Rocks!, a high-energy party that benefits Tourism Cares. Tour operators are sponsored guests, and suppliers and DMOs can save $10 when you Rock as you register.

Run: NTA is always looking out for your best interests in Washington, D.C. And you can support those efforts by joining the 5K Fun(d) Run/Walk/Sleep. The race is limited to 220 (actual) runners, so sign up ($25) on site or email NTA HQ.

Bid: Watch for details about a live auction benefitting the Motorcoach Council, a philanthropic organization dedicated to educating travelers about the value and advantages of motorcoach transportation.

Flip: After the Awards Dinner on Tuesday evening, Tourism Cares is hosting a Flip Flop tournament: Flip for Your Friends Affected by Hurricane Sandy. The game is limited to 100 players; follow this link for details.

Pitch: Pitch in, that is, as a volunteer at Travel Exchange. Earn your V Pin by helping greet, register and educate your colleagues. You’ll be helping the greater good while you meet great people. Sign up here to volunteer.

And for a nice reminder about why we get together as colleagues, see "The Heart" in this month’s issue of Courier.

*Speaking of having fun, take a look at the lineup of parties, music, dancing, games and rides we highlighted in last week’s Tuesday.

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Expanded Event Means More Education 

Along with the added business-building opportunities that come with a combined show, NTA and United Motorcoach Association members can also benefit from expanded education offerings: All sessions are open to all Travel ExchangeEducationVegas attendees.

NTA has a something for everybody, education-wise. Product explored in Sunday-through-Thursday sessions includes adventure, culinary, faith-based, sports and family; markets include China, Canada, and U.S. Hispanics. You can also get business advice related to marketing, technology, networking, negotiating, entrepreneurialism and social media. For the list of seminars, along with presenter photos and bios, see the story in Courier. For additions and updates, check NTA Online.

UMA is presenting its seminars in four tracks during three hour-long sessions on Monday: Marketing, Operations, Finance and Travel Exchange (where attendees can focus on the opportunities that our combined show presents). To see the lineup of UMA education, follow this link. NTA members are welcome to attend these UMA sessions.

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Reducing Their Carbon Footprint One Step at a Time 

The Orange County Convention Center, site of Travel Exchange ’13, is becoming a OrangeToGreencertified green facility. OCCC’s "Orange to Green" campaign shows their commitment to environmental stewardship through ongoing projects and frequent reviews of its processes.

Last year in Las Vegas, we were able to recycle 6,408 pounds of cardboard, paper, wood and metals combined! Now with the help of OCCC and their mission to remain green, let’s raise the bar in Orlando and continue to protect our planet.

Here is how the OCCC is reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Environmental: To reduce cost and waste, the convention center uses green-certified cleaning products, air-blowing driers, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers, 100 percent recycled toilet paper and hand towels, non-oil-based paint products and 85 percent recycled trash bags.
  • Renewable energy: A one-megawatt, rooftop, solar photovoltaic system significantly reduces energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Recycling: OCCC is the first convention center in the United States to receive the International Organization for Standardization certification for accomplishments that include recycling or diverting 71 percent of all waste, including 35 tons of office paper and 3,551 tons of cardboard (since 2007).
  • Transportation: Two Ford hydrogen-powered V-10 E-450 shuttles have been added to the fleet of vehicles to help keep the air cleaner and reduce greenhouse gases.
  • Water: The OCCC uses reclaimed water for landscaping irrigation and is pilot-testing low-flow faucets in restrooms.
  • Reusable donations: After an event, leftover food and products are donated to local schools, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Client assistance: The OCCC works with each client to provide guests with recycling opportunities.

To view all OCCC Green Initiatives and to learn more about "Orange to Green," visit the OCCC website to download their Green Fact Sheet.

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Visit the ‘Clubhouse’ to Putt—and Save! 

Celebrate Travel Exchange 2013 by stopping by the NTA Publications and Sponsorship booth. You’ll receive 13 percent off rate card for all publications if you book at Travel Exchange.

We will have all of NTA’s official publications on hand: Courier, NTA Trip Planner publications, Membership Directory, The Best of the USA-China Directory, Contact program, Profile Form Notebook, Travel Exchange program, Travel Exchange Map & Schedule and Travel Exchange Daily Newsletter. Plus find out about sponsorship opportunities at Travel Exchange and Contact.

While you’re at our booth, you’ll be sure to notice our clubhouse theme—completeGolfBall with our awesome putting green! Stop by to try your chance in our daily putting contest. Daily winners will compete for the grand prize of a Kindle and a full page in a 2013 issue of Courier. Come by often to see how the competition is stacking up on the leader board.

Your NTA Services account executive will be at the booth to discuss your 2013 advertising plans and sponsorship plans, and our Courier editorial staff will be on hand to discuss the 2013 editorial calendar. And of course, we’re all pros when it comes to consultation on your golf game.

With NTA publications and sponsorship opportunities, we can show you how to positively impact your bottom line in 2013.

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And Now, a Word to Our Sponsors  

How about two words: Thank you. Thanks for supporting not just NTA, but NTA members: the hard-working people that make our association—and our industry—vital and vibrant. 

To see a list of Travel Exchange sponsors, follow this link. To find out how to add your company to this impressive list and receive an exhibit booth at Travel Exchange, contact Karla DiNardo.

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