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Tour Operator Heads-up on Deadlines, Rebates and Helicopter Rides! | How to Get a Story in Courier

September 27, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 40

9.6.11 Oregon banner

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Tour Operator Heads-up on Deadlines, Rebates and Helicopter Rides!
How to Get a Story in Courier
Convention Is First Stop for Chinese Travel Trade Study Tour
Got Appointments?
Kudos to Members Referring New Members
Contact ’12 Set for August
Have a ‘Home’ at NTA’s Convention ’11
Tourism Cares Silent Auction Featured at Convention, Online
Before You Look: Guess the World’s Most Visited Tourist Destination
Industry News and Updates

Tour Operator Heads-up on Deadlines, Rebates and Helicopter Rides!  

Register for Convention ’11 by Oct. 19 and you’ll still be eligible for a partial tour operator rebate of $350 plus, we’ll put your name in a drawing for a helicopter ride to the evening Icebreaker!

After Oct. 19 we’ll draw the names of four lucky tour operators who will get to arrive—celebrity style—at Monday night’s Convention Icebreaker, compliments of NTA member Maverick Helicopters. By registering for Convention by Oct. 19, you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing.

NTA’s Convention is where tour operators come to form partnerships, enhance their professional development, buy and sell to each other, and expand their itineraries. To get the most out of Convention, don’t forget to:

  • Update your online NTA profile. (Your company profile is one of the top tools you have to let sellers know about your company and which products interest you. And an updated profile is required for you to receive your rebate.)
  • Double your Convention benefits by taking advantage of the Buy One Get One offer! Your company can bring a second tour operator for free.
  • Sign up for the Buyer-to-Buyer Session on Monday, Dec. 5.
  • Sign up for a sightseeing tour. (Deadline to sign up is Nov. 1.)
  • Sign up for a pre- and/or post-Convention Fam tour. (Deadline to sign up is Nov. 4.) 


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How to Get a Story in Courier 

Did you know …

  • All the destination information featured in Courier stories comes from NTA members?
  • Courier has a circulation of 6,000?
  • NTA tour operators consistently rank Courier as the No.1-valued trade publication, above all other industry publications?

If you want your destination included in a future Courier story, simply get in touch the Courier staff (Penny Whitman, Doug Rentz, and Pat Henderson) and let them know what’s going on with you. Don’t be shy! Propose a story idea, share your news or relate memorable moments from the road. Courier is your magazine and your fellow members want to know about you!

You can contribute to Courier in several ways.

One is to check out the Courier editorial calendar. This is a month-by-month overview of the story topics and regional destinations scheduled to be covered in 2012. See a topic that might be a good fit for your destination or property? Contact the Courier staff. Example: Is your destination involved with casinos and gaming? The February issue will include a feature on that topic.

Don’t miss the deadline dates listed under the "Editorial" column. The Courier staff generally works about two months ahead. (As you’re reading this in September, they are working on the November issue.) Be sure you submit your ideas in plenty of time.

Feel strongly about an industry issue or want to share a best practice? The Business section of Courier is where you can do that. Want to communicate a business strategy or profile your unique experiences? AfterWords is ideal for that. And Where in the World Is Courier? features members on the road. (See page 4 of the April ’11 issue for a great photograph of Jorge Cazenave leading a horseback riding tour in Argentina.) You could be the next featured member.

Your contributions are always welcome. And, don’t be intimidated if you’re not a writer; Penny, Doug and Pat can help.

You can e-mail Penny Whitman, editor in chief of Courier or call +1.859.264.6562. Press releases may also be e-mailed.

Advertising is always available in Courier, too. To advertise, e-mail the advertising department or call +1.859.264.6559.

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Convention Is First Stop for Chinese Travel Trade Study Tour 

The first Chinese travel trade study tour is arriving in the U.S. later this year, and the group’s first stop is Convention ’11 in Las Vegas!

The study tour, presented by NTA and the NTA Visit USA Center in China and operated by Joy Holiday, gives Chinese participants a solid understanding of U.S. tourism resources, enabling them to sell U.S. tour products more effectively. Some 40 participants, including journalists, will arrive in the U.S in early December. After attending Convention and touring Las Vegas, the group will visit Arizona and Utah (Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park and St. George) before ending the tour in Los Angeles.

This inaugural study tour needs sponsors, and NTA invites destinations and suppliers to support the program and promote your business. To see the sponsorship opportunities, take a look at the draft itinerary here. If you’d like to sponsor an event, contact Harry Chen at Joy Holiday.

All China Inbound Program tour operators registered to serve the group leisure market from China were given the opportunity to submit an itinerary through a request for proposal selection process. Through an anonymous review of all submitted itineraries, Joy Holiday was the NTA China Inbound program operator chosen to operate this NTA tour.

NTA developed the NTA Visit USA Center to facilitate business in this market, promote the United States and educate the Chinese trade about the diversity of product in the United States. The study tours program will help NTA achieve its goals by:

  • providing networking opportunities for industry professionals from both countries,
  • showcasing the diversity of U.S. tourism resources and destinations,
  • educating Chinese travel partners on how to sell U.S. tours, and
  • demonstrating what a high-quality tour entails. 

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Got Appointments?  

You have just 25 more days to finalize your lists and request your business appointments for Convention ’11! Now is the time to do you research and make those requests!

If you’ve already registered for Convention, you can log-in here to make your requests.

If you haven’t registered to join us in Las Vegas, now’s the time to do that! Register for Convention ’11 here.

The Appointment Request System closes Oct. 21; your customized appointment schedule will be available Nov. 15. The Direct Request Appointment Scheduling system will open Nov. 15.

Questions on the appointment scheduling process? E-mail us or call +1.859.264.6540.

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Kudos to Members Referring New Members 

Each new member gives NTA a stronger voice in the industry and brings you expanded product and more potential business partners.

The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by referring a new company that joined the association earlier this month:  

  • Ernie Bruno of Hudson Valley Tour Planners referred new member Kyle Carson of Rocking Horse Ranch Resort.
  • Kevin Streit of Kevin Streit and Associates referred new member Thomas Berton of Manhattan By Sail.
  • Malia Asfour of Jordan Tourism Board North America referred new members Virginia Dionisio of South African Tourism and Hanna Sawalha of Nebo Tours.
  • Martina Morio of Super Sightseeing Tours referred new member Toddy Isham of Meritage Resort & Spa.
  • Meagan McGuire of Museum of Flight referred new member Josh Bang of EMP Museum.
  • Randi Axelsson of Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa referred new member Adrienne Booth of Bellair Charters/Airporter Shuttle.
  • Renee Robison of Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism referred new member Brenda Rouse of Arkansas Missouri Railroad.

Know someone who should belong to NTA? Let us know! E-mail Lori Rempe or call her at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.264.6544. When your referral becomes a new member, we’ll send you a $25 gift card. For more information, including tips for landing new members, visit our Recruitment Rewards Club site.

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Contact ’12 Set for August 

Contact is heading west next year, taking the tour operator-exclusive event to San Diego in 2012. The three-day session, set for August 16–18, 2012 (new dates!), will bring travel professionals together in one of California’s most inviting and scenic settings.

"If you haven’t been to San Diego in the last few years, you don’t know what you’ve been missing," said Benjamin Eastman, travel trade development manager of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. "San Diego’s friendly atmosphere makes it the ideal place for Contact because it’s such a casual and relaxed conference."

Chairing Contact ’12, and echoing Eastman’s sentiments, is Misha Jovanovic, owner of Misha Tours in San Diego. "I’ve lived 32 years in Europe and 32 years here, and this is the best destination on the continent," he said. "There are many big attractions, but there are lots of hidden gems here, too: beautiful little resort towns, an inviting wine country and a back-country mining town."

San Diego has a tough act to follow: The 2011 event in Newport, R.I., drew an overall rating of 9.1 (on a 10-point scale) from those who took in the conference’s education sessions, Fam trips, sightseeing tours and social events at local landmarks.

Eastman said that San Diego is up for the challenge in 2012. "Attendees will be able to enjoy the perfect blend of business meetings, networking and fun while in San Diego."

More information about Contact ’12 in San Diego will be posted the NTA Business Builder Web site.

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Have a ‘Home’ at NTA’s Convention ’11 

Want a place to call home at Convention ’11? Sponsor at the $5,000 level or higher and you’ll receive a sponsor booth on the Convention floor. Having a booth of your own allows you to conduct business outside of your scheduled appointments and create a spot where buyers can find you throughout the week. Great sponsorships that qualify for a booth are available, so contact Melisa-Beth Rooke today to pick out yours!

Click here to learn more about NTA’s renowned Convention sponsorship program.

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Tourism Cares Silent Auction Featured at Convention, Online 

The Tourism Cares Silent Auction will be back at the 2011 NTA Convention this December in Las Vegas, and we need your help. By donating an auction item to Tourism Cares, you’ll help raise funds for NTA’s official charity, and you’ll broadcast your commitment to saving our worldwide treasures.

One of the more popular events at Convention, the Tourism Cares Silent Auction includes an exciting array of travel packages, unique collectibles and luxury gift items for online and on-site bidding.

How does donating an auction item benefit your organization?

  • Your product or service will receive exposure on the Tourism Cares auction site, visible to all NTA delegates for months leading up to Convention.
  • Your listing includes your logo and a link to your Web site, driving traffic and increasing exposure to your product or service.
  • You will be helping NTA’s official philanthropy continue to do good!

How do you donate?

It’s easy! Click here to go to the auction homepage and follow the instructions.

Your generous donation helps Tourism Cares fund important programs that help us preserve the travel experience for future generations.

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Before You Look: Guess the World’s Most Visited Tourist Destination 

Travel and Leisure magazine collected data from attractions, government agencies, industry reports and reputable media outlets to assemble a list of the most visited tourism destinations in the world. Here are the Top 20, with the number of visitors in 2010. Did you guess New York City?

1. Times Square, New York City (39,200,000)
2. Central Park, New York City (38,000,000)
3. Union Station, Washington, D.C. (37,000,000)
4. Las Vegas Strip (29,467,000)
5. Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario (22,500,000)
6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City (21,600,000)
7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston (18,000,000)
8. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando (16,972,000)
9. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, California (15,980,000)
10. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul (15,000,000)
11. Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo (14,452,000)
12. PIER 39, San Francisco (14,000,000)
13. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (13,650,000)
14. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (13,000,000)
15. Forbidden City, Beijing (12,830,000)
16. Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida (10,825,000)
17. Disneyland Park, Marne-la-Vallée, France (10,500,000)
17. Sacré Coeur Basilica, Paris (10,500,000)
19. Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront, Hong Kong (10,088,493
19. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong (10,088,493)

The article lists the top 50 destinations, which include Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sydney Opera House, Bourbon Street, New Orleans and The Colosseum in Rome. What didn’t make the list was Minnesota’s Mall of America, which didn’t meet the magazine’s definition of "tourist attraction." (If it had, the mall would have ranked at the top, with 40 million visitors).

For details, photos and the rest of the list, go to the article.

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Industry News and Updates

  • The Washington Monument remains closed to visitors because of damage sustained during last month’s earthquake, and National Park Service officials say there’s no timetable for its reopening.
  • Makers of a new translation app for iPhone claim improved accuracy of translations that allow visitors to use same colloquialisms as native speakers.
  • The U.S. hotel industry reported an occupancy gain of 3.7 percent during August, led by two Florida markets (Miami-Hialeah and Tampa-St. Petersburg) and Nashville, Tennessee.
  • USA TODAY assembled five of the cruise industry’s top executives in Miami earlier this month to discuss how cruising continues to grow in popularity. They addressed price, demographics, ships, activities and destinations..

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