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Tour Operators: Do You Package the U.K.? Visit Scotland Can Help. | Registration Is Open for Contact

March 1, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 9

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Tour Operators: Do You Package the U.K.? Visit Scotland Can Help
Registration Is Open for Contact—The Next Generation of NTA’s Tour Operator Spring Meet
U.S. Government Shutdown Is Bad News for Tourism
Chinese Tourists Are Coming to the U.S.—Make Sure They Visit You.
NTA Members in NZ React to Quake
Look Who Tracked in Februaryoregon side ad
20 Great Student Destinations Revealed in NTA Trip Planner
Top 8 Social Media Truths
Tourism Cares Seeks Scholarship Applicants
Cactus Fries and Courier
Industry News and Updates
NTA Job Center

Tour Operators: Do You Package the U.K.? Visit Scotland Can Help  

Montage free hotel starburstIf you package travel to the U.K. (or want to), Montage is your opportunity to meet the suppliers who can really make your tours outshine the competition’s.

Montage is being held this year in conjunction with the Visit Scotland Expo, which hosts more than 500 hand-picked international operators and suppliers. Whether you want to freshen up an existing itinerary or explore new ones, Montage gives you access to new contacts and business partners who can help you.

On the first day of Montage, you’ll sit with a Visit Scotland team member and tell them what you’re looking for, and they’ll match you with the exhibitors you need to meet. It’s a great system and a great way to build business.

Join us in Aberdeen. It’s just a $79 registration fee for buyers, and don’t forget: your hotel room could be paid for, too.

Visit Scotland

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Registration Is Open for Contact—The Next Generation of NTA’s Tour Operator Spring Meet 

The Tour Operator Spring Meet got a makeover—an education upgrade and a new name, Contact. And registration is now open.

Keeping the best of the Tour Operator Spring Meet, Contact:

  • is exclusive to operators.*
  • is being held in a gorgeous North American resort setting. (Thank you, Newport, Rhode Island!)
  • offers loads of in-depth education.
  • is designed to foster operator-to-operator conversations and partnerships.

What’s new is that the education portion at Contact now runs along three tracks:

  • Owner/CEO (must be an owner or CEO to attend these sessions)
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Operations

To get the most from Contact, bring a representative from your company for each track.

Visit the Contact Web site to review the schedule and educational offerings, register (it’s only $195 for operators) and learn more about the beautiful host city. 

* Want business from 100 to 150 tour operators? While Contact attendance is limited to operators, one of the biggest benefits of sponsoring is a complimentary registration. For more information, contact Karla DiNardo at or visit our Web site. But hurry: Only a limited number of sponsorships are available for this operator-exclusive event.

Contact register bar

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U.S. Government Shutdown Is Bad News for Tourism 

It looks like a U.S. federal government shutdown will be avoided before this week’s deadline of March 4, according to Steve Richer, public affairs advocate for NTA. "Republicans and Democrats seem prepared to pass a continuing resolution with a savings of $4 billion by including cuts recommended in the administration’s proposed 2012 budget," Richer said. "This agreement, however, is good only for an additional two weeks, until March 18."

Richer said if no agreement is reached—this week or in two weeks—tourism could be dramatically impacted.

According to a report in USA Today, the last government shutdown (in late 1995 and early 1996) resulted in nine million fewer visitors to national parks and national monuments and 200,000 passports that were delayed for processing.

Richer and NTA will keep members posted on developments.

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Chinese Tourists Are Coming to the U.S.—Make Sure They Visit You  

If you sell a U.S. destination, product or property, you’ve got a great opportunity to reach an exploding market. But you’d better hurry or the opportunity will be lost.

A memorandum of understanding signed by the United States and China allows Chinese leisure travelers to visit the United States in group tours. Since the initiation of travel under the MOU in 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.

China is the fastest-growing market for the United States, and by 2015 it is projected to become the sixth-largest arrival market for the United States (up from 16th before the MOU in 2008).

Now in its third phase, the MOU includes 24 Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, giving the U.S. travel and tourism industry access to 67 million more Chinese citizens. And you can sell your destination or property to them at the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market.

COTTM, slated for April 13–15 in Beijing, is the only business-to-business exhibition in China dedicated to the China outbound travel market. NTA will be there and you can, too.

For the third year, our association is assembling the U.S. Pavilion to host U.S. operators, suppliers, destinations and attractions interested in reaching the burgeoning Chinese outbound market. The deadline for participation is March 11.

COTTM pavilion

In addition to a company booth, storage space and a central meeting area, Pavilion participants will also have the opportunity to meet with the Chinese media and be listed in the Pavilion catalog for distribution. 

Following COTTM, U.S. Pavilion participants can opt for an additional program: a Road Show to Chongqing, a booming city of 32 million people in southwest China. The Road Show, which targets the Chinese travel trade, is organized in conjunction with U.S. Commercial Services.

To join NTA staff and member businesses at this well-established trade fair, contact Ken Goode at NTA.

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NTA Members in NZ React to Quake 

Last Monday’s earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, left a death toll expected to reach 240. After the quake devastated the city’s central business district and disrupted travel to the popular area, three local NTA tour operator members reflected on the event.

"It really has been a disaster of Biblical proportion," Martin Horgan said last week. Horgan, managing director of Southern World New Zealand, reports the tour company’s Christchurch staff is rerouting clients scheduled to visit the city. "The remainder of the country has not been affected directly, so it really is business as usual elsewhere."

Clients of another NTA member, Alastair Calder of Calder & Lawson Tours in Hamilton, NZ, had either just left or were about to go to Christchurch when the earthquake struck. "For those still to go there we have been able to reorganize itineraries, finding alternative accommodations," Calder said. "This proves yet again the value of an inbound tour operator."

Scott Mehrtens, general manager of Leisure Time Tours, is also making adjustments. "Most hotels in Christchurch have been affected by the earthquake is some way," Mehrtens said. "As a precautionary measure all of our itineraries for the next few months have now been re-booked into alternative accommodations outside of Christchurch, at either Ashburton or Methven."

While Mehrtens, Calder and Horgan are confident that Christchurch will build back and the country’s tourism industry will quickly recover, all have been deeply touched by the destruction—and the world’s response.

"It is very heartening to receive messages from around the globe," Calder said. "Rest assured we will bounce back as a nation and remain the welcoming country we have always been."

If you have questions or encouragement for the tour operators, you can send an e-mail to Horgan, Calder or Mehrtens.Tourism New Zealand is posting updates on its Web site, or you can click to get the latest news or view photo galleries.

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Look Who Tracked in February 

i trackWhen tour operators take advantage of NTA’s online tracking/ROI system, they’re letting DMOs know their destination was included on itineraries. With that information DMOs can measure the economic impact of packaged travel on their destination. In February nearly 100 e-mails were sent through this system to DMOs from across the globe.

Thanks to the following operators for taking the time to share this valuable tracking information:

  • Agri Travel Services, Denver, Colorado
  • Destinations Unlimited Inc., Southington, Connecticut
  • Main Street Tours Inc., Torrance, California
  • Performance Tours, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sun Fun Tours Ltd., Kamloops, British Columbia
  • Wells Gray Tours Ltd., Kamloops, British Columbia

Suppliers, you can also help your DMO by using this same online system to report visits to your attraction, restaurant or hotel. Everyone can pitch in to make sure DMOs can continue their great work for our industry! 

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20 Great Student Destinations Revealed in NTA Trip Planner 

Student Trip planner 2011The latest edition of the NTA Trip Planner for Student Travel provides a detailed look at the student market. To get these great ideas for student travel, check out the online version of the Trip Planner. Within the pages of this NTA specialty publication, mailed to more than 20,000 qualified student travel planners, you can do the following:

  • Learn about 20 of the world’s great student destinations.
  • Browse an A-to-Z compendium of memorable hands-on experiences for students.
  • Read up on student programs at sites and attractions commemorating the sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War.
  • Find out more about the wide range of performance and theater group options.

Other articles describe the benefits of working with NTA members for itinerary planning and detail the importance of selecting a qualified NTA tour operator. You’ll also find a story showcasing immersive tours that link students with cultures around the world.

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Top 8 Social Media Truths 

For those of you who are still on the fence about entering the field of social media, Lena West offers encouragement and advice in an article on American Express Open Forum. Here are the high points of her list of social media truths:

  • 1. If you aren’t using any form of social media yet, you need to get with the program.
  • 2. Don’t worry about what people might say about you once you start using social media.
  • 3. Don’t get caught up with "high school stuff." Social media applications are business tools.
  • 4. To avoid wasting time, figure out a social media schedule and stick with it.
  • 5. Learn how to toot your own horn without bragging.
  • 6. Avoid inadvertently over-sharing with your social networking updates.
  • 7. Point out what makes your company (truly) different from the rest of the businesses operating in your industry.
  • 8. Learn how to be personable without being personal.

To read West’s full article, with detailed explanations of these pointers, click here.


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Tourism Cares Seeks Scholarship Applicants  

The Tourism Cares 2011 Academic Scholarships are open for application. These scholarships are available primarily for U.S. or Canadian undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in travel-and-tourism- or hospitality-related programs in schools located in the U.S. and Canada.

This year Tourism Cares is excited to offer 62 scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, totaling more than $88,000. Students interested in these merit-based scholarships can go here to review the policies and offerings, and to apply.

A wonderful aspect of these scholarships is the Tourism Cares Experience the Industry Program. All academic scholarship recipients are given the opportunity to attend this program during the NTA Convention. Students shadow mentors and take advantage of the wonderful learning and networking opportunities Convention provides. Keep an eye out for the 2011 recipients this December in Las Vegas. 

The application deadline for Tourism Cares Academic Scholarships is Friday, April 1. For more information about scholarships please contact the Scholarship Department.

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Cactus Fries and CourierMarch Courier flashback  

The March issue of Courier is loaded with opportunity and possibilities for you—from product information as detailed as the best place for chili-dusted Nopalitos cactus fries in Sedona, Arizona, to the wide options provided by NTA members for travelers visiting Africa and the Mediterranean.

Judy Waytiuk’s feature story, "A Slow Haul Back to the Economic Norm for Hotels," is full of interesting facts and details about the extras that NTA hotel properties are providing to compete for group business in the tough economic climate. You also can read Convention speaker Paul Vitale’s article about the five essentials of great leadership; a story outlining the benefits of NTA’s upcoming business-builder events, Montage and Contact; an essay from Jorge Cazenave on the Los Huemules Estancia reserve in Argentina; and destination stories on Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, the Toronto/Niagara region and Branson, Missouri.

Advertisers in this issue are Angstrom Graphics, The Berkely Group (TPP), Calvert County, Capitol One, Casa Loma, Empire State Building Observatory and Maid of the Mist Corporation.

Upcoming deadlines: 

June Issue: STI; Soft & Hard Adventure; Ecotourism; Native American, First Nations & Western Heritage; Maryland; Pennsylvania; Virginia ; Washington, DC; Hawaii; Gulf Coast (Ala., Fla., La., Miss., Texas); Latin America.
Ad Space: March 30
Editorial: March 7       

July Issue: 2011 Annual Preview to Convention; Faith-based Travel; Zoos & Aquariums; Kentucky; Ohio; Tennessee; West Virginia; Southern California ; Boston; Germany; Switzerland & Austria.
Bonus Distribution at Contact ’11
Ad Space: April 27
Editorial: April 4

August Issue: Theaters & Broadway Shows; Our Claim to Fame; Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Wisconsin; Ontario; Pacific Northwest (BC, Ore., Wash.); Greece & Turkey.
Ad Space: May 25
Editorial: May 2

Please click here to view the 2011 editorial calendar.

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Industry News and Updates

  • Trying to keep up with rapidly rising oil prices, airlines are raising fares and fees and adding surcharges.
  • The Corporation for Travel Promotion will hold a board of directors meeting next Wednesday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET. You can participate via conference call; click here for information.
  • The global hotel industry showed strong growth in January; business travel revenue rose by more than 40 percent over January of last year, with leisure up nearly 15 percent.

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Job Center travelbound job logo

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 .

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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

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