Tuesday Newsletter – April 28, 2009
April 28, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 17
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Resources to Help You Stay Current Regarding Swine Flu
Spring Meet Means Green … in More Ways than One
U.S. and Canada Tourism Weeks Coming Up
Two Annual Convention Webinars are Next Week
Are You a Broadway-qualified Tour Operator?
Results of NTA Survey on Economic Trends
NTA Road Show in Buffalo is May 13
New NTAonline.com Tool Helps Track ROI
Share a Spring Meet Silent Auction Item
150 NTA Tour Operators and 50 NACTA Travel Agents Await You in Monterey
NTA Helps You Get Covered with Free Media Leads
May Courier Preview
NTA continues to monitor the ongoing developments related to the outbreak of swine flu. As the situation unfolds, it is important to use common sense to help cease the spread of swine flu, and having updated information also can equip you with the latest news to share with your clients. Additionally, your association wants to help provide accurate information to the media and will be sending an e-mail later today that contains a brief survey on the impact swine flu is having on tour operators’ businesses.
At this time, travelers will be looking to their NTA tour operators to help them make wise decisions, as well as to rebook, reschedule or reconfigure travel plans to meet their changing needs. Because travelers will look to industry professionals to provide counsel, it is important for all members to work together to help people continue to travel while also upholding your responsibility to inform clients of the latest information.
As such, please be aware that officials from the Centers for Disease Control have issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. However, the situation is very fluid. Here are some resources to help you stay informed on the latest developments:
UN World Health Organization
UN World Tourism Organization
UN World Tourism Organization’s Emergency Response Network
Mexico Tourism Board
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. State Department
You can stay current with the refund policies of the major Mexican and U.S. airline carriers by visiting their Web sites — AeroMexico, Mexicana Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
Click here to see updated information provided by NTA corporate partner The Berkely Group regarding swine flu.
Interested in green? Make plans to be at the Spring Meet in Monterey from June 4 to 6 and you’ll see lots of green, starting with the event itself, which is part of NTA’s commitment to make its Spring Meet and Annual Convention as environmentally friendly as possible.
One of the green things on the list is money. For operators, Spring Meet has more ways than ever to enhance your bottom line. There has always been the operator partnerships that are formed during the event, but the co-location of the 2009 NACTA Western Regional Meeting brings you a new group of consumers: NACTA’s career travel agents. These agents are looking for ways to get more customers and they see packages and tours as the answer.
Another green item on the list is education. Brian Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International, will be on hand to help you better understand the basics of green and sustainable travel and how you can not only do some good for you world, but your company as well. Mullis’ session will be one of many educational seminars that can help you bring home ideas that will earn you some green.
The early-bird registration deadline is coming up May 1, and if you sign up by May 1 you can save as much as 30 percent off the regular registration fees.
Suppliers and DMOs wanting to see some "green" can access this unique operator event by being a Spring Meet sponsor. Contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo to find out how you can be part of this year’s Spring Meet.
Both Canada and the United States are gearing up to celebrate tourism in the next few weeks. Promoting National Travel and Tourism Week will take place in the United States, May 9-17, and Tourism Week in Canada will be held June 1-7.
The United States Travel Association is leading the charge for the American effort by providing an official planning toolkit to help tourism businesses promote this special week. As part of this year’s effort, the organization is sponsoring the first-ever U.S. Travel Rally Day on Tuesday, May 12, as a way to bring to light how travel fuels jobs and economies throughout the United States.
Tourism Week in Canada is a national celebration that highlights the economic and social benefits in order to increase the awareness of the impact of Canada’s $70.6 billion tourism sector among the media, general public and governments at all levels. The effort, coordinated by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, includes the annual Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame ceremony in Ottawa, special lobbying initiatives on Parliament Hill and the publications of the Report on Tourism supplement in the Globe and Mail.
Want to hear all the details about the new NTA Annual Convention format and learn how you can work smarter at Convention ’09? Mark your calendar for one of two upcoming Webinars when members of the Meetings and Events Committee will preview all the details of the new Convention, which will take place in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 14-18.
DMOs and suppliers, your Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, at 11:30 a.m. (ET) and tour operators, your session is Wednesday, May 6, also at 11:30 a.m. (ET). Register today by e-mailing Andrea Richardson. If you cannot make your designated session, both will be recorded and posted online so you can access it at any time.
Don’t forget, registration for the Convention opens May 19, and this event will be so affordable. All members have an early-bird registration rate (it’s new this year for DMOs and suppliers) and NTA and its Reno hotel partners are offering some incredible room rates: as low as $54 for operators and $58 for suppliers and DMOs.
NTA tour operators are valuable partners and a critical component of the Broadway sales and distribution network. In recognition thereof the Shubert Organization recently created a new Qualified Tour Operator program that recognizes the importance of the tour operators’ position in selling Broadway shows and rewards their involvement.
If you create itineraries to New York City and actively promote shows as a part of your group package or service, having the designation of Qualified Tour Operator can entitle you to some exclusive benefits. For select shows, QTOs can get first crack at new blocks of tickets as they are opened for sale and they receive more favorable payment policies, in some cases just 30 days out.
Many companies already have become QTOs, and if you are interested in learning more about how to qualify for the program, contact your preferred NTA Broadway group service provider to find out how to become certified as a QTO. The QTO program was one of the outcomes of a pair of meetings NTA helped coordinate that brought together important players from New York City’s theater world with travel industry professionals.
In a recent e-mail from NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz, CTP, you were asked to provide feedback to a quick, two-question survey on current economic trends and what NTA could do to help.
From this quick read survey, NTA learned that 82 percent of the 103 members who responded are cutting costs in an effort to improve financial performance. Additionally, 59 percent are working more with partners, 52 percent are offering promotions, 47 percent are reducing business travel for staff and 45 percent are seeing some downsizing in staff. Conversely, 38 percent said they were increasing their marketing efforts and 31 percent are diversifying their product lines. The survey results also indicated that you want information on consumer and travel trends, on what your NTA colleagues are doing and on new product ideas.
To keep monitoring trends within the membership throughout this economy, NTA will be doing quarterly economic trend surveys to all operators, suppliers and DMOs. You’ll see the first of these in the early part of May and you are encouraged to participate. They will be very short but can provide important insights into how packaged travel is recovering.
If you’d like to get in-depth analysis of those and many more trends within the industry and the traveling public, you can subscribe to NTA’s monthly e-newsletter The Trend. For more information on this survey or to subscribe to The Trend, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.
NTA also has been reaching out to help members cope with the economic conditions by reducing 2009 dues by nearly 15 percent. Your association also maintained 2008 pricing for Spring Meet and Convention registration fees, and the low Reno hotel prices for Convention should make it more affordable for you to attend.
NTA is heading to Buffalo Wednesday, May 13, for the latest Road Show. The event, to be held at The Adams Mark Hotel, starts at 10 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed by an hour-long meeting at 10:45 a.m. You will have the chance to meet other NTA members in the Buffalo area, hear a presentation on current NTA activities and learn how your NTA membership can improve your bottom line.
If you plan to attend, please respond by Monday, May 4, to NTA Director of Membership Development Christina Horsley at 800.682.8886, ext. 4354 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4354.
As part of NTA’s ongoing efforts to assist members with tracking, tour supplier and DMO members now receive an e-mail notification to let them know the number of times their NTAonline.com profile has been viewed. This new tracking tool allows tour supplier and DMOs to easily tally views and click-throughs associated with their listing on NTAonline.com and it is hoped that these numbers will help them in their ongoing challenge to track ROI.
It is important that accurate information is available when other members look up your company via the online member searches, so make sure your profile is as current as possible. To update your NTA profile, click here.
The NTA Government Relations team will again conduct a silent auction at NTA Spring Meet. The money raised will go to support NTA’s Government Issues Fund and TourPAC, and you can aid this effort by donating an item or travel package.
The Government Issues Fund helps the industry work on travel-related issues with national governments. It supports association advocacy efforts, the annual Grassroots Symposium and the legislative tracking service. TourPAC is a voluntary, non-partisan fund supported by NTA members to back U.S. federal candidates that have demonstrated their commitment to the packaged travel industry.
To donate a tour package or item, please e-mail NTA Government Relations Manager Christy Cleveland.
What better way to increase your business than to meet with NTA tour operators and NACTA travel agents in beautiful Monterey, California? By becoming an official NTA Spring Meet sponsor, you can do just that, since sponsors receive a complimentary registration to attend and benefit from three full days of opportunities to reach your desired market.
NACTA will hold its Western Regional Meeting in conjunction with the Spring Meet, so this combination tour operator/travel agent event opens even more doors to bigger bottom-line returns. If you sponsor a Spring Meet breakfast you can treat these delegates to a tasty meal and have a chance to address the captive audience with a four- to five-minute presentation. Additionally, you can distribute your literature and you’ll receive sponsor promotions.
Looking for some free publicity? Check on the Media Relations section of the NTA Member Forums. Here, NTA posts media requests that may be of interest to your company. Both travel trade and national consumer outlets frequently contact NTA, so be sure to check the forums often.
An easy way you can stay current with these requests is to sign up to receive an e-mail whenever a new post is made. You can do this by logging in to the Member Forums (you will need your e-mail address and password).
If you have questions about generating media attention for your company or destination, please contact NTA’s Public Relations Department.
The May issue of Courier covers a range of timely topics, including two that focus on the economy. In the business section, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe provides details about the impact of the U.S. stimulus bill and Carl Prince talks about how Broadway is responding to the downturn in the economy. In another member-written story, tour operator Katherine Setness shares her thoughts on the importance of a good rest stop. The May feature stories shine the spotlight on the upcoming NTA Spring Meet, beach packages and wine- and culinary-themed product. The month’s destination stories cover Asia, the U.S. Canyonlands area, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
August Issue — Ad Space: May 27; Editorial: Past
Theaters; Spa and Wellness Travel; Québec; Greece and Turkey; Pacific Northwest (Northern California, Oregon and Washington); Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; and Wisconsin.
September Issue — Ad Space: July 1; Editorial: May 6
Museums; Sightseeing Rail; Ski Resorts and Destinations; Alaska and Western Canada; Southwest (Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas); Germany, Switzerland and Austria; Georgia; Florida; North Carolina; and South Carolina.
October Issue — Ad Space: July 29; Editorial: June 3
Annual Convention Issue; Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota); Spain; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; and Vermont.
The Berkely Group (TPP) — Biltmore Estate — Greater Birmingham CVB — Buffets Inc. — Calvert County Tourism Office Department of Economic Development — Capital One Merchant Services — Cherokee Casino & Resort — Empire State Building Observatory — Foxwoods Resort Casino — Fresno Convention & Visitors Bureau — Georgia Department of Tourism — Grand Ole Opry/Gaylord Attractions — Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau — The Irvine Chamber Visitors Bureau — Mohegan Sun — Norfolk CVB — Philadelphia CVB — Tulalip Resort & Casino
Click here to see the 2009 Editorial Calendar.