Tuesday Newsletter – April 29, 2008
April 29, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter April 29, 2008
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Off Square Theatre Company — where the majestic and magic meet! Offering live professional theatre year-round in the heart of Jackson Hole Wyoming in the magnificent Tetons. Let us complete your adventure in the Tetons. Off Square loves groups and provides special group discounts. Visit us online at www.offsquare.org or call 307.733.3021.|
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTAstaff.com.|
Volume 28, Issue 17
NTA Opposes DHS Proposal on Gathering of Biometric Security Data
In keeping with NTA’s first green Annual Convention and the association’s core belief in sustainable tourism for a healthy environment, NTA is pleased to announce that Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin will be the featured speaker at this year’s Business Meeting Luncheon. Pittsburgh will host this year’s Convention, Nov. 15-19.
"Jeff Corwin is a longtime conservationist who has dedicated himself to protecting endangered species and ecosystems around the world," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. "We are pleased to have this respected environmentalist join us in Pittsburgh as part of NTA’s first-ever green Convention."
During his Nov. 16 presentation, Corwin will share tales from the field as well as his passion for sustainable travel and living, and NTA members will have an opportunity to meet him following the luncheon.
Corwin is host of Animal Planet’s "The Jeff Corwin Experience," which reaches more than 13 million U.S. viewers and is seen in more than 70 countries around the world. He also hosts the "Corwin’s Quest," and most recently, CNN’s "Planet in Peril" series. Corwin has appeared on the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Oprah." Additionally, he is a frequent lecturer on wildlife, ecology and conservation and he founded EcoZone in Norwell, Massachusetts, an interactive museum and environmental education center.
"NTA’s strategic plan includes sustainable travel as part of its core values. We believe that sustainable travel will drive economic expansion, connect cultures and enhance our quality of life," said Hoelscher. "Corwin’s passion and real-life experiences will encourage and inspire Convention delegates as part of NTA’s efforts to recognize the special responsibility we have to protect our planet."
NTA announced that its fifth Road Show of 2008 is set for this year’s Convention host city, Pittsburgh. The Road Show, to be held June 9 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Omni William Penn hotel, begins with lunch, then current and prospective members will hear more about NTA events and programs, and can ask questions of their association peers and leaders.
The next two Road Shows are scheduled for San Francisco (May 6) and Seattle (May 8). If you are interested in attending any of these events, contact Krista Browning at 800.682.8886, ext. 4402 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4402.
The podcasting project created by NTA and the American Recreation Coalition was selected by U.S. Secretary of Interior and the Director of the National Park Service to receive funding under the Bush Administration’s new National Park Centennial Challenge program. The project is one of 110 chosen to receive these grants.
"NTA is pleased that this innovative project has been recognized. We now have the funding to create and maintain the first-ever podcast education program to benefit student and packaged tour visitors to the Washington, D.C., area," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP. "As students and others travel from Washington, D.C., to Mount Vernon, they’ll be able learn of the area’s natural features and rich cultural heritage."
"We have long enjoyed working in partnership with NTA and the National Park Service," said ARC President Derrick Crandall. "And we are excited that these podcasts – more than a dozen ranging from three to 12 minutes in length – will highlight the features of one of the nation’s All American Roads under the National Scenic Byways Program, which NTA and ARC helped create in 1991. In fact, we’d like to partner with NTA on all of the designated byways – 126 of them stretching some 30,000 miles through parks and forests, along our coasts and in other special areas."
The NTA/ARC project will receive matching funds totaling $22,500 from NPS to help make multi-lingual audio-visual podcasts available for features along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the C&O Canal National Historical Park in the Washington, D.C., area. The podcasts, which are a private/public partnership involving NTA, ARC, the National Park Service and Eastern National, will be available for free downloading on the Internet via iTunes, park Web sites and other locations.
Last week the World Travel & Tourism Council presented its Destination Award to the Blackstone Valley (Rhode Island) Tourism Council for best practices in sustainable tourism. The NTA member was one of four organizations recognized at the 2008 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards during WTTC’s 8th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Dubai.
"I think it is a great acknowledgment for the work that the people in the Blackstone Valley have been doing together for the past 20 years," said Dr. Robert Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. "It is exciting to be recognized on the world scale, especially because the WTTC is such a prestigious group and because of the strategic thinking in their organization regarding sustainability."
During the selection process, a team of 11 international judges made on-site inspection visits to all 12 of the finalists before choosing the four winners. The other three winners were Ecotourism Australia (Conservation Award), RARE/La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras (Investor in People Award) and Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Thailand & Global (Global Tourism Business Award).
During the awards dinner, selection committee head Costas Christ said, "Twenty years ago sustainable tourism was just an idea, now it is entering the travel and tourism mainstream as more companies embrace new innovations demonstrating environmentally friendly operations, a commitment to safeguarding the cultural and natural heritage of our planet, and addressing poverty alleviation through enlightened business practices. The winners of the 2008 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are helping to lead the way forward at a transformative moment in the history of modern travel."
Last week NTA voiced its opposition to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal calling for airlines and cruise lines to collect biometric information, including fingerprints, for international travelers departing from the United States.
"Placing this responsibility on an airline or cruise line adds an undue financial burden and an unrealistic expectation that they should be responsible for national security," said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP.
The International Air Transport Association has condemned the proposal, stating that border protection and immigration are governmental responsibilities. NTA supports IATA and is continuing to enlist the support of other segments of the travel and tourism economy. Already, UMA, ABA, SYTA, RSAA and USTOA have signed on in support.
NTA will be submitting formal comments to DHS and seeking answers to the following questions:
- If the additional costs for implementing these security measures will be passed on to the traveler or absorbed by the airlines, what is the projected impact on the vitality of the U.S. air transportation system and the global economy due to these higher costs?
- By creating the Transportation Security Administration, which is under federal jurisdiction, why in this situation would the private sector be responsible for national security?
"NTA recognizes the security-related issues that necessitate an entry/exit system and supports a collaborative effort to finding workable solutions," said Hoelscher. "The DHS proposal clearly indicates why travel and tourism needs an advocate in the White House. NTA continues its call for an executive office of travel and tourism to preclude a crisis such as this. Such a position would be critical to inject a broad perspective that would represent and support the travel and tourism economy, which is vital to our country."
Hoelscher added, "As always, NTA is committed to working with our partners in government and other travel associations to ensure the best decision is made to support not only the economy, but also the traveler."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced it will begin a Global Entry pilot program that would allow low-risk travelers re-entering the United States to pass through security more quickly. The program is available for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are frequent international travelers, provided they have not been found guilty of a criminal offense, charged with a customs or immigration offense, or declared inadmissible to the U.S. under immigration legislation.
Program participants will be able to bypass the regular Passport Control lanes and use dedicated kiosks. At the kiosks, the approved travelers will insert their passport, provide fingerprints electronically, have a digital photo taken and answer CBP declaration questions on the touch-screen.
Applications for enrollment in the program will be available May 12 and CBP hopes to have everything in place at the three test airports – New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport – by June 10.
For additional information on the Global Entry program visit the CBP Web site.
Sponsorship at NTA events provides return on investment, is a great platform for getting your name out and helps you gain exposure with key travel buyers through the additional networking opportunities you get from sponsorship. While these are just a few reasons NTA’s Annual Convention sponsors give for renewing each year, there are other benefits they receive which are measurable well after the event.
To read what some of your peers who were sponsors at the 2007 Convention have to say about their experiences, click here. To learn more about sponsorships for this year’s event, to be held Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh, click here or contact Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.
Tourism Cares will take on the administration and disbursement of all American Society of Travel Agents Foundation Scholarship funds.
"To manage and distribute these prestigious ASTA scholarships alongside our own scholarship program is both an honor and a privilege for Tourism Cares," said Bruce Beckham, executive director of Tourism Cares.
Since 1982, 20 scholarships of varying amounts have been granted annually by ASTA to both travel professionals seeking to further their education and to students pursuing bachelors, masters, doctorates, community college or hospitality-school programs. The funds for these ASTA scholarships will continue to bare their namesakes, but will be transferred to Tourism Cares’ guardianship. Tourism Cares will continue to honor all original bequests relating to the ASTA Foundation Scholarship funds.
"The transfer will allow the ASTA Scholarship Foundation to benefit from the full-time administrative and fundraising activities Tourism Cares can provide," said Bill Maloney, CTC, ASTA executive vice president and COO. "While ASTA will retain control over a pool of non-endowed funds, we saw this as a way to enhance public awareness of the funds."
ASTA, which was founded in 1931, is the world’s largest travel trade association. Its foundation provides a way for a community of private-sector professionals to positively impact the public population through research grants and scholarships. When combined with Tourism Cares, the $1.4 million in the ASTA Foundation funds will bring Tourism Cares’ net assets to nearly $3.5 million.
Following last week’s Earth Day celebrations, it seems fitting that the May issue of Courier would include the 2008 Annual Convention preview, since the event will be NTA’s first green Convention. In addition to the feature story on NTA’s signature event, two business section articles present good supplemental information. Greg Eckhart offers his suggestions for ways to get the most out of the Destination Pavilion at Convention, and Sustainable Travel International provides a list of eight easy things travelers can do to minimize their environmental impact.
The second feature story in the May issue profiles historic sights in four beach destinations, while the trip planners focus on Asia and America’s Canyonlands area. The travel guides include destination information on Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Canada’s Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.
August Issue – Ad Space: May 26; Editorial: Past
Theaters; Student and Youth Product; Orlando; Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Northern California, Oregon and Washington); Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; Wisconsin.
September Issue – Ad Space: June 30; Editorial: May 5
Museums; Rail Travel; Music Destinations; Southwest (Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas); Alaska; Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina.
October Issue – Ad Space: July 28; Editorial: June 2
Annual Convention Issue; Great Plains (Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming); Central and South America; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Rhode Island; Vermont.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Autry National Center – The Berkely Group (TPP) – Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal City – Greater Birmingham CVB – Blue Man Group – Colorado Springs CVB Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak – Empire State Building Observatory – GE Money – Greektown Casino – The Irvine Chamber Visitors Bureau – National Geographic Visitor Center Grand Canyon – Norfolk CVB – Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism – Rapid City CVB – Salt Lake City CVB – VisitPittsburgh
|To ensure that you’re doing business with an NTA member, go to the NTA Web site home page and click on either "Tour Operator Search" or "DMO/Tour Supplier Search" at the top of the page.|