Tuesday Newsletter – April 8, 2008
April 8, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter April 8, 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 14
A Smashing Spring Meet
Congratulations to Mohegan Sun and its partners for hosting a top-quality NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet last week. NTA’s programming combined with the beautiful venue, the hospitality of Connecticut’s tourism professionals and the support of many supplier and DMO sponsors, made for another outstanding NTA event.
The tour and receptive operators primarily come for the networking, Speed Dating and the education, but delegates, along with their partnering DMOs and suppliers, also were treated to some outstanding social events and local sightseeing. Delegates were the first to hear news from NTA’s recent board meeting and, during the final dinner, they were a part of honoring two industry veterans, Kirk Lanterman and Arthur Tauck Jr., who received the NTA Pioneer Award. It was a very special evening.
NTA also made the Spring Meet an opportunity to bring together industry association partners, and representatives from the United Motorcoach Association, the Student Youth Travel Association, the Pacific Asia Travel Association and Sister Cities International attended the event.
Nancy Magee with Grand American Tours and Cruises summed it up when she told NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, "I haven’t been for many years, but now I want to make sure I attend as many NTA meetings as possible."
Please see next week’s issue of Tuesday for more news from the Spring Meet.
NTA strives to conduct the most inclusive, democratic election of any association in the industry. The opportunity to run for a spot on the NTA Board of Directors is one of the many ways for you to make a real difference in your association and the industry.
This year, three tour operator director seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat will be contested, as will the officer positions of vice chairman and secretary/treasurer. As a member of NTA, you are eligible for candidacy for the board of directors if you have been employed by an NTA member company for a minimum of two years. Eligible NTA members will vote in their respective member categories, and voting will be conducted electronically and by paper ballot at the respective business meetings during the NTA Convention in Pittsburgh this November.
The eligibility requirements have changed significantly from last year for non-officer positions. Committee and event attendance requirements have been eliminated in order to streamline the election process and invite more candidates to participate in NTA’s governance.
For more information on the updated requirements, or if you are interested in running for the NTA Board, please contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
The NTA Board of Directors gathered in Boston March 31 prior to the Tour Operator Spring Meet. An update from the meeting will appear in the April 15 issue of Tuesday.
Business Travel News reports that the U.S. Department of State has said it will open new passport facilities to provide quicker turnaround time for passport seekers. The article said a new printing facility in Tucson, Arizona, will open this month and that additional customer service offices for travelers with expedited or special requests also are planned for Detroit, Minneapolis and Dallas.
Adding more processing centers should help alleviate some of the difficulties the department faced last summer when people applying for a passport experienced extensive delays following the implementation of the air portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
In other passport-related news:
- The U.S. government announced that passport requirements for those re-entering America via a land or sea border will go into effect June 1, 2009. To read more, click here.
- The Department of State Web site currently lists passport wait times as four weeks for normal service and three weeks for expedited service.
- Frequent border travelers may want to consider getting a Passport Card as a cheaper alternative to a full passport. To learn more about the Pass Card, click here.
- The Department of State has produced a pod cast, "Making a Passport: A Secure Process, Policy," that includes the latest WHTI information and features Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy and Department of State Spokesman Sean McCormack discussing the production process for creating a passport and its security features.
Every year, America designates a week to celebrate its national parks and showcase the commitment to conserve these natural and historical treasures. This year, National Park Week will be held April 19-27, and park sites across the country are holding special events throughout the week. To see a schedule of Park Week events visit www.nps.gov/npweek/sched.htm.
Today, the U.S. National Park Service includes almost 400 sites, with parks in nearly every state. NTA has worked closely with NPS officials the past two decades and the park service continues to be a valuable partner for NTA. The two groups have collaborated over the years on many issues, ranging from enhancing the visitor experience and entrance fees to accessibility and preservation.
More information about the NTA-NPS partnership is available at NTA Online.
Last Monday, the U.S. and Australia signed an Open Skies agreement that eliminates restrictions on air travel between the two nations. The pact opens up the market to additional carriers and it is expected that as more flights between the nations become available, the costs for flights will go down.
The press release from the U.S. government announcing the alliance said, "The U.S.-Australia Open Skies agreement represents a market-oriented approach to aviation relations: airlines, not governments, will decide which cities to serve, the frequency of flights, the equipment used and the prices charged. The agreement will strengthen and expand our already strong trade and tourism links with Australia, and provide multi-million dollar benefits to American and Australian carriers and the traveling public, while preserving our commitments to aviation safety and security."
In addition to the Open Skies agreement with Australia, America has similar arrangements with 90 countries and territories.
In the next couple of months, both the United States and Canada will hold week-long celebrations wrapped around publicizing the value of tourism and travel.
The American version, National Tourism Week, takes place May 10 to 18 and activities will be centered on this year’s theme, "Discover Great American Traditions." This is the 25th anniversary of the celebration, which encourages travel to U.S. locales and highlights the role tourism plays in helping travelers discover America’s iconic destinations. Since the initiative was introduced in 1984, many NTA-member companies have participated by organizing or taking part in celebrations in their local communities.
The event Web site includes downloadable materials, such as tourism facts and figures and the event logo, you can use to promote National Tourism Week in your area. It also features a list of things other people have done and ideas to engage local media.
Canadian Tourism Week, coming up June 2-8, is a celebration that seeks to raise the level of awareness regarding the importance of tourism to all Canadians. Each year, travel professionals throughout Canada do their part to increase the profile of travel and tourism by promoting special events in their area, offering discounted or free admission to local attractions, launching advertising campaigns and conducting Fam tours for media members.
Coordinated by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the week also focuses on touting the economic and social impact of travel to media members and increasing the influence the industry professionals have with Canadian governmental officials. To find out more, click here.
This summer Tourism Cares will head to Las Vegas for the 8th annual Tourism Cares Summit, to be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino from Aug. 3 to 6. Attracting the most highly respected operators in the tour business, the event is a unique opportunity for travel buyer guests and seller hosts to network one-on-one in an informal setting.
The 2008 summit will take on an interesting new focus – the future of "green" travel. Responsible tourism has become an increasingly important part of travel, and it is vital for the industry to keep pace. The summit will include a variety of specialized workshops and seminars that will afford participants the opportunity to learn about Tourism Cares initiatives and new and exciting industry practices for going green. In addition, the event will include dinners, golf outings and sightseeing excursions that will highlight the best that our host destination, Las Vegas, has to offer.
Join Tourism Cares in Las Vegas at the luxurious Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino to golf, play, network and learn. For more details please visit http://www.tourismcares.org/.
The July 2008 issue of Courier shines the spotlight on a pair of prime packaging types – zoos and aquariums and religious travel. The issue offers plenty of ways to get your company/destination in the magazine read each month by 88 percent of NTA tour operators.
The trip planners for the July edition cover Coastal California and Baja and Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), while the month’s travel guides highlight Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The space deadline for July Courier is April 30, and you can reach your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information. Click here to view the full 2008 Editorial Calendar.
|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.|