Tuesday Newsletter – June 3, 2008
June 3, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter June 3, 2008
|Register today to attend the 2008 NTA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, Nov. 15-19. Whether your business needs are domestic, inbound, outbound or all of the above, you’ll find the partners you need and the business you want at NTA. Click here to learn more and to register.|
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTAstaff.com.|
Volume 28, Issue 22
Survey Shows Implications of Canada’s Visitor Rebate Program
This year’s Annual Convention coincides with Pittsburgh’s 250th anniversary, and the Steel City has planned Familiarization and sightseeing tours to introduce NTA delegates to its industrial, technological and cultural history and provide product development ideas.
Attendees will explore the city during their choice of four pre-Convention and two post-Convention Fam tours and 10 sightseeing tours, all of which will showcase different aspects of Pittsburgh.
Register now for this year’s Annual Convention, which will be held from Saturday, Nov. 15, to Wednesday, Nov. 19.
The June entry for a new feature on the NTA member forums – the NTA Question of the Month – has been posted. This month’s question: How does your company track return on investment on leisure travel groups and FITs?
Members interested in following the dialogue or sharing their thoughts can do so by logging on to the member forums. You will need your member ID and password, which were included at the top of the e-mail you received showing the headlines for newsletter articles, to access the password-protected forums. If you have not created your password, click the link above to go to the NTA Member Forums and follow the instructions.
Additionally, you can share your thoughts on the questions from April and May:
The question of the month was developed based on feedback received from delegates who attended the general crackerbarrel at the 2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet.
Earlier this year, NTA’s Tracking Task Force asked you to share your best ideas and case studies for proving ROI and tracking leisure travelers. The initial compilation of ideas, The ROIdea Book, is now available to members.
The ROIdea Book offers you insights into what your NTA colleagues are doing and might spark some ideas for ROI and tracking. Keep in mind that this is only the initial version, because it will be updated as new suggestions and success stories come in. Additional ideas should be e-mailed to NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson, who will update the collection.
The task force hopes you find this collection valuable and that you’ll help it grow by sharing other stories of your ROI and tracking success. For additional information, visit the ROI and tracking page on the NTA Web site.
This Friday is the deadline to declare your interest in running for one of the seats on the 2009 NTA Board of Directors. By getting involved at this level, members can make a real difference in the association and the industry.
Three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat will be contested in this year’s director elections, while secretary/treasurer and vice chairman will be contested in the executive committee/officer position election. Tour operators with prior NTA Board experience are eligible to run for an officer position.
Association members are eligible for candidacy for a director seat on the NTA Board if they have been employed by an NTA member company for a minimum of two years. The eligibility criteria have changed significantly for non-officer positions, as committee and event attendance requirements have been eliminated in order to streamline the election process and in invite more candidates to participate in NTA’s governance.
If you are interested in running for the NTA Board, please e-mail Randy Julian, chairman of the Nominating Committee, or for more information contact committee liaison Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
In a survey prepared for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the country’s Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program received low marks. The FCTIP initiative was implemented in April 2007 as a replacement for the Goods and Services Tax rebate program.
Chief findings of the survey, which polled U.S.-based tour operator members of NTA, ABA and USTOA, include:
- The FCTIP is too cumbersome and complicated. Those who regard the rebate process as burdensome outnumber those who do not by a ratio of more than 7 to 1.
- Among tour operators who utilized similar programs in other countries, operators preferred to work with another rebate program over Canada’s FCTIP by a ratio of 3 to 1.
- U.S. operators gave consistently low ratings on the impact of the program on their Canadian business to date, probable usefulness in increasing their future Canadian business and the likely effect on Canada’s competitiveness as a tourism destination.
Tour operators made several suggestions to increase the program’s usefulness including the removal of the up-front payment/rebate model, improved communications and information ability, simplification of the process and improved service delivery.
For more information on the results of the survey contact TIAC Vice President, Public Policy Chris Jones at 613.238.7557.
Last week the U.S. National Park Service, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, proposed a comprehensive visitor transportation plan for the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The main things addressed in the plan are traffic; parking and visitor access issues near Grand Canyon Village; improving visitor transportation facilities and services; and ensuring that park resources are protected.
In February 2008, NPS officials completed an Environmental Assessment/Assessment of Effect for the South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan that analyzed four alternatives. The approved option includes new visitor parking at Canyon View Information Plaza and the initiation of a new shuttle bus route to the gateway community of Tusayan. The initial phase of development is expected to begin in early 2009 and will include the following elements:
- Vehicle access to the park’s visitor center at CVIP with parking for up to 600 private vehicles (including RVs) and 40 commercial tour bus parking spaces;
- An adaptive management program to closely monitor and evaluate vehicular traffic, parking use and shuttle bus ridership to determine the timing and requirement components of future improvements;
- A coordinated program of visitor information and marketing strategies to encourage visitors to travel into and through the park on shuttle buses.
The initiation of the pilot shuttle bus route between Tusayan and CVIP began June 2. Besides monitoring the use of the buses and parking in Tusayan, park officials will continue to pursue opportunities for partnering with businesses in Tusayan and other entities to meet the needs for visitor access to the South Rim. If needed, the pilot program might be run again during the summer of 2009.
For more information on Grand Canyon’s South Rim Visitor Transportation Plan, please visit www.nps.gov/grca.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently forwarded a bill to the House of Representatives that would expedite cases dealing with citizens who have been wrongly placed on terrorist watch lists. The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Redress Act of 2007 – H.R. 4179 – seeks to provide a timely way to review the status of airline passengers on the list.
The FAST Redress Act would establish a dedicated office within DHS to streamline the process of appeal for those individuals who believe they have been wrongfully placed on a government watch list and consequently are denied boarding or required to undergo additional security screening. This office would be responsible for providing the airlines with a cleared list of people who have gone through the redress process after they have sent information to the government to resolve watch list problems.
Effective June 16, Tourism Cares is relocating to a new office. Please be sure to update your address book and contact information with the following information (NOTE-The phone and the fax number remain the same):
275 Turnpike Street
Canton, MA 02021
The August 2008 edition of Courier, which shines the feature spotlight on theaters and student and youth product, offers plenty of ways to get your company or destination in front of tour operators.
Courier trip planners for August showcase Orlando and the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Northern California, Oregon and Washington), and the travel guides highlight Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin. A business section piece looks at green hotels and resorts.
The space deadline for August Courier has been extended to June 9, so there is still time to get in the magazine read by 88 percent of NTA tour operators each month. 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.|