Tuesday Newsletter – March 25, 2008
March 25, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter March 25, 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 12
Forbes Lists America’s 10 Cleanest Cities
A complimentary shuttle service will be available for the 2008 Tour Operator Spring Meet to take you back and forth between Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Mohegan Sun. Here is the schedule for the arrival and departure shuttles, which will run on the hour and half hour:
Additionally, in order to ensure that you have the best arrival and departure experience possible, please take a few minutes to complete this form with your flight details. Thank you for your assistance, and we look forward to seeing you at Mohegan Sun, April 2-4.
From the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh to the McDonald’s Big Mac Museum and Restaurant and the Pittsburgh Center for the Performing Arts, there is no shortage of quality attractions for tour operators to package in Pittsburgh.
Be sure to mark your calendars to join your industry colleagues Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh for the 2008 NTA Annual Convention. The energy and great business that was created last year in Kansas City, Missouri, helped to make the 2007 Convention a success, and this year’s event will continue that momentum.
The enthusiasm is already building for the 2008 NTA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh. Just ask Jay Smith, president of Sports Travel and Tours located in Hatfield, Massachusetts, who said "The Kansas City Convention was great! For those of you that might ask, ‘Do I want to go to Pittsburgh in 2008?’ Please attend because when you leave, you will leave with a big WOW!"
Registration will open May 20 at noon (ET), so mark your calendars and plan to join NTA in Pittsburgh for what is shaping up to be another outstanding week of business, education, networking and fun.
There is still time to apply to facilitate group leisure travel from China through NTA’s China Inbound Program. Due to some procedural delays between the United States and China, the NTA-approved tour operator list will not be transmitted to the China National Tourism Administration for at least another week.
More than 60 companies are already on the list of approved tour operators. Complete an application now to make sure your company’s name is on the first list NTA will send to CNTA.
If you have any questions regarding the NTA China Inbound Program, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Relations Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250.
Since announcing the approval of NTA’s China Inbound Program by the China National Tourism Administration, NTA has received tremendous response from the travel industry. More than 60 companies are already on the initial list that will be transmitted to CNTA at the end of the month. This includes both current NTA members and new companies.
Additionally, the travel trade and consumer media has been paying close attention to this emerging market and NTA’s new program. To date, 25 news outlets have picked up the story and many other calls have come in from inquiring reporters, including The Hong Kong Times, Travel Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Travel companies participating in the China Inbound Program are encouraged to spread the word in their local newspapers. Participants can contact NTA Public Relations Manager Sara Morton at sara.morton@NTAstaff.com to obtain a hometown news release to distribute locally.
The deadline for NTA’s U.S.-based tour operators who package Canada to take part in a survey on changes to Canada’s Goods and Services Tax rebate program is Thursday, March 27. This research, a joint venture between NTA, TIAC and ABA, concerns the Foreign Convention & Tour Incentive Program that the Government of Canada introduced in April 2007 as a replacement for the GST.
If you take groups to Canada, click here to participate in the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. It consists of primarily multiple choice questions, and your answers are anonymous, although there are some demographic questions to help categorize responses. All data collected will be reported only in aggregate, so respondents and the organizations they represent cannot be identified.
TIAC will be passing along the findings from the survey to the Canadian government at the earliest opportunity in an effort to provide legitimate feedback on the performance of the program, including ways to enhance its usefulness to travel and tourism organizations.
Questions about the survey can be directed to TIAC Research Manager Jennifer Hendry at 613.238.6378.
Registration is now open for this year’s Grassroots Symposium, June 24-25, with an optional day for Hill visits June 26, in Washington, D.C.
NTA is hard at work creating a unified voice for the packaged travel industry, and the Grassroots Symposium is one way that you can help make that happen. Symposium attendees will receive an update from NTA’s government relations staff and hear from elected officials on current issues affecting the travel industry. Again this year, participants will head to the Hill for a series of one-on-one meetings with their Congressional representatives.
It has never been more critical than now in an election year, for NTA to show its might on Capitol Hill. The Grassroots Symposium is a unique opportunity to affect change that will have a lasting impression on the U.S. travel and tourism industry.
Registration is only $95 and includes all activities and meal events. Visit NTA Online for a complete itinerary or contact Matt Grayson, NTA’s director of industry and government relations, for more information.
Last week, Forbes.com released its 10 America’s Cleanest Cities as part of its "Best Places" series. The list, which used air quality and ozone measurements as its two top factors, included eight places that are represented by DMO members of NTA.
Miami ranked first and was one of four Florida areas on the list. Seattle was second, followed by Jacksonville, Orlando and Portland, Oregon. San Francisco placed sixth, while Oklahoma City came in seventh. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and San Jose/Sunnyvale, California, rounded out the top 10.
Initial rankings for air pollution and ozone levels among all 49 U.S. metro areas with populations exceeding 1 million were compiled based on data from the American Lung Association. After eliminating areas that ranked below a specific benchmark for air quality, the remaining cities were further analyzed by water quality and per-capita spending on Superfund site cleanup and solid-waste management.
To see the full article, click here.
NTA’s Tracking Task Force is gathering success stories and best ideas on the tracking/ROI issue that faces association members. By sharing your stories and ideas, you can help members share information and perhaps give a fellow tour operator, supplier or DMO an idea that can truly be of benefit to their business.
Joan Niemeier, CTP, sales manager for Tourism Kelowna shared a recent success story, which is a good example of what NTA is looking to compile and the kind of information that will be helpful.
On behalf of the DMO membership I want to thank the many NTA tour operators, including Anishe Dalju of Destination America, who are assisting in finding a workable solution to the industry-wide challenge of tracking. This affects our ability to stay involved in the packaged travel market, continue our NTA membership and attend the Annual Convention – all of which revolves around that tangible variable of Return on Investment.
Since the meeting in Kansas City, tour operator companies like Destination America have copied me on their e-mail requests to hotels for their 2009 rates. This allows me to prove ROI for the market and for my industry membership in NTA. Tracking is an issue that affects all DMO and our industry as a whole. Finding a solution will be a win-win-win for DMOs, tour operators and NTA. It will build a stronger DMO membership, enhance the awareness of the packaged travel business and showcase NTA as an industry leader. During the Tour Operator Business Meeting in Kansas City, I was one of many that felt the need, and the benefits have been truly recognized by NTA’s operators. Thank you to all of the tour operators who have pitched in – every little bit helps.
Please submit your best idea or tracking success stories by April 18 to NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson. NTA will compile all submissions and make them available at NTA Online.
NTA would like to extend its sincerest thanks to Giglio Travel for their sponsorship of the Italian Coast Product Development Trip, March 7-13. The nine tour operators in attendance visited Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii and Ravello along the Amalfi Coast.
Remaining Product Development Trips for 2008 include Greece (April 13-20) and Vancouver Island/British Columbia Coast (Oct. 6-11). Also, if you are interested in hosting an NTA Product Development Trip in 2009, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson for more details.
Registration for the 6th Annual Tourism Cares for America Event is closing soon, and you don’t want to be left out. This year’s project, which takes place from April 17 to 19, will focus on the restoration and rejuvenation of Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans.
Hundreds of Tourism Cares volunteers will accomplish major repairs and upkeep that it would take the site’s staff several months to complete. NTA is a proud Association Sponsor of the event, and we hope that you will join your fellow members by participating in this important event.
See you in New Orleans!
The April edition of Courier brings you updated tour product information, better business practices, industry bulletins and news about your association and fellow members. The issue includes great destination information on wine tours and historic homes and regions from New York City to the Great Lakes and from Arkansas and Oklahoma to Mexico and Texas. Joel Zeff is back to inspire your creativity with 12 tips for brainstorming with your colleagues, and NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer, CTP, brings you news about the recent NTA efforts to develop closer relationships with several NTOs.
July Issue – Ad Space: April 30; Editorial: Past
Zoos and Aquariums; Religious Travel; Coastal California and Baja; Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont); Kentucky; Ohio, Tennessee; West Virginia.
August Issue – Ad Space: May 26; Editorial: April 1
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.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Autry National Center – The Berkely Group (TPP) – Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn/Universal City – Casino Windsor – Chase Paymentech – El Paso Convention & Visitors Bureau – Empire State Building Observatory – Greektown Casino – John G. Shedd Aquarium – Laredo CVB – Maid of the Mist Corporation – Motor City Casino – Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc. – Walt Disney Theatrical Productions
|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.|