Tuesday Newsletter – May 13, 2008
May 13, 2008
Tuesday Newsletter May 13, 2008
|This issue of Tuesday is sponsored by Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Discover the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll experience in Memphis at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. We offer three tour options to make sure your group’s experience at Graceland is all they imagined.
|Interested in becoming a Tuesday sponsor? E-mail Karla DiNardo at karla.dinardo@NTAstaff.com.
Volume 28, Issue 19
Webinar Coming Up May 22 on Outbound Travel from China
Looking for Ways to Volunteer for Your Association in 2009?
Tour Operators Needed for NTA-NPS Voluntourism Initiative
Got a Good "Green" Idea? Send it to NTA
Santini Testifies Before Congress on Capitol Visitors Transportation Plan
NTA has provided an additional incentive if you sign up for its 2008 Annual Convention next Tuesday when registration opens at noon (ET).
In keeping with its commitment to greening not only your association, but our planet as well, NTA will donate $1 for every member that registers May 20 to the Arbor Day Foundation’s National Forest Replanting project. Each dollar donated will plant a tree, and so by registering on opening day not only can you ensure your spot at the industry’s best business event, you can also help in the preservation of national forests.
To learn additional reasons why it is important to register early – especially for tour suppliers and DMOs – click here.
The 2008 Annual Convention will take place Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh.
The NTA Charitable Project Task Force has been hard at work this year to add a new element to the Annual Convention: a charitable event that would let NTA delegates give back to this year’s and future Convention host cities. The work of this volunteer subgroup of the NTA Leadership Team is proud to announce the project for Pittsburgh.
The NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back to Pittsburgh event will launch Friday, Nov. 14, and continue throughout Convention week. Teaming with a local philanthropy, NTA delegates will be working to improve literacy and, at the same time, bring the world of travel through books to the children and families in the Pittsburgh area.
The event will kick-off on Friday, the evening prior to the opening of Convention, at The Union Project, a historic building in downtown Pittsburgh. A maximum of 250 NTA volunteers will wrap and sort books collected in a community-wide book drive, build and decorate bookcases and read travel stories to local children. Then, throughout the rest of Convention week, delegates will continue this work, culminating with a team of volunteers delivering the finished products throughout the community.
NTA thanks Tourism Cares for being a major supporter of this initiative. The opportunity to leave behind a bit of NTA to the city we’ll call home for a week in November will not only be rewarding, but a lot of fun as well.
You can sign up to help with this project when Convention registration goes live May 20. Questions about NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back to Pittsburgh can be directed to questions@NTAstaff.com.
Pittsburgh is preparing to welcome the NTA Annual Convention, Nov. 15-19, where you will find great business, quality product development and a whole lot of fun.
During the course of five short days, you can meet face-to-face with the most qualified professionals in our industry during the heart of the Convention – NTA’s legendary Tour & Travel Exchange. The Exchange, which utilizes a truly open-floor format, is the place where you can get down to business with your peers through a series of one-on-one appointments.
New for 2008, the appointment scheduling sessions have been enhanced to include a profile exchange. During these 30-minute periods, members are encouraged to fill open appointment timeslots and drop off profile forms. These sessions will be held in the middle of the Sunday, Monday and Wednesday exchanges, rather than at the beginning.
More information on all aspects of Convention, including a preliminary schedule, are available on the Convention Web site. Questions about this event should be directed to your Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
Interested in learning more about the Chinese outbound market? Want to increase your international sales and visitor numbers? If so, there is a May 22 Webinar that will focus on China’s outbound travel to the United States.
Keeping up-to-date on this key emerging market is important for many reasons, including:
- The United States is the top destination for Chinese travelers outside of Asia.
- China is expected to contribute a projected 100 million international travelers to the international tourism market by 2020.
- In the next decade, Chinese travel expenditure is expected to be the second-fastest growing in the world at close to twice the global average.
- A great deal of progress has been made in visa and tourism policy over the past few years to decrease bureaucracy and security obstacles for travelers.
Topics to be discussed on the Webinar include an overview of the market, best practices on working with Chinese travel industry, an update on NTA’s China Inbound Program and details on changes to the visa process for Chinese travelers. It will close with a question and answer session.
The session will take place May 22, from 8 p.m. (ET) to 9:30 and the registration cost is USD$50. To sign up, click here. Once you have registered and payment has been made, you will receive details to access the Webinar.
For further information on the seminar, contact U.S. Commercial Service’s International Trade Specialist Delia Valdivia at 310.235.7203.
Would you like to help make a difference in your association? Do you like planning new programs, brainstorming or planning strategically for the future? If so, NTA has a number of volunteer opportunities to tap into your strengths.
NTA will begin planning for the 2009 Leadership Team and committees this summer and wants to hear from members who would like to serve. The first step to becoming a volunteer leader for NTA is to complete the Volunteer Interest Form. This form simply lets NTA know what areas you are most interested in, and in what capacity you’d like to serve the association – from in-person Leadership Team meetings to conference call committees.
If you have questions about volunteering for NTA, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson. Completed forms are due by Friday, June 27, and can be faxed to her at 859.226.4404.
Last week NTA announced details of a pilot voluntourism program with the National Park Service. As part of the program, NTA’s U.S. tour operator members can incorporate a work project to enhance their clients’ experience at national park sites.
Eighteen NPS sites located across the United States have signed on to be part of the program for 2008-09. The goal is to pair three tour operators with each of the 18 parks, so there are 54 total spots available.
If you are interested in participating in the program or learning more, contact NTA Director of Industry and Government Affairs Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250, no later than Wednesday, May 21.
After all the responses are in, NTA will be assigning tour operators to work with specific park sites in combinations that appear to offer the best chance of success, as well as the widest variety of potential participants. You will be notified of your particular park assignment(s) and put in contact with the Volunteer Coordinator at the park(s) involved by the first week of June, so that you can begin making plans for your specific work projects at that time.
NTA is continuing to solicit ideas to help "green" its Annual Convention this year in Pittsburgh. And, while you are continuing to hear about the changes that NTA is making to be more environmentally friendly, you can get involved by providing your suggestions.
Submit your best ideas for "greening" the Convention to NTA Vice President of Meetings and Events Lee Carter by June 13. The ideas will be passed on to the Pittsburgh Convention WOW Task Force in July, and the top suggestions will be incorporated into this year’s Convention planning. If your submission is selected, you’ll be recognized at Convention.
NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini gave testimony May 7 before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch regarding the Capitol Visitors Center transportation plan. Santini testified on behalf of the "Travel & Tourism Advocacy Group," consisting of NTA, along with the United Motorcoach Association, the American Bus Association and the Student & Youth Travel Association.
In his testimony, Santini argued the following points:
- Transferring large student groups to smaller Circulator buses will create logistical and safety concerns for school groups.
- Senior groups and those with mobility impairments also will struggle going from their motorcoaches to Circulator buses.
- The dearth of motorcoach parking at Union Station at peak season will cause traffic delays and congestion issues.
Santini also suggested several commonsense proposals that would alleviate security concerns for motorcoaches and keep CVC traffic moving as smoothly as possible.
Deliberations on the D.C. Circulator transportation program for the Capitol Visitors Center will continue in Congress and in the industry. NTA and its allied associations will help promote reasonable solutions to traffic and security-related issues. More details on this will be posted in Tuesday and on "This Just In" as they become available.
Based on a new rule issued last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation, people with disabilities will have additional safeguards against discrimination when they travel by air. The updated regulation builds on the existing provisions of the U.S. Air Carrier Access Act for flights beginning or ending in the United States by including international airlines.
Two of the main changes include:
- Making it easier for passengers to use medical oxygen during flights by requiring airlines to allow the use in the passenger cabin of portable oxygen concentrators that meet applicable safety, security and hazardous materials requirements for safe use aboard aircraft.
- Providing greater accommodations for passengers with hearing impairments by requiring airlines to include easy-to-read captions in its safety and informational videos. Airlines also must promptly provide the same information to hearing- and vision-impaired passengers that it provides to other passengers in airport terminals or on the aircraft, especially regarding flight delays, schedule changes, checking and claiming of baggage, weather conditions, connecting gate assignments and emergencies.
Passengers flying with international air carriers will receive similar protections against discriminatory policies and be entitled to the same accommodations as passengers flying on U.S.-based carriers when traveling internationally. The rule also makes it easier for the DOT to take enforcement action against an international carrier if it discriminates against an individual because of his or her disability on flights to or from the United States.
The new rule will take effect in one year, which gives airlines enough time to begin implementing its provisions. The text of the final rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov/, if you do a search for docket number DOT-OST-2004-19482.
This year, Tourism Cares awarded $50,500 in academic scholarships to students throughout the United States and Canada. These scholarships are presented on an annual basis to students pursuing travel, tourism or hospitality degrees at accredited colleges and universities.
The Tourism Cares Education Committee and individual school administrators select the scholarship recipients each year from hundreds of applicants. The scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $5,000, are used to cover expenses for tuition, books and educational fees only. In addition to monetary awards, the recipients also are invited to attend the 2008 NTA Convention in Pittsburgh where they will shadow tourism industry mentors and participate in Convention workshops and assist in Tourism Cares’ fundraising events.
In the last 20 years, Tourism Cares and its predecessor – the National Tourism Foundation – have awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships to more than 400 students. Additional information about Tourism Cares Student Programs, including a complete list of scholarship recipients, can be found at http://www.tourismcares.org/.
The next publication in NTA’s The Trip Planner series targets group leaders and offers a great chance for your company or destination to reach 20,000 group leaders as well as NTA’s 1,400 tour operators.
The Trip Planner includes editorial that is specifically geared toward these 20,000 qualified group leaders who are actively planning tours, so don’t miss out on your chance to reach this influential group that has big-time buying power. Not only is there display advertising available in the publication, but NTA tour operator members can purchase a listing with their logo.
The space deadline for The Trip Planner for group leaders is extended to May 23 so act now to reserve space for your company or destination. To learn more, click here or contact your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. or Canada) or 859.226.4241 for more information.
|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.