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Tuesday Newsletter – May 20, 2008

May 20, 2008

Tuesday Newsletter May 20, 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

Volume 28, Issue 20

Tuesday Newsletter


2008 NTA Convention Registration Going LIVE Today at Noon

Today is the day! Registration for the 2008 NTA Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, to be held Nov. 15-19, will be available at noon (ET) on the Convention Web site. NTA will donate $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation’s National Forest Replanting project for each delegate who registers today only.

Early registration is very important for all members, but especially tour suppliers and DMOs. First, you are much more likely to be able to participate in the appointment scheduling process if you register early. Second, appointments are matched based upon registration number, so having a lower registration number (which is assigned to early registrants) will help ensure a greater result from your appointment requests and avoid your being placed on the waitlist.

Tour operators who wish to remain eligible for the Convention Rebate must register and update their online company profile by July 8. Visit the Convention Web site for tour operator rebate requirements.

Be sure to mark your calendar for these important dates:

  • July 8 – Deadline for tour operators to register at the early-bird rate
  • July 16 – Appointment Request System opens on NTA Online at noon (ET)

    Watch your mail for Convention information, including a list of additional important dates and deadlines. For more information, visit the Convention Web site or contact your Member Services team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.

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    NTA Reps Headed to Rendez-vous Canada and Pow Wow

    Your association will have representatives at two upcoming industry events – Rendez-vous Canada (May 24-28) and International Pow Wow (May 31-June 4). NTA will be exhibiting at these events to support all association members, including NTA’s receptive service providers.

    NTA Vice President of Business Development Cookie Callahan will be in Vancouver, British Columbia, for Rendez-vous Canada. There are 137 NTA members registered for the show, and you can find NTA at Booth 8 in the Tourism Mall. At International Pow Wow, which takes place in Las Vegas, NTA will be represented by Callahan, Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher, CTP, President Lisa Simon, CTP, and Vice President of Communications Catherine Prather. NTA will be joined by 285 members promoting inbound travel to the United States and will occupy booth #1769.

    If you are attending either Rendez-vous or Pow Wow, please stop by our booth to say hello.

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    First Chinese Leisure Group Travelers Arriving in June

    NTA is playing a major role in last Friday’s announcement from the China National Tourism Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The two countries announced that the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December will be initiated with an inaugural tour to Washington, D.C., that will be led by CNTA Chairman Shao Qiwei beginning June 17. Following this historic visit from the first group, Chinese leisure group travelers will be able to travel to the United States only through Chinese travel agents working with U.S. tour operators who are part of NTA’s China Inbound Program.

    The new agreement is expected to bring a much needed boost to the U.S. economy. By 2011, nearly 600,000 Chinese travelers are expected to travel to the United States that year, an increase of 81 percent from 2006. According to the Department of Commerce, Chinese travelers on average spend $6,000 per visit, which is more than residents from any other nation typically spend.

    "With the arrival of these new Chinese tourists, there is a great opportunity for the United States to present a welcoming image to the world," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "Travel has the power to change perceptions and aid in cultural understanding, and this new agreement will help the U.S. form new friendships and create goodwill ambassadors."

    NTA is the first and only U.S. organization approved by CNTA to facilitate Chinese inbound leisure group travel to the United States. To date, more than 90 tour operators have been approved to work with this new market. The approved list of tour operators from NTA’s China Inbound Program was given to CNTA through the Department of Commerce last week in preparation for implementation of the inaugural tour.

    Click here to read the full release with additional details on last Friday’s announcement.

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    Webinar Coming up May 22 on Outbound Travel from China

    A Webinar focusing on the Chinese outbound market will be held this Thursday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. (ET). The session is geared to provide current information on this key emerging market and is especially important to participants in NTA’s China Inbound Program.

    Topics to be discussed on the Webinar include an overview of the market, best practices on working with Chinese travelers, 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.

    There is still time to sign up for the session, which does include a $50 fee. Once you have registered, 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.

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    Feedback on Fuel Surcharge Question

    The May NTA Question of the Month on the member forums regarding fuel surcharges is generating dialogue on this hot industry topic. Posts so far from tour operators have detailed what their companies are doing to deal with the handling of fuel surcharges with customers, working with airlines and raising legal questions regarding surcharge pricing.

    Members interested in following the dialogue or sharing their thoughts can do so by logging on to the member forums. To access the member-only, password-protected 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 today’s Tuesday articles.

    The question of the month was developed based on feedback received from delegates who attended the general crackerbarrel at last month’s Tour Operator Spring Meet.

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    Nominations Sought for 2009 NTA Board of Directors

    NTA strives to conduct the most inclusive, democratic election of any association in the industry. The opportunity to run for the NTA Board of Directors is a way for you to make a real difference in the association and the industry.

    This year, three tour operator seats, one tour supplier seat and one DMO seat will be contested in the 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. You’ll note that the eligibility criteria have changed significantly for non-officer positions. Committee and event attendance requirements have been eliminated in order to streamline the election process and in turn invite more candidates to participate in NTA’s governance.

    If you are interested in running for the NTA Board, please e-mail Nominating Committee Chairman Randy Julian, or contact committee liaison Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4250 for more information.

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    NTA Launches Member Fams Web Page

    NTA recently added a new page to its Web site that promotes member familiarization trips. The page is updated regularly, and listings are taken down after the Fam is complete.

    To get your trip included, please e-mail the following information to

  • Fam destination
  • Dates of the trip
  • Name of the sponsoring organization
  • Contact person’s e-mail address
  • Web link where more information is available top of page


    Update on Washington, D.C., Motorcoach Permit Ruling

    Last Friday, the District of Columbia Superior Court handed down a decision that the $50 permit fees per entry to the District for motorcoaches was valid and constitutional. Legal counsel for NTA, the American Bus Association and the United Motorcoach Association had argued that the fees violated the "interstate commerce clause" of the Constitution and other competing regulatory statutes.

    The new fees require a charter bus operator, prior to entering the District of Columbia, to:

    • Register its vehicles with the District as a Class B motor vehicle and pay 100 percent of the D.C. registration fee;
    • Obtain an apportioned registration under the International Registration Plan; or
    • Purchase a $50 trip permit that is good for six days.

    Appealing the decision is under consideration. To read ABA’s summary of the decision, click here.

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    Take Part in the 2008 NTA Grassroots Symposium June 24-26

    NTA’s annual Grassroots Symposium will be held June 24-26 and there is still time for you to register.

    Attending the Grassroots Symposium is one way that you can help NTA create a unified voice for the packaged travel industry. 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 Capitol Hill for a series of one-on-one meetings with their Congressional representatives.

    The event headquarters will be the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, with educational and informational seminars held on the Hill. Transportation will be provided between the Gaylord National and Capitol Hill, courtesy of New World Bus, with lunch vouchers provided by Jones Lang LaSalle Union Station.

    The room block at the Gaylord National is now open. To book your room for the Grassroots Symposium, call the Gaylord National at 301.965.2000. Please mention booking code X-NTAG8 to get the discounted NTA rate.

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    Register for Germany, Egypt and British Columbia Product Development Trips

    There are a few spots still available for this fall’s Best of Bavaria Product Development Trip, hosted by Bavaria Tourism from Oct. 24 to 31. Participating NTA tour operators will be exposed to many highlights in this region of Germany and can learn more about new product development ideas.

    In conjunction with the American Tourism Society Annual Conference, NTA is sponsoring an Egypt Product Development Trip. ATS is waiving its membership fees exclusively for NTA tour operators to attend its Annual Conference in Cairo, Oct. 27-30, then they can take part in the trip from Oct. 30-Nov. 4. The itinerary will feature a five-night, six-day cruise on the Nile River on a five-star vessel and includes stops at the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Luxor.

    Limited space also is available for NTA’s third fall product development option, an Oct. 6-11 trip to British Columbia. This trip, hosted by Tourism Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, offers operators a look at the incredible range of cultural, recreational, natural and wildlife attractions to package in western British Columbia. Click here to register or for a more complete itinerary.

    If you have questions about any of these upcoming Product Development Trips, or would like to host one for 2009, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson.

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    2008 Tourism Cares Summit Set for Aug. 3-6

    Tourism Cares is pleased to announce that registration for the 2008 Tourism Cares Summit is now available. The eighth edition of the event will take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Aug. 3-6.

    Based on recommendations by past participants and those who have yet to attend a summit, Tourism Cares is expanding the focus of this year’s event. Besides maintaining the informal, fun components, the summit schedule now includes workshops that will feature experts in sustainable tourism and delve into ways to "green" your organization and your products so you can have a positive impact on the future of travel and, more specifically, your business. The Tourism Cares Summit will still include the traditional networking and recreation opportunities you’ve come to love.

    If you are a travel supplier, you’ll have the opportunity to meet executives and decision-makers from some of the finest and most influential tour operators, incentive operators and high-volume travel agencies anywhere. If you’re a qualified buyer of travel products, you can share ideas with your colleagues, learn the latest on tour and travel components and enjoy the company of your peers. Keep in mind that unlike trade shows, the ratio of buyers to suppliers at this event is nearly two-to-one.

    Join Tourism Cares in Las Vegas for its 2008 Summit; it’s the place to be for fun, friendship and a look into the future of travel.

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    2009 Media Kit Now at

    The recently released 2009 NTA Media Kit is a great resource to help you plan ahead as you keep your destination or company’s name in front of NTA tour operators in the coming year. With multiple advertising and sponsorship options – Courier magazine, the Membership Directory, the Trip Planner series and numerous Annual Convention and Spring Meet sponsorships – NTA is the one-stop shop for all of your marketing needs.

    Book your 2009 advertisements by May 30 and receive 2008 rate card rate protection on your 2009 media buys. Click here to view the full 2009 media kit and see what NTA has to offer to you. To reach your account executive, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232.

    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.
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