Tuesday Newsletter – May 25, 2010
May 25, 2010
Volume 30, Issue 21
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Convention’ 10: Travel for Less
NTA Welcomes Two New Staff Members
U.S. Arrival/Departure I-94W Paper Form Eliminated
Government Relations Update from D.C.
Oil Spill Update
Create a Strong Facebook Fan Page
WRTA President Shares Latest in Religious Travel in New Podcast
Five Reasons to Register Today for Tourism Cares for America San Francisco Bay
Congrats to Lorrie Love, Winner of Free Convention Registration
New Editorial Feature for NTA Trip Planner for Group Leaders
NTA in Slovakia
Travel News and Updates
CEO Position Open with Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association
Save a little money traveling to Montreal and take advantage of NTA discounts. Transportation offers from NTA member Sugar Tours, Jet Blue, Air Canada and West Jet are all listed on the Convention Web site. Visit the site for details and codes for each offer. More deals will be announced soon, so remember to check the transportation page before you book your travel.
Convention ‘10 is just one of the many ways NTA expands buying and selling opportunities for our members. Register and find out where your membership can take you.
Want more exposure at Convention? Sponsorships are now available and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Karla DiNardo by email or by phone at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 or + 1.859.226.4232 to discuss your sponsorship today!
Welcome Haybina Hao and Tony Liu to the NTA family!
Haybina is the new NTA director of international development and will oversee inbound and outbound international business development and serve as ambassador for NTA’s internationally based members. She also will oversee the China Inbound Program, acting as a resource for approved U.S. tour operators and as the headquarters liaison for the Tourism USA office in Shanghai. Haybina’s background includes several years of work in Canada and, most recently, a position on the staff of NTA member company Western Leisure in Utah. With her background in Canada, Haybina also looks forward to connecting with NTA’s Canadian members.
Tony is the Chief Representative for the soon to open Tourism USA office in Shanghai. Tourism USA will open in cooperation with U.S. Commercial Service, and it’s made possible through a grant NTA received from the Department of Commerce. Tourism USA will educate the Chinese trade about the vast tourism opportunities in the U.S. and provide marketing and promotional services to U.S. destinations, suppliers and approved operators. Tony formerly worked for Marketing Garden and most recently represented Chicago, Monaco and Tourism Victoria, Australia. Tony also has a background with the airlines industry, serving as a district sales manager for Qantas Airways.
To see a complete NTA staff listing, please click here.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the elimination of the paper arrival/departure form (Form I-94W) for authorized travelers from nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
Following a successful seven-month pilot program conducted on Air New Zealand flights from Auckland to the Los Angeles International Airport, the use of paper I-94W forms will be eliminated for travelers with an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization arriving in the United States at all airports by the end of this summer.
The Visa Waiver Program currently enables the nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. For more information, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/.
Since the inception of NTA, the association has advocated for the members’ best interests. NTA Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer has been working on Capitol Hill to champion the travel industry. Read below for a government relations update:
- The Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act (HR4676 & S3225) House version now has 14 co-sponsors. Most recent sponsors include Bill Delahunt (D-Massachusetts) and Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri), who were both visited personally by Richer in the last two months. Richer lined up efforts to get more co-sponsors with the U.S. Travel Association, Southeast Tourism Society, Destination Marketing Association International and many others.
- Richer is also working with the U.S. Travel Association to clarify U.S. visa video conference legislation. NTA board member and U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory board member Nick Calderazzo has mentioned clarifying the language to U.S. Secretary Locke in person. This would set into motion allowing video conferencing from secure locations to qualify for "in person" visa interviews.
- Richer represented the travel industry at a half day seminar on the U.S./Cuba Economic Relationship at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. This continues NTA’s work in support of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba legislation.
NTA is closely monitoring the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana to keep NTA members abreast of the situation.
- Florida: Oil trajectory maps, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, show non-contiguous, light sheens of oil and scattered tar balls from the Gulf oil spill in the Loop Current remaining well to the northwest of the Florida Keys through Thursday and likely beyond. NOAA analysis shows most of the oil, especially heavy concentrations, has not entered the Loop Current. Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key are open and have not been impacted by the oil spill, nor is there a current forecast for a projected landfall. Water is open for swimming and fishing and quality Florida seafood is readily available.
- Alabama: No oil has reached the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. At its closest point, the slick is still approximately 40-50 miles from the western end of the island. There was a report of a small number of tarballs washing ashore in an isolated area on the Fort Morgan peninsula over the weekend. Response teams were in place to remove them quickly and no additional tarballs have been reported. According to NOAA, tarballs do not pose a health risk to the average person. The Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Department of Environmental Management have stated that there is no foreseeable need to close beaches and, short of a drastic change, they have no plans to do so.
- Mississippi: Mississippi’s barrier islands, the Mississippi Sound, and shoreline remain open. Inshore fishing, Mississippi Sound fishing, and all water activities on the Mississippi Sound are OPEN including beach vendors along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
- Louisiana: New Orleans is located approximately 100 miles inland, and no disruption is anticipated in guest service or impact to visitors as oil reaches the islands of the extreme coastline of Louisiana. Some restaurants have made alternate arrangements when necessary to procure seafood from other locations while some of the waters are closed for fishing, but quality Louisiana seafood is still readily available for consumers to enjoy.
Companies today have the incredible opportunity of interacting with consumers on Facebook and thereby creating lasting, personal and relevant relationships with their customers. Read these steps from Ayalet Noff, founder and CEO of Blonde 2.0, a new media PR agency, to create a strong page for your company.
- Create a fan page. Fan pages (unlike personal profiles or groups) enable brands to view insights such as fans demographics and number of interactions with fans. These provide valuable insights.
- Content is king. Content doesn’t need to be specifically about your brand. Find insightful articles that relate to your company’s vision and perspective and post them.
- Find your target audience. Make sure such people know that your page exists. By searching on similar groups and pages, you can find people to invite to your page.
- Keep the conversation awake. Create live discussions on your page by utilizing the status feature and also by using the "Discussions" application.
- Excite people about your brand again and again. Create frequent contests and special campaigns for fans to take part in and reward them for their participation with either social or monetary incentives related to your brand
- Create a welcome tab and other tabs relevant to your brand.
- Utilize Facebook’s insights. How many interactions did you have with fans this week? How many people commented on your posts? Where are your fans located? Are they mostly female or male? The answers to these questions will enable you to make better use of your page plan of future activities.
- Increase your exposure. Promote your Facebook page on your email signature, on your homepage, in your other social networks, and in all outgoing materials to bloggers and journalists.
For help implementing these suggestions, contact NTA e-Manager Kate McLean.
For the second year, the World Religious Travel Association is co-locating its Expo with NTA at Convention ’10 in Montreal, Quebec. Listen to this brief podcast with WRTA President Kevin J. Wright sharing updates on the current state of the faith-based travel industry and how NTA members can take advantage of the co-location this November and connect with WRTA members.
There is still time to register for the Tourism Cares for America event at Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay, June 4. See below for the top five reasons you shouldn’t wait to register.
- Reunite with old friends and expand your network by meeting industry professionals from around the world.
- Reserve a t-shirt that fits by registering in advance.
- Help a site that really needs it; Angel Island has been listed as one of America’s 10 most-threatened historic sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Spend time in one of the most unique cities in the world.
- Availability is limited! Register today.
Completing NTA member surveys pays big… in more ways than one. You are voicing your opinion, plus you can win some great prizes.
The prize for the most recent economic survey of NTA members was a free registration to Convention ’10, Nov. 13-17 in Montreal, Quebec. The big winner is Lorrie Love with the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau in Manteo, North Carolina, an NTA member since 1990. Congratulations to Lorrie and thanks to everyone who submitted a survey.
Check out the results of the survey at NTAOnline.com. NTA will continue to monitor the effects of the economy on members with more quarterly surveys and prize giveaways. Watch your inbox and complete your survey—it’s great for you and for NTA.
Reach 20,000 group leaders and NTA tour operators by advertising in the NTA Trip Planner for Group Leaders’ publication. You can reach group leader segments includingalumni, bank, religious, hospitals, seniors and travel clubs. An exciting new offering for the 2010 edition is the "Our Claim to Fame" feature, which will highlight member regions and attractions worldwide that have something special that only they offer.
This year’s edition of the NTA Trip Planner for Group Leaders will feature editorial focused on the variety and depth of tourism product that group leaders can access when they work with an NTA member. On top of the new "Our Claim to Fame" section, features will include theaters, casinos and gaming, shopping, museums and Civil War product. The NTA Trip Planner for Group Leaders will also include interviews with representatives from the faith-based, student and youth and African-American heritage tourism segments. A lively editorial section, "I Want to Go There," will highlight 16 North American and international destinations selected to showcase the wide breadth of NTA-member cities, states, regions and countries.
Display ad spaces are available throughout the NTA Trip Planner at a variety of sizes and costs. Purchase a listing to run with the new "Our Claim to Fame" feature, which includes a color photo or logo, 75 words of text, and company contact information. Half-page and larger advertisers will receive a bonus listing for FREE. To reach your account executive, call 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 or 859.226.4241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Ten NTA members had a chance to explore three European countries as part of the "Come and Explore Eastern Europe" Product Development Trip that took place earlier this month. The trip focused mainly on Slovakia, but also included city tours in Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.
The group traveled through much of eastern and central Slovakia. In the capital city of Bratislava, located on the Danube River, participants saw centuries-old buildings and cobblestone streets in the city’s Old Town quarter, along with modern attractions and shopping areas. The trip showcased the peaks of the High Tatra mountains, one of Slovakia’s many castles, the Banska Bystricá region and two of the country’s best spa and wellness centers. Members also saw some of Slovakia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the wooden church in Hronsek and the town of Banska Stiavnica, and got to try many Slovak culinary delicacies throughout the trip.
NTA would like to thank Discover Slovakia Tours and the Slovak Tourist Board and their local partners for developing this trip.
For more information on the five remaining NTA product development trips that will take place this year, click here. Also, if you would like to play host to a PDT in 2011, please e-mail NTA Director of Membership and Marketing Lisa Thompson.
Here’s a look at recent research, statistics and news that may apply to you and your business:
- NTA sends its condolences to China after a train derails in the Jiangxi province Sunday, killing 19.
- A plane crashed after landing at an airport in India Saturday. NTA sends its condolences to the Indian Tour Operators Association.
- British Airways strike enters second day. Click here to read more.
- AAA forecasts 5.4 percent increase in Memorial Day weekend travel
- American Express survey finds 35 percent of travelers turn to offline resources when booking travel.
The links in this article are not monitored by NTA staff. Any bad links, expired pages, etc. are due to the constantly changing nature of Web sites.
As chief executive officer and chief operating officer of the nonprofit 501C6 Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Association, the President is responsible for managing all aspects of the organization, tourism marketing programs and press relations for South Dakota’s #1 visitor destination: Home of the Black Hills, Badlands and Mount Rushmore. Best tourism job in South Dakota.
Qualifications will include: Ten years destination marketing experience. Degree in journalism, mass communications, marketing, tourism, business administration, or related field. Experience with non-profit Boards, wholesale food chain in the travel industry. Professional speaker, writer, marketer. Salary $70,000-$90,000 with good benefits. Send resume to email@example.com
Click here for more information on the Association and essential qualifications.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.