Tuesday Newsletter – Sept. 22, 2009
September 22, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 38
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Contribute to Your Convention Success by Volunteering
Congressman Farr Joins NTA, USTOA for NY Media Blitz on Opening Cuba
Special Membership Offers
NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back to Reno
Ruth McKinney Chosen as NTA Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Participate in CubaGO on Sept. 30
Updating Profiles Pays Off for NTA Members
2010 Grassroots Symposium Registration Open
Motorcoach Owners and Drivers Sought for Special Survey
Tourism Cares and Fairmont Hotels Save Our Parks
Are You Sponsorship Savvy?
The NTA Convention could not be the great success it is year after year without our volunteers. In between business appointments and educational opportunities, you can help with various Convention events and programs. There are numerous ways you can get involved and get even more face time with potential business partners.
Here is a quick look at just some of the opportunities:
- Exchange Concierge — Be there to greet and assist attendees, help tour operators find their booths and deliver sponsored items and refreshments to those taking appointments.
- NTA Central — You can help answer general questions and assist first-time delegates on the Convention floor. Open to veteran volunteers only.
- Convention Registration — Serve as the welcoming committee at Convention by handing out badges and registration bags at the Registration booth.
Click here to submit your information and select the areas and times in which you’d like to volunteer. If you have any questions, please contact volunteers@NTAstaff.com. Thanks in advance for taking the time to volunteer and helping to make this year’s Convention another huge success.
Congressman Sam Farr, D-California, joined NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP, and other partners supporting the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act for a Sept. 21 New York media blitz. The successful day resulted in immediate coverage from Bloomberg news and Travel Weekly.
Farr and Simon were joined by USTOA President Bob Whitley, and Geoff Thale and Angelica Salazar with the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights organization supporting normal relations with Cuba, including the lifting of the travel ban.
The group held interviews and meetings with editors and journalists from Travel Weekly, Performance Media Group and Travel Agent, as well as Bloomberg news (national news conglomerate), Travel+Leisure (national consumer magazine), El Diario (New York-based Spanish-language daily newspaper), and NY1 (New York television).
In the interviews, Simon said that NTA supports the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act because Americans should have the freedom to travel to all destinations. Also, because Cuba is a new destination that is very intriguing to travelers, tour operators will have the boost of new product to offer.
Farr called the opening of Cuba a "shovel-ready project," referring to the fact that once the travel restrictions are lifted there will be an economic boost "because we can immediately put people to work." When asked when he felt the ban would be lifted, Farr said he felt it could be done this year. He pointed to the collaboration of the Sept. 21 media trip as a positive sign, saying it’s significant that the travel community, the lawmaker and the human rights equation were joining forces to advocate for opening Cuba as a destination.
NTA recently added two new strategic partners — the Africa Travel Association and the Indian Association of Tour Operators. In addition to new partners and new markets, you can become members of these two organizations at incredible savings. In fact, you’ll pay as little as 50 percent of the cost of your NTA membership to make your company or destination a member in either of these organizations, which includes full benefits.
NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP, attended the IATO conference this year to finalize the partnership. Check out the photos from the IATO trip (you must click Select a Tour and then choose 2009 IATO Conference).
This year, NTA and Tourism Cares are offering you a way to give back this year’s Convention host city, Reno, Nevada. Tourism Cares will be placing a Wishing Well donation area in the Convention Mall to collect pocket change throughout the week. The money collected will be put toward a grant for the historic Lear Theater in Reno.
The Lear Theater is on the National Register of Historic Sites and was designed in 1938 by internationally acclaimed architect Paul Revere Williams. Reconstruction efforts are underway that will make the Lear Theater, named after aviation inventor, Bill Lear, the catalyst for an arts and cultural district featuring legitimate theater in the Downtown Reno area.
Aside from the Wishing Well, there will be other opportunities for you to support Tourism Cares at Convention ’09:
- Purchasing a ticket to Tourism Rocks (Monday, Nov. 16) one of the industry’s best dance and networking parties
- Bidding on an item in the Live Auction (Tuesday, Nov. 17) Sharing your industry knowledge as a mentor to a 2009 scholarship recipient
NTA is proud to team with Tourism Cares again this year on a project to aid the generous host city. NTA member organizations can help, too, by matching donations to the Wishing Well each day. For more information, contact Cassie Stetkiewicz of Tourism Cares at +1.781.821.5990, ext. 205. For more information on Tourism Cares in Reno, click here.
The NTA Board of Directors has chosen Ruth McKinney as this year’s Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement award winner. Established in 2003, the award honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to NTA and its members over a span of at least 20 years.
McKinney, formerly of Good Will Tours, had served on the NTA board for three years and remained actively involved with NTA through volunteer committee service over the years. McKinney also served as president of the National Tour Foundation (now Tourism Cares) President and was often found working the silent auction at NTA conventions and mentoring scholarship students. She was elected to the NTF (Tourism Cares) Hall of Fame in 1999 and became an honorary NTA member with her retirement.
The award will be presented to McKinney Sunday, Nov. 15 at the NTA Business Luncheon during Convention ’09 in Reno, Nevada.
CubaGO, the national call-in day to end the travel ban on Cuba, is set for Wednesday, Sept. 30. More than ever, help is needed to get the legislation known as the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act" passed (H.R. 874 and S. 428).
Ending the travel ban on Cuba will be a boon for the United States travel economy. After 50 years of pent-up demand, ASTA forecasted that an additional 850,000 visitors would travel to Cuba annually from the United States, not including relatives or cruise passengers, if the travel ban is repealed.
NTA supports the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act" as it would enable Americans to travel to Cuba to experience the rich diversity of Cuban culture and heritage. Americans should have the opportunity to explore the world unfettered by travel and currency restrictions. NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP, said in a recent op-ed, "we know that Cuba will be an exciting new destination that will significantly grow the travel sector of the United States economy."
To contact your state representative, click here. To contact your senators, click here. For information on how to get involved, contact Cuba Policy Outreach Coordinator at the Washington Office on Latin America Angelica Salazar at +1.202.797. 2171.
Keeping your NTA member profile updated can lead to better quality appointments at Convention, more contact year-round from potential partners, and, for tour operators, the ability for travelers to find you through NTA Online. For three NTA members, updating profiles also meant big money.
Congratulations to the following NTA members who won a US$100 American Express gift card for updating their NTA profile:
- Erica Perez, Embassy Suites Anaheim South in Garden Grove, California
- Sandy Gibson, Around and About Tours in El Paso, Texas
- Martha Starkey, CTP, Wayne County CVB in Wooster, Ohio
Even though the contest is over, it is still important for you to keep your profile current. To update your profile, click here and don’t forget to add your company logo and some images of your destination, attraction or tour product. For information on how to do that, check out this How To guide.
Make plans to attend the 2010 Grassroots Symposium, to be held Feb. 8-10 in Washington, D.C. Join your industry colleagues as you meet with your elected leaders to discuss issues of vital importance to the travel industry.
Last year, more than 60 members of Congress were visited in a day and a half of Hill meetings. This year, participants will make similar visits and will also hear from industry leaders and elected officials in the new Capitol Visitors Center.
"The 2009 Grassroots Symposium was a terrific success," said NTA Public Affairs Committee Chairman Neil Amrine. "NTA members of all types made many useful contacts on industry issues and laid the groundwork for a successful year."
For more information on symposium registration and hotel information, click here.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, is working on a Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration-sponsored study to survey the motorcoach industry on driver distraction. The purpose of the study is to gauge how the industry perceives the risk posed by cell phones and other such devices in a motorcoach by collecting opinions of drivers and administrators in the industry.
If you own, operate or drive a motorcoach, and are interested in providing feedback, click here to take the survey before Oct. 16.
Tourism Cares and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are furthering their commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship through the California Save Our Parks campaign. Fairmont’s California hotel collection will be providing guests the opportunity to contribute US$1 per room night until Nov. 30 for Tourism Cares and the California Save Our Parks Campaign.
Tom Klein, regional vice-president of operations and general manager of the Fairmont San Francisco said, "By collectively raising much needed funds and promoting this initiative, Fairmont hopes to bring traveler attention to the California State Parks Foundation and the Save Our Parks Campaign. Guests’ generous contribution of $1 per night will help protect state parks and keep them open for today and for future generations."
Bruce Beckham, executive director of Tourism Cares, said, "The California State Parks offer travelers the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of nature and history. Even one closing impacts the lives of Californians and global visitors alike. We commend our long-time partners at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and their guests for their concern and action to minimize the effect of these challenging times for California State Parks."
Fairmont’s California hotel collection includes the Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont San Jose, Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica and the Fairmont Newport Beach.
Sponsoring at NTA’s Annual Convention has always been a wise investment. According to the 2008 Convention Evaluations, 71 percent of tour operators attending NTA’s Convention indicated that a sponsor introduced them to potential products/destinations. This year there are two more reasons to sponsor:
- NTA tour operators are mobile this year. For the first three days of Convention, tour operators have the ability to shop the floor. Sponsor at the US$5,000 level and your company will have a booth on the NTA show floor for the entire Convention.
- NTA has co-located with the World Religious Travel Association and WRTA buyer delegates (predominantly travel agents) have the ability to visit the NTA show floor at any time. Sponsor at the US$5,000 level and receive a booth so the buyers know just where to find you.
Sponsorships include the Sunday and Tuesday luncheon, coffee & tea station, message center (two available), water bottles, wine reception, full-page ads and more. Additional opportunities include registration bag inserts (which will be included in every tour operator bag) and Pavilion presentations (a 10-minute presentation in the Destination Pavilion on Monday).
Sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis so call today to reserve yours. Contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo today at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4232 to learn more about how you can be sponsorship savvy!