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VIDEO: Fasten Your Seatbelts | 3Qs with Cathy Greteman on Japan, an ‘Amazing Destination’

July 5, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 28

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VIDEO: Fasten Your Seatbelts
3Qs with Cathy Greteman on Japan, an ‘Amazing Destination’
Winners Announced!
Tourism Cares Awards $8,000 Grant to World War II Memorial
U.S. Hotels Post Healthy Gains
100 NTA Tour Operators Will Gather in the Northeast Aug. 1–3
Industry News and Updates
NTA Job Center

VIDEO: Fasten Your Seatbelts 

During a recent visit to NTA headquarters, UMA President and CEO Vic Parra sat down for an interview to discuss the new bus safety rules, how they affect tour operators and what tour operators will learn during "Understanding Your Liability: The New Bus Safety Rules," an educational session exclusively for CEOs and owners who attend Contact.

This just in: NTA and UMA, along with Motor Coach Canada, succeeded in their campaign to stop the International Registration Plan proposal to eliminate the exemption granted to charter bus operators, which would have forced most of them to buy apportioned license plates. See the release here.

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3Qs with Cathy Greteman on Japan, an ‘Amazing Destination’  

cathy greteman Japan2Japan is ready to get back to the business of tourism, according to Cathy Greteman, NTA chairman, who toured Japan as a delegate with "Rediscovering Japan-NTA/USTOA Mission 2011." Leaders from two associations—NTA and U.S. Tour Operators Association—visited the island nation June 21–26 and met with Japanese tourism officials, visited popular destinations and assessed overall travel conditions.

Greteman came home with impressions and opinions:

Q. How far has Japan come since the earthquake?
The areas we were introduced to have had no effect from the earthquake-other than the drop in tourism. For the first time, I think, Japan has realized the impact of tourism, especially from the U.S. They are seeing Asian tourism return, but not the North American market. The people we talked to are really concentrating on bringing back this market, though, and are looking for new ways to promote Japan.

Q. What were some of your impressions of Japan?

The Japanese lifestyle is steeped in tradition, and the people are very friendly and respectful. Everywhere we went, the food was outstanding and the hotels were very nice. And we did so many things: everything from making sushi to meditating in a Buddhist Temple, which was really neat. 

Q. As tour operator, how do you assess the country?
Japan is a great destination. There is so much to offer in terms of culture and history, but some of the new tourism niches will find this an amazing destination. Adventure tourism, culinary tourism and faith-based tourism will find great opportunity here.

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Winners Announced! 


Gail Arndt, Tour Trends
Courtney Ashley, About Tours
Chris Lee, ChinaPlus Tours

Each of these tour operators has won a Clambake dinner for two from B&M Catering Company! The dinner includes lobster, steamers, mussels, chourico, corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes and onions, a lobster cracker, bibs and a red and white table cloth-all in a reusable pot. All they had to do was register for Contact and Convention! Enjoy your clambakes and we’ll see you in Newport and Las Vegas!

Want to join them?

Register for Contact.

Register for Convention.

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Tourism Cares Awards $8,000 Grant to World War II Memorial  

Tourism Cares is proud to award a 2011–2012 Globus Special Grant to the Friends of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dedicated to supporting this national treasure, the Friends work in cooperation with the National Park Service, Military District of Washington and other interested parties to insure the legacy, lessons and sacrifices of World War II are not forgotten. The Tourism Cares Special Globus Grant will help fulfill their mission by directly supporting the organization’s Educational Enhancement Program, benefiting more than 4.4 million visitors annually. 

"The Friends of the National World War II Memorial takes very seriously our mission to educate those who visit the Memorial," said Jim Fisher, executive director of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. "The Tourism Cares Special Globus Grant will assist us in making the history of World War II come alive to the millions of visitors to the memorial by helping to fund recruiting and training for our Volunteer Docent Program." 

To learn more about Tourism Cares Globus Special Grants, visit the organization’s Web site.


Tourism Cares WWII photo


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U.S. Hotels Post Healthy Gains 

The most recent report on the U.S. hotel industry showed increases in key performance measurements, according to data from Smith Travel Research. Comparing May 2011 to May 2010, occupancy was up 4.6 percent (to 61.5 percent), and average daily rate showed a 4 percent increase (to $101.54). See the report on

Data from the first five months of 2011 showed similar gains: Occupancy rose 5.2 percent over 2010, and the average daily rate increased 3.3 percent.

Among the top 25 markets, Detroit, Michigan, experienced the largest occupancy increase in May (13.7 percent), followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida (13 percent). Nashville, Tennessee, and New York were the only large markets that reported occupancy decreases.

Four markets saw double-digit increases in average daily rate: San Francisco/San Mateo, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Oahu Island, Hawaii; and Chicago, Illinois. None of the top markets reported a decrease in average daily rates for May.

A related story from Hotel Interactive said that with revenues rising, more hotels are focusing on renovations and improvements.

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100 NTA Tour Operators Will Gather in the Northeast Aug. 1–3 

Will you be there? Join us at NTA’s Contact ’11 (Aug. 1–3 in Newport, Rhode Island) and enjoy three days of one-on-one time with 100 NTA tour operators. Only sponsoring tour suppliers and DMOs are permitted to attend, creating an incredible buyer-to-seller ratio that’s ideal for doing significant business. Plus, while you’re there, learn with the buyers at high-quality education sessions, dine with the buyers at all meal functions and enjoy great evening events and activities with the buyers.

To reserve your sponsorship today contact Karla DiNardo and begin your sponsor promotions! To see available sponsorships and benefits, click here.

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Industry News and Updates

  • The International Air Transport Association reported a 6.8 percent increase for May in global passenger traffic. .
  • Seven U.S. airlines have signed letters of intent to purchase jet fuel derived from biomass—post-recycled urban and agricultural wastes—to be produced in northern California by 2015.
  • Insight Cuba has been authorized to send Americans to Cuba under the people-to-people travel program; participant options include visiting the studio of a local artist, meeting students and teachers at an elementary school, visiting jazz institutes, and meeting farmers who grow tobacco.

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NTA Job Center 

alberta logoTravel Alberta is hiring for two positions of Business Development Director to support the tourism marketing efforts of Alberta, Canada, within the United States of America. Travel Alberta is the provincial tourism marketing organization for the Province of Alberta. 

Successful candidates will be responsible for establishing, maintaining and supporting relationships with travel trade accounts and promoting Alberta through various sales and marketing initiatives and strategic marketing partnerships. Daily and project-related work will focus on geographic regions within eastern or western United States. Travel within the United States and to/from Alberta is required.

Positions will be filled through a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process closing July 22, 2011. For information on the RFP and scope of work and deliverables, please visit: 

Business Development Services, Western United States

Business Development Services, Eastern United States 

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