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VIDEO: Three Members Take a Special Tour of Las Vegas | Two Seminars that De-mystify Social Media

September 20, 2011

Volume 31, Issue 39

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VIDEO: Watch These Members Take a Special Tour of Las Vegas
Two Seminars that De-mystify Social Media
Don’t Miss Friday’s Motorcoach Safety Summit. It’s Available via Webcast.
How to Get a Qualified Leads List
NTA Visit USA Center Shines at Chinese Travel Expo, Festival
See It Now: October Courier Spotlights Music Sites and Steve Hartman
Play along with FloodStock, ‘Music Made to Save a Town’
Volunteers Forge Ahead at Tourism Cares Project
Present Your Profile to Every Operator at Convention
Industry News and Update: Focus on Flying

VIDEO: Watch These Members Take a Special Tour of Las Vegas  

Just 75 days to go until Convention ’11! Want a preview of some of what you’ll experience while there? Check out this video, starring Laurie Lincoln, 2011 Convention Chair; John Meyer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Larry Friedman with the Nevada Commission on Tourism; and a special guest who makes a cameo appearance just after the 2:00 mark. Also, don’t miss some of the best footage … at the very end.


Are you registered yet? What are you waiting for?! Register here and join us in Vegas Dec. 5–9, 2011, to push your business forward. Come see where NTA can take you! 

Important Fam Tours Update: The "Bags and Bright Lights" and "Put It In Drive and the Park It In Nevada and Utah" tours are now sold out. Sign up now for the remaining tours for best availability.

And stay tuned for more videos coming soon, featuring great "How to …" advice from Laurie.

See you in Vegas! 

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Two Seminars that De-mystify Social Media 

According to a recent Nielsen report, Americans now spend almost a quarter of their time online on social networking sites. So it’s expected that businesses, too, are focusing more and more on how to get the most out of their social media presence on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Two upcoming Convention ’11 seminars will address this concern head-on and help you put social media to work for your business:

In Social Media & Social Marketing, How to Use It to Grow Business in a Low-cost, No-cost Manner (Tuesday, Dec. 6), Kelly McDonald, a recognized expert on marketing and business trends, will emphasize how social media can be an affordable and powerful promotional tool.

Ranked No. 1 on the list of "26 Hot Speakers" by Successful Meetings magazine, McDonald will answer these questions:

  • What are the key differences between the core social media avenues?
  • What kind of tweets should a company send on Twitter? (And, more important, who is the audience and what’s the best way to reach them?)
  • How should social media posts differ from the information on your Web site?
  • What is social media etiquette?

In Managing Customer Service in Today’s Social Media World (Thursday, Dec. 8) Barry Moltz, author of BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World, will show you how to create lasting customer loyalty and how to build a raving social media fan base.

Moltz will help you understand:

  • how to use customer service to your competitive advantage
  • how to personalize the customer experience through social media
  • how to develop a formula to determine the economic value of each customer
  • how to develop a two-way customer service model
  • how to put customer-service action plans into place for everyone in your company, from the CEO to customer service reps

You’ll walk away with tools to help build your business and communicate with customers and prospects via social media on a more personal and potentially more profitable level.

Interested in these two seminars? Register now for Convention ’11!

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Don’t Miss Friday’s Motorcoach Safety Summit. It’s Available via Webcast. 

The meeting is in Washington, D.C., but you can attend the National Motorcoach Safety Summit wherever you are. Simply join the Webcast on Friday, Sept. 23, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. 

Organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Friday’s Summit is a follow-up to a series of regional roundtables that were held to gather information from diverse sectors of the motorcoach industry, law enforcement and other key stakeholders. Information from the roundtables and online dialogue are driving the agenda for this week’s event.

During the Summit, leaders will identify strategies related to motorcoach safety in the areas of consumer awareness, education, and enforcement. Webcast registrations will be accepted up to the start of the event, but the sooner you register for the Webcast, the sooner you can verify your connection. For more information about the Summit, click here.

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How to Get a Qualified Leads List  

One of the biggest benefits of NTA membership is that you have access to a qualified leads list at any time. Here’s how to download your own customized list:

Go to, and log in using your NTA member name and password.

Look for "Find an NTA Member" (lower right-hand area of the NTA Online home page). Then select "Find a Tour Operator" or "Find a Tour Supplier/Destination." Click on "search."

If you’re pulling a list of tour operators, you have the ability to specify by:

  • Travel Packages Offered (33 options, from agriculture to wine tasting)
  • Travel Destination (country, state/province, city and region)
  • Company Location (company name, contact, region, country, state/province, city, zip code, and radius)
  • Advanced Search Options (business classification, hotel rating, restaurant type, etc.)

If searching for tour suppliers/destinations, you can specify by:

  • Company Location (company name, contact, region, country, state/province, city, zip code, and radius)
  • Advanced Search Options (by business classification, hotel rating, restaurant type, etc.)

Depending on your computer’s operating system, once you have generated your list you can:

  • download the data to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
  • mail merge the data into Microsoft Word to create mailing labels
  • use the data to send out e-mails
  • import the search results into your company database for future use

Tip: Broader searches yield greater search results. Example:  Searching by "Great Lakes" or "Illinois" returns significantly more data than searching "Chicago" or "60601." Broaden your search to cast a wider net.

Questions? We can help. Call 800.682.8886 (U.S. & Canada) or +1.859.264.6540.

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NTA Visit USA Center Shines at Chinese Travel Expo, Festival 

The NTA Visit USA Center won the "Excellent Organizer" award at the sixth annual China International Leisure Industry Expo in Hangzhou, China, held Sept. 15–19. The9.20.11 Hu at Hangzhou award was based on the effectiveness of the booth: its design and the information presented to visitors. Joining NTA in promoting tourism to the United States were representatives from eight U.S. destinations: California, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois/Chicago, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York City. 

The local tourism authority brought in four bus-loads of travel agents to attend the event, which was also visited by interested travelers. NTA was represented by Haybina Hao, director of international development, and David Yu, chief representative for China; expenses for both were covered by the local office of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

The NTA Visit USA Center was also in the spotlight last wee9.20.11 SkyMall Groupkend at Shanghai’s SkyMall, an enormous mall in Shanghai celebrating its first anniversary with the theme "American Cultural Festival." More than 5,000 attended the opening ceremony on Sept. 18. NTA is sponsoring the tourism component of the three-week festival. For more information about these or upcoming events, e-mail Hao.

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See It Now: October Courier Spotlights Music Sites and Steve Hartman 

The October Courier celebrates what tourism professionals do best—provide fabulous experiences and memories for travelers.

Begin your reading with the feature stories, which offer a look at two enduringly popular travel markets: music tours and gay and lesbian travel. In the music-themed9.20.11 Oct Courier article, you’ll meet a sampling of potential NTA partners ranging from the Memphis, Tennessee, CVB to the Austrian Tourist Office, who provide a range of musical experiences. In the second story, you’ll pick up some ideas on how to market to and attract gay and lesbian travelers to your tours or destinations.

The issue also includes a profile of the America’s Great Plains states, articles on the six New England states and a story on London and Paris. An interview with Steve Hartman, the Convention emcee in Montréal who returns this year in Las Vegas, gives you a teaser as you look ahead to the 2011 event at Mandalay Bay, Dec. 5–9.

Repeat advertisers in this issue are The Berkely Group (TPP), Empire State Building ObservatoryMashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, Macy’s Inc. and The Red Lion Inn. We’re grateful to our repeat advertisers (those who book in three or more issues of Courier per year.) Click here for more information.

Upcoming content and deadlines: 

January Issue: Convention ’11 Recap; Sightseeing Cruises; NTA’s Distinguished Dozen; Alaska; California; Nevada; Oregon; Washington; United Kingdom & Ireland
Ad Space: Nov. 2
Editorial: Oct. 16

February Issue: Casinos/Gaming; Alberta; British Columbia; Idaho; Montana; North Dakota & South Dakota; Wyoming; Atlantic Coast (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia)
Ad Space: Nov. 30
Editorial: Oct. 31

March Issue: Africa; Holy Land; Toronto & Niagara Region (New York & Canada); Arizona; Colorado; New Mexico; Utah; Boston; Branson, Missouri; Special Section: Wine & Spirits; Guide: Multiple Service Members.
Ad Space: Jan. 4
Editorial: Dec. 5

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Play along with FloodStock, ‘Music Made to Save a Town’ 

When Hurricane Irene drenched Vermont, "one wave of water tore out the whole9.20.11 Wilmington VT town" of Wilmington, said NTA member Chris Donnelly three Tuesdays ago. Among the 85 percent of Wilmington’s buildings ruined by the flood were those housing Donnelly’s tour company, Sugar Tours.

Residents are doing more than mopping up, though: They organized FloodStock, a two-day music festival/fund-raiser set up to save as many jobs and shops in Wilmington as possible. Ten bands will play at three venues this weekend, and all proceeds will be given to businesses that are determined to reopen.

Donnelly is reaching out to colleagues in the industry: "For those of you who have brought your coaches through Southern Vermont and stopped in the historic village of Wilmington for lunch and shopping, we appreciated your business," he posted on Facebook, adding that most businesses were not covered by flood insurance. "If you can’t make it this weekend, donations may be made through the Web site."

Visit the FloodStock Web site for event details, donation instructions and photos. For up-to-date information about Vermont’s roadways, visit the state’s official Web site.

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Volunteers Forge Ahead at Tourism Cares Project 

Tourism Cares Volunteer Day, one of the travel and tourism industry’s most highly anticipated give-back events, was held in conjunction with the 9/11 National Day of9.20.11 Volunteer Day Service and Remembrance. The Sept. 9 event attracted travel, tourism and hospitality industry professionals—from small business owners and front-line employees to corporate leaders and college students—to work together toward a common goal: preserving the travel experience for future generations.

Volunteer Day participants labored to improve Valley Forge National Historical Park’s 3,500-acre landscape as well as some of the historic buildings and facilities. Their work saved the park thousands of dollars, addressing maintenance tasks that had been set aside due to budget cuts.

Projects included: 

  • Planting 300 seedling trees to re-establish the tree screen between the park’s historic landscape and the Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • Repairing 14 riparian buffer fences along Valley Creek that were damaged during Hurricane Irene
  • Clearing dozens of acres of invasive vegetation
  • Removing hazardous concrete mortar from a building entrance
  • Removing 60 feet of damaged iron fence
  • Clearing flood debris, trash and downed tree limbs

For more information and photos from Volunteer Day, visit the Tourism Cares Web site.

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Present Your Profile to Every Operator at Convention 

The No. 1 go-to resource during Convention appointments is the Profile Form Notebook, and you can add your company info for every operator to see-whether you’re attending Convention or not.

This three-ring binder will be a popular tool both during and after our week in Vegas: 74 percent of operators say they use the binder all year long for tour planning. Take this opportunity to pre-insert your profile in the notebook, and you can also place an ad on your state or provincial tab. Ready to get started? Contact NTA Services by e-mail or phone (+1.859.264.6559) and claim your space today.

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Industry News and Update: Focus on Flying

  • U.S. airlines cut back on future flights and expansion plans in response to high fuel prices and a sluggish economy.
  • Pittsburg International Airport opens an express lane for security check-in, with passengers limited to one item. Go here to see what constitutes "one item." 
  • In this brief Q&A, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano discusses the change in airport security procedures for kids 12 and under (who make up only 3 percent of the flying public.) 

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