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Tuesday Newsletter - Nov. 11, 2008

11/11/2008

Tuesday's title sponsor is ITS Design & Printing
 
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.

Volume 28, Issue 45
Tuesday Archives

TODAY'S ARTICLES
It's Convention Time
New NTA White Paper on the Future of Tourism is Available
Forward Your Questions for Convention Sessions
Tourism Cares Needs Student Mentors ASAP
NTA Announces Sites for 2009 Board Meetings
International Travelers Urged to Watch for Bogus ESTA Web Sites
Electronic Voting is Closed for NTA Board Elections
Want to Win $10,000?
Have You Checked Out the Digital Version of Courier?
Bavaria Product Development Trip Took Place Recently
Thank You to 2008 Convention Sponsors
March Courier Looks Ahead to the 2009 Tour Operator Spring Meet



It's Convention Time

The 2008 NTA Annual Convention kicks off in Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, bringing together participants from around the world to talk shop and do business from Nov. 15 to 19.

One of the annual highlights of Convention is the Theatre Direct/I Love NY Luncheon, and a group of lucky tour operators won a front row, reserved table for the show by providing valuable itinerary information to DMOs through NTA's Tracking/ROI System. The randomly selected winners include:

  • Julie Burton, Western Leisure Inc.
  • Ed Dresel, Destinations Unlimited Inc.
  • Tammy Mills, Heritage Tours Inc.
  • Roland Neave, Wells Gray Tours Ltd.
  • Katherine Setness, Setness Tours
  • Phil Sheldon, Hanns Ebensten Travel/Alyson Adventures
  • Jay Smith, Sports Travel and Tours
  • Ann Thomas, CTP, Western Discovery LLC
  • Hank Wiebe, Prudent Travel & Tours

    If you want to learn more about how easy it is to use the Tracking/ROI System, stop by the Learning Lounge during Convention on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for a demonstration.

    If you are interested in keeping up with all the excitement that is happening at the Convention, you can check out PDFs of all five issues of the Convention Daily newsletter, which will be posted at NTAonline.com each day. Also, due to the Convention, there will be no issue of Tuesday next week. The next edition will be e-mailed Nov. 25.

    top of pageNew NTA White Paper on the Future of Tourism is Available

    The NTA "No Holds Barred" Think Tank has the dual charge of looking at current events and what effect they have on you, as well as looking 10, 15, 20 years ahead to see what changes can be made now to help you better position your company for future success. It is that kind of forward thinking that has allowed NTA to produce some of the most thought-provoking research papers over the years.

    The Think Tank has a new addition — "The Future of Tourism" and this white paper looks at the worldwide demographic shifts that have the potential to create new and emerging markets that you may not be serving. It looks at what these shifts and increase in new travelers projected over the next 20 years will do to the overall infrastructure of individual companies and travel as a whole.

    The paper is designed to help you think about key questions and provide information you need to begin formulating answers. And, while this paper takes a very broad, macro look at the future of our industry, future papers will be released looking at smaller, more micro, issues contained within this white paper. The first one, scheduled to be released soon, will tackle the issue of sustainability.

    Watch Tuesday for more information on future research papers from the Think Tank.

    top of pageForward Your Questions for Convention Sessions

    During this year's Convention, there will be two "Ask the Operator" panel discussion sessions. The seminar for tour suppliers will be held Sunday, Nov. 16, at 9:15 a.m. and the version for DMOs takes place Monday, Nov. 17, at 3:30 p.m.

    To help make those sessions more meaningful, suppliers and DMOs are encouraged to submit questions in advance. So, if there are questions you've always wanted to get an operator's perspective on, please send them to Andrea Richardson at NTA Headquarters by Nov. 12.

    Also, NTA is seeking advance questions for Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin, who will be speaking at the Sunday Business Meeting luncheon, which is sponsored by Travel Oregon and Travel Portland. Those questions can be sent to Richardson, too.

    top of pageTourism Cares Needs Student Mentors ASAP

    Tourism Cares needs your help to make its Experience the Industry Student Program at this week's NTA Convention a success. Tour operators and DMOs are needed to mentor students during the morning and afternoon sessions of the Sunday Tour & Travel Exchange and tour suppliers are needed for the Monday Exchange.

    By participating, you'll help enrich the Convention experience of the 24 travel, tourism, and hospitality students who will be in Pittsburgh as part of their reward for being Tourism Cares Academic Scholarship recipients. Even if you don't have appointments, please spread the word to your colleagues who are taking appointments and encourage them to serve as a mentor.

    Please contact Tourism Cares Program Director Carolyn Viles in advance via e-mail or stop by the Tourism Cares booth in Pittsburgh to volunteer to be a mentor. The success of the "Experience the Industry Student Program" depends on your participation.

    top of pageNTA Announces Sites for 2009 Board Meetings

    NTA has selected the dates and sites for its 2009 Leadership and Board of Directors meetings. Here is the list:

    Feb. 4-8 — Board and Leadership Team in Savannah, Georgia
    April 24-26 — Board Meeting in Tucson, Arizona
    June 4, 7 — Board Meeting in Monterey, California
    Aug. 21-23 — Board Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Nov. 12-13 — Board Meeting in Reno, Nevada

    The association thanks all the destinations that submitted proposals to host one of its 2009 meetings.

    top of pageInternational Travelers Urged to Watch for Bogus ESTA Web Sites

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is cautioning international travelers to only go through its Web site to fill out the Electronic System for Travel Authorization document they need before heading to the United States. In the press release, DHS officials said that "unauthorized third parties have established Web sites, which charge visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the [Visa Waiver Program], for information about ESTA" and further claim they will submit ESTA applications to DHS on behalf of the traveler.

    The release said this is incorrect, as there is no charge for travelers from VWP-approved countries for their ESTA applications and these businesses and Web sites "are not endorsed by, associated with, or affiliated in any way with DHS or the United States Government."

    The proper application is available on the ESTA Web site, and it should be filled out and submitted as far in advance as possible since, as of Jan. 12, 2009, all citizens from VWP countries will be required by law to obtain the travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States. The application is available in 16 languages and the official Web site includes a section that provides additional information for travelers from Visa Waiver countries to guide them through the application process.

    top of pageElectronic Voting is Closed for NTA Board Elections

    The electronic voting portion of the NTA Board of Directors election is now closed. You still have the opportunity to cast a ballot for this year's elections during your membership category's Talk Times at the Annual Convention.

    All Talk Times will be held in room 303 of the convention center at these times:

  • Tour suppliers — Sunday, Nov. 16, at 12:15 p.m.
  • Tour operators — Monday, Nov. 17, at 8:15 a.m.
  • DMOs — Monday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. top of pageWant to Win $10,000?

    If so, you should purchase chances to win $10,000 through NTA's Great Government Giveaway at the Annual Convention in Pittsburgh next week. Tickets for the giveaway, which is sponsored by Golden Corral Corp. Nationwide, are $100 a piece or 3 tickets for $200 and only 250 will be sold.

    You can get tickets in Pittsburgh at the Government Relations area on the Convention Mall floor. Proceeds from this fundraiser go to help either TourPAC or the Government Issues Fund, and the $10,000 winner will be drawn at the Wednesday's MTR Western Luncheon.

    top of pageHave You Checked Out the Digital Version of Courier?

    Starting with the October Convention issue, Courier joined the list of NTA publications that can be viewed online. For the past two months, NTA's monthly magazine has been available in digital format, making it much more accessible to you and your clients. In case you've missed the first two issues, you can click on the links below to see them.

    October Courier
    November Courier

    Make sure to read Bob Hoelscher's last column as NTA Chairman and CEO on page six of the digital version of the November issue. In the printed version, the last three words of his column didn't appear due to a production glitch, but the file rendered properly online, so you can see the complete letter there.

    The digital version is a great resource to complement the printed piece because it contains expanded functions. There are pull-down menus showing the table of contents and a list of advertisers, an option allowing you to download a PDF of the issue, a section including archives of past issues and a robust search function.

    Through the search option, you can quickly scan the issue for information on a certain destination or company by typing in key words. The engine will bring up a listing of all the times that word or phrase appears in a specific issue and you can click the results to go directly to that page. Also, all advertisements are linked to company Web sites.

    The digital versions of the first three issues from the NTA Trip Planner series also are available at NTAonline.com. Click here to see the links to these publications.

    top of pageBavaria Product Development Trip Took Place Recently

    NTA would like to thank Bavaria Tourism, the German National Tourist Office, Larry Larsen of Ed-Ventures and the many Bavarian destination partners for making the recent Product Development Trip to southeastern Germany a success.

    From Oct. 25 to Oct. 30, participating tour operators visited the capital city of Munich and many scenic villages located near the Bavarian Alps on the Austrian border. The group learned about Bavaria's rich history, from the "Fairy Tale King" Ludwig II and his three castles (Herrenchiemsee, Neuschwanstein and Linderhof) to the underground salt mines and Hitler's mountaintop Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden.

    Members also ascended 10,000 feet up the Zugspitze, Germany's highest peak, and took a backstage tour of the site of the Passion Play in Oberammergau, where it has been performed every 10 years since 1634. In between stops, the group enjoyed many Bavarian culinary specialties such as weiner schnitzel and weisswurst (white sausage) and, of course, sampled a local beer or two.

    If you are interested in offering a Product Development Trip in 2009, contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson for more information.

    top of pageThank You to 2008 Convention Sponsors

    With Convention just days away, NTA would like to take this opportunity to thank its 2008 Annual Convention sponsors. Without them, this Convention wouldn't be possible or as enjoyable and entertaining as it will be.

    To learn about the generous sponsors who will be joining you in Pittsburgh, click here. Also, if you'd like to learn more about sponsorship, contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo, at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232 or click here to check out the 2008 Sponsorship Guide.

    top of pageMarch Courier Looks Ahead to the 2009 Tour Operator Spring Meet

    The March 2009 issue of Courier shines the spotlight on NTA's Tour Operator Spring Meet. The issue offers plenty of ways to get your company or destination in front of tour operators, who will be able to read up on what they'll experience at the 2009 Spring Meet.

    In addition to providing all the information on the event, to be held June 4-6 in Monterey, California, the issue includes stories on golf resorts and destinations; the Toronto and Niagara Region (New York and Canada); Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky; and Scandinavia. The month's travel guides will feature Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

    The space deadline for March Courier is Jan. 5 so don't miss your opportunity to effectively promote yourself in the magazine read by 86 percent of NTA tour operators monthly. Call your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241 for more information.

    top of page

    Don't forget to register for the 2008 NTA Annual Convention, to be held Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh.

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