Tuesday Newsletter - Feb. 24, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 8
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Registration Opens at Noon Today for the 2009 NTA Spring Meet
Operators: Provide Input through PhoCusWright Packaged Travel Survey
Reminders on North American Travel Regulations
Expand Your China Marketing Efforts with NTA and COTTM
Agnes Amos Joins NTA as Senior Vice President
Dine with Tour Operators at Spring Meet
Send Your Updated Photo CDs for Courier
Only One Week Remains to Advertise in the NTA Membership Directory
Tourism Cares Awards Grant to the Bostonian Society
March Courier Preview
Fresh product ideas, an incredible venue, old friends, new business partners and operator-focused education are just some of the reasons you should join the NTA family at this year's Spring Meet. The event will take place June 4-6 in Monterey, California, and the Spring Meet Web site will give you a feel for the many rewarding experiences that await, such as:
- Educational sessions by Dr. Peter Tarlow, industry and economic expert, focus on today's economy and how you can prepare, survive and even thrive. If you were lucky enough to catch one of Dr. Tarlow's sessions in Pittsburgh, you know his information and insights can help your company plan for 2009 and beyond.
- The return of Speed Dating opening doors to money-making partnerships with your fellow tour operators.
- The pre- and post-Fams, which are being put together by NTA tour operators, will send you home with profitable new packaging ideas.
These are just a few of the incredible opportunities that are in store at this three-day event. And, to make it even more enticing, if you sign up before May 1, you'll save 30 percent off the regular registration fee. Register today after noon to take part in this unique event.
PhoCusWright, one of the leading research companies in travel and tourism, and ASTA have partnered with NTA and USTOA on a survey of the U.S. packaged travel industry. The goal of the survey is to get an idea of the needs of tour operators and how operators and travel agents can develop better relationships and work together to grow their businesses.
That is where you come in. As an NTA tour operator member, you recently received an e-mail with information on the survey and a link to it. Once you complete the survey, which contains 15 questions and should take no more than 20 minutes to finish, you will receive an executive summary of the results once they are available, as well as a copy of "The PhoCusWright Consumer Technology Survey, Second Edition, Part One," a 2008 survey on consumers' travel-related use of the Internet and social media.
Even if your company doesn't work with travel agents, your opinions on this topic are still of value. And, the ideas you can get from both the free consumer technology study and the findings of this survey are no-cost items that could add profits to your bottom line.
Tour operators can click the link that was included in the e-mail they received last week, or contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson to get the link. If you already have completed the survey after receiving an invitation from an NTA partner, you do not need to take it again.
Travelers heading to the United States need to be aware of updates in U.S. travel regulations and document requirements that will affect their visits. The two main programs that will have the greatest impact are the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Requirements under ESTA mandate that residents of the 35 Visa Waiver Program countries visiting the United States have to obtain a travel authorization prior to traveling to the United States. To do this, international travelers must complete and submit biographical information via an online form (essentially an electronic I-94) to DHS officials who will review it and either approve or deny the request. An FAQ document as well as fact sheets in nine languages offer more information on ESTA.
The final portion of WHTI, which requires travelers to present one government-approved document to enter the United States at land and sea borders, will take effect June 1, 2009. For U.S. citizens, the two main government-approved documents that may be used for re-entry are the U.S. Passport Book and the new U.S. Passport Card. Information on documents needed by Canadian citizens visiting the United States is available on the Canada Border Services Agency Web site.
As NTA's China Inbound Program helps open doors to a new market of leisure travelers into the United States, NTA is continuing to find avenues for you to expand your business in the China market. One such opportunity is NTA's pavilion at the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market, coming up April 22-24 in Beijing.
NTA's conveniently located pavilion gives you an affordable way to gain exposure not only with those outbound operators but also with more than 4,000 hosted Chinese buyers. For only $2,500 your company will have a 4 square meter booth in the pavilion, which represents a savings of more than 30 percent off what it would cost to purchase a traditional booth on your own. Additionally, the NTA pavilion is receiving promotion by show producers in China and on the show floor to drive traffic to the area and this is an opportunity you just can't miss.
Contact Matt Grayson today to reserve your spot. Space is limited so act today to make sure your company is getting all of the exposure possible to this new influx of travelers.
Agnes Amos has joined the NTA management team as the association's new senior vice president. Amos has been involved in business development, event management and marketing in both North America and overseas for more than a decade.
"We're thrilled to have Agnes with us at NTA because of the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise she brings to the association," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "Agnes has worked in association management both in North America and overseas, and she has managed conferences in the U.S., the UK, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This perspective will serve NTA's diverse membership well."
Amos will manage the daily operations of the association and work closely with the staff and volunteer leadership to meet the strategic objectives of the organization. In addition, she will oversee an environmental scan for trends in travel and help develop relationships within the industry.
Most recently, Amos worked as the director of marketing and events for the Society for Biomolecular Sciences. She also has worked as the conference operations manager for Platts/McGraw Hill; conferences and exhibitors director for Mediaoutsource; head of customer service/project coordinator for Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society; and exhibitions and marketing manager for the Labour Party in London.
NTA will host nearly 200 tour operators in Monterey, California, June 4-6, for this year's Tour Operator Spring Meet. With this many tour operators in one location, there's potential for great business to be developed and tour suppliers and DMOs are invited to get in on the action through sponsorship.
By sponsoring a lunch or breakfast, you can treat the operators in attendance to a tasty meal they'll definitely appreciate. If you co-sponsor a meal with another company, it becomes even more affordable. All sponsors receive free registration to the event, as well as sponsor promotions and an electronic list of attendees.
For more details, contact NTA Vice President of Sales Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232. You can click here to see a list of available sponsorships and benefits. Sponsorships are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Courier editorial staff is seeking the latest versions of photo CDs from members who haven't sent updated images in the past six months. Even though many DMOs and tour suppliers have photo galleries on their Web sites, some images are not high resolution/print quality due to Web site size restrictions, and it is better to burn the larger images to a CD and mail them.
Tour operators also are encouraged to send print-quality photos of their clients on tour, especially images showing travelers taking part in hands-on activities, educational workshops, hard and soft adventure components or touring an exhibit or attraction.
Photo CDs should be mailed to:
Doug Rentz, Courier Managing Editor
National Tour Association
546 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40508
Additionally, if you have an online photo gallery where high-resolution images can be downloaded that requires a username and password, please e-mail the login information to doug.rentz@NTAstaff.com.
Don't miss your chance to be part of a valuable resource, the NTA Membership Directory. There is no better way to put your company in front of so many tourism professionals all year long than through advertising in the directory, which, according to an NTA survey, is used by 84 percent of tour operators to research company contact information and for itinerary planning.
All NTA member companies receive a complimentary basic listing in the 500-page directory, but don't miss your chance to upgrade your membership listing and/or purchase display ad space within the directory, which will be distributed in June. If you choose to purchase an enhanced listing, it will include your company's color logo as well as highlighting and bolding your contact information.
The space deadline is March 5, and you can call 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241 or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information.
For three consecutive years, Tourism Cares has awarded a Globus American Icon Grant to the Bostonian Society for the Old State House, the oldest surviving public building in Boston. This specific grant is given to historic sites in need of preservation and restoration funding.
The Old State House, which was opened in Boston in 1713, represents the birthplace of America. On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed from its east side balcony to jubilant crowds and the building remains one of America's icons.
Gerrit Petersen, director of development for the Bostonian Society, said the Old State House will continue to thrive. "Thanks to the ongoing support and promotion of Tourism Cares' efforts, [we can] transform the Old State House into a vibrant 'must-see' destination for tourists and local residents alike."
For more information on this and Tourism Cares' other grant programs, visit www.tourismcares.org/.
The March issue of Courier gives you a preview of what is in store at the 2009 NTA Tour Operator Spring Meet this June — from the business and education components to the sightseeing tours and social events. The issue also includes stories on golf destinations, the Toronto and Niagara region, Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, the Scandinavian countries, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The business section features an article on NTA's government relations priorities for the year, information on the importance of incorporating sustainable practices into your business and a column from Dr. Peter Tarlow on ways tour operators can prosper during these tough economic times.
June Issue — Ad Space: March 25; Editorial: Past
Native American, First Nations and Western Heritage; Faith-based Travel; Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas); South Pacific; Maryland; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington, D.C.
July Issue — Ad Space: April 29; Editorial: March 4
Zoos and Aquariums; Chicago, Coastal California and Baja; Classic New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont); Eastern Europe; Kentucky; Ohio; Tennessee; and West Virginia.
August Issue — Ad Space: May 27; Editorial: April 1
Theaters; Quebec; Greece; Pacific Northwest (Northern California, Oregon and Washington); Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Ontario; and Wisconsin.
Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism — The Berkely Group (TPP) — Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn/Universal City — Empire State Building Observatory — Foxwoods Resort Casino — Georgia Department of Tourism — Historic Temple Square LDS Church — Irvine Chamber Visitors Bureau — Maid of the Mist Corporation — Mohegan Sun — Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism — Salt Lake CVB — Virginia Beach CVB
Click here to see the 2009 Editorial Calendar.