Tuesday Newsletter - March 3, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 9
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Business Blooms at NTA's Spring Meet
Symposium Participants the First to Present Issues to the New Congress
DMOs: Help Spread the Word on Tracking
Business Development Tips and Visa Update Part of China Market Webinar
Renew Your NTA Membership Today
TravelGreen.org has Launched
Bookings from Germany to U.S. Projected to Remain Strong
Valuable Research Information Available through The Trend
Using Facebook for Your Business
Meet with NTA Tour Operators at Spring Meet
Answer President Obama's Call to Volunteer — Join Tourism Cares in Gettysburg
June Courier to Feature Native American, First Nations and Western Heritage
NTA's Spring Meet is the perfect opportunity for tour operators to expand their business. Through operator specific education and the venue to find new partners offering products that are ready to sell, you can't beat the Spring Meet for growing your business.
Always a favorite, Speed Dating lets you make that quick connection that can turn into a long-term partnership. And, if the economy has you worried, you might just find some answers at Spring Meet. Dr. Peter Tarlow will not only be on hand to do two educational seminars focused on the economy, but he'll also be taking one-on-one appointments throughout the three days. This is an incredible opportunity for free expert advice on navigating the year ahead.
You can read more about the 2009 event, which will take place June 4-6 in Monterey, California, in the Spring Meet Preview article that appears on page 26 of the March issue of Courier. Additionally, the Spring Meet Web site includes detailed event information and is the place you go to register so you're on the fast track to new partnerships in 2009 and beyond.
DMOs and suppliers: click here to see how you can participate in the event.
NTA held its 9th annual Grassroots Symposium in Washington, D.C., last week, and the NTA members in attendance were the first organized travel group to call on the new Congress. During the Symposium, NTA focused on visits with members of Congress in positions of power.
Event attendees not only met with their members of Congress, but also took part in more than 40 "cluster" visits, which were pre-arranged with the chairman and ranking members (minority party chair) of key House and Senate Committees who have a big impact on important issues. In all, delegates visited with more than 60 members of Congress in a day and a half of appointments.
"The 2009 Grassroots Symposium was a terrific success," said 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."
In addition to making Hill visits, participants sat in on a panel discussion on international business and heard from Alaska Senator Mark Begich, Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus Co-Chair Sam Farr and US-VISIT Director Bob Mocny. The attendees also were briefed on NTA's top seven advocacy issues, which include grants and loans for tourism development and establishing an Executive Office of Travel and Tourism.
Additional information will be available in future issues of Tuesday and in the April Courier.
Last week, all DMOs received an e-mail from Barbara Bowman, chair of NTA's Tracking Task Force, about the newest effort to increase usage of NTA's ROI/Tracking E-mail System — the Grassroots Tracking Project. The project is a way for DMOs to help educate NTA's tour operators on providing this information that is so critical to their success.
The premise is to pair DMOs with a group of no more than five "operator tracking buddies." These will be tour operators who a DMO would contact quarterly to remind them to submit tracking information, walk them through the system and answer questions. This personal touch will be a great complement to the other education NTA has planned on the importance of tracking.
DMOs who want volunteer to be a tracking mentor should contact NTA Vice President of Marketing Lisa Thompson by Friday, March 27.
NTA partnered with U.S. Commercial Service Feb. 18 to offer a Webinar on the inbound U.S. market for Chinese travelers. As the facilitator of the China Inbound Program and the organization responsible for maintaining a list of tour operators approved to work with this market, NTA wants to continue to provide educational resources regarding how U.S. suppliers and destinations can best serve Chinese travelers.
During the more than 90-minute session, which included time for Q&A, participants received in-depth information on:
- the potential of this huge market (currently, the United States is the top long-haul destination for the Chinese)
- where these travelers get their information on travel to the United States (help you find potential partners)
- what Chinese travelers want (for example, hotels need to have Chinese TV programming)
- information on understanding the Chinese business culture (relationships are critical)
The session also included information from U.S. Commercial Service and NTA on the Memorandum of Understanding that initiated NTA's China Inbound Program, as well as an update from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai on visas for Chinese leisure travelers.
If you were unable to participate in the Webinar and would like to gain access to the audio portion and PowerPoint documents from the session, you may do so for a reduced rate of $35 by clicking here.
Cutting costs and building revenue are on everyone's mind this year, and NTA is making it easier for members to do both. Thanks in part to a reduction in 2009 association dues, you can remain part of the NTA family and save some money when you renew your membership.
In an unprecedented move, the NTA Board of Directors approved a dues decrease that allows tour operator, tour supplier and DMO members to save up to 15 percent off the 2008 rates. In light of NTA's strong year of growth in 2008, the board wanted to provide a little economic relief to the membership.
Your association also knows you are always looking for ways to add to your bottom line and has tried to create an environment where your membership can help you reach new clients and destinations. From exploring new markets through the NTA China Inbound Program to enhancing your presence through new member profiles at NTAonline.com and the exciting changes that are in the works regarding the format of the Annual Convention, NTA is an even wiser investment for your company.
To ensure that your company is listed in the 2009-2010 Membership Directory, you should renew your membership by March 27. For questions about your renewal, contact the NTA Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
A new, comprehensive Web site where industry professionals can learn more about travel and the environment, TravelGreen.org, is now available. The site, a joint venture between the U.S. Travel Association and American Express, is an easy-to-use one-stop shop to help industry professionals fully explore sustainable travel.
The site features many resources wrapped around sustainability and best green practices. It has sections that include case studies from travel industry professionals, updated consumer research and green marketing, travel tips for consumers and information on certification programs and reporting frameworks.
TravelGreen.org highlights many existing ways in which the U.S. travel community is on the cutting edge of new green policies, practices and technologies. The site has specific examples bearing this out across many sectors of the market, including accommodations, attractions, cruise lines, destinations, restaurants and tour operators.
According to information released last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, German tour operators reported that their winter bookings to the United States remained strong in the face of tougher economic times. The report, based on data collected in October and November 2008 through the German Travel Trade Barometer, projected positive increases for both the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.
Survey respondents said fourth quarter 2008 bookings were 10 to 15 percent higher than for the same period in 2007, which is especially encouraging considering 2007 numbers were strong. With regards to 2009, 64 percent of German operators were forecasting an increase in first quarter bookings of between 4 and 9 percent over 2008. The data also indicated that the German travel trade was projecting an increased demand for travel to major cities, nature-based sites and family-oriented destinations in the United States.
The Travel Trade Barometer survey is conducted on a quarterly basis in Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico, and updated data on Germany will be available soon. For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, click here.
Did you know that despite the vast majority of Americans saying the poor economy will change their travel habits, that 44 percent still say they would rather spend their money on travel than on other material things? This fact is one of the many that subscribers to NTA's research e-newsletter, The Trend, receive in their inbox each month.
Updates on consumer and economic trends, industry research and more can be found in this useful tool designed to help you successfully navigate today's travel landscape and come out on top. The Trend provides you with access to the type of information that can help you grow your business, better understand your customer's needs, target new markets and much more.
The Trend is affordable, too, as subscriptions are only $10 a month ($120 for the year). Also, because subscribers receive a link to the archived issues of The Trend, you will be able to go back and catch up on previous editions. To subscribe, e-mail Lisa Thompson.
More than 175 million people around the world use Facebook; are you one of them? For those who aren't tech savvy, this social media tool may seem frightening. But, take heart. This Web-based tool is an easy-to-use networking site that can be valuable to travel professionals of all kinds.
NTA is new to Facebook but we've learned a few lessons along the way and want to help you as well. Click here to see a document that includes tips on how to get started, how you can use Facebook for business needs and why this tool is so important in today's business world.
This is the first of several "How-to" documents NTA is preparing, based on the recommendation of the 2009 Technology Committee. Look for an article in the March 10 issue of Tuesday about how to use another social media site, LinkedIn.
If you have your own tips you'd like to pass along about using Facebook, please log on to the Member Forums and share them in the Social Media Tips section.
NTA's Spring Meet, coming up June 4-6 in Monterey, California, will bring together approximately 150 NTA tour operators for three days of quality business, education, and networking. Suppliers and DMOs can get in on the action and gain access to the event through sponsorship, which provides you with complimentary registration and offers a great way to help your company/destination stand out from the rest.
You can sponsor a tab or cover position in the Spring Meet Handbook and promote your company, destination or product on a full-page, four-color ad in the official event publication. This resource includes daily schedules, seminar descriptions and a delegate registry and, since it is frequently referenced by delegates throughout the entire event, you're sure to be seen.
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.
President Obama has asked that Americans come together to make a difference, and the upcoming Tourism Cares for Gettysburg restoration event is the perfect place for you to get started.
Tourism Cares and travel professionals from the United States and around the world recognize the need to preserve such a historic site for the benefit of future generations and this year will help restore George Spangler Farm on the historic Gettysburg Battlefield from April 16 to 18. Volunteers will work on major repairs and upkeep that it would take the site's staff several months to complete.
Gettysburg and Spangler Farm are sites whose significance in American history cannot be overstated. Gettysburg is the place where 165,000 soldiers fought during the U.S. Civil War and the place where millions have stood to reflect on the importance of those events, including Abraham Lincoln who wrote his famous Gettysburg Address in response to the battle.
Also, you can find out more about sponsorship opportunities for Tourism Cares for Gettysburg by contacting Natalie King.
With nearly every U.S. state and Canadian province having Native American or First Nations tourism sites, the June issue of Courier provides a way to showcase your offerings in this niche market and get your company or destination in front of tour operators. The issue will include a feature story on Native American, First Nations and Western Heritage product, as well as a group of enhanced listings for companies that offer this kind of product.
Other destination stories in the June Courier include trip planners on the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) and the South Pacific and travel guides on Hawaii, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In addition, there will be a business article on Working with Receptives and an accompanying directory, for which receptive operators can purchase enhanced listings for $299.
The space deadline for June Courier is April 1 so there is still time to get in the magazine read by 86 percent of NTA tour operators monthly. To reach your account executive call 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4241 or e-mail advertising@NTAstaff.com for more information.