Tuesday Newsletter - April 21, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 16
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Spring Meet Education Opens New Markets
2009 Annual Convention Webinars Set for May 5 and 6
Stay Current with U.S. Travel Regulations
Web Session on the Australia and New Zealand Markets Coming Up
Sen. Olympia Snowe Shares How the U.S. Stimulus Bill Helps Small Businesses
Don't Forget to Use the NTA ROI/Tracking System
NTA's CTP Program Offers Convenient Professional Development
Run for the 2010 NTA Board
NTA's "Show Us the Ad" Photo Contest
A Jolly Good Product Development Trip
New Sponsorship Available for Spring Meet
August Courier to Feature Theaters and Spas and Wellness Travel
One of the great advantages of NTA's strategic partnerships is opening doors to new niche markets and bringing the experts in those markets directly to you. When you look at the seminar lineup waiting for you at this year's Spring Meet, June 4-6 in Monterey, California, you'll see how these partnerships are paying off for you.
Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association, is on the docket to present "Build Your Brand in the Faith Tourism & Hospitality Market." Also featured in Monterey will be Charlotte Haymore, co-founder of the Travel Professionals of Color speaking on "Heritage Tourism and Connecting with the African-American Market," Tom Nibbio from the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association with a session titled "ALL WELCOME!: A Look at the Global Gay and Lesbian Market" and Sister Cities International will present "Exploring a World of Opportunities through Sister Cities." Also, helping NTA operators learn more about the rewards of incorporating sustainable practices, Brian Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel International, will present "The Basics of Green Travel and Sustainability."
Each of these sessions will help operators identify new opportunities to grow revenues and customers through these various niche markets and business practices. Combined with sessions on the current economy, risk management and more, the Spring Meet offers a wealth of money-making ideas in just a few days. Don't forget, register by the early-bird deadline of May 1 and you'll save 30 percent off the regular registration fee.
Want to hear all the details about the new NTA Annual Convention format and learn how you can work smarter at Convention '09? Mark your calendar for one of two upcoming Webinars when members of the Meetings and Events Committee will preview all the details of the new Convention, which will take place in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 14-18.
DMOs and suppliers, your Webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, at 11:30 a.m. (ET) and tour operators, your session is Wednesday, May 6, also at 11:30 a.m. (ET). Register today by e-mailing Andrea Richardson.
Don't forget, registration for the Convention opens May 19, and this event will be so affordable. All members have an early-bird registration rate (it's new this year for DMOs and suppliers) and NTA and its Reno hotel partners have secured some incredible room rates — as low as $54 for operators and $58 for suppliers and DMOs.
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 Department of Homeland Security officials who will review it and either approve or deny the request. An FAQ document as well as fact sheets in 10 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. 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.
A Webinar providing an overview on the latest border security requirements for travelers visiting the United States from Australia and New Zealand will take place April 28. Presenters from many U.S. government agencies will provide information on what travelers from the two countries need to know to prepare for their visit to the United States, from pre-departure and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to the entry and exit process.
In addition to covering ESTA requirements for Visa Waiver Program travelers, officials will focus on inbound market statistics, the deployment of 10-fingerprint collection and protecting travelers' identities. The session also will allow time for you to ask questions.
The Webinar starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, April 28, which means it begins in Australia on Wednesday, April 29 (at 10 a.m. AEST and 8 a.m. AWST) and in New Zealand on April 29 at noon (NZST).
To receive an e-mail with a link to the Webinar sign-up and dial-in instructions, please send your name, title, organization, address, telephone and fax numbers to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 27. If you have further questions about the Webinar, contact Annalisa Meyer.
The Australia and New Zealand session is the third in a series of Webinars that targets specific VWP countries. To listen to/watch the previous Webinars, click here.
One of the topics that continues to grab headlines is what impact the U.S. stimulus bill will have on various sectors of the business world. In an article for the May issue of Courier magazine, U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, shares her thoughts on the bill's benefits for small businesses — including travel companies.
Snowe is the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and was instrumental in getting a number of small business provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law in February. The article talks about different types of incentives and loans that are available, and here are some excerpts from the article:
- Included among the key, small business tax provisions in the act was a section to extend ... small business expensing at a level of $250,000. This provides small firms the opportunity to make investments in plants and equipment that they can deduct immediately.
- I authored a provision in the bill that will greatly enhance the cash flow of our nation's entrepreneurs. Under previous law, small business owners had to make so-called quarterly estimated tax payments that total 110 percent of taxes owed during the previous year. My provision required just 90 percent of last year's tax liability to be remitted quarterly, thereby helping owners manage their cash flow while still ensuring their tax liability is met.
- I worked with Small Business Committee Chair Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to include several crucial provisions to increase small business access to capital and assist entrepreneurs. We also established a business stabilization loan program to help banks provide short-term loans to small business borrowers who are struggling to make payments on existing small business loans.
To read the complete article, look for your May issue of Courier next week.
Operators, the first quarter of 2009 is over and that means now is a great time to share information with your NTA DMO partners about your tours for January, February and March. Providing this information is simple through NTA's ROI/Tracking E-mail System, since it takes very little time and means so much to your colleagues who help make your trips a reality.
All you have to do is log on to the system, select the destinations you visited over the past quarter, attach your itinerary and hit send. Really, that's all there is to it.
Every time a DMO receives one of these e-mails, they can help justify their marketing efforts to the tour operator segment of the industry. That means more partners bringing you new product ideas and helping you develop better and better tours.
As a busy professional, you need a certification program that provides quality and convenience at a cost that won't break the bank. NTA's Certified Tour Professional program does all of that by bringing the classroom to you.
The program was designed to allow you to work through the different sections at your own pace and around your busy schedule. You have online access to the curriculum any time and you can earn your designation in as little as one year. The three courses in the packaged travel-focused certification cover management and leadership, sales and marketing and financial management.
NTA's CTP program was designed by a collection of your peers, with the help of Temple University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, and is one that can really make a difference in your career. The developers of the program understood that you need a quality certification without a long-term time investment in both time and money.
To learn more about obtaining your CTP designation, contact Andrea Richardson.
The NTA Nominating Committee seeks candidates to run for 2010 Board of Directors. You are encouraged to apply or to nominate another member who you feel would be a good representative for your association to fill the three tour operator director, one tour supplier director and one DMO director seats on the board.
NTA members are eligible for nomination if they have been employed by an NTA member company for at least two years. No other service or experience criteria apply. Candidates for the officer positions of secretary/treasurer and vice chairman also are being sought and eligible tour operators must have two years of experience on the NTA Board to qualify.
For more information about the nominating process, or if you want to express your interest in board service or nominate a colleague, contact either Nominating Committee Chairman Bob Hoelscher, CTP, or Committee Liaison Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4250.
As you've heard, NTA is running a five-second ad on the CBS "Super Screen" located at 42nd St. between 7th and 8th Ave. in the heart of New York City's Times Square. Your NTA staff in Lexington wants to see the ad in living color, so we're having a contest!
If you're in New York between now and June 30, take a photo of the ad when it appears on the screen and e-mail it to NTA Manager of E-Services Sara Spencer. The most creative photo of our "Super Screen" ad will win a complimentary NTA Online banner ad for the month of August (a $500 value).
The theme of the ad is "Live Life...Travel" so get creative and have some fun with it. Submissions must be e-mailed by June 30 and the winner will be announced in the July 21 issue of Tuesday.
NTA thanks VisitBritain, along with its trade partners Marketing Manchester, England's North Country and Visit Kent, who welcomed NTA tour operators on a Product Development Trip March 23-29.
The group experienced Manchester's arts and cultural offerings including the Victorian gothic John Rylands Library, the Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry Arts Centre and Manchester Cathedral. In England's Lakes District, now more familiar to potential visitors since the release of the 2006 Chris Noonan film, "Miss Potter," the group took in the idyllic landscapes, country estates, gardens, museums and attractions associated with Beatrix Potter and the region's other literary claim to fame, William Wordsworth.
In London, tour operators attended the Best of Britain and Ireland Travel Trade Forum and witnessed the opening ceremony at the Tower of London. The trip concluded with two nights in Canterbury, where attendees enjoyed a fascinating history-oriented tour of the cathedral. At the Canterbury Tales attraction, Geoffrey Chaucer's bawdy, 14th-century stories came to life in an entertaining re-creation. In nearby Dover, the group experienced the Secret Wartime Tunnels at Dover Castle, where Sir Admiral Ramsay planned the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II.
Look for a full recap of the trip in the June issue of Courier. To learn more about NTA's upcoming Product Development Trips to Idaho, India and Germany, click here.
Would you like to stand out to key buyers in the packaged travel industry? One way you can do that is by sponsoring the Picnic Lunch on Saturday at the 2009 NTA Spring Meet for $10,000.
At the lunch, you can treat attendees to a casual and fun meal overlooking the beautiful bay in Monterey, California, and leave an impression on operators before they head back to their offices and start planning. Consider co-sponsoring the Picnic Lunch to not only help with costs, but to package products together.
The Spring Meet takes place June 4-6, and is a tour operator exclusive event. However, sponsoring suppliers and DMOs receive a complimentary registration to attend plus access to all non-tour operator exclusive functions.
For more information, please contact NTA Vice President of Sales & Sponsorship Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4232. Click here for sponsorship availabilities and benefits.
Feature stories in the August 2009 issue of Courier take a look at two robust segments in the travel market: theaters and spa and wellness travel. Either can be the main focus of the vacation or added as components in a larger package, so they offer greater flexibility for tour operators. Suppliers and DMOs seeking to reach the hundreds of NTA operators who offer theater or wellness components can get their company or destination in front of tour operators through advertising in the issue.
Besides those features, other articles in the August issue include trip planners on Québec; Greece and Turkey; and Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and Northern California). The August travel guides highlight Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario and Wisconsin.
The space deadline for August Courier is May 27 so there is plenty of 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 +1.859.226.4241 for more information.