Tuesday Newsletter - June 2, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 22
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Amtrak's Special Offer for Tour Operators Headed to Reno
WHTI Passport Requirements Now in Effect for Land, Sea Crossings
Parks Canada Freezes Visitor Entry Fees
Alaska Senator Mark Begich to Attend NTA Convention
A Busy Spring for Your NTA Leaders
Still Thinking About Running for the NTA Board?
NTA Creates Online Financial Toolkit
Find Out Who's on Facebook
Want to Host an NTA Meeting in 2010?
High Visibility Sponsorship Now Available for Convention '09
Exciting Tourism Cares Announcement Coming Soon
Advertise in New Convention Catalog, Revamped Profile Form Notebook
Amtrak is offering tour operators headed to Reno, Nevada, for NTA's Convention '09 a way to save even more money. Operators will receive 50 percent off Amtrak coach fares and 50 percent off sleeping car space (subject to availability).
To take advantage of this offer, operators should call 800.USA.RAIL (800.872.7245) to make a reservation. Once it is confirmed, they need to e-mail the discount request to Amtrak Sales Center at email@example.com. Requests must be made no later than 10 days prior to departure, and the lower rates are valid on travel from Nov. 9 to 23, 2009. Some restrictions may apply.
In addition to that discount, operators can enjoy incredible hotel rates as low as US$54 per night, registration rates that are the same as 2008, rebates of up to US$650 and more product planning and business under one roof than ever before. That's working smarter!
Make sure you're in Reno for Convention '09 by registering today.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the implementation of the June 1 passport requirements for travelers entering the United States via rail and land crossing. This was the final stage of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which mandates that apropos travel documents for U.S. citizens — these include a passport book, the new Passport Card or an enhanced driver's license — are required to enter or re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency have indicated there will be some flexibility during the early stages of WHTI implementation, but it is critical that travel companies continue to highlight the importance of having the proper documents to their clients. The CBP posted a video on its WHTI Web site, www.getyouhome.gov, designed to show U.S. and Canadian citizens how to use new travel documents at the border when crossing by land.
In addition to WHTI, there are other programs dealing with travel to the United States that have undergone changes recently. Under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization initiative, international travelers headed to the United State must be pre-approved before they fly by filling out a form online. Also, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight Program that's now in effect puts the burden on TSA officials to more accurately check passenger names with no-fly lists.
Last month, the Canadian government announced that it will not increase visitor entry fees at Parks Canada sites for at least two years. The Honorable Jim Prentice, Canada's environment minister, said the move was made in part as a recognition of the role the more than 200 national sites play in helping stimulate local economies across Canada.
The rate freeze, which takes effect immediately at all Parks Canada sites, means that group prices will remain at the current levels through April 1, 2012, while individual visitor prices will stay the same until April 1, 2011.
"Congratulations to Parks Canada for responding to these challenging times in an appropriate and important way," said Randy Williams, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. "As Canada's national parks and historic sites are significant demand generators for tourism, this fee freeze will help us remain competitive in the global tourism marketplace."
This is good news for NTA tour operators, who are again benefitting from the association's relationship with Parks Canada. NTA has participated in many usage and sustainability meetings with Parks Canada over the years and continues to gain value from its longstanding agreement that requires Parks Canada to give NTA 18 months notice of any fee increases.
Freshman Senator Mark Begich, D-Alaska, will attend the 2009 NTA Annual Convention and be the featured speaker for the all-member business luncheon Sunday, Nov. 15. Sen. Begich, who earlier this year spoke at the NTA Grassroots Symposium, currently serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Senate Armed Services Committee; and the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs.
Even though this is his first term in Washington, D.C., Sen. Begich has demonstrated a commitment to being a strong tourism voice in the U.S. Senate and a willingness to facilitate discussion on cross-border and entry-exit procedures.
Register now to ensure that you'll get to hear Sen. Begich at the 2009 NTA Convention in Reno, Nevada.
It has been an event-filled past couple of months for the association's volunteer leaders and the NTA staff. From attending industry trade shows and Tourism Cares for Gettysburg to the Tucson Board Meeting and NTA Road Shows, your leaders have been busy promoting the association and its members to attendees at some of the major recent travel events, which will culminate at the NTA Spring Meet in Monterey later this week. Here is a look at where you've been represented in April and May:
- NTA Chairman and CEO Michele Michalewicz, CTP, was one of the NTA Board of Directors members, along with NTA staff members Lisa Simon, CTP, Agnes Amos, Catherine Prather, and Doug Rentz, who took part in the Tourism Cares for Gettysburg event
- Matt Grayson coordinated NTA's U.S. Pavilion at the Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market in Beijing
- Cookie Rogers represented the association at Rendez-vous Canada
- Michalewicz and Rogers were in Toronto for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's Convention
- Amos and Lisa Thompson attended the Travel Professionals of Color annual event in Buffalo, New York, as well as the NTA Buffalo Road Show
- Michalewicz and Prather were joined by Bob Hoelscher, CTP, in Miami for International Pow Wow
- Michalewicz also spoke at the Oregon Governor's Conference and the Tucson Road Show, which coincided with NTA's April Board Meeting
- Simon attended the Africa Travel Association's Annual Congress in Cairo, Egypt, and spoke at the event
- Simon is currently in Rapid City, South Dakota, at the Travel Alliance Partners TAP Dance 2009
You still have time to run for an officer or director seat on the NTA Board of Directors, as the deadline for submitting a Willingness to Serve form and other necessary items is July 8.
Three tour operator, one supplier and one DMO seat are up for election this year. Members are eligible to run for a director seat if they have been employed by an NTA member for at least two years. Tour operators with prior NTA Board experience are eligible to run for an officer position.
Eligible NTA members will vote in their respective member categories to elect their representatives to the board. The voting will be conducted electronically and by paper ballot at the category talk times at the NTA Convention in Reno this November.
If you are interested in running for the NTA Board, please contact Matt Grayson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4250 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4250 for further information.
NTA is focused on addressing member needs by developing cost-effective and relevant programs, services and tools to help you work smarter, not harder. That is why the association has created an online financial toolkit to help you deal with the current economic situation.
When you visit the page, you will have access to expert analysis, research and articles. These kinds of financial resources were compiled to help your business thrive in any economy.
Tools such as these, along with other benefits like the new Convention format, a redesigned Web site and access to news and research, are just some of the ways NTA is helping you stay informed and prepared to make the best decisions.
Did you know that the U.S. audience for Facebook is more mature than one might think? According to "Inside Facebook," an independent blog that reports on the platform, 45 percent of U.S. Facebook users are 26 or older and 25 percent of users are over the age of 34.
Want more information like that to help you make important business decisions and get in front of today's consumer in places where they are spending their time? That's exactly what subscribers to The Trend, NTA's research e-newsletter, receive in their inbox each month. The newsletter provides information on consumer and economic trends, as well as industry research, to help you successfully navigate today's travel landscape and come out on top.
The Trend is affordable, too. For only $10 a month ($120 for the year), you will have access to information that can help you grow your business, better understand your customer's needs, target new customers and much more. Don't worry that you've missed a few issues. Subscribers will receive a link each month to archives of The Trend so you can catch up. To subscribe, e-mail Lisa Thompson.
Playing host to an NTA meeting gives you a chance to showcase your destination or venue to your association's leaders. The bid process is now open for destinations interested in playing host to 2010 NTA Board of Directors and Leadership Team meetings.
Meetings available for bid include:
- Winter Leadership Meetings (March, Thursday-Saturday)
- Spring Board Meeting (May, Wednesday-Saturday)
- Summer Board Meeting (August, Wednesday-Saturday)
NTA's 2009 Annual Convention will be the place to be to do valuable business with approximately 400 NTA buyers and 250 buyers attending the World Religious Travel Association's Expo, which will be co-located with NTA's event in Reno, Nevada, this November. One way you can stand out to these potential partners is through sponsorship.
You can sponsor the highly visible Message & Email Center for $25,000. As the exclusive sponsor, you'll have the opportunity to brand the screen savers on all 22 computers on the show floor and the six computers by the seminar rooms, place your logo on the message center sign-on screen and display your promotional banners and literature. You'll be placed in a highly visible location and receive all gold-level benefits. This is one sponsorship opportunity you can't afford to pass up!
All sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can contact NTA Vice President of Sales Karla DiNardo today to make the Message & Email Center yours. For information on additional sponsorship opportunities and benefits, click here.
Tourism Cares is planning an exciting opportunity for the travel industry this coming fall. Make sure to set aside this Sept. 11 to be in Washington, D.C. More information will be available in upcoming weeks at www.tourismcares.org and in future issues of Tuesday.
NTA will be launching a brand new publication for this year's Convention. The Convention Catalog will be distributed to all Convention delegates in their registration bags, and it will be given to buyers attending the World Religious Travel Association's Expo.
This all-encompassing catalog will include the official NTA Convention program and delegate registry, as well as paid advertisements. Advertisers can purchase display advertising, place advertorials or include itineraries in the publication, which will have a year-round shelf life.
In addition, NTA will continue to produce another useful resource, the Profile Form Notebook. For the first time, the book will be organized so that destinations are grouped regionally to match the layout of the Destination Pavilion. Each state and province will still have a tab divider and there will be an international tab. New regional tabs will be added, with states and provinces being grouped under regions as a way for tour operators to more quickly find information on specific areas.
Your company can buy one of the regional tabs, a state/provincial tab or the international tab or purchase an insert. Additionally, packages that combine placements in the Profile Form Notebook and Convention Catalog are available.
If you book your space in the Convention Catalog by June 12, you can save $250 (cannot be combined with any other offer). For pricing information, contact your account executive at 800.682.8886, ext. 4241 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4241.