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Category Breakouts at Convention, Visa Waiver Updates, Gulf Coast Webinar Info

8/10/2010

Volume 30, Issue 32

Branson
  


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Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.

TODAY'S ARTICLES
They're B-a-c-k ...
Visa Waiver Program Travelers Must Now Pay Additional Fee
California Parks Referendum Update
Gulf Coast Media and Crisis Relations Webinars
Mexicana Airlines and NTA Travel Protection Plan Coverage
Weekly Sponsorship Special Announced-Includes Booth at NTA Convention
Last call for 2010 Tourism Cares for America Volunteer Day Sponsors
Twitter Vocabulary 101
Create Your Own China Tour on the Splendid China Product Development Trip 
NTA Operators Invited to American Tourism Society Conference
Kudos Go out to Members Referring New Members
Travel News and Updates


They're B-a-c-k ...    Convention 10

Tour Suppliers & DMOs: Back on the line up for Convention ’10 is the popular Tour Supplier & DMO Category Breakouts. Have you wondered how your industry counterparts spend their adverting dollars or how they’re coping with budget cuts? Share best practices and meet one-on-one with other restaurants, hotels, city/regional DMOs and more in this year’s Category Breakouts. Be there for the discussion on:

Monday, 9:15-10:15 a.m. Tour Supplier Category Breakouts (Concurrent Sessions)

  • Attractions
  • Casinos
  • Hotels
  • Passenger Vessels
  • Receptive/Sightseeing
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation Companies


Wednesday, 8:45-9:45 a.m. DMO Category Breakouts (Concurrent Sessions)

  • City/Regional DMOs
  • State/Provincial/Country DMOs


Click here to print out the most updated Convention schedule.

Take advantage of all Convention ’10 has to offer. More partners. More contacts. More Business. Register today! Remember, appointment scheduling opens August 31st…that’s just 21 days away!

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Visa Waiver Program Travelers Must Now Pay Additional Fee  

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced an interim final rule amending Department of Homeland Security regulations to require travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to pay US$4 to recover operational fees when applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is in addition to the mandatory US$10 travel promotion fee established by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. The total fee for a new or renewed ESTA will be US$14 beginning Sept. 8.

All payments for electronic travel authorization applications must be made by credit card or debit card when applying for or renewing an ESTA at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA system currently accepts only the following credit/debit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover. Applications will not be submitted for processing until all payment information is received.

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California Parks Referendum Update  

NTA endorses Proposition 21, the Nov. 2 statewide ballot measure that will provide a stable and adequate funding source for California’s state parks and beaches, which attract 80 million visits each year. A recent study by California State University Sacramento found that state park visitors spend an average of $57.63 in neighboring communities each time they visit a state park or beach. Annually, state park tourists spend $4.32 billion in park-related expenditures. In fact, state park and beach visitors generate so much local economic activity that every dollar spent on state parks creates another $2.35 for the state treasury.

Approval of Prop. 21 will provide California vehicles with free, year-round day-use access to state parks and beaches, in exchange for a new $18 surcharge. This new surcharge will be assessed as part of California’s annual vehicle registration. All California vehicles will be subject to the surcharge, except larger commercial vehicles, mobile homes and permanent trailers. Funds from the surcharge will be placed in a trust fund dedicated specifically to state parks and wildlife conservation, which cannot legally be used for other purposes.

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Gulf Coast Media and Crisis Relations Webinars   

There is still time to register for Wednesday’s NTA and Edelman Gulf Coast Media and Crisis Relations Webinar, to be held Aug. 11 from 10-11 a.m. CT. Or, if you can’t participate in the Webinar, keep an eye on NTAOnline.com/gulfcoast for footage from the NTA-Edelman Seminar in Mississippi and the audio and visual recordings from this week's Webinars. To take part in Wednesday’s Webinar, complete the registration form and fax it to NTA Headquarters at 859.226.4404 or e-mail it to NTA Public Relations Specialist Madeline Vied.

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Mexicana Airlines and NTA Travel Protection Plan Coverage  

Mexicana Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 3. How does NTA’s Travel Protection Plan cover this incident? The NTA Travel Protection Plan provides coverage when a travel supplier ceases operations 11 or more days after the date on which the client purchased the plan, provided that the supplier had not filed for bankruptcy protection prior to plan purchase and the client purchased the plan within 14 days of the trip deposit.

Insured clients who purchased the NTA Travel Protection Plan on or prior to July 24 and within 14 days of trip deposit would be eligible for plan benefits if they have a trip cancelled or interrupted as a result of Mexicana’s bankruptcy. Clients who purchased the NTA Travel Protection Plan from July 25 to Aug. 2 and within 14 days of trip deposit will have insolvency coverage if the date of their trip cancellation or interruption is 11 or more days after the date they purchased the plan.

Please direct any questions regarding Mexicana Airlines or the NTA Travel Protection Plan to 1.800.388.1470.

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Weekly Sponsorship Special Announced-Includes Booth at NTA Convention     

While Convention delivers great networking, appointments and social events for suppliers and DMOs to connect to tour operators, the best way to stand out among your competition is to be a sponsor. Sponsors receive great visibility before, during and after Convention, and a small sponsorship investment can help grow your business exponentially.

This week’s sponsorship special includes front page exposure on the Convention Daily newsletter (hand-delivered to all NTA and WRTA delegates), a seminar with three-five minutes of remarks and a 10x10 booth on the Convention floor for the entire event for only $5,000. For this and other sponsorship specials, please visit our online sponsorship kit or contact Karla DiNardo at +1.859.226.4232 to tailor a sponsorship to your marketing objectives and budget.

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Last call for 2010 Tourism Cares for America Volunteer Day Sponsors  Tourism Cares

The Tourism Cares for America Volunteer Day event is fast approaching! On Sept. 10 in Washington, D.C., Tourism Cares is inviting the travel industry to help the National Park Service with much needed upkeep projects around some of America’s most important monuments. Sponsorship opportunities for this event are still available. For more information, please contact Jessica Ahern at Tourism Cares.

Still haven’t registered to participate? Click here!

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Twitter Vocabulary 101       Twitter

Do you tweet on your lunch break? Are you ever tweetsulted to the point of tears? If this all sounds like gibberish, you may need an update on your Twitter lingo. See below for some common Twitter-based terminology from Mashable.com and you’ll be the smartest in the twitosphere.

  • twapplications: Twitter applications.
  • tweeple: Twitter people, Twitter members or Twitter users.
  • tweeter or twitterer: a user of Twitter.
  • tweet(ing): the act of posting to Twitter.
  • tweets: posts on Twitter by twitterers.
  • tweetsulted, tweetsult: an insult posted on Twitter.
  • twitosphere: a community of twitterers.
  • twitter stream: a collection of tweets, often times in alphabetical order.
  • twitterati: The A-list twitterers.
  • twittering: to send a Twitter message.

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Create Your Own China Tour on the Splendid China Product Development Trip   

Join China Connection Tours as they host the Splendid China Product Development Trip, February 16–24, 2011. The first PDT of 2011 will highlight this incredible destination in a way that is sure to help you create unforgettable programs to offer your clients.

The tour begins in the capital city of Beijing and ends in China’s commercial center of Shanghai. You will be treated to Chinese highlights including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Nanjing Road, to name a few.

The PDT is open to two registrations per company with a minimum of 10 participants necessary for the trip to take place. The cost of the trip is US$800 per registrant, which includes the land and in-country air.

The deadline to register is Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. Visit NTAOnline.com to register or contact Lisa Thompson at NTA with questions. Don’t forget—there is still time to register for the Lancaster/Philly PDT, October 8-12. Check out the details and register today.

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NTA Operators Invited to American Tourism Society Conference  

Registration for the American Tourism Society’s 2010 Annual Conference in Kosovo, Oct. 25–29, is open and NTA operators are invited to attend. The conference will showcase three of Kosovo’s largest cities—Pristina, the capital; Peja, the nation’s most picturesque city; and Prizren, a city with an eclectic mix of Albanian, Ottoman and Serbian cultural heritage.

To register, visit AmericanTourismSociety.org. You may also sign-up for an optional post-conference tour to the neighboring nation of Albania from Oct. 29–31. Read ATS’s news release about this incredible opportunity to learn more about this newly-independent, emerging destination. Direct any questions to Don Reynolds at ATS.

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Kudos Go out to Members Referring New Members 

The growth and diversification of your association has many benefits. It gives NTA a stronger voice in the industry and provides you with expanded product and potential business partners. The following members have taken an active role in NTA’s recruitment efforts by referring a new company that joined the association:

Allen Glander of Main Street Tours Inc.
Kate Simpson of Academic Travel Abroad Inc.
Christiane Skinner of Vermont Department of Tourism
Karen Olson of San Diego Zoo & San Diego Wild Animal Park
Rosie Aguirre of Sundance Stage Lines Inc.
Beckie Allwood of Lexington Tourism Bureau
Rossana Adderson of Travelodge Canada
Kathleen O'Connor of Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Hui Shao of GH Tours & Travel Inc.
Katie Lepage of Quebec City Tourism
Mary Mills of Days Inn Hot Springs Convention Center
Whitney Ellis of South Carolina Dept. of Parks, Recreation Tourism

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Travel News and Updates

  • It is with great sadness that NTA shares the loss of longtime NTA member Earleen Bowers of the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites (Victoria, British Columbia), who passed away Sunday from a massive heart attack while playing golf. Earleen had been with the hotel for over 20 years and was a former president of Team Canada.
  • Wait times to obtain a U.S. visa vary by country and can cause frustration. Head off those feelings by using this Website to see how long the U.S. Dept. of State is currently estimating interview appointments and processing time by location.
  • Click here to read the recent Newsweek article about Americans traveling to Cuba, including a quote from NTA President Lisa Simon.

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