Sales/Marketing Professionals: Get Two Days Packed With Six Sessions Just For You
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Sales/Marketing Professionals: Get Two Days Packed With Six Sessions Just For You
Experiencing the Earthquake: A Firsthand Account
See How NTA's International Director Sells North America to the World
U.S., Canada Make Top 10 in T&T Competitiveness Report
Report on Streamlining Airport Security to Be Released Tomorrow
COTTM Participants Receive a Free Banner Ad on NTA Visit USA Center Web Site
Castles, Kilts and a Ceilidh
CVB and DMO Call to Action
Leadership Look-back: Past Presidents Share Memorable Moments
7 Office Technology Tools to Save Money, Time and Space
Does Your Product Travel Across Tour Operator Desktops?
Industry News and Updates
NTA Job Center
Contact, NTA's tour operator-exclusive* show, offers six sales/marketing-focused, hands-on sessions in just two days!
Hone your skills with sessions like Paul Vitale's "Sell with Confidence—Unlock Your Potential." In this one-hour session, you'll learn how to structure your day to work in your favor, seek out new business leads, learn why some say "yes" and others say "no," and how to negotiate a more positive outcome. Get tips that will turn into immediate results.
That's just one session for the Sales/Marketing track. Go to the Contact site to read the descriptions of the rest of the education program.
Registration is already open! Join us in Newport, Rhode Island, Aug. 1–3. It's a six-class upgrade you won't want to miss.
*NTA suppliers and destinations can attend this operator-exclusive event by sponsoring.
Steve Richer, NTA's public affairs advocate, received a firsthand account of the Japanese earthquake from Michio Endo, who was in Tokyo during Friday's quake. Endo, a friend of NTA, represented Malta at the NTA Convention in Pittsburgh and came from Japan to volunteer for the Tourism Cares project in New Orleans. Here, Endo describes the final leg of his journey home, around midnight:
In the dark, I kept walking with business shoes and clothes, without eating or drinking after lunch. Quite many people were also walking the same road. On the way, I saw a young businessman who sat down and took off socks. He was rubbing his feet. A young girl gave up walking and kept calling mobile, maybe asking parents for pick up. I called my wife by mobile, but it was out of service.
You can read the full account here; it's captivating and worth the read.
NTA has asked member Satoshi Asano of the Japan National Tourism Organization for suggestions about how to help with the relief efforts, and we will provide that information when available. In the meantime, you can visit the InterAction Web site for a list of agencies responding to the crisis.
JNTO's North American Web site is providing daily updates.
Haybina Hao has been working ahead—13 hours ahead, to be exact. Normally working out of NTA's headquarters in Kentucky, our director of international development was stationed for weeks in Shanghai at the NTA Visit USA Center, preparing for NTA's U.S. Pavilion at the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market. Now back in her U.S. office, Haybina took a moment to answer some questions about NTA's involvement with international markets.
Q. NTA's focus is on the North American travel industry. How does your work internationally expand on that focus?
HH: International tourism markets are becoming more and more integrated, and as people in populous countries like China, India and Brazil become more likely to travel globally, NTA wants them to choose North America destinations. And, with the NTA Visit USA Center supported through a U.S. Department of Commerce grant for the next two years, we're working to get Chinese tourists coming to the United States.
We focus our international initiatives on countries that represent the largest potential business opportunities for our members. When we say NTA is "Bringing the world to North America," this is who we're talking about!
Q. What if members don't have the time or resources to research global markets?
HH: That's another reason to belong to NTA! While most members are busy with daily operations, NTA takes the lead and looks down the road—three years, five years, 10 years—to see where the business will be. We help our members grasp those business opportunities in the long run, so they will not get lost in the rapidly evolving market.
Q. So, how does NTA generate business for members at international shows?
HH: When attending the shows, we cannot promote NTA without talking about our members. It's our members that form NTA, and it's our members' excellent services that build NTA's professional image. When foreign travelers come to North America, they are impressed with the incredible scope of destinations—cities, scenery, attractions, cultural sites, recreational activities, etc. They go back and share their experiences, which will influence other travelers in their destination choices. Given the huge population bases in these countries, the potential travelers to North America will increase exponentially.
To ask Haybina about NTA's international initiatives, e-mail her; she can respond to you from Kentucky, China and anywhere in between.
The United States ranks sixth and Canada ninth out of 139 countries in the latest Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, which measures 77 travel-related factors and policies comprising the Travel & Tourism Competiveness Index. Switzerland leads the report, as it did in 2009, when the last report was issued. Completing the top 10 (in order) are Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Canada and Singapore.
The report is produced by the World Economic Forum with the goal of helping governments and business leaders identify the obstacles to travel and tourism.
The U.S. ranking improved from eighth in 2009, due partly from a higher score in the "regulatory framework" category, which reflected a reduction in road traffic accidents and an increase in the "prioritization of travel & tourism" category, especially government's investment in tourism. Canada slid four spots in the 2011 report, due largely to a significantly lower ranking in "prioritization of travel & tourism."
To see the entire report—and every score for each country—visit the TTCI Web site.
In a forum titled "Aviation Security: A Better Way," the U.S. Travel Association will release its report on streamlining airport security tomorrow morning, March 16, at 10 a.m. ET. NTA will be represented at the briefing by Public Affairs Advocate Steve Richer. The co-chairs of a blue ribbon task force, former Homeland Security secretary, governor and Congressman Tom Ridge (R-Pennsylvania) and former Congressman Jim Turner (D-Texas), will discuss recommendations for improving security screening. To submit questions or register to view the forum, go to the Web site.
In addition to improved security procedures, NTA supports updating air traffic control systems to a more modern version, currently available, known as the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).
"By modernizing its technology, United States airports would vastly improve the handling of air traffic," Richer said. "The Air Transport Association has testified that NextGen could generate 150,000 new jobs and cut fuel consumption by 12 percent, making air service more efficient and affordable." Implementation of NextGen is being held up by funding issues.
A month from now, your association will be at the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market, slated for April 13–15 in Beijing. NTA is assembling the U.S. Pavilion and hosting U.S. operators, suppliers, destinations and attractions interested in reaching the burgeoning Chinese outbound market.
As a bonus, exhibitors who join us in the U.S. Pavilion will also join us on the new Web site for the NTA Visit USA Center. All COTTM exhibitors will receive a free banner ad on the soon-to-be-launched site.
U.S. Pavilion participants will each have a company booth, storage space and a central meeting area. They'll also have the opportunity to meet with the Chinese media and be listed in the Pavilion catalog for distribution. To join NTA staff and member businesses at this well-established trade fair, contact Ken Goode at NTA.
The famously haunted Fyvie Castle is the site of The Final Night Ceilidh Dance at Montage. Will the ghosts of the Green Lady and Grey Lady make appearances? (Both have been haunting the castle for decades. You can read their stories here.)
Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-Lay) is derived from the Gaelic word meaning a visit. It can also mean a house party, a concert or, more typically, an evening of informal Scottish traditional dancing.
To complete the tradition, kilts (for men) and tartan sashes (for women) will be provided by Visit Scotland for Montage attendees. (If you'd like to wear your own clothes, coat and tie is appropriate). Need a visual? Here's how to wear the traditional Scottish kilt and tartan sash:
Montage is just 27 days away. Register here.
If you could expose your destination's services and facilities to more than 300,000 group travel planners for free, would you? NTA members can, though a partnership with BusRates.com and United Motorcoach Assocciation. BusRates.com is issuing a call to action for CVBs and DMOs to take advantage of a three-month free trial of its industry-leading charter bus operator directory as it expands to include listings for all group travel destination services and activities.
BusRates.com also has a link directing visitors to NTA's tour operator search. In fact, BusRates.com ranked among NTA Online's top 10 referring sites last month.
Using a unique login, CVBs and DMOs are able to quickly provide information and spotlight all of their destination's unique offerings to the 1.2 million group travel planners who visit the BusRates.com Web site annually—that's 100,000 visitors per month!
Your destination's services and activities can be individually—and easily—customized to include the following:
- Direct contact information
- Location details and specifications
- Social media links
- YouTube videos
- Multiple photos
- Customer reviews
Unlike other tour and travel directories, BusRates.com has established itself as an industry leader over the past six years by firmly entrenching itself in the online marketplace, utilizing search engine optimization and providing its resources free of charge to all group travel planners. That success, established name and industry relations are what separate BusRates.com from the pack.
As part of NTA's 60th anniversary celebration, short stories from some of NTA's past presidents will appear in Courier throughout 2011. The first article, written by Tourism Cares Executive Director Bruce Beckham, appeared in the special NTA anniversary issue in February, and the second installment, from Mikie Wall at the Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, ran in the March issue.
Here are excerpts from their recollections:
Bruce Beckham: The day before the 1979 Convention was to begin [in Louisville, Kentucky], the sleet and freezing rain was coating everything that didn't move with ice. Planes were grounded. Automobiles were at a standstill for hundreds of miles around. [We] were wondering not only if people would show up but, if not, what would become of NTBA if its largest source of revenue had to be canceled.
Click here to see the full story from the February Courier.
Mikie Wall: The board was equally divided on an issue, some saying it would be costly and would affect our bottom line, others saying we needed to be thinking of the future, etc. Finally after much debate, Jim Host [NTA's executive vice president from 1974 to 1999] stood up and said, "Some things you do because they are the right thing to do."
Click here to see the full story from the March Courier.
The April issue of Courier will feature Mayflower Tours' John Stachnik's memory of an interesting debate at the 1981 NTA Convention on deregulation and, in May, Western Discovery's Ann Thomas will share her thoughts on how encouragement helped her overcome challenges during her tenure as NTA chair.
By keeping up with the latest technologies for small businesses, you can increase your efficiency and decrease your collection of prehistoric office machines. In an article on American Express Open Forum, Lynn Truong touts seven technology tools that are catching on at many businesses. Check them out and see if they fit your needs:
Problem: Hard copies of contracts consume loads of space.
Solution: EchoSign distributes and saves electronic copies of contracts.
Problem: Printing Web pages of interest takes up space and ink.
Solution: Cute PDF converts desired pages to a PDF you can save to your computer.
Problem: Your fax machine eats up space and paper.
Solution: Use eFax to send and receive faxes from anywhere.
Problem: Sending a large file means burning it onto a DVD and mailing it.
Solution: Save your file to YouSendIt, which e-mails your recipient a link to the file.
Problem: Backing up data to an external hard drive takes time and requires remembering.
Solution: Mozy works in the background with no action required.
Problem: Transferring files between work and home gets cumbersome.
Solution: Put documents you need in Dropbox and retrieve them from any computer.
Problem: It costs money to print and mail invoices.
Solution: Use FreshBooks to create and send invoices that can be saved.
None of these innovative tools are free, but all have several pricing options, and most offer a free trial. Here's a link to the full article.
Make sure it does in NTA's Membership Directory. Including contact information for all members, the NTA Membership Directory stays on desktops year-round as a critical business resource for members. Plus, 80 percent of tour operators report using the NTA Membership Directory in their day-to-day jobs.
Make sure you're visible. Advertising options include a variety of sizes, upgraded positions and enhanced listings. But hurry, time is almost up. Contact your NTA Services team to stand out in the 2011–2012 directory: Call +1.859.219.3533 or e-mail us today.
- Ascend's annual business travel survey shows that after two years of attrition, corporate travel will rebound in 2011.
- A new survey from Smart Destinations shows how consumers define "value" in travel and describes how they seek it out.
- Ever considered living on a cruise ship? You might be surprised at the percentage of people who would willingly spend the rest of their lives on the open seas.
Gulliver's Travel Associates, one of the world's leading wholesalers of hotels, ground products and services to the travel industry is seeking a seasoned Director of National Accounts to lead the strategic planning and National Accounts sales operations team. This position will have a high impact on the company revenue and margin of the company. The Director of National Accounts will evaluate, analyze and implement key partnerships, provide innovative thinking, work with the North America and the Global leadership teams to execute, plan and conduct statistical analysis. S/he will also establish and cultivate key business relationships. This includes utilizing statistical analysis to support partnerships, products and services; interpreting market research to identify new business areas and recommending opportunities operational efficiencies. S/he will also be responsible for periodic reporting and business insights. Qualified candidates will possess a BA with a focus on Business and between 4 to 7 years of experience in project management and/or business development and strategic planning. Travel industry experience is required. Please submit your resumes online to firstname.lastname@example.org. The position is based in the NYC metro area.
Gulliver's Travel Associates, one of the world's leading wholesalers of hotels, ground products, and services to the travel industry is seeking a Group Sales Manager to qualify and develop sales leads into a successful business project and, as a result, increase both revenue and profit within the sales and operations department. This key role involves working with existing clients to target high-yield repeat business, but also requires new opportunities within a market to be identified and actioned. Primary responsibilities will include negotiating and managing group customer accounts, achieving targets and objective sets, building on business within a market through personal contact, phone and regular e-mail updates. Qualified candidates will possess a BA with experience in a sales role within the travel or leisure industry; proven commercial awareness of hotel pricing, service and travel-industry issues; and product knowledge of leading European and worldwide group travel destinations. Please submit your resumes online to email@example.com. The position is based in the NYC metro area.
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