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It’s Time to Register! | NTA Again Comes to the Aid of Tourism Areas in Crisis

4/19/2011

Volume 31, Issue 16

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TODAY'S ARTICLES
It's Time to Register!
NTA Again Comes to the Aid of Tourism Areas in Crisis
 
Make Sure You're Right on the Map
U.S. Travel Taxes Alter Travel Plans
10 Top Beaches and Creative Culinary Tourism Highlight Your May Courier
Don't Forget to Buy Your Rocks Tickets!
Need a Way to Promote Your Faith-based Travel Product? NTA Services Can Help.
Travel to Japan Deemed Safe
Industry News and Updates


It's Time to Register!  

Conv 11 reg buttonRegistration for Convention '11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, is open! 

NTA's Convention brings together the most diverse group of buyers and sellers in any travel industry show—including 100 buyers who tell us they only go to NTA. Visit the Convention Web site for details on:

Register by Friday, April 22, to save up to $200 during the Early Bird and earn your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes!

Prizes for Tour Operators (buyers)

  • A helicopter ride to the evening Icebreaker, provided by NTA member Maverick Helicopters
    (Make your entrance to Convention like a celebrity!)
  • Registration to Convention '11
    (That's right ... We'll give you your money back.)
  • Free NTA dues for 2012
    (You can save up to $475 for your company.)
  • Reserved VIP table at the Broadway.com/Groups luncheon Monday, Dec. 5
    (Invite business partners and friends to join you at your table.)
  • Registration for Montage 2012
    (Your chance to make connections with travel professionals from around the world.)
  • Registration for Contact 2012
    (We haven't announced the 2012 North American location just yet, but this operator-exclusive event is your ticket to the C-Suite and focuses on three tracks of education.)

Prizes for Tour Suppliers and DMOs (sellers)

  • A helicopter ride to the evening Icebreaker provided by NTA member Maverick Helicopters.
    (What a way to make an entrance to Convention!)
  • Registration to Convention '11
    (That's right ...We'll give you your money back!)
  • Free NTA dues for 2012
    (You can save up to $1,725 for your property.)
  • Full-page ad in the 2011 Convention Catalog
    (An extra opportunity to promote your destination or property to operators at Convention-a US$4,850 value.)
  • Reserved VIP table at the Broadway.com/Groups luncheon Monday, Dec. 5
    (Make it another networking opportunity! Invite business partners and friends to join you at your table.)
  • A seminar sponsorship and attendance package to Contact 2012
    (Your destination or property gets all the seminar sponsor perks, including being able to attend this operator-exclusive event—a US$3,000 value.)

We can't wait to see you at Convention '11—the place for travel professionals wanting more partners, more products and more business.

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NTA Again Comes to the Aid of Tourism Areas in Crisis 

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NTA launched a campaign to inspire people to travel again. During a 2003 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in Canada, NTA's board of directors held a meeting in Toronto in support of the local tourism community. Last year, NTA and Edelman conducted free crisis media relations seminars for tourism professionals in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast oil spill, and after Nashville was devastated by flood waters, the NTA board held their meeting in the Tennessee capital.

Now, NTA is responding again to a situation where tourism—and the people who conduct it—are being affected by external events. This time in Egypt and Jordan.

Cathy Greteman and Lisa Simon; NTA's chairman and president, respectively, will lead a group of travel association heads, tour operators and travel journalists on a six-day visit of the tourism infrastructure of Egypt and Jordan, where political unrest last winter reduced the normal torrent of tourists to a trickle.

"A lot of people in the tourism industry are out of work in Egypt and Jordan, and tour operators here at home have lost business," Greteman said. "By going there ourselves we hope to rekindle enthusiasm for travel to the region."

NTA is teaming up with leaders from the United States Tour Operators Association, American Society of Travel Agents, Tourism Cares and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. The trip, April 22–28, will be conducted in partnership with the tourism ministries of Egypt and Jordan.

"Our is an industry that sticks together in times of crisis," said Simon. "These are our members and partners in the association and our colleagues in the industry. When travel professionals and the regions they serve are threatened, NTA responds."

Watch for photos and updates from the trip on Facebook.

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Make Sure You're Right on the Map 

Google Map MakerStarting today, you can literally put yourself on the map. Google Maps is an online tool used by people traveling across the country or across town, and now Google has opened its entire map of the United States to enhancement and correction by people who best know their own neighborhood—including you.

To help clients find you faster, you can make sure the surrounding streets, roads and buildings are labeled properly. To help visitors appreciate your property more fully, you can add landmarks and attractions, such as a new pool or hiking trail. You can even make driving directions more accurate.

The process is not a free-for-all, of course. After you sign in as a Google user and make your edits, a moderator reviews them. Once approved, those edits are posted to Google Maps, where millions can view the enhancements you've made.

To get started, visit the Google Map Maker site. From there, you can view an introductory video, learn how to edit a map, and make your changes. Happy mapping!

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U.S. Travel Taxes Alter Travel Plans  

The Travel Tax Institute, a branch of the U.S. Travel Association, recently surveyed travelers to assess consumers' attitudes about travel taxes, and how taxation affects travel decisions.

When considering destinations with high levels of taxation, nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed reported that they changed their travel plans. About a quarter of the respondents, 24 percent, opted to visit during the off-season when rates were lower. A like number stayed at less expensive hotels (27 percent), dined in less expensive restaurants (26 percent) or spent less on shopping and entertainment (26 percent). Ten percent chose to forego visiting the destination entirely.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that few travelers welcome paying taxes, but respondents believe some services are more overtaxed than others. Two-thirds believed taxes are "high" or "very high" on three specific items: gas, accommodations and airfares, and nearly half (47 percent) gave similar ratings to car rentals. Fewer than half the respondents rated taxes on other items, including cruise fares and restaurant meals, as high.

For more information about the survey, visit the institute's Web site.

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10 Top Beaches and Creative Culinary Tourism Highlight Your May Courier 

May 2011 CourierYou can travel from the shores of Chicago and the vineyards of Washington to the Canadian north and northern Italy in the pages of the May issue of Courier. This month's feature stories cover 10 top beach destinations and a variety of national parks across North America, as well as some creative, sustainable options in culinary tourism.

Cuisine also is the focus on Rhode Island's pre-Fam tour prior to Contact, which will be held Aug. 1–3 in Newport. You can learn more about NTA's newest Business Builder event by turning to page 20. Finally, articles on America's Heartland-the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska-round out the issue's Where to Go section.

Repeat advertisers in this issue are The Berkely Group (TPP); Cherokee Heritage Center; Empire State Building Observatory; Georgia Department of Tourism; Missouri History Museum; Pensacola, Fla., Convention & Visitor Information Center; Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau; The Red Lion Inn; and Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.

We're grateful to our repeat advertisers (those who book in three or more issues of Courier per year.) Click here for more information.

Upcoming content and deadlines: 

August Issue: Theaters & Broadway Shows; Our Claim to Fame; Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Wisconsin; Ontario; Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Oregon, Washington); Greece & Turkey.

Ad Space: May 25
Editorial: May 2

September Issue: Museums; Sightseeing Rail; Literary Tours & Attractions; Florida; Georgia; North Carolina; South Carolina; Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas); Czech Republic; Poland & Slovakia.

Ad Space: June 29
Editorial: June 6

October Issue: Gay & Lesbian Travel; Music, Music, Music; Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont; Connecticut & Rhode Island; Massachusetts; Great Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota); London & Paris.

Ad Space: July 27
Editorial: July 5

Please click here to view the 2011 editorial calendar.

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Don't Forget to Buy Your 'Rocks' Tickets! 

With registration for Convention opening this week (see story above), don't forget to buy Tourism Rocks tickets in advance! No one throws a party quite like Tourism Cares, and delegates can experience that firsthand on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at Tourism Rocks at the fabulous Las Vegas Hard Rock!  This event, a perennial favorite, provides NTA delegates the opportunity to dance, network, meet new and old friends, and have fun while supporting a great cause.

Convention 10 Tourism Rocks

Tour operators: You will again be the guests of generous sponsors: Hard Rock, Las Vegas CVA and Nevada!  Pick up your complimentary tickets when you get to Las Vegas at one of the sponsors booths on the Convention Mall.

Tour suppliers and DMOs:  You'll save $10 if you purchase your Rocks tickets when you register for Convention (pay only $40). Tickets are also available for purchase in Las Vegas for $50.

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Need a Way to Promote Your Faith-based Travel Product? NTA Services Can Help. 

Did you know 40 percent of NTA tour operators offer faith-based travel?

Help your fellow NTA members expand their religious travel product and itineraries by sharing your faith-based product with NTA travel buyers. Advertise in the July issue of NTA's Courier magazine and build your business in this booming market.*

Space deadline is April 27, so call +1.859.219.3533 or e-mail NTA Services today.

The July issue will also include Preview to Convention, Zoos & Aquariums, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Southern California, Boston, Germany, and Switzerland & Austria. This issue will get additional exposure with bonus distribution at Contact in Newport, Rhode Island.

* Faith-based travel is an $18 billion dollar industry with 300 million travelers annually.

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Travel to Japan Deemed Safe 

The U.S. Department of State has eased its travel alert to Japan after determining that in the areas outside a 50-mile radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, health and safety risks are low and do not pose significant risks to U.S. citizens. The assessment is based on input from U.S. laboratories as well as the unanimous opinion of the U.S. scientific experts on the ground in Japan. 

The World Health Organization also announced that that health risks are low beyond the zone around the plant, reporting that radiation levels in the air, soil and drinking water have all declined.

Tokyo is no longer experiencing blackouts, and Japan's public transportation systems have resumed regular service everywhere except in areas hit by the tsunami, according to Satoshi Asano at the New York office of the Japan National Tourism Organization. JNTO, an NTA member, continues to update travel-related information on its North American Web site.

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Industry News and Updates

  • A survey by Travel Leader shows that 57 percent of respondents who will receive a tax refund plan to spend it on travel. Florida, California and New York top the U.S. wish list.
  • Report shows April hotel rates rising in Oahu, Phoenix and New Orleans, while falling in Syracuse, Flagstaff and Newark.
  • Each airline has its own menu of fees for phone reservations, priority seating, pets, and food and drinks. BestFares.com provides a comparison chart.

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