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4 New Videos You Can Use to Make the Most of Convention ’11 | Convention Week: Wrap. Run. Dine. Danc

10/4/2011

Volume 31, Issue 41

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TODAY'S ARTICLES
4 New Videos You Can Use to Make the Most of Convention '11
‘Smarter Visa' Policy Push Includes Federal Bills and Wednesday Webinar
Convention Week: Wrap. Run. Dine. Dance. Rock!
What's in Your Wallet? Could Be More Money!
Wednesday Webinar: Sustainable Tourism 201
‘I've Been Coming to Convention Since ...'
Chinese Flock to NTA Booth during Tourism Day at Shanghai Mall
Listen Anytime to the Convention Insider Webinar
Time Is Almost Up to Present Your Profile to Every Operator at Convention
Meet NTA's Newest Members
Industry News and Updates


4 New Videos You Can Use to Make the Most of Convention '11  

Laurie Lincoln, Chair of NTA's Convention '11, comes to you direct from Vegas in these four fast-paced, fact-filled videos that will help you prepare for Convention—and get the most out of your week!

1. Watch "Got Appointments?" to learn:

  • The basics of Convention's Appointment Scheduling System.
  • What to do before and after you receive your personalized appointment schedule.
  • How to get even more appointments and be more productive.

2. Watch "Four More Ways to Do Business in Vegas" to find out: It's Vegas, Baby!

  • How to increase your load factors (and your bottom line)!
  • How the Destination Pavilion works.
  • Which event is a unique opportunity for tour suppliers to introduce tour operators to new product.
  • Why the Tour & Travel Exchange is the one of the highlights for all member categories.

3. Watch "Maximizing Your Convention Experience" to learn:

  • One thing every buyer and seller—new or old—needs to do before arriving.
  • Two simple things you can bring that could lead to new friends, great new ideas and more new business!

4. Watch "What is NTA Central?" to discover:

  • What you'll find at NTA Central.
  • How to sign up for an on-site tour of the floor.

These one- to two-minute videos help take the guesswork out of what you need to know to be more productive and effective at Convention! Have other questions about Convention? Contact Member Services at headquarters@ntastaff.com.

Not registered yet? You can register online here. Convention '11 is only 61 days away!

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‘Smarter Visa' Policy Push Includes Federal Bills and Wednesday Webinar 

New legislation introduced by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is aimed at correcting problems with the U.S. visa process. The goal of the bill, "Welcoming Business Travelers and Tourists to America Act of 2011," is "to address inefficiencies in the visa processing system that discourage overseas business and leisure travel to the United States." See the full text of the bill here.

It's a goal shared by our association, said Steve Richer, NTA public affairs advocate. "NTA has been pushing for reform since 2008," Richer said. "By streamlining the application process, this country can increase visitation from the key growth markets of China, Brazil and India."

Proponents of change point to the United States' diminished share of long-haul international travel as a lost opportunity worth up to US$600 billion. Heck's bill suggests that by recapturing that portion of the long-haul market (17 percent) in 2015 and sustaining it through 2020, the United States can "attract 98 million more visitors, create 1.3 million additional jobs and generate $859 billion in United States economic output by 2020."

A second bill (actually two corresponding bills) co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), is aimed at modifying the requirements of the visa waiver program, which would allow visa-free travel for citizens of Poland and other countries. Details of the bill are here, and an appeal from the Polish American Congress is here.

And today, Sens. Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Begich (D-Ark.) and Blunt (R-Mo.) co-sponsored the "International Tourism Facilitation Act," according to Richer, who said it's similar, but not identical, to the bill introduced by Rep. Heck.

To learn more about the visa problem and what you can do to help advance a solution, tune in tomorrow to "Enact Smarter Visa Policy Now," a free Webinar from the U.S. Travel Association. The hourlong Webinar is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, Oct 5. Click here to register.

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Convention Week: Wrap. Run. Dine. Dance. Rock! 

Convention week social events complement the daily business appointments by giving you the chance to network, connect and, most importantly, have a good time with your fellow NTA members! Here's just a taste of the fun side of Convention '11 in Las Vegas, Dec. 5–9. (You'll find the complete daily schedule here.)

NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back to Las Vegas. (Requires advance registration!) Each year, the Boys & Girls Clubs fall short of holiday gift donations for kids 10 to 14 years old; our Give Back project will target those kids this year. Convention attendees can make cash donations (either as you register or on site in Las Vegas) to purchase holiday gifts for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson to distribute. And you can join with hospitality students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to wrap donated gifts on Monday evening, Dec. 5, at the Hard Rock Café-hosted gift-wrapping session. You can sign up for Give Back—as a donor only or as a donor/wrapper—when you register for Convention. If you've already registered, click here to get involved.

Icebreaker Event. Get ready for the "Red Carpet Treatment" at Maverick Aviation hangar at the Tuesday evening Icebreaker. Come sample foods from great Las Vegas restaurants and enjoy one of the best Las Vegas dance bands. (Watch for a surprise celebrity appearance you won't want to miss.)

5K Fun(d) Run/Walk. Join your fellow members in support NTA's government advocacy work at the Wednesday morning 5K Fun(d) Run/Walk from 6:30–7:30 a.m. at Town Square Las Vegas. For just $25 (a donation to NTA's Government Relations Fund) you can spend some fun quality time with your colleagues at the Fun(d) Run/Walk event. Or, if you prefer some extra beauty sleep, feel free to put your $25 down and "Sleep in for G.R." Everyone can participate—walkers, runners, sleepers and even skippers! Sign up when you register. Already registered? Contact the NTA member relations team.

Tourism Rocks! Dance, network, meet new and old friends, and have fun Wednesday night, at the always-popular Tourism Cares fund-raiser.
Buyers: as guests of our generous sponsors, Hard Rock Café, Las Vegas CVA and Nevada Commission on Tourism, you can pick up your complimentary tickets on site at any of the sponsors booths.
Sellers: Purchase your ticket(s) when you register for Convention (only $40) or buy them in Las Vegas for $50. Tourism Cares

Tourism Cares Silent Auction A great way to showcase your organization's product or service, the auction is a longstanding tradition at the NTA Convention. To learn more about donating, visit Tourism Cares.

Closing Night Gala, "Your Vegas is Showing." What does Vegas mean to you? Come dressed to impress in your best Vegas attire.  (We can't wait to see what you come up with!) Enjoy a fabulous dinner followed by dancing and lots of fun as we close out our Annual Convention. 

And don't forget the Convention Fam tours (deadline to sign up is Nov. 1) and the sightseeing tours on Monday, Dec. 5 (deadline to sign up for sightseeing is Nov. 4).

Join us in Las Vegas, Dec. 5–9, at Convention '11: More partners. More contacts. More business. More fun. 

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What's in Your Wallet? Could Be More Money!  

Are you making the best-possible profit when accepting credit or debit card payments? You can contact NTA Corporate Partner Capital One® to find out.

Capital One® Bank offers a hassle-free credit card processing analysis at no charge. Their free analysis can help you identify specific ways to increase your profit, and show you how to reduce related expenses through Capital One®'s Merchant Services Program.

Benefits include*:

  • No underwriting fees
  • Transparent and competitive rates
  • Gift & Loyalty card programs to help increase your sales and repeat business
  • Ability to utilize your existing equipment and interface with major point-of-sale systems
  • No annual or monthly minimum fees
  • 24-hour customer support

One of the nation's top 10 largest banks, Capital One® can deposit settlements directly into your existing bank account. They also offer a 90-day risk-free trial with no set-up fees to try their service.

For complete details, contact Kimberly Bonzelaar at or call 936.524.7485. (Be sure to identify yourself as an NTA member.)  You'll find information on more NTA Corporate Partner programs here.

*Available to NTA members with a U.S.-based Tax I.D. number.

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Wednesday Webinar: Sustainable Tourism 201 

Plug in to Sustainable Tourism 201: Putting Pencil to Paper, a free Webinar from Sustainable Travel International on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. ET.

Sustainable Travel logoTomorrow's session will show participants how to put pencil to paper and make a commitment to positive "triple-bottom-line results" for your business, employees and community. Bobby Chappell, STI's director of eco-certification, will help you explore how to customize and integrate sustainable practices into your operations. You'll also learn how to draft sustainability policies and formalize impact assessments.

Sustainable Tourism 201 is geared toward travel professionals who are familiar with sustainable tourism. Attendees should already comprehend key terms and understand the business case for sustainability, and should be interested in learning more practical ways to integrate best practices into their existing operations.

There will be a short Q&A following the presentation. Click here to sign up.

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‘I've Been Coming to Convention Since ...' 

As part of promoting NTA's 60th anniversary, we want to know if this year's Convention in Las Vegas is a milestone event for you. Will this be your 26th consecutive show? Have you been a delegate every year since 1974, 1984 or 1994? Do you have 10, 15 or 25 Conventions under your belt? Even if you've missed one or two over the years but have attended the event many times, please share the number of times you've attended-along with your first-ever Convention. Your name and achievement could find its way into Courier magazine or in the Convention Daily newsletter on site.

Please send your impressive number of years attending the NTA Convention (either total or consecutive) and, if you've got one handy, a high-resolution headshot photo of yourself to Doug Rentz, Courier managing editor.

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Chinese Flock to NTA Booth during Tourism Day at Shanghai Mall  

NTA Visit USA Center was again in the spotlight at the largest shopping mall in10.3.11SkyMall Shanghai, SkyMall, on "Tourism Day" of the mall's American Cultural Festival. Following the success of the opening ceremony Sept. 17, the SkyMall festival focused on travel and tourism last Saturday. 

Eight staff members working NTA's information table could barely keep pace with the crush of visitors, who were eager to collect flyers from destinations such as Las Vegas, California, Chicago, Florida and New York City and gifts from Disneyland and Las Vegas.

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Listen Anytime to the Convention Insider Webinar 

Conducted in September, the Convention Insider Webinar can help first-timers (or anyone who needs a refresher) gain a better understanding of just how the NTA Convention works. The session provides an overview of the Convention format and offers tips for preparing for the event, including instructions for appointment scheduling.

You can view the Webinar by visiting the First Timers Program page of the Convention Web site or by clicking here. Playback of the Convention Insider Webinar requires Windows Media Player 9 and Internet Explorer 6.0+.

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Time Is Almost Up to Present Your Profile to Every Operator at Convention 

The material deadline for the Profile Form Notebook is Friday, Oct. 14, which means there are only two weeks left to be included! Three out of four operators say they use the Profile Form Notebook for year-round tour planning, so you'll want to pre-insert your double-sided profile-and place an ad on your state or provincial tab-in this top resource at Convention and beyond.

Contact NTA Services by e-mail or phone, +1.859.264.6559, and claim your space today.

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Meet NTA's Newest Members  

New members in September include a Maryland tour operator, seven DMOs (including one state and two countries) and 14 suppliers that cover a lot of ground. For the list of new members, with Web sites and contact info, go to the NTA Online page.

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Industry News and Updates

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