Jim Reddekopp Answers Questions on Travel Exchange | NTA Saddened by Loss
Volume 32, Issue 10
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Jim Reddekopp Answers Questions on Travel Exchange
NTA Saddened by Loss
Brand USA Joins Summit Seminar Lineup
NTA Delegation Has Full Agenda in Mexico
After a Tornado, Branson Recovers and Readies for NTA
Sponsor in D.C. and Reach Influential Travel Industry Leaders
Lost Tuesday: Find it Here
Register for Tourism Cares for Pensacola
‘A Year's Worth of Labor' Performed Last Year in Mystic
Welcome to NTA!
Industry News and Updates
As you prepare for Travel Exchange—registration opens April 10!—we know you'll have questions about the new show and how to get the most out of it. So we'll be using this space in Tuesday to provide the answers to those FAQs. (And we'll post the collection of them on the Travel Exchange Web site.) This week we took two of your questions to NTA Chairman Jim Reddekopp, Jr.
Q: Why is NTA co-hosting with UMA? What will be better for me?
Reddekopp: The quick answer is that adding UMA introduces a new set of buyers—and potential partners—who do not currently participate in NTA. But I know not all our members are familiar with UMA, so let me give a quick breakdown:
Members of both NTA and UMA are involved in the packaged travel business. However, due to the different purposes of the two associations, there is very little overlap in members between them. NTA members represent worldwide packaged travel—to, from and within North America—and the majority offer group tours. Motorcoach operators (UMA members) provide an integral component to the tour operator's product—the motorcoach—and some sell their coach services to tour operators. Many UMA motorcoach companies also offer charter services directly to groups or have their own tour departments, which puts them in the position of being potential buyers with all NTA member categories.
Travel Exchange brings all these possible buying and selling scenarios together into one show.
Q: Is Travel Exchange a co-location of shows or an integration of NTA and UMA?
Reddekopp: NTA and UMA are—and will remain—separate organizations. But our members' businesses are so complimentary that it was a no-brainer to bring the two shows together to increase the business opportunities for everyone. At Travel Exchange, we will be combining the social/networking opportunities of both shows, but—and this is important to both associations—the traditional business components of each will remain the same:
- UMA's business floor will be a trade show featuring motorcoaches and vendor booths with motorcoach operator buyers walking.
- NTA's floor will include the Destination Pavilion and Exchange with pre-scheduled appointments between buyers and sellers.
The NTA and UMA floors will be open to all Travel Exchange attendees, giving them open access to new partners and opportunities.
Next week we'll line out the benefits and opportunities of Travel Exchange for each NTA member category. Have a question of your own? Let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel Exchange registration opens April 10! Visit the Travel Exchange Web site for more information and for sponsorship opportunities.
Ann Thomas, CTP, former NTA chairman, passed away Saturday in Carson City, Nevada.
Thomas was the owner and manager of Reno-based Western Discovery and was active with NTA for a quarter-century. Serving seven years on the NTA Board of Directors, Thomas was board chairman in 2005. She also chaired the association's CTP Task Force, Education Committee and Member Services Committee.
"We are deeply saddened by Ann's passing. She gave so much to NTA through the years and was the perfect leader during challenging times for this association," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "She truly listened to members and used their input to move NTA forward. Ann led with a sense of calm and confidence—and a great big smile. She will be greatly missed."
Along with her NTA leadership, Thomas served the travel and tourism industry through her involvement with Travel Alliance Partners and the Reno-Tahoe Territory. She was greatly admired by industry colleagues, said NTA member Laurie Lincoln.
"Trying to explain to my daughter who Ann is, I told her, ‘She is the kindest, most compassionate person you could ever know. She's the kind of person that everyone loves and we all strive to be,'" Lincoln said. "I miss her already."
Family members have established a memorial fund through the Sierra Nevada Cancer Center; 1460 S. Curry Street, Ste. 100; Carson City, NV 89703. To contribute, make a check payable "Empowered Lives Through the Cancer Journey Foundation" with a note in the memo field for the "Ann Thomas Memorial Fund."
Services for Thomas will be held in Carson City at Fitzhenry's Funeral Home on Saturday, March 31, at 1 p.m. The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino is offering a special rate. Click here to make a reservation and use "Thomas" as the promotional code; or call 1.800.648.5080. Flowers can be sent to Fitzhenry's Funeral Home, 3945 Fairview Drive, Carson City, NV 89701.
Attendees of the 2012 Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit will learn about the latest trends and strategies for promoting travel to the United States from Joel Secundy of Brand USA. Secundy, vice president of strategic outreach for Brand USA, will give a detailed presentation about the organization's newly designed consumer Web site and interactive social media tools, along with other elements of the comprehensive marketing campaign.
Brand USA (formerly the Corporation for Travel Promotion) was created in 2010 to encourage travelers from all over the world to visit the United States. Prior to joining Brand USA, Secundy served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.
The Summit is set for May 8–10 in Washington, D.C., during National Travel and Tourism Week. Sponsored by NTA, the Southeast Tourism Society and Destination Marketing Association International, the Summit is an opportunity for tourism professionals to network with government and industry leaders and to fine-tune their understanding of legislative priorities and processes. Click here for a schedule of events.
The Summit comes at a time when attention to tourism has picked up in Washington. President Obama's Jan. 19 executive order that called for a national strategy with three aims: increase the United States' market share of worldwide travel, promote travel to U.S. national parks and expand tourism opportunities in rural communities.
The official hotel for the Summit is Courtyard Washington, D.C./U.S. Capitol, offering a rate of $229, available through April 20. When making online reservations, use the code NTANTAA. With a phone reservation (888.236.2427), ask for the 2012 NTA/STS Congressional Summit Room Block at the Courtyard US Capitol New York Avenue.
NTA members will meet in Mexico to conduct business, tour popular destinations and network with industry professionals.
A delegation of NTA tour operators, led by NTA Senior Vice President Catherine Prather, will meet in Guadalajara for a product development trip through the state of Jalisco March 20–24. Along with a tour of Guadalajara, the PDT includes visits to the specialty shops of Tlaquepaque, the Mundo Cuervo experience in the town of Tequila and an exhilarating cruise along the sunny shores of Puerto Vallarta.
In Puerto Vallarta, members of the NTA-ASTA Hispanic Business Development Task force will convene for a meeting on March 24 and 25, leading into Mexico's Tianguis Turistico, Mexico's largest travel industry event. NTA members will attend the March 25–28 show and take appointments.
"With one trip to Mexico, we're able to combine an exciting PDT with a task force meeting and an enormous trade show," Prather said. "We're in for a productive week in Jalisco."
NTA tour operators will pay only a $100 registration fee (plus their air fare) for the PDT; all other expenses—meals, hotel and transportation—will be covered by the hosts: the Mexico Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism of the State of Jalisco and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. Details of the PDT are here and the PDT registration form is here.
Tour operators will have registration fees waived for Tianguis and receive discounts on their Puerto Vallarta hotel and on air fare. For more information about the PDT or accommodations for Tianguis, contact Lee Carter, NTA senior vice president.
Recovery efforts continue in Branson, Missouri, following the touchdown of a tornado on Feb. 29. The area suffered no fatalities, although there were 33 injuries and significant property damage.
"The Branson community is feeling very blessed because the storm devastation could have been so much worse than what it was," said Lenni Neimeyer, director of leisure group sales for the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, an NTA member. "The resilience of the Ozark people, their faith and steadfast nature will shine through this unfortunate situation, and Branson will rebuild and recover quickly."
Six of the more than 50 theatres in Branson—and 22 of its 200-plus hotels—sustained significant damage. Rebuilding began immediately, and many of the affected businesses have reopened or are scheduled to reopen in the coming days. For the latest information on show schedule changes and affected attractions, restaurants, shops, roads, etc., visit http://www.explorebranson.com/ or call 1.800.296.0463.
One group that will be in Branson soon is the NTA Board of Directors, which will meet there May 5 through 8. Mayor (and NTA member) Raeanne Presley is ready.
"Our Branson tourism family is so pleased to welcome the NTA board for their spring meeting," Presley said. "The tornado that swept through our community has damaged property but not our strong spirit. Thanks to all of our NTA friends for their prayers and offers of assistance. With the support of friends like you, Branson is planning for a grand 2012!"
Recent tornadoes wreaked havoc on 12 other U.S. states, and NTA exends sympathy to people in all areas affected by the storms.
The 2012 Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit, a joint event hosted by NTA, Southeast Tourism Society and Destination Marketing Association International, will convene in Washington, D.C., May 8–10, 2012. With an estimated attendance of 150 to 200 travel industry professionals and leaders, your sponsorship is not only appreciated, but it's a great way to support this distinguished event and showcase your organization.
A large number of last week's Tuesday e-mails encountered a technical glitch and were not delivered. In case you missed it, the issue was an end-of-the-month "Members on Markets" Tuesday focused on faith-based tourism. Here are a few reasons to read:
- To better understand the scope of faith-based tourism
- To get tips for entering this growing market
- To find how faith-based tourism extends to not-so-obvious destinations
- To learn about specific FBT hot spots for 2012 and 2013
- To understand what motivates faith-based travelers
Tourism Cares is looking forward to welcoming NTA members to Pensacola, Florida, on March 29 and 30 for the 10th annual Tourism Cares for America program. Registration is open now.
In Pensacola, volunteers will help in two important projects. One team will take on painting projects of both the exterior and interior of the Pensacola Lighthouse, which has towered over Pensacola Bay since 1859 and is still in use today. Volunteers will also tackle landscaping and parking lot upgrades. Another team of volunteers will participate in a conservation project for Pensacola Bay, installing native wetland vegetation and nearshore oyster reefs along 1,500 feet of shoreline on Bayou Texar.
Visit the Tourism Cares Web site to learn more and sign up.
While we look forward to Pensacola, it's worth looking back to last May in Mystic. The 2011 Tourism Cares project brought more than 350 volunteers (including NTA members and staff) to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, where they took on some 60 projects that included painting a historic ship, restoring paths and relocating historic artifacts.
"Tourism Cares volunteers donated a year's worth of labor last year," said Sarah Spenser, group sales manager for Mystic Seaport. "Having an army of volunteers descend on Mystic was a little daunting, but the town picked up the vibe and helped create a great experience."
Months after the work was done, Spenser said, the impact is still evident. "There's a greater sense of a well-kept property," she said. "And Mystic Seaport now carries a higher level of awareness nearby-and within the larger tour and travel community."
Spenser said she still hears from the project's volunteers, mostly at trade shows. "Many tell me what project they worked on, and they actually recall their hard work with great fondness," she said. "It's gratifying to hear how much they enjoyed the day, and how impressed they were with Mystic Seaport and our town."
To learn more about Mystic Seaport, click here.
February brought NTA one new member for every day of the month (and it's a Leap Year!). Our new arrivals come from 17 U.S. states and five countries outside the Unites States: Thailand, Scotland, Turkey, India and South Africa.
The entire list of new members is here; they include tour operators, suppliers, DMOs-and an educator: Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
To all: Welcome aboard!
- More than 40 percent of luxury travelers plan to increase their spending on travel in 2012 over last year, according to a survey of nearly 1,500 luxury consumers.
- The power of Pinterest, a social media site, makes it an especially strong marketing component for destinations, according to tnooz.com.
- Nearly a quarter-million travelers visited Hawaii in January, and spending rose 13.9 percent over January 2011. The rate spending—$192 per person per day—is the highest in six-plus years.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.