NTA Leader To Receive Santini Award | Next PDT Destination Announced

3/20/2012

Volume 32, Issue 12
TravEx13 Reg Opens Ad 
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Karla DiNardo.

TODAY'S ARTICLES
This Just In: Tweak to Travel Exchange Dates Adds More Opportunities
NTA Leader to Receive Santini Award
Members Can Explore Exotic Morocco during PDT
Countdown to Closure of California State Parks
Dow to Receive Award, Direct Donation to Tourism Cares
Tour Suppliers and DMOs: Join 100-plus NTA Buyers at Contact!
Join the Courier Fans on Facebook
Tourism Cares Seeks Past Scholarship Recipients
See What's Next in Technology Tools for Travel
Industry News and Updates


This Just In: Tweak to Travel Exchange Dates Adds More Opportunities  

Travel Exchange registration opens Tuesday, April 10, at noon. Have you marked your calendar? While you're doing that, be sure to mark SuTravel Exchange horizontal smallnday, Jan. 20, through Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, as the dates for heading to Orlando, Florida, for the exciting inaugural event.

If those dates look slightly different to you, it's because they are! By shifting the dates of Travel Exchange from a Saturday start to a Sunday start, the Travel Exchange Task Force has achieved an even better match in when the UMA and NTA floors are open, giving members of both organizations even more access to each other.

April 10 is less than a month away. Watch your mail and e-mail for more details or visit www.NTAonline.com/Convention. Registration rates are below: 

Buyers
Early Bird rate (until Aug. 24): $220
Regular registration rate (after Aug. 24): $330
(Buyers are eligible for a $650 rebate, and a special BOGO offer!) 

Sellers
Tour Suppliers/DMOs
Early Bird rate (until Aug. 24): $1,200
Regular registration rate (after Aug. 24): $1,400

Associates: $2,500 (includes a booth)

Educators: $220 

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NTA Leader to Receive Santini Award 

3.20.12HoffmannMark Hoffmann, CTP, will receive the James D. Santini Award during the Grassroots Congressional Travel Summit in Washington, D.C., set for May 8-10.

The award, determined by the NTA Government Relations Committee, recognizes individuals who, over time, have made significant contributions to NTA's advocacy efforts. Hoffmann more than fits the bill, said Steve Richer, public affairs advocate for NTA.

"Mark has been such a bird dog in getting things done: promoting government relations within the association, being a strong advocate and meeting with officials both in Washington and in California, and helping meet sponsorship needs," Richer said. "In every way, Mark understands GR and makes sure we are focused on it."

Hoffmann, who has presided as NTA chairman and has served on many committees, is currently vice chairman of the association. The award is named in honor of Jim Santini, who served for more than 25 years as NTA's legislative counsel. Santini will be part of the presentation ceremony during the NTA TourPAC Breakfast on May 9. For more information about this year's Summit, click here.

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Members Can Explore Exotic Morocco during PDT 

The next NTA Montage product development trip is the Exotic Land of Morocco, set for Oct. 20–30, 2012. The trip, hosted by Morocco Destination Management,3.20.12NEWMoroccoMap Hospitality Marketing Services international division, will explore many areas of the exotic northwestern African nation.

Attendees begin their journey with a tour of Casablanca, the famous port city that sits along Morocco's Atlantic coast. Following a tour of the nation's capital, Rabat, the group moves on to Fez for a tour of this ancient city known as "the Athens of Africa."

Next up is a scenic drive into the High Atlas Mountains for a look at the natural beauty of the Moroccan countryside around Efroud and Ouarzazate, including spectacular kasbahs, canyons and valleys. Participants will spend the next few days experiencing Marrakech and its many attractions, landmarks, outdoor markets and legendary cuisine, and then they'll return to Casablanca for their flights home.

The cost for the PDT trip is $1,595 (double occupancy) or $1,795 (single occupancy), which includes roundtrip air from New York's JFK International Airport to Casablanca; participants are responsible for their own airfare to JFK. For participants who book their own air, land-only packages are available for $999 (double) and $1,299 (single). The price for spouses is an extra $250. This PDT requires the participation of at least 15 passengers. To get started, contact Lee Carter, NTA senior vice president.

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Countdown to Closure of California State Parks  

On July 1 the state of California is set to close 70 of its parks, including natural reserves, beachfronts, historic buildings, recreation areas and forests. While the state's intent is to save money, supporters of the parks argue that the state park system is an economic dynamo, generating more in visitor spending and tax revenues than would be spent by the state. And the loss of jobs and revenue caused by parks' closure would be magnified by the impact on local businesses that rely on park visitors.

On the Web site Save Our State Parks, NTA member Kevin Murphy, general manager of Sports Leisure Vacations in Sacramento, says in a video that closing parks is bad for business. He explains that the senior groups who do business with his company count on trips to the parks to stay active and engaged, and he adds that closing state parks will also "impact tour operators from outside the state."

NTA signed on last fall in support of Save Our State Parks, a grassroots effort to keep California's state parks open. To get more information, or to add your voice in support of continued funding for all of California's state parks, visit www.savestateparks.org/badforbusiness.html.

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Dow to Receive Award, Direct Donation to Tourism Cares 

Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at Ataway Exchange on May 9 in Orlando, Florida. The honor comes with a monetary donation to be granted at the direction of the recipient, and Dow has chosen Tourism Cares to receive the contribution in his name.

Prior to his work with the U.S. Travel Association, Dow was a leader of Marriott Hotels Corp.'s sales efforts for more than 30 years.

Tourism Cares is also NTA's official charity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the travel experience for future generations. For more information, visit the Tourism Cares Web site.

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Tour Suppliers and DMOs: Join 100-plus NTA Buyers at Contact! 

Just imagine networking and doing business with 100-plus NTA tour operators in relaxed, casual and beautiful San Diego, California—while also enjoying top-of-the-line education and social functions, hosted at such locations as the San Diego Zoo. That's Contact '12!

Because Contact is tour operator exclusive, only sponsoring tour suppliers and DMOs can attend, and those that are there will enjoy a buyer-to-seller ratio notContact 2012 See You There available anywhere else.

"Contact provided a great opportunity to network in a small setting," said Kelsey Massee of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, who attended Contact '11 in Rhode Island. "Due to its size, Contact provided the opportunity to meet and develop relationships more easily." 

Join us in San Diego Aug. 16-18 for NTA's Contact '12! Check out the available sponsorships here and contact Melisa-Beth Rooke today by e-mail or phone (859.264.6561) to learn how you can sign up and attend.

PS: Sponsorships are also available for NTA/UMA's 2013 Travel Exchange (January 20 to 24 in Orlando, Florida). Elevate your company among the 3,500-plus delegates expected to attend. Interested in learning more? Contact Karla DiNardo by e-mail or phone (859.264.6556) today!

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Join the Courier Fans on Facebook 

Courier magazine has a Facebook page with a growing list of fans. This page is where you can access digital issues of Courier and NTA Trip Planners, discuss articles or add insights of your own. It's also where we can share updates along with information, interview snippets and photos that we just couldn't fit in the printed version. 

Simply click the link and "like" our page to be a part of this new social community.

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Tourism Cares Seeks Past Scholarship Recipients  

Looking to engage past scholarship recipients, Tourism Cares is excited to announce the development of a Scholarship Alumni Network. They hope to get in Tourism Carestouch with past scholarship recipients and seek their feedback about the type of network that would best suit their needs. Leading the effort is this year's MaCher Scholarship Alumni Network Intern, Aleksandra Kim of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

If you are a past Experience the Industry attendee or NTA scholarship recipient, Tourism Cares wants to hear from you! They would like to gather feedback from every participant in their scholarship program, which dates to 1982. Past winners will be involved in the development of the network from the ground up, providing vital input on the tools and resources most important to them. With vast representation from across the many years of recipients, the Tourism Cares Scholarship Alumni Network will be developed by and for its alums.

If you are a past participant—or know where to find one—please e-mail Danielle Belanger, student programs coordinator at Tourism Cares.

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See What's Next in Technology Tools for Travel 

Advances in technology impact the travel industry seemingly at the speed of sound, so taking a look down the road can only help prepare you for future innovations, right? Brian Beard writes in Talking Travel Tech about innovations that are likely on the way in three areas:

Security and tracking: Biometric technologies such as facial recognition software will make check-in processes simpler and faster at airports and other secured entryways. And the use of radio frequency identification will help track and identify luggage, saving time and reducing frustration.

Payment with memory: In the same way your preferences are tracked at the grocery store (if you use a loyalty/discount card), travel companies can work together and share information about your travel choices (air, hotel, rental cars, etc.), creating a more seamless process for travel arrangements.

Traveler-generated content: As more travelers become smartphone users (see Industry News item below), they'll document more trips and share more photos and reviews. Evolving technologies will collect and present this information in formats that are easily accessed by travelers checking out a destination, hotel, restaurant or attraction.

These innovations aren't in place just yet-but they're on the way. See the full story here.

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Industry News and Updates

  • Today more than half of all leisure travelers—and nearly three out of four business travelers—own a smartphone, according to a study by PhoCusWright. These travelers routinely use combinations of mobile Web sites and apps for travel-related activities.
  • Despite some news to the contrary, Mexico is looking forward to a good year for tourism, according to a story on CNN.com, which includes comments from Rodolfo Lopez Negrete of the Mexico Tourism Board and Lisa Simon, NTA president.
  • Hotel rates rose an average of 5 percent in North America, according to a survey by hotels.com. The report also details American travel habits, motivators for travel and the most- and least-expensive cities for hotel stays.
  • REMINDER: The free Webinar, "China Market Insights," is set for this Thursday, March 22 at 2 p.m. ET. Just click here to register.

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