Goals for the New Year | These Members Will Populate the Pavilion
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What About Your Goals for the New Year?
Earn Your CTP in 2013!
Questions: You. Answers: Ambassadors
These Members Will Populate the Pavilion
Destination Leaders to Collaborate at Travel Exchange
Save the Date for Destination: Capitol Hill
NTA Enters Next Phase of China Inbound Program
Now Available Online: Holy Land Webinar
Members Who Referred New Members
Two (Fun) Ways to Support Tourism Cares
It's Not Your Plan That's Bad. It's Your Process.
With This Issue, Courier Enters its 40th Year
It's New Year's Day, so we're asking you to share your 2013 goals. (We won't call them "resolutions," because resolutions are so breakable.) Where would you like to visit? And what are your top business and personal goals? To post your answer, go to NTA's Facebook page. And to get goal-oriented, see what NTA Chairman Jim Reddekopp Jr. said he's pointing toward in 2013:
Destination goal: Japan with my best friend
Business goal: Obtain 50 new tour operators for NTA through Entrepreneurs in Travel
Personal goal: Run my first marathon
Your turn: Ready, set ... goal!
Speaking of goals and resolutions, here's a way to give yourself the competitive edge you've been looking for: Earn your Certified Tour Professional certificate through NTA's educational program.
NTA teamed with Temple University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management to develop the most comprehensive and specialized certification program in the industry. Packaged travel professionals who obtain, and maintain, their CTP designation demonstrate to the industry that they are experienced, knowledgeable and motivated professionals who care about the industry and the colleagues with whom they work. The CTP is considered the hallmark of professional competency and excellence in the packaged travel industry.
Becoming a CTP is now more affordable than ever. NTA members now pay only $150 upon enrollment. If you complete the program and graduate within two years of enrollment, that's all you pay! If you do not complete the program in two years, that's OK. However, you must pay the full $600 enrollment fee prior to graduating. You'll be invoiced the $450 once your two-year term expires.
The program has three phases:
Phase I — Application. The first step is to fill out the CTP application. Visit NTA Online for more information, or contact Phillip Strunk, NTA's research and education manager, at 859.264.6546 or by email.
Phase II — Coursework. After you've been accepted into the program, the next step is to complete three modules through an online Blackboard system. The three modules are:
- Strategic Packaged Travel Leadership, Management and Administration-be trained to lead within the industry, manage human resources and operations, and create the total customer experience through quality service.
- Strategic Packaged Travel Marketing and Sales-learn how to develop and market innovative products and services, maximize sales, and manage public relations efforts.
- Strategic Packaged Travel Financial Management-get a firm grasp on managing financial performance, forecasting business needs, establishing budgets, understanding payroll systems and identifying sources of funding.
Phase III — Learning Portfolio: Once your coursework is finished, the next step is to create a comprehensive learning portfolio that encompasses everything you've learned throughout the program. The Learning Portfolio will be submitted online and evaluated by Temple University.
And, that's it! If you're interested in making this your objective for 2013 (and we think you should!), visit NTA Online to download your application or contact Phillip Strunk at 859.264.6546 today!
(NTA members who have earned their CTP will be sporting a special pin during Travel Exchange 2013; make sure you congratulate them on their accomplishments!)
There's a good chance you've got a question about what to expect at Travel Exchange:
- What's the best way to work the floor?
- What should I ask during appointments?
- What to pack?
- Which events to attend?
There's an even better chance an experienced member knows the answer. NTA's Travel Exchange Ambassadors are available now to help you get the most out of Travel Exchange. Simply go to the Ambassador page on NTA Online, read the bios to see who matches up with you and your job, and then click on "ask me a question."
There are 22 Travel Exchange Ambassadors who want to hear from you and help you get ready for Orlando.
Looking for new travel markets, products, suppliers or destinations? Along with your business appointments at Travel Exchange, you can visit the Member Markets Pavilion for more ways to expand your tour portfolio and clientele diversity.
At this special area of the Travel Exchange show floor, you can collect resources on markets that range from faith-based to family to culinary tourism. Other markets-traditional, emerging and growth-are also represented by the Pavilion operators, suppliers and destinations. Here's a quick list of who you can expect to meet:
- NTA Member Markets & Faith Tourism Booth: Visit with NTA staff members for insights about the diverse opportunities in packaged travel today—and pick up a complimentary Faith-based Tourism CD.
- Israel Ministry of Tourism (sponsor of NTA Faith Tourism Booth): Meet with representatives from the Israel Ministry of Tourism and learn how you can enter or expand your market presence in the Holy Land.
- Meander Travel (sponsor of Faith Tourism Leaders Forum): Here's your opportunity to explore new market, itinerary and product development opportunities in Turkey and the Middle East.
- LutherCountry and Terra Lu Travel: LutherCountry is a beautiful part of Germany intertwined with Martin Luther's life, and Terra Lu Travel is an incoming operator specializing in group travel throughout Europe.
- Visit Rhode Island: Rhode Island continues to meet tour operators' needs with an ever-growing array of culinary, family and adventure travel experiences.
- Family Travel Network: Consult with Nancy Schretter, one of North America's top family travel experts; her Family Travel Network is an award-winning online magazine and industry resource.
- World Food Travel Association: As the world's leading authority on food tourism, the association maintains an array of cutting-edge products and services.
- Africa Travel Association: Meet with ATA personnel to learn how you can enter, expand or enrich your presence in the Africa travel market.
- Black Meetings & Tourism: This award-winning, international trade publication is for and about the $40 billion-plus African-American group and leisure travel, incentives and meetings market.
- International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association: LGBT travelers use IGLTA as a resourceto find businesses, vacations and destinations that welcome them into the world of travel.
- China Travel Market: Learn how NTA has taken a leading role in facilitating Chinese inbound group travel and how you can tap into and benefit from these same efforts.
Hispanic Travel Market: Stop by to learn more about NTA's initiatives and how you can get involved with an ever-growing share of the packaged group travel market.
Chief executives of destination marketing organizations will gather at Travel Exchange to discuss the challenges they have faced during a struggling global economy, its effect on packaged travel, and what solutions lie ahead.
"DMO budgets have been reduced-and sometimes eliminated-as governments cut back during the economic downturn," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "So our questions are: What strategies have organizations used and how can we work together to ensure a robust packaged-travel industry? That's what will result from this thought-leader discussion."
The Destination Leaders Forums comprise two sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 23: a 9 a.m. meeting for state, provincial and CVB leaders from North America, and a 2:30 p.m. session that brings together leaders of national tourism organizations. Helen Marano, vice president of government and industry affairs for the World Travel and Tourism Council, will serve as moderator of both sessions.
"After our face-to-face forums, NTA will release our findings in a white paper," said Simon. "We'll also use this information to educate our members and enhance packaged travel."
For more information, email NTA Headquarters.
To make your voice heard in Washington, D.C., join with colleagues from across the country at the travel industry's premier legislative fly-in on April 10–11, 2013.
- learn about upcoming legislation that impacts travel
- mingle with key influencers and travel industry professionals at the third annual Policymakers Reception
- and meet with members of Congress to stress the importance of travel as an economic driver.
Registration will open mid-January, and we'll be sure to alert you. The early-bird rate is $95 on or before Feb. 22. After that date, the standard rate will be $135.
This event is powered by the U.S. Travel Association, along with NTA, Destination Marketing International Association and the Southeast Tourism Society. To learn more about Destination: Capitol Hill, click here.
Fresh off a successful partnership with Brand USA last month at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai, NTA is moving into the next phase of its award-winning China Inbound Program.
Since 2008, NTA has maintained a list of U.S. tour operators registered to handle inbound-to-the-U.S. Chinese group travelers, and in 2010 the association opened the NTA Visit USA Center in Shanghai as a hub for marketing travel to the United States and facilitating business connections with the U.S. and Chinese trade.
"When we created our China Inbound Program and opened the NTA Visit USA Center, there was no national, comprehensive program to market the United States as a destination. Now that Brand USA and the Visit USA Committee are becoming active in the market, NTA will not operate the Visit USA Center in Shanghai," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "NTA has played an important role in promoting the United States and helping the industry gain market share, so we will remain very active in the market."
While establishing a dynamic presence in China at trade shows and road shows organized by the association, NTA has garnered several awards, including the Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (2012) and the Gold Award at the World Travel Fair (2011, 2012).
NTA will continue to provide consulting and educational sessions, organize trade events, and present the second China Market Forum during Contact, which will be held in Hawai‘i Aug. 15 to 17. For more information, contact Haybina Hao, NTA's director of international development.
If you missed the webinar focusing on the Holy Land travel market and NTA's product development trip in February, you can catch a recording of the presentation.
The webinar, "Discover the Holy Land: How to Successfully Sell & Develop Product for this Market," features the North American directors for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, Haim Gutin, and the Jordan Tourism Board, Malia Asfour. It's geared to tour operators interested or involved in selling product to the Holy Land, and it's particularly informative for those planning to join the upcoming 2013 NTA Holy Land Product Development Trip.
The Holy Land appeals to diverse markets: faith-based, family, adventure, culinary, students, and more. Take this opportunity to hear from the leaders of each tourist board and learn about travel updates for the Middle East.
To learn more about the market and listen to the webinar, follow this link.
NTA builds business opportunities and market diversity by gaining new members. Each member represents new product, ideas and perspectives, and they also give NTA a stronger voice in the industry.
The following members have taken an active role in adding to NTA's membership by referring a new company that joined the association:
- Michael Kenney of Holiday Vacations referred Richard Schubert of Travel Europe.
- Amy Spain of Snohomish County Tourism Bureau referred Tina Nevarez of Holiday Inn Downtown Everett.
- Judy Wood of Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau referred Cara Schuyler of Desert Diamond Casino Hotel.
- Paul Larsen of Ed-Ventures, Inc. referred Lion Amiel of Amiel Tours.
- James Scoon of Wyoming Office of Tourism referred Serese Kudar of Pinedale Travel & Tourism Commission.
- Jim Brychell of Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau h referred Lisa Slam of Palm Springs Air Museum.
- Stephanie Lee of Group Sales Box Office/Broadway.com referred Joe Tropia of Metropolitan Opera.
- Ellen Walker-Matthews of Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association referred Wendy Patriquin of Sparkling Hill Resort & Wellness Hotel.
- Janice Weinman of Hilton Worldwide referred Craig Smith of Embassy Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista.
- Marcela Laukova of Discover Slovakia Tours referred Monique Van Dijk-Seppola of Scandinavia Tours.
And we want even more members just like you! So we're holding a member referral drive through the month of January. Refer someone you know who would be a great addition to the NTA family and receive $100 when they join by March 15, 2013!
Simply submit your potential members' information to Cheryl Adams on or before Jan. 31. For each referral who becomes an NTA member by March 15, 2013, you'll receive $100. Plus, your name will be put into an annual drawing for a free membership. There's no limit on how many referrals you can hand in, so submit as many as you can think of!
With Travel Exchange just a few weeks away, Tourism Cares is pleased to share two new ways to help treasured sites around the world and to invest in the next generation of industry professionals:
FLIP for our Friends in New York! After Tuesday night's Awards Dinner, join in with Tourism Cares' first Flip Flop Tournament! Players flip coasters from the edge of a table and catch them in mid-air before they fall to the table. All proceeds from the tournament will go to our friends on the East Coast affected by Hurricane Sandy. This game is limited to 100 players who pay a $10 entry fee. To sign up now, complete the registration form and email it to NTA HQ or send via fax (859.264.6570).
Tourism Cares Online Auction: In partnership with Premium Outlets and Simon, Tourism Cares is auctioning great prizes and packages. Check out the online auction items here. Tourism Cares uses BiddingForGood.com to auction items from generous donors year-round, so please check back often for new travel packages, technology, collectibles, etc. If you want to donate your own item, contact Alyssa O'Driscoll or stop by the Tourism Cares booth at Travel Exchange.
Before you devote a half-day to strategic planning for the year ahead, don't think about the plans you'll make. Think about the route you'll take in making the plan.
Les McKeown, president of Predictable Success, says that when hammering out a long-range plan, many business people emphasize the plan when they should instead focus on the process. "The point of planning is not the plan itself—the point is to develop an understanding of what's likely to happen in the future, and to be fully prepared for most circumstances," McKeown writes in Open Forum.
To make planning a more effective process, you should develop several likely scenarios for your business and then create responses that address them. It's a different approach for a process that often gets fouled up. Read more about McKeown's suggestions here.
The January 2013 issue of Courier marks the beginning of the 40th year that Courier has been produced and sent to all NTA members. This month's business section includes two informative Q&As and a great primer for 2013. You'll hear from family travel expert Nancy Schretter, who gives you the 411 on that emerging market and offers a teaser for the educational seminar she'll present at Travel Exchange. The other Q&A is with NTA's Haybina Hao, who provides an update on the China market and NTA's China Inbound Program.
Make sure to also check out "10 Steps to a Profitable New Year," which offers some great suggestions to help you start 2013 off right and maximize your NTA membership. This month's destination articles cover the United Kingdom and Ireland, Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the Great Lakes.
Click here for the Tuesday archive.