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Friday, May 31, 2013

Encouraging Intrapreneurship (by Tom Nies/Smart Business)

Tom Nies article on "Encouraging Intrapreneurship" published by Smart Business is an excellent article for travel industry executives and management to read and consider implementing, as well as anyone interested in becoming an intrapreneur. Intrapreneurship is especially applicable to developing a company's growth markets.  Below is full text of Tom's full article.....

Title: Encouraging Intrapreneurship
Author: Tom Nies
Publisher: Smart Business
Article link: http://www.sbnonline.com/2011/06/tom-nies-encouraging-intrapreneurship/

Innovation and speed to market are two ways to launch and grow a business. Creating, fostering and sustaining the right working environment to do this can be tricky. One way is intrapreneurship, unleashing the power of employees who have entrepreneurial skills and mindsets that work within your company.

Tom Nies, Founder and CEO, Cincom
As someone who founded Cincom with $600 and a card table, I will always be an entrepreneur at heart. So, I could never even imagine allowing us to become a company that doesn’t support creative free spirits who also seek to pursue good opportunities and, in the process, build new businesses within the company, which will provide new and different ways to better satisfy customers.

For intrapreneurship to work effectively, several important considerations should be taken into account that balances risk with reward and opportunity with difficulty.

Creative listening
Leadership has to be willing to listen to and recognize good ideas whenever and from whomever they arise if intrapreneurship is to flourish. This message must be constantly reinforced from the highest levels of the organization.

Create an environment where an employee’s ideas are taken seriously, properly supported and recognized. You never know where good ideas will come from, especially in a corporate culture that supports intrapreneurship. An account representative could become the catalyst for revolutionizing a company’s entire business strategy when presented with the ongoing opportunity to approach company leadership with good ideas.

Cut the red tape
Create an environment where anyone can come forward with an idea on how to improve any aspect of the business. It should not matter where that person fits on the organizational chart. If the idea is good and the benefits and risks are clearly stated, that idea should get the green light and the support it merits.

There must still be a business approval process, but it should be efficient. Projects that deserve support should be quickly expedited.

Freedom to fail
Many entrepreneurial careers and businesses are built on a succession of minor failures, with the accumulated lessons learned from each leading to ultimate success.

It’s important for companies to allow for a degree of inevitable failure around new projects and initiatives without sending the message that failure is not tolerated.

Companies must strive to provide a “freedom to fail” culture and environment. Although failure resulting from poor planning and execution is not accepted, there should be no penalty for those who come forward with good ideas, assuming they’ve been well presented and competently executed.

Swing for the fences
Many companies are filled with reliable “singles hitters” who play it safe and never really aspire to greatness. Intrapreneurs, on the other hand, swing for the fences. Sometimes they strike out, but when they connect, they can hit it big.

Share credit
It doesn’t do any good to encourage team members at all levels to bring innovative ideas to company leadership if the leaders then take those ideas and make them their own.

“Leaders deal in hope,” as Napoleon noted. But in top-performing organizations, “Leadership is always plural.” No one ever succeeds alone.

Look forward to breaking precedent
Every organization must have processes and rules of procedure and behavior.

The ability to differentiate between rules needed to guide and perform within the current business and rules that may restrict success in building a new business is what discernment and opportunity awareness are all about. Going forward is always a journey.

Ignite intrapreneurs
To start a revolution of initiative and innovation, ignite the intrapreneurs and then get out of the way. Lift off generates a lot of heat.

Thomas M. Nies is the founder and CEO of Cincom Systems Inc. Since its founding in 1968, Cincom has matured into one of the largest international, independent software companies in the world. Cincom’s client base spans communications, financial services, education, government, manufacturing, retail, health care and insurance. Learn more about Nies at http://tomnies.cincom.com/about/.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Women in Travel: Agency Leaders Who Pushed the Boundaries (by Maria Lenhart/Travel Market Report)

The following is an excellent article about women shaping the travel industry in their leadership positions.

Belief in themselves and refusing to take no for an answer. That's what it took for these four women to reach the top of the travel agency profession. Along the way some had to elbow their way into male-dominated organizations. Part 2 in a series on the status of women in travel.
Click here to read article.

Author: Maria Lenhart
Published by: www.TravelMarketReport.com

NTA (National Tour Association) and Growth Markets in Tourism

NTA (National Tour Association) is the leading business-building association for professionals serving customers traveling to, from and within North America.

Our 1,500 buyer members are tour operators who buy and package travel product domestically and around the world. Our seller members - 600 destinations and 1,500 tour suppliers - represent more travel product and have access to more business-to-business networking than in any other association in the industry. That includes customers and product in every U.S. state, Canadian province and more than 40 countries.

Our members join to demonstrate their commitment to the profession, further their education, and collaborate and partner with the best the industry has to offer.
If you are buying from or selling to any segment of the North American travel market - inbound, outbound or within the continent - then you belong at NTA.

What types of travel does NTA represent? All types, like:
 Agricultural Historic/Heritage
 Alumni Holidays
 Amusement Parks Educational
 Cruises Museum
 Culinary & Wine Tasting Music
 Cultural Mystery
 Customized National Parks
 Ecotours Religious
 Ethnic Events Reunion
 Fall Foliage Science
 Intergenerational & Family Shopping
 Gaming Sports
 Garden Theaters & Dinner Theaters
 Hard & Soft Adventure Voluntourism

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NTA's Ask the Tour Operator: What has been the biggest challenge in developing your new tour products?

Suzanne Slavitter, CTP, owner of Sports Empire, said there were so many things for travelers to experience in her own back yard, she and her partner opened SoCalSuzanneSlavitter Group Vacations. To create new packages, they consider trends in boomer travel, local events and festivals, and their own travel tastes. Her latest offerings include golf in San Diego and Palm Springs, the Laguna Beach Festival of Art and the Palm Springs Film Festival. So we asked:

What has been the biggest challenge in developing these new products?  "We've run into hotels that are not very friendly to tour operators looking to package for small groups or FITs," Slavitter said.  "This makes us so much more loyal to suppliers who are willing to work towards a long-term partnership—versus booking a minimum number of rooms over certain dates. We are going to these partners and telling them what we're up to and asking them to give us soft dates in the fall/spring. We can work together to fill their rooms at a fair price."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

‘Unique' Webinar will Explore Inbound-U.S. Market Trends

In order to fine-tune their international marketing efforts, companies and destinations constantly monitor overseas arrivals to the United States. But how does strong growth from emerging markets stack up against the traditional markets for inbound-U.S. travel?

A May 30 webinar, "Traditional vs. BRIC," will address that question by comparing research data about the traditional market leaders (Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and France) and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Two presenters will share their insights: Ron Erdmann, research director, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries and Scott C. Johnson, principal, Travel Market Insights. And Michael Carroll, vice president of marketing for Brand USA, will discuss what Brand USA is doing in these markets and give ways you can participate.

"This will be a unique webinar," said Erdmann, explaining that the session's focus will start with arrivals and spending data, ports of entry and destinations. "Then we'll share how to use data about traveler characteristics to help determine which markets are right for you."

The online session is set for 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 30, and the cost is $50. For more information, or to register, follow this link. After payment is received, you'll get call-in and logon information. If you have additional questions, email Erdmann.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Atlanta Chosen as Site of 2016 Travel Exchange

LEXINGTON, Ky.; ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 23, 2013) —NTA and the United Motorcoach Association have selected Atlanta as the 2016 site of Travel Exchange, their combined trade and appointment show. The event will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 31 through Feb. 4, 2016. In the host city, attendees will find $1.5 billion of new hospitality product that will open shortly before they arrive, said William Pate, president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We’ll have a fresh face to welcome new and return visitors to our city, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Atlanta Streetcar, College Football Hall of Fame and the new Ponce City Market along the Atlanta BeltLine,” Pate said. “Atlanta’s position as one of the most accessible cities in the world and an unparalleled meetings package makes it a great location for NTA and UMA’s 2016 Travel Exchange.”

At the inaugural Travel Exchange, held in January 2013 in Orlando, Fla., NTA and UMA brought together more than 3,600 tour and travel buyers and sellers, including 1,176 buyers from 632 companies. Attendees came from 34 countries to attend Travel Exchange, which included side-by-side show floors, extensive education sessions and a variety of networking events in and around Orlando.

“NTA members conducted $114 million of business in both repeat and new bookings at Travel Exchange, so we know we’ve made the right decision to gather under one tent,” said Lisa Simon, president of NTA. “Both organizations wanted to get more buyers and sellers together, and that’s what Travel Exchange does: It doubles the size of both our shows and brings everybody more business.”

The two associations previously announced the sites and dates for the next two Travel Exchange events: Los Angeles, Feb. 16-20, 2014; and New Orleans, Jan. 18-22, 2015.

“The best news about Travel Exchange 2013 came out in our post-convention surveys: Attendees said the entire event far exceeded their expectations,” said Victor Parra, UMA president and CEO. “Our job is to help our members be successful, and with Travel Exchange, UMA and NTA deliver on the promise to our members to find new ways that help their business succeed.”

Video on Culinary Travel: Interview with Erik Wolf, President of World Food Travel Association

Erik Wolf explains why culinary travel is gaining ground in travel and how group leaders can take advantage of this trend.

Webinar: International Travel & Tourism Markets Traditional Markets Versus the "BRIC" Markets & Brand USA Marketing Update Related to These Markets

TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

May 22, 2013

Webinar: International Travel & Tourism Markets Traditional Markets Versus the
"BRIC" Markets & Brand USA Marketing Update Related to These Markets

May 30, 2013
3:00-4:30p.m. EDT (U.S.), 12:00-1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

The U.S. Department of Commerce's, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) and the Global Travel and Tourism Team, along with Travel Market Insights, will share a new way to look at using research data to make decisions. Brand USA will complete the picture by providing an update on key international markets and their work in those markets.

The UNWTO projects that emerging markets will grow faster than traditional overseas markets. What does this mean for the United States and your destination or business? In the U.S., the top four traditional markets (Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and France) have dominated the arrivals market. In 1996, the market share of these four countries for all overseas countries was over 50%. Where is it now? The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India & China) represented less than 6% of all arrivals in 1996. How has this changed since then?

The strong growth from the emerging markets has forced many travel and tourism businesses to look more closely at their international marketing efforts. On the one hand, everyone is talking about the emerging markets. At the same time, many U.S. destinations and businesses have made years' of investment in the top traditional visitor markets. This webinar - "Traditional vs. BRIC" will take a unique look at how four emerging markets stack up against four traditional markets for overseas visitor arrivals to the United States.

During the webinar, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries data on arrivals, spending, port-of-entry, visitation and other key traveler characteristics will be utilized to provide another way destinations and travel businesses can determine what markets are the best match for them. In addition, by using the traveler characteristics data, targeted promotional plans may be developed to focus upon the strengths of these markets.

Who should register for this program? Anyone asking the question: "On what markets should I be focused in the next five years?"

There will be three speakers featured on this webinar: Ron Erdmann, Research Director, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, Scott C. Johnson, Principal, Travel Market Insights, and Michael Carroll, Vice President of Marketing for Brand USA. Mr. Johnson has been working with travel industry clients for 23 years to assist them in using the OTTI data for market decision making and approaches. Mr. Carroll's significant expertise in branding and marketing will enrich the webinar experience, providing participants with specifics about how their efforts will drive international visitation from these markets.

To register for this event or for more details on speakers and format, click here: https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/event/editWebReg.do?SmartCode=3Q8R

Program Details:

May 30, 2013 at 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT (U.S.), 12:00-1:30 p.m. PDT
Event Cost: $50

Webinar Call-in & log-in information will be sent after registration and payment is received.

OTTI Background:
Manufacturing and Services' Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. To view the OTTI non-resident arrivals data tables that provide monthly estimates on the number of international visitors to the United States, and the rate of change each month and year-to-date, please visit: http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/view/m-2011-I-001/index.html

For more detailed information on international travel to the United States, please visit: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.general_information.inbound_overview.html

U.S. Commercial Service Background:
The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in nearly 80 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. Their website address is: http://www.trade.gov/cs/

For more information on Commercial Service export promotion activities for the travel and tourism industry please visit http://www.export.gov/industry/travel

Travel Market Insights Background:
Travel Market Insights (TMI) specializes in reporting international visitor arrivals to the United States. In addition, TMI has an array of related international research products that provide insightful and relevant international travel and tourism research and visitor market analysis. Included is the Travel Trade Barometer available for six top inbound markets. TMI also provides visitor profiles at the destination, country and sector level as well. For more detailed information on Travel Market Insights, go to: http://travelmi.com/

Brand USA Background:
Brand USA plays a unique role as the nation's first cooperative destination marketing organization. They focus their efforts on delivering programs and platforms that increase awareness and enhance the image of the United States among worldwide travelers in order to influence intent to travel to the United States and, most importantly, visitation and spend. For more detailed information on Brand USA, go to: http://www.thebrandusa.com/

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NTA's Ask the Tour Operator: With the trend toward smaller groups, what can suppliers do to help?

During NTA's first Virtual Conversation with the Chairman conference call in March, one of the hot topics was dealing with diminishing group size. And that's the question for SueArkotoday's operator: Sue Arko of Free Spirit Vacations and Events.

Q. With the trend toward smaller groups, what can suppliers do to help?"I hate to cancel any tour, so I often run with short numbers, or I combine several different tours on the same coaches-sometimes even with multiple companies. I can get very creative! So if supplier partners can be flexible-hold luggage for the small group, provide shuttle service within a small local radius, be flexible on the number of rooms needed to constitute a group booking-it really helps.

"We have become almost a ‘boutique' tour operator; our motto is ‘Big is so last century.' I believe the future is bright, but the future is different. It's all about relationships and word-of-mouth referrals, and we need to work smarter, stay connected and market using many different channels."

Are you involved in the Family Travel Market? If so, register today to attend 2014 Travel Exchange (Los Angeles, CA)

If you're involved in the family and multi-generational travel market, where can you meet and do business with other tour operators, ground operators, suppliers and tourist offices also involved in this same market?

The answer is 2014 Travel Exchange convention in Los Angeles (CA). 

Here you'll meet and network with companies and key players from throughout the United States and around the world involved in this market. Here are just some of the activities and events taking place at Travel Exchange that you can participate in:
* One-on-one business appointments
* Family Travel Leaders Forum
* Evening networking events
* Family Travel educational seminars
* Networking meal functions

How to register or obtain more information? Visit 2014 Travel Exchange or personally contact me (Kevin Wright) at NTA and I'd love to assist you!

Are you on Twitter? If so, you can join the conversation of Travel Exchange at #NTA14

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NTA and World Food Travel Association Make it Official

NTA and the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) have signed an agreement to become WFTAlogostrategic partners. WFTA joins other partners, including Tourism Cares, UMA and Sustainable Travel International, as an organization that will promote NTA to its members, while enabling NTA members to explore new product and partners.

"So much of the travel experience is wrapped around eating and drinking, and food travelers are always in search of new destinations and flavors," said Lisa Simon, NTA president. "By partnering with WFTA, NTA members can connect with new business partners and trends."

Many NTA members are already invested in food and drink tourism, and many are already familiar with WFTA, whose executive director, Erik Wolf, led "What's Cookin' in Food Travel" at Travel Exchange in Orlando. 

Summer leisure travel on the rise this year, driven by multigenerational trips (by Stephanie Ricca)

Article link: http://www.hotelmanagement.net/travel-trends/summer-leisure-travel-on-the-rise-this-year-driven-by-multigenerational-trips-20572

Author: Stephanie Ricca

Published by: Hotel Management.net


Monday, May 20, 2013

Are you involved in the China Travel Market? If yes, register today for 2013 China Market Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii!

2013 Contact China Market Forum
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, "tourist arrivals (to the U.S.) from China are forecast to grow by nearly 200 percent over the next five years, eclipsing arrivals from both France and Germany by 2016." And Chinese travelers have taken the No. 1 spot in spending per traveler, with Department of Commerce numbers showing "the average Chinese tourist now spends about US$6,000 per trip, up from $3,000 just two years ago."

Have you considered how you can take advantage of this market? At Contact, tour operators have the opportunity to take part in NTA's second-annual China Market Forum to get statistical insight into the market and learn how to best serve Chinese travelers. This year’s China Market Forum includes three specially designed education sessions (below) plus access to the entire Contact schedule.

Market Overview
Friday, Aug. 16, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Each year, officials from the U.S. and Chinese governments convene for a bi-lateral meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade, or the JCCT. Travel is an integral part of these meetings. Join top officials as they share an overview of these JCCT discussions, hear about the Chinese government’s series of initiatives aimed at increasing travel for its citizens and learn what the United States is doing to welcome these travelers. This also is your opportunity to share the challenges with this market that may be a barrier to achieving higher tourism numbers.
Ask the China Operator
Friday, Aug. 16, 3:30–4:45 p.m.

Tony Ong, Beijing Hua Yuan International Travel Service
Skylar Jiang H.Y., CYTS (China Youth Travel Service) Group China
Do you have questions about how to best serve the Chinese traveler? Do you need a better understanding of the China market and how to work with your colleagues in China? In this session, our panel of top Chinese travel agents and tour operators will give you an overview of their operations and help you gain a firm grasp on how to grow your business through knowledge, information and a better understanding of the market. Come prepared to ask your questions that will help both sides of the business have a more powerful relationship.


Packaging Travel for the Chinese Traveler
Saturday, Aug. 17, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Tony Ong, Beijing Hua Yuan International Travel Service
In this session, our panel shares their perspective on how to work in partnership to create a meaningful, top quality tour for the Chinese traveler. Our panel of experts will discuss all aspects of an itinerary: working with the destination, quality of product, pricing, the needs of the market (on both sides) and supplier opportunities and challenges, such as air lift and service. Join this session for an interactive discussion on how to (successfully) package for the Chinese traveler.