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NTA Releases New Online Destination Tracking ProgramAugust 12, 2008 By: George Dooley
The National Tour Association (NTA) has developed an easy-to-use online program that allows tour operators to quickly e-mail itineraries to destinations. The new system is part of the association’s ongoing efforts to assist destinations in tracking the economic impact of tours and packaged travel.
“For many years, destinations have struggled to justify their leisure and group travel numbers,” said NTA Chairman and CEO Bob Hoelscher. “NTA’s new tracking system, while not the final solution, provides the easiest and quickest way for tour operators to help their DMO (Destination Marketing Organizations) partners. NTA believes this is critical to the success of DMOs.”
NTA’s new system allows tour operators to pull up a specific state, province or country and see what destinations are NTA members and which DMOs a recent itinerary included. Through the system, the operator can simply send the NTA contacts the itinerary information so they can calculate how long a group will spend in their community.
In the first week of introducing the program, more than 10 NTA tour operators have gone online and sent itineraries to nearly 40 DMOs. To access the system, NTA members can go to http://forms.ntaonline.com/Search/searchdmo.aspx.
“Tour operators understand the necessity of providing tracking data, but in today’s time-deprived environment, they need an easy and fast way to do it,” said Hoelscher. “I believe that the passion and collaborative nature of this association will help NTA continue to find solutions to this and other industry issues in the future.”
The association created the NTA Tracking Task Force to address the critical tracking issue in 2005. Since that time, the group has interviewed tour operators and implemented a number of ideas.
The NTA membership now represents 34 countries, and tour and travel packagers of all types, including a group, independent, student, and more.