Courier April/May Courier - Page 10

Pam Inman President 101 Prosperous Place, Suite 350 Lexington, KY 40509 USA +1.859.264.6551 EXPERIENTIAL AND SUSTAINABLE. Those are not only trends in tourism; they are also important ways to bridge the gap between cultures. Running an association doesn’t provide me with the same level of expertise as what you exhibit in managing and plan- ning tour programs that explore new and exciting destina- tions—or in welcoming groups as a supplier or DMO. But I do travel a lot, mostly to meetings, and often those meetings are held in very nice places. As a member of the Tourism Cares board of directors, repre- senting NTA and FTA, I was part of a delegation of more than 60 people who witnessed the launch of the Meaningful Map of Jordan, which includes 12 incredible examples of experien- tial and sustainable tourism. Visiting the social enterprise sites that are part of this new initiative made a huge impact on me. It is awe-inspiring to see the work that the Queen Noor Foundation has done to empower local women and to enable them to use their talents to earn an income and provide for their families. Of course, our visits enabled us to buy handmade souvenirs of jewelry, rugs and mosaics. I even learned a thing or two myself (see photo above). We also savored the beautiful sites and flavors of Jordan—and sleeping in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert was cer- tainly a highlight (see photo below). What stands out in my mind is the hospitality of the Jordanians; I always felt safe there. The experiences I had with Tourism Cares and the Jordan Tourism Board put travel in perspective. Certainly, though, fantastic journeys aren’t limited to Jordan. All NTA members provide memorable experi- ences that maximize the expertise of qualified masters of travel and tourism. You’ll have the opportunity to meet Morning at our Bedouin camp in many of them at Wadi Rum 6 April/May 2018 I’m stirring the pot at Beit Sitti, a cook-and-dine establishment in Amman that employs neighborhood women and imparts appreciation for Jordanian dishes. Contact in Charleston, where you can build relationships and expand your programs. It’s not too late to register for this pre- mier tour operator retreat, which starts April 18. In addition to Contact seminars that will help you improve your ROI, we’ll also have themed educational outings—cov- ering Agritourism, Historic/Heritage and Faith—that allow you to sightsee and gain product insight at the same time. In addition, our new DMO Network and Supplier Network— groups not offered anywhere else—will both meet to discuss timely issues that are pertinent to members. On the advocacy front, we continue to have discussions with the U.S. Department of Interior and the National Park Service to share our concerns about their proposals for Commercial Use Authorizations and fee increases. We are also pursuing other avenues, such as requesting a meeting with the Office of Management and Budget and getting behind leg- islation that would require a federal rulemaking process for increasing fees and for revising the CUA process. At the time of this writing, the NPS is still waiting for a compilation of the more than 100,000 comments the agency received regarding proposed pricing changes. And we have submitted names of members of our industry to represent you on the National Parks Advisory Board; we’re waiting to hear back from NPS about their selections. Be sure to note that registration has opened for Travel Exchange in Milwaukee. Our team and Visit Milwaukee are planning some exciting events for us. I hope to see you all at Contact. Springtime in Charleston is awesome!