It’s been a few years since I attended an NTA event and I must say I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Kansas City next week. Last time we were there Pete Anderson was president and I was serving my first year as a volunteer leader on the NTA Board of Directors.
It has been almost 20 years since then and so much has happened. What a wonderful opportunity that was, to meet so many motivated members and participate in projects and missions for the benefit of the association and our industry.
Where did the time go? For me the Kansas City convention concluded the first of what was to be 7 years of service on the NTA Board and more than a dozen years on NTA committees, most notably the Technology committee. Many of you will remember that technology issues have always been of great importance to me.
I have always thought technology could play a bigger role in the day-to-day operations of a tour operator’s business. While I was involved with the Technology committee we negotiated with Sabre, the airline reservation system, to try to place NTA tour operator product in front of the Sabre travel agents. Our committee wrote the first draft of what became NTAOnline. Remember the NTA Travel Shoppe? Operators could load tours for sale online. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time but it was up and running.
Many of us travel with our laptops but in 1987 I packed my Mac Plus in a large padded case and flew with it (in my lap) to Baltimore. I presented the first NTA seminar on desktop publishing, the first of many seminars aimed at introducing easy-to-use technologies that had big impacts on tour operator’s operations.
Since then the associates of our company, TourTech Systems, Inc. have automated more than 200 package tour businesses. Our integrated software solution, TourTools®, is known throughout North America as a cost effective, easy to use solution that really works. We have had the pleasure of working with about 50 NTA members, 15 or so past Board members and officers of the Association. TourTools has automated virtually every product or business model you can think of. If it involves package travel, we have a solution for you.
I know that the convention pace is hectic and there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you want, but please take a minute to stop by booth #113, say hello and let me know how you are doing.
See you in KC!
John Kamm, CTP