OF TOUR MANAGERS LTD
Ms. Carole Seidelman, 345 W 58th St., Apt. 3-A
IATM Americas NEWSLETTER
It is already June, and I hope this newsletter finds you busy, or with a desired respite!
There is much to tell you, I don't know where to begin. But let's start with OUR BIRTHDAY.
We, IATM, turned 50 this year, and our GOLDEN CONVENTION in Lisbon was great fun--we are sorry not to have seen more of you. You can read about the fabulous palace visits, the VIP dinner in the castle on the hill, and more details in the Bulletin from IATM Central Office, London, already e-mailed to you.
The pre-Congress tour to Northern Portugal was a big success, and the guide for the pre tour, Helena, also graced us with her charm during the Congress as well. She gave an enlightening presentation on the state of Portugal, making sure that we understood that Portugal is not Greece....Both countries are magical. (On a personal note, I was astounded to learn how low the minimum wage is in Portugal).
The Tourism Ministry was happy to see us and gave us a hearty welcome. I was also thrilled to have such contacts again, to sit amongst colleagues and be a tourist among professionals! For me, it had been so long, fifteen years, since my last IATM Congress. I HIGHLY recommend them as well as the local meetings. They are truly a way for us to meet each other, explore an area and eat well in good company, and they are one of the best aspects of membership in our association.
There were, as you may have heard, some 'issues', just as there are questions now about the past and the future. There is no point in harping on what was. I can only start where I came in, and we want all of us to look forward! We all want to commend those who worked hard before us, and we have a new board, in fact the whole association has had three chairs in one year (Scott resigned, Signe took over and now Jayne Pagan, of the Pacific Region is our new Chairman of the Board).
However, our region is not without difficulties, and we will look at this later. The difficulties may have started with the loss of Jo Curran, who was a one person show. Such a situation has pluses and minuses. Jo’s energy and devotion were unparalleled. AND, her service was in mostly pre digital computer times. Most of what she did and how she did it, went with her on her ‘last big journey’, as she put it. Scott stepped in, already Chair, and became disillusioned when the Golden Convention was not chosen in South America. He since has left the association, as you know, taking with him his website for the association, and the publishing of the newsletter, for which he was paying his wife.
There was also confusion about membership in 2011, as according to my predecessor, Jo would sent out membership cards BEFORE people had paid. So the result was that during all of 2011, IATM Americas NEVER paid Central office for the members, and we don’t even know how many there were.
We also owe funds! We have already paid half of the £1,600 back, and we still have the other half left. We have under $2,400 with which to work right now! That is not a whole lot, but we’ll see what happens in the coming months….For this reason, we have not made a decision on a website, and the news bulletin will be less elaborate. About $150 has been spent on postage, photocopies, making labels, updating files, and about $250 was spent in Lisbon, including contributing to a fund for a gift for an important staff member (see below). OUR FUNDS are short, but this is not the first time. Hopefully, we can re- coup in the fall, with memberships and we might think of FUNDRAISING, both on a regional level, in some cases, and on an association level. IATM Americas, however, has elected to spend a little to do some PR and take care of some administrative costs! Whatever we spend is still considerably less than immediately prior.
The association is 50, at once MIDDLE AGED, yet at the same time, GOLDEN....How is an association at once in its GOLDEN years, with all that that implies: looking toward quiet times, pondering on past accomplishments, and MIDDLE AGED, at the same time? Middle age is a time of crossroads, of putting together years of experience and wisdom to go forward and set the path for those who come after.
This is the situation we face: at once chronologically not old, somehow, however, not quite sure what future generations want, or who they are. Looking at my own history, for example, when I joined IATM almost thirty years ago, I was on the younger side. Most other members were slightly older than me. We grew together, and what has happened is that IATM has mostly, but not exclusively, golden age or not too far from golden age, members! The most difficult hurdle facing us all, in my opinion, is not enough turnover in the association.
Is that because, in fact, the best tour directors and guides are not young? One is often better at 45 than at 25, in most of life's endeavours, and many of our tourists are not that young, either. So perhaps the match is right! Travel, especially the packaged and group travel market, sees mostly 35 yr olds, excepting student travel, which is a whole other arena. Is it that what we do attracts fewer younger people today than before? That could be a real possibility. In our field, experience is a good thing, life experience alone adds to what one can give to the field. This is food for thought, and hopefully, there will ensue dialogue.
IATM has been the beacon of tour associations, and is a FIRST class group, no matter how you cut the cake! We are a knowledgeable and capable group!! Just belonging to IATM is an honour in itself, and if one is in IATM, already a certain standard has been acquired. We know when we talk to each other, that we all speak the same language.
We may be witnessing some fragmentation at this point. What do we mean here? We mean that there seem to be so many local guiding associations, especially in our region, that sap up our membership! We, IATM Americas have a huge geographical reach, we encompass a whole continent and we are dispersed across thousands of miles. We cannot just all 'get together' at the pub down the road or downstate. In the UK, members of IATM can easily get together, almost everybody is nearby. In our region, it clearly is appealing to join an association in Denver, or Toronto, or Washington, or SF, or Florida. Funnily enough, it is through the efforts of IATM members way back when that a good number of these guiding associations exist today.
What we want to keep in mind is that whereas local guide associations may have some tour directors, WE HAVE BOTH! We are local and transnational, and or international, as I have noted previously. We must be aware at this time to keep ourselves aware of the differences between 'guiding' and 'tour directing, tour managing, tour escorting' (There is more to be said about this point). This is one of the issues facing the industry and the association right now.
How can we all best stay in touch with each other? How can those on the West Coast stay in touch with those on the East Coast, or in the South, or in Canada, and there, too, there is East and West and Quebec and non-Quebec (!). Can we have meetings? Will we attend?
IATM would like to see the Americas Region host either the CONGRESS in 2014 or the INTERNATIONAL WEEKEND in 2015! THIS WOULD be great. To do so, we need to have our region ON ITS FEET, up and going! MANY of you have inquired about a meeting this year, and the PERFECT time would be right before the DUBLIN weekend this January! That way, we could even leave together from the East Coast. One of our current goals is to have more participation at meetings from our region. Your presence would be so very welcome—for you to have a chance to meet colleagues from the association outside of our region, and even from within our region, and to reap the most from your membership!
We also would like, in fact, to see more members, of course, and more members from all of the Region…..
ON this note here is a good time to once again meet your current AMERICAS REGION Board:
James SAUNDERS Treasurer. E:
Secretary is open…..Elaine PHILLIPS is assisting with PR and Canada
And in London, for IATM Central,
397 Walworth Rd
London, SE 17 2AW England
Tel: 020-7703 9154
CENTRAL OFFICE is run by RON JULIAN, General Manager
Joanna Pilinska is membership Secretary, Asia assists
IATM Hon. Pres: Simon Ackroyd (BR)
IATM Board of Directors: Jayne Pagan, Chair, of IATM and of the Pacific Region
Uri Riklin, Treasurer, Israel Region
Colleen Main, CTM, Secretary, BR)
CA Seidelman, AM
Slyvia D’Amato, CER
Fernando Aversa, CTM, IT
Anne-Grethe Ottesen, NOR
Country chairs (not enough members to be a region); BEL, Georges van Houtryve; FR, Gerard Venet, NETHERLANDS, Mustafa Arikan; POR, Carlos Carvalho; SP, Bozo Fistanic;TAIWAN, J.Y. Shian,
Allied Counselor, Allison MEYER
SILVER BIRTHDAY! Ron Julian has just been honored for TWENTY FIVE years of dedicated service to IATM !We are endebted to him for keeping Central Office on track, for keeping all the regions up to date, and for being committed and selfless, cutting his own salary in tough times. IATM is truly thankful for Ron’s service, and are sorry there won’t be another twenty five years!
Ron was offered a travel ticket to Denmark with his wife, who is Danish! They should be there now, as you read this bulletin! Thanks to Jayne Pagan, our new Chair, and Colleen Main from the UK, for organizing Ron’s gift!!
We absolutely want to increase our membership. I have a list with at least 20 names of colleagues, some of whom have been members before. If you would like to know some of the names, give me a hoot and we can discuss how best to reach out to potential members! If you have any ideas on membership and on fundraising, also send them through. (Regarding members, see the discussion at the end of the bulletin under AFFAIRS and DATES).
And now, let’s get started with some articles.
Firstly, I wanted to share something with you, something we all know or knew somewhere, instinctively, and something that pertains to what we a lot of us do…As I am never sure about copyright, here is part of an article on BILINGUALISM that appeared in the NYTimes on March 17 of this year. If you Google and look under the word, Bilingualism, in the Times archives, you will find at least one article per year, if not more.
Charles Berlitz, who founded the Berlitz language schools, used to say that speaking more than one language is like having more than window to look out of. One has an advantage, and a broader point of view, no doubt. Here is an excerpt of an article by a ‘New York Times’ journalist that appeared in March of this year. Her name must be Judith in Hindu, I think. What this article tells us is that people who speak more than one language may be more in tuned with what is going on around them, be quicker at solving problems and stay saner longer in old age….However, although perhaps some multi lingual tour directors and guides MAY have honed in people skills, there are situations at times that no one can master, and dementia may come on earlier, anyway, from having to deal with all the tourists!! Ha ha ….Happy Reading, there are a variety of topics covered,