Top NTA awards honor Nakamoto, MacRae

Published on : Wednesday, March 8, 2017

National Tour AssociationTwo longtime members of the National Tour Association were honored in St. Louis last week at the organization’s signature event, Travel Exchange.

Paul Nakamoto was presented the Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals whose active dedication to the mission of NTA covers a span of at least 20 years. The award is named for the late NTA volunteer leader who served as the association’s president in 1996.

Nakamoto, vice president of Gray Line of San Francisco, has been a member of NTA for three decades, and he served as chairman of the NTA Board of Directors in 2014, among many other leadership roles. Nakamoto has a rare breadth of NTA experience, having belonged in three membership categories over the years: as a marketing representative for the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, a tour supplier for Roaring Camp Railroad and a tour operator at his current company.

“Paul leads the best way, by example—always polite and kind,” said Jorge Cazenave, the former NTA chair who nominated Nakamoto for the award. “He is an inspiration to future leaders and a mentor to a lot of us. Even though he has given it all, Paul is always ready to give more to NTA.”

At the same March 2 luncheon, Terry MacRae was honored with the NTA Pioneer Award, which recognizes an individual whose accomplishments produced a significant change in the travel industry, from which NTA and its members have benefited. MacRae is founder and CEO of Hornblower Events & Cruises, which operates in seven California port cities, New York City and Niagara Falls. It also operates two National Park Service concessions: Alcatraz Cruises and Statue Cruises.

One of the 30 ships in the Hornblower fleet points to MacRae’s innovation. Operating on San Francisco Bay is Hornblower Hybrid, the nation’s first hybrid ferry. It was named the Most Significant Boat of 2012 by Workboat Magazine. San Francisco Business Times named Alcatraz Cruises a Green Business in 2008, and in 2009, the magazine named MacRae the Most Admired CEO of the year.

“An NTA member since 1985, Hornblower is truly the model NTA tour supplier company, supporting tourism in both the United States and Canada,” said NTA President Pam Inman in making the presentation. “And under Terry’s leadership, Hornblower has made environmental protection and preservation a priority.”

More than 1,000 travel and tourism professional attended Travel Exchange, gathering in St. Louis to conduct business appointments and partner on packaged tour itineraries. The delegates—tour operators and representatives of destinations and tour suppliers—also engaged in professional development and enjoyed networking events at iconic St. Louis venues.


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