Archive | June, 2008

California’s Wine Country Open for Business

California’s wine country is open for business. The lightning-induced wildfires are affecting less then one-half of one percent of the 5-million acre wine country. Northern California’s wine country encompasses over 7,763 square miles, or 4,968,320 acres. “All of the 258 wineries in Sonoma County are open for business,” said Ken Fischang, CEO and president of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. ” Napa and Lake Counties are reporting the same.”

“We are pleased to report that the Napa Valley is unaffected by fires in the surrounding areas. The “Wild Horse” fire in Napa County’s back country has been fully contained as of Wednesday morning” said David Turgeon, Interim Executive Director of the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau. “Our roads, wineries, tasting rooms, hotels, restaurants, spas, retail stores and attractions are open and ready to welcome guests!”

In Mendocino County, businesses are open. Continue Reading

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Tough Times are Good Times for Those Seeking Travel Bargains on

The US economy has taken a decisive downturn in recent months and no where is that impact felt more than in the travel and tourism industry. Oil prices have forced airfares up into the stratosphere and with pressures mounting on consumers to pay their day to day expenses, vacation travel can seem more like a luxury than a necessity.

“This is very bad news for an industry that has millions of hotel rooms, cruise cabins and airline seats available on a daily basis,” stated Michael Hering, CEO for NY based “Consumers who want to travel will find this slowdown of purchasing has forced many suppliers to lower prices across the board.”

The continued growth in capacity in the travel industry has forced many travel suppliers to turn to alternate distribution models, like auctioning to help fill the vacancies that they have experienced in the past, and are now experiencing in record numbers. Travel Auctions have been around for quite some time on the Internet and have compiled quite a large following throughout all of North America. Continue Reading

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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Voted ‘Top Chain’ By Sunday Times Travel Readers

Readers of Britain’s Sunday Times Travel magazine have “attested by an avalanche of votes for hotels in the chain” that Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, is their “Top Chain” worldwide for luxury accommodation. Over 3,000 readers of the monthly magazine responded online to a call to vote for their favourite hotel, agency and destination by endorsing individually listed candidates and volunteering others.

Sunday Times Travel was launched in 2003 as an up-market consumer travel magazine, published under the auspices of the Sunday Times national newspaper. “The typical Sunday Times Travel reader enjoys the finer things in life and is a sophisticated and seasoned traveller,” says Editor Ed Grenby. Sunday Times Travel is purchased by approximately 50,000 travel enthusiasts each month.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages 55 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 28,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. The group has over 50 projects under development in Austria, Canada, mainland China, France, India, Japan, Macau, Maldives, Philippines, Qatar, Seychelles, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. For more information or reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at

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Africa: Russian tourist market ripe for the picking

The number of Russian tourists visiting African destinations is steadily increasing due to rising incomes and the desire to have uncommon wildlife experiences, according to travel agencies.

Preferred destinations for Russians are mainly Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa; Senegal and Gambia in West Africa; and various countries in Southern and East Africa.

Russians enjoy travelling to natural environments without compromising luxury, Felly Mbabazi, executive director of Moscow-based Safari Tours that specialises in eco-tourism to East African countries, told IPS.

“Apart from the abundant flora and fauna, the African continent has a lot of historical sites like Elmina in Ghana; Timbuktu, a city dating from the 12th century; Fort Jesus in Kenya — to mention but a few. We have friendly people,” Mbabazi said. Continue Reading

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Fortune Magazine Names The Keating Hotel, San Diego California, One of the 33 Best New Hotels for Business

Fortune magazine recently named the Keating Hotel by Pininfarina one of the “33 Best New Hotels For Business” in its May 26th 2008 issue. A joint effort between Fortune and Wallpaper magazines, the Keating Hotel was the only San Diego hotel to make the world-wide list.

“We are very honored to have been recognized in the hospitality sector, but also selected as one of the best new business hotels from a source as prestigious as Fortune,” says Edward Kaen, CEO & Founder of the Keating Hotel Group (TKHG).

The Keating Hotel, TKHG’s first ultra-luxury hotel and lounge prototype located in an historic building in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, made headlines with its sleek red, black and stainless steel décor when it came on the scene a year ago, marking the first foray into the world of hotel design for Italian design house Pininfarina (world-renowned as the exclusive designers of Ferrari and Maserati). Continue Reading

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Malaysia to host World Islamic tourism conference and Expo 2008

Malaysia will host the inaugural World Islamic Tourism Conference and Expo 2008 here in October this year, a local newspaper reported on Thursday.

The forum will include participants from 57 countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and provide a platform for Islamic tourism industry players to strengthen cooperation and forge closer economic ties, The Star said.

Tourism Malaysia director-general Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said that immense tourism business potentials could be tapped from this huge Islamic market at the four-day event scheduled for October 8- 11.

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CruiseCompete cruise specialists cite top reasons why cruises are perfect gathering places for generations

For families looking for an alternative to the traditional reunion, the cruise specialists at say a gathering at sea will surely make a splash with everyone. There are still cabins available for family gatherings on popular cruises scheduled to set sail this summer and fall, as well as the holiday season.

“For a memorable vacation, there’s no better value than a family reunion or holiday gathering on a cruise ship, with plenty to do for grandparents, parents, teen-agers and the younger ones,” said Bob Levinstein, CEO of CruiseCompete. “It’s a party nobody in the family will forget.”

Following are the top reasons family reunions at sea are more popular than ever: Continue Reading

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Placido Domingo and Diana Krall joins Jordan festival

International opera stars Placido Domingo and Julia Migenes, and jazz singer Diana Krall will be the highlights of a star-studded summer in Jordan.

The Jordan Tourism Board has announced the details of a spectacular line-up of international, Arab, and Jordanian stars who will take part in the Jordan Festival to take place between July 8th and August 9th in Amman, Jerash, the Dead Sea and Petra.

This will be the first time for the world-renowned Spanish tenor Placido Domingo and the American soprano opera singer Julia Migenes to perform in Jordan. It will also be the first time for Canadian Jazz vocalist and pianist Diana Krall. Domingo will perform against the backdrop of one of the most impressive and best preserved Greco-Roman theaters in the world in the city of Jerash, 40 kilometers north of the capital Amman. Krall will perform at the Amman Citadel, an equally impressive Greco-Roman site. Continue Reading

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Committee Examines Air Travel Crisis and How It’s Hurting Entrepreneurs and the Economy

Rising ticket prices and longer delays dissuaded 41 million travelers from flying last year. Most chose to stay home. Their decision brought harsh consequences for entrepreneurs across the nation and cost the U.S. economy $26.5 billion. Today, the House Committee on Small Business heard from commercial travelers, the tourism industry and representatives of small firms. Witnesses shared their insights on the air travel crisis, and offered recommendations to mitigate its negative effects.

These air travel problems are having a devastating impact on both business travelers and the tourism industry. Increasing the cost and time of business or leisure travel is a sure way to make the economic downturn worse

A drop in foreign travel to the United States is compounding the impact of this crisis. A weak dollar should be spurring international tourism to cities across the nation, and boosting the economy. But tourists–foreign and domestic–are opting against the high fees and long delays that have become part of America’s travel system. Continue Reading

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Two Genesee Tourism & Hospitality Management Students Receive Scholarships

Two Genesee Community College students in the Tourism & Hospitality Management program have been awarded scholarships. Dana Landers received a $500 scholarship from the New York State Business Travel Alliance (NYSBTA) and Nicholas Bennett received a $1500 award from Destinations of New York State.

Dana Landers, of Alden, NY, is a second year student at Genesee and is an active member of Travel Club. Her interest in Tourism & Hospitality Management began at a previous job, when she traveled to several trade shows and helped oversee the sites. With the encouragement of her instructors at Genesee, Dana decided to pursue a degree in the field and may transfer to a four-year institution once she has completed her studies at Genesee.

The NYSBTA, which awarded Dana the scholarship, was formed in 1990. It is an organization focused on perfecting the science of business travel management and is committed to enhancing the travel profession by sponsoring educational and informational programs for its members. Continue Reading

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Celebrate Female Friendships with the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s Girlfriends Getaway

Women across the country are realizing it is important to treasure and nurture the friendships in their own lives. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate female friendships with their Girlfriends Getaway package.

“Last year, a group of four girlfriends celebrated our fortieth birthdays at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel,” comments Maggie Johnson from Chicago, IL. “It was simply fabulous. We had the best time just relaxing by the pool, enjoying great food, exploring the beautiful island and even taking the time for a massage! It was a wonderful way to reconnect and really enjoy each other’s company.”

Patty Henning, Director of Sales and Marketing at the resort said that the package is very popular for all types of girlfriend getaways. Recently it has become popular to host Bacholerette parties booking this package. “It truly is the perfect package for every type of girls’ vacation. The package includes accommodations for two nights, full breakfast, our signature wine delivered to the room each day, and a Jekyll Island Club logo’d beach towel for each guest. In addition, they get bicycle rentals for a day to explore the island complete with a picnic lunch. The package even includes our afternoon Victorian tea. Another highlight of the package is the inclusion of a one hour massage for each guest,” Henning exclaims. Continue Reading

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Travel Channel Media Unveils Free Mobile Guide With More Than 10 Million Points Of Interest For Travelers In The U.S.

Travel Channel Media today announced the beta launch of Travel Channel GO, a free mobile travel application providing access to Travel Channel-exclusive destination content through any web-enabled mobile device. Through text, photos and audio, Travel Channel GO (downloadable at offers consumers over 10 million points of interest and more than 2,000 Travel Channel-exclusive content references including destination guides, maps, directions, proximity alerts, click-to-call, and narratives from Travel Channel personalities like Samantha Brown.

With the launch of Travel Channel GO, we can now offer consumers localized travel content on everything from shopping and restaurants, to museums and cultural attractions — all in a format that offers a healthy balance of utility and entertainment. Continue Reading

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