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Destination News - North America.

Jul 12, 2009

Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental

Alamo Rent A Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car -- both owned and operated by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo. -- recently have expanded their operations to meet customer demand and enhance car rental service on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai and Molokai. AlamoOs new office on Molokai is its sixth airport location in Hawaii. Alamo, which has been operating in Hawaii since 1984, also has locations at the Honolulu Airport; Lihue, Kauai Airport; Kahului, Maui Airport; Kailua, Kona Airport; and the Hilo Airport; and off airport in Waikiki and Kaanapali, West Maui. Enterprise's new branch offices are located at the Hilo; Kona; and Lihue, Kauai, airports. Enterprise -- which has been operating in Hawaii since 1984 -- will continue serving the Honolulu and Maui airports, as well as 20 home-city locations throughout the islands. Jul 7, 2009

Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental

Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental -- citing an extraordinarily positive customer response to their OFlorida Drive-OutO promotions -- announced that they have ended the program several weeks earlier than planned. The program, which offered travelers low one-way rates, no drop charges and unlimited mileage, had been scheduled to run through July 18. Hibbard noted that Alamo and National customers can continue to take advantage of a number of other promotions, including USD 15-off three-day weekend rates (good through Dec. 15, 2009) and last-minute online specials. Jul 6, 2009


For the second year in a row Altour was named to Los Angeles Business JournalOs 2009 list of Best Places to Work in Los Angeles, one of only 67 Los Angeles-based companies to receive this accolade. The complete listing of the O2009 Best Places to WorkO will be unveiled at an awards luncheon on Aug. 5 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The August 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal will profile the ranked companies. Altour has a travel volume of more than USD 500 million, and is among the largest agencies serving the luxury and mid-market travel niches today. It has 21 offices and more than 700 travel professionals throughout the United States and in Europe. For more information, visit Jul 8, 2009

American Tourism Society

The American Tourism Society's Tourism College program held a tourism training session in New York City for students from the German state of Mecklenberg-Vorpommern in advance of its regular program, which will take place during the ATS Annual Conference at the Grand Hotel Heiligendamm in Heligendamm, Germany, Oct. 26 to 28. Students from area universities have been invited to attend all activities of the conference. Additionally, ATS industry professionals will teach courses under the auspices of the ATS Tourism College at the University of Rostock, which will be attended by some 200 students from around Mecklenberg-Vorpommern. Jul 7, 2009


As Amtrak continues a number of track work projects to improve service in the Northeast, Acela Express and Northeast Regional (Washington-New York-Boston) passengers will see additional, temporary schedule changes beginning Monday, July 13. In addition, Amtrak is adding two new Acela Express departures to its regular Sunday schedule between New York and Boston, starting July 19. The track work projects will improve the reliability of train service in the Northeast and will provide passengers with a more comfortable ride. To perform the necessary work, the number of available tracks will be reduced and trains will be single tracking, sharing tracks, as crews work to replace concrete railroad ties on the track that is not in service. Jul 8, 2009

Aqua Hotels

Aqua Hotels & Resorts has added the Aqua Waikiki Pearl to its Aqua Boutique brand, effective July 13. Previously known as Honolulu Prince Hotel, Aqua Waikiki Pearl is located at 415 Nahua St. The hotel recently completed a USD 5 million refurbishment. OIt was exciting to watch the Aqua Waikiki Pearl evolve from a neglected property into a stylish, modern hotel in central Waikiki,O said Richard Mandel, president of Ramsfield Hospitality Finance, the New York-based owner of the hotel. OIt was literally a top-to-bottom refurbishment process including the lobby and elevators.O Jul 8, 2009

Butterfield & Robinson

Butterfield & Robinson is running a bring-a-friend promotion that encourages clients to bring along a friend for this September's Classic Greek Islands By Sea excursion. The client and each of the friends will receive a USD 1,000 trip credit, which can be used now or later, whenever traveling with B&R. For more information, see Jul 8, 2009

Carey International

Carey International, Inc., the worldwide leader in chauffeured transportation and value-added logistics management, today announced the appointment of Michael Devine Chauffeur Services Ltd. as the new Carey licensee in Ireland to join its global network. Established in Dublin in 1978, Devines has been owned and managed by the same family, offering more than 30 years of high quality chauffeured services combining tradition and dynamism. With regional hubs in both Dublin and Belfast -- the only limousine company to cover both cities -- Devines has dominated the Irish market in providing premium ground transportation solutions for music and entertainment tours, representing the majority of prominent music promoters, film companies and record labels. Jul 10, 2009


The communities of Gunnison and Crested Butte, Colo., have announced their 37th annual Crested Butte Festival of the Arts (Aug. 1 and 2), 36th annual Gunnison Art in the Park (July 26) and the 21st annual The PeopleOs Fair (Sept. 5 to 6). From June to September, Crested ButteOs ArtWalk Evenings feature gallery tours on the last Thursday evening of the month. There is no admission charge. The Gunnison Arts Center and the Crested Butte Center for the Arts also are hosting cultural offerings and art exhibits: Among them are the Gunnison Gallery Crawl (Aug. 7 and Sept. 4) and the High Octane Arts & Crafts Festival (Gunnison, Aug. 22). Vacation packages are available. Jul 7, 2009


Lightning struck and killed an Oklahoma man vacationing Wednesday on the Space Coast as a cluster of thunderstorms moved through the area, bringing heavy rain, gusty winds and lightning strikes at a rate of five per minute at its peak. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 54-year-old Frank Paxton of Ripley, Okla. Jul 9, 2009


For the third straight summer, a rare ghost orchid is in bloom at AudubonOs Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary just inland from Naples beach, and orchid enthusiasts are converging on the area for a glimpse of the ghostly white flowers. To assist with travel planning, Naples area hotels, resorts and restaurants are offering an assortment of attractive, value-oriented rates, packages and specials for orchid enthusiasts. Hotel rates begin at USD 49 per night and cover a wide range of price points. Some hotels and resorts are offering packages with a variety of attractive add-ons and amenities to enhance your vacation visit. Several area restaurants are offering discounts when a Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary ticket stub is shown. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located just northeast of Naples, 15 miles from I-75 on Immokalee Road (Exit 111). Hours are 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. until Sept. 30, with the last guests admitted by 6:30 p.m. each day. The cost for adults is USD 10; full-time college student with photo ID, USD 6; National Audubon Society member with ID card, USD 5; students (6 to 18 years old), USD 4; and children younger than 6, free. Visitors are advised to call the sanctuary at 239-348-9151 for daily updates on the flowerOs status. For a complete list of hotel and restaurant deals, visit the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors BureauOs special orchid deals at Jul 8, 2009

Gutsy Women Travel

Gutsy Women Travel is offering a nine-day Costa Rican Traditions trip that departs Nov. 7; Jan. 16, 2010; and Nov. 20, 2010. Throughout the trip, as ladies travel from San Jose to Arenal, Monteverde, and Tambor, theyOll find endless opportunities for viewing an amazing variety of animals, birds, and plant species. The itinerary also includes special treats such as a sunset yoga session on the beach; enjoying the therapeutic effects of the Tabacon hot springs; a Tico cooking class; a painting lesson at the CASEM, a thriving artistsO community founded by women; visits to working coffee and sugar plantations; a boat ride on Lake Arena; a ferry ride to Tambor; and a cruise around Tortuga Island. Guests will also visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens; learn to paint your own handicrafts with local artisans; cross Lake Arenal to Monteverde; attend a Costa Rican cooking class; take a scenic ferry ride to Tambor; snorkel at Tortuga Island; participate in a sunset yoga session on the beach; and visit the Gold Museum and Costa Rica's National Theater. Jul 8, 2009


Despite deep discounts on room rates, Hawaii hotels were less than 62 percent full in May, marking the worst May since at least 1987. Jul 7, 2009


HurtigrutenOs 18-day Greenland-to-New York cruise, departing Sept. 22, will feature Benedicte Ingstad, professor in medical anthropology and daughter of the famed Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad. Ingstad was with her parents, Anne Stine and Helge, on their 1960 expedition to LOanse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland, when they made their groundbreaking historical discovery, excavating what is considered to be the OVinland settlementO of Leif Eriksson from circa AD 1000, or 500 years earlier than Christopher ColumbusO arrived in North America. Through a series of lectures, she will share memories of her familyOs adventures and the story of her fatherOs life as well as show photographic material and unique films. Jul 8, 2009

Ilikai Hotel

The new owners of the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki said they plan to shut down hotel operations tomorrow, resulting in the loss of at least 65 full-time jobs. New York-based iStar Financial confirmed that the 203-unit hotel portion of the property will be closed for an indefinite period due to operating losses of several hundred thousands of dollars a month. The closure will not directly affect the remaining 806 condominium and time-share units and the property's common areas, which include the hotel's pool. Jul 8, 2009

International Spy Museum

An Ohio family of five went undercover in the nationOs capital to help foil a cyber Oterrorist attack.O Their attire wasnOt suspicious: shorts, T-shirts and jackets tied around their waists. They were playing a game at the International Spy Museum that sends tourists trolling through the city with GPS devices searching for clues and codes to stop the attack before it starts. The game, called OSpy in the City,O was developed by former intelligence officers who want to teach the public a bit about their craft. Jul 6, 2009

Las Vegas

Linda Ness, as chairman and past president of the Las Vegas Hospitality Association (LVHA), a nearly 500-member Las Vegas tourism industry organization, has resumed the role of president in the wake of Ce Ce Knapp, current president, moving to Florida. Ness will finish out the year as president and again be board chairman in 2010. Jul 8, 2009

Los Angeles

Michael JacksonOs rented Los Angeles mansion, where he suffered a fatal heart attack, may soon be put on a tour map. French fashion mogul Christian Audigier, a friend of the late singer, is said to be planning to buy the property and open it as a memorial. Tourism experts speculate that the move may rival the Dakota building in New York, where The BeatleOs John Lennon was shot, reports British tabloid The Sun. Jul 8, 2009

Los Angeles

Airlines have reported a massive influx in bookings on flights to Los Angeles, as thousands of fans flock Stateside for Michael Jackson's memorial service. Fans from across the globe rushed to book flights after 8,750 names were chosen to receive a pair of tickets to the ceremony, which will be held tomorrow at the Staples Center. But today airlines urged fans travelling to the memorial to book tickets as soon as possible, as they struggled to deal with the phenomenal demand of bookings to the California area. Jul 7, 2009

Marriott Hotels

The first, Hotel Marriott has scheduled its inauguration in August 15th. This will be placed in Bogot Corporate Center in the west of the capital. On the other hand, JW Marriott is under construction in the north of the capital, this will be opened in May 2010. Jul 8, 2009


As part of the Montserrat Tourist BoardOs continued efforts to encourage travelers to visit the island, the MTB has stepped up its online marketing initiatives by streamlining the destinationOs tourism website, launching a fan page on Facebook and creating a Twitter profile. With monthly site visits of about a half-million hits, the MTB website continues to be the main source of tourism and general information about Montserrat. New features on include the ability to access brochures and information in French, a revamped Vacation Specials section and a monthly tourism e-newsletter. Launched in November 2008, the e-newsletter provides subscribers with key tourism news and events taking place on the island. In addition, plans are being considered to incorporate a travelerOs blog, a picture slide show and video uploads onto the website, which would showcase island hot-spots and experiences. Jul 6, 2009

New York City

Against the backdrop of the recently reopened Statue of Liberty crown, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, surrounded by more than 50 members of the CityOs hospitality industry at the Battery in Lower Manhattan, rallied yesterday to celebrate summer 2009. On the heels of a hugely successful July 4th weekend -- complete with a historic fireworks celebration held along the Hudson to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the river -- New York City continued to invite visitors from around the world to take advantage of events and attractions across the five boroughs. Residents were also encouraged to explore the many diverse neighborhoods of the City as an affordable solution to rising vacation and travel costs. To help promote all New York City has to offer to residents and visitors, NYC & Company has created and relaunched several campaigns and promotions that will offer consumers deals on hotels, dining, shopping, arts and entertainment and much more. Jul 6, 2009

NY Waterway

Kids under 12 ride free on several NY Waterway commuter ferries between New Jersey and ManhattanOs West 39th Street through Labor Day. The free trips are available on NY Waterway ferries from Port Imperial in Weehawken, Edgewater Ferry Landing and HobokenOs 14th Street Terminal. All children must be accompanied by an adult, with a maximum of two children per adult or four children with two adults. NY Waterway also offers reduced parking at Port Imperial -- USD 7 all day for ferry riders who park before 10 a.m. Jul 8, 2009

Radisson Plaza Hotel

Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis has announced its Green Meetings offerings for 2009-10. Green initiatives at the Radisson Plaza Hotel include eco-friendly notepads and pens provided along with recycling stations. Executive Chef Paul Lynch provides menus focusing on utilizing local and sustainable foods, fresh water fish, and meats and dairy that are always hormone and antibiotic free. Lynch is a leading voice and founding member of MinnesotaOs Heartland Food Network, a collaborative, non-profit group of chefs and purveyors created to promote and support authentic heartland ingredients. Fair trade coffee is also served. The AAA Four-Diamond property is 100 percent smoke free to reduce the air and land pollution as well as improve the health of guests and staff. To clean the facilities, the housekeeping department uses recycled linen towels rather than buying paper products, and recycling is top priority. Other energy effective initiatives include automated heated and cooling systems and energy efficient light bulbs. Jul 8, 2009

San Diego

San Diego Port commissioners approved installing equipment that would allow cruise and cargo ships to plug into shore power, reducing the need to idle their diesel engines while docked. The project will install equipment at the portOs Cruise Ship Terminal and Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. The procedure would reduce the amount of pollutants emitted in the air. OThe Environmental Health Coalition supports the shore power projects,O Executive Director Diane Takvorian told port commissioners. OIf you move forward with this, youOd reduce 300 tons of nitrogen oxides per year.O Nitrogen oxides are harmful emissions from cars, trucks, ships and power plants. In October, the port was awarded USD 2.4 million in grant funds from the San Diego Air Pollution Control District for the cruise ship terminal shore power project. To comply with the grant regulations, the system must be operating by May 31, 2010. An average of 52 ship calls per year must use the system for three years, prior to the 2014 California regulatory deadline. Jul 8, 2009

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort announced the opening of its new Wedding Shop. Located at The Market Shops at Sandestin, the Wedding Shop is where weddings begin at Sandestin. Sandestin wedding experts provide brides with the information they need in order to pick the best location that fits their needs. For more information, call 850-267-6736 or visit Jul 7, 2009

Starwood Hotels

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of Four Points by Sheraton San Antonio Northwest -- an event which also marks the launch of the brandOs first prototype hotel and the companyOs 450th hotel in the United States. The six-story hotel showcases the Four Points by Sheraton brandOs rejuvenated, contemporary look, complemented by classic and comfortable interior design elements refreshed for todayOs self-sufficient traveler. Jul 9, 2009

Starwood Hotels

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announces that the historic Turnberry golf resort will re-open as part of the renowned Luxury Collection brand at The Open Championship 2009 following a USD 65 million renovation by owner Leisurecorp, a division of Dubai World company Nakheel. Following the USD 65 million refurbishment, which has focused on the iconic resortOs public spaces and 40 of its 211 guest rooms, Turnberry will host the wordOs oldest golf championship on its renowned Ailsa golf course from July 16 to 19, 2009. Redesigned by acclaimed interior design firm Fox Linton Associates, Turnberry offers guests world class cuisine, a variety of outdoor activities in addition to golf, and a spa. Located on ScotlandOs Ayrshire coast, Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, is the newest addition to The Luxury Collection, an ensemble of hotels and resorts including The Grande Bretagne, Athens, Greece; Hotel Marqus de Riscal, Elciego, Spain; Mystique, Santorni, Greece; Hotel Danieli, Venice, Italy; The U.S. Grant, San Diego; and The Joule, Dallas. Jul 9, 2009


TravBuddy, a social networking website for travelers, today announced that its members have contributed over 2 million travel photos from around the world. The number of travel photos viewable on the website is growing at the rate of 1 million photos per year, which makes TravBuddy one of the largest and fastest-growing sources of travel photos on the web. All photos are organized by location, and cover over 20,000 unique travel destinations from around the world. Photos are ranked according to votes by other travelers. The most popular travel photos can be seen at . Jul 10, 2009

Travel Impressions

Travel Impressions is offering a Third Night Free promotion at The Plaza in New York City on all new reservations (minimum of three nights) booked for travel now through Sept. 7. Through the Third Night Free promotion, rates for a three-night stay at The Plaza start at USD 869 per person double occupancy, and include hotel accommodations for three nights, roundtrip airport/hotel transfers and hotel tax. The starting rate quoted is valid through Sept. 7 and varies according to travel dates. Black-out, weekend and holiday peak season surcharges apply. Airfare is available from gateways nationwide and can be easily added to the cost of the hotel package. Travel agents earn an additional 1 percent bonus commission when booking travel packages online with Quest for Agents via Jul 10, 2009


Travelocity is offering amazing deals and hopping on a plane to one of the most popular summer vacation destinations -- Las Vegas. Hoping to inspire others, the Roaming Gnome is letting his fans and followers map out his summer tour and follow his journey online, so they too will choose an adventure of their own. Jul 9, 2009 has enhanced the personalization capabilities of Engagement, its award-winning direct mail and email program, through the strategic use of digital variable printing. The first agency marketing organization to utilize digital variable printing, uses this new technique to customize direct mailers by realistically blending the recipientOs name into the artwork, such as spelling OCindyO in the sand to promote a Jamaican beach getaway. This highly effective form of personalization has boosted response rates by approximately 10 to 20 percent on initial mailings. used digital variable printing on a recent Travel Impressions mailer that targeted affluent and middle-income families, inviting them to plan their next vacation at a Caribbean resort. The front cover featured a classic wooden sign post with the familyOs name carved into the wood, enticing the recipient to open the mailer to see his or her special travel offer. For more information, visit Jul 8, 2009

VIA Rail Canada

To make it easier for customers to search for and book reservations, especially online, VIA Rail Canada has standardized the classes of service on various train lines across the country, as well as renamed select trains to reflect the destinations they service. The changes officially took effect on June 17. For starters, Comfort Class has been renamed Economy Class for all trains in VIA Rail CanadaOs nation-wide system. Most relevant for American visitors to Ontario and Quebec, the densely populated provinces that include major cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, travelers will be better able to identify this service when booking a multi-destination trip to Canada. Trains operating in this same area, known as the Corridor, also have a new name for its premier level of service. VIA 1 Class has been renamed Business Class. The service will still include wide, spacious seats, complimentary meals and beverages served at your seat, and, for a small extra fee, access to wireless Internet to those traveling with laptops. Jul 8, 2009

Western Explorer Rail Tour

The Rocky MountaineerOs eight day/seven night Western Explorer Rail Tour was created by The Great Canadian Travel Company. It goes from Vancouver on CanadaOs Pacific Coast across the mountains to the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff. This eight-day itinerary includes all of the Omust-seeO attractions in the Canadian Rockies. After spending a night in Vancouver, it heads to Kamloops, in British ColumbiaOs interior. Dramatic changes of scenery mark the journey from the green fields of the Fraser River Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade mountains, to the desert-like terrain of the interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of HellOs Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. The day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake and into the town of Kamloops, where youOll spend the night. Jul 6, 2009


Watertown, Wisc., will host its annual Riverfest gathering, which celebrates local arts and crafts, cuisine and the best the Midwest has to offer, Aug. 6 to 9. In addition to numerous family friendly activities during Riverfest, the town offers year-round activities for the family, including countless arts and crafts destinations, 275 acres of lush-green parks and historic destinations, such as AmericaOs first kindergarten. Jul 7, 2009

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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 13, 2009
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