Justin Bresler, VP Marketing & Business Development at Visit Denver, writes: “Guys, we did a thing here! Introducing Coming Soon: Denver. Over the next several weeks, new ‘episodes’ will come out about all the many projects around the city, from the airport to the 16th St. Mall, Convention Center to cool new attractions like Meow Wolf. Check out the teaser trailer! Your next binge watch is here! With multiple projects and billions of dollars of renovations, tune in to what’s coming soon in The Mile High City.”
Late breaking news: Destination DC launches a re-designed website.
- Optimized navigation and search.
- The latest travel status and safety measures at travel-related businesses.
- New long-form stories, photography and video create an interactive experience.
- For the convention audience, business event strategists find enhanced meetings and convention tools.
- Designed for mobile first, as web traffic from mobile devices accounts for roughly 60% of site traffic.
- Expertise on strategy and development from MMGY Global.
From the press release: “Our website is one of the most important ways we communicate with potential visitors and locals, and after a year where travel has been decimated, it’s fitting to start off 2021 with a fresh look at the destination as we have an eye toward recovery,” said Elliott Ferguson, president, Destination DC.
“Today’s travelers are consuming content on mobile devices and expect content and recommendations tailored to whom they are and what is important to them….We focused our efforts on producing a content-rich, mobile experience to deliver a great user experience and reveal all that Washington, DC has to offer, creating a first-in-class destination website,” said Robert Patterson, VP of Marketing Technology, MMGY Global.
Washington Post & Bloomberg News — American Airlines is doing a pandemic pivot, launching a new wine subscription service as their diminished bookings and in-flight service created a surplus of onboard wines. American is looking to generate $40,000 in sales through the wine program this quarter. Wines start at $13 and there’s a monthly subscription available at $100 with buyers earning frequent flyer miles. Other airlines are getting creative to make ends meet, selling branded PJs, blankets, in-flight meals, deluxe nuts mix, and even fully stocked rolling bar carts.
Zagat — New York City Restaurant Week is bigger than even though many restaurants are closed. Famous chefs such as José Andrés, Daniel Boulud, and Danny Meyer are doing meals for $20.21. More than 500 restaurants have signed up—200 more than the prior record—which also includes just about every major restaurant still open for business…Many of the top-name restaurants, to the extent that they have any ability to do takeout or delivery, are doing so. Exceeding the value of $20.21 is key to the effort.
The Hollywood Reporter — No more permits needed in the parks. In a huge win for filmmakers and videographers, a federal judge in D.C. has ruled that it’s unconstitutional under the First Amendment for the National Park Service to charge a fee for filming, including commercial, on its land.
Sign of the times: Budweiser is sitting out Super Bowl ad time for the first time in 37 years. Instead, viewers will see its “first-ever corporate Super Bowl commercial which launches a campaign highlighting the company’s commitment to making a positive impact on communities and playing a role in our nation’s economic recovery.” DoorDash and Fiverr are among first-time Big Game ad buyers.
eTurbo News — Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium is a “No Drone Zone” for Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021. Drones also are prohibited around the Tampa Riverwalk for the NFL Super Bowl Experience during the days leading up to the event. The FAA will establish a Temporary Flight Restriction on game day prohibiting drones within a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium up to 18,000 feet in altitude.
Afar — New presidential executive orders indicate all travelers to the U.S. must quarantine and show negative Covid-19 test. President Biden also reinstated Covid-19 travel restrictions on non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the U.K., and much of Europe, and extending restrictions to travelers who have recently been to South Africa.In addition, there is now a federal mandate on mask-wearing that covers all federal employees plus buildings, and lands for members of the public. This means all in national parks and monument plus airports, airplanes, trains, public transportation, ships, and intercity buses.
Travel Pulse Canada — PM Justin Trudeau says Canadians must forget about vacations for now and warns of tougher restrictions coming this week. Canadian tourism folks are reporting that places are cut off from all service, freight isn’t getting through and there are airports closed across Canada as Air Canada announced another 1,700 layoffs and a 25% capacity cut. WestJet announced 1,000 people would lose their jobs and that lift will be trimmed by 30%.
Germany has announced tougher mask rules that will require wearing a medical-grade mask on public transport, supermarkets, and in shops. From Feb. 1, Lufthansa bans the use of cloth, material, or “everyday” masks inflight. Passengers will be required to wear “either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or mask with the KN95/N95 standard” during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft. The advanced face mask trend is catching on fast in Austria, France, Italy and beyond.
Low-cost, award-winning Norwegian Air says bye-bye to North America to focus on its European routes. The carrier had launched 18 new transatlantic routes since it introduced long-haul in 2015.
Trippingly.net – In Coachella Valley, Calif., The largest outdoor arts festival in North America is a maybe in 2021. Burning Man was canceled in 2020. This year? The only news is an announcement of a future announcement. That call is expected by mid-February. A Burning Man Project spokesperson said, “We’ll have more on that in less time than it takes to find your bicycle after a deep playa sunrise dance, we promise. Stay tuned.” Ticket sales account for about $46 million annually; the first batch of 70,000 tickets will be priced at $1,400 each.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home orders (again) and 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that the state has been under since Nov. 25, 2020. This means that restaurants can re-open for outdoor dining.
The real estate investment trust operator of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. has filed for bankruptcy. The 85-year-old former luxury cruise liner, docked as a hotel since 1967, has been closed since May.
After 22 years, The Standard on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood is closing indefinitely. Known for its celebrity clientele and early financial backers, (Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Benicio del Toro) this property was first in the boutique brand’s group. The Standard in Downtown LA is temporarily closed.
Santa Barbara Independent — In partnership with Santa Barbara Airport and city officials, Visit Santa Barbara courted Southwest Airlines over five years, participating in meetings at its Dallas headquarters and aviation trade shows. In November 2020, VSB hosted a site visit for airline executives showcasing the destination to help cement the deal. Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes, “Following a prolonged downturn in tourism due to the pandemic, they are a bright spot on the horizon.” New routes are bookable now: three daily flights to Las Vegas, one daily flight to Denver, and one daily flight to Oakland International Airport starting April 12, 2021. The DMO plans to contribute a quarter-million dollars to support the new Southwest flights, including a suite of marketing campaigns to attract visitors in each of the cities on the routes announced.
CommonWealth Magazine — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed an economic development bill that enables hoteliers to create the districts and charge a fee up to 2% for tourism marketing. Greater Boston CVB is among the DMOs that have been working for the passage of the legislation. Local coverage indicates that “…Massachusetts collects $513 million annually in lodging taxes but $400 million of that goes to general expenses, unrelated to tourism, and another $103 million goes to the state’s convention centers.”
Wichita Business Journal – The State of Kansas tourism division will move out of the Wildlife and Parks department after 10 years and into the Department of Commerce. The change comes under an Executive Reorganization Order announced Monday by Gov. Laura Kelly and will likely take place on July 1.
Star Advertiser — Hawaii Tourism Authority is in financial trouble. From a 2019 budget of $79 million in Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) funds plus $16.5 million for the Hawai‘i Convention Center, FY 2020 saw a cut to $41 million and is now expected to be down to $10 million by June 1 unless Gov. David Ige restores some funding,