Visit Milwaukee is returning $50,000 to local businesses through a series of events called Giving Fest to distribute funds left over from the Democratic National Convention last summer. Milwaukee County hospitality businesses that host a local event or activity during Giving Fest on Jan. 15-Feb. 28 will be entered to win $5,000 from the DMO. A total of 50 businesses will each receive $1,000.
In New Mexico, the Executive Budget Recommendation for FY22 includes a $25 million special appropriation for the New Mexico Tourism Department to help ignite commerce and bring leisure and hospitality employees back to work.
Trivia time. Outforia.com published findings from a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Park Service. The question: Which are the most dangerous national parks in the USA? And the causes? (Editor’s note: Falls doesn’t mean waterfalls.)
Destination Analysts‘ weekly survey fielded on Jan. 15-17, 2021, indicates that right now American travelers are most interested in national parks, scenic beauty, outdoor activities in warm weather, beach destinations and resorts, and road trips. With the virus still raging, big city and food experiences do not appeal as much they did in pre-pandemic times.
Discover Puerto Rico has partnered with JetBlue to drive an earned-media activation in celebration of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 26. Travelers are being encouraged to include “Fly JetBlue to Puerto Rico” in the subject line for a chance to win a free trip to the island in 2021. National Plan for Vacation Day, started in 2020, gives travelers an opportunity to do what is safe and productive at this time: to plan a trip. Yes, please! Tell us about your plans and get your toolkit here.
Valentine’s Day meets corporate social responsibility in the era of Covid. In Napa Valley, California, the Meritage Resort & Spa and neighboring Vista Collina Resort are showing their gratitude to a deserving first responder or healthcare worker by gifting a free wedding to a couple that had to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic. Nominations are open. One lucky couple will win a dream destination wedding for up to 100 guests, worth $30,000.
Disneyland Resort is canceling its annual passport program (top tier price was a whopping $1,449) when it reopens, axing its current annual passport program to better manage pandemic-era crowds. As admission tickets broke the $200-a-day barrier in February 2020, the popular multi-tiered ticketing system made the theme park into a regular hangout for many Southern Californians. A new membership program will be offered in the future.
In Palm Beach, Florida, The Breakers celebrates its 125th birthday, marking the nation’s only large luxury hotel that remains in the same family hands since day one. As a year of celebratory themed events begins, both the town and the state declared Jan. 16 as “The Breakers Palm Beach Anniversary Day.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has opened an immersive virtual art and gaming experience powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband. Using their phones, online visitors can explore a dozen galleries featuring 50 works of art to play games that unlock AR versions of the art on view and allows them to bring it into their own homes. A 60-second trailer:
At the British Museum, directors are enthusiastic about their Fliggy partnership, Alibaba‘s online travel platform, aimed at erstwhile Chinese visitors. Livestream tours go behind the scenes in a bid to encourage Chinese travelers to return to the UK once travel restrictions lift. A recent two-hour stream with a Chinese-speaking guide brought in an audience of 370,000 to see treasures such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, Egyptian mummies.
Fancy the job of a lifetime on a remote Irish island? The emphasis is on “remote.” Tourism Ireland is offering a chance for the dream job working as a caretaker on an island off Ireland’s famous Wild Atlantic Way. And there’s company! Two caretaking vacancies have become available at the Great Blasket Island, which lies off the picturesque and rugged, windswept coast of County Kerry.
Baggage roulette. Remember the boredom of baggage claim in the good old days of international travel? We love this carousel at Frankfurt International Airport—or at least, it used to be there. Functioning as an advert to promote a local casino, it’s also a great conversation icebreaker as passengers guess at odds on when and where their suitcase will appear. Serves double-duty as a distraction from tardy luggage delivery, so truly a bonus for airlines and airport as well.
“Overnight” has new meaning at Sonesta International, as that’s about how long it took for the company to get a portfolio of more than 1,200 hotel. Due to (another) contract dispute, 22 Hyatt Place hotels may soon fly the Sonesta flag. This follows a similar recent situation with 103 from InterContinental Hotel Group and 122 Marriott properties. We’re talking about these hotels:
- Hyatt Place Tempe Phoenix Airport
- Hyatt Place Tucson Airport
- Hyatt Place Colorado Springs Garden Of Gods
- Hyatt Place Orlando Airport Northwest
- Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport South
- Hyatt Place Atlanta Duluth Gwinnett Mall
- Hyatt Place Atlanta Cobb Galleria
- Hyatt Place Fort Wayne
- Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport
- Hyatt Place Kansas City Overland Park Convention Center
- Hyatt Place Detroit Utica
- Hyatt Place Kansas City Airport
- Hyatt Place Charlotte Airport Lake Pointe
- Hyatt Place Mount Laurel
- Hyatt Place Columbus Dublin
- Hyatt Place Nashville Northeast
- Hyatt Place Austin North Central
- Hyatt Place Dallas North
- Hyatt Place El Paso Airport
- Hyatt Place San Antonio Riverwalk
- Hyatt Place Chantilly Dulles Airport South
- Hyatt Place Sterling Dulles Airport North