America’s 245th birthday is a wrap, so some folks are planning now for July 4, 2026. America250 is a national campaign raising awareness for the country’s 250th birthday celebration launching in Philadelphia where Independence Hall and other landmarks will play a big role in the nation’s Semiquincentennial. The marketing effort will initially spread to New York City, Boston, and Charleston and beyond.
The U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission was established by Congress to inspire Americans to participate in our greatest milestone to date, the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. Tucked inside the 5,593-page federal coronavirus stimulus and spending package of late 2020 was $8 million for the commission.
“One program that has been confirmed is the building of a time capsule that will be buried on the grounds at Independence Hall and dug up on July 4, 2276, the country’s 500th anniversary,” reports Philly Metro.
The Semiquincentennial Commission plans to officially recognize tens of thousands of smaller events nationwide and collaborate with the U.S. Mint on collectible coins and medallions to mark the occasion.
Orchestrating the largest and most inclusive anniversary observance in our nation’s history will mean working with public and private entities, including destination marketing organizations.
Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has said it will donate its proceeds from the upcoming Miami Spice, a seasonal restaurant promotion, to assist those in need following the Surfside condo collapse. The DMO also has an online page resource that lists hotels offering discounted rates to first responders, families, and impacted residents plus other emergency support resources.
Gov. Bill Lee is teaming up with country superstar Brad Paisley in a “Tennessee On Me” campaign promoting tourism across the Volunteer State. The nationwide campaign offers 10,000 free airline vouchers to airports in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville.
The vouchers are worth $250 each through three participating airlines: American, Delta, and Southwest. Travels dates must be between July 11 and December 30, 2021. The perk is available to those who book a minimum 2-night stay through TennesseeOnMe, while supplies last.
Hawaii lawmakers are considering a rare move: overruling a same-party gubernatorial veto. The override measure could include House Bill 862, which would change the way the state’s tourism marketing agency is funded. The Hawaii Tourism Administration and local tourism industry is strongly opposed to the bill, warning that it would harm the state’s leading economic driver just as recovery begins.
Meantime in Hawaii, Maui’s mayor is asking visitors, and airlines, to stop visiting the island. “We don’t have the authority to say stop, but we are asking the powers to be to help us,” Mayor Michael Victorino said at a recent news conference. The destination is facing a shortage of hospitality workers. Its restaurants, still operating at limited capacity, are struggling to keep up. Source: Associated Press
On June 22, Scottsdale City Council approved the budget the next 12 months for Experience Scottsdale, going into the last year under its current contract. Rachel Pearson, Experience Scottsdale’s vice president of community and government affairs, said tourists are only part of the equation until corporate business travel returns to produce a significant portion of Scottsdale’s hotel occupancy, especially on weekdays. Occupancy at area hotels was 40.1% in 2020 – down over 40% from 2019.
Visit Duluth could be no more when its contract is up with the city at the end of 2021 because the mayor has opened an RFQ process for a one-year contract through 2022. The city has hired Duluth marketing firm Giant Voices to assist in this process, seeking out “a partner or partners” for its destination marketing efforts. Visit Duluth will know if it’s a finalist for the job by July 12. Contracts are to be awarded at the end of the month.
A new report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows that 21 out of 25 of the top U.S. hotel markets remain in a depression or a recession. Urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, continue to face a severe financial crisis as they have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Urban hotels were down 52% in room revenue in May compared to May 2019, with San Francisco negatively impacted most, followed by Boston. New York City, which remains in a depression, has seen one-third of its hotel rooms (42,030 rooms) wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 200 hotels closing in the city. Tampa and Miami, however, did much better in May 2021 than in May 2019.
Dozens of television crews were on hand, fireboats sent streams of water into the air, and horns blared as Celebrity Edge left from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale just after 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 on a seven-night voyage calling on ports in Mexico and the Bahamas. Sailing at 40% occupancy with a 99% passenger vaccination rate, the 2.900-passenger ship is the first big cruise ship to depart from a US port in more than 15 months.
Q: What lady is nine feet tall yet only 1/16th the size of her big sister?
A: Lady Liberty #2.
Last week a second—smaller—Statue of Liberty arrived on our shores as a gift from France…just like the bigger one. It served as a model for the sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the nearly 1,000-lb. statue was packed up and sailed off to New York Harbor from its perch in front of the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. On Bastille Day, she off again. This time, it’s to Washington D.C. where the mini-Lady Liberty will be installed in the gardens of the French Ambassador’s residence.
There was a sold-out crowd at MGM Resorts International for the return of “O” by Cirque du Soleil on stage at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The flagship production has played for over 17 million in audiences worldwide during its over-20-year run until the pandemic provided a very long intermission.
Jake Steinman, President & CEO of TravelAbility joins a panel to discuss “Creating an Accessible Destination” presented by Tripadvisor at Destinations International Visitor Services Summit on July 13, 2021. He is joined by Emily Cassell, Director, Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau; Alison Brooks, Director of Group Services & Special Projects at Visit Mesa; and Nicole King-Smith, Hospitality Training Director, Lee County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Also, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Scott White and Visit Modesto CEO Todd Aaronson will address cannabis tourism with Brian Applegarth, Founder, Cannabis Travel Association.
Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks joined the Montana Office of Tourism, Glacier Country Tourism and local tourism groups in launching their “Recreate Responsibly” campaign supported by a webpage, airport signage, statewide television and radio advertising, billboards and fuel media videos. It also includes social media advertising and a “Recreate Responsibly” pledge. The state’s tourism office created a toolkit of resources and a mini grant program for DMOs to help produce online and print materials.
Did you know? The new logo from the LA Tourism & Convention Board was designed by the legendary street artist Shepard Fairey. It’s the first new logo in a decade and is being used in LA Tourism’s first-ever national campaign from July 5 airing across multiple formats, from cable TV and digital video to HULU, Roku, display advertising and social media.
“The timing couldn’t be more perfect to unveil a fresh look for LA and welcome back our visitors,” said William Karz, vice president of brand and digital marketing. “Coming out of tourism’s lost year, “we have a new look to start LA’s comeback story,” Karz said of the campaign that has the tag line, ‘Your comeback starts here.'” #yourcomebackbeginshere