Visit USA Roadshow 2016 a hit

Agents have been signing up early to secure their places at this autumn’s Visit USA Roadshow series.


The events will take place in Newcastle-Gateshead (Tuesday, October 4), Bristol (Wednesday, October 5), and Brighton (Thursday, October 6).

Thirty Visit USA members will be on hand to update agents on their latest news and ideas to inspire travel to the USA, and there will be fantastic prizes to be won at each event.

To request more information on the Roadshow events and to book a place, agents should register now at

United California dreaming

United Airlines is to increase the frequency of flights from Heathrow to both its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs.


For winter 2016-17, the airline will operate a second daily Heathrow-San Francisco non-stop service, beginning October 30, 2016 (westbound).

For summer 2017, United will add a second daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flight, effective April 5, 2017 (westbound).

The additional San Francisco flight will depart Heathrow daily at 11.40, arriving in San Francisco at 15.40 the same day. The return flight will depart San Francisco daily at 16.15, arriving at Heathrow at 09.40 the following day. The flights will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

Flight times will be 11 hours westbound and 10 hours 25, minutes eastbound.

With the addition of this second-daily service in the winter, United will operate twice daily between Heathrow and San Francisco on a year-round basis.

The additional Los Angeles service will leave Heathrow daily at 11.40, arriving at Los Angeles at 17.20 the same day. The return flight will leave Los Angeles daily at 15.10, arriving at Heathrow at 09.40 the following day. Again, the service will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

At the same time as it increases its San Francisco service, United will reduce the number of daily non-stop flights it operates between Heathrow and Houston from three to two, effective October 30, 2016.

Both Houston services will be operated by Boeing 777-200 aircraft, an increase in aircraft size from the current schedule operated with 767-300s and 787s.

Premier tempts trade

Premier Holidays has launched a campaign to promote sales to St Pete/Clearwater in Florida in conjunction with a cash incentive for agents.


Travel agents can earn £25-£150 for every inclusive St. Pete/Clearwater booking they make with Premier, dependent on the booking value.

Aimed at promoting and raising awareness of the destination as a must-visit area, the campaign – in conjunction with the Visit St. Pete/Clearwater tourist board – also has a selection of tactical offers.

Clients can benefit from savings of up to £544, as well as added extras including car hire, return flights and the opportunity to purchase a discounted pass giving 14 days’ unlimited access to three of Florida’s major attractions: SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Premier Holidays’ St. Pete/Clearwater campaign offers a selection of self-catering accommodation and hotels for clients to choose from.

Offers start from £699 for a seven-night self-catering holiday in a private home on the Gulf Coast, based on six people sharing (saving up to £320).

Agents can request or download a copy of Premier Holidays’ St. Pete/Clearwater campaign poster from the operator’s trade website.

Hollywood's Walking Dead

Universal Studios Hollywood opened its Walking Dead attraction on July 4, based on the most watched show in cable television history.

Walking Dead

The California theme park has featured the ‘The Walking Dead’ as a Halloween Horror Nights maze for several years, but now offers the themed walk-through attraction 364 days of the year.

Guests come face to face with live and animatronic 'Walkers' that are said to be indiscernible from characters from the show.

To ensure authenticity of the attraction, Universal Studios Hollywood partnered with The Walking Dead’s creative team, including Greg Nicotero and KNB Efx, to develop prosthetics, utilize original moulds and painstakingly apply paint and detailing to attraction walkers.

“The Walking Dead is a phenomenon that has successfully and consistently affected the psyche of viewers on a global basis since its debut,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood.

“We have taken its authenticity to the next level by collaborating with the show’s award-winning production team to create a thrilling, living representation of the series that can only be experienced at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

The Walking Dead attraction is located within an entirely new custom-built structure, situated within an expansive building complex just inside the theme park’s main entry.

Due to the intense nature of this experience, the attraction is not recommended for guests under the age of 11.


Kimpton opens in Milwaukee

The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, Kimpton’s first hotel in Milwaukee, started welcoming guests on July 1.


The Journeyman is located in the popular downtown historic Third Ward neighbourhood.

With an emerging culinary scene, renowned art galleries and the state's world-famous Summerfest music festival, Milwaukee’s Third Ward has something for everyone.

The Journeyman’s first guests could receive a complimentary locally-produced leather backpack (on a first-come, first-serve basis), complete with tailored itineraries offering a ‘journey’ around the city.

The itineraries highlight the latest hot spots in the local area and will be specifically tailored to the length of the guests’ stay.

Guests will also have the option to fill their backpacks with seasonal provisions from The Journeyman’s on-site restaurant, Tre Rivali, to take with them on their ‘journey of discovery’.

Five nights’ room only accommodation in a deluxe guestroom, with a king bed, starts from $1,514 (approximately £1,161) per couple.

Palm Springs ready to rock

California’s archetypal desert city, Palm Springs, is gearing up for what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime musical extravaganza.


Taking place over the course of two weekends in October (7-9 & 14-16), the Desert Trip festival will be headlined by six of the world’s most iconic and influential rock and roll artists including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters (ex-Pink Floyd) and The Who.

The event will be staged at the iconic Empire Polo Club, home of the popular Coachella Valley Music Festival (pictured), and each of the artists will play a full set of songs on both weekends.

The venue is a 30-minute transfer from Palm Springs, and a fleet of shuttle buses will be on hand throughout the festival to transfer people back and forth.

Many of Palm Springs’ leading hotels, including the Riviera Palm Springs and Renaissance Palm Springs, are offering special Desert Trip packages and concert tickets are currently still available online.

Travel experiences in Palm Springs on offer to festival-goers include fabulous dining, shopping, architectural and celebrity experiences, as well as adventures like riding on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and trekking on horseback into the San Jacinto Mountains.

TrekAmerica’s Ultimate tour

TrekAmerica is planning a 56-day trip in June 2017 that looks sure to live up to its billing as the ‘Ultimate Transcontinental’ tour.

Trek America

Led by a TrekAmerica tour leader, with the services of local, specialist guides employed along the way, the small group tour will start in Miami before heading to the USA’s most southerly point in Key West.

It will then travel diagonally across the entire country, and into Canada, before finishing up in Anchorage, Alaska (pictured).

TrekAmerica says it will take in plenty of 'less travelled roads', will visit awe-inspiring destinations and feature an array of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

These experiences will include getting up-close and personal with gators on an air-boat ride among the swamps of the Everglades in Florida; seeing Old Faithful erupt and watching the wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming; taking a hike in Denali National Park, Alaska, home to grizzly and black bears, dall sheep, caribou moose, marmots and wolves; taking a Voodoo and graveyard tour in New Orleans; and spending time in a host of national parks, provincial parks and monuments.

Available to book now, the tour is priced from £5,269pp.