Visit USA tours the country

Visit USA’s autumn Roadshows were held this year over three nights in Newcastle, Bristol and Brighton, bringing agents together for networking, food, education and fun. thirty exhibitors met with agents over the course of the three nights.

VUSA

Tracey Spuyman, CEO, Visit USA (UK) said: “Events like this are a fantastic benefit of membership of Visit USA, it provides a great opportunity for members and agents to meet face-to-face and it’s all about education and training. Everyone gets to see every exhibitor as we use a speed-networking format. I think it’s been very positive for the exhibitors this year – they have been impressed by the quality of the agents who have attended and pleased with the way Visit USA has organised the three events.”

At the end of the evening there was a quiz featuring questions relating to all of the exhibitors with 10 goodie bags to be won, full of prizes. Prizes of holidays to the U.S. were won by three agents who attended. The lucky winner in Newcastle was Sharon Tate from Courtney Travel who won flights with United to New York with two nights at the Grand Hyatt. In Bristol, Tony Smart from Cannon Travel won flights with Aer Lingus to Boston with two nights at Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel. In Brighton, Paul Thayre from Virgin Holidays won ClubWorld flights with British Airways to either San Francisco or Denver with seven nights RV rental courtesy of Cruise America.

Feedback from exhibitors at the event was highly positive. Jim Odoire, representing the state of Colorado said: “If we tried to arrange something like the roadshow ourselves it would take weeks, however through this we can see between 60 and 100 agents in one night. We still need to educate the trade in the UK, but we’re seeing increasing demand from people looking for something different. It’s important we have face time with the agents to show them what the state has to offer.”

Meanwhile, Georgina Evans-Phillips, representing Michigan and Bloomington, said: “For our destinations it’s great to promote the two together for fly-drive options, and we can highlight top areas in the destination. It’s great to meet so many agents from all over the country and we get to spend time with all of them. They’ve all come along because they want to know more and we can expand their knowledge base.”

visitusaroadshow.com

Premier and Virgin team up

Premier Holidays and Virgin Atlantic have joined forces on a campaign promoting tailor-made holidays to the USA.

Premier and Virgin

The initiative highlights Premier’s top-selling itineraries Stateside, with a selection of tactical offers providing added value, savings and special air fares. Promotional marketing material is available for agents.

The offers, which run until October 31, include a seven-night twin-centre in New York and Las Vegas, priced from £999pp (a saving of up to £484 a couple), or three nights in New York followed by four nights in Miami from £1,049pp (a saving of £430 a couple).

Or clients can choose from a nine-night multi-centre break visiting Washington, New York and Boston, including travel on Amtrak trains, from £1,099pp (saving £600).

On the west coast, a package featuring three nights in Los Angeles, three nights in Las Vegas and three nights in San Francisco starts from £1,299pp (saving up to £680 a couple).

All the offers are based on two adults sharing, with flights from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines and valid for travel in November 2016 or February 2017.

Travel agents earn £25-£150 for every inclusive USA booking made, dependent on booking value.

Trade.premierholidays.co.uk

Time is now for shopaholics

For clients looking to get a head start on some Christmas shopping, the USA is the perfect destination in November.

shopping

Thanksgiving and Black Friday, which take place at the end of November, are the two biggest ‘retail days’ of the year in the U.S. and also offer some of the biggest bargains.

The Thanksgiving celebrations (November 24) in New York have an almost ‘bucket list’ quality, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Sixth Avenue being the main event with balloons, floats and bands. Black Friday (25 November) kicks off the following day.

Tour operator Hayes and Jarvis has a six-night trip that combines New York and Boston, priced from £819pp.

Clients stay three nights at the four-star Redbury New York, followed by three nights at the four-star Westin Copley Place, both on a room-only basis.

The offer also includes transfers to Woodbury Common Premium Outlet Transfers, Simon Shopping Destination Vouchers, VIP Dine 4 Less New York and an Amtrak rail ticket between New York and Boston.

The deal is based on a November 22 departure, flights are from Heathrow with American Airlines and British Airways.

hayesandjarvis.co.uk

Visit Savannah’s new app

Visit Savannah has released a new “Savannah Experiences” application for mobile devices.

Savannah

The free app features points of interest, maps and audio tours presented in several languages.

Around 10% of Savannah’s 13.7 million visitors each year are from outside the U.S. and it is important to make Savannah accessible to this audience, said Visit Savannah President, Joseph Marinelli.

“With more foreign travellers to our city than ever before, providing tools like these only helps to make their experience the very best that it can be.”

Savannah Experiences includes a GPS Auto Play feature which starts speaking as the visitor gets close to a point of interest.

There are also specialised ‘bonus tracks’ on Civil War and city design history.

VisitSavannah.com

 

More in store at Philly mall

King of Prussia Mall (KOP), near Philadelphia, has completed an expansion that makes it one of the largest retail experiences in the U.S.

King of Prussia

The project, which started in the summer of 2014, connects the existing Plaza and Court retail areas, with more designer and brand-name shopping options and additional dining choices.

The mall, a Simon Shopping Destination, now has over 400 stores with luxury retailers and high street names like Cartier, CH Carolina Herrera, Gap, Jimmy Choo, Superdry, Bottega Veneta and Clarins.

KOP is located about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Before they begin filling their bags, international visitors should drop by the mall's information desk and ask for any discount booklets.

simon.com/mall/king-of-prussia

Prince still rocking

Fans of pop star Prince can now pay homage to their idol after his home, Paisley Park in Minnesota, opened on October 6.

prince

The flamboyant showman, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sold more than 100 million records, won seven GRAMMYS and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio in 2004.

The $10million Paisley Park complex was completed in 1986 and Prince recorded 30 albums here between 1987 and 2016.

It was both his private estate and his production complex and in 1985 he released a single titled 'Paisley Park'.

The tours give visitors an opportunity to experience first-hand what it was like for Prince to create, produce and perform inside Paisley Park.

On display are artefacts from Prince’s personal archives, including concert wardrobe, awards (his GRAMMY® Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award® for the film 'Purple Rain'), musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings, concert memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles.

Both Minnesota and Ohio are members of the Great Lakes USA organisation, which represents a region with a rich musical heritage.

Minnesota’s other favourite son, Bob Dylan, celebrated his 75th birthday this year; the 'Electric Blues' started in Chicago, Illinois; and the “Motown" sound was created in Detroit, Michigan. Cleveland, Ohio, is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

officialpaisleypark.com

Scottsdale’s new Experience

Experience Scottsdale is the new name of the tourism body charged with bringing more visitors to the Arizona desert city.

Scottsdale

Formerly the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the new branding “better reflects traveller expectations while communicating the value offered by our organisation,” said Experience Scottsdale President & CEO, Rachel Sacco.

International and U.S.-based tourists, travel agents, tour operators and meeting planners will be targeted by the newly-branded organisation.

The change coincides with the launch of Experience Scottsdale’s new website, ExperienceScottsdale.com.

Meanwhile, the destination is gearing up for its first-ever Scottsdale Golf Week.

Running from December 5-11, the week will feature discounted green fees, events and holiday packages at 25 golf courses – including many of its most celebrated – 14 resorts and nine restaurants.

Examples of offers include 30% off the green fee at Camelback Golf club, 20% off the best available rate at Boulders Resort and Spa and a $100 merchandise gift card when booking two rounds of golf – which need to be used within five days – at Grayhawk Golf Club (the price per player is $335 plus tax).

ExperienceScottsdale.com