Agents wanted on road

VISIT USA is encouraging agents to sign up for this autumn’s series of UK roadshows.

Visit USA

The popular events, designed to mix knowledge gaining, networking and some after-work fun, are scheduled for Edinburgh (October 3), Liverpool (October 4) and Reading (October 5).

All three roadshows will be held in premium hotels – The Principal (Edinburgh), Crowne Plaza (Liverpool) and Pentahotel (Reading) – and will feature over 30 Visit USA members who will discuss destination and product information with agents.

The format of each evening, which will feature food and drink, will see the agents visiting all of the exhibitors. Each agent will have a chance of winning a goody bag and a fabulous USA holiday for two at EACH of the three roadshow stops.

“We are looking forward to the Roadshow this year in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Reading. Dave Benson Phillips is the host at our great venues, bringing entertainment, fun and professionalism to the event,” said Tracey Spuyman, CEO, Visit USA.

“Agents will learn all about the experiences the U.S. can offer in 2018, and the American theme will extend to a popcorn cart with different flavours cooked fresh on site and an interactive game that offers 10 goody bags as prizes to the winners at each venue. There will also be a special prize draw offering the chance to win a fabulous holiday for two Stateside,” she added.

Agents interested in being part of the Edinburgh, Liverpool or Reading events can sign up now at visitusaroadshow.com

Icelandair adds Tampa

Icelandair began flying to Tampa International, Florida, from its Reykjavik, Iceland, hub on September 6.

Iceland Air

The new year-round service, the airline’s 18th North American gateway, operates twice a week, departing on Wednesdays and Sundays and returning on Thursdays and Mondays.

Flights depart Reykjavik at 17.10, arriving into Tampa at 21.00, and return at 18.55 the following day, arriving into Reykjavik at 06.10.

The flights are timed to connect with those from four of the seven UK airports Icelandair serve: Manchester, Glasgow, Heathrow and Gatwick.

Tampa is known for its shopping, neighbourhoods, festivals, culinary scene and a thriving craft brewery sector. It is also the gateway to the beaches of Clearwater and nearby cities of St. Petersburg and Sarasota.

Icelandair flies to New York (JFK & Newark), Orlando, Vancouver, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Montreal, Anchorage, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Edmonton, Halifax and Philadelphia.

The airline has announced it will begin flying to Cleveland, Ohio, next May.

It will kick off the service with four flights a week.

icelandair.co.uk

Big Easy for Trekamerica

TrekAmerica has launched two new festival-focused New Orleans tours for 2018/19.

Trekamerica

Showcasing two of The Big Easy’s greatest annual events, the two new nine-day tours start in New Orleans before ‘road-tripping’ down to Florida to take in the beaches of Destin and Orlando’s theme parks before culminating in Miami’s Art Deco South Beach.

Departing May 3, The Big Easy Music Festival Tour kicks off at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, whilst the Mardi Gras and the Sunshine State Tour commences during Mardi Gras. Departing March 2019, the tour will arrive in time for the Fat Tuesday celebrations.

The Big Easy Music Festival Tour, priced from £1,799pp, includes tickets to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, one of the world’s top international music events.

The tour spends three days in New Orleans before heading down to Destin for a beach break and then moving on to Orlando to take in Universal Studios and Disney. The tour concludes in Miami.

The Mardi Gras and the Sunshine State Tour starts with four days in New Orleans, takes in a Bourbon Street Balcony Party, a tour of the city and a Honey Island Swamp trip – see the moss hanging on gnarled cypress trees as you travel into one of the wildest and most pristine river swamps in America - before moving on to Florida to visit beaches and theme parks and wrapping up in Miami’s South Beach. It is priced from £1,549pp.

Aimed at 21-39 year olds, the above prices do not include international flights.

trekamerica.co.uk

Designer gifts from Travel 2

Travel 2 is giving agents the chance to win one of two designer watches worth £300 each.

Travel 2

The initiative, in association with United Airlines, Air Canada and Caesars Entertainment is part of its latest campaign, #YourLasVegasMoments.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the two watches, agents must make a new booking in September 2017 that features return flights with United Airlines or Air Canada and includes a minimum three nights' accommodation in Las Vegas.

Agents should visit travel2.com for full details of the incentive and terms and conditions.

Premier’s capital campaign

Premier Holidays has joined forces with a number of trade partners for a campaign to promote Washington DC as a must-visit destination.

Premier Holidays

The initiative, run in association with DC’s tourist board and United Airlines, is supported by a trade poster, flyer and trade video.

Other partners include Brand USA and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Travel agents can take advantage of a range of promotional items like glossy window posters featuring the U.S. capital's iconic monuments, its vibrant foodie scene and shopping; double-sided flyers which incorporate the top ten things to see and do in the city and a themed video to share on social media. They can earn up to £150 for every inclusive booking.

The operator has a three-night Washington, DC Highlights package priced from £1,099pp.

The independent tour includes accommodation at the Washington Hilton, a two-day Grand Tour sightseeing excursion taking in major landmarks like the White House, Capitol Building and Smithsonian museums, a half-day bike tour, flights and transfers.

trade.premierholidays.co.uk

Florida’s passport to beer

St. Pete/Clearwater has created a ‘Beer Passport’ for lovers of real ale.

Florida

The Florida twin cities have self-styled themselves as the ‘Gulp Coast’ in recognition of their thriving brewery scene.

Now hop-headed enthusiasts can visit up to 33 breweries on the new St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail, including Florida’s oldest, smallest and newest.

Visitors can pick up their ‘passport’ at any one of the breweries on the trail and collect a sticker at each.

For those that drink or sip their way through all 33, there are limited edition Gulp Cost brewery T-shirts and SiliPints (unbreakable pint glasses) on offer, as well as secret prizes that will be revealed only to the winners.

The St. Pete/Clearwater beer scene covers the full spectrum of craft brews, including light, brown, red and dark ales, pilsners, lagers, weisses, meads, IPAs and ciders.

Drinking venues include revitalized warehouses, historic buildings, downtown bars and trendy hip hangouts.

To encourage Craft Beer Trail enthusiasts to drink responsibly, the ‘Gulp Coast’ is offering £15 off their first Uber ride.

gulpcoast.com

BA's restaurant in the sky

British Airways has unveiled a new restaurant-style dining experience in Club World on flights between Heathrow and New York JFK.

BA

Travellers can select freshly-prepared starters and desserts from new display trolleys, served by the crew onto new table settings.

Starters include Loch Fyne smoked salmon tartare with wasabi crème fraîche; burrata and tomato carpaccio with olive oil and balsamic dressing; creamy butternut squash soup with chive and sour cream and fresh seasonal salad, grilled vegetables and a choice of French dressing or olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Entrees include heritage beef homemade gnocchi in Café de Paris sauce and pan-fried green asparagus; line-caught grilled Cornish Dover sole with Mediterranean lentils, celeriac mousseline and lemon butter and homemade artichoke ravioli Parmesan.

Desserts include DO & CO's double chocolate medley, lemon tart, Viennese-style apple strudel with vanilla sauce, fresh strawberries and cheese board with Somerset brie, Keen’s cheddar, Cropwell Bishop stilton, walnuts, grapes and fig chutney.

White wines and Champagnes are presented on top of the trolleys in large, silver wine coolers, while regiments of red wine bottles stand alongside.

Colin Talbot, British Airways’ Head of Catering, said: “We’ve really focused on attention to detail with the new Club World menu, with the aim of delivering a real restaurant experience in the sky."

batraveltrade.com