Visit USA site content-rich

Travel agents are being urged to visit Visit USA’s latest website and use it as an essential reference tool when planning U.S. itineraries.

Visit the USA

The site, which is regularly added to, is packed with inspirational content from Association members.

Commented Tracey Spuyman, CEO, Visit USA (UK): “While our website was designed primarily as a tool for consumers looking to plan their perfect U.S. holiday, it works equally well for agents putting together a trip for their clients.

“It is not a static site; we are adding new content and features on an ongoing basis, but what we have up there already makes for an impressive research hub for anyone selling the USA.”

Key features include a large interactive map, with experiences from each of the U.S. states, and a blog containing a host of tips and travel ideas, such as how to visit the locations seen in major movies, where to find the best festivals and music events and how to tap into cultural and art hot spots across the country.

There is also a section for ‘offers’ which this month includes sports and wellness in Miami and the Beaches, with The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau offering discounts and special offers for activities such as yoga, golf and a wide range of water sports.

“The Visit USA website acts as a rich source of ideas for anyone looking to fully exploit the unrivalled diversity of the USA,” added Spuyman.

Visitusa.org.uk

Cruise America does Dallas

RV rentals specialist Cruise America is now offering vehicle rentals from a depot in Dallas, Texas.

Cruise America

Cruise America, which offers rentals from over 130 locations across North America, has four different models, with each one self-contained and including a kitchen, a bathroom (with a hot-water shower), a generator and comfortable sleeping quarters.

Tracy Thompson, the company’s International Sales & Marketing Manager commented: “We are excited that, from April, Dallas became our 27th depot in the USA.

“We introduced the city due to popular demand from our tour operator partners and the increased volume and frequency of flights to the city.”

The Lone Star State city is not short of familiar icons: there’s J.R Ewing of the TV series Dallas; the Dallas Cowboys American football team, known as ‘America’s team’ and the Dallas Farmers Market, which is open daily downtown and is one of the largest open-air markets in the country.

And for clients into retail therapy, Dallas has more shopping centres per capita than any other U.S. city and is home to America’s oldest shopping mall, Highland Park Village.

The city is also an entertainment hub, with at least a dozen districts near downtown including the splendid Dallas Arts District with over 68 acres of arts, culture and entertainment.

For those that have more time to spend in the area, suggest neighbouring city of Fort Worth, with its famous stockyards, rodeos and cattle drives.

Situated 13 miles east of downtown Dallas, the Plantation Place RV Park is a popular beauty spot with all the necessities to hitch an RV, along with recreational activities, including a 22,745 acre lake, the Mesquite Rodeo, and the Texas State Fair.

cruiseamerica.com

Electric Eel has new twist

Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster, will open at SeaWorld California on May 12.

Electric Eel

With loops, twists and plenty of adrenalin pumping airtime, the ride will feature multiple-launch experiences that propel riders forward and backward as they accelerate to more than 60mph in seconds.

Riders will then rocket skyward nearly 150 feet where they brave an inverted 'heartline' roll and a twisting loop for that airtime feeling as they crest the top of the ride.

Complementing the coaster will be live eel habitats, featuring a collection of California moray eels, and an interactive educational experience called Mission: Deep Discovery, which will allow a team of one to four players to embark on a virtual deep-sea adventure aboard a manned-vehicle while they encounter the marvels of the deep ocean.

SeaWorld California will also debut the all-new Sesame Street Party Parade, starting May 5 and continuing on Saturdays and Sundays through to July 1.

Electric Ocean, a nighttime entertainment extravaganza inspired by the bioluminescence of the ocean, also returns on June 16 and runs on select dates through to September 3.

The 2-Park SeaWorld and Aquatica California Ticket offers unlimited admission to both parks for up to seven consecutive days. The ticket can only be used in the summer season when Aquatica San Diego is open (daily between June 3-August 31 and weekends only from May 24 - June 2 and September 1-28). Prices start from £73pp.Alternatively, the SeaWorld California One Day ticket with Six Days Free offers seven days’ unlimited access to the park and starts from £52pp.

seaworldcalifornia.co.uk.

BA ups airlift to Phoenix

British Airways has brought back an additional non-stop flight between Heathrow and Phoenix, Arizona.

Pheonix

The extra service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is currently operating on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a second Sunday service scheduled to be added on May 6.

The additional flights will run through October.

The airline’s existing daily service departs Heathrow at 14.45 and arrives in Phoenix at 17.35. The new flight will take off from Heathrow at 12.15, touching down in Phoenix at 15.00.

Located in the American Southwest, Arizona is a holiday destination that appeals for its warm weather, desert scenery, American Indian culture, outdoor adventure, wellness resorts and, its signature icon, the Grand Canyon.

Commented Debbie Johnson, Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism: “Aside from the Grand Canyon, there are 21 other national parks and monuments in Arizona, and landmarks such as Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly and Havasupai Falls—found within Arizona’s tribal lands - are among the most beautiful places in North America.”

visitarizona.com
batraveltrade.com

United on a high to Denver

United Airlines inaugurated its non-stop seasonal service between Heathrow and its Colorado hub, Denver International Airport, last month.

Denver

Marking the occasion, customers, guests, United employees and the crew of the inaugural flight joined Marcel Fuchs, United Vice President Atlantic and Pacific Sales, Bob Schumacher, United Managing Director United Kingdom and Ireland, Kim Day, CEO Denver International Airport and Stacie Gilmore, Denver Councilwoman, before the departure of United flight 26 to Denver for a special gate celebration which included entertainment from bluegrass band, Hot Rock Pilgrims.

“Denver is a wonderful and vibrant city, serving as a gateway to the Rockies. Our new flight strengthens our international route network and provides our U.K. customers with greater travel choice, with over 50 nonstop connections from Denver to other destinations across the U.S, Mexico and Canada,” said Bob Schumacher, United Managing Director Sales U.K. and Ireland.

Operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the daily flight leaves Heathrow at 11.25, arriving into Denver at 14.15 the same day. The return departs Denver daily at 17.40, arriving in Heathrow at 09.40 the following day.

The service will operate until October 27, 2018.

united.com

New York pulling in crowds

Last year was the eighth consecutive year for record-breaking tourism numbers to New York.

New-york

The city welcomed an estimated 62.8 million visitors, an increase of 2.3 million visitors over 2016. Visitation for 2017 comprised 49.7 million domestic and 13.1 million international visitors, both all-time highs.

“New York continued its constant trend of reinvention, always offering countless reasons to visit and discover all that our five boroughs only can offer, both iconic and new,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

“And campaigns to counter the negative rhetoric such as New York City – Welcoming the World, reaffirmed our commitment to being an open and welcoming global capital,” he said.

Last November, NYC & Company unveiled its latest tourism campaign, 'True York City,' to encourage global travellers to explore deeper and discover NYC’s 'true' and authentic culture across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

Last summer, NYC & Company also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the organisation’s signature marketing programme, NYC Restaurant Week, the first dining promotion of its kind.

In 2017, New York saw several new Midtown attractions debut including National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, the NFL Experience, Opry City Stage, Gullivers Gate and Spyscape. NYC has the most active hotel development pipeline in the United States.

Even with the 4,000 new rooms added to the City’s hotel inventory last year—bringing the total to nearly 116,500 rooms— demand remained strong.

NYC & Company’s 2018 forecast anticipate another year of growth, with a 3.7% increase to 65.1 million visitors.

nycgo.com