Tennessee sounds rock London

Travellers passing through Waterloo Station’s main concourse in June enjoyed some of the sounds and tastes of Tennessee.

Tennessee

Running on weekdays between June 4-June 17, the ‘Sounds of Tennessee’ mini-stage featured a number of artists playing ‘Americana’ songs in styles that included blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll.

The Tennessee promotion at Waterloo also featured hanging earphones. Passers-by could hear everything from historic recordings from local Tennessee radio stations, interviews with Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton and even the birdsong and trickling water of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Shots of whisky-flavoured Jack Daniel's cider were also on offer.

The initiative to showcase the southeastern state’s rich musical heritage was a joint collaboration of several partners including the tourism boards of Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville, Brand USA and British Airways commented Brian Wagner, Assistant Commissioner of Marketing for Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development.

“We wanted an idea that would make a real impact in the UK, one of our key markets, and decided to do this even before the new five-times-a-week British Airways service to Nashville (from Heathrow, which started on May 4) was announced,” he said.

Away from Waterloo, the campaign was promoted via poster and digital billboards across London.

Among the Tennessee music landmarks being promoted to lure more UK visitors were the Ryman Auditorium, Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Knoxville’s Tennessee Theatre.

In terms of growing tourism numbers, Tennessee is currently the best-performing U.S. state, according to a report by forecasting company Oxford Economics.

tnvacation.com

Seaworld’s new Sesame Street

SeaWorld Orlando is to open a brand-new themed attraction in Spring 2019.

Seaworld

Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando will bring the famous TV street to park visitors by featuring “a colourful and creative world brought alive by immersive theming, character interactions and interactive play”.

Guests will explore the iconic neighborhood as they walk through Abby Cadabby’s garden, visit Mr. Hooper’s store, stop by Big Bird’s nest, sit on the famous 123 stoop and meet their favourite friends from Sesame Street including Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird.

Parade dancers will invite guests to join the party on Sesame Street daily during SeaWorld Orlando’s first-ever parade.

The immersive area will also feature rides, wet and dry play areas and interactive experiences designed to entertain the entire family.

“In partnering with Sesame Workshop, we are creating a land for guests to make an authentic connection that can only be found in hugging a furry friend or reading a book with Big Bird,” said Amanda Trauger, Experience Design Manager for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Construction on Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando is currently underway on the south end of the park, where Happy Harbor currently stands.

For advice and tips from park’s experts, agents can visit SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s trade-facing website:

seaworldagents.com

Edinburgh and D.C. United

United Airlines has commenced a seasonal service between Edinburgh and Washington D.C.

Edinburgh

The first-ever flights connecting the two capitals fly into United’s hub at Washington Dulles International Airport.

The daily route is being operated by B757-200 aircraft with 169 seats, including 16 flat-bed seats in Polaris business class and 45 Economy Plus seats with extra legroom.

Flights depart Edinburgh at 12.30 and arrive in Washington DC at 15.30. The return flights depart Washington Dulles at 22.10 and arrive in Edinburgh at 10.25 the following day.

“Our new flight strengthens our international route network and provides our customers from Scotland with greater travel choice,” said Bob Schumacher, United Managing Director Sales United Kingdom and Ireland.

The service will operate until October 4.

United has been flying to Scotland for 20 years. It operates year-round services between Edinburgh and New York and seasonal flights between both Edinburgh and Chicago and between Glasgow and New York.

Passengers can connect in DC to United flights to almost 70 destinations across North America and the Caribbean.

united.com

Virgin plans for Manchester

Virgin Atlantic is to increase by 20% the number of flights it operates from Manchester across the Atlantic in 2019.

Virgin

Next year will be the airline’s biggest ever year flying from the city, with up to six daily departures.

A new route to Los Angeles, coupled with an increase in services to both Boston and Las Vegas, will see the airline offering up to 14,000 seats a week directly from Manchester to the USA and Caribbean.

A number of routes, including both New York and Atlanta, will be flown on the Boeing 747, the largest in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet. The Los Angeles service, which will operate three-times-weekly, will commence on May 26.

Services to Las Vegas will double, from twice-a-week to four-times-a-week (beginning March 31), and the Boston service will increases to three-flights-a-week from May 25.

Shai Weiss, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Manchester is an important base for Virgin Atlantic and our latest expansion really cements this.”

“By putting our aircraft on our New York, Atlanta, Boston and now Los Angeles flights, we can really maximise connectivity through our partner Delta, allowing even more customers to take advantage of over 200 US connections.”

Virginatlantic.com

New England's whale trail

The Massachusetts Whale Trail is the latest initiative from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT).

New England

The trail, which was launched at the recent Discover New England show in Cape Cod, stretches from Provincetown in Cape Cod to Pittsfield in the Berkshire Hills on the western edge of the state.

It tells the story of the state – or ‘Commonwealth’ - through its connection to whales, and features nearly 40 stops along the coast associated with the marine mammal.

Eleven different whale breeds frequent the waters of the Massachusetts coast and account for over 800,000 visitors annually.

Included on the trail are museums, attractions, historic sites, educational centres and tours.

Sites include historic landmarks such as the Seaman’s Bethel and Mariners’ Home in New Bedford, whale watching tours from Provincetown to Newburyport, museums like the Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum, and educational activities such as the SEA SPACE Marine Discovery Center in Provincetown.

Beyond the coast, sites along the Melville Trail in Western Massachusetts are featured for their connection to the author Herman Melville’s renowned novel, Moby-Dick.

“The Whale Trail captures the maritime spirit of Massachusetts and offers a new way for visitors to engage with our long and storied connection to whales, said Francois-Laurent Nivaud, Executive Director of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

A new website features itineraries highlighting interactive experiences for visitors.

whaletrailma.com

Air NZ and LA team up

Air New Zealand and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB) are on the hunt for well-informed travel agents.

Air NZ

The two organisations joined forces this month to tour the UK to find agents with the best L.A. knowledge through a Mastermind-style quiz.

Agents had one-minute to answer as many questions as they could about Air New Zealand and Los Angeles before moving onto their chosen specialist subject.

Each agent was supplied with LATCB’s new online training modules, L.A. Insider, ahead of the quiz.

The person or team to answer the most questions in the allocated time won a spot prize, and all participants were entered into a draw to win a pair of return Economy Air New Zealand tickets to Los Angeles.

The joint campaign, designed to highlight the airline’s recently released a better way to fly campaign that focused on Air New Zealand’s direct London Heathrow to Los Angeles route and showcased its premium products, visited agents in Brighton, Dorking, London, Chester/Liverpool, Oxford, Preston, Witney and Bristol.

The airline is also running a booking incentive for all Air New Zealand ticketed bookings from the UK made between June 1-30.

Pictured are:

Top row: left to right - Paul Scott - Air New Zealand, Account Manager, Amela Dautovic - Air New Zealand, PA, Francine Sheridan - Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Regional Director, Europe and Middle East, Lizzie Cotton - Air New Zealand, Cabin Crew, Agent from Flight Centre Oxford St, London; Jhoanna Salcedo, Travel Consultant, Agent from Flight Centre Oxford St, London; Anna Boylan, Travel Consultant, Hayley French - Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Sales and Marketing Manager, Europe and Middle East.
Bottom row: left to right - Nishi Prasad - Air New Zealand, Marketing Manager UK and Europe, Agent from Flight Centre Oxford St, London; Lachlan Rigg, Travel Consultant, Agent from Flight Centre Oxford St, London; Jarrod Hilder, Travel Consultant

For information on the booking incentive see

betterwaytoflytrade.co.uk