Visit USA’s regional shows

There’s still time for agents to sign up for this autumn’s series of Visit USA roadshows, which will be visiting three UK cities.


The popular events will take place in Manchester (October 2), Birmingham (October 3) and London (October 4).

The evenings are designed to maximize the networking opportunities for both Visit USA members – there will be over 30 exhibiting at each of the three venues – and attending travel agents.

“The Visit USA Roadshow provides a productive environment for our members to and agents to exchange ideas and explore business opportunities,” commented Tracey Spuyman, CEO Visit USA (UK).

Food and drink will be provided on each evening and attending agents will be in the frame to win an array of great prizes including four separate U.S. holidays – to San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Texas.

Agents can register to attend the roadshows by visiting

Universal fright nights

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, will be taking a stab at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights from September 14.


Based on the fourth installment in the classic slasher series created by John Carpenter, the mazes will transport guests to the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night where Myers has escaped Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and is out for revenge.

Guests will follow Myers as he escapes the mental hospital, encounters his first victims at Penney’s Gas Station and Diner, and wreaks terror on Haddonfield, all set to an ominous score.

The maze will include ‘scares’ by Myers in his classic featureless white mask and navy jumpsuit, with guests dodging his ‘bloody knife ‘at every turn.

Fans of the film can also expect a cameo by Myer’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis and other famous characters from the film as they try to escape the bloodbath.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights have been running in the company’s Hollywood and Orlando parks for more than 25 years.

Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Phoenix rises for AA

American Airlines is to introduce a new service between Heathrow and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, from March 31 2019.


The daily service will be operated by a two-class Boeing 777-200, with Premium Economy and Flagship Business, and will complement the existing service between the two destinations run by British Airways, American’s joint business partner.

Phoenix is growing in popularity as a leisure destination, with its year-round sunshine, desert vistas, top-class golf and spas and its relative close proximity to the Grand Canyon.

Arizona is the heart of the American Southwest,” said Debbie Johnson, Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

“And Phoenix is, by far, the easiest fly-in destination for a visit to Grand Canyon National Park and all the activities at the south and north rims. The Grand Canyon is just one of 22 national parks and monuments in Arizona, and Brits who have travelled here before tend to want to see more parks, more dramatic landscapes, more Arizona cities and towns. This additional nonstop flight makes it easier to do that.”

High-speed wifi and personal inflight entertainment is available for every customer while passengers in Premium will benefit from leather seats with 38 inches of pitch, enhanced food and beverage and amenity kits.

Flagship Business passengers will enjoy lie-flat suites, Bose noise-cancelling headphones and celebrity-chef inspired menus.

Meanwhile, next summer American will also introduce a daily summer service between Edinburgh and Philadelphia and a daily service from Dallas Fort Worth to Dublin, launching April 2 and June 6 respectively.

American’s 2019 flights went on sale on August 27.

Art for art’s sake in Philly

Philadelphia is gearing up for a month-long celebration of its many city public artworks.


The city is known for both its giant murals and various pieces of sculpture and other artworks scattered around the downtown area.

More than 25 events are planned throughout October’s running of Mural Arts Month 2018, featuring dedications, exhibitions and performances.

Highlights will include, on October 9, ‘the world’s first augmented reality mural’, which is billed as ‘integrating art and technology through image recognition and an experimental Afro-futuristic score’.

It will feature students from local private and public schools, with an Afro-futuristic original score by Philadelphia musician King Britt.

The power behind the month-long event is Mural Arts Philadelphia, the USA’s largest public art programme, dedicated to the belief that ‘art ignites change’. The body unites artists and communities through a collaborative process that has created nearly 4,000 separate artworks that have transformed Philadelphia’s public spaces.

Visitors can sign up for a walking mural tour that offers offers a first-hand glimpse into the inspiring stories behind Mural Arts’ collection, which has earned Philadelphia worldwide recognition as the “City of Murals.”

Miami Spice draws visitors

Visitors to Miami in September can take advantage of some cut-price deals at some of the city’s top eateries.


Running through to September 30, The Miami Spice promotion makes eating out more mouth-watering by offering the best of Miami cuisine for as little as $23.

Lunch and brunch meals, often featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs, are available at this price while three-course dinners are a bargain at $39.

Participating restaurants in the Greater Miami and The Beaches CVB promotion include Hakkasan, Chef Adrianne's Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar, Graziano’s Restaurant Coral Gables, Matador Room (Miami Beach), Swine Southern table and Bar and many others.

There is no membership or sign-up required to take advantage of the Miami Spice offers.

Visitors just have to visit the individual webpage of each participating restaurant they want to visit and check the days of the week that the restaurant offers Miami Spice lunch/brunch or dinner offers.

Maverick falls for Kauai

Maverick Helicopters has expanded its operations to Hawaii’s northernmost and oldest island, Kauai.


The expansion, which comes three years after the company launched a flightseeing trip on Maui, is Maverick’s sixth permanent location.

Flights depart daily from Port Allen Airport, located along the southern shore of Kauai.

Guests can choose two experiences that take in Kauai’s spectacular landscapes including Waimea Canyon, known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ and Manawaiopuna Falls, nicknamed Jurassic Falls’ and made famous in the movie Jurassic Park.

Kauai Explorer ($299pp) is a 50-minute flight that showcases the Napali Coast, Kauai’s 17-mile coastline, featuring emerald-hued cliffs, waterfalls and the Pacific Ocean and Waimea Canyon, a geographic marvel with a colorful desert landscape known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Kauai Discovery ($199pp) is a 25-minute flight that begins over the fertile Hanapepe Valley, before soaring over Manawaiopuna Falls (or Jurassic Falls). The flight also offers a bird’s eye view of the Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve, including Awini Falls and Waialea Falls, and Waimea Canyon.

Passenger fly in Airbus EC130 ECO-Star helicopters, featuring a spacious cabin for up to seven passengers, voice-activated headsets, leather seating and wraparound windows.