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Can’t Get to Martha’s Vineyard for Springtime Getaway? Bring the Vineyard Home

April 2, 2020
Martha's Vineyard, MA

Picturesque Martha’s Vineyard is an easy drive when the all-clear signal comes for a well-deserved getaway © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Can’t get to Martha’s Vineyard for springtime getaway? Bring the Vineyard to your loved ones. With much of America confined at home under stay at home or shelter-in-place orders and travel to just about everywhere disrupted, many people have cancelled planned holidays and getaways. But the renowned merchants and artisans of the enchanted Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard have merchandise evocative of the island to bring the cheer of the island right to Vineyard lovers’ doorsteps.

The merchandise and other offerings run the gamut from handmade jewelry; handmade chocolates; Vineyard sea salt; alpaca fleece merchandise from ultra-soft, warm socks to blankets; to renowned photographer Alison Shaw’s Vineyard photos books; hand-blown art glass, bowls, pitchers and vases; Aquinnah jewelry; and Menemsha Blues line of casual wear.

A loving gift can lift the spirits and bring much-needed smiles to the faces of weary friends and family at this difficult time. Also, the new Martha’s Vineyard Visitor guide has just released and can be viewed here. And with Easter a little more than one week away, gifts to grace Easter baskets would be most welcome.

Be cheered by having a Martha’s Vineyard experience delivered to your doorstep. Local Vineyard retailers offer a wide variety of Island made and inspired products. Peruse their websites, shop til you drop, and in a few days time, a part of Martha’s Vineyard will come home to you:

Additionally, New England lovers might like this great campaign, called “Rally for Retail.” It allows lovers of Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Newport and more, to support the areas they love by visiting their favorite retailers on-line. It’s a win/win, and you get to have a reminder of your special place delivered to you to enjoy until we can travel well and safely again.

Alison Shaw Gallery

Support local photographer Alison Shaw and shop online for a few of the books she has photographed over time. Includes local cookbooks and more.

CB Stark Jewelers

The classic Martha’s Vineyard jewelers are online for your shopping pleasure – order a significant piece that represents the island.

Enchanted Chocolates

Craving locally made chocolates? You can order these tasty treats online but if you’re on island, they will also deliver to your front door.

Faherty Brand

Faherty is a family business working tirelessly to create great products that last a lifetime. They make thoughtful decisions for our community, customers and planet and you can find their shop in Edgartown, but can also order their full line, online.

Island Alpaca Co. of Martha’s Vineyard

Why not bring the softest items, made from alpaca wool, into your life right now? We all need that comfort and you can purchase socks, sweaters, and so much more on their website.

Katama General Store

Shop for gift cards and locally made items here – Katama General Store is a favorite in Katama.

Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt

We are all cooking and baking more at home these days, so make sure to sprinkle and finish your food with locally harvested Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt.

Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks

Looking for a piece of glass art that’s hand-blown right here on Martha’s Vineyard? MV Glassworks offers a few gorgeous pieces on their website.

Morrice Florist of Martha’s Vineyard

Order books online and, if you’re local, floral arrangements to brighten your home during these times.

Menemsha Blues

We are all living in sweats lately – and there’s nothing comfier than those Menemsha Blues sweatshirts.

Nell MV

A small boutique shop in Edgartown, with an online shop that currently has sales of up to 70% off, so make sure to check them out.

Not Your Sugar Mamas Chocolate

Craving chocolate? Why not have the healthiest kind – dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan chocolate made on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, they’ve come out with a cookbook, so get baking with chocolate at home!

Rainy Day MV

Not only does this Vineyard Haven shop have online shopping but if you follow them on Instagram, you can shop through their social media as well.

Stefanie Wolf Designs

Ocean inspired jewelry handmade in Edgartown, and you’ll find everything from stud earrings to bracelets, necklaces, and much more.

Soft As A Grape

Another cozy clothing option, this time from the classic shop, Soft As A Grape.

Third World Trading Co.

Shop your favorite eclectic boutique at the end of Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

The Boneyard Surf Shop

Looking for surf goods, shirts, and more? This surf shop in Edgartown offers great items online.

Vineyard Vines

The classic New England brand and a Vineyard favorite, you can order online with 30% off and 50% off their sale section (limited time).

Aquinnah Jewelry

Nothing like a locally made, made to order piece of jewelry that you can carry with you and remind yourself of your favorite place in the world.

Bibi’s MV

Luxury bedding, furniture, decor, and more can be found in this online shop. You can even personalize items for a fun and unique gift idea.

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore

At home and not enough books to read? Instead of purchasing books from the big online retailers, support our local Vineyard Haven bookstore by ordering books from them.

Citrine X Trust

Everything from this Martha’s Vineyard boutique shop uplifts your spirit – or protects it! Find clean beauty and wellness products, as well as trendy yet sustainable clothing and locally made jewelry.

Driftwood Jewelry

This Oak Bluffs jewelry shop carries a variety of local artists and jewelers – from wampum bracelets, sea glass necklaces, and much more.

Kenworthy

A mother-daughter collaboration that spun into being after countless trips throughout Asia, Central America, and the Middle East. Inspired by the textiles from their travels, more than what’s leading the current trend, they look to personify the laid back island lifestyle that their home practically breathes. Each piece is hand sewn at their studio on Martha’s Vineyard and purposely designed to outlive fashion cycles.

Salte

Looking for thoughtfully curated home goods? Everything from candles, blankets, and much more available here. Unique items!

Slate

Do some spring shopping at this boutique shop in Edgartown, offering a 20% discount with a special code.

Sea Legs MV

A new boutique in Edgartown, Sea Legs has a variety of goods you can pre-order online.

Slip77

Known for their beach to bonfire clothing line, this Oak Bluffs shop is definitely a favorite.

Martha’s Vineyard is an easy drive of most places in the Northeast and, once we get the “all clear”, its fans can start making their pilgrimages once again. From Aquinnah to Edgartown, there is no shortage of seasonal happenings and many of the Vineyard inns are offer special rates to incentivize booking.

Get your copy of the 2020 Martha’s Vineyard Travel Guide.

Whether an armchair traveler or planning your visit, see our feature: Cruising into Martha’s Vineyard’s Warm Embrace

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National Comedy Center, Jamestown NY, Named Best New Museum in the Country by USA Today

February 29, 2020
National Comedy Museum e2

The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

Jamestown,  NY — The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL , St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta. The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote after a four-week voting period from January 20 through February 17, 2020.

“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”

“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”

“The National Comedy Center team is grateful for the incredible support from our local community, the entire Western New York region, and from comedy fans across the country, all of whom voted for the Comedy Center to receive this national recognition and high honor” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center project chairman. “It’s tremendous validation of the hard work and vision of our staff and board, our partner organizations, and our community, who believed in this project and worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

“The National Comedy Center is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am thrilled that everyone will now know what I already knew —  it is absolutely the best new museum in the country. It’s an extraordinary showplace for all things comedic –- and interactive from the moment you walk in. I promise you will smile from beginning to end. Now that the Comedy Center is officially the country’s Best New Museum, you need to make plans to visit. You won’t be disappointed,” said Lewis Black, comedian, actor, author and National Comedy Center Advisory Board member.

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “We are very excited that USA Today readers chose the National Comedy Center as the best new museum in the US and Canada. Anyone who loves comedy should plan a pilgrimage to this world-class, one-of-a-kind attraction as part of a New York State vacation that includes nearby destinations like the Lucy Desi Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, Panama Rocks and Niagara Falls.”

Last summer the National Comedy Center was named by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and People magazine selected it as one of its “100 Reasons to Love America.”

In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and eighteen countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

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Comedian Harrison Greenbaum explains REAL ID in 60 Seconds

February 25, 2020
USTOA-RealID-Harrison Greenbaum e2

USTOA partnered with comedian Harrison Greenbaum, who hilariously attempts to explain REAL ID in a 60 second video. Travelers can watch (and learn) by visiting youtube.com/USTOA.

NEW YORK –With an October 1, 2020 deadline looming for travelers to possess a REAL ID compliant travel document, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has compiled a simple tool kit for travelers and travel advisors.

Many states in the U.S. have only recently began issuing compliant licenses and state identification cards, which means that travelers may still hold a non-REAL ID compliant license that will not suffice for domestic air travel. Most recently, the Department of Homeland Security has made the decision to allow electronic submissions of the documents that are required to obtain a REAL ID, a positive step ahead of the deadline.

To lighten the mood and creatively share this information, USTOA partnered with comedian Harrison Greenbaum, who hilariously attempts to explain REAL ID in a 60 second video. Travelers can watch (and learn) by visiting youtube.com/USTOA.

“Travelers can also learn more about REAL ID by visiting the USTOA Travel Blog, which is constantly being updated with stories and tips from industry professionals,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Plus, with everything from passport and visa advice, to packing secrets and trip inspiration, it’s a helpful resource to stay up to date and continue learning.”

Read the USTOA Travel Blog at ustoa.com/blog.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

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Top 25 ‘Extraordinary Minds’ in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization to be Honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards, Jan 21

January 17, 2020
HSMAI Adrian_012219_026e2(c) Karen Rubin-Top 25

HSMAI’s Top 25 for 2018. This year’s honorees will be presented at the Adrian Awards gala on Jan. 21 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis, recognizes inspiring best practices in sales and marketing for the hospitality industry. This multifaceted-event celebrates lifetime achievement; award-winning approaches to advertising, public relations, and digital marketing; and the teams that make it all happen. This black-tie networking extravaganza allows key constituents within the hospitality industry to connect with one another. With a crowd of nearly 1,000, it is a networking and celebratory event unlike any other.

The HSMAI Adrian Awards competition is comprised of multiple categories in three entry divisions: advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. Gold winners are celebrated at the Adrian Awards Gala Dinner Reception, which is co-sponsored by HSMAI, a leading hospitality and travel industry sales and marketing association, Google and TravelClick, and their work is showcased on-screen as part of the Gala opening. All winning entries are showcased in the online winner’s gallery.

One of the events of the evening is honoring the HSMAI Top 25 leaders in sales, marketing, and revenue optimization of hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months. Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, “Top 25” awardees are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge campaigns and programs, triumph in challenging situations and efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

The HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds 2019 are as follows:

  • Tammie Carlisle, Head of Hospitality, Milestone Inc.
  • Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Alex Ferdinand, Senior Director, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Christen Garb, Vice President, Revenue Management-Americas, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Thomas Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA
  • Valerie Gavin, Vice President, Hotel Sales & Marketing, North & Central America, Accor
  • Lisa Giaimo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development
  • Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Lauren Grech, CEO & Co-Founder of LLG Agency & LLG Events, and Adjunct Professor at New York University
  • Linda Gulrajani, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Patrick Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Matt Jones, Head of Analytics, Travel, Google
  • Jonathan Kaplan, Vice President, Global Sales Strategy, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Nancy Kern, Vice President of Marketing, Coral Tree Hospitality
  • Jayna Leach, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Caroline MacDonald, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Rosewood Hotel Group
  • Rene Mack, President, Percepture
  • Starla Middlebrooks, Director, eCommerce Services, Marriott International
  • Frank Passanante, Senior Vice President, Hilton Worldwide Sales Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Derek Price, Director of Business Development, North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
  • Karin Salinas, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Baha Mar
  • Monica Salter, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Outrigger Hospitality Group
  • Phil Yi, Vice President, Marketing, Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Tony Yousfi, Vice President, Sales, MGM Resorts International
  • Lou Zameryka, Director, Global Chains, Booking.com

Nominations for the Top 25 are reviewed by a panel of industry experts selected by HSMAI from among its membership and/or Board of Directors. HSMAI selects judges who have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and have outstanding knowledge of the hospitality industry. Judges are held to the highest standards of integrity and commitment to honoring those individuals that have shown extraordinary leadership in our industry over the last 18 months. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles and judges must recuse themselves from scoring any nomination that may present a conflict of interest. Nominations are scored on a scale of 1-10 for the results of their leadership for specific sales, marketing, and revenue management initiatives.

The evening celebration also includes:

» Gold Dinner Reception co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google and TravelClick, an Amadeus company, celebrating the Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners
» Adrian Awards Platinum & Best of Show
» Corporate Social Responsibility Awards
» The Facebook Mobile Video Award
» Lifetime Achievement Awards: Lee Pillsbury, Bjorn Hanson
NEW! – The HSMAI Foundation Awards for Outstanding Efforts in Attracting, Developing & Engaging Hospitality Talent

Join the celebration honoring this year’s Top 25 by attending the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception & Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Learn more and register.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization with more than 5,000 members worldwide and 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at www.hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, HSMAI YouTube.

See also:

HSMAI 2018 Adrian Awards Honor State-of-Art Travel Marketing Techniques that Get Back to People-to-People Basics

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Where To Go In 2020: US Tour Operators Reveal Top Travel Trends For 2020

January 2, 2020

Eric2018-Ven-Tri-Ist Bike_083118_1480e2(c) Karen Rubin-Porec.jpg

Arriving in Porec, Croatia, the end-point of Biketours.com’s 8-day self-guided bike tour that started in Venice, Italy. US tour operators see Croatia as a top emerging destination; Italy as the most popular destination for 2020 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released results of its annual travel trend and forecast survey of the association’s active tour operator members naming Italy the most popular destination for travelers in 2020.

The top five “hot” destinations for next year also included France, which ranked second; followed by Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom (tied for third); Ireland and Japan (tied for fourth), Germany tying South Africa for fifth.

“Europe has a very strong presence, which we saw in last year’s survey reinforcing continued interest and growth in European travel among US consumers, driven by both more product and more demand,” cited Terry Dale, President and CEO of USTOA.

USTOA tour operator members also identified their top five off-the-beaten path or emerging destinations that they see gaining popularity in 2020: Egypt, Croatia and Colombia tied for first. “Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story,” added Dale. “It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years.”  Making the list for the first time, Slovenia was named second, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, and Morocco and Ethiopia (tied for fifth).

On the domestic front, USTOA members forecast California as the most popular U.S. destination for clients in 2020. New York came in second, with Florida and Nevada tied for third, followed by Arizona, and Alaska and Hawaii (tied for fifth).

Arts and culture was cited by survey participants as the top travel category driving sales in 2019, wildlife and nature followed in a close second.  Local immersion, small groups/small ships and uncharted destinations were named by Active Members as the top three travel trends projected to grow the most over the next five years.

Members were also asked to name the destinations/sites that travelers should see now, with some sense of urgency before overcrowding, climate change or other factors impact the experience.

Antarctica was named first, followed by Machu Picchu in Peru, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Venice, Italy (tied for third).

Who is Traveling?

Just shy of two thirds (60%) of members’ customer base are 51 years of age and older. The next largest age group is 35 to 50 years old, representing 20% of customers. Almost half (44%) of members named multigenerational family as their top growing passenger category in 2019.

Growth Ahead

Roughly 82% of USTOA tour operator members anticipate growth in sales for the year ending in 2020 with nearly half (45%) “optimistic” and forecasting a “boom year” with growth anywhere from seven to 10% or higher.

“Member confidence levels for the year ahead are high with roughly three quarters of our tour operator members ‘confident’ or ‘highly confident’ that revenues will increase in the coming year,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA.  “This is particularly encouraging especially as we approach a election year, when, historically, consumer spending is more conservative.”

“In fact, when asked about potential threats to traveler confidence in the year ahead, the presidential election year topped the list,” Dale continued. Recession was named the second global risk that could impact potential growth in 2020, followed by global financial instability in third.

Research from the new member survey was revealed at USTOA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace, December 2 to December 6 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, FL.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

 

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Grand Geneva, Timber Ridge Lodge Are Ideal Resorts for Grandtravel Trend

December 26, 2019
grandtravel e2

Grandparents are taking grandkids on more vacations and leaving mom and dad home in 2020. Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark in Geneva, Wisconsin are ideal resorts for the grandtravel trend.

Grandparents are taking grandkids on more vacations and leaving mom and dad home in 2020. Here are two midwest resorts that already offer “grandparent” experiences.

Multigenerational travel may still be happening, but the hottest new trend is “skip-generation travel,” where grandparents travel with their grandkids and leave the middle generation — the parents — at home. About one-third of grandparents have taken such trips, according to recent AARP research. Ditching the middleman offers a unique bonding opportunity, especially for family members who live far apart from one another, and lets both generations hit the road together, creating memories of a lifetime. It also gives mom and dad a break of their own.

There are resorts such as Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (grandgeneva.com, 262-248-8811) and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark (www.timberridgelodge.com, 262-249-3400) in Lake Geneva, WI that have already begun to see this family travel trend on the rise and offer special vacation experiences tailored towards “skip-gen” travelers. Amenities include all-suite accommodation options, special memory-making experiences and low-impact adventures such as indoor waterpark fun, mini-golf, beginner hikes, biking, seasonal skiing and more. Grandparents and grandchildren don’t need to leave the resort and can spend several days together enjoying new experiences. During the peak summer months when grandchildren are out of school, Timber Ridge offers a getaway specifically created for grandparents and grandchildren for easy vacation planning. The ‘Grandparents Getaway’ includes accommodations, food & beverage credit, arcade tokens and 4 rounds of mini golf.

This trend dovetails with the aging of the world population. By 2020, those aged 65+ worldwide will have grown to over 700 million people. At the same time, this aging generation is healthier and fitter than ever before, so they’re well poised for “grand” travel.

 

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Insight Vacations Celebrates 100 Years of The Travel Corporation with Anniversary Sale

December 25, 2019
Lisbon_3203e2 (c) Dave E. Leiberman-Pateis Belem

Taste the sensational pastries of Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon on Insight Vacations’ “Amazing Spain and Portugal” tour © Dave E. Leiberman /goingplacesfarandnear.com.

New York, N.Y.– To celebrate The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 100 years of being driven by service, Insight Vacations is offering travelers a special anniversary savings.

As a proud member of TTC, Insight Vacations is excited to welcome you into the TTC family and showcase why it is the leader in travel across the world—by catering to every taste, place and pace. Through our dedication to service and making travel personal, we cannot wait to welcome you on a magical journey.

“For 100 years, travel advisors have booked the companies of The Travel Corporation with supreme confidence, and Insight Vacations is no exception. The tradition of excellence in hospitality established long ago by the Tollman family influences everything we do,” says Jon Grutzner, president of Insight Vacations. “To honor that and celebrate with our loyal customers, we have created 100th Anniversary Celebration savings to give our guests the opportunity to experience our new itineraries and immersive experiences at the best value for 2020.”

On all Insight journeys, you’ll travel in relaxed style that experience the heart and soul of the destination–with small groups, premium hotels in the best locations, authentic dining and experiences with locals.

For TTC’s 100th anniversary, you can save up to 20% on European Discovery, Spain, Portugal and Morocco trips for bookings between January 1, 2020- January 7, 2020 for the travel periods April 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020.

You can also take advantage of even more savings in 2020 with Insights’ extended air offer and early payment discountFrom now until Feb. 27, you can save up to $300 per couple on economy air on departures to Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Morocco for travel during Oct. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, and September 1, 2020 to November 15, 2020.

By choosing flights with American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia, you can save $150 off per person on Economy, $200 off per person on Premium Economy or $300 off per person on Business Class.

Also, if you book and pay in full by Feb. 27, you can receive a savings of 7.5% on trips to Europe and Britain, and the USA and Canada. This special offer is not combinable with the anniversary sale.

So, live your stylish life on a remarkable journey, venturing to some of the most iconic and remarkable destinations in Europe and beyond:

European Dream (11 Days); Leisurely paced with two-night stays in each destination and plenty of time to explore, this journey allows you to live your European Dream and come face-to-face with history through memorable local interactions. Enjoy VIP fast-track entry into the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, as well as exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase that is usually not open to the public. Meet a gondolier in Venice and learn how the tradition of gondola navigation is being passed on to future generations. In Orvieto, marvel at the skills of an Italian chef during a cooking demonstration where you’ll learn how to make homemade pasta. In Stanserhorn, join a Swiss ranger to learn about local fauna and flora in the areaWhile in Paris, join a local foodie to venture where Parisians go about their daily lives, explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies.

Amazing Spain and Portugal (9 Days): Delve into the heart and soul of each destination on this 9-day journey through the Iberian Peninsula. Tour the celebrated Alhambra Palace with a Local Expert, taste authentic Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon, and see the ancient Roman arches across the river Tormes in Salamanca. Embark on a scenic drive to Seville to explore the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, and see the final resting place of Christopher Columbus, along with his tomb, at the grand 15th century Seville Cathedral. In the historic city of Toledo, visit the workshop of a master craftsman and see how Damascene swords are made. In Jabugo, taste the famous jamon Iberico (Iberian ham) and learn about its history and production.

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Celebrate the Holidays and Toast the New Year at Favorite New York & Hamptons Hot-Spots

December 24, 2019
LI southhampton social club e2

Southhampton Social Club

New York City’s resident foodies are dashing all the way to these fine dining destinations to enjoy the very best in holiday treats and feasts. These New York restaurants are dishing up the holiday spirit from Manhattan to Long Island’s East End. So why not embark on a journey of festive fun and holiday celebrations happening throughout December and into the 2020 New Year.

Here are the gourmet dining establishments that have set their tables to welcome your family and friends for this Holiday Season:

New York City

T-Bar Steak & Lounge

T-Bar redefines the steakhouse experience with masterfully crafted New American entrees on the authentic steakhouse menu and from the raw bar. The sophisticated Upper East Side eatery offers outstanding cuisine in a sleek and comfortable setting, preferred by New York City’s power players and distinguished residents. For those looking for a relaxing dinner before the hustle and bustle of New Year’s Eve, T-Bar and Chef Ben Zwicker will be serving their regular a la carte menu starting at 5:00 pm. As always, the famous Steak Bar features Filet Mignon, Aged NY Strip Steak, Aged Bone-in Ribeye Steak and Black Angus Porterhouse Steak (for two) seasoned with Kosher salt plus black pepper and served with your choice of steak sauce; bearnaise sauce or poivre sauce. (1278 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10021, 212-772-0404, www.tbarnyc.com).

Russian Samovar

For a Russian holiday like none other, Russian Samovar is providing authentic Russian cuisine historically favored by native New Yorkers and members of the ethnic group in Manhattan’s Theater District. Party Like A Russian! at the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve celebration starting at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019. The main dining room will feature 6+ hours of partying with an incredible banquet for a seven-course meal, an unlimited liquor package, and live music for an evening of singing and dancing.

NYC-Russian Samovar e2

Russian Samovar

Russian Samovar’s seasonal menu includes the winter soup Salyanka with beef, smoked sausages, olives, pickles and onions; Vareniki are Russian dumplings served pan-fried with sour cream; and Khachapuri, a traditional Georgian three-cheese pastry. The dessert menu includes the popular Russian layered honey cake Medovik, traditional cheese cake Zapekanka, and Poached Pear served with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Throughout the holiday season, family and friends can enjoy Russian Samovar’s time-honored history and the exceptional ambiance which embodies a 19th-century feel, complete with Russian folk prints and picturesque green and red shades. If you are in the Theatre District, head to Russian Samovar to experience Russian culture, New York City history and the most-lively musical and performing art shows featuring classical works, show tunes, ​lounge music, jazz, and Russian gypsy folk music.

Open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day: Normal Business Hours; Open New Year’s Eve: noon to 6 pm; open on New Year’s Day: 5-11 pm

Party Like A Russian! NYE 2020 Celebration begins at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019. (256 West 52nd Street , at 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, 212-757-0168, www.russiansamovar.com.

Southampton

Claude’s at the Southampton Inn

The award-winning Claude’s Restaurant, at the Southampton Inn, brings the distinguished taste of the Hamptons all holiday season and year-round for visitors to the Village of Southampton, New York. The beloved restaurant is the epitome of comfort, casual dining and entertainment. Claude’s served breakfast daily, weekend brunch and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.

The fun and festivities roll into the New Year with Southampton Inn’s 22nd New Year’s Eve Gala. The New Year’s Eve package, at $475 for two adults, includes a one-night stay, dinner, dancing, open bar and midnight toast. Guests can add extra nights for $100. The gala is open to all residents and visitors for the ticket price of $125 (without a hotel reservation).

The Freaky Friday Theater/Dining package is perfect for a holiday outing with the family. Enjoy delicious dining at Claude’s and an amazing performance of Freaky Friday: “The Musical” at the Southampton Cultural Center. The theater is just steps away from the Inn at 25 Pond Lane, across from Agawam Park. (Freaky Friday, December 20, 2019 7pm and December 21 2019, 2pm & 7pm, General Admission: $20/adult, General Admission: $15/child; Dinner Package/adult: $60, Dinner Package/child under 12: $30; Brunch Package/adult: $45, Brunch Package/child: $25)

You can also book your own Holiday Party at the Inn. From gatherings in Claude’s Restaurant or their Library, to elegant celebrations in the ballroom, or one of the spacious banquet spaces, make your event unforgettable. Their events team will orchestrate your ideal celebration, from 10 to 200 people.

This time of year, Southampton Inn and Claude’s Restaurant provide the comforts of home for the holidays. Guests will enjoy holiday stockings stuffed with coupons and gifts from local village merchants, and a complimentary gift-wrapping room for guests after exploring the neighboring Village shops. The Inn is the perfect place to get cozy on a chilly day while enjoying a steaming mug of hot cider or holiday drink.

For the latest packages, deals and rates, call 631-283-6500, or visit http://www.southamptoninn.com. (91 Hill Street, Southampton, NY 11968).

Union Cantina

This time of year, guests can find a Hamptons-style Holiday fiesta at the award-winning Mexican eatery Union Cantina, featuring Live Music, entertaining daily happenings and signature specials. Bringing in the 2020 New Year, Union Cantina will host their Grand Fiesta New Year’s Eve Party featuring a Four-Hour Top Shelf Open Bar, Passed Hors d’oeuvres, A Full Dinner Buffet plus Dessert Table and a Live Musical performance featuring Deep C Revival and DJ Disco Pauly. Guests will also enjoy an assortment of party favors while watching live coverage of the Times Square Ball Drop.  All of this is included and tickets are just $75.00 each! If you’re interested in a la carte dinner service, that is available at our sister restaurant Union Burger Bar, adjacent to Union Cantina.

Award-winning Executive Chef Scott Kampf, previously featured on Food Network’s Iron Chefs of America, leads the kitchen all year-round, and will craft the contemporary holiday menu for the celebration. The sumptuous dinner buffet includes Tortilla Salad with mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, mango vinaigrette; Beef Short Rib with apricot, jalapeño & habanero basted, crispy roasted corn and scallion polenta, charred brussel sprouts, queso fresco; Skillet Baked Salmon with paprika and ancho chili dusted salmon, rice medley of diced tomato, sweet corn, black beans and scallions in a cilantro agave glaze; Mexican Street Corn Pasta with chorizo sausage, sweet corn, asparagus tips and rigatoni finished in chipotle cream and topped with cotija cheese. The famous Deconstructed Chicken Enchilada satisfies a variety of palates, made with rojo chile sauce, queso blanco, asador cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado crema. The dessert table will include Union Churros, Tres Leches Cake and Apple Cinnamon Empanadas for a sweet ending to 2019.

Open Christmas Eve: 11:30 am to 8 pm, CLOSED Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Eve: 11:30 am to 4 pm; Open on New Year’s Day: 11:30 am to 10 pm Grand Fiesta New Year’s Eve Party at Union Cantina: 9 pm to 3 am Union Cantina, 40 Bowden Square, Southampton, NY. For reservations and more information, visit https://www.unioncantina.net/

Southampton Social Club

Heating things up in the Hamptons this holiday season, Southampton Social Club is the vibrant nightlife venue offering world-class fine dining, hip entertainment, private parties, weddings, corporate gatherings, special events and VIP occasions of all kinds. The Hamptons’ premier one-stop destination will host its 9th Annual New Year’s Bash featuring a passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast at Midnight, assorted party favors and live coverage of the Ball Drop live from Times Square. DJ Loki will deliver an exhilarating soundtrack all night long as Southampton Social Club counts down the seconds of 2019, and that’s just the Silver Package Ticket ($95pp)!

The Premium level packages are: The Gold Package ($150pp) which includes all of the Silver Package and…. an exquisite Four-Course Dinner presented by award-winning Chef Scott Kampf featuring delicacies like Fresh Maine Lobster & Filet Mignon.  Please check out the website for the full menu and details. Seatings begin at 7pm. Wine and Cocktails are included throughout dinner service. The Platinum Package ($200pp) includes ALL of the Silver and Gold packages and…. you have your own table to party at all night long including bottle service. One bottle of Liquor and Champagne are included.

Southampton Social Club will re-open for nightly dinner service in early May but is available for private events all year long and of course for The 9th Annual New Year’s Bash Southampton Social Club, 256 Elm St, Southampton, NY. For reservations and more information, visit www.southamptonsocialclub.com or call 631-287-1400.

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park Named a ‘Best Hotel for the Holidays’ in USA Today Readers Choice Contest

December 19, 2019
Tenaya Lodge Yosemite-xmas e2

Tenaya Lodge Yosemite, California was recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

FISH CAMP, Calif.  There’s still time to book a holiday stay at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, recently named a top two “Best Hotel for the Holidays” by USA TODAY’s 2019 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards contest for its array of family-friendly holiday activities like Dinner with Santa, Gingerbread House Workshops, Ice-Skating and Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Celebration.

Nominated hotels were selected by 10Best’s expert panel, and the public voted to award this honor

“This year, there is even more to be merry about with our new, two-bedroom cabin accommodations and a fun variety of old and new resort traditions that make the resort a top destination for holiday celebrations,” said Michael Broderick, director of sales and marketing.

Set on 75 forested acres at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, Tenaya Lodge is a family-friendly holiday getaway in a “tree-mendous” setting. Tenaya’s popular holiday activities and events include Gingerbread House WorkshopsKids Dinner with SantaFamily Paint Classes, ornament decorating workshops, cookie decorating, good night yoga and complimentary hot chocolate.

Tenaya Lodge is currently offering a two-night New Year’s Eve Package that includes two tickets to the Bubbles and Bowties New Year’s Eve party, New Year’s Day breakfast and a late check-out. The package starts at $490 per night. To learn more about spending the holidays at Tenaya Lodge, visit TenayaLodge.com/HolidayEvents.

Setting the standard for High Sierra hospitality and adventure, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an award-winning, all-season resort adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s south gate. Lodge, cottage and cabin accommodations satisfy a wide variety of preferences and are set on 75 acres primed for outdoor recreation that invite visitors to explore and connect with nature. From the nourishing Ascent Spa to custom-curated Yosemite tours, guided hikes and seasonal activities, a deep appreciation for the iconic location is infused into every aspect of the resort experience that also includes world-class views, multiple pools and abundant dining options ranging from casual to candlelit. For more information, visit TenayaLodge.com.

Delaware North is one of the largest privately-held hospitality and food service companies in the world. Founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for 100 years, Delaware North has global operations at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports and regional casinos. Learn more about Delaware North at delawarenorth.com.

 

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Holiday Activities at American Dream Mall Include Big Snow Indoor Park

December 18, 2019
American Dream-Snow-Xmas

Lindsey Vonn, Kelly Clark, Red Gerard, Donna Weinbrecht, Don Ghermezian, Paul Ghermezian, Joe Hession, Hugh Reynolds are on hand to open Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first indoor real-snow ski and snowboard park.

The holiday season has kicked off at American Dream mall, New Jersey, with festive activities for the entire family including free photos with Santa, face painting, and a winter market.

BIG SNOW AMERICAN DREAM OPENING

Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first indoor real-snow ski and snowboard park opened December 5, Tickets and more information about Big SNOW can be found at  http://bigsnowamericandream.com/

PHOTOS WITH SANTA

American Dream’s Events Court is transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season. Visit American Dream for a complimentary 5×7 print + digital photo with Santa between December 5 – December 24. Photos with Santa are available at your convenience, with no appointments needed. Suggested donations benefiting Make-A-Wish® New Jersey, our holiday non-profit partner, are encouraged. A complete listing of Santa’s schedule for the holiday season is available at www.americandream.com/event/santa. Santa is bilingual and is fluent in English and Spanish.

WINTER MARKET

The Winter Market at American Dream will debut this December and offer guests the opportunity to shop for unique gifts for loved ones, as well as sample snacks that will tease their appetites. Vendors include A’Jar Sweet Cream FactoryBang Cookies, Italian Alps Gelato, Grisini CoffeeLaduréePandoraRobin RuthSleet & SoleThe New Stand and Unique Flowers.

FESTIVE FACE PAINTING

Enjoy festive face painting during the weekend at American Dream. Face painters will be in the Tree Court and Nickelodeon Universe every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from December 6 – December 22, as well as Monday, December 23 and Tuesday, December 24. Hours will be posted on www.americandream.com.

CHANUKAH CELEBRATIONS

Celebrate Chanukah at American Dream. Join us for a special Chanukah Skate at The Rink on Sunday, December 22 from 5:00PM – 8:00PM, with DJ Jon spinning and a menorah lighting at 6:00PM. The community will gather to celebrate the last night of Chanukah on Sunday, December 29 from 5:30PM – 6:30PM, with a menorah lighting in the Events Court at 6:00PM.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON

American Dream will welcome local schools and community groups performing holiday hits throughout the winter wonderland. Enjoy performances several times throughout the afternoon on Saturday, December 7, 14, 21 and on Sunday, December 8, 15, 22.

WEAR THE SEASON WITH WHOOPI

Wear the season in Whoopi Goldberg’s amazing, amusing, limited edition Christmas and Chanukah sweaters. Holiday sweaters are available for sale in Whoopi = American Dream, open through January 2020. While you’re there, check out Whoopi’s new book ‘The Unqualified Hostess’ for inspiration and tips for all of your holiday soirees.

American Dream, developed by Triple Five Group, offers a curated mix of entertainment, retail and dining options. American Dream is approximately 3 million square feet and projects 40 million visitors annually. When complete, the destination will include over 450 retail, food and specialty shops, complemented by over 15 entertainment offerings including: fully-enclosed DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park; Big SNOW American Dream; Kidzania; live Performing Arts Theater; 300-foot tall Observation Wheel; Merlin Entertainments’ Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center; The Rink – an NHL-regulation sized ice rink; and The Dining Terrace with over fifteen full service restaurants and the world’s only Munchie’s Food Hall. For more information visit www.americandream.com or follow on Instagram @americandream.

American Dream, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford NJ 07073.

 

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