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Industry Briefs
Las Vegas welcomed nearly 3.5 million visitors in July, the highest monthly visitation since the start of the pandemic, according to data released recently by the Research Center at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). With world-class entertainment and sports, strong airline recovery and 151,000 hotel rooms throughout the destination, overall hotel occupancy in Las Vegas surpassed 83 percent in July, four percentage points ahead of July 2021. Weekend occupancy exceeded 91 percent, up three percentage points from last year, while midweek occupancy reached 79 percent, up 4.5 percentage points from last year as meetings and conventions continued their steady return.
Little Rock is no stranger to the changing tides of history and its power to shape a community. It’s a city that’s built on the intersection of our shared histories, and together those stories form the foundation of our community – a community that is the perfect place to host your next meeting. In 2010, Little Rock became a majority-minority city, a trend that is reflected at all levels of city leadership. Little Rock now has a more diverse slate of elected leaders than at any time. This commitment to diversity and equity carries through to our entire Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau team, and we are committed to ensuring that Little Rock is welcoming and open to everyone who wants to come here.
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is pleased to announce the promotion of Eric Blanc, Sr., CMP to Deputy Director. In his new role, Blanc will oversee the OCCC’s Sales, Marketing, Event Management and Exhibitor Services divisions. Blanc became a part of the OCCC family in 2019, when he was hired as the Assistant Director of Sales. In February 2020, he was promoted to Senior Director of Sales. Prior to joining the OCCC’s Sales Division, Blanc was the Director of Sales, Marketing and Convention Services for the Tampa Convention Center, where he spent 15 years of his career. Blanc’s background spans across various top organizations in the industry, including The Freeman Companies and GES Expositions, where he was a National Sales Manager for both companies.
Black Meetings & Tourism will be holding its annual Meet Up for African-American Planners on October 11 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during IMEX America. The event is being hosted by Caesars Entertainment with Discover Los Angeles as a participating sponsor. In addition to great food and networking opportunities, there will be presentations by Caesars Entertainment, Discover Los Angeles, the Greater Miami CVB, the New Green Book LLC, and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners. To register click on .
More than 2,700 women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. attended their 48th Southwest Regional Conference at the Fort Worth Convention Center August 10-14, returning to the Modern West city after 12 years. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, founded in 1913, is an international non-profit organization of college educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community. The Blazing Southwest Region , founded in 1932, includes Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Jamaica and includes 142 alumnae and collegiate chapters.
On Tuesday, August 16, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority hosted a backpack drive to provide 200 backpacks with supplies to students in foster care through Methodist Family Support Services. The effort was held in collaboration with the Center’s venue management partner, ASM Globa l ; Methodist Services; and Foster Angels on Earth, and is an initiative of ASM Global ACTS, a corporate social responsibility platform launched in 2021.
Marriott Columbia announces the completion of its guest rooms and suites renovation. Owned and managed by Columbia Sussex, the Marriott Columbia is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Columbia, which encompasses a 36-block area, and is minutes from the State Capital, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, historic homes, and Bull Street Stadium. Columbia also is home to the University of South Carolina and has hosted Southeast Conference football teams, fans and performers at Colonial Life Arena and Township Auditorium from Bob Dylan to Elton John.
Now Accepting Reservations for Australia and Alaska Sailings from Nov. 6, 2022 through April 2024 Carnival Cruise Line announced recently that reservations are open for the inaugural season of its newest ship Carnival Luminosa which will debut from Brisbane, Australia Nov. 6, 2022 before repositioning for seasonal service from Seattle to Alaska next May.
Bring your next Inspired event to Hampton, centrally located between Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. We offer highly accessible facilities, advanced capabilities for hybrid meetings, and 344,000 sq. ft. of space at the Hampton Roads Convention Center alone. When you’re not meeting, experience our attractions, rich with black history and culture. For service, safety, and amenities that are second to none, choose Hampton for your next convention.
Marketing Tips
Why The Summe Slump Is BS - Entrepreneur Tells All - 5 Ways To Beat It!
It may be cold outside now, but before you know it, the temperature will be soaring to new heights. 
Nine Types Of Clients You Should Cut Loose In 2016
Every Great Gardener Knows the Benefits That Winter Pruning Will Have Come Springtime.
Facebook....Or Face Time? Why Business Relationships Take More Than Texting, Friending, And "Online Cionnecting"
Technology has yielded some great communication tools, but Barefoot Wines founder Michael Houlihan says they are not relationship builders.
St. Louis Excels As An Ideal Family Reunions Destination
When it’s time for your next family reunion, think St. Louis!
Sports Tourism
Pumping Up Meetings With Sporting Themes
Planners can score big with meeting professionals thanks to crowd-pleasing, sports-themed activities and events that are veritable touchdowns regardless of the
Ski Free At Snowbasin Resort With Your Alaska Airlines Boarding Pass
Based on the success of Alaska Airlines "Ski the West" campaign last winter, Snowbasin Resort has once again partnered with Alaska Airlines to offer ski enthusiasts the opportunity to "Fly Alaska, Ski Free".
The Copperhead Course Bites Back
Salamander Hotels & Resorts Re-Opens Famed Innisbrook Course After Restorative Enhancements
PGA National Resort & Spa Announces New State-Of-The-Art Sports & Racquet Club
PGA National Resort & Spa - South Florida's world-class golf, spa, vacation and meetings destination
Sawgrass Country Club Completes Major Golf Course Renovation
Final Nine Opened On October 28, 2015
Travel Tips
Top 10 Tips For Yor Best Business Trip Corporate Veteran And Travel Expert Jan Kaplan Offers Advice
It doesn't matter whether you are taking a trip for business or pleasure, traveling can be frustrating, uncomfortable and downright irritating.
New System Provides Innovative Ways To Avoid Missing Prescription Medication
Medcenter System Features New Approach of Pill Stocking (With Days and Dates), Talking Alarms and Visual Aids
Weekend Getaways
Recognize, Relax, Rejuvenate - Celebrate Success At Marriott
In our non-stop 24-7 world, we're always ready to tackle the next project, assignment or business deal before we've even had a chance to reflect on what has just been achieved.
Three Perfect Days In Pacifica, California
Located just 15 minutes from San Francisco, the beautiful beachfront town of Pacifica is the perfect destination for a quick three-day getaway.
Jade Mountain Tops Most Romantic Holiday List
London's Telegraph Media Group has recognized Jade Mountain in St. Lucia as the top of its Top 10 list of most romantic holidays in the Caribbean.
What's Happening
Plan A Valentine's Weekend Escape Or Date Night In Costa Mesa With Various Special Dining Menus And Packages, Costa Mesa Is a Romantiic Getaway
OC's Costa Mesa has put together some great weekend deals to celebrate a romantic Valentine's Day. Beginning Friday
La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Rolls Out The Red Carpet This Holiday Season With New "Chestnuts & Capra" Package In December, 201
Fourth Annual "It's a Wonderful Life" Celebration Salutes Frank Capra's Classic Film with Interactive Cooking Demos, Chestnuts Roasting by a Fire, Fudge Tastings and The Big Guy in Red
2nd Annual Black Celebration Awards Recap
On Monday, September 21st, BLACK STREET had their 2nd Annual "Black Celebration" Awards ceremony at the Alvin Ailey Studios in New York City.
Area Guides
Baltimore is a city in flux with more than $11 billion in new and future developments changing the face of this attractive destination. The city offers more than 7,800 hotel rooms and counting, and there are plenty of delightful world-class attractions, museums, and dining experiences in the heart of the downtown. The city's newest and largest hotel is the Hilton Baltimore, neatly situated in the Inner Harbor. This is the only hotel connected to the Baltimore Convention Center fully enclosed, climate-controlled skybridge. Hilton Baltimore offers 757 spacious well-appointed rooms, including 20 suites. Guests enjoy premier restaurant dining, a fitness center, heated indoor pool, a 24-hour business center, and on-site parking. For your meeting needs the hotel also offers over 60,000 sq. ft. of flexible function space, including 46 meeting rooms, the 25,000-sq. ft. Key Ballroom, the 15,000-sq. ft. Holiday Ballroom, and two meeting planner suites.
For business or pleasure, Michigan has what you are looking for. With thousands of miles of lakeshore beaches, visitors can discover all manner of water fun such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and sailing. Michigan's cities offer a variety of cultural experiences from museums and art galleries to historic sites and festivals. Modern meeting facilities and exceptional hotels only add to the allure of this great state.
Nevada, the Silver State, is one of the largest states in the US, which means you will find plenty to do here. It's one of the only places you can ski world-class runs in the morning, then walk world-class greens in the afternoon. You can bike or hike the Tahoe Rim Trail, navigate a kayak on the Truckee River through downtown Reno, take an ATV up Sand Mountain near Fallon and snowmobile miles of wide-open terrain near Elko. And no one can forget the world-class gaming, dining, and hotels of Vegas!
The rest of the world could take some cues from the city of Portland. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Mount Hood, the Oregon Coast, the Willamette Valley wine country, and the Columbia River Gorge, the people of Portland are obsessed with maintaining their pristine surroundings. Portlanders recycle 63 percent of their waste and most natives commute to work by bicycle or by public transportation. The city also has the most LEED certified buildings per capita in the country. It's no wonder that in these times of environmental concern that Portland has emerged as an attractive meetings destination.
The Caribbean Islands are a region of great beauty and diversity that extends from the coasts of Florida to the mountains of South America. The Lesser Antilles lie in the Southern region of the island chain, beginning just east of Puerto Rico. These islands are far enough away from the U.S to have retained much of their culture and many remain largely unaffected by the Western world at large. Pristine beaches and authentic experiences are common here. Let's take a look at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles.
Cultural Festivals
O'Ahu Celebrates Its Diversity With Festivals & Events
Music, Entertainment, Culture and Cuisine Enrich Visitor Experience
17th Annual Soul Beach Beach Music Festival Hosted By Aruba Announces Mega Superstar Headliners: Mary J. Blige, Usher And The Roots
Memorial Day Weekend May 24-29 Comedy Night And Live Music Performances By An Array Of Artists
Fourteenth Annual Festival Of Lights Draws Thousands On Opening Day At Moody Gardens
Over 5,000 People Attend Opening Festivities with a Special Tribute to Japan and China
FAM Report
Toronto, Canada, "an international city of warmth, openness, energy and style, is enriched by the fusion of traditions, passions and perspectives on life of more than 100 cultures. It is one of the most popular choices for U.S. sponsored association meetings outside of the U.S. and it has the largest convention-center in Canada ranking it among the top 10 largest contiguous space facilities in North America" (city of Toronto agenda for Prosperity). This city is permeated with so much rich Black heritage, creating an ideal destination for convention and event planners, tour operations and weekend getaway savvy travelers.
From The Motherland
RAW AFRICA AT ITS WILDEST: Lugenda Wilderness Camp Opens for 2009 Season
Rani Resorts' seasonal Lugenda Wilderness Camp in Northern Mozambique has opened for 2009. Lugenda Wilderness Camp is set in one of Africa's last wild places, only recently accessible to discerning safari enthusiasts.
In The News

Hilton Hotels Americas VP Joe Berger and his wife Beth greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner held at Hilton Washington in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 9, 2009. For more than 30 years, Hilton Washington has hosted the prestigious annual event which draws luminaries from politics, business, media, and Hollywood to raise money for journalism scholarships at educational institutions across the country. Other notables at the hotel attending the dinner included actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Demi Moore and
Ashton Kutcher, Colin Firth, Owen Wilson, Kevin Bacon and Natalie Portman; comedians Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Myers, Denis Leary and Chris Rock; television news media Barbara Walters, Brian Williams, George Stephanopoulos and Bill O'Reilly; and politicos RNC Chairman Michael Steele, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, Congressman John Lewis who marched on Washington with Dr. King in 1963, and more.
Local Hero

For Tim James it's all about relationships. As director of Sales for VisitRochester, James finds gratification in developing lasting relationships with national SMERF organizations. He believes this is what has sustained Rochester as a meetings destination during these difficult economic times. "I find that relationships are the backbone of the success that Rochester has had over the years," asserts James. As sales manager at VisitRochester, prior to his current ten year stint as director, James, who started with the organization in 1990, honed his skills by getting to know his clients thoroughly to "understand their needs and wants." This practice serves him well to this day.
Open Forum
If I were to leave the planet for two months and return from my outer space experience to catch up on news in the travel and tourism business, I might come to the quick realization that the industry will soon be eliminated and even that the world may shortly come to an end.
Disney resort destinations are a dream come true; what better way to mix business
and pleasure without leaving the comforts of the 'playground with a twist'. Flexibility with a touch of magic is the Disney difference. They pride themselves in creating an environment to help tap into a world of imagination and inspiration. With two world famous theme parks, three amazing hotels, spectacular dinning, entertainment, Mandara spa and shopping, The Disney Resort offers fun ways to spark excitement inside and outside of the boardroom. No one could agree more, than Garvin Garrison, senior sales manager at Disneyland. "Disney is an icon. No matter where you are in the world, everyone knows who Disney is, people want to come, be it conferences or for family entertainment."
Religious Review
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 69 percent of people who consider themselves people of faith also believe that there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their religion. Alan Richards, author of the new novel The Second Cycle (Emerald Book Company), believes that this phenomenon is directly related to our continuing search for the true nature of God.

"The simple truth is that most people are ignorant and blasé about the thing most important thing in life, that being the true nature of God," Richards said. "The Bible was written by men - holy men - but men, nonetheless, which makes literal, dogmatic interpretation of the Bible unpalatable to many people. It's not just about whether the teachings and dogma appeal to them or have a place in their lives or world view - it's about the difference between walking the walk and talking the talk."

The Second Cycle, a fictional account of how a number of people come to terms with their individual search for the true meaning of God, is based on the true journey that lies before all of us.
Site Review
There are a great number of things for you and your family to do in Michigan City, nestled on the southern shores of Lake Michigan about an hour east of Chicago. With festivities year round, the city welcomes visitors with hospitality regardless of the season. It's the perfect destination to recharge, renew and refresh. From fantastic food, eclectic shopping and entertainment, to rich historical beauty and culture, it's the ideal departure from the ordinary every day.

The eastern edge of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore features Mount Baldy, a large wandering dune and is one of the tallest sand dunes on Lake Michigan. There are miles of pristine beaches for swimming, boating and enjoying nature. The Michigan City In-water Boat Show, the largest on the Great Lakes is celebrating its 30th year.
Speaking Of People
The Phoenix Convention Center recently welcomed Cynthia Weaver as its new Communications Director. Weaver is responsible for media relations, internal and external communications, promoting environmental and sustainability programs and Web Content Management. Weaver came to the position from the city of Phoenix Public Information Office where she worked as a Public Information Officer since 2002.

Weaver's experience includes managing Public Relations for several city programs and departments including Housing, Environmental Programs & Sustainability, Youth & Education and Phoenix Sister Cities among others. Weaver was the first PIO for Phoenix's Downtown Development Office (DDO) and spearheaded communication efforts for the establishment of that office.
Travel Data
RIU HOTELS & RESORTS RANKS HIGH IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Annual Market Metrix Hospitality Index Report Shows Travelers Happy wit
Based on 35,000 customer interviews, the 2008 Annual Market Metrix Hospitality Index (MMHI) showed that RIU Hotels & Resorts ranked high with customer satisfaction, making the all-inclusive resort group the overall winner of the 2008 Annual MMHI for Upper Upscale Hotels.

"It is quite an honor to be recognized by so many travelers for our customer service," stated Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts. "It truly is the people you meet and interact with that make a vacation wonderful. And we are so proud that our employees provide our guests with the vacation experience beyond their expectations."

The MMHI revealed that in 2008 customer satisfaction was up for hotels (+0.9) and airlines (+1.5) and that RIU Hotels & Resorts ranked highest in customer satisfaction among Upper Upscale Hotels. The Market Metrix Hospitality Index™ (MMHI) is the largest and most in-depth measure of hospitality company performance available. For more information, visit

Vendor Spotlight
Augustin Houegban grew up in the Republic of Benin in West Africa. He ventured to the United States in 2002 and has since studied business, finance and organizational security management. After working in the security field for over 10 years, Houegban opened his own security service, World Star Protective Services. World Star Protective Services, based in the Los Angeles area and having started out with five full-time security guards, currently has over 50 full-time security guards in its employ.

"I like being the one responsible for protecting people and their property," says Houegban. "Clients come to me with their needs and concerns after having invested a lot of time and money into their properties; it's my job to provide them with the necessary services to make them feel safe and keep them and their belongings protected. World Star Protective Services equips our customers with extra eyes and peace of mind. I enjoy the public relations side of the business the most; I like to know that my clients feel safe and secure when my team is on the premises." Although Houegban is the main one in charge of office planning and operations for World Star, he still enjoys putting on his uniform and presenting to job sites. Once at the location, Houegban finds comfort in being able to assess his team's presence at the site and in enforcing that sense of security and manpower.

World Star Protective Services offers armed and unarmed security to commercial and residential buildings, hospitals, universities, financial institutions, malls, car dealerships, construction sites, churches and special events. They also offer bodyguards, corporate escorts and have a security training academy which provides the state required training for their security employees. World Star is California licensed (PPO # 16004), bonded and insured and all guards are put through an extensive background check, fingerprinted, instructed in The Power of Arrest, as well as Public Relations and the Laws & Regulations of a security guard.
In Your Own Words
How To Unlock The Hidden Genius In Your Organization
Every organization has brilliant people who are "under the radar." They are the geniuses who may not look like everyone else,
3 Reasons It's Wise To Spend Time With Those Who Are Different From Us
Americans may be living in an echo chamber.
Why Don't We Have The Politics Of The Possible Anymore?
In 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP-the value of all goods and services produced in the United States)
25 Free Things To Do This Winter In San Diego
From traditional holiday parades and festivals to the migration of California gray whales along the Pacific coast, a visit to San Diego during the winter offers a wealth of free, fun and festive experiences.
West Hollywood Named The Most Walkable City In California
West Hollywood is proud to announce that it has been ranked the most walkable city in the state of California by Walk Score®.
Summer Of Shangri-La Begins With A Splash! Ste. 700, The Courtyard And Ditch Day Fridays Make Their Debut At Hotel Shangri-La
Sweeping Ocean Views, Summery Cocktails, and Courtyard & Rooftop Dining Make Tamie Adaya’s Hotel Shangri-La This Summer’s Nexus of Fun. The Summer of Shangri-La is off to an early start, as the iconic Santa Monica Hotel Shangri-La launches Suite 700, The Courtyard and Ditch Day Fridays.
114-Guest M/V Sea Spirit To Introduce Splendors Of The Southern Ocean's Aquatic And Birdlife On Value-Packed Fall 2017 Poseidon Expeditions
Reasons to venture toward Antarctica are many. Over 200 years ago uncharted waters, whales and the fur trade drew ships
Oceanwide Discounts Voyages To Celebrate Ross Sea Protection News
Oceanwide Expeditions is celebrating the news that the Ross Sea will become the world's largest marine
Six Ne-For-2017 Cruise Itineraries Ecncompass Adventuresmith Explorations' Creativity
Creativity is a hallmark of small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations as it applies to cruise routes, ports of call and destinations, choice of cruise vessel
Food Service Beat
Oceania Cruises Introduces New Evening Tapas Menus
Flavors of Spain, Asia, and the World Come Alive Each Evening
Chef Michael's Popular Ravioli Tarfufo Is Available At Acoya
After a long day at the beach, many travelers would prefer a leisurely, relaxing private dining experience within the confines
The Turks & Caicos Collection's Alexandria Resort Launches New Oceanfront Eatery
Asú On the Beach Receives Rave Reviews Following November 1 Opening
Tools Of The Trade
The Power of "Old School" Service Four Reasons Your Business Should Bring it Back
Companies are more tech-savvy than ever, but customers still crave old-fashioned service (albeit with a modern spin).
Seven Big Rules to Follow When Firing a Client
Firing a client is one of the most difficult decisions a business owner will ever make. And when push comes to shove, few actually do the deed.
If You Can't Listen, You Will Become Irrelevant: Nine Career-Damaging Bad Listening Habits And What You Can Do About Them,
Listening is the single most important job skill you can have in the 21st century. Ed Hess explains why.
Wellness Travel
Kickstart Your Healthy New Year's Resolutions On a Dominican Republic Fitness Gertaway
From nature trekking to yoga retreats; vacationing in Dominican Republic
will get your heart pumping
IHG Opens Flagship Even® Hotels Property In New York City, Quickly Expanmding Options For Wellness-Minded Travelers
First Hotel Brand Dedicated to Wellness Opens Third Hotel in Growing Portfolio
Hotel Casa Del Mar & Shutters On The BEach Debut Custom Mindfulness-Inspired Offereings For Corporate Retreats & Group Travelers
Guests Can Reconnect Body and Soul Through Group Sessions With Santa Monica's John Sahakian, a World-Renowned Meditation and Stress-Management Expert