Multicultural Travel News

Multicultural Travel News newsletter (MTN) covers travel news of interest to ethnic and niche travelers and those who market to them. We write about destinations that interest multicultural travelers or have outreach campaigns to travelers of Hispanic, African American, Asian American and other cultural backgrounds; women; gays/lesbians and people with disabilities.
Published bi-monthly, MTN is written for leisure and business travelers looking for what to see and do and for marketing executives interested in ideas, best practices and the business case for targeting so-called "minority" travelers. Each issue includes content about cities and countries, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, convention and visitor bureaus, tour operators and other travel marketers with a multicultural angle. Multicultural Travel news is written and edited by Lisa Skriloff.

News Blurb: Fourth Annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival - Turks and Caicos Islands - November 6 -8

Turks and Caicos Islands Celebrate Cuisine and Culture with Three-Day Festival, November 6-8, 2014 Grace Bay Resorts, in partnership with the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board and The Wine Cellar, has announced the official schedule for the Fourth Annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival taking place November 6-8, 2014. The event, focused on the local food and flavors of the island, welcomes chefs from around the world, including Leah Cohen, David Lefevre, Hans Peter Haider, as well as renowned vintners from Benzinger Family Winery, Cuvaison Estate, Weingut Salzl Seewinkelhof and Duck Pond Cellars & Desert Wind Winery. The not-for-profit event will raise funds for The Department of Youth Affairs and the islands’ ‘Little Chefs’ mentor program that supports and encourages young local chefs to pursue careers in hospitality, a vital industry of Turks and Caicos. Ralph Higgs, Director of Tourism for Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board said, “The Turks & Caicos Tourist Board is proud to support the Fourth Annual Caribbean Food & Wine Festival. In just a few short years, the event has grown into a treasured island tradition, while still capturing the most current culinary trends and offering guests an authentic taste of local culture.” The 40 islands of the Turks and Caicos, of which eight are inhabited, are known for their beaches, diving and array of world-class resorts, including Grace Bay Resorts, a boutique developer and operator of high-end, luxury resorts and branded residences, founded from its flagship property Grace Bay Club. This year festivities include a starlit Welcome Dinner at Blue Haven Resort’s Fire & Ice restaurant; the second annual Women of Wine luncheon with distinctive dishes and carefully selected wine pairings; the ‘Gourmet Safari’ which will lead guests on a progressive dinner party around Providenciales; dinner at Seven Stars and The Regent Palms; dessert at The Gansevoort; the annual Food & Wine Pairing event at West Bay Club, a Grace Bay Resorts Managed property; the third annual ‘Island Street Food Fair’ and ‘Dinner with the Stars’ at Grace Bay Club. The festival guests will have an opportunity to discover the incredible restaurants, focused on the local food and flavors of the island, and meet the talented chefs. To learn more, visit www.caribbeanfoodandwinefestivalci.com and www.turksandcaicostourism.com.


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News Blurb: National Heritage Week – The Emerald Isle Shines, Celebrating Irish Medieval History and Culture, August 23-31, 2014 Ireland

Whether your interest is tracing your ancestors, exploring walled towns, learning more about Ireland’s famous playwrights, visiting Ireland’s historic properties or learning traditional skills, National Heritage Week focuses on getting people involved in the heritage of Ireland and particularly the heritage of the local community, making it accessible to everyone. National Heritage Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council, the statutory body that identifies, protects, preserves and enhances Ireland’s national heritage. National heritage includes Monuments, Archaeological objects, Wildlife habitats, Landscapes, Seascapes, Wrecks, Geology, Heritage gardens and parks, and Inland waterways. The wide variety of over 1600 National Heritage Week events that are scheduled to take place throughout Ireland during the week-long festival will include medieval fairs, classical music and poetry recitals, traditional music sessions, storytelling, historical re-enactments, and local history walks and talks. Among them are: Kilkenny’s Independence, August 24, a walking tour to highlight the events that happened in Kilkenny County in the early 20th century; Tour of Galway – August 24 - This walk incorporates all the things Galway is famous for – people, theater and literature, including such notables as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde http://www.facebook.com/Druid.Tours.Ireland. The Insider’s Limerick, August 27, a retrospective tour exploring over 800 years of local government in Limerick City, covering both the political and administrative structure; and Taispeántas Grianghrafadóireachta, August 29, an opportunity to view a collection of photographs of Árainn, depicting the natural and cultural history of the island, Nature Walk and Barn Dance – August 30 -- Nature walk along the banks of the River Lee followed by old style barn dance at Con Dunne's farm. All events are listed on the week’s website, www.heritageweek.ie and in the official National Heritage Week Event Guide, available in Tourist Offices nationwide, on Twitter @heritageweek and the Heritage Week Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HeritageWeek. National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, which is celebrated in over 49 countries across Europe.


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News Blurb: Why A Rise In Hispanic Travel Could Mean A Win For The Travel Industry

With buying power looking to top $1.5 trillion next year, the extensive travel among Hispanics impacts various segments of the economy presenting a tremendous opportunity for the travel industry to not only get Hispanic travelers to their destinations, but to make a lasting impression on them that will pay dividends for years to come. A recent study conducted by ThinkNow Research found that among U.S. Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic in the country, 79% say they take one or more vacations each year. Of those who vacation at least once a year, 17% said they vacation three to six times each year. And for affluent Hispanics (HHI > $100k), 46% vacation three to six times every year, with reported spending upwards of $8,700 on average for international vacations compared to about $7,000 spent by affluent non-Hispanics. Regardless of income, Hispanics spend more money on average than non-Hispanics on domestic vacations, with 48% saying they spend $5,000 or more (including 9% that spend more than $10,000). During these trips, Hispanic travelers are more likely to visit theme parks and casinos such as California (Disney Land), Florida (Disney World) and Nevada (The Vegas Strip) rounding out the top three. Hispanics are also more likely than non-Hispanics to take vacations outside of the U.S. Top destinations are the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. Affluent Hispanics are more likely than lower-income Hispanics to travel to Western Europe (England, France, Spain) and Australia. While traveling, Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to report staying in many different hotel chains, regardless of income level; top choices were: Holiday Inn (23%), Best Western (20%), Hilton(17%), Comfort Inn (16%), and Marriott (16%). To download the study, visit http://www.thinknowresearch.com/downloads/.


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News Blurb: New Aboriginal-Themed Hotel In Vancouver

Visitors interested in learning more about Canada’s rich First Nations culture have the opportunity to stay at an entirely aboriginal-themed hotel in downtown Vancouver. Opened in May by Skwachàys Lodge, the hotel has 18 rooms, featuring distinctly cultural accommodations. Designed by six aboriginal artists and Vancouver-based interior design firms, each room boasts a unique theme featuring various animal spirits and original indigenous artwork like carvings, blankets and paintings. The property also features a sweat lodge and gathering places that include an artist’s workshop, smudge room (a room for religious ceremonies) and guest lounge. Skwachàys Lodge’s historic brick exterior is crowned by a traditional longhouse with a 40.5-foot totem pole (called the "Dreamweaver") shooting toward the sky. Closer to street level, visitors and passersby alike can view a video display celebrating First Nations culture that sits half-submerged in a glass sidewalk. Guests also have the opportunity to test out their creative juices through hands-on First Nations experiences (carving, weaving and painting classes), and also have the chance to meet with local aboriginal artists. Situated at the crossroads of Gastown and Chinatown, the Vancouver Native Housing Society development first opened its doors in 2012 as a social housing structure. Now, two floors of the property have been transformed into an experiential hotel that will give back to the non-profit society and local community. To learn more, visit http://www.tourismvancouver.com/listings/Skwachays-Lodge/32713/0/?utm_source=DMC&utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_content=BAAUCTNeFhkGABcMBB0SGhJfTRYdBA==&utm_campaign=18250:May %20Fresh%20from%20Vancouver:%20New%20Aboriginal-themed%20Hotel%20Opens,%20Sea%20to%20Sky%20Aerial%20Gondola%20Launches%20&%20%20More.


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News Blurb: CMI presents 15th Conference on LGBT Tourism & Hospitality, Las Vegas, December 7-9.

Every year, CMI brings together leading tourism professionals to learn about the gay and lesbian market from the experts. Community Marketing, Inc. has earned its position as the global leader in gay and lesbian marketing. Through the company’s tireless efforts since 1992, “doors have opened” around the world for gay and lesbian consumers. CMI has helped grow LGBT market recognition through research, media relations and education; and has brought marketing opportunities to the world’s leading businesses and organizations. Designed for marketing and sales executives of tourism boards, CVBs, DMOs, accommodations, tour operators, travel suppliers, events, agencies and meeting planners, the conference will feature over 40 speakers concentrating on LGBT tourism marketing and sales. Topics include: Internet, mobile, print and direct marketing, research trends, LGBT niche segments, sales techniques, ROI tracking, community involvement, press relations and more. To register, visit http://www.communitymarketinginc.com/education-and-conferences/international-conference-on-gay-lesbian-tourism/.


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News Blurb: State of Alaska Tourism Office Launches Spanish-language Travel Website

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED) has launched a Spanish language version of its official state vacation and travel information website, TravelAlaska.com. TravelAlaska.mx provides increased accessibility to DCCED’s extensive online trip planning resources for Spanish-speaking travelers interested in visiting Alaska. According to the Alaska Visitor Statistics Program, 6 percent of international visitors to the state originate from Mexico. The Spanish-language website complements the English, German, Japanese, Korean and Chinese language sites already offered by the state. The website includes all of the features that the current TravelAlaska.com offers, from interactive maps and suggestions of places to go to travel tips for the Last Frontier. Visit TravelAlaska.com.


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News Blurb: Jamaica Tourist Board Encourages Visitors To ‘Meet the People’

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) launched the Meet the People program to offer visitors a chance to explore beyond the resort and experience the culture and lifestyle of this vibrant Caribbean island. Over 500 Meet the People ambassadors have volunteered a hand of friendship and hospitality to visitors who want to immerse themselves in the Jamaican way of life. Whether visitors are seeking to spend an afternoon with a local family, visit a school, learn to cook an authentic Jamaican dish, or meet with a famous Jamaican artist to learn the styles of the local art scene, the JTB will pair travelers with a Jamaican who shares a common interest, hobby or profession. Meet the People is offered to individuals and families at no cost. Visitors can sign up online at VisitJamaica.com or contact the Jamaica Tourist Board in Montego Bay at (876) 952-4425. http://www.visitjamaica.com/feel-the-vibe/people/meet-the-people-program


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News Blurb: Ohio Historical Society, National Afro-American Museum Reopened with New Exhibition, Activities

The National Afro-American Museum reopened in January to reveal the first phase of its year-and-a-half-long renovation. In addition to grand opening events, guests had access to one of the two exhibition spaces featuring the new installation "How I Got Over," a mixed media exhibition that reflects the African American experience and focuses on three themes of celebration, spirituality and protest. Both spaces are expected to be open to the public in the late spring and will feature a quilt installation entitled "And Still We Rise" consisting of nearly 100 quilts by famed artist, Carolyn Mazloomi. Dr. Charles Wash, executive director of the National Afro-American Museum said, "The newly renovated public spaces will also make programming a more prominent feature than before. This will allow us to provide first-hand educational opportunities for the public that fully interpret the material culture of African Americans from around the country." Upon completion, the project will enable the Museum to better serve the community and state through new, high-quality exhibits and a permanent exhibition. Additionally, the Museum will update its existing collections and acquire new ones. Visit ohiohistory.org  Read more >>

News Blurb: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Celebrating African-American Pioneers in Sea, Air and Space with Free Tour Guide Talk

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum introduces a free Tour Guide Talk “With Bravery and Distinction” to celebrate African-American pioneers in sea, air and space. The tour will run every Saturday and Sunday through February 24, aboard the Intrepid, located at Pier 86 (46th Street and 12th Avenue), Manhattan. This 45 minute tour leads visitors back in time, inspirational stories of men and women who heroically broke through barriers, paving the way for future generations. Among the historical accounts that the tour shares with visitors are that of; Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African-American combat pilot who lost his life during the Korean war; Navy officer Dick Turpin, an African American Navy Diver who is credited with inventing the underwater cutting torch used at Pearl Harbor; Robert Lawrence, America’s first African-American astronaut who in 1967 was part of the Gemini MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratory) program and many more. This Tour Guide Talk is free with the price of admission to the museum. Visit www.intrepidmuseum.org  Read more >>

News Blurb: 6th Annual International Waikiki Hula Conference Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Merrie Monarch Festival

Hula enthusiasts from around the world are invited to celebrate the art of hula in its native surroundings at the 6th Annual International Waikiki Hula Conference, May 17 to 19, 2013 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Open to dancers of all experience levels with an interest in hula, the conference will bring together hundreds of hula lovers for a weekend filled with hula, chant, history, crafts and more. The conference workshops, mele (songs) and hula will pay tribute to and celebrate the Merrie Monarch Festival’s 50th anniversary. The festival honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, which perpetuates traditions, native language and the arts. The workshop mele and hula will be taught by award-winning kumu hula (hula teachers), some of whom have also competed on the famed Merrie Monarch stage. “The International Waikiki Hula Conference brings together members of the worldwide hula community with some of the industry’s most renowned Hawaiian cultural practitioners to perpetuate the authentic art of hula,” said Marnie Weeks, International Waikiki Hula Conference producer. “We hope that visitors and locals alike will join us in extending the celebratory spirit of the 50th Merrie Monarch Festival for this special weekend of appreciation and respect for hula.” With over 80 Merrie Monarch-themed workshops at this International Waikiki Hula Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn hula with special significance to kuma hula. Attendees also will learn about Hilo, Merrie Monarch’s hometown, and its special places through songs such as “Hilo Hula,” written in the 1940s by Joseph Nohea Kalima and taught by his granddaughter, kumu Iwalani Kalima. In addition to learning mele and hula, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars covering related aspects of hula, such as making an authentic ti leaf Hilo-style neck lei or an ipu heke (double gourd drum) with one of Hawaii’s master implement crafters. The International Waikiki Hula Conference offers individuals the rare opportunity to come to Hawaii to learn, share and experience hula in the land of its birth, with a variety of respected hula masters. Visit www.waikikihulaconference.com.
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