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; LGBT travelers and people with disabilities.
Multicultural Travel News is also 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. We cover 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.

Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI, Celebrates Chinese New Year with Cantonese Inspired Menu

Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property located in Newport, RI celebrates Chinese New Year, February 19 – 22, with a special Cantonese inspired menu. Its original owner, Alexander Agassiz, was an avid traveler to the Far East and collector of Asian art and furniture, some of which is still on view in the Inn. His love of the culture inspired the Inn’s Chinese New Year culinary celebration. Chef Andy Taur, a member of the Castle Hill culinary team and son of Chinese-American restaurateurs, has crafted a Cantonese inspired menu to be offered over four-days Feb 19 to 22. The five-course tasting menu starts at $92 and at $127 including wine and beverage pairings. Highlights of the menu include: Shellfish Noodle featuring toasted Sichuan peppercorn, cilantro and lobster broth; Chinese Soup Dumpling featuring minced pork belly, baby bok choi and citrus soy sauce; Steamed Rouget featuring scallion purée, fermented black beans, lobster coral and lotus root; Tea Smoked Duck featuring dark soy sauce, Forbidden Black rice, braised winter bamboo and Chinese mustard greens; and Dragon’s Beard featuring peanut nougat, silken soy milk custard and young ginger. For more information about Castle Hill Inn, visit www.castlehillinn.com and for reservations, call 888-466-1355.

    


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The LINQ Promenade Las Vegas Celebrates Chinese New Year with Cultural Performances on The LINQ Fountain Stage

                             

The LINQ Promenade – Caesars Entertainment’s open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district in Las Vegas – is celebrating  Chinese New Year with themed décor and cultural performances on The LINQ Fountain Stage on  Feb. 21 – 22. The LINQ Promenade will be a part of the 4th Annual Chinese New Year in the Desert/ Las Vegas Spring Festival, and will ring in the New Year with  an opening ceremony to kick off the festivities. On Friday a ribbon cutting will be followed by music performed by The Desert Winds, a Golden Cup Championship of Ping Pong Award Ceremony, International Culinary Show hosted by Chef Martin Yan and a DragonFest Concert (also Saturday. )For more information, visit TheLINQ.com.



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Discovering New York State's "Path Through History" Program During Black History Month

New York State offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience the "Path Through History" program offering a glimpse into the historic sites and museums that highlight African American history and American culture along with the major events that helped shape today’s society. From the Adirondacks to Long Island, New York State offers a window into African American history and American culture as it was a center for 19th century anti-slavery organizations, and home to Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and many other abolitionist and Underground Railroad leaders. Today, thought-provoking historic sites, museums and events throughout New York State help visitors understand the roles and lives of enslaved Africans, the struggle for freedom and equality, and the many contributions of African Americans. There are more than 24 Underground Railroad sites throughout the state and former slaves’ quarters can be viewed at many well-preserved 17th and 18th century homes and estates. The “Path Through History” program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, makes it even easier to explore Black heritage sites. Civil Rights, a key aspect of African American culture, are one of 13 themes used to organize 500-plus heritage sites across the state. The program includes identifying markers on major state highways as well as additional local signage with a distinctive Path Through History logo to help point the way. For more information visit http://paththroughhistory.ny.gov/.


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Croatian National Tourist Office Offers Winning Super Bowl XLIX Coach a Trip “Back Home”: Both Coaches are Croatian American

Tying in to the “immigrant angle” of Super Bowl XLIX is the Croatian National Tourist Office which jumped to promote the “first matchup of Croatian head coaches” when they learned that both Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, and Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, are of Croatian descent. “The Battle of the Croatian Coaches” it is being called and Belichick said in a press conference "…looks like we’ll have a Croatian champion one way or the other." The Croatian National Tourist Office is offering the winning coach a “trip back home“: an all-expense paid trip throughout Croatia in 2015. “As this will be the first Super Bowl match between two coaches of Croatian ancestry, the winning coach will get the chance to explore the land of his ancestors.” Tweets and hashtags include @Croatia_hr and #BattleforCroatia. Other famous Croatian Americans include John Malkovich, actor, Judah Friedlander, actor and comedian and Franjo Vlasic, founder and namesake of Vlasic Pickles.


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Ecuador Tourism Ad Campaign Includes Super Bowl Spot, Hispanic Media, Engagement with Ecuadorian Community

Along with other first time Super Bowl advertisers, the first ever country to promote tourism was included among the half-time commercials: Ecuador. According to the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador they advertised during the Super Bowl, the most watched one-day television event, “because it would put them on a global platform.” The spots are in 13 markets as part of their "All You Need Is Ecuador" campaign launched in early 2014, to promote Ecuador as a world-class destination to U.S. travelers, and as a place to do business among English-speaking audiences and the U.S. Hispanic population. Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism says that the U.S. is the second largest source of tourists traveling to Ecuador, after Colombia. Featuring the song "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles, the tourism campaign includes engagement with the Ecuadorian community in the U.S., partnering with prominent Ecuadorians who are influential among the U.S. Hispanic population to promote the beauty of the country and to promote Ecuadorian culture in the United States and outreach to U.S. Hispanic media to promote Ecuador and the achievements of Ecuadorians living in the U.S. According to the Ministry of Tourism, “these types of opportunities build national pride, which motivates fellow Ecuadorians to engage with their communities via social media or events.” The social media campaign includes hashtags #SB49 and #AllYouNeedIs, (#AllYouNeedIsEcuador on game day) and tweets from the Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely @NathalieCely


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GNTB Campaign 2015 Boosts Awareness for Living Traditions in Travel Destination Germany

Germany’s ‘Traditions and Customs’ are the focus of the German National Tourism Board’s (GNTB) worldwide tourism campaign for 2015. The inclusion in a nationwide inventory, of 27 traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors and passed on to descendants, reveals the importance and appreciation of this almost imperceptible aspect of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage, which corresponds with selected themes being communicated by the GNTB as part of its campaign. "Traditions and History of the Region’ is one of the top ten reasons tourists decide to visit Germany. With this new campaign, the GNTB has seized this trend to inspire foreign visitors to come and experience these elements of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage” explains Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB. The Swabian–Alemannic carnival, the Rhineland Carnival in all its local variants, the Charcoal Burner's Craft and the Tar Distillery, the Social Customs and Festivals of the Lusatian Sorbs, the Biike Burning, the Salt Panners' Fraternity in the Valley of Halle, plus the Passion Plays of Oberammergau, German Bread Culture, Organ Construction and Organ Music are all significant examples of living customs. All have been assessed by UNESCO’s Experts Committee and approved for the nationwide inventory by the Conference of Cultural Ministers of the Federal States and will be promoted by the GNTB. The ‘Traditions and Customs’ campaign encompasses three themes: “Culinary Specialities,” “Living Traditions” and “Arts and Crafts” linking the welcoming and modern travel destination Germany of today with the country’s living, authentic traditions. For further information on ‘Traditions and Customs’ visit www.germany.travel/tradition.


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Burn the “old year” to start a New Year in Ecuador

On New Year’s Eve in Ecuador, people around the country bring effigies of politicians, pop culture figures and other icons of the year to torch in the streets. This powerful communal tradition of burning the “año viejo” ("old year") is symbolic of cleansing the bad habits from the previous 12 months. Most effigies are made of cloth and filled either with paper, old clothes, sawdust, ground cardboard, straw or leaves. This tradition is widespread throughout the country and each region creates effigies with cultural and social experiences specific to their area. The tradition is the strongest in the Pacific coast where the effigies are quite often the largest and the displays are more elaborate. The cities of Quito and Guayaquil also host large public demonstrations and competitions organized by local newspapers. El Universo newspaper in Guayaquil and Diario Hoy in Quito organize, judge, and award prizes to the winners of the best “años viejos” in their cities. In Quito, the event is witnessed by hundreds of thousands of spectators who visit Amazonas Avenue to observe a wrap-up of the year’s events via the “año viejo” displays. During the day, most cars drive around with effigies tied to the front or on the roof. At midnight, the effigies are burned as a ritual of purification and renewal, a cleansing of old, negative energy, individual and collective failures, regrets, bad habits, bad luck and evil from the previous year. Oftentimes, the effigies are heaped together in big piles to create large fires in the middle of the streets. It is said that jumping over the burning effigies brings good luck to those who successfully accomplish this feat. For more information on Ecuador, please visit www.allyouneedisecuador.com


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Sri Panwa Phuket Introduces Cultural New Year’s Package

Sri Panwa Phuket, one of the top properties in Thailand, perched high atop Cape Panwa will offer a New Year’s package that celebrates Thai culture with local and authentic experiences. Included are excursions into the historic city of Phuket Old Town, local markets and historic temples such as Chalong Temple and Big Buddha Temple, a monkey show and other leisure activities at Kinnaree House. In addition, participants can try traditional Thai dining at local restaurants, Raya and Kan Eang. On site, guests become students of local chefs at Sri panwa’s Baba Cooking School. Guests can also relax in an intimate tropical setting at Cool Spa, which houses a five-sense experience in four spacious treatment rooms, a private salon and a floating yoga deck – all of which enjoy panoramic ocean views. The package is available between December 15, 2014 and January 31, 2015. For further information on Sri panwa, visit www.sripanwa.com.


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Philadelphia's New Americans Tour launched by VISIT PHILADELPHIA® in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant & Multicultural Affairs

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant & Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA) launched Philadelphia’s New Americans Tour, a self-guided excursion—available in multiple languages—through the sites and attractions that tell the story of the nation’s founding for new citizens and those studying to be citizens. The 13-site tour includes stops at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Center, the Betsy Ross House, National Constitution Center and other Historic Philadelphia locations, where answers to more than half the questions on the study guide for the U.S. citizenship test can be found. The tour also features Philadelphia attractions that tell the immigration story such as the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent. VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area. Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Philadelphia’s New Americans brochure is available at the Independence Visitor Center or at any of the 13 tour locations. Download it in English at visitphilly.com/newamericans and in Spanish, French and Mandarin at phila.gov/ima.


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Native Trails: Free Noontime Festivals Showcase Talents of American Indian Dancers of All Ages

The resounding drumbeat of American Indian culture in the Southwest will grow louder January through April 2015 with the return of Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. For the first time in its 13-year history, this series of free lunchtime performances in Scottsdale Civic Center Park will focus on passing the tradition of singing and dancing from one generation to the next. Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw), artistic director for Native Trails and seven-time hoop dance world champion and other performers from the Hopi, Diné (Navajo), Hualapai and San Carlos Apache tribes will take the outdoor stage from 12 to 1 p.m. most Thursdays and Saturdays Jan. 8 through April 4, 2015. On Saturdays, youth performers will join the festivities as the dancers demonstrate the Eagle Dance, the Southwest Horse Dance, and inter-tribal pow wow dances. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the finale, the audience-participation Round Dance, which celebrates the connection of all people and cultures. Song and dance are not the only traditions living on in the tribes. Throughout history, American Indians have used crafts and art as forms of cultural expression. Artisans and vendors will sell jewelry, baskets, pottery, instruments and paintings during the festivals. Each Saturday a featured artist will demonstrate his or her craft live before the crowd. This year’s events will also highlight giving to others in need, another cultural belief emphasized in American Indian culture. Each week, Homebase Youth Services Native American Connections, which provides income-based and affordable housing to those in need, will be collecting donations during Native Trails. For more information on Native Trails, visit www.ScottsdaleNativeTrails.com or contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at 480-421-1004 or toll-free at 800-782-1117.


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