RICHMOND, Va. – Fun on the water is the theme of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s new travel sweepstakes.
The LOVE Aquatic sweepstakes announced Monday offers four grand prize packages for a family of four. They include tall ships in Norfolk, pontoon boats at Smith Mountain Lake, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and fishing on the James River.
Each package includes overnight lodgings, airfare, rental car, admission to attractions and expert instruction.
The sweepstakes can be entered online at www.Virginia.org/sweeps. Entrants must be at least 21 years old.
Drawings are scheduled March 16, May 11, June 15 and Aug. 10.
NEW YORK – A design called “Infinite Forest” is being proposed for an AIDS memorial park in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
The design by a team of architects at Studio a+i features groves of trees and mirrored glass surfaces.
It won a competition held by a group campaigning to place a memorial in a triangle across from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital.
The Rudin Management Company, which bought the land after the hospital’s bankruptcy, has already received partial city approval to place a park in the space. If the plans are changed substantially, that approval process would have to begin again.
Bill Rudin says the park design on track for approval allows for a commemoration of those impacted by AIDS. He says his company will continue working “with all stakeholders.”
LINCOLN, Neb. – A new version of the Nebraska travel guide is now available to help anyone planning a trip in the state.
The state Travel and Tourism office offers the 180-page guides for free. They can be ordered online at www.VisitNebraska.gov.
Tourism Director Kathy McKillip says the guide offers ideas about where travelers can connect with nature or learn more about the state’s history.
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. – Helicopter rides have been canceled and the outhouse races have been moved to a parking lot, but the 51st annual Lake George Winter Carnival will go on, ice or no ice.
The southeastern Adirondack lake is usually frozen by now, and many of the annual festival’s events traditionally take place on the ice. But the unusually warm winter has kept the lake from freezing over.
The four-weekend event starts on Saturday with a parade, outhouse races and chili cook-off. There will be rides in tethered hot-air balloons and a monster truck. But none in a helicopter, which usually lands on the ice.
Ice for the ice castle had to be trucked into Lake George village.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Deliberations in Canada over the future of the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boats at Niagara Falls are being closely watched in the United States, where elected and tourism officials want to avoid disruptions to an iconic draw that brings millions of tourists to the Falls each year.
The double-decker boats ferry people from both sides of the Niagara River to the base of the Horseshoe Falls under separate agreements with New York state and Ontario, Canada. The tours have run continuously since 1846.
The Niagara Parks Commission, an arm of the Ontario government that controls the land and buildings around the Canadian falls, approved a 25-year contract with the Maid of the Mist Steamship Co. in 2008. But the lack of competition for the deal drew criticism, so the commission called for bids from competing boat tour operators for the first time.
The multimillion-dollar bids are under review; the commission is expected to make its recommendation to Ontario’s tourism minister in February, though at one point it had anticipated choosing a company by the end of last year.
“It’s a very, very complex, detailed process,” said the parks commission’s interim chairwoman, Janice Thomson. “We’re happy that it’s thorough because it’s a decision that’s very important.”
She declined to say how many bids were submitted.
The effect that a change in operations in Canada would have on the tour boat business across the river is unclear. Among concerns is whether a new company would allow the Maid of the Mist to continue to store its boats on the Canadian shore in the offseason. Space is short on the U.S. side.
Sen. Charles Schumer has asked Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to ensure that the Maid of the Mist continue to have access to the Canadian docks and storage regardless of what happens to the Canadian lease, because it would be impossible to build dry docks on the American side.
“I respectfully request that you take every effort to ensure that the final proposal does not exclude the ability to continue an American-based tour service,” Schumer wrote.
And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also has sought assurances for the American business, which provides 150 seasonal jobs. The Maid of the Mist Corp. has a 40-year contract through 2042 with New York state.
“As you make decisions on continuing the current contract or beginning work with a new company, I want to stress that you make every effort to maintain U.S. jobs and uphold the quality of service,” Gillibrand wrote in a letter to Thomson.
Thomson said the request for proposals had only to do with the land lease on the Canadian shore and declined to say whether the potential effects on the American business were part of the commission’s discussions.
Whoever wins the contract will pay a base annual rent of $5.5 million, said commission spokesman Tony Baldinelli. He declined to discuss other terms. The previous 21-year lease required a rent of 15 percent of gross revenue.
The contract with New York’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, based on factors including gross revenues, gift shop sales and passenger counts, brought in about $1.5 million last year, New York parks spokesman Peter Brancato said.
Maid of the Mist spokesman Tim Ruddy declined to comment on the situation, citing a nondisclosure agreement included in the request for proposals.
The Maid of the Mist tours attract more than 2 million passengers yearly. They bring in a regular celebrity clientele that has included Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and former President Jimmy Carter.
Hundreds of riders at a time don blue plastic ponchos to protect them from the drenching mist as captains maneuver the boats through swirling whitewater to within 300 feet of the walls of water crashing down from 170 feet above.
The Glynn family of Lewiston, N.Y., has owned the company since 1971.
Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. President John Percy and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster praised the Glynns’ stewardship of the tourist draw and urged Canadian authorities to maintain continuity.
“For decades, the Maid of the Mist has been synonymous with excellence and has offered tremendous levels of customer service,” Percy said.
CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire tourism officials want state businesses to feel the love with a wedding planning website to lure couples planning their big day.
The website features hundreds of venues and allows planners to search by indoor and outdoor facilities and reception space.
The website www.visitnh/weddings also helps wedding planners find photographers, florists, bakers, printers, caterers and other services.
Tourism officials say the website is a way to showcase the distinctive wedding experiences New Hampshire has to offer, from mountaintops to lakesides to its inns and grand old hotels.
The travel and tourism department also is launching a Facebook page to create an interactive forum for planners and host properties and service providers.
Climb aboard for a trip around the world of travel
LONDON, January 30, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ –
- VoucherCodes.co.uk sees huge rise in travel deals this January
- Consumers must act quickly to secure the best deals
The New Year is well and truly underway and with many Brits thinking about escaping to warmer climes to beat the winter blues, analysis from VoucherCodes.co.uk shows there has never been a better time to book a holiday.
According to the shopping website, the total number of discounted travel deals jumped by almost 200 per cent in the first two weeks of January compared to the same period in 2011, as providers offer up to secure early bookings for 2012.
Top holiday offers include:
Exclusive £30 off Holiday Bookings at easyJet Holidays
£30 off Hotel Bookings Over £300 at Thomas Cook
10% off Booking at Hotels.com
The number of retailers offering discounts has also rocketed, as more and more providers try to lure customers in with attractive deals. The total number offering sales and deals rose by 49 per cent in the first two weeks of January compared to the same period last year.
Duncan Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk commented: “January is traditionally the best time to secure a great deal on a holiday, but this year seems to be even busier than usual as providers fight it out for consumers’ hard earned cash. The number of retailers and the size of the discounts on offer are truly remarkable, meaning families could be saving hundreds of pounds on the price of their holiday if they book before the end of January.
“However, while the significant rise in discounts we’ve seen is great news for consumers, we know from experience these offers won’t be around for long, meaning savvy travellers need to act quickly. Last year we saw the number of travel deals drop off steeply in February, so anyone planning a getaway should get online now if they want to be sure of securing the best holiday deal. Booking a holiday can be an expensive business, but shoppers will be amazed at how much money they can save by simply taking a few minutes to ensure they’re getting the lowest price possible.”
Duncan Jennings’ top tips for saving money when booking a trip
Save on the extras
It’s easy to forget the cost of holiday extras such as airport parking, insurance and car hire, but these all add up and can often cost almost as much as the trip itself. Because going on holiday is expensive, many people just turn a blind eye to the cost of these essential extras, but simply checking online for codes and offers can free up some serious spending money.
Top deals on holiday extras include:
Airparks Airport Parking
Exclusive 12% off Airparks Car Parks at Airparks
10% off Annual Multi-Trip Cover at Flexicover Direct
Free Upgrades and Free Additional Drivers on Selected Car Hire at Holiday Autos
January really is the perfect time to snag a bargain as many retailers offer extra discounts on top of existing sale products. A substantial number of travel companies give away an extra cash discount when booking to help drive customers to their sites.
Keep an eye open for the best deals
When it comes to securing the biggest and best discounts, timing is everything. We tend to receive the most codes at the start of the month, when retailers’ new monthly marketing budgets restart. The best offers aren’t around for long and with February expected to be a quieter month for travel deals, now really is the best time to be hunting for bargains.
VoucherCodes.co.uk brings together the best voucher codes, 2-for-1 restaurant vouchers, printable vouchers, deals and sales for hundreds of leading online stores to help save you more money.
VoucherCodes.co.uk works with the UK’s favourite retailers and restaurants covering every imaginable product and service, so no matter what our customers are looking for we’re sure to have a great voucher code to help save them money.
Over 5 million smart money savers subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sent out every Tuesday morning, it brings together a handpicked selection of the twenty best voucher codes packed with exclusive codes for a huge range of stores and activities.
For more information please contact:
LONDON, Jan 30, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –
Book-Vegas.com, a boutique travel agency that provides customized
Las Vegas travel packages, today announced that luxury Las Vegas
vacations are immediately available at affordable rates. Packages can
be fully customized and are ideal for Stag/Hen Parties, Weddings and
More than just a city of gambling and casinos, Las Vegas has emerged
as the number one tourist destination in America. Nearly 40 million
people from around the world visit the city every year to enjoy first
class hotels, casinos, night clubs and restaurants, making it a
perfect location for Stag/Hen Parties, Weddings and Corporate Events.
“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and visitors
from the UK are lining up to find the perfect Las Vegas travel
package. With several years of experience in Las Vegas travel,
Book-Vegas.com will help personalize your next corporate event or
party. Not only will we get you to and from Vegas in any fashion you
desire, we can also get you behind the velvet ropes of the hottest
night clubs, book front row seats to sold out shows, and arrange a
range of accommodation offers, including Las Vegas’ finest hotels,”
says Martin Ryan, Director of Book-Vegas.com.
There are a number of direct flights to Vegas from the UK daily.
British Airways offers direct flights from Heathrow, and Virgin
Atlantic from Gatwick. There are also 3 direct flights from
Manchester operated by Virgin Atlantic.
More than just a travel agent, Book Vegas has spent several years
perfecting Vegas travel packages and is able to craft customized
travel deals with a personal touch to make the most of the trip.
-- Unrivalled knowledge of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas -- Elite Las Vegas connections get customers on the guest lists -- Affordable airfare, accommodations, and entertainment options -- Nightclub VIP access packages -- On the ground staff to support you upon arrival and throughout your stay
“Book-Vegas.com was fantastic. They arranged everything, including
flights, limo, stage shows, and free entry into the night clubs, too.
They assisted with all our needs, and were available upon request to
get things done efficiently and with no fuss. I would recommend
Book-Vegas.com to anyone thinking about flying to Las Vegas, whether
it is business or pleasure,” said Kieran Stapleton, president of
Stapleton Sports Management Pty Ltd.
For more information, please visit
Media Contact: Book-Vegas.com Email Contact Tel: +44-845 052 3852
Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.
Choice Hotels, nearly 5,000 of them nationwide, is running a promotion through Feb. 29, offering twice the rewards to guests. The “Airline Miles and Choice Privileges Points” promotion, which started in December, lets Choice Privilege members (it’s free to join) earn either airline miles plus Choice Privileges reward points, or double points for every qualifying stay through the last day of February. Travelers can participate in the promotion as often as they like. To qualify, register at www.choicehotels.com and pick the offer you want to earn. Reservations must be made at the site or by calling 800-424-6423.The promotion is good at all Choice Hotels properties, which include Comfort inn, Comfort Suites, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Ascend Collection.
Article source: http://www.boston.com/travel/blog/2012/01/the_choice_to_e.html