Growth in MICE Tourism
Sales missions are a great way to build relationships and meet one-on-one with buyers to introduce your products, provide updates and get an insight on market trends and the needs of product managers, as well as consumers. As such, we encourage you to incorporate this into your sales and marketing plans. Over the past few years, through conversations with clients during sales missions, we have learned that MICE tourism is growing.
According to findings by World Hotels, MICE organizers are increasingly including excursions and visits to significant attractions in destinations their meetings are taking place. Additionally, more business travelers are also adding leisure into a work trip, creating a new segment known as bleisure (business + leisure). In a report by Global Business Travel Association, 37 percent of North American business travelers surveyed said they took a bleisure trip over the past year, and of this, 47 percent were millennials, 23 percent baby boomers and 33 percent were age between 36 to 54 whilst a White Paper by Carlson Wagonlit Travel revealed that the larger the distance between the origin and the destination cities, the higher the likelihood for bleisure. Such findings further validate that group travel is still pertinent despite the growth in FIT travel and represent great opportunities for attractions and destinations to showcase their unique capabilities to offer groups and VIP services.
Every year, Explore Marketing leads multiple sales missions and we welcome the travel trade to join us on these missions. In June and July of this year, we led successful sales missions to Florida, Switzerland and Germany where we exchanged ideas with product managers from 35 companies and trained more than 100 agents. Over the next six months, we will be in India (September 2017), China (October 2017), Los Angeles (December 2017) and New York City (January 2018), where we will engage not only with leisure travel planners but also MICE organizers. Our schedule of trade events and sales missions, including sign-up forms, is available online.
Spotlight: What's New in Philadelphia
With significant new openings and developments in Philadelphia, it is evident that the city is thriving and ready to welcome visitors. The Museum of the American Revolution, located in Independence National Historical Park, opened its doors to the public in April, taking visitors on a journey through the remarkable story of America’s founding and housing one of the most comprehensive collections of Revolutionary-era artifacts assembled. A few blocks west from the historic district and a short walk from the historic Reading Terminal Market, will be the new Fashion District Philadelphia, scheduled to open in spring 2018. The redevelopment promises 730,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space, providing opportunities to take advantage of Philadelphia’s tax-free shopping. By 2019, the total hotel inventory in Philadelphia is expected to grow by 20% with the city welcoming a host of exciting new hotel brands including Aloft Hotel by Starwood and the Four Seasons Hotel, offering 360° city views atop the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center. For more information, email Annie Jirapatnakul.
Find Multi-Lingual RTOs on TourOperatorLand.com
As experts in the hospitality and tourism industry, TourOperatorLand.com knows how difficult it can be for international travel planners to find multi-lingual Receptive Tour Operators (RTO) on the ground in the United States. As such, the newly updated website TourOperatorLand.com now offers a list of RTOs, which can be filtered by language spoken and the destinations that they serve, giving international tour operators an easy-to-use reference guide for finding local operators in the USA that can execute their itinerary needs. Additionally, the site also offers an up-to-date list that is easily searchable, and trade content for 130+ destinations and suppliers in one place. For an introduction to this helpful site or to sign up free of charge, go to TourOperatorLand.com and start using the site to find RTOs, develop new itineraries, or develop your marketing collateral.
Team Building Activities at PIER 39
Groups looking for team building or after-hours activities in San Francisco should consider PIER 39 for a well-rounded experience with dining, sightseeing and competitive games at the 7D Experience. Groups can experience the thrill of a rollercoaster through five rides or put their agility, speed and confidence to test as they navigate their way through a web of crisscrossing laser beams, racing to be the first to complete the challenge. Additionally, guests can easily combine their visit of the 7D Experience with many of the other activities that Pier 39 has to offer, and the 7D Experience makes it easy to do so with a variety of combo tickets. From cruise combos with entry to the Aquarium of the Bay and the San Francisco Dungeon, there are plenty of activities for groups and FITs visiting this area. For bookings, email Clayton Hill.
Now Open: The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe has experienced a renaissance in its hotel landscape with more than
US$500 million being invested in renovating and upgrading existing properties, and building new hotels. Opened in June 2017, The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe is the newest addition to the 235-acre lakefront Edgewood Tahoe. The new LEED-designed Lodge includes 154 luxury guest rooms, 3,000 sq. ft. ballroom for conferences, weddings and events, an 8,500 sq. ft. spa and salon, a 200-seat bistro restaurant, an adventure center, a kids camp, premium shopping, and much more. Additionally, the property is surrounded by an 18-hole golf course, designed by George Fazio, that has earned Golf Digest’s rating as one of “America’s Top Golf Courses” and hosted countless major golf events. With so many activities and entertainment offered within the property’s compound, this is a great spot for MICE groups looking to relax, play, and conduct business amidst the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.
New Attractions Added to New York City Explorer Pass
The Leisure Pass Group, the world’s leading pass company, has added more attractions to its New York City Explorer Pass. New additions include entry to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Catacombs by Candlelight tour that takes place in the undercroft of the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, entry to Gulliver’s Gate, the latest attraction at Times Square, and Hamilton Happy Hour Tour with Urban Adventures. The New York Explorer Pass is a great product for groups and FITs, as it provides clients with the flexibility to choose attractions as they go or as a group. Clients have up to 30 days to use the pass from day of activation. Delivered instantly via email as a digital pass along with a digital guidebook and map in multiple languages, travelers can load the passes directly onto the Leisure Pass Group mobile app. Alternatively, they can print the PDF pass or present it right on their mobile device for free entry into each attraction. This global distribution of passes via email allows tour operators to purchase directly at any time and eliminates inventory management requirements. Instant, real-time and reliable delivery. For more information, email Stefan Merkl.
Full-Day Bike Rental and Picnic in Central Park
In 2016, New York City welcomed over 60 million visitors, an all-time record high with many of these visitors including Central Park as a top activity. As one of the largest and most famous parks in the world, Central Park can be explored in many ways. From bike tours to walking tours and horse carriage rides, visitors have many options to choose from. For unique, customized experiences, Central Park Sightseeing offers various packages for MICE and VIP groups, such as organized bike tours of the park or a full-day bike rental which can be combined with a gourmet picnic luncheon by New York staple Mangia in a shady spot in the heart of Central Park, surrounded by stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Other group-friendly options include horse carriage rides, which can be organized for up to 100 guests using 25 carriages at a time and can easily be combined with a meal at the iconic Tavern on the Green. To make your reservation, email Hakan Ugdur.
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