Destination News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Destination News North America) Jan 15, 2012

Aircastle, Orbis Aircastle Announces Joint Effort with ORBIS International to Provide Additional Eye Care Services to Post-Earthquake Haiti. Aircastle Limited announced today that it is partnering with ORBIS International to provide eye care services to Haiti to further the country's reconstruction following the 2010 earthquake. ORBIS prevents and treats blindness by providing quality eye care to transform lives. Aircastle CEO, Ron Wainshal, commented, "As part of our efforts to provide relief aid to Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010, we are partnering with ORBIS International, an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness. ORBIS will be delivering medical treatment to those suffering from blindness in Haiti and helping to rebuild its infrastructure in ophthalmology, and we are proud to offer our assistance for this important cause." Dr. Barbara DeBuono, President and CEO of ORBIS, stated, "Aircastle's commitment will help alleviate the burden of preventable blindness in post-earthquake Haiti. We commend its on-going support of Haiti and its people." Aircastle donated to this effort in late 2011, and will contribute again in 2012. Jan 12, 2012

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia American Airlines, BA, Iberia Offer Fare Sale to Europe. American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia Airlines are discounting fares between the United States and Europe. Fares start at USD500 roundtrip, but taxes and fees are additional. Travel must originate in the United States. Fares are available through Jan. 24 and are valid for outbound travel through April 1, 2012. All travel at these fares must be completed by Sept. 26, 2012. Return travel black-out dates are June 14 through Aug. 14, 2012. Other restrictions apply. The special promotional fares are valid for travel between the U.S. and Europe Monday through Thursday; other days are subject to higher fares. Fares are valid for travel between the United States and United Kingdom Monday through Wednesday; other days are subject to higher fares. A Saturday night stay is required, and the maximum stay allowed is 180 days. Jan 11, 2012

Brand g New era in gay travel. In 1986, the first all-gay cruise set sail out of New Orleans with 750 guests, thanks to Kevin Mossier, founder of RSVP Vacations. Because of the social climate of the time, during the height of the AIDS epidemic and socialized homophobia, Mossier saw a need to create a safe place for gays and lesbians to vacation. According to Charlie Rounds, who was one of Minneapolis-based RSVPOs early employees and later became part owner, the gay and lesbian travel market has evolved significantly since the 1980s. An enduring industry spokesman, Rounds received the International Gay & Lesbian Travel AssociationOs Lifetime Achievement Award last spring and has recently launched a new gay tour operator, Brand g Vacations, which encompasses what he calls a new era in gay travel. The new company has its finger on the pulse of a notable trend toward culture-focused vacation experiences that offer alternatives to large-scale gay cruises and resort buyouts. Brand g is one of 7 other LGBT tour operators chartering or organizing groups aboard boutique European riverboats this summer. Brand gOs full-ship charter of AMA WaterwaysO newest ship, the 164-passenger AmaCerto, features 2 nights in Prague, followed by a custom-tailored, 7-day itinerary down the Danube River that includes stops in Regensberg, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava, and ends in Budapest. He added that the average age of Brand g guests booked so far on the Danube riverboat is 48 years old, significantly younger than the 60+ demographic on mainstream European riverboat cruises. And while small-ship travel may be more conducive to quiet conversation and castle-watching, he notes that the ambiance on gay cruises is anything but boring. Rounds credits strong demand, as well as a close network of dedicated travel agents, for helping support the new brand, which is also offering 2012 land programs to Ireland (September) and Mexico City (October). Rounds plans to add cruises on the Mekong and Rhone Rivers, and a land program in Argentina in 2013. OWe want to promote great destinations that give full equality to our community,O he said, OMexico City is a great example of that [ETH] a fantastic destination with a vibrant culture, history, archaeology, and cuisine, and where gay and lesbian citizens enjoy equal rights.O Rounds is General Manager of Brand g Vacations and has set up Marketing and Reservations offices in Minneapolis. Brand g Vacations is wholly owned by The Mark Travel Corporation, which owns and manages such well-known vacation brands as Funjet Vacations, Southwest Airlines Vacations, and MGM Resorts Vacations. Jan 12, 2012

Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean New Orleans cruise tourism is rebounding after Katrina. The Port of New Orleans is getting ready to reach the milestone of receiving more than 1 million passengers this year. Booming business from the return of Carnival Cruise Line's Elation and Conquest and Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas continues to lift the industry and the city's economy past 2005's Hurricane Katrina. Significant investments in terminal upgrades have restored the port's appeal to cruise lines, bringing with it a rise in disembarking and spending by visitors. Jan 9, 2012

Cheapflights Cheapflights.com Readies for the Red Carpet. With less than 10 days to go until the kick-off of Robert Redford's world famous Sundance Film Festival, the film buffs here at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, are all abuzz. To help everyone gear up for the 2012 movie season, we have compiled our Top 10 Film Festivals Around the World. A one-of-a-kind experience, film festivals offer the opportunity to explore the art of filmmaking with other enthusiasts, listen to the creators talk about their work, visit an exciting destination and, of course, spot a celeb or two. Find out what makes our team's favorite cinema events unique with our list of Top 10 Film Festivals Around the World. If you're keen to be among the first to screen some of 2012's great new flicks, below are five film fests that you can catch over the next few months. [yen]Sundance Film Festival -- Park City, Utah, United States - Sundance Film Festival started out in 1978 as an event designed to attract more filmmakers to Utah while staying away from the overpowering Hollywood scene. Thirty-four years later, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States, exhibiting feature-length films, documentaries, shorts, and animation while fostering dialogues among film enthusiasts. This year, the festival will run from Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah, showcasing 200 films whittled down from nearly 9,000 submissions. Can't make it to the big event? On Jan 26, nine movie theaters across the United States will be hosting a filmmaker and his or her work as part of Sundance Film Festival USA, so you may be able to participate in the festivities wherever you are. Search and compare cheap flights to Park City. [yen]International Film Festival Rotterdam -- Rotterdam, the Netherlands - Though it receives less tourist traffic than its neighboring city, Amsterdam, Rotterdam is a modern representation of Dutch culture, and its annual film festival is constantly paving the way for all genres of innovative and thought-provoking cinema. This year's event will run from Jan. 25 to Feb. 5, and will encompass 19 screening venues -- upwards of 350,000 viewers are expected to attend. Rotterdam attendees are passionate movie-goers, so program directors make a point of stripping down the superfluous aspects of film, like commercials and trailers, for an untarnished viewing experience. Search and compare cheap flights to the Netherlands. [yen]Guadalajara Film Festival -- Guadalajara, Mexico - Considered the most significant film affair in Latin America, Guadalajara Film Festival is an important cultural event, showcasing Mexican and Latino talent alongside other international works of cinematic art. Thanks to Guadalajara Film Festival, Latin American film has become a competitor in the global film industry. From March 2-12, over 100,000 film lovers are expected to flood the streets and theaters of Guadalajara, viewing close to 200 films. While not as chaotic as Mexico City, Guadalajara is a destination perfect for exploring colonial history, enjoying the Mexican culture, shopping street markets and savoring traditional regional cuisine. Search and compare cheap flights to Mexico. [yen]Hong Kong International Film Festival -- Hong Kong, China - The perfect blend of East Asian culture and a thriving global market, Hong Kong is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. It's no wonder that the Hong Kong International Film Festival has become one of the largest in the world, and has bridged the gap between Asian cinema and the global film industry. This year's event will take place from March 21 to April 5, showcasing more than 330 titles from 50 countries to an expected 600,000 viewers. Spread among more than 11 venues all around Hong Kong, including the Space Museum and City Hall, visitors get the chance to witness the latest works while exploring the vibrant city. Search and compare cheap flights to China. [yen]Berlin International Film Festival -- Berlin, Germany - One of the most renowned film festivals in the world, the Berlin International Film Festival (also known as Berlinale) combines the glamor of filmmaking -- parties, red carpet, high fashion -- with the appreciation of cinematic art in a variety of genres. Divided into 10 separate sections, highlighting areas like experimental and avant-garde works, shorts geared towards younger generations, films focused around culinary themes and several others, there's a place...

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