Travel Business News Alert - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) Jun 3, 2013

10 top tips on how to widen the appeal of your travel blog Earlier this year I wrote a post titled O7 top tips to running a successful travel blogO which proved to be quite popular. If youOve been following all the tips there, hopefully you are starting to see some benefits from your efforts, so here IOd like to take that post a little further and give you a little more food for thought. Jun 2, 2013

Hawaii Visitor Spend on the Rise Visitor expenditures in Hawaii rose 1.8 percent ($19.1 million), to $1.1 billion in April 2013, compared with the same month in 2012, according to preliminary statistics by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). In the first four months of 2013, total visitor expenditures grew 6.3 percent to $5 billion. The HTA attributed this growth to a rise in the number of arrivals, which totaled 666,959 in April and 2.8 million in the first four months of this year N increases of 3.1 percent and 6.1 percent year over year, respectively. The average daily spending was virtually unchanged at $191 per person. Arrivals by air from U.S. West region in April 2013 rose 0.3 percent over April 2012, to 278,627 visitors; but there was a 1 percent drop in total U.S. West expenditures to $383.1 million. U.S. East arrivals were up 4.2 percent to 127,973 visitors, while total visitor spending rose 12.6 percent, to $256.1 million. Year to date through April 2013, arrivals from U.S. West increased 7 percent, and visitor spending jumped 13.4 percent to $1.6 billion. From the U.S. East, arrivals rose 1.9 percent, and spending jumped 9.2 percent to $1.3 billion through April, compared with last year. The additional arrivals are due in large part to a jump in total air seats to Hawaii. In April the number of air seats rose 9.5 percent to 891,790. In the U.S., the number of scheduled seats from U.S. East jumped 29.2 percent. Jun 2, 2013

Tourism Cares: Bruce BeckhamOs Legacy Volunteering is fun. Really! Doing basic physical labor for no money is a kick. The word OfunO is an understatement. Volunteering brings a kind of satisfaction that goes OfunO one better. ThatOs something many people in the travel industry have learned as a result of the efforts of Bruce Beckham and his work with Tourism Cares over the last decade. Beckham will retire from Tourism Cares on June 30 after creating the organization and building it for a decade. It is a unique group with no real precedent. When Beckham first announced his retirement, Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck asked him what he thought his greatest accomplishment was. At first, Beckham reeled through the history of Tourism Cares and the many events in which volunteers helped restore Ellis Island, New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gettysburg, Mount Vernon, San Francisco and many other places. How could you rate one as more important than the others? No, Beckham reflected, the biggest accomplishment of Tourism Cares was that it brought the travel industry together in a way that had never happened before. OPeople go to conferences and glad-hand each other, say nice things about each other,O he says. OThey just touch each other on a business level, not a personal level. If you think you learn about somebody on a golf course, you really learn about somebody when you are side by side digging a ditch. You learn a lot. You realize everyone puts on pants one leg at a time. And I donOt care if youOre in the hotel business or a meeting planner or anything else, youOre all in tourism. We created unity with this organization.O Beckham was ideally suited to the job. Indeed, he is one of a kind. He is a total travel industry organism, born into the business and totally focused on it in a unique way that enabled him to make major contributions. He started at his fatherOs tour operator/travel agency when he was 12 in 1958. BruceOs father died in 1971 and Bruce took over the business at age 25. The next year he attended his first NTA conference and started hob-knobbing with tour operators like Arthur Tauck, learning that there were many ways to do things besides the way his father had done them. Ten years later he became NTA president, the youngest ever. Beckham sold the travel agency in 1989 and focused full time on the tour business. In 1993 he had open-heart surgery and decided to slow down. He sold the tour operation and focused on consulting and educational workshops. In the early 1990s he started running the U.S. Tour Operators AssociationOs annual golf tournament. In 2000 the USTOA asked him to lead its Travelers Conservation Foundation (TCF) to take it to the next level. Then came 9/11. The travel industry went into a dizzying downward spiral. No one was able to focus on anything but survival. USTOA wanted to put TCF on the back burner. But Beckham was not ready to throw in the towel. In the wake of 9/11, President Bush issued a call for volunteerism, saying each person should give 4,000 hours in a lifetime to volunteering. Beckham seized on the idea. TCF had just given Ellis Island a grant and he knew the place was in dire need. He started the ball rolling for a volunteer cleanup project to be called Tourism Cares for America and drew 300 travel industry people to the site to help clean up, paint and restore it, providing hundreds of hours free labor to a grateful National Park Service to do the things that only hand labor can accomplish. The idea resonated throughout the industry. NTA got on board and merged its National Tourism Foundation into the organization. Later ASTA and IATAN merged their philanthropic organizations with Tourism Cares as well. More and more companies joined in and the momentum continued to grow. Last week, on May 30-31, Tourism Cares held an event on Coney Island and Jamaica Bay that attracted 600 volunteers, the most ever. Though Coney Island had taken a beating from Hurricane Sandy, it looked fantastic in its colorful, colossal motion. There was a festive energy as thousands of New Yorkers gathered on the beach and at the park. As for the volunteers, a great deal of work was accomplished and they shared the special transcendent joy that can only be gained through common service. ThatOs the secret to the success of Tourism Cares. Bruce Beckham dedicated all his energy and experience to building the organization, but it only worked because of the principle at the heart of it. After decades of living in a culture that dictated that everything should be based on self-interest and personal gain, many people who Ohave it allO in terms of material wealth and worldly success find that they still hunger for something more. Through Tourism Cares many have discovered that no life is complete without service to the community. The organization has provided a vehicle through which travel industry professionals can meaningfully channel their care for the world, the resources on which their livelihoods depend on along with the welfare of future generations. Hats off to Bruce Beckham. Job well done! David Cogswell is executive editor covering tours and packages for TravelPulse.com. Jun 2, 2013

Big Island Hawaii has new Executive Director After nearly 25 years of promoting Hawaii, the Big Island as a world-class vacation destination, travel industry veteran George Applegate is retiring as executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) on May 31. Succeeding him is Ross Birch, a long-time marketer on Hawaii Island himself, who brings more than 20 years of experience to the BIVBOs top position. OFor more than a decade IOve witnessed first-hand GeorgeOs love for Hawaii Island and passion for the visitor industry as he lead the BIVB team,O said John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB), the BIVBOs parent agency. OHe has done some remarkable work to grow Hawaii Island as an adventure destination for travelers, while never losing sight of his roots as a local boy growing up in the islands. On behalf of the HVCB ohana, I say mahalo nui loa to George for his tremendous contributions and to his family for their support.O Applegate began his career as a bellman for the Naniloa Hotel in Hilo more than 40 years ago. During his tenure, he held various management positions in hospitality, sales and marketing. He joined BIVB in 1989 as director of sales and marketing, and became executive director in 2000. Prior to BIVB, he was vice president of Big Island Tours of Hawaii, offering excursions of the islandOs most spectacular attractions. OTogether with the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and HVCB, weOve worked proactively to help the mayor and County of Hawaii enable our islanders to live the American dream,O Applegate said. OBy promoting tourism to this destination and growing the economy, weOve been able to create opportunities for our residents and communities.O In retirement, Applegate plans to remain active within the hospitality industry by starting his own consulting practice to help businesses on Hawaii Island and beyond connect with the visitor market. He also plans to continue his support of BIVB as a member of the organization. As incoming executive director, Birch will be responsible for overseeing BIVBOs marketing and associated programs impacting the islandOs visitor industry. Serving as the lead liaison between the islandOs stakeholders and HVCB, he will also oversee the development of relationships with community leaders, government officials and visitor industry marketing partners. OIOm very excited about the opportunity and look forward to working with our stakeholders to overcome the complex challenges associated with promoting...

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