World Travel Market 2016

World Travel Market is only a few weeks way.

PHILADELPHIA (STAND NA250A-1)

Drop by and see the team from Philadelphia, The Countryside of Philadelphia and the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
On the booth attending this year will be Julie Coker-Graham and Svetlana Yazovskikh from Philadelphia CVB. Mike Bowman, Marc Kaminetsky and Greg Edevane from The Countryside of Philadelphia and Audrey Bialas from Hershey Harrisburg Region. Along with the team our very own Greg Evans will also be on the booth.

ATLANTIC CITY (STAND NA140-3B)

Meet AC will be represented at WTM by Heather Colache this year.

Please contact Greg on email: g.p.evans@btinternet.com or call 01633-481710 for appointments.

Mark White joins up with Greg Evans

The Greg Evans Consultancy (GEC) has announced that Mark White will join the consultancy as a Director with effect from 01 October, 2016.

Greg Evans said “Mark will bring a wealth of experience and additional skills onboard and I look forward to working with him.”

White with a travel career spanning over 20 years, has for the past 12 years worked within the product and purchasing functions of a number of leading long haul tour operators and wholesalers including Gold Medal Travel Group, Travel Counsellors and Thomas Cook Scheduled Businesses.

White said “I look forward to working on new and exciting projects with Greg Evans and the rest of the team.  We will focus on building and maintaining the relationships that GEC has worked hard to establish over the past 5 years and developing new opportunities for GEC.  This is a busy and exciting time for the company and I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”

KING OF PRUSSIA MALL EXTENSION

On August 18, 2016, Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, will mark the completion of a 155,000-square-foot expansion at King of Prussia Mall. The project, which broke ground in summer 2014, will add 50 new retail and dining storefronts and increase the mall’s footprint to 2.9 million-square-feet, further elevating one of the most productive and iconic malls in the country. This noteworthy project entailed an enclosed multi-level expansion connecting the five-anchor, 1,680,000-square-foot Plaza, and the two-anchor, 902,000-square-foot Court. The two retail areas have been separated by a roadway since their initial construction.

The new expansion will be home to an exciting collection of luxury retailers, upscale dining options, and first-to-market brands including: Altar’d State, Bottega Veneta, Calligaris, CH Carolina Herrera, Clarins, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, MCM, Oliver Peoples, Robert Graham, Superdry and Vince.

Additionally, the corridor will offer shoppers enhanced amenities including a branded dining experience, Savor King of Prussia with popular regional eateries and national favorites including Kevin Sbraga’s The Fat Ham, Michelin-starred chef Michael White’s Nicoletta, Hai Street Kitchen & Co., Shake Shack, Melt Shop and sweetgreen; a concierge-level guest service center; and a new, state-of-the-art parking garage with speed ramps, space location technology, and valet service that directly connects to the expansion, providing close and convenient access to new shops and restaurants.
King of Prussia will continue to open new stores in the corridor throughout the remainder of 2016 and into early 2017. For regular updates on King of Prussia Mall and its expansion, please visit www.simon.com/mall/king-of-prussia.

Global Entry Enrollment Center to Open in London

Applicants can begin scheduling interviews now through the GOES website

WASHINGTON
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will open a Global Entry enrollment center at the U.S. Embassy in London for 60 days beginning on September 26. Conditionally-approved Global Entry applicants can now register for an interview with a CBP officer at the London location on the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) website. Global Entry, a CBP Trusted Traveller Program, allows for expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travellers.

The enrollment center will be open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CBP officers will only interview Global Entry applicants with appointments. The U.S. Embassy is located at 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ.

CBP announced in December 2015 that UK citizens could apply for Global Entry following a successful pilot program that began in 2011. More than 8,800 UK citizens are currently enrolled in Global Entry. Nearly five million Britons visited the United States in Fiscal Year 2015 and more than 125,000 of those visitors travelled to the United States four or more times.

Currently available at 49 U.S. airports and 13 preclearance locations, Global Entry streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travellers. Global Entry members bypass the traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States. The program has enrolled more than 3 million members, and CBP receives approximately 100,000 new applications for Global Entry each month. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.

To register for Global Entry, UK citizens will apply through the UK Home Office website and pay a £42 processing fee. If the applicant passes the UK vetting process, they will receive a “UK Access Code,” which applicants will need to enter when applying for Global Entry through CBP’s Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). The non-refundable application fee for a five-year Global Entry membership is $100 and applications must be submitted online. Once the application is approved, a CBP officer will conduct a scheduled interview with the applicant and then make a final eligibility determination.

While the goal of Global Entry is to speed travellers through the process, no traveller is guaranteed expedited screening and members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and revocation of the traveller’s membership privileges.

U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for the United Kingdom’s trusted traveller program, Registered Traveller. Members enrolled in Registered Traveller may use E-gates at airports in the United Kingdom. The service costs £70 to apply and an additional £50 a year thereafter. If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant will receive £50 back. To qualify for Registered Traveller, a U.S. citizen must make 4 trips to the UK per year.

HOW WILL BREXIT AFFECT TRAVEL FROM THE UK TO THE USA & THE US TRAVEL INDUSTRY

The following is taken from a recent update from INBOUND in the USA….

I’d like to share with you the following in response to the question “How Will The Brexit Affect US Tour and Travel industry.”

Initially, with the devaluation of the  Euro and GBP, it will certainly reduce travel arrivals from the continent to the USA, since roughly 40 percent of inbound tourism is sourced from the EU countries, while, at the same time, spurt interest from U.S. travellers in Europe. Already, tour operators have jumped on this aggressively on Facebook. 

The real issue for selling the U.S. will be the end game, guessing where the exchange rate will finally rest without volatility, which is how the trade survived profoundly shocking disruptions of the Gulf War in the 90’s, 9/11 and the Great Recession.  A stable exchange rate will at least allow those with resources to adapt.

(This morning (28 June), four days after the BREXIT vote, the Pound had fallen from $1.47 vs. the U.S. Dollar to $1.32, a decline of about 10 percent. The Euro had dropped from $1.12 to $1.10)

Regarding a silver lining, the only one I see for now is a cautionary tale where other countries such as France and Holland that have leaders already been beating the drum for their own exits, see first-hand the chaos, disruption and recriminations that have resulted in over 3 million people, many of whom voted to ‘Leave,’ sign a petition for a revote. And this from a country that didn’t have to suffer the unravelling of reverting from the Euro back to their original currency.  

We’re advising U.S. clients that it is important now to maintain relationships with European operators as never before and offer help once the rates stabilize to create financial incentives to come to the US.  MICE business will be the first to feel the impact as incentive travel will remain in Europe but leisure may return once they have confidence that the currency has found a bottom such as it did for Australia which shot up in 2015 by 18% even though the exchange rate dropped 30% in that period.

OUR VIEW

Our view and the message to US suppliers is that they need to continue to work tactically with the U.K operators, especially as we start to move in to the summer lates period and also the launch for a number of 2017 programmes. This will be very well received at this time and in fact more business may result from it.

North America is the largest long haul destination for the UK Market, in some cases accounting for up to 50% of an operators business. During this period of volatility they will be look for support and those destinations and suppliers that provide this will see the rewards in the long term.

ATLANTIC CITY – SUMMER CONCERTS & EVENTS

Atlantic City, the Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore, will host a jam packed summer with a series of beach concerts as an exciting centerpiece, thanks to a partnership with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) and Live Nation.

Surf and sand go hand in hand with Jimmy Buffett, who brings his Coral Reefer Band with special guest G. Love & Special Sauce to delight his Parrothead followers on Saturday, August 13 (tickets on sale June 3). The acclaimed Zac Brown Band with Drake White and The Big Fire takes over the stage on Thursday, September 1 (tickets on sale May 27), and the country beat continues with Florida Georgia Line with Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three and Kane Brown on Saturday, September 3 (tickets on sale June 10). Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster Outlets. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

CRDA has provided as much as $2 million to support six or more concerts this summer; more big acts are to be announced. In the past two years, beach concerts have drawn hundreds of thousands of fans to enjoy live music accompanied by warm sand, ocean breezes and the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk.

“Presenting world-class entertainment to Atlantic City year after year is an honor to say the least,” said Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President. “Our team, along with the CRDA, the mayor’s office, and all our municipal and city partners, couldn’t be more excited to be a part of another year of summer programming for the city.”

“This will be a fun and busy summer in Atlantic City,” said CRDA Board Chairman Robert Mulcahy. “In addition to the beach concerts and numerous headliners, revue acts and family-oriented shows throughout the city, there’s a fantastic schedule of fun special events. CRDA is proud to provide support to many of the events held this summer and throughout the year in Atlantic City.”

Additional headliners appearing in Atlantic City this summer include Luke Bryan and Justin Bieber in concert at Boardwalk Hall (Friday, June 3 and Friday, July 15 respectively), plus casino showroom headliners such as Bob Dylan, The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum and many others.

There’s no lack of special events in Atlantic City this summer, many designed for the whole family. Summer kicks off Friday, May 27, with the Third Annual Beach Ball Drop on the Boardwalk at Resorts Atlantic City and Tropicana’s Free Boardwalk Block Party. Tropicana also offers weekly Saturday night fireworks from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

The Inaugural Atlantic City Food Truck Festival at Brighton Park takes place Sunday, June 19, and the Annual Chefs at the Shore offers another taste of AC while supporting the Atlantic City Aquarium on Thursday, June 23 at Gardner’s Basin. Foodies will also enjoy the 9th Annual Taste of the Quarter on Monday, August 22 at Tropicana.

July Fourth fireworks are a must, and Atlantic City will offer multiple viewing areas, as in previous years.

On Wednesday, August 3, the National Sports Collectors Convention is at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and Monday, August 15, the Atlantic City Salutes America’s Armed Forces Parade on the Boardwalk is a prelude to the Atlantic City Airshow “Thunder Over the Boardwalk,” held Wednesday, August 17, over the beach and Boardwalk.

There’s plenty for athletes, too, with Chickie’s & Pete’s 5K Boardwalk Run on Saturday, August 20; and the inaugural Atlantic City Ironman 70.3 on Sunday, September 18, among others.

And you won’t want to miss Atlantic City’s crowning glory, the Miss America Parade and Pageant. The Parade is scheduled for Saturday, September 10, followed by the Pageant at Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, September 11.

For information on these events and many more, visit http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/events/.

HARRISBURG HERSHEY RVB APPOINTS GREG EVANS CONSULTANCY FOR UK & EIRE

Harrisburg Hershey Region Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) announced it was increasing its investment in sales and marketing within the UK & Ireland market and has contracted The Greg Evans Consultancy to represent the Hershey Harrisburg Region starting in July 2016.

“We see a great value in retaining the Greg Evans Consultancy as full-time representatives of our region in the UK,” said Audrey Bialas, sales director HHRVB. “Greg Evans has represented the Commonwealth in the UK for nearly twenty years, so he knows our region well and he is exceptional at selling our destination to his vast network of contacts. There is also an exponential return on our modest initial investment with this firm at this time because of the cooperative program our neighbouring DMOs have already established with Evans.”

The HHRVB contract with GEC will dovetail with the sales and marketing programs already underway for Philadelphia and The Countryside of Philadelphia group in the UK & Ireland. That now guarantees the HHR will be actively promoted as an official stakeholder in the cooperative sales, marketing, and public relations efforts in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

“This was our opportunity to buy into a program that is already in place with a much greater reach throughout the UK than we could have afforded to do alone,” said Bialas. “By working collaboratively with Philadelphia and The Countryside of Philadelphia group under the representation of The Greg Evans Marketing & Communications Consultancy is an example of the whole effort being much greater than the sum of its parts.”

DISCOVER PHILADELPHIA’S CRAFT BEER SCENE AND TOAST AMERICA’S BEST BEER DRINKING CITY

Philadelphia’s craft beer scene continues to lure fans of independent breweries and speciality ales from all around the world thanks to its rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. The industry boomed until the US Prohibition in the 1920’s and 1930’s, which caused the industry to fall into decline. However, since the 1980’s, independent craft breweries have been launching at a rapid rate and firmly establishing why Philadelphia is often been referred to as the best beer drinking city in the USA.

The craft beer scene’s popularity within the city is being recognised with a series of events in 2016 therefore the Philadelphia Conve ntion & Visitors Bureau is therefore encouraging all beer lovers to discover some of the city’s newest pop-up beer gardens, craft beer festivals and most popular beer gardens and breweries this summer.

Parks on Tap, a Traveling Beer Garden
For the first time, “Parks on Tap,” a programme that will bring a mobile beer garden from park to park for 14 weeks, will take place from 29 June until 2 October 2016. The beer garden will spend several days in one park location, highlighting and enhancing the offerings that Philadelphia city parks provide, before moving on to the next location. Its mission is simple: well-kept outdoor spaces where friends and families can meet up to enjoy food, drinks and fun, surrounded by nature.

Pop Up Gardens at South Street and Viaduct Rail Park Open For Summer
Returning for the third year to its popular flagship site, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) Pop Up Garden will be operated by the renowned Khyber Pass Pub. Following its launch on 1 June 2016, the garden will feature a superb selection of craft beers, creative cocktails, and a fantastic menu reflecting the diverse cuisines of South Philly. On key dates and weekends, the garden will also be firing up the grill for barbecues. Khyber Pass Pub also plans an exciting season of events spotlighting local and visiting brewers and special beers. The Pop Up Garden will stay open for visitors until 30 September 2016, and there will also be a second pop-up site launched at Viaduct Rail Park featuring six taps. South Street location can be found at 15th & South, PA19146 / Viaduct Rail location can be found at 10th & Hamilton, PA 19123.

Philly Beer Week Returns For The Ninth Year
Craft beer-lovers can also celebrate the love of their favourite tipple with the return of the prestigious Philly Beer Week in Philadelphia. Across the USA, there are now over 100 beer weeks, but the original craft beer week started in the heart of Philadelphia. On 3 June 2016, over 40 local breweries will celebrate the opening of this year’s festival, which is set to run until 12 June 2016 following the ‘opening tap kick-off party.’

The launch event at The Fillmore kick-starts 10 days of live music, food and a host of beers to sample. Tickets to the opening night start from $46 / £32 (approximately), with special VIP packages that include the likes of a preview hour hosted by Whole Foods and a private lounge featuring beers that can’t be found anywhere else available for $92 / £64 (approximately).

Now in its ninth year, Philly Beer Week also welcomes the launch of Brotherly Suds – a beer that brings many of the Philadelphia-area breweries together to craft a speciality beer just for Philly Beer Week.

Combine Philadelphia’s Beer Gardens With Eats
Morgan’s Pier, which is dubbed ‘Philadelphia’s Backyard Beer Garden’ boasts an enviable location on the Delaware River waterfront. With outdoor seating for up to 500 people, menus offered by highly acclaimed chefs, craft beer, wine and cocktails, entertainment and events, it’s easy to see why Morgan’s Pier is one of the most popular outdoor Beer Gardens in the whole of the city. Similarly, restaurateur Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden offers the ultimate all-American experience, with a garden overlooking the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historic Park, and those who enjoy German food with their beer should head to Frankford Hall, where groups can relax at large tables and even get a game of ping pong started.

2nd Story Brewing Co.
For those looking to visit a craft brewery itself, visitors to Philadelphia can pay a visit to 2nd Story Brewing Co., which combines a craft brewery and restaurant in Philadelphia’s Old City. The 2nd Story Brewing Co.’s passion for craft beer can be seen by all, thanks to the open brewery on the second floor.

First Ever Philadelphia Craft Beer Invitational
Whilst the date is still being kept closely under wraps, 2016 will also welcome Philadelphia’s  first ever Philadelphia Craft Beer Invitational. The three-hour tasting event will feature beers from 38 Philadelphia-area breweries, all located within 60 miles of the city.

To learn more about Philadelphia, go to www.discoverPHL.co.uk.

20 things you have never heard about Atlantic City

You think you know Atlantic City? Think again. For example, did you know that the granite jetties breaking the surf were imported from New York City? When they built Manhattan’s subway system, excavated rocks were deposited here to protect the beach.

1. During Prohibition, Atlantic City speakeasies promoted themselves to thirsty travellers by hanging signs advertising “ice cream” from brands such as Yuengling and Budweiser.

2. From the marina at Historic Gardner’s Basin, you can see two shingle-roofed homes with massive boat ports opening out onto the inlet. These used to shelter rum runners during Prohibition.

3. Long before he became a Hollywood silent film star, legendary Latin lover Rudolph Valentino worked as a taxi dancer at Garden Pier, now home to the Atlantic City Historical Museum.

4. AC is well-known for its Miss America Pageant. But since 1991, it’s also hosted the annual Miss’d America Pageant, a competition for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community that raises money for local charities.

5. Notable performers at the Steel Pier amusement park have ranged from high-diving horses to Frank Sinatra, who used to sing five shows a day. Current attractions include helicopter rides, vintage roller coasters and arcade games. The hand-painted frescos on the merry-go-round feature scenes of the city.

6. If you’re into building sand castles, AC’s beach is tops. It’s hosted competitive sand sculptors from around the world.

7. The Atlantic County Utilities Authority is one of the country’s most forward-thinking, sustainable energy companies. Tour its wind farm, solar project and wastewater treatment facility or visit its Environmental Park, where you’ll see employee-grown gardens, a poetry and nature trail, compost and recycling facilities and learn how ACUA converts landfill gas into electricity.

8. Fascinated by tales of buried treasure? The Atlantic City Fishing & Dive Center offers scuba excursions to more than 100 shipwreck sites. You can even charter a nighttime dive.

9. Just beyond the Boardwalk is the 150+-year-old Absecon Lighthouse. The tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, it’s the third-tallest in the United States.

10. AC city caters to foodies with several award-winning restaurants. Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay are the obvious celebrity chefs in residence, but outside the casinos you’ll find historic restaurants, such as the Knife & Fork Inn, and budget eateries with national reputations for excellence.

11. Crave Vietnamese food? According to The New York Times, Atlantic City offers some of America’s most authentic. Recommended spots include Little Saigon, Noodle Village, Pho Sydney, Pho Cali and Com Tam Ninh Kieu.

12. Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song “Every Little Thing” in their Atlantic City hotel room after a 1964 concert at Convention Hall (now Boardwalk Hall). While in town, John, Paul, George and Ringo couldn’t resist grabbing a 6-ft. submarine sandwich from the White House Sub Shop, which has the photo mural to prove it.

13. James’ Salt Water taffy brags it is “cut to fit the mouth.” We’re not quite sure what taffy used to look like, but we thought you should know that you can avoid awkward moments by eating these thoughtfully-sized candies.

14. Boardwalk Hall is best known as a massive concert venue. But inside you’ll find historic ballrooms and an antique Midmer-Losh organ that holds Guinness World Records for “largest pipe organ ever constructed,” “largest musical instrument ever constructed” and “loudest musical instrument ever constructed.”

15. When the Atlantic City Boardwalk made its debut in 1870, it was intended to be a temporary measure to keep sand off of hotel carpets. It wasn’t until 20 years later that it became a permanent fixture.

16. If you’re too lazy to stroll, jog or bike the Boardwalk, you can hire a rolling chair to run you up and down the strip. They charge by the block.

17. If AC street names sound familiar, it’s probably because you’ve played the board game Monopoly, which is based on Atlantic City real estate. Ever wonder why Monopoly’s hotels are so oddly shaped? You won’t after visiting the historic Irish Pub and Hotel; it’s profile inspired the the game piece.

18. Those old-fashioned looking buildings on the facade of Bally’s Atlantic City really date back to the Victorian Era. When the casino expanded, it preserved the historic facades by incorporating them into the design.

19. The city is developing a walkable arts district adjacent to the Boardwalk. Its crown jewel is the Noyes Arts Garage Stockton University, where you’ll find local working artist galleries and shops, special exhibits, a cafe and special events.

20. On the way from the Boardwalk to the Art Garage, you might stumble upon one of AC’s outdoor art parks. These gardens are curated by a rotating roster of local and internationally known artists.

For more information visit www.doatlanticcitynj.com

Head off to the City of Brotherly Love for the region’s biggest LGBT celebrations

Philadelphia, affectionately dubbed the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, will build on its reputation as one of the most diverse LGBT cities in the world this year thanks to the return of the largest celebration of LGBT in the region at Philly Pride as well as Philadelphia OutFest, which marks the largest National Coming Out Day celebration in the world. The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau is encouraging all those looking to enjoy the vibrant scenes, rainbow flags and high spirited events to book a break to the east coast city to revel in the party atmosphere.

Philly Black Pride 2016 Kicks Off LGBT Events Calendar
The start of Philadelphia’s major LGBT events calendar will kick off with Philadelphia Black Pride (PBP), the 17th annual Philly Black Pride celebration from 28 April to 1 May 2016. This is the annual opportunity for black LBGTQ+ communities to celebrate, network and build visibility. With an average of up to 5,000 local and tri-state attendees, it’s the largest mobilisation of black LBGTQ+ individuals in the greater Philadelphia area. The four-day celebration is comprised of over 25 events, meetings, and socials. For more information, visit www.phillyblackpride.org

Party At Philly Pride And Festival
Philly Pride and Festival is the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the region and attracts over 25,000 people each year. The parade celebrations will take place on 12 June 2016 from 11:30 a.m. in the heart of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. This year’s festival marks the 27th staging of the event in the city and is set to feature live music, DJs, food and drinks. Revellers can also start the celebrations early on Friday 10 June when the city hosts the kick-off party. Advance wrist bands for the parade can be bought for $10 (£7) and on the day are offered at $15 (£11). For more information, visit www.phillygaypride.org

Movie Nights At qFLIX
Between 5-10 July 2016, the region’s only LGBTQ film festival will welcome thousands of film buffs to Philadelphia’s cinemas to join the movie fun. The routes behind the festival link to preserving the tradition of exhibiting American and international LGBTQ independent film across the region. This year’s schedule is kept closely under wraps until nearer the launch but visitors can expect a wealth of independent film makers showcasing their work. For more information, visit www.qflixphilly.com.

LGBT Equality Forum
From 25-29 July 2016, Philadelphia will welcome the Equality Forum, which aims to champion advancing LGBT civil rights. Throughout the four-day event, visitors can join debates, book signings and celebrate as those with poignant roles to play in the LGBT civil rights movement are recognised. For more information, visit www.equalityforum.com.

LGBT History Month
LGBT celebrations will continue into autumn as October also marks LGBT History Month, a global movement that celebrates the achievements of 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender icons each day throughout the month. Philadelphia’s LGBT History Month celebration aims to inspire through the work of fantastic community organisations that give meaning to the fight for full equality. For more information, visit lgbtphilly.wordpress.com.

OutFest 2016
Philadelphia will once again welcome the popular OutFest on 9 October 2016. The largest National Coming Out Day (NCOD) event in the world takes place in the heart of the city’s Gayborhood and this year will mark the 26th anniversary of the celebration. The block party features drag shows, games, bar crawls, music and shopping with the centre of the festival happening at the main stage at 13th and Locust streets. Visitors can look forward to everything from a high-heel race and a belly dance show to award ceremonies and a pet show. For more information, visit www.phillygaypride.org