Monthly Archives: May 2009

ASAE & The Center Announces 10th Anniversary DELP Scholars

Record number of applications received for newly extended two-year scholarship

WASHINGTON, DC?ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership has recently selected the 2009-2011 scholars of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP). DELP offers individuals from underrepresented segments of the association profession an opportunity to advance into the ranks of leadership in association management by providing networking opportunities, educational programs and career guidance.

“Supporting the leadership potential of a diverse and inclusive association community is important for ASAE & The Center, and we are proud to present these association professionals with the DELP scholarship,” said ASAE & The Center President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. ?The scholarship is designed to provide greater access to leadership and professional development resources and to increase the number of minority professionals in associations.”

The DELP scholarship has been extended from a one-year to a two-year program to better prepare the participants for future leadership positions and to provide a more robust learning experience. This year, 12 scholarships have been awarded to candidates from across the country who were among a record of nearly 100 association and nonprofit professionals who applied. ?I would like to thank Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Bureau for their continued support of this important initiative and their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” added Graham. DELP is exclusively sponsored by the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This year?s class includes:
James P. Brown Jr., CAE

Director of State Relations

U.S. Travel Association

Washington, DC

Valarie Clark

Director of Faculty Development

Association of American Medical Colleges

Washington, DC

Stephanie Doute

Director of Group Services

Aging Services of California

Sacramento, CA

Rita Chen Fujisawa, MBA

Associate Executive Director of Marketing & Membership

California Optometric Association

Davis, CA

Victor H. Garcia, MBA

Director of Customer Service

The Institute of Internal Auditors

Orlando, FL

Kathryn Gleesing, CMP, MBA

Director of Registration and Housing Services

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Brookfield, WI

Diana Luz Gonzales

Membership Program Manager

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Bethesda, MD

Joseph S. Greaves

Associate Director/Managing Editor

Alameda ? Contra Costa Medical Association

Oakland, CA

Scharan M. Johnson, IOM, CAE

Director of Membership Development

American Physical Therapy Association

Alexandria, VA

Katherine E. Simmons

Senior Human Resources Manager

Bread for the World

Suitland, MD

Denise Smith-Williams

Director of Member Programs & Branch/Region Development

American Counseling Association

Alexandria, VA

Aaron D. Wolowiec, MSA, CMP

Director of Member Relations

Health Care Association of Michigan
Lansing, MI

DELP scholars receive membership in ASAE & The Center for the two-year period; registration, travel and lodging to an ASAE & The Center Annual Meeting, any two ASAE & The Center education programs as selected by the scholar, registration to a Volunteer Leadership Retreat, orientation at ASAE & The Center headquarters in Washington, DC, and a DELP reunion in Detroit. DELP scholars also receive access to a Certified Association Executive (CAE) study group to prepare for the CAE credentialing exam, waiver of CAE examination fee (taken within three years of DELP participation) and study materials. DELP scholars will gain connection to an industry leader to serve as a mentor, group coaching to enhance the connection of the DELP cohort, service experience with an ASAE & The Center volunteer group or other association-related volunteer opportunity, and opportunities to meet with ASAE & The Center senior staff and volunteer leadership.

In July, the new DELP Scholars will attend an orientation session at ASAE & The Center Headquarters, immediately followed by the annual networking DELP Reunion in Detroit hosted by the Detroit Metro CVB.

About ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in 50 countries around the world. The Center for Association Leadership is the premier provider of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association profession. Together, ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association community. For more information about ASAE & The Center, please visit

Mingle360: Supporting Face-to-Face Meetings By Eliminating the Business Card

Mingle360, our contact information sharing and management company, is helping convention planners this summer with an easier way to share and store important contact information while valuing in-person business connections.

The Mingle360 solution combines a single-purpose device with a powerful software application. The MingleStick is an innovative USB device using wireless technology to create connections between people. The MingleManager application offers total identity management with its privacy features, granular security controls, and address book tools.

Mingle360 will be featured as a networking tool for all conference attendees at TS? 2009 this July, and we are eager to show the industry how proactive and productive our platform can be for their meetings. Shauna Peters, marketing manager for TS? in Alexandria, VA, had great things to say about our system and our role in the conference this year:

?I think the MingleStick represents the future of data sharing for our attendees, including exhibit and event marketing professionals in addition to exhibition managers. Now, with Mingle360, there is no need to data-enter, or possibly misplace, business cards. TS? attendees will get an electronic record of who they met and what they did at our show.?

TS? 2009 will be held in Chicago at McCormick Place from July 20-23 and is sponsored by the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA). The event, owned and operated by National Trade Productions (NTP), is in partnership with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), which will be hosting co-located programming at TS?.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Clinched 17 Conferences


Kuala Lumpur May 2009 — Malaysia?s Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), strategically located in the heart of the capital city, has clinched 17 more conferences for the city in the first four months of 2009.

The five international conferences between 2009 and 2014 are expected to attract 5,700 delegates and the seven regional conferences, 3,000 delegates between this year (2009) and 2011. The five national conferences, all in 2009, will see participation from 2,250 delegates.

Mr Peter Brokenshire, General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre said, ?The successful bids are a reflection of international and regional associations and meeting planners? confidence in Malaysia as an attractive destination for business tourism, the country?s strong track record and more importantly, they are testimony to Malaysia?s excellent value for money proposition.

The World Economic Forum ranked Malaysia as the 4th most price competitive country in the world for travel and tourism in 2009, offering excellent price competitiveness with its low comparative hotel and fuel prices, low ticket taxes and airport charges plus a favourable tax regime.

Kuala Lumpur was also rated the most price competitive city by Swiss banking giant, UBS in 2008 and the country scored for having the cheapest Big Mac among 34 countries surveyed according to the latest Big Mac index published by The Economist in February 2009.

?In addition, Kuala Lumpur has evolved as a preferred international and regional meetings destination due in part to its strategic location in the heart of South East Asia, which is complimented with comprehensive and world-class infrastructure, professional service delivery and supporting infrastructure”, Mr Brokenshire added.

Mr Brokenshire also attributed Malaysia?s growing reputation in the business tourism industry to the efforts of Team Malaysia, comprising Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in promoting Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur as the destination of choice for business tourism.

Highlights of the wins include:

Evaluation of Learning for Performance Improvement Conference (ELPIC) : 13 ? 16 Oct 2009 (700 delegates)
The ELPIC is specially designed to review the current trends and approaches of evaluation using best practices from all over the world. The Conference, featuring world renowned speakers, will focus on the importance of learning evaluation for the organisations? overall performance and productivity improvements. The exhibition which will run concurrently with the conference is expected to attract 5,000 visitors.

25th Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP) General Assembly: 13 ? 18 Dec
2009 (250 delegates)

Hosted by the National Metrology Laboratory, SIRIM Berhad, this annual conference will be held in Malaysia for the first time. Founded and based in Korea, the APMP is a regional organisation formed by a group of 42 national and territorial measurement laboratories from the region with the mission of developing international recognition for regional measurement competence.

SAMPE Asia 2010 Conference and Exhibition: 19 ? 20 Jan 2010 (300 delegates)
Hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE?) based in California, USA, the two-day conference and exhibition is a unique gathering of materials and processes experts and users. This event will provide a forum for the advanced materials community by bringing technical sessions, tutorials, and exhibits to the Asian region. This conference is supported by the Composites Industry Association of Malaysia, Chulalongkorn University, and the Iran Composites Institute.

6th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) 2010: 18 ? 20 May 2010 (2,000 delegates)
Making its return to Malaysia for the second time, the WIEF 2010 is poised to gather prominent Heads of State and government, captains of industry and the world?s business elite to share views, expertise and discuss solutions following the major world crises. The WIEF Businesswomen Forum and the WIEF Young Leaders Forum will be held concurrently with the conference.

9th Asia Congress on Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: 25 ? 28 Nov 2010 (500 delegates)
Themed ?Expanding the Horizon and Bridging the Distance”, the biennial congress will see experts from the Asian region discuss common areas of interest, introducing new surgical concepts and research findings as well as share knowledge in areas of difficulty and failures. It is hosted by the Malaysian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

22nd PACIFIC SCIENCE CONGRESS (1,000 delegates) : 13 ? 17 June 2011
The Pacific Science Congress, first held in Honolulu in 1920, is the principal meeting of the Pacific Science Association and is held every four years. The 22nd edition will be organised by the Malaysian Academy of Science (ASM), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia, the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation and the ICSU Regional Office for Asia Pacific.

15th OTTAWA CONFERENCE (800 delegates): 9 ? 13 March 2012
The Ottawa Conference, held biennially in North America and elsewhere in the world, provides an international forum for the exchange of ideas and new developments in the evaluation of medical and healthcare professionals with the aim of improving healthcare and healthcare delivery around the world. The Conference is organised by the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

14th Western Pacific Congress on Chemotherapy & Infectious Diseases (WPCCID 2014): November 2014 (3,000 delegates)
Hosted by the Malaysian Society of Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy (MSIDC) with the Western Pacific Society of Chemotherapy, the Congress will be returning to Malaysia for the third time since 1989. The WPCCID 2014 will see experts in the field of chemotherapy and infectious diseases explore issues of growing concern and have significant impact on global public health particularly in the Western Pacific region.

Since the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre?s opening in June 2005 to December 2008, it has been the venue of choice for more than 1,800 events, which generated more than RM 1.8 billion (EUR 0.38 billion, USD 0.49 billion, AUD 0.67 billion) in economic impact to the city.

ALHI Provides Planners a Chance to Win One-Carat ?Resort at Squaw Creek Diamond” at MPI WEC in Salt Lake City in July

WASHINGTON, DC ? Meeting professionals and executives attending
MPI WEC (World Education Conference) in Salt Lake City, Utah July 11-14, 2009, will
have the chance to win the beautiful 1-carat ?Resort at Squaw Creek Diamond” that
will be awarded by Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). Planners simply
need to stop by to register for the drawing at ALHI?s ?Luxury Lane” area at the show for
the chance to win the dazzling one-carat diamond solitaire, named after the popular
Four-Diamond Lake Tahoe, California resort.

?We?re giving away this beautiful one-carat diamond solitaire necklace as a means to
highlight this incredible resort to planners seeking a gem of a meeting destination in the
west for their programs, as well as to amplify the Four- and Five-Diamond quality of our
entire portfolio of more than 125 exceptional hotels and resorts,” said David Gabri,
president and CEO of ALHI.

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just minutes from the shores of Lake Tahoe, the
Resort at Squaw Creek completed an extensive $53 million renovation that secured its position as a premier, self-contained, all-season mountain resort. Meeting offerings
include 33,000 square feet of refurbished indoor meeting space, and 14,000 square feet of picturesque outdoor function space. Additional resort offerings include 405 beautifully appointed guest rooms (including 204 spacious suites), ski-in/ski-out access to 4,300 acres of world-class skiing, a championship golf course, a newly-remodeled full-service spa, tennis courts, a fitness center, mountain biking trails, and four restaurants. The resort is just 45 minutes from Reno/Tahoe International Airport.

The ?Resort at Squaw Creek Diamond” will be the fourth diamond given away in 2009
by ALHI as part of its ?2009 Diamond Tour.” The ?AQUA Diamond” was awarded at
MPI?s MeetDifferent in February. The ?Arizona Grand Diamond” was given away at
ALHI?s Luxury Showcase in Washington, D.C. in February. The ?Grand Wailea Resort
Diamond” was awarded at ASAE & The Center?s Springtime Expo in April.

Additional diamonds that will be awarded by ALHI in 2009 include ?The Peabody
Orlando Diamond” at ASAE Annual in August; and the ?Chateau ?lan Winery &
Resort Diamond” at IncentiveWorks in Toronto in August. Each diamond is named for
one of ALHI?s distinguished members.

With a diverse luxury portfolio of nearly 90,000 rooms and suites and over 9 million
square feet of meeting space, ALHI serves as a dedicated dues-based National Sales
organization that enables planners to gain reliable one-call, experienced national sales
professional access to its outstanding member hotels and resorts that specialize in
meetings and incentive programs requiring from 10 to more than 5,000 rooms.

Member properties include extraordinary meeting and incentive resorts, incomparable
city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with gaming and entertainment.
Associated Luxury Hotels has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New
York City, North Carolina, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San
Diego, Toronto and Washington, DC. Go to to identify the ALHI sales
professional in your area.

For professional assistance and more information about Associated Luxury Hotels, and to
inquire about a potential meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, contact your
nearest Associated Luxury Hotels National Sales Office, call the ?ALHI Group Desk”
toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit

The League of American Bicyclists names Tulsa a ?Bicycle Friendly Community”

Announcement comes as community prepares for 4th Annual Tulsa Tough Ride & Race set May 29-31

(Tulsa, OK) ? The League of American Bicyclists announced Tulsa to their roster of ?Bicycle Friendly Communities and States” for 2009 as event organizers prepares for the fourth annual Tulsa Tough Ride & Race, May 29-31.

The League recognized 13 new Bicycle Friendly Communities and three BFC renewals in celebration of Bike Month 2009, which began May 1. The designation marks the first time Tulsa or Oklahoma have appeared on the list. The BFC application process is rigorous; currently only 108 of the 274 applicants have a BFC four-year designation. The renewal process and four levels of the ward – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. The League judges all BFC applications on the fundamental Five Es – Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation.

?This is a great honor for Tulsa and helps make our city more attractive to visitors and potential new residents,” said Tulsa Sports Commission Executive Director Mike Dodson. ?We?re glad to see Tulsa getting some national recognition for our sports and recreational activities, and events like Tulsa Tough play a large part in helping us earn that recognition.”

The fourth annual Tulsa Tough Ride & Race, presented by The Children?s Hospital at Saint Francis and appearing on the National Racing Calendar, is scheduled for May 29-31 in popular Tulsa districts. The three-day cycling festival was created in 2006 by the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles while showcasing the beautiful city of Tulsa with events happening in the Blue Dome District, Brady Arts District and River Parks.

Part of the event each year is the Tough Kids Challenge, which will provide 225 third – fifth-graders a free Trek bike upon successful completion of the program?s requirements
?Tough Kids is unique to Tulsa Tough Ride & Race and serves as an example for events nationwide,” said Malcolm McCollam, Tulsa Tough Ride & Race event director. ?It is a great way to teach children to adopt a healthier lifestyle, fight child obesity and improve their overall quality of life and have fun doing it.”

Participating children must complete a four-part program that includes the Safe-Escape class presented by the Crime Commission, a take home worksheet on bicycle safety, and a bicycling Skills and Drills class where they will receive the bike in time to participate in the eight-mile Townie Ride on Sunday, May 31.

?The Townie Ride is a wonderful activity for the entire family,” said Dodson. ?This ride is also a great opportunity for past Tough Kid participants that earned a free bike from the program to come out and ride again as a regular rider.”

Tulsa Tough offers events and spectating opportunities for everyone with professional-level races, recreational and tour rides, kids and youth activities, live music and vendors in one action-packed weekend.

For more information, please visit, or to learn more about the League?s Bicycle Friendly Communities and States programs, visit

Ten Years Later, Westin Hotels is Still the Best in Bed

Westin Hotels & Resorts Announces 5-Month Global Celebration for Heavenly Bed 10th Anniversary including Heavenly White Sales, New Heavenly Product Offerings,
Special Promotions and more

WHITE PLAINS, NY ? May 19, 2009 ? Ten years later, consumers and critics agree ? Westin Hotels & Resorts is still the best in bed. Westin Hotels turned the travel industry on its head and sparked a hotel bedding revolution with the 1999 launch of the Heavenly Bed?: an icon that inspired countless imitators ignited the hotel-bed wars and jump-started the hotel retail phenomenon. In the decade since, more than 75 million guests have tucked themselves into Heavenly Beds at Westin hotels around the world including U.S. Presidents, Hollywood royalty and professional athletes and more than 30,000 beds and 100,000 pillows have been sold. The sumptuous, 10-layer Heavenly Bed has grown from cult favorite to well-loved classic, and Westin has expanded Heavenly into a full-lifestyle brand, with similarly luxurious offerings for the bath, the baby, and even the dog. Today, Westin announces a five-month global celebration of this momentous anniversary, and unveils plans for new additions to the growing Westin ?Heavenly” family.

Westin?s commitment to wellness and a good night?s sleep is as strong today as it was 10 years ago and the brand?s five-month Heavenly Celebration will bring a little bit of ?heaven” to guests and consumers around the world. Throughout 2009, Westin will introduce several new additions to the Heavenly product line and host Heavenly White Sales and experiential events in high-profile locations worldwide. From Beijing to Boston, every one of Westin?s 169 properties and more than 29,000 employees will participate in the celebration with special events, Heavenly promotions and giveaways.

The brand will also recognize the hard-working room attendants who?ve kept the luxurious 10-layer beds beautiful over the years, and will also offer meeting-planner incentives around the Heavenly theme.

Ten years ago, Westin received a wake-up call from travelers, who said in a survey that the most important service a hotel can offer is a good night?s sleep. Westin spent more than $30 million to create the perfect night?s sleep and introduce 52,000 new Heavenly beds in its 39,500 guest rooms, becoming the first hotel brand to take sleep seriously. In fact:

? There are now more than 97,000 Heavenly Beds in over 65,000 Westin guestrooms worldwide.
? Westin jump-started the hotel-retail phenomenon after receiving hundreds of inquiries from guests who wanted to know where they could purchase their own Heavenly Bed.
? The company has sold more than 30,000 Heavenly Beds, 100,000 pillows, 32,000 sheets, and 13,000 shower heads to consumers hoping to bring home the Heavenly experience. Items are sold through a partnership with Nordstrom and online at
? The Heavenly Bed was such a success that every major hotel brand followed suit with the development of signature beds?affecting more than 5 million hotel beds across the globe.

?Westin?s custom Heavenly Bed forever changed the hotel industry?s bed offerings 10 years ago; and we are extremely proud that today the bed and the Heavenly lifestyle brand continue to grow,” commented Nancy London, Vice President, Global Brand Management, for Westin Hotels & Resorts. ?Since we launched the bed in 1999, we?ve strengthened our commitment to bringing a little bit of Heaven to our guests through new retail items and innovative programming?a rewarding mission that has earned Westin tremendous trust and loyalty.”

Following an overwhelming guest response and unmatched media attention, ?Heavenly” soon became synonymous with ?Westin.” Over the next 10 years, Westin introduced several additions to the Heavenly portfolio, including the Heavenly Crib in 2000, Heavenly Shower in 2001, Heavenly Dog Bed in 2002 and Heavenly Spa brand in 2008.

After introducing the bed that changed it all, Westin continued to look for other ways to strengthen its commitment to guests? wellness, pledging to ?help guests feel better when they leave than when they arrived.” Wellness-inspired offerings introduced over the past decade included several more industry firsts: the high-performance WestinWORKOUT program and runWestin (a series of running concierges, maps, and amenities) in 2005; Breathe Westin (a commitment to a smoke-free environment) and signature White Tea scent in 2006, and a SuperFoods menu in 2007. Westin once again made waves last year with the unveiling of The Concept Room at The Westin Chicago River North: a hotel-room laboratory aimed at minimizing sleep deprivation and jetlag through a series of exclusive, high-tech gadgets.

About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, with 169 hotels and resorts in more than 31 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT).
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis?, The Luxury Collection?, W?, Westin?, Le M?ridien?, Sheraton?, Four Points? by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft?, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

The Tropicana Receives Esteemed Industry Award

Successful Meetings magazine presents resort with 2009 Pinnacle Award

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (May 19, 2009) ? The Tropicana is honored to have been named one of the best hotels and will receive a prestigious Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award?the mark of excellence for meeting destinations. 2009 marks the 25th year of the industry-leading publication recognizing hotels for outstanding service to the group travel market.

“With all of the hospitality choices that meeting and event planners have these days, any property that wins a Pinnacle Award is obviously in the highest tier of quality in the hospitality field,” said Vince Alonzo, Successful Meetings’ Editorial Director. “And the best part is that it is planners themselves who are making this distinction, thus giving a credible stamp of approval that others can use when deciding where to host a meeting, incentive, convention or trade show.”

Award winners were chosen exclusively by readers of Successful Meetings magazine who registered to become Pinnacle Reviewers via online ballots and provided feedback based on their professional experiences worldwide across four categories:
Accommodations, Amenities, Meeting Facilities & Services and Food & Beverage. The Tropicana scored a quantity of votes to distinguish itself as one of the top hotels among the reviewers.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by Successful Meetings’ readers as a best hotel. And we’re putting a sharp focus on continuing to deliver the superior service, outstanding accommodations and top-notch amenities that have earned us this venerable award,” said Al Maiorani, senior vice president of resort operations.

The 2009 Pinnacle Award Winners will be listed in the August Pinnacle Registry in print and online at Successful Meetings is owned by Nielsen Business Media, a division of The Nielsen Company.

For more information or to book your next meeting or convention in our Pinnacle Award-winning hotel, please contact our Hotel Sales Office at 609-340-4398 or visit

The Tropicana Casino & Resort is a 24-hour gaming destination located on the beach and Boardwalk. Featuring more than 2,100 rooms and suites and home of The Quarter, a 200,000 square foot entertainment complex, Tropicana is the premier resort in Atlantic City. With more than 20 restaurants, 25 shops, 12 bars and lounges, 2 pools, an IMAX Theatre and a spa, Tropicana is consistently rated as the “Must-See Attraction” in Atlantic City. For more information, visit the official Web site at

For more exclusive discounts, current information, pictures, and video, be sure to check out the Tropicana on the Web at or follow us on Twitter

All Aboard for the Launch

Utrecht, Netherlands ? Traveling through Europe by train has never been easier, now that Eurail Group GIE has launched an interactive new website,

Full of colorful images, easy to navigate maps, detailed itineraries and city highlights, aims to inspire those who want to experience the freedom of discovering the vast variety of countries that comprise this exciting continent.

Europe is an amazing destination with spectacular cultural landscapes and artistic inspiration around every bend. From trendy Madrid to picturesque Salzburg, European cities are packed with art, music, exhibitions, quaint markets, and food fairs.

Ever growing concerns about climate issues coupled with recent major European rail investments means that travelling the continent by rail is a cleaner, more expansive, and more enjoyable choice. The Eurail Pass, the preferred way to explore Europe for thousands of visitors, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the launch of is one of many worldwide initiatives being developed to better assist travellers.

Whether you are looking for adventure or culture, will help identify potential itineraries from scenic coastal routes along the southern Mediterranean to journeys traversing through Scandinavia, the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Commenting on the launch of, Ana Dias e Seixas, Eurail Group GIE Marketing Director, said, ?We were looking for a clear and cost effective way to inspire potential travellers to visit Europe and travel by train depending on their interests. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors on our site and increasing the interaction with and within the Eurail network. All you have to do is be there.”

Tourism Makes Me Smile


ORLANDO, Fla. ? Highlighted by the tagline ?Travel Matters,” today the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (Orlando/Orange County CVB) kicked off Tourism Makes Me Smile/National Travel and Tourism Week with a rally at the Downtown Orlando Visitors Center to show firsthand how travel benefits Central Florida.

?Travel and tourism plays a key role in the Central Florida economy, to the tune of over $30 billion a year,” said Gary Sain, president and CEO of the Orlando/Orange County CVB. ?Our community relies on travel for tax revenue and jobs and the benefits these bring to our economy. With today?s event we hope to raise awareness and showcase why travel matters to Central Florida.”

The rally, held at the Downtown Orlando Visitors Center, included appearances by several of Orlando?s most well-known theme park characters, as well as performers from Pirates Dinner Adventure, Gatorland, SeaWorld Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort and more. The rally/celebration brought Orlando?s tourism industry into the heart of downtown Orlando.

With business, meetings and event travel facing steep declines across America, nationwide events throughout National Travel and Tourism Week emphasized the economic benefits travel and tourism brings to local workers and communities and demonstrates the importance of travel. This event is part of a larger effort led by the U.S. Travel Association with rallies in dozens of cities nationwide.
In Central Florida the travel industry employs close to 400,000 and contributes over $30 billion to the economy. Travel industry employees include everyone from hotel employees and restaurant workers to cab drivers and meetings planners who serve visitors to Orlando.

?My business has grown exponentially because of my involvement in Orlando?s tourism industry,” said Charles Keila, owner of Keila Glassworks in downtown Orlando. ?As an artist and teacher I?ve grown my business through my working with the CVB and the industry. Now we are expanding and I look forward to the success of the industry in Orlando.”

Travel and tourism is one of America?s largest industries, with $740 billion in direct travel expenditures by domestic and international travelers. The industry also represents one of America?s largest employers with 7.7 million direct travel-generated jobs and $189 billion in travel-generated payroll. However, according to U.S. Labor Department data, the U.S. Travel Association reported a loss of nearly 200,000 travel related jobs in 2008 and predicts a loss of an additional 247,000 travel-generated jobs in 2009.

?Locally, sales taxes collected from travelers that visit Central Florida funds some of our most essential public services,” said Orange County Mayor Richard T. Crotty. ?The travel industry is facing tough times, but it?s important for people to understand the key role travel can play in helping to solve our economic challenges on both the local and national level. Travel is King in Central Florida.”

Travel Matters to Fairfax County

In a year where travel matters more than ever, Visit Fairfax ( is proud to join with the rest of the travel industry next week to amplify the importance of our valued industry and the impact we have on the economy.

In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit Fairfax is hosting a US Travel Rally in the Fashion Court at Tysons Corner Center Mall on Wednesday, May 13th. Members of Fairfax County?s travel industry and local officials invite our hospitality colleagues and supporters to gather at 10:30 a.m. to salute the people that who make Fairfax County one of the premier destinations in Virginia, and underscore the impact travel and tourism has on the economy closer to home.

Throughout the week, members of the community are invited to stop by the Fairfax County Visitor Center on the second floor of Tysons Corner Center to add their name tags to the ?Hello?My Name Is” banner as we put a spotlight on this amazing and diverse community. We hope you?ll join us! More information is available by calling the Visit Fairfax offices at 703.790.0643.