The vast continent of the Americas is poised to capture the hearts of many. Natalie Hami discovers.
A trip to the Americas is not for the faint-hearted. Those embarking on a fascinating journey to the continent will witness breath-taking landscapes, including endless stretches of desert, snow-capped mountain peaks and bright city lights, all complimented by thrilling attractions and memorable experiences.
International visitors embarking on a trip to any part of this monumental destination will not be disappointed, and in order to ensure that tourists’ expectations are met, hospitality professionals are working hand-in-hand with travel and tourism stakeholders to provide a colourful palette of experiences.
Reaching out to a number of these stakeholders, TTG sought to discover how they provide authentic experiences for their guests.
Director of sales and marketing, Lotte New York Palace, David Shenman exclusively explained that the property, located in Midtown Manhattan, partners with iconic New York brands in order to deliver memorable, one-of-a-kind experiences to its guests, including the New York Yankees.
“The 27-time World Series champions offer our guests exclusive benefits, including game tickets, welcome gifts and much more,” Shenman said. “We also partner with Radio City Music Hall and the world-famous Radio City Rockettes to provide special packages and memories to our guests.”
As well as these game-changing partnerships, Lotte New York Palace has a lot more to offer, such as Steve Cohen’s ‘Chamber Magic’ show, an intimate, up-close magic show that delights and baffles guests, to which it plays host.
Meanwhile, history aficionados can enjoy learning how to ring the Bells of Congress at Trump International Hotel, Washing DC. According to the property’s managing director, Mickael Damelincourt, they were given to the US by the Ditchley Foundation in the UK, in honour of the United States Bicentennial, and are exact replicas of the 10 bells at Westminster Abbey.
Damelincourt explained to TTG that guests are privy to this unique activity due to hotel’s relationship with the Washington Ringing Society and the fact that it is the only property in the world with an operating bell tower.
Moving southward to the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, adrenaline-junkies can get their blood pumping with a number of new activities.
Board director, Quintana Roo Tourism, Dario Flota told TTG: “We have Fly & Ride at Hotel Barceló Grand Maya, where guests can experience exciting zip-line adventures, suspension bridges, bungee jumping and more without having to leave the resort. Xavage is the newest park from Xcaret Group opening this year, where visitors can cross white water rapids and drive monster trucks just five minutes from Cancun. Grupo Vidanta will open its first luxury boutique waterpark, Jungala at Vidanta Riviera Maya, which will include state-of-the-art thrill rides, such as the Aqua Drop, Aqua Loop, Flatline Loop and Whizzard, as well as VIP cabanas offering personalised service and spa treatments.”
FOSTERING MENA LINKS
Travel and tourism stakeholders in the Americas have been boosting and developing links with the MENA market, with the most recent news being a partnership between Etihad Airways and Visit California. The two heavyweights have teamed up to promote travel to the sunshine state from Abu Dhabi and other leading markets.
Reaching out further to hospitality stakeholders, TTG spoke to director of public relations and communications, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Dana Berry, who underlined the significance of the Middle Eastern market.
“We love welcoming guests from this region to experience our unique property. We have a dedicated sales manager handling the Middle East region who is fluent in Arabic, and our team looks forward to attending the Arabian Travel Market each year. We also have our website translated in Arabic and we have special Middle Eastern amenities available for our guests.”
Berry explained that the resort is fully equipped to handle the needs of this unique source market, “Our Middle Eastern guests tend to reserve suites, and Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers the premier suites in the region, including the area’s largest Royal Suite, which can expand to nine bedrooms; a stunning Presidential Suite; and several Grand Suites. There is even the ability to buy out the entire 16th floor for ultimate privacy.”
Meanwhile, on the west coast, president and CEO, Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA), Ed Fuller pin-pointed MENA as a key market and shed light on a variety of initiatives in place so that their visit to the OC is hassle-free.
Fuller shared: “We have created special value-added campaign packages that are tailored to the needs of Middle Eastern visitors. We have also collaborated with the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to create a training video for the OC’s hotel and retail partners, so that their employees and staff can be better acquainted with the cultural nuances and needs of visitors from the Middle East.”
OCVA regularly conducts missions to the GCC to meet up with industry partners and airlines to explore other potential programmes, joint marketing activities and initiatives.
And as the word spreads of the MENA market’s huge potential, Mexico is also in gear to jump on the bandwagon.
Chable’ Resort & SPA’s general manager, Rocco Bova told TTG that the property’s biggest markets are currently the US and Mexico, with Europe growing significantly. Although the MENA region is not yet on its radar, the recent announcements that Emirates Airlines will fly to Mexico City (via Barcelona) and Turkish Airways connecting to Mexico City will undoubtedly open up new opportunities.
Spanning a plethora of destinations, this plentiful land continues to enchant and entertain a range of visitors.