Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau offers tips for local getaways, giveaways – Press Telegram

Last year, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau offered a new service, providing themed itineraries for vacationers to experience the area “like the locals do.”

That program won awards — and is back for summer 2022. And with an addition. Now, when the itinerary of the month is unveiled, it will be accompanied by a chance to win prizes through the CVB’s Instagram account, @VisitLB.

This month’s trip is called Aquatic Adventure, highlighting all the ways to enjoy Long Beach’s 11 miles of waterway and coastline. The prize is aquatic-themed as well, with a family four pack of whale watching tickets from Harbor Breeze Cruises and four tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The day at the aquarium comes with an added perk: a family “Animal Encounter” with sharks and rays, or with some of the aquarium’s feathered friends.

A new specially curated itinerary will be released once a month for the next three months, according to Samantha Mehlinger, CVB’s vice president of communications.

“Our Long Beach Days & Getaways let you explore Long Beach like a local, showcasing unique attractions and activities alongside hidden gems that’ll make your friends say, ‘Where is that, and when can I go?’” she said in a release. “Be sure to follow us on Instagram for a chance to win prizes all summer long.”

Each itinerary will be revealed with an original video and giveaway on Instagram. To qualify for the prize drawing, go to @VisitLB on Instagram, spot the new video, tag two friends in the comments and follow @VisitLB.

For more ideas about things to do, go to visitlongbeach.com and visit the “This is Long Beach” blog on that website.

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Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau partners with Etihad to boost MICE sector – Breaking Travel News

Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau partners with Etihad to boost MICE sector  Breaking Travel News

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RV & Travel Expo kicks off at Bayfront Convention Center

Day one of the RV and Travel Expo kicked off at the Bayfront Convention Center for travel enthusiasts to purchase a new RV or for anyone looking to begin their outdoor adventures.

For the event, RVs will fill the Bayfront Convention Center for dealers to showcase their selections of RVs to first time buyers or anyone looking to upgrade their vacation needs.

“We really look forward to this event because it’s cabin fever at it’s best. It gives people the opportunity that have been stuck in their home all winterlong and looking at the white stuff. They get to come out and go through campers that they can use in their campgrounds or vacations,” said Mark Concilla, Show Promoter.

“People come down here with the intent of purchasing, so it makes it somewhere they can come and check out a wide variety of units and find the one that best suits their needs and being able to purchase it here is just the icing on the cake for them,” said Bonnie Bell, General Manager of Ray Wakley’s Car Care and RV Center.

Visitors can make their way to the room next door to shop for their hunting and camping season.

“They can talk to outfitters to plan a hunt for the fall. They can purchase their fishing tackle, hunting gear, anything for this season,” Concilla said.

Staff of dealers share the most popular RVs that appeal to campers.

“Little campers are really popular this year and last year and our class B vans that we have. We just can’t seem to keep those,” Bell said.

For anyone interested in purchasing one of the RVs, staff is on site to help accommodate your financial needs.

“We have you fill out a credit app. Approvals are not instant over the weekend because it’s an RV but we’d be able to get a hold of you on Monday and tell you that you’re in a new RV and congratulations,” Bell said.

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Admission for the expo is $7 but free for children age 10 and under.

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Local FFA members travel to National Convention to compete, learn | Local News

SHERIDAN — Tongue River High School and Sheridan High School students found success at the 94th National FFA Convention.

The National FFA Convention — held Oct. 25, through Nov. 1 in Indianapolis, Indiana — aims to grow the next generation of leaders, teaching individuals how to make an impact in the world. Before reaching the national competition, teams had to qualify in previously held events, ranging from local competitions to state competitions, from Creed speaking to livestock judging. Tongue River High School FFA officers are Jake Massar (president), Wyatt Charlson (vice president), Lily Krumm (secretary), Rudi Balstad (sentinel), Kaleb Dupuis (reporter) and Colter Hanft (treasurer) and the school mechanics team includes Massar, Charlson, Cache Van Tassell and Wes Beadle.

The mechanics team placed eighth at the convention.

“There are a couple of written tests with a bunch of sections such as electrical and structure, but it is pretty much anything you would encounter on a farm or ranch,” Charlson said.

Due to COVID-19, national tests were written and taken over Zoom instead of going in-person to Indianapolis.

Once in Indianapolis, the team underwent more written tests along with hands-on sections, switching between the two periodically. Some of these hands-on activities included building a welding project and rebuilding a hydraulic motor.

Tongue River’s FFA officers attended general sessions including the announcing of career development events, which gives students the general layout of the event, new national officer inductions, career fairs featuring dozens of colleges and workshops on a variety of topics including the basics of running a small business.

Outside of the convention, Tongue River’s FFA team toured several locations within the city of Indianapolis, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It was really cool and one of the kid’s favorite things during the trip,” Tongue River FFA advisor John Masters said. “In the past, we went to CNH Industrial parts hub for the nation.”

The team also completed an escape room, aiming to build teamwork. Sheridan High School was the other school to compete at the National FFA Convention. This year, Jhett West was the only student that attended from Sheridan High School, competing in Creed speaking. Along with West, Cassi Bernhardt attended as an FFA advisor. Within Creed speaking, West moved his way up the ladder, earning the state championship in Wyoming in April at the Wyoming State FFA Convention, winning the first round at nationals on Aug. 27, earning him a spot in the top four, which was televised starting Oct. 28, 2021. West placed fourth in the nation.

“It was a whole lot of practicing throughout the school year last year,” West said.

“There was a lot of practice throughout the summer as well, it took quite a bit of time and effort to get to that point at nationals,” he said.

Practices prepared for competitions that spanned the state, starting with local speech contests mid-February and culminating with televised portions of the National FFA Convention Oct. 28, 2021.

“About 200,000 students nationwide compete in that contest every year, so to be in the final four is a huge deal,” Bernhardt said.

Although the Arvada-Clearmont High School’s FFA team did not attend the National FFA Convention, they still experienced a great deal of success throughout the year.

“I think the coolest thing is being able to figure out who they are as individuals,” FFA advisor Monica Castaneda said. “Being able to find their passions and how they truly are as individuals has been the biggest success I have seen throughout the program.”

Tamica Smith, Timber Buhr, Shelden Malli, Peityn Manor, Norris Graves and Nick Sandefur have all grown individually into strong leaders within the community.

“Tamica Smith started out scared to talk in front of anyone,” Castaneda said. “She is actually the first kid from Clear Creek FFA to go compete in the portion of public speaking in Clear Creek history as of last year.”

“It was a really cool experience and it is a great way for people who have never really gotten a chance to travel across the country to go see a new area and just be in a group as big as the FFA,” Massar said.

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BTN interview: Nana Gecaga, chief executive, Kenyatta International Convention Centre – Breaking Travel News

BTN interview: Nana Gecaga, chief executive, Kenyatta International Convention Centre  Breaking Travel News

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IGLTA CEO Talks 2021 Convention, LGBTQ Travel Trends and More

The IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, is gearing up for its 2021 Annual Convention, which is a mere four months away, and scheduled for Atlanta from September 8-11.

We spoke with John Tanzella, the group’s President/CEO, about what’s on tap.

TP: What are you most excited about for this year’s event?

JT: Bringing the members and allies of IGLTA together in person for the first time in 1.5 years. Atlanta is a great city for a reunion in these challenging times, given its historic place in the U.S. civil rights movement.

Atlanta Midtown skyline
Georgia’s capital city is a LGBTQ center of the southeastern United States, and Atlanta will be the host city for the IGLTA Convention in September 2021 (Photo by Paul J. Heney).

TP: What sort of feedback have you gotten from your members/prospective attendees on the event? Are people holding back until summer before committing or is there already excitement?

JT: There is definitely excitement building! We had more than 250 people register for a recent Zoom panel focusing on the Global Convention. It was part of our ongoing Members Connect series to provide free education and insights about LGBTQ+ tourism and ranked among our best attended. Our convention participants always tend to register late, so we’ve been happy with progress to date. Our members really want to connect again in person, travel permitting. That’s the wild card, which countries are able to travel to the U.S.

TP: How will attendees find this year’s event compared to, say, the 2018 or 2019 conventions? What will Covid have made different at the event?

JT: Our conventions have grown exponentially in geographic diversity, but this one will inevitably have a larger percentage of attendees from the U.S. than in 2018 or 2019. We will, of course, follow all recommended safety protocols and are closely monitoring the changes with our meeting planners. Atlanta is home of the CDC, after all!

It’s also important to mention that the convention will have a strong message around equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s always been woven into the fabric of our content, but the BLM movement brought racial injustice to the forefront in the last year, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t speak to those issues within our industry and within the LGBTQ+ sector.

TP: There are a lot of predictions that travel will explode among Americans in the summer months, after more people become fully vaccinated and have plenty of vacation time to burn. What’s your outlook on this?

JT: We agree—and we believe that LGBTQ+ travel will lead the way. We recently fielded a global LGBTQ+ Post Covid Travel Survey and 73% of our LGBTQ+ respondents said they plan to take their next major vacation before the end of 2021. That number was even higher, 77%, among U.S. LGBTQ+ respondents, and two-thirds of them said that trip would be in May, June, July or August. It’s also worth noting that 85% of our U.S. respondents have a passport, considering the U.S. Department of State’s last report said just 42% of U.S. citizens are passport holders.

TP: Specifically for queer travelers, what do you think the rest of 2021 will look like? What about 2022?

JT: Domestic travel is definitely rebounding first, with a strong interest in hotels and resorts—because people just want to get away and be pampered—similar to the traveling community at large. Also, LGBTQ+ travelers have really missed the connection, support and celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride events and festivals and those will be even more popular when they can resume safely, hopefully next year.

TP: Are there cities or regions that will attract more LGBTQ travelers in the coming year? Will smaller towns fare better than popular queer cities? Will outdoor escapes, like national parks continue to be the answer?

JT: In our 2020 LGBTQ+ travel sentiment survey, we asked respondents if they would change the types of destinations they choose post-pandemic and nearly half (46%) said they would not. 25% of respondents were undecided, and only about 28% said they would change their destination choices. People have their favorite places, and they’ve really missed them in the pandemic. The LGBTQ+ market has incredibly diverse destination interests, which certainly includes national parks and smaller towns, but the popular queer cities will still have great appeal. Ultimately, the cities or regions that attract more LGBTQ+ travelers in the competitive re-opening of tourism, will be those that do the best job of making those travelers feel safe and genuinely welcome.

TP: How do you see varying Covid vaccination rates in different countries playing out? For the next few years, will we have “have vs have-not” countries, say Israel vs. Thailand, where one is economically advantaged in winning over queer tourists?

JT: Given the government involvement in tourism management, there will be many factors beyond vaccines that impact tourism at large, particularly quarantine requirements on arrival and/or upon return to your home country. For example, Mexico has a low vaccine rate at the moment, but no restrictions upon entry and not many U.S. states recommend quarantine, so travel between the two has been active. Many people who are fully vaccinated will travel again because they feel safe themselves, even if their chosen destination doesn’t lead the vaccination race.

TP: What other LGBTQ travel trends do you see as important now?

JT: With constantly evolving regulations and health issues to navigate, there is renewed appreciation for using a travel advisor to plan the ideal trip and be on hand to assist if things go awry. We’re also hearing from so many LGBTQ+ travelers that there’s “no time like the present” and they aren’t waiting any longer to plan their dream vacations or to celebrate milestones in more elaborate ways. When there’s a lot of emotional investment in a trip, it really benefits from the expertise of a trusted advisor who understands LGBTQ+ safety concerns. There were also many delayed weddings and honeymoons, so the same-sex marriage market is destined to boom!

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