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Seeing the Strip
By Glenn Haussman
The Las Vegas Strip may not look that big when you see fly-by clips of it on TV, but don’t let it deceive you. The Strip is enormous, and trying to see everything on it is not only impractical, for some it’s impossible.
Firstly, each of the resorts on the Strip is a virtual city unto themselves. It’s very easy to spend days inside each of them and never have the need to go outside, let alone visit all the massive properties that run up and down Las Vegas Boulevard.
But the reality is that every first timer and those that have visited just once or twice before are dying to get out there and experience everything the Strip has to offer. So it’s critical to try to get your clients to see them in separate bursts throughout their stay. Between the desert heat and the magnitude of each property, you need to offer them ways to see what they can in the easiest ways possible.
Suggest they do just three or so properties at a time, clustered close to each other. For example, it’s smart to visit Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur all together. Not only are they adjacent to each other, there is a tram connecting them. A mall connects Mandalay and Luxor too, so you can tram one way and stroll through air conditioned shops the other.
Or start at Treasure Island then take the connecting tram to The Mirage. The Caesars entrance is just steps from The Mirage, making those three an easy group to see together. Wynn Las Vegas, Palazzo and Venetian are also good to tackle at once. Wynn and Palazzo are connected by a sky-bridge, while Palazzo and Venetian are connected by shops.
Another good cluster to check out is Tropicana, then onto MGM Grand, New York New York and Monte Carlo. Bellagio is across from and Planet Hollywood, Paris and Bally’s making this a winning combo.
By breaking down into smaller chunks, your clients will keep their energy and have the fortitude to handle those long Vegas days and even longer Vegas nights.
Travel Industry Association’s 40th Annual International Pow Wow Hits Vegas
The Las Vegas Conventions & Visitors Authority and the resort community partnered to host the Travel Industry Association’s (TIA) 40th Annual International Pow Wow travel trade show.
The event is the largest generator of international travel to the United States. More than 5,000 delegates from more than 70 countries participated in networking and business appointments with U.S. travel organizations. The event, which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, began May 31 and continued through June 4. Through exclusive sightseeing tours, specially hosted evening events, a media marketplace and press brunch, luncheons and other networking opportunities, delegates explored Las Vegas. In three days of intensive business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the country representing all industry category components conducted business negotiations with close to 1,500 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries. Visit www.tia.org/powwow.
Nights Without Neon at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas
Last month The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas unveiled Nights Without Neon. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas is conveniently located in Henderson, Nevada, 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The resort offers year-round golf, water sports, outdoor recreation opportunities, a 30,000-square foot destination spa and Medici Café & Terrace, serving American cuisine.
The resort’s Nights Without Neon menu includes ala carte opportunities through Labor Day 2008. Here’s a selection of three of the nine programs.
Moonlight Spa: An exclusive al fresco experience offered seven nights of the month: three nights during the waxing phase of the moon, once during the full moon, and three times during the moon’s wane. The resort provides three exclusive bodywork experiences inspired by lunar effect. These special treatments are experienced on the shores of the resort’s private lagoon, bathed in moonlight unobstructed by Las Vegas city lights.
Sundown Bike Ride: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas presents a three-mile loop around the resort, allowing cyclists to view the flora, fauna and lights of mansions surrounding Lake Las Vegas’ ten miles of shoreline. Bikes and maps are provided by the resort, and the property resort fee allows guests one hour of complimentary bicycle use.
Kids’ Night Out: Children can get away for a night of fun and excitement, while parents enjoy a quiet dinner at the resort’s romantic Medici Café & Terrace on Friday and Saturday evenings. The supervised night includes a special dinner, movies, and arts and crafts from 6 to 9 p.m. or until 11 p.m. for parents needing a little more time to reconnect.
For room reservations visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call 800-241-3333. For Nights Without Neon activity reservations, call the resort directly at 702-567-4600.
International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Convenes in Las Vegas
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The travel industry's leading brands attended the annual convention of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) in Las Vegas last month. These industry leaders learned of the imperative to better train travel industry staff how to understand the key travel concerns of gay and lesbian consumers, especially if they want to maximize their returns from targeting the gay market consumer segment.
Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now explained to IGLTA delegates that gay travelers often experience travel differently from other consumers.
"Gays and lesbians want what everyone wants on vacation - to relax and feel comfortable," said Johnson. "But gay and lesbian travelers are often unsure about how individual staff members will treat them during their vacation. It can take only one staff member to appear uncomfortable around a gay person for the vacation to be diminished for that guest."
Johnson added that with gay travel now worth hundreds of billions in spending each year globally, staff training is a critical market success factor for the hotels, travel agents and tour operators now actively trying to target the gay travel market.
Out Now presented a detailed workshop at the IGLTA convention on its online training, accreditation and marketing system called GayComfort.
This program addresses the concerns of gay travelers and the need for staff to better understand those concerns, to build improved gay travel vacation experiences, and to increase gay travel market profits as a result.
Examples presented by Out Now included how staff best handle bookings for double beds by same-sex couples, how to react when a customer reveals they are gay, and how to avoid stereotypes when serving gay consumers.
More information is at www.outnowconsulting.com.
MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas
Spend three nights and get free gas up to $50
MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas is offering to take care of guests’ gas (up to $50) when they spend three nights or more at the resort. Lake Las Vegas Resort, situated near Henderson, Nevada, is 17 miles east of The Las Vegas Strip. Visitors can use the extra gas to explore the nearby destinations of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire. Or they can just relax by the pool and save the money for the trip home. Rates start at $129 per night, mid-week (Sunday-Thursday). For more information visit montelagovillage.com or call 866-383-1592 to book
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will partner with national travel wholesalers once again this summer to offer a special promotion for travel agents. The “Cash in on Vegas” summer edition booking incentive will offer travel agents the chance to qualify to win more than $50,000 in cash prizes.
From June 1-30, travel agents who sell a minimum of five air/land packages to the Las Vegas destination for travel during the months of June, July and August will qualify for the chance to win cash gift cards valued at $100, $250 and $500 from each of the ten participating wholesale partners. One lucky top producer, from each wholesale partner, will win the grand prize of $1,000.
Entries are based on room nights in Las Vegas, so the more nights that are booked by an agent during the promotion, the more chances to win. Winners will be selected through wholesale partners and prizes will be awarded after travel has been completed.
National wholesale travel partners who will participate include Southwest Airlines Vacations, United Vacations, Funjet Vacations, US Airways Vacations, GoGo Vacations, American Airlines Vacations, Certified Vacations, Travel Impressions, Alaska Airlines Vacations and Trip Tailor. Visit the individual travel wholesaler websites for official rules and promotional details. For more information, go to www.lvcva.com.