Home-Based Travel Agent sat down with Scott Steinloski, director of tourism, Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau; Robin Jacobsen, public relations manager, San Juan Islands; and Sheila Cloney, tourism representative for the city of Kirkland to develop an elongated Cascade Loop self-drive itinerary. A number of distinctive hotel resources emerged. If your clients fly into SeaTac International, traffic on I-5 heading north can be a bear, but clients who opt for the ferry (the last Argosy leaves at 3:30) can spend a little time in Seattle, then pick up a rental car in Kirkland (Enterprise and Hertz have offices there). The Gray Line shuttle ($10.25 one way) provides a stress-free option north from SeaTac.
The scenery and attractions of Washington State lend themselves well to a leisurely tour by car. A Cascade Loop self-drive itinerary provides you with a wide range of sightseeing opportunities in a seven-to 11-day trip.
"Experiential travel—you can find it everywhere," says Gillian Marx, media relations for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism in the Canadian Maritimes. "Here, it's 'exotic' in the truest sense of the word. Within three hours of Newark, NJ, you're in a completely different environment."
"I know plenty about the Rockies and Western Canada, but not Atlantic Canada. I hear it's really great, though. I've always wanted to go." Agents speak glowingly of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, but most admit they haven't experienced one of the oldest, most cost-effective and distinctive English-speaking destinations on the globe. The new Canadian tourism brand launching this year will have the slogan "Keep Exploring" to inspire the curious traveler.
After a soft opening to the public in February, the mountainous new ride Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World had its grand opening Thursday night and Friday morning with Disney talent and worldwide press in attendance.
Agents can earn 15 commission booking clients in at Tranquility Bay, a luxury beach house resort in the Florida Keys, for stays in May with its "Summer Sunshine Special." However, consumers' "Summer Sunshine Special" rate of $269 per night for a two-bedroom, 2.5-bath beach house, Sundays through Thursdays, is good from May through July 2006.
New Orleans, that old voodoo queen, is more like a debutante these days. In fact, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. held a coming-out party for her at the 21 Club in Manhattan to show her off. And she arrived on the arms of some rarified Crescent City royalty: the likes of Chef Paul Prudhomme, a brilliant young trumpet player named Irvin Mayfield and a pair of Madagascar hissing cockroaches from the Audubon Zoo.
Visit www.neworleansonline.com (the "Open for Business" box on the righthand side) or www.lra.org to get up-to-date status on hundreds of local hotels, clubs and restaurants throughout the city.