Thursday, March 21, 2013

Embassy Suites Hotels in Southern California To Observe Earth Hour 2013

Seventeen Hotels Join Movement to Raise Awareness for Energy Conversation
Southern Calif. (March 15, 2013) – On Saturday, March 23, 2013, seventeen Embassy Suites hotels located in Southern California will participate in Earth Hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time. Earth Hour is a movement that encourages households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about energy conservation. These hotels, along with many of the 3,500 hotels that are part of the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands, are expected to join the movement with more than one billion people worldwide.
“We are pleased to join in this global effort that organizes people around the world to symbolically switch off their lights in support of energy conservation,” said Lisa Kotlar, Director of Sales, Embassy Suites Brea – North Orange County.  “We encourage our guests and neighbors to join in on the movement.”
Earth Hour will be celebrated at Embassy Suites locations around Southern California - Orange County, Ventura County, San Diego County, and San Bernardino County - through a variety of activities including:
·        A special Earth Hour Complimentary Evening Reception* from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m, featuring complimentary glow sticks for guests
·        All non-essential public area lighting and exterior signage will be turned off
·        Many of the hotels’ atrium areas and water features will glow under natural candlelight
·        Diners will be able to enjoy their meal with dimmed lights and candles
·        In-room collateral will be distributed to all suites, and guests will be informed at check-in of the hotels’ supportive measures for Earth Hour, encouraging them to participate
Organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour began in 2007 as a way for individuals to show how simple steps can make a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gases and addressing climate change. The event has turned into a true movement in the effort to combat global warming. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome’s Colosseum have all turned off their lights in solidarity. In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially turned off and dimmed lights to pledge their support for the planet.
Hilton Worldwide measures sustainability as a global brand standard and includes this as a mark of a hotel performance. In doing so, the company is able to measure the impact of all 3,500 hotels within its portfolio and has developed industry-leading tools that allow properties to track monthly utility consumption, cost data and operational performance.
*Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.

About Embassy Suites’ Southern California Hotels
Founded in 1984, Embassy Suites Hotels defines the upscale, all-suite segment and all are ISO 14001 certified for environmental management.  With spacious two-room suites, engaging team members and an inviting atrium environment, guests are allowed to put their feet up and feel right at home. To learn more, visit

About Embassy Suites Hotels
Embassy Suites Hotels, one of Hilton Worldwide’s ten market-leading brands and one of Parents magazine’s 10 Best Hotel Ch10ains for Families of 2012, gives guests more during every stay. The full-service, upscale brand offers spacious two-room suites, free cooked-to-order breakfast and nightly Complimentary Evening Receptions with appetizers and beverages. Both leisure and business travelers looking for an approachable, upscale experience feel right at home in the brand’s inviting atrium environment. Embassy Suites Hotels has more than 210 properties across the Americas and nearly 30 more in the pipeline. For more information, visit, and connect with Embassy Suites at, and

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Royal Caribbean's 2014 Alaska Cruises/Cruisetours

Cruise Line to Celebrate a Quarter Century of Unforgettable Adventures in the Last Frontier only Found on Royal Caribbean

MIAMI, March 14, 2013 – Royal Caribbean International today announced its 2014 Alaska cruise and cruisetour season, which will mark 25 years of delivering the magnificence of the Alaskan frontier on land and sea. Recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas will return to Alaskan waters and offer 34 sailings on exciting seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. On board, guests can enjoy up to 11 dining options, new and breathtaking entertainment, as well as family programming such as the award-winning Adventure Ocean kids and teen program, and the new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, catering to Royal Caribbean’s youngest guests, age six to 36 months old. For a range of short webisodes about Royal Caribbean’s Alaska experience, please visit
            In ports of call, guests can choose from an extensive menu of shore excursions to further explore the untamed Alaskan frontier. At Icy Strait Point, for instance, adventure seeking guests can ride the world’s longest ZipRider zip line – 5,300 ft. long – that accelerates up to 60 miles an hour over a lush forest to the beach 1,300 ft. below, or mush their own dogsled team on Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter from Juneau. For the whole family, the Gold Rush Sled Dogs & White Pass Train Adventure in Skagway offers an exciting ride on the world-famous, narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, followed by meeting a veteran Iditarod musher and his dogsled team with a chance to pet some pups, or the opportunity to go off-roading through Tongas National Park and canoeing in Lake Harriet Hunt on Backcountry Jeep & Canoe Safari from Ketchikan.
            “Royal Caribbean has been unfolding the wonders of the Alaskan frontier for a quarter century and we continue to deliver this amazing destination like no other cruise line,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can explore this awe-inspiring destination while sailing aboard our recently revitalized ships that are Designed for WOW and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor service from every staff and crew member. To further immerse themselves, vacationers also can choose an unforgettable Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetour combining the best of land and sea in the region and without having to worry about any of the planning.”
            In addition to witnessing the majesty of Alaska by ship, vacationers also can explore Alaska’s interior on a variety of exciting Royal Caribbean Cruisetours, which combines a sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas with a three- to six-night land tour adventure. Royal Caribbean takes care of all the planning, transportation and lodging on fully escorted tours that spend at least one night in Denali National Park and one leg on the Wilderness Express, a plush, glass-domed train cars that offer panoramic views of the grand Alaskan frontier. A 10-night, family-geared cruisetour will feature a three-night land tour that includes a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alaska Sea Life Center to learn about the region’s natural habitat and the center’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts, and wildlife spotting in Denali National Park at the Murie Science and Learning Center.
            Vacationers also can combine a Radiance of the Seas or Rhapsody of the Seas’ Alaska cruise with one of four pre- or post-cruise land tours throughout the Canadian Rockies and – new for 2014 – the Okanagan Wine Valley. For a comprehensive Alaska and the Canadian Rockies adventure, the Ultimate Cruisetour combines both region’s land tour programs with a seven-night cruise aboard Radiance of the Seas for a 19-night grand adventure on land and sea.
            Recently revitalized in 2011 and 2012, respectively, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas now offer guests a range of new dining options, breathtaking entertainment, and contemporary amenities that are Designed for WOW. Each ship now features some of the most popular dining options and amenities that were first introduced aboard the world’s largest and most revolutionary ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. New signature concepts aboard these ships include a new dance club experience in the contemporized Viking Crown Lounge. On Rhapsody of the Seas guests are surprised and delighted throughout the day by a series of heart-pounding, aerial-acrobatic entertainment experiences in the four deck-high Centrum which also features the new retro R Bar. Guests enjoy choices from 11 delectable dining options on Radiance of the Seas and nine on Rhapsody of the Seas, including the Park Café gourmet deli, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Giovanni’s Table Italian restaurant, and the exclusive Chef’s Table, some for an additional cover charge. Both ships offer bow-to-stern WiFi service, a refresh of all public spaces and updated staterooms with flat-panel televisions. An oversized LED movie screen overlooking the main pool provides entertainment to guests taking a brisk dip on a warm Alaskan day, and new Concierge and Diamond lounges aboard each ship further recognize Royal Caribbean’s loyal Crown & Anchor Society members and suite guests.
            Radiance of the Seas will alternate North- and Southbound seven-night itineraries from Vancouver and Seward, respectively. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska. Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will be bookended with a seven-night itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver on May 9 and Sept. 5, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.
            For its part, Rhapsody of the seas will sail seven-night, roundtrip itineraries to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Wash. Guests will cruise the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on May 16 and vice versa on Aug. 29.
            Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming.
            The cruise line has a 40-year history of delivering to guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 10 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit or call (800) 327-2056.
            Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. Together, these six brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with four under construction. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 460 destinations on all seven continents.
# # #

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cape Town Tourism To Present At ITB

December 2012 marked the one billionth international tourism arrival globally and competition between destinations is more fierce than ever. Staying relevant by keeping up with future trends is a key focus at this year’s ITB tourism trade show in Berlin, set to draw some 170,000 visitors between March 6-10, 2013. As in previous years, Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro are representing the region’s tourism industry at ITB.

As part of ITB’s strong focus on etravel, Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, is presenting a talk called “How Tourism Boards Work With Social Media, Local Citizens And Travel Bloggers To Tell The Story Of A Destination” on March 9.

The talk follows a year in which Cape Town Tourism caught the attention of global tourism trend watchers through its #LoveCapeTown social media campaign. The campaign included an iambassador campaign that saw the DMO bringing respected international bloggers to Cape Town to experience the destination first hand. The key factor that differentiated the campaign is that Cape Town’s twitter community felt a swelling of pride about their town and engaged heavily with the visiting e-journos about what to do and see during their stay.

The #loveCapeTown program has since been included in a White Paper on travel blogging and used as an example internationally on how DMOs can work with travel bloggers. Plans are afoot to continue the #loveCapeTown campaign during 2013, together with South African Tourism and a group of international and local bloggers. Most importantly the tag is now part of the social media lingua franca when referring to Cape Town.

In addition to the strong focus on social media and digital marketing, Cape Town Tourism is (together with Blue Yonder, India) a co-partner of ITB’s Responsible Tourism program and will feature as part of their CSR day program on March 7. Up for discussion will be the need for tourist interactions with local communities and problems surrounding water shortages and rising energy costs.

Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing at the City of Cape Town, says: “The City of Cape Town is driving responsible tourism with the support of industry players like Cape Town Tourism. The aim is to move from pockets of excellence to a whole destination approach. This means the adaption of RT principles as a core way of doing business – not only by a selected group of responsible operators but by the entire tourism industry. The Responsible Tourism Pilot Project [ ] is an example of how the responsible tourism principles have been adopted on a wide scale by the industry.”

Speaking on the broader objectives of their visit to ITB, Du Toit-Helmbold said: “Our key challenge in the industry is to stimulate jobs and investment by eliminating barriers to travel such as visa restrictions, taxation, and outmoded infrastructure systems. I am confident that these issues will be addressed at Europe’s premier travel trade fair - ITB Berlin. It is the key place to learn about new trends, market developments, and to deepen existing business relations.”