Multicultural Travel News

Multicultural Travel News newsletter (MTN) covers travel news of interest to ethnic and niche travelers and those who market to them. We write about destinations that interest multicultural travelers or have outreach campaigns to travelers of Hispanic, African American, Asian American and other cultural backgrounds; women; LGBT travelers and people with disabilities.
Multicultural Travel News is also written for leisure and business travelers looking for what to see and do and for marketing executives interested in ideas, best practices and the business case for targeting so-called "minority" travelers. We cover cities and countries, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, convention and visitor bureaus, tour operators and other travel marketers with a multicultural angle. Multicultural Travel news is written and edited by Lisa Skriloff.

Puerto Vallarta Named an HRC National Travel Partner for 2015

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has partnered with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, as the organization's first national travel partner. During the partnership, Puerto Vallarta will promote its adventure, gastronomy, cultural, nightlife, romance and family offerings in HRC conferences, dinners and events in 20 cities, including San Francisco, Los Angles, Minneapolis, New York and Chicago. Participants of the events will have a chance to win stays in Puerto Vallarta with hotel accommodations provided by Casa Cupula, Costa Sur Resort and Spa, Luna Liquida, Marriott CasaMagna and Villa Mercedes. Winners will also have the opportunity to have special dinners at Café des Artists or Sapphire Ocean Club and take Vallarta's Gay Bar Hopping Tour. Puerto Vallarta's Vallarta Adventures will provide access to its various activities, including the longest zipline in Mexico and the magical beach destinations of Vallarta's South. Puerto Vallarta offers visitors a friendly and supportive environment and has been Mexico's leading destination for LGBT visitors for decades. Named Gaycities' 2014 Top Beach Destination, Puerto Vallarta boasts a gayborhood home to an array of gay bars and nightclubs, gay-owned restaurants, hotels, stores, services, and entertainment that put the destination in a league of its own. Its Vallarta Pride is a 10-day celebration of LGBT culture that starts the international Pride season in May. In recent years, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, the entity responsible for promoting the destination in the US and Canada has partnered with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), GMHC and the International Gay Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) to promote the destination's diverse tourism offerings. In 2014, Puerto Vallarta became the first Mexican destination to participate in a World Pride with its Noche Alegre event during the World Pride celebrations in Toronto. For more information visit visitpuertovallarta.com or contact Gustavo Rivas-Solis, Director, Latitude, (212) 633-2047 ext. 103, gustavo@latitude-intl.com.      Read more >>

Traditional German Culture Thrives In Philly’s Food, Historic Sites, Crafts & New Exhibitions

Multiple waves of immigration have left an indelible German influence on the Philly area. The multi-venue Celebration of Pennsylvania German Art, is exploring this legacy through traditional Pennsylvania German (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Dutch) art forms such as fraktur, letters and documents embellished with motifs such as birds and flowers. These exhibitions are just the beginning of the Pennsylvania German experience. Drawn With Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection showcases more than 240 examples of fraktur (calligraphic folk art) and manuscripts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mounted at the sweeping Wintherthur Museum, Garden & Library, A Colorful Folk: Pennsylvania Germans & the Art of Everyday Life presents 125 works of fraktur, redware pottery, ironwork, painted furniture and textiles, all demonstrating the cultural emphasis on beauty through everyday objects. Part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Framing Fraktur project, Quill & Brush Pennsylvania German Fraktur and Material Culture displays both hand-drawn and printed fraktur, as well as manuscripts and books from the library’s Pennsylvania German collection. A Bridgeport diner houses Andy’s Place, serving homey dishes such as wiener schnitzel, schinkenfleckli and erlinsbacher flute (German-style hoagie). Guests can also expect plenty of German specialties on the menu at the family-owned bar and restaurant in Montgomery County’s Rockledge, Austrian Village. Brauhaus Schmitz, in addition to classic dishes, brings the traditional German beer hall to Philadelphia’s storied South Street. Held once a year in December, the Folk Art Sale at the Mennonite Heritage Center where vendors sell traditional Pennsylvania German goods and contemporary works inspired by them. For lovers of authentic cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers and beer steins, German Clocks and Gifts provides a year-round Christkindlmarket. Shoppers may find Pennsylvania Dutch goods at just about any area farmers’ market, but Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne distinguishes itself with sheer variety. On any given Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, shoppers can load up on smoked meats, soft pretzels, crafts and gold jewelry. Pennsylvania German art, including furniture and folk art, comprises a significant piece of the Barnes Foundation collection— it’s the largest and most significant collection of Pennsylvania German artwork anywhere in the world. Representing 16 different sites, Historic Germantown invites visitors to engage with the neighborhood’s fascinating legacy, from Revolutionary War battles to the anti-slavery movement and the Underground Railroad. As the region’s best resource for information about immigrant populations, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania maintains an enormous archive of manuscripts, books, graphics and ephemera from the 17th century and onward. For more information, visit visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.


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Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI, Celebrates Chinese New Year with Cantonese Inspired Menu

Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property located in Newport, RI celebrates Chinese New Year, February 19 – 22, with a special Cantonese inspired menu. Its original owner, Alexander Agassiz, was an avid traveler to the Far East and collector of Asian art and furniture, some of which is still on view in the Inn. His love of the culture inspired the Inn’s Chinese New Year culinary celebration. Chef Andy Taur, a member of the Castle Hill culinary team and son of Chinese-American restaurateurs, has crafted a Cantonese inspired menu to be offered over four-days Feb 19 to 22. The five-course tasting menu starts at $92 and at $127 including wine and beverage pairings. Highlights of the menu include: Shellfish Noodle featuring toasted Sichuan peppercorn, cilantro and lobster broth; Chinese Soup Dumpling featuring minced pork belly, baby bok choi and citrus soy sauce; Steamed Rouget featuring scallion purée, fermented black beans, lobster coral and lotus root; Tea Smoked Duck featuring dark soy sauce, Forbidden Black rice, braised winter bamboo and Chinese mustard greens; and Dragon’s Beard featuring peanut nougat, silken soy milk custard and young ginger. For more information about Castle Hill Inn, visit www.castlehillinn.com and for reservations, call 888-466-1355.

    


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The LINQ Promenade Las Vegas Celebrates Chinese New Year with Cultural Performances on The LINQ Fountain Stage

                             

The LINQ Promenade – Caesars Entertainment’s open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district in Las Vegas – is celebrating  Chinese New Year with themed décor and cultural performances on The LINQ Fountain Stage on  Feb. 21 – 22. The LINQ Promenade will be a part of the 4th Annual Chinese New Year in the Desert/ Las Vegas Spring Festival, and will ring in the New Year with  an opening ceremony to kick off the festivities. On Friday a ribbon cutting will be followed by music performed by The Desert Winds, a Golden Cup Championship of Ping Pong Award Ceremony, International Culinary Show hosted by Chef Martin Yan and a DragonFest Concert (also Saturday. )For more information, visit TheLINQ.com.



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Discovering New York State's "Path Through History" Program During Black History Month

New York State offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience the "Path Through History" program offering a glimpse into the historic sites and museums that highlight African American history and American culture along with the major events that helped shape today’s society. From the Adirondacks to Long Island, New York State offers a window into African American history and American culture as it was a center for 19th century anti-slavery organizations, and home to Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and many other abolitionist and Underground Railroad leaders. Today, thought-provoking historic sites, museums and events throughout New York State help visitors understand the roles and lives of enslaved Africans, the struggle for freedom and equality, and the many contributions of African Americans. There are more than 24 Underground Railroad sites throughout the state and former slaves’ quarters can be viewed at many well-preserved 17th and 18th century homes and estates. The “Path Through History” program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, makes it even easier to explore Black heritage sites. Civil Rights, a key aspect of African American culture, are one of 13 themes used to organize 500-plus heritage sites across the state. The program includes identifying markers on major state highways as well as additional local signage with a distinctive Path Through History logo to help point the way. For more information visit http://paththroughhistory.ny.gov/.


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Croatian National Tourist Office Offers Winning Super Bowl XLIX Coach a Trip “Back Home”: Both Coaches are Croatian American

Tying in to the “immigrant angle” of Super Bowl XLIX is the Croatian National Tourist Office which jumped to promote the “first matchup of Croatian head coaches” when they learned that both Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, and Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, are of Croatian descent. “The Battle of the Croatian Coaches” it is being called and Belichick said in a press conference "…looks like we’ll have a Croatian champion one way or the other." The Croatian National Tourist Office is offering the winning coach a “trip back home“: an all-expense paid trip throughout Croatia in 2015. “As this will be the first Super Bowl match between two coaches of Croatian ancestry, the winning coach will get the chance to explore the land of his ancestors.” Tweets and hashtags include @Croatia_hr and #BattleforCroatia. Other famous Croatian Americans include John Malkovich, actor, Judah Friedlander, actor and comedian and Franjo Vlasic, founder and namesake of Vlasic Pickles.


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Ecuador Tourism Ad Campaign Includes Super Bowl Spot, Hispanic Media, Engagement with Ecuadorian Community

Along with other first time Super Bowl advertisers, the first ever country to promote tourism was included among the half-time commercials: Ecuador. According to the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador they advertised during the Super Bowl, the most watched one-day television event, “because it would put them on a global platform.” The spots are in 13 markets as part of their "All You Need Is Ecuador" campaign launched in early 2014, to promote Ecuador as a world-class destination to U.S. travelers, and as a place to do business among English-speaking audiences and the U.S. Hispanic population. Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism says that the U.S. is the second largest source of tourists traveling to Ecuador, after Colombia. Featuring the song "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles, the tourism campaign includes engagement with the Ecuadorian community in the U.S., partnering with prominent Ecuadorians who are influential among the U.S. Hispanic population to promote the beauty of the country and to promote Ecuadorian culture in the United States and outreach to U.S. Hispanic media to promote Ecuador and the achievements of Ecuadorians living in the U.S. According to the Ministry of Tourism, “these types of opportunities build national pride, which motivates fellow Ecuadorians to engage with their communities via social media or events.” The social media campaign includes hashtags #SB49 and #AllYouNeedIs, (#AllYouNeedIsEcuador on game day) and tweets from the Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely @NathalieCely


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GNTB Campaign 2015 Boosts Awareness for Living Traditions in Travel Destination Germany

Germany’s ‘Traditions and Customs’ are the focus of the German National Tourism Board’s (GNTB) worldwide tourism campaign for 2015. The inclusion in a nationwide inventory, of 27 traditions or living expressions inherited from ancestors and passed on to descendants, reveals the importance and appreciation of this almost imperceptible aspect of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage, which corresponds with selected themes being communicated by the GNTB as part of its campaign. "Traditions and History of the Region’ is one of the top ten reasons tourists decide to visit Germany. With this new campaign, the GNTB has seized this trend to inspire foreign visitors to come and experience these elements of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage” explains Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB. The Swabian–Alemannic carnival, the Rhineland Carnival in all its local variants, the Charcoal Burner's Craft and the Tar Distillery, the Social Customs and Festivals of the Lusatian Sorbs, the Biike Burning, the Salt Panners' Fraternity in the Valley of Halle, plus the Passion Plays of Oberammergau, German Bread Culture, Organ Construction and Organ Music are all significant examples of living customs. All have been assessed by UNESCO’s Experts Committee and approved for the nationwide inventory by the Conference of Cultural Ministers of the Federal States and will be promoted by the GNTB. The ‘Traditions and Customs’ campaign encompasses three themes: “Culinary Specialities,” “Living Traditions” and “Arts and Crafts” linking the welcoming and modern travel destination Germany of today with the country’s living, authentic traditions. For further information on ‘Traditions and Customs’ visit www.germany.travel/tradition.


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Burn the “old year” to start a New Year in Ecuador

On New Year’s Eve in Ecuador, people around the country bring effigies of politicians, pop culture figures and other icons of the year to torch in the streets. This powerful communal tradition of burning the “año viejo” ("old year") is symbolic of cleansing the bad habits from the previous 12 months. Most effigies are made of cloth and filled either with paper, old clothes, sawdust, ground cardboard, straw or leaves. This tradition is widespread throughout the country and each region creates effigies with cultural and social experiences specific to their area. The tradition is the strongest in the Pacific coast where the effigies are quite often the largest and the displays are more elaborate. The cities of Quito and Guayaquil also host large public demonstrations and competitions organized by local newspapers. El Universo newspaper in Guayaquil and Diario Hoy in Quito organize, judge, and award prizes to the winners of the best “años viejos” in their cities. In Quito, the event is witnessed by hundreds of thousands of spectators who visit Amazonas Avenue to observe a wrap-up of the year’s events via the “año viejo” displays. During the day, most cars drive around with effigies tied to the front or on the roof. At midnight, the effigies are burned as a ritual of purification and renewal, a cleansing of old, negative energy, individual and collective failures, regrets, bad habits, bad luck and evil from the previous year. Oftentimes, the effigies are heaped together in big piles to create large fires in the middle of the streets. It is said that jumping over the burning effigies brings good luck to those who successfully accomplish this feat. For more information on Ecuador, please visit www.allyouneedisecuador.com


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Sri Panwa Phuket Introduces Cultural New Year’s Package

Sri Panwa Phuket, one of the top properties in Thailand, perched high atop Cape Panwa will offer a New Year’s package that celebrates Thai culture with local and authentic experiences. Included are excursions into the historic city of Phuket Old Town, local markets and historic temples such as Chalong Temple and Big Buddha Temple, a monkey show and other leisure activities at Kinnaree House. In addition, participants can try traditional Thai dining at local restaurants, Raya and Kan Eang. On site, guests become students of local chefs at Sri panwa’s Baba Cooking School. Guests can also relax in an intimate tropical setting at Cool Spa, which houses a five-sense experience in four spacious treatment rooms, a private salon and a floating yoga deck – all of which enjoy panoramic ocean views. The package is available between December 15, 2014 and January 31, 2015. For further information on Sri panwa, visit www.sripanwa.com.


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