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; gays/lesbians and people with disabilities.
Published bi-monthly, MTN is 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. Each issue includes content about 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.

News Blurb: Ohio Historical Society, National Afro-American Museum Reopened with New Exhibition, Activities

The National Afro-American Museum reopened in January to reveal the first phase of its year-and-a-half-long renovation. In addition to grand opening events, guests had access to one of the two exhibition spaces featuring the new installation "How I Got Over," a mixed media exhibition that reflects the African American experience and focuses on three themes of celebration, spirituality and protest. Both spaces are expected to be open to the public in the late spring and will feature a quilt installation entitled "And Still We Rise" consisting of nearly 100 quilts by famed artist, Carolyn Mazloomi. Dr. Charles Wash, executive director of the National Afro-American Museum said, "The newly renovated public spaces will also make programming a more prominent feature than before. This will allow us to provide first-hand educational opportunities for the public that fully interpret the material culture of African Americans from around the country." Upon completion, the project will enable the Museum to better serve the community and state through new, high-quality exhibits and a permanent exhibition. Additionally, the Museum will update its existing collections and acquire new ones. Visit ohiohistory.org  Read more >>

News Blurb: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Celebrating African-American Pioneers in Sea, Air and Space with Free Tour Guide Talk

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum introduces a free Tour Guide Talk “With Bravery and Distinction” to celebrate African-American pioneers in sea, air and space. The tour will run every Saturday and Sunday through February 24, aboard the Intrepid, located at Pier 86 (46th Street and 12th Avenue), Manhattan. This 45 minute tour leads visitors back in time, inspirational stories of men and women who heroically broke through barriers, paving the way for future generations. Among the historical accounts that the tour shares with visitors are that of; Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African-American combat pilot who lost his life during the Korean war; Navy officer Dick Turpin, an African American Navy Diver who is credited with inventing the underwater cutting torch used at Pearl Harbor; Robert Lawrence, America’s first African-American astronaut who in 1967 was part of the Gemini MOL (Manned Orbital Laboratory) program and many more. This Tour Guide Talk is free with the price of admission to the museum. Visit www.intrepidmuseum.org  Read more >>

News Blurb: 6th Annual International Waikiki Hula Conference Pays Tribute to 50 Years of Merrie Monarch Festival

Hula enthusiasts from around the world are invited to celebrate the art of hula in its native surroundings at the 6th Annual International Waikiki Hula Conference, May 17 to 19, 2013 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Open to dancers of all experience levels with an interest in hula, the conference will bring together hundreds of hula lovers for a weekend filled with hula, chant, history, crafts and more. The conference workshops, mele (songs) and hula will pay tribute to and celebrate the Merrie Monarch Festival’s 50th anniversary. The festival honors the legacy of King David Kalākaua, which perpetuates traditions, native language and the arts. The workshop mele and hula will be taught by award-winning kumu hula (hula teachers), some of whom have also competed on the famed Merrie Monarch stage. “The International Waikiki Hula Conference brings together members of the worldwide hula community with some of the industry’s most renowned Hawaiian cultural practitioners to perpetuate the authentic art of hula,” said Marnie Weeks, International Waikiki Hula Conference producer. “We hope that visitors and locals alike will join us in extending the celebratory spirit of the 50th Merrie Monarch Festival for this special weekend of appreciation and respect for hula.” With over 80 Merrie Monarch-themed workshops at this International Waikiki Hula Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn hula with special significance to kuma hula. Attendees also will learn about Hilo, Merrie Monarch’s hometown, and its special places through songs such as “Hilo Hula,” written in the 1940s by Joseph Nohea Kalima and taught by his granddaughter, kumu Iwalani Kalima. In addition to learning mele and hula, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops and seminars covering related aspects of hula, such as making an authentic ti leaf Hilo-style neck lei or an ipu heke (double gourd drum) with one of Hawaii’s master implement crafters. The International Waikiki Hula Conference offers individuals the rare opportunity to come to Hawaii to learn, share and experience hula in the land of its birth, with a variety of respected hula masters. Visit www.waikikihulaconference.com.
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News Blurb: Experiential Travel with East-Indian Culture in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and TobagoDiscover South Asian culture on the island of Trinidad where visitors indulge in Indian culture and Hindu heritage while enjoying beaches and landscapes of the Caribbean. With a population that is more than 40% East-Indian, Trinidad offers visitors the opportunity to understand the way the island’s people have incorporated the Hindu traditions and cuisine into the cultural landscape, giving visitors a window to the east. While Trinidad is home to many religious institutions and temples, the island is also known for having the tallest Hanuman Murti statue outside of India. Standing 85 feet tall, the red and pink statue of the Hindu deity that represents wisdom, righteousness and strength is part of the Dattatreya Temple and Yoga Centre. The center offers visitors the opportunity to relax and find harmony while visiting the temple that is considered to be spiritually connected with India. Trinidad is also the place to sample an array of Indian cuisine from throughout the South Asian peninsula. With a range of curries from chicken or crab to vegetarian, mild or spicy, the Indian cuisine in Trinidad offers a plethora of tasty street foods, simple restaurants, and fine dining. Dishes are made with traditional recipes and modern twists, perfuming the air with cumin, ginger, coriander and more. The local favorite, Roti, is fried dough stuffed with curried meats and chicken or vegetarian options such as pumpkin or eggplant; while local creation Doubles, is a sandwich-like two pieces of fried bread stuffed with the Indian-inspired curried chick peas. Some of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated in this destination include Holi, Indian Arrival Day, Ramleela and Diwali. Direct flight service is available on Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines from New York and Miami as well as direct flights from Houston on United Airlines. For more information, visit www.goTrinidadandTobago.com Read more >>

News Blurb: Barbados Heritage Featured on Jewish Living Television

BarbadosBarbados’ heritage proves to be as diverse as its shores with a unique history that has brought together a blend of cultures. Beginning January 16th, the island’s historical tale will be featured during an upcoming broadcast series on Jewish Living Television (JLTV). JLTV has recently partnered with the Barbados Tourism Authority to showcase another tale of the island beyond its waters, sand and sun, shedding light on the Jewish population that settled on the island centuries ago seeking new opportunities. Upon landing on the island, the newcomers brought with them a fresh perspective and along with it, new ideas and a new way of life including the introduction of the sugarcane crop. During the series, the island’s well-known political and business figures tell their tale, from entrepreneur Paul Altman who led the restoration of cultural landmarks, to prominent historians who help distinguish the lasting remnants of the island’s cultural integration, from the picturesque windmills to the Dutch architecture and design that dots the island’s cities and villages. Among the historical highlights is the Nidhe Israel Synagogue which has been restored to its original splendor after it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831. Built in the 1600’s, this synagogue, one of the oldest in the western hemisphere, was recently designated as a UNESCO protected property within the Historic Bridgetown area and still offers Shabbat services during the winter months. Along with this incredibly unique Synagogue is a centuries-old, spring-fed Mikvah dating back to 1654 which was recently discovered by an American archaeologist. The upcoming JLTV series is available on Time Warner Cable in addition to Comcast, Bright House, Atlantic Broadband and DIRECTV. The 2013 air dates are as follows: January 16, 23, 29; February 13; March 12; April 3, 25; May 14; June 7, July 1; October 2. For more additional information and channel listings for JLTV, visit www.jltv.tv and www.visitbarbados.org.  Read more >>

News Blurb: Mazatlan Promotes City as Top Cultural Destination in the Mexican Pacific

Mazatlan is growing colonial tourist destination on the Pacific coast of Mexico with many cultural offerings. Each year Mazatlan hosts a cultural calendar called "Temporada Primavera" from March to July featuring the most important cultural events in the region. "Mazatlán is investing $23.7 million in the local tourism industry, and the Mazatlán Hotel Association expects an increase of international tourists by 8 percent in 2012,” said Carlos Berdegue, Vice President of the Mazatlán Hotels Association and President and CEO of El Cid Resorts.  Mazatlan will host both the Oye! Awards and Carnival in February 2013 (http://www.carnavalmazatlan.net/). The 11th annual Oye! Awards are slated to return to the Mazatlán International Center in February, attracting an audience upwards of 5,000 to attend the nationally televised Latin music celebration and awards event. Oye! is a night dedicated to the very best in Mexican music, featuring twenty award categories, on-stage performances and special tributes to legendary musicians. Mazatlán is commonly recognized as a thriving destination for the performing arts with opportunities for dancers, actors and musicians alike. The city is also the birthplace of a number of well-known Mexican artists including Pedro Infante, Lola Beltrán, and José Ángel Espinoza, among others. Recently, there have been increased air seats to Mazatlan with Cal Jet operating a new international service weekly service from Los Angeles, Oakland, San Antonio, Houston and Denver as of January 9, 2013.  Cal Jet, operated by XTRA Airways, announced this international service to Mazatlan as a strategic partnership amongst the Mazatlán city major, state government and the airline. Mazatlán is one of the Mexican Riviera’s premier resort areas and has become a popular retreat for the national and international community of 440,000 inhabitants. For more information, visit www.gomazatlan.com.  Read more >>

News Blurb: Orbitz Launched Spanish Site, Orbitz en Español

Orbitz has announced the launch of Orbitz en Español, the only full-service Spanish-language travel website targeting the U.S. market. Orbitz en Español brings the deals and choices for hotel rooms, airline tickets, vacation packages as well as the top destinations for U.S. Hispanic Travelers: Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, Chicago, Cancun, Puerto Rico, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and the Dominican Republic. Car rentals and travel activities are also available on Orbitz.com to Spanish-speaking travelers in the U.S. booking on computers and smartphones. “Orbitz has served Spanish-speaking customers through our telesales agents for more than five years and our growing Hispanic customer base likes the dedicated Spanish-language service which now includes mobile and desktop options,” said Chris Orton, president of Orbitz.com. “Fifty-six percent of U.S. Hispanics are Spanish-preferring and moving to book on mobile devices at a rate three times faster than the general population. By offering both computer and mobile sites for Spanish speakers in the U.S. that combine ease of booking and great prices and selection, Orbitz is clearly the best choice for travel.” For more information, visit www.orbitz.com/es.  Read more >>

News Blurb: Manchester, A Thriving LGBT Scene With Many Events Throughout 2013

The UK’s Manchester region has a thriving LGBT scene with many events scheduled in 2013. The Visit Manchester website lists several events under the category LGBT at  http://www.visitmanchester.com/what-to-do/lgbt/ as well as gay friendly hotels. Among the top events is the: Manchester International Festival, a complete spectrum of performance art which takes place 4th – 21st July 2013. The festival is the world’s first international festival of original new works, so everything is commissioned completely new for the festival and premiers. Other events include LGBT History Month, Out in the Past Gay Heritage Trail, Pride Games and Manchester Pride. LGBT History Month celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. Out in the Past Gay Heritage Trail is a guided tour around Manchester city centre featuring key facts and amusing stories of Manchester’s LGBT history from the past 200 years.  The trail has rainbow tiles located across the city marking key sites from LGBT history. Pride Games is the UK's only annual LGBT multi-sports event, with 25 events over eight days of healthy fun activities and sports tournaments. Manchester Pride is 23 years young in 2013. What began as a small bring and buy sale has now evolved into an award winning international event which includes pride fringe, the Big Weekend, the colourful Pride Parade and the HIV Candlelit Vigil. The event has won ‘Best UK Pride’ for the last five years, attracts thousands of revellers and raises huge amounts of money for LGBT charities. Learn more at www.visitmanchester.com/lgbt Read more >>

News Blurb: Scottish Weekend, January 25-27, Mohonk Mountain House

Visit Mohonk Mountain House on January 25-27, 2013 for a Scottish weekend, a complete immersion into the history, art, culture, and cuisine of Scotland, with bagpipes, kilts, dancers, drums, whisky, haggis, and more. Scottish Weekend is just one of over 40 theme programs featured every year. Join the castle to dance, sing, share, and enjoy. Inclusive rates feature breakfast and lunch buffets with dinner as a traditional served meal, afternoon tea and cookies, and most activities, including yoga, fitness, and meditation classes, and use of an indoor heated swimming pool and fitness center. Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark resort, only 90 miles north of New York City and voted #2 resort spa in the United States. For more information, visit www.mohonk.com.   Read more >>

News Blurb: Black Tourism Yields Strong Economic Impact for Greater Fort Lauderdale

Greater Fort Lauderdale has become the destination of choice for the country’s largest and most influential Black professional organizations. A new tourism initiative launched by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) is making a major economic and social impact on the community. The National Urban League is scheduled to bring its annual conference to the Broward County Convention Center for the first time in 2015.  The National Association of Black Accountants, which first visited in 2006, has booked its annual conference again for 2016 and more than 5,000 rooms are already contracted.  In addition, the 100 Black Men of America and the National Urban League Senior Team are hosting meetings in the area again this year. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau assists Black professional organizations in planning community service projects in Fort Lauderdale’s historic Black Sistrunk Boulevard community and business corridor when they convene. This initiative incorporates minority economic development and minority group travel marketing to support local efforts to revitalize communities, increase the appeal of the destination, attract more visitors, and boost the area’s overall economy.  Broward County’s people of color – African American, Caribbean and Hispanic - are integral to the area’s tourism. They make up more than 60 percent of the 131,000 Broward residents directly employed in the hospitality industry.  Albert Tucker, Vice President for Multicultural Marketing for the CVB is leading the charge to attract more Black tourism to Greater Fort Lauderdale.  Black business owners and local Greek and faith-based organizations are collaborating to form a coordinated approach that will benefit cultural tourism. “The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB is one of a few agencies around the country that uses the tourism industry to develop economic empowerment for our minority-owned businesses.  Our tourism product brings advantage to all businesses in Broward County.  Most bureaus look to fill hotels. The CVB looks at economic and cultural impact on the community,” said Tucker. Visit www.sunny.org/multicultural.  Read more >>