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.

News Blurb: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Welcomes Chinese Travelers with New Service Offerings

Fairmont With outbound travel from Asia on the rise, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts has rolled out a new program with the Chinese traveler in mind. With more than 77 million Chinese travelers expected to take a trip overseas in 2012, and China fast becoming one of the world’s most influential international tourism markets, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced a new Chinese Menu Program at its worldwide collection of more than 60 luxury hotels. The new program, which will be phased in throughout 2012, will provide greater personalization and enhanced culinary choices for Chinese guests traveling abroad. As part of this customized travel offering, Fairmont has introduced a number of authentic Chinese dishes to its catering and restaurant menus worldwide, and will also introduce new service delivery elements to provide visiting Chinese guests with a more enjoyable and satisfying dining experience. “Personalization has and always will be a hallmark of the Fairmont experience, so to that end we’ve taken the proactive step of expanding our food and beverage programming with authentic touches that will help make our Chinese guests feel more comfortable and welcome,” said Jean Michel Offe, Fairmont’s vice-president, food & beverage. A range of authentic dishes will be featured in catering menus for groups, and guests, including individual travelers, will be able to enjoy items such as congee, traditional rice porridge, for breakfast at Fairmont’s restaurants. In dining outlets and at catered events where the Chinese Menu Program is requested, meals will begin with the offering of a cold towel, and end with the offering of a hot towel. Chopsticks will also be on hand for guests who prefer them. Groups will have the added option of serving meals family-style with a variety of dishes, and Fairmont hotels will be mindful to offer at least seven courses, but not exceed 12, keeping with Chinese tradition. Additionally, front line hotel staff, such as servers, will be briefed in appropriate etiquette to further make Chinese guests feel comfortable and to demonstrate respect for their cultural preferences. As Fairmont expands its services for the Chinese traveler around the globe, the luxury brand is also growing in China.  In addition to Fairmont Beijing, Fairmont Yangcheng Lake, and Shanghai’s iconic Fairmont Peace Hotel, Fairmont expects to open new hotels in cities such as Nanjing, Taiyuan, and Chengdu in the near future. For more information, visit fairmont.com.   Read more >>

News Blurb: First Organic Spa in the Riviera Maya, Mexico Offers Easy DIY Mayan Spa Treatments

Hotel EsenciaFrom holistic rituals to ancient Mayan recipes, Hotel Esencia’s eco-luxe Aroma Spa is offering easy DIY spa treatments for the spa enthusiast seeking an in-home escape into paradise. The first organic Spa in the Riviera Maya, Aroma’s eco-focus is evidenced throughout with organic, homemade products, an extensive herb garden, and native, chemical-free construction materials including walls colored with a taupe native mixture. Renowned for providing travelers an escape into the magical realism of the Mayan culture, Aroma celebrates native tradition with a signature Temezcal Mayan Sauna. The indigenous ritual involves a Temazcalera, a specially trained Mayan healer, assessing the needs of the guest’s body, mind and spirit before selecting specific herbs to lay on scalding stones in an enclosed sauna, infusing the air with healing aromatherapy. The in-home treatments offer simple anti-aging solutions with quick and easy steps using fresh, organic ingredients for the serene feeling of a professional spa treatment. For more information, visit www.hotelesencia.com.   Read more >>

News Blurb: US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism Enhances Website for Consumers with Disabilities

In an effort to provide an enhanced user experience for consumers with disabilities, the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism launched several upgrades to the Territory's website. The upgrades enable greater synergy between the technologies used by consumers and the Department's site. Enhancements include closed captioning for videos, updated navigation, improved page layout, and greater contrast on pages to assist the vision impaired. Accessibility is the aim of these and other features which ensure screen readers accurately communicate the content of the site. While the site has been 100% ADA compliant (The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) for some time, these changes elevate the experience for visitors with disabilities. "As a US Territory operating under US law, the USVI is aiming to take the lead in the Caribbean with accessible lodging, attractions and other options to provide a barrier-free travel experience," reported Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. "We are very pleased to roll out these new enhancements to ensure that travelers with disabilities enjoy a user-friendly experience even before visiting the destination," she added. For more information, visit VisitUSVI.com.   Read more >>

News Blurb: Spain: A Premier LGBT Destination

Spain’s popularity with gay and lesbian travelers keeps growing. A gay-friendly destination with an open mind and no prejudice, the country has been dedicated to promoting equal rights for all citizens through a marriage equality law passed in 2005. Each year, Spain holds a number of prominent LGBT events including festivals, parades, trade shows, and celebrations. In 2014, Madrid is set to host the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention. From June 22nd – July 1st, Madrid hosts its annual Gay Pride week – Europe’s largest pride celebration with nearly 2 million attendees. A part of that is Madrid’s Infinita Gay Week from June 27th to July 1st – a series of sizzling parties with the best of music, DJs, and costumes. Film buffs and beyond will enjoy one of the largest LGBT film events worldwide. Madrid LGBT Film Festival runs from November 1st through November 11th, and showcases works by gay and lesbian filmmakers, as well as films dedicated to LGBT subjects. From June 22nd to July 1st, Barcelona Pride, the best known LGBT pride festival in the Mediterranean is 10 days of culture, sport, debate, entertainment, and parties. Barcelona Pride is an event that celebrates the best of the Catalan capital, and also promotes inclusion and equality. For more information, visit www.spain.info.  Read more >>

News Blurb: Explore Oakland, One of the Most Diverse Cities in the Country

Located in heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland truly a multicultural destination and one of the most diverse cities in the country, with more than 125 languages spoken throughout the city. There are a plethora of diverse events and festivals, such as the Oakland Pride Festival, Chinatown Street Festival, Dia de Los Muertos festivals and more. Take a trip to the African American Museum & Library in Oakland, dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation and sharing of historical and cultural experience of African Americans in California and the West. The museum also has several exhibits and programs highlighting the historical accomplishments of generations of African Americans. Oakland's historic Paramount Theatre is now home to top entertainers, including African American comedians such as Sinbad and celebrities such as Shaquille O'Neal. Each year, the theatre hosts the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition. The competition was initially created in 1986 by theatre artist Tony Spires for African American and other minorities. Alumni of the event include Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Nick Cannon, D.C. Curry, and Mike Epps. Oakland has one of the largest LGBT populations in the country; according to the Gay and Lesbian Atlas, with information from the 2000 U.S. census, Oakland contains the highest concentration of lesbian couples of any city in the nation and has the second highest number of same-sex couple households. Each summer, the Oakland Pride Festival draws 50,000 supporters and members of the LGBT community. Live performances, entertainment, dancing and marching are all a part of the celebration. For more information, visit http://www.visitoakland.org.  Read more >>

News Blurb: The 3rd Vail Soul Music Fest Unveils Stellar Lineup, August 17-19, Vail, CO

Vail Soul Music Fest returns to Ford Amphitheater in the majestic mountains of Vail, Colorado on August 17-18-19, 2012. For the third installment of this intimate and unparalleled adventure in soul, Vail Soul Music Fest offers a stellar lineup of international soul artists. Performing Vail Soul Music Fest 2012 are Sugarfoot's Ohio Players, rising blue-eyed soul star Allen Stone, and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Anthony David - who, returning for his second VSMF play, is this time joined by the melodic voice of Algebra. Also on this year's bill: U.K. favorites The Brand New Heavies bring their internationally known soul/funk/jazz songs to the live stage, dynamic husband/wife duo Kindred, and Natalie Stewart & Julie Dexter in their first U.S. appearance together as the highly anticipated The Floetry Re:Birth. Vail Soul Music Fest is more than just a music event - it's the ultimate soul experience. An international destination all on its own, the Town of Vail offers all things good for the soul: outdoor adventures, spa services, world class golf,fresh culinary options, and much more. And as Colorado's only soul music festival, Vail Soul Music Fest fills a unique niche in the state's thriving festival scene. In addition, Vail Soul Music Fest 2012 delivers their philanthropic Vail Soul Fest Youth Day Music and Mentoring Program,where more than 100 multi-cultural and under-served youth from Metro Denver and mountain communities are brought to the mountains of Vail to participate in a day of very special music and outdoor workshops and activities for aspiring music enthusiasts and performers. For more information, visit www.vailsoulmusicfest.com.  Read more >>

News Blurb: New Mazatlan Highlights Culture & Lifestyle of City's International Community, Mazatlan, Mexico

Dedicated to illustrating the life of the International community residing in Mazatlan, Mexico, MazatlanMyCity.com is a unique social media and content hub that acts as an interactive gateway into the lives of real people living in the city. The site uses various social networking channels to distribute the content, including multiple video feature programs, broadcast interchangeably every two weeks, news and views interactive application, providing daily updates on what's happening in Mazatlan, MazRadio featuring two new shows that focus on Mazatlan's art and music culture and learning Spanish and the Cultura Calendar promoting the cultural events that are an integral part of Mazatlan Society. Launched in April, MMC.com has been widely acclaimed for its innovative approach to marketing the city of Mazatlan. With multiple content platforms, free membership forums and community partnership marketing, MMC.com gives visitors insight into the lifestyle, culture and history of "The Pearl of the Pacific". "Mazatlan's rich culture has made it a very popular place for ex-pats to call home," said MyCity Founder, Simon Lynds. "Our site is designed to keep expats and their families-that still live thousands of miles away-informed and up-to-date with everything that relates to this great city as well as illustrating to the international community what life is really like in Mazatlan." For more information, visit  http://mazatlanmycity.com/   Read more >>

News Blurb: Dred Scott Statue Unveiled in St. Louis

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News Blurb: Puerto Vallarta Sponsored 23rd Annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards, San Francisco, CA

In an effort to promote Puerto Vallarta's gay-friendly attractions, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board worked in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) as a sponsor of the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards held in San Francisco. In addition, Puerto Vallarta is also running a regional and national LGBT media campaign offering a trip giveaway for two to Puerto Vallarta, including a stay at Casa Cupula named one of the top 5 most luxurious gay friendly hotels in the world by Gay.com. Puerto Vallarta was once recognized as a preferred LGBT friendly destination in the Americas by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and offers an infrastructure that is frequently included in leading media as gay friendly destination lists, from Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet to Out Traveler and Passport Magazine. For more information, visit www.gayguidevallarta.com and www.visitpuertovallarta.com.   Read more >>

News Blurb: The Apollo Cultural Exchange Series Presents A Celebration of June's Black Music Month Starring African Reggae Star Tiken Jah Fakoly, June 16th, NYC

In recognition of Black Music Month in June 2012, the Apollo Theater's Cultural Exchange Series will celebrate over 50 years of reggae music with a special concert starring African Reggae icon Tiken Jah Fakoly on Saturday, June 16th at 8pm. Known for his politically charged lyrics, Tiken Jah Fakoly is the premier artist in African reggae and has often been called the African Bob Marley, drawing comparisons to the reggae legend for his soulful vocals, the revolutionary messages in his music, and his mastery of roots-reggae. The world music star has sold out stadiums and venues all over Europe and Africa and will now make a rare trip to the United States for his first ever appearance on the legendary Apollo stage, where he will perform classics and material from his latest album, the critically acclaimed  African Revolution. This special Cross Cultural concert coincides with the 50thanniversary of Jamaica's independence, a milestone that has brought international attention to reggae music's evolution, its impact on popular culture around the world, and the international sub-genres it has inspired, including African reggae. The Apollo's Cross Cultural Exchange presentations focus on music, artists, or projects representing diverse cultures that may be U.S. or internationally-based.  Many of the artists presented represent cultural communities in Harlem and Upper Manhattan, including artists of Dominican, Puerto Rican, Senegalese, Ivorian and Malian cultural heritage. This show will also feature popular New York City based reggae outfit The Cannabis Cup Band. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tickets are on sale ($25 to $55) at the Apollo Theater Box Office. The Apollo in New York City is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.  Read more >>