Lion World Travel, Treadright Foundation Offer Contest to Name Newborn Endangered Black Rhino & Win Luxury Safari

The female baby black rhino, born to mother, Queenie, in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Lion World Travel and The TreadRight Foundation are inviting travelers to name the newborn endangered black rhino to win a luxury safari.

Cypress, Calif. – Lion World Travel and The TreadRight Foundation are calling on American travelers to help name a rare female baby rhino, discovered by their project partner, Wilderness Foundation Africa on a reserve in South Africa. Submissions will be accepted online from November 17, 2020 to December 1, 2020, and those who share their suggestions will be eligible to win 3 free nights at Shamwari Game Reserve, a luxury safari and game lodge destination in South Africa’s ecologically and culturally significant Eastern Cape Province.

Included as part of the judging panel is Ami Vitale, TreadRight’s ‘Wildlife’ Ambassador and award-winning National Geographic magazine photographer who captured the final moments of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino alive on the planet in Kenya.

The Eastern Cape Province in South Africa is home to the third largest endangered black rhino population in the world, and evidence shows it is currently a high-risk target for poachers.

Because rhinos prefer thick vegetation, aerial surveillance is necessary and plays a critical part in both wildlife security, and in tracking and improving the management of rhino populations. Lion World Travel is a founding partner of The TreadRight Foundation which is invested in protecting and rehabilitating the world’s wildlife by partnering with leading wildlife organizations, through its Wildlife Pillar. Since 2017, TreadRight has partnered with Wilderness Foundation Africa to aid in rhino conservation efforts by funding the purchase and operations of a Bat Hawk – a light aircraft used to monitor and protect rhinos from poaching in provincial nature reserves and national parks in the Eastern Cape. The regular surveillance through monitoring flights by the Bat Hawk in the known rhino poaching hotspots is contributing to the safekeeping of this endangered population.

Since the start of 2020, 19 new rhino calves have been discovered and protected within the rhino population, 11 of which were first detected in the TreadRight-funded Bat Hawk. As a thank you, Wilderness Foundation Africa has given Lion World Travel and TreadRight the invaluable honor of naming one of these precious new rhino calves.

“The preservation of the rhino population is absolutely paramount to keeping a healthy balance alive within Africa’s ecosystem,” said Lucille Sive, CEO of The Travel Corporation’s African Division.“Through our work, safeguarding wildlife is a priority and we are absolutely humbled by this meaningful opportunity to play a part in the naming of a precious rhino as we continue to make travel matter.”

Lion World Travel and TreadRight’s support of Wilderness Foundation Africa work to advance the United Nations Global Goal 15, Life on Land, through its joint effort in combatting poaching and trafficking of rhinos that are vital to this ecosystem, as well as Global Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, through its employment of intelligence and police support for specialized wildlife crime units, contributing to a higher employment rate.

After the name submissions are received, Lucille Siva, CEO of Lion World Travel will select the shortlisted names and Ami Vitale will be making the final decision. The winning name will be chosen and announced on Friday, Dec. 4 and the winner will receive 3 free nights at Shamwari Game Reserve, a luxury safari and game lodge destination in South Africa’s ecologically and culturally significant Eastern Cape Province.  

For more information on TreadRight’s conversation efforts, its work around the world and how you can help #MakeTravelMatter, visit TreadRight.org

Terms and Conditions: Prize is non-transferable and awarded “as is”, with no substitutions. One winner will be selected, based on the final Rhino name selection. If multiple people entered the same name, one winner will be randomly drawn from all of those entries. Only entries received through the official contest entry form are valid. Preference will be given to names that relate to Africa and/or reflect our Make Travel Matter ethos. Contest period runs from November 17-December 1, 2020. Prize must be booked by August 31, 2021, for travel by December 15, 2021 and is subject to availability and blackout dates. Winner will be contacted by email. Lion World Travel is not responsible for any technical difficulties experienced during the contest. Void where prohibited by law

Lion World Travel is a leading tour operator from North America specializing in group and individual tours to Southern and East Africa and is a member of TTC , which also includes: Trafalgar Tours, Contiki, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Clients continue to benefit from Lion World Travels’ destination knowledge, expertise, and emphasis on customer service. With their Africa Specialists all having first-hand knowledge of Africa, Lion World Travel confidently assists clients in creating an African adventure that fits their interests and budget. Extraordinary service, affordable luxury and value for money are what keep clients coming back to Lion World Travel.

The TreadRight Foundation is a joint not-for-profit initiative established by The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. TreadRight sets the direction on sustainability for 40 award-winning brands, in addition to overseeing our TreadRight Foundation. The organization’s singular mission is to #MakeTravelMatter through brand operations, and by providing support to community-based projects worldwide that safeguard the planet, people and wildlife. To date, the foundation has supported 55+ sustainable tourism projects in 280+ communities worldwide, based on priorities set by the TreadRight Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid and The National Trust in the UK, while current initiatives include Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School, Wilderness Foundation Africa and Wildlife SOS. TreadRight also works with inspiring ambassadors who have a passion for sustainable travel, to support its voice within the sustainable travel community. These ambassadors include Céline Cousteau (‘Planet’ Ambassador), Sarain Fox (‘People’ Ambassador), Ami Vitale (‘Wildlife’ Ambassador) and Costas Christ. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, visit TreadRight.org and follow TreadRight on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.

“We will make travel matter – for our planet, for people and for wildlife. We have taken the pledge, now we invite you to join us.”  

Wilderness Foundation Africa works from its base in South Africa to protect and sustain wildlife and wilderness through integrated conservation and education programs. Whether it is direct action anti-poaching in the field, large landscape wilderness management, or developing rising young leaders from disadvantaged communities for a career in conservation, the Wilderness Foundation has over 45 years of results. For more information, visit WildernessFoundation.co.za and follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Rails to Trails Conservancy Hosts Facebook Live Event ‘Staying Safe Outside During Winter and COVID-19’, Nov. 23

Nationwide, trail use is up by more than 60% as people venture outside for exercise, solace, self-care and to create their own special and unique moments as COVID 19 pandemic continues to surge. But with proper preparation, trails and the outdoors can continue to be a free and safe resource through the winter months. Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy experts on Monday, Nov. 23, 1:30 pm (Eastern) on Facebook Live to hear how you can safely get outdoors to stay active this winter. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

As we head into a winter with a surge in COVID-19 infections and increased restrictions across the country, experts agree that getting outdoors remains a low-risk way to stay fit—both physically and mentally. Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy experts on Monday, Nov. 23, 1:30 pm (Eastern) on Facebook Live to hear how you can safely get outdoors to stay active this winter.

Nationwide, trail use is up by more than 60% as people venture outside for exercise, solace, self-care and to create their own special and unique moments. And with proper preparation, trails and the outdoors can continue to be a free and safe resource through the winter months.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy board members Dr. Rose Gowen and Dr. Jim Sallis; and Vasu Sojitra, a professional athlete and diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist will discuss ways to safely get outside this winter—whether you live in a place that has extreme weather or you’re struggling with the shorter days. They will share safety and preparation tips and remind us all about the physical and mental health benefits that trails and the outdoors provide during these challenging times.

Speakers:
• Rose Gowen, M.D., Brownsville, Texas, City Commissioner
• Jim Sallis, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego
Vasu Sojitra Professional Athlete and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategist

Learn more about using trails during COVID-19: railstotrails.org/covid19.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 866-202-9788, www.railstotrails.org

Newport’s Preservation Society Hosts Online Holiday Auction of Exclusive Experiences

The famous Gold Room at Marble House, one of the Preservation Society of Newport County’s legendary Gilded Age mansions. The Preservation Society is hosting an online Exclusive Experiences Holiday Auction from Nov. 22 through Dec. 6 with proceeds supporting the society’s preservation efforts © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEWPORT, R.I. – The season of giving is fast approaching and, just in time, the Preservation Society of Newport County will be conducting an online Exclusive Experiences Holiday Auction from November 22 through December 6.

Offering unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that allow people to explore the Newport Mansions in new ways, the Preservation Society is making 19 remarkable packages available for bid. All proceeds from this auction will support the preservation work of the Preservation Society of Newport County.

“If you’re searching for the perfect holiday gift, we are auctioning off some unbelievable experiences that have never been available to the general public,” Preservation Society CEO and Executive Director Trudy Coxe said. “This is a rare opportunity to create memories for your family, your best friends, and other special people in your lives. And you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of supporting Rhode Island’s largest cultural organization as it continues to preserve and protect 11 historic properties and landscapes, including seven National Historic Landmarks.”

Winning bids will take participants to some extraordinary heights, literally and figuratively. Here are a few examples:

         Enjoy beautiful views of land and sea during a helicopter sightseeing tour for two over Newport before landing on the grounds of The Breakers to receive a personalized and special tour. Top it off with light refreshments.

         Bid on the unequaled opportunity to have a wedding at The Breakers, the grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages.” Imagine entertaining family and friends in one of the most opulent settings in the country. The awe-inspiring Great Hall, the palatial Dining Room, the stunning views of the ocean and its breaking waves will leave you and your guests with memories to treasure forever.

         Enjoy a night of “glamping” – glamorous camping – for up to four people on the awning-covered terrace at Rosecliff or Marble House with a catered picnic supper on the back lawn, night-time snacks and a catered breakfast in bed the next morning.

Some of our other auction packages include: a sleepover for eight children, ages 8-17, and up to four adult chaperones in The Great Hall of The Breakers; a New England clambake for up to 20 at Green Animals Topiary Garden; an in-depth tour of The Elms highlighted by the very rare opportunity to enjoy a French-inspired dinner for 10 guests at the Dining Room table; and a catered reception and three-course dinner for up to 10 people in The Gold Room at Marble House.

For the complete list and description of all of the amazing packages the Preservation Society will make available during this Exclusive Experiences Holiday Auction, check www.newportmansions.org beginning Friday, November 20. Note: there is no time restriction on any of the auction items, so now is the time to plan for post-COVID-19 days.

Send questions about the auction to events@newportmansions.org.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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Alta Ski Area, IKON Pass Partner, To Open Nov. 23; Capacity Managed Through Parking; Pre-Purchase Day Tickets at 20% Off

Skiing resumes at Alta Ski Area, Utah, a partner in IKON ski pass and the Mountain Collective,  on November 23 © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Alta Ski Area in Utah, a partner with the IKON ski pass program as well as the Mountain Collective, is set to open for the 2021-21 ski season on Monday, November 23.

“With our season cut short last year, we can all get back to doing what we love most—skiing. The snow dances have worked, delivering 57″ of snow with more on the way. Check our Lift and Terrain Status page for projected terrain openings as we kick off our 83rd winter.

“Skiing will look different this year. Be patient. Be kind. We’re all in this together. Explore Alta’s thoughtful COVID-19 response.”

Alta, a skiers-only area, is offering Off-Peak and Peak pricing this winter. Day tickets can be purchased daily at any ticket window. Pre-purchased tickets can be bought at alta.com, with savings up to 20% off the ticket window price. Tickets FAQ’s.

Road and Parking: Skier capacity will be managed daily through available parking on a first-come, first-served basis. Mountain capacity will be based on weather, snowpack, available terrain and our indoor facilities’ capacity. Know before you go. Alta’s newly created parking forecast provides skiers the necessary road and parking updates ahead of a busy winter. Learn More.

Grab-And-Go Food Options: Located in the Wildcat and Albion Parking lot will be grab-and-go breakfast and lunch options. Eat in your car to practice social distancing while refueling for skiing.

Restaurants: The two-year expansion of the mid-mountain Alf’s Restaurant is complete. Additions include a new Alta Ski Shop and coffee shop serving waffles. All day lodges, Alf’s Restaurant, Watson’s Shelter and the Albion Day Lodge, will be limited to 50% indoor capacity. Collins Grill will remain closed for the 2020-21 season. Skiers are asked to limit their time in restaurants to 30 minutes or shorter. Dining options at Alta.

Alf Engen Ski School: The Alf Engen Ski School will start the season offering private lessons only. Reservations are suggested. Contact the Alf Engen Ski School at 801.799.2271 for information.

Alta Ski Shops: The Alta Ski Shop is open daily at the Albion Day Lodge. Skiers can rent skis, pick up Alta-branded gear, or demo performance skis at the Albion Day Lodge. Ski rentals at the Wildcat Ski Shop are available with reservations by 2 pm the day before only.

Town of Alta: Part of the uniqueness of the Town of Alta and Alta Ski Area is Alta’s historic lodges that significantly contribute to Alta’s character and uniqueness. In a typical winter, these lodges offer a vibrant Après scene after a day skiing powder. This year, due to COVID-19, only lodge guests are permitted in these world-renowned watering holes. The Shallow Shaft Restaurant will not open for the season.

Alta’s Sunnyside At 3 Program: Alta is proud to keep its Sunnyside At 3 program running. Between 3-4:30 pm, skiers can access beginner lifts with no blackout days with the purchase of a season adult or child Sunnyside At 3 card online for $59.

Continued Partnerships: Alta is excited to continue partner pass offerings with the IKON Pass and the Mountain Collective Pass. With 547″ snowfall average and 542″ last season, join us this Monday as we kick off the 2020-21 ski season.

Since 1938, this marks Alta Ski Area’s 83rd winter in operation. Originally a mining town, Alta was the first ski area in Utah to install a lift. Alta is a skiers-only mountain with majestic scenery, diverse terrain and a renowned snowfall average of 547″. There is a spirit to Alta we call #AltaMagic. Come for the skiing. Stay for the skiing

Visit alta.com for more information.

See: Alta, Utah: If You Can See It, You Can Ski It!

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Belmond Unveils Calendar of ‘Festive Invitations’ Virtual Workshops, Events Celebrating Timeless Traditions

A treasured Thanksgiving past-time, Michelle Weaver, Executive Chef at Belmond Charleston Place, will share a special Southern tradition with her Grandma’s favorite ‘sweet potato biscuits’ recipe – filling the home with the nostalgic and comforting scent of freshly baked bread. The live bake-along will also include the sommelier’s perfect wine pairing for this year’s more intimate Thanksgiving occasion.

This holiday season, the luxury travel company Belmond is presenting ‘Festive Invitations,’ a calendar of virtual workshops and events celebrating timeless traditions that bring us together in a year like no other. From a fragrant winter wreath workshop to the ritual of baking Thanksgiving recipes passed down through generations or mastering the art of hand-crafted Christmas crackers to an uplifting musical season finale – join live via Belmond’s Instagram throughout November and December.

DECORATIONS TO DELIGHT – NOVEMBER 20 at 12PM EST / 5PM GMT

Celebrating a magical winter tradition, celebrity florist and a Belmond Good Living Experience Maker, Simon Lycett will share the steps to create a fragrant winter wreath. Materials for the workshop can be gathered and foraged such as scented pines and berries. The mindful process of creating art using nature’s ingredients is a reminder of the life-enhancing joy of connecting with nature, something the world needs now more than ever.

TREASURED HOMEBAKING – NOVEMBER 24 at 12PM EST / 5PM GMT

A treasured Thanksgiving past-time, Michelle Weaver, Executive Chef at Belmond Charleston Place, will share a special Southern tradition with her Grandma’s favorite ‘sweet potato biscuits’ recipe – filling the home with the nostalgic and comforting scent of freshly baked bread. The live bake-along will also include the sommelier’s perfect wine pairing for this year’s more intimate Thanksgiving occasion.

HANDMADE WITH LOVE – DECEMBER 17 at 1PM EST / 6PM GMT

A time-honored British tradition, the crackle and pop of a Christmas cracker is an uplifting festive ritual made for sharing and the anticipation of the gift within. Luxury event designer, Fiona Leahy will host a festive workshop to create the most elegant handcrafted crackers. As a beautiful table setting or gift to share, the crackers can be filled with specially selected and personalized gifts and handwritten messages with promises of brighter times ahead.

MUSICAL FINALE – DECEMBER 22 at 1PM EST / 6PM GMT

Ending the year with an invitation to sing-along with internationally acclaimed singer and pianist, Joe Stilgoe will perform songs from his Christmas album. A musical evening full of sparkle and cheer to stir the soul and lift spirits, we say goodbye to 2020 and look forward to the future.

For shopping and material lists to prepare for each session, visit www.belmond.com/care-package.

“While the season’s festivities may be a bit different this year, Belmond wishes to savor the moments that really matter and make promises for brighter tomorrows.”

Belmond Ltd., part of one of the world’s leading luxury groups, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has been a pioneer of luxury travel for more than 40 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.

Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, it has built a portfolio of 46 properties extending across 24 countries, encompassing three luxury safari lodges, two river cruises, seven luxury trains, including the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, and the legendary ‘21’ restaurant in New York. From historic city landmarks like Belmond Cadogan Hotel and Belmond Copacabana Palace to hidden retreats at Belmond Cap Juluca and Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, each property has its own timeless story to tell. See www.belmond.com.

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Black Friday, Cyber Monday Luxury Travel Offers From Around the World

The newly opened White Elephant Palm Beach hotel in Florida is among the luxury travel properties offering Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.

From Black Friday (November 27) to Cyber Monday (November 30), here are just a few of the top luxury travel offers from around the world.

Caribbean

 30% Off | Strawberry Hill and The Caves| Jamaica 

Island Outpost properties, Strawberry Hill and The Caves, will offer 30% off all bookings of two nights or more made from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

  • Inclusions: Complimentary breakfast at Strawberry Hill and all-inclusive rates at The Caves; welcome cocktail; flask of Blackwell Rum (founded by Chris Blackwell, the owner of Island Outpost); and $10 per night donation to a nearby charity (Town-Redlight-Middleton Citizens Association Limited to support the elderly for Strawberry Hill; and The Ironshore Kindergarten on the West End of Negril for The Caves).
  • Travel dates: January 4-December 19, 2021, excluding April 1-4; July 1-4; and November 24-28, 2021
  • Cancellation policy: Fully prepaid at the time of booking; refundable up to 30 days prior to check in to allow for more flexibility
  • Price:
    • Rates at Strawberry Hill start at $217 (ordinarily $310) per night
    • Rates at The Caves start at $343 (ordinarily $490) per night 

Africa + South America 

20% Off | andBeyond | Africa + South America

andBeyond will offer a 20% discount on a its series of ‘7 Wonders in 7 Days’ itineraries, which are designed to offer a longer stay in one destination with less travel time. Each itinerary includes conservation and community experiences as a way to do good while traveling. The discount will apply to a selection of itineraries across Africa and South Americaon inquiries made on Cyber Monday only.

Travel dates: November 30, 2020-December 15, 2021 (travel dates do not have to be specified when booking to allow for more flexibility)

Link: https://www.andbeyond.com/cyber-monday/ (link will go live on November 18) 

Cancellation policy: 100% deposit (based on a low season rate) must be made by December 4, 2020. Balance owing (dependent on season of travel) will be collected 60 days before the itinerary’s start date. The deposit is non-refundable. 

United States 

Wildfire Donation | Alpha Omega Winery | Napa Valley, California

Alpha Omega Fundraiser for the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund for wildfires is offering special gifts to those who make a charitable donation to the foundation from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

  • Inclusions: Those who make a minimum of $100 donation will receive a complimentary Signature Selection tasting for two at Alpha Omega Winery; those who make a minimum of $500 donation will receive an exclusive invitation for two to be Alpha Omega’s guests at a vintner-hosted “Thank You to the Friends of Alpha Omega” party at the estate in Rutherford.
  • Terms: Donation must be a recognized 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. The AOC Foundation will remit 100% of all donations made to NVCF’s Disaster Relief Fund for wildfires to help those impacted by the LNU Lightning Complex fires and Glass Fire.
  • Link: https://www.aowinery.com/product/2020-Wildfire-Relief-Donation 

30% Off | The Setting Inn | Napa Valley, California  

The Setting Inn will offer 30% off all three-night bookings made from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

  • Inclusions: when booking a Cottage, guests will receive $100 credit at the rustic Italian restaurant Bottega Napa Valley and $100 transportation credit with Beau Wine Tours.
  • Travel dates: November 27, 2020-March 31, 2021 

21% Off | The Meritage Collection | Napa Valley, California

The Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort & Spa will offer 21% off all two-night bookings made from Black Friday through December 1, 2020. The Meritage Collection will also donate $21 per stay to the First Responders Children’s Foundation to support the families of first responders.

20% Off | White Elephant Resorts | Nantucket, Massachusetts + Palm Beach, Florida

The White Elephant Resorts portfolio, including Jared Coffin House, The Cottages, The Wauwinet, White Elephant, and the Boat Basin in Nantucket, and brand-new White Elephant Palm Beach in Florida (debuted November 4), will offer 20% off the best available rate on bookings made from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

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Hotel Industry Renews Call for Congress to Pass Another COVID Relief Bill Amid Dismal Holiday Travel Forecast

The hotel industry was the first impacted by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover and is appealing to Congress for COVID-19 relief. The industry is assuring travelers “for those who are considering traveling for the holidays, hotels will be ready to welcome you. Through our Safe Stay initiative, hotels have enhanced our already rigorous cleaning protocols to be more transparent and give travelers even more peace of mind.” (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnow.com

WASHINGTON (November 12, 2020) – A new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows that many Americans are not expected to travel this holiday seasons. Results show that 72% of Americans are unlikely to travel for Thanksgiving and 69% are unlikely to travel for Christmas, compounding the challenges for the hotel industry during this public health crisis.

Business travel has been even more impacted. Only 8% of Americans say they have taken an overnight business trip since March, and just 19% of respondents who are currently employed—or 8% of all adults—expect to travel for business within the next six months. Sixty-two percent (62%) of employed Americans have no plans to stay in a hotel for business.

The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted November 2-4, 2020 by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • Only 3 in 10 (32%) respondents have taken an overnight vacation or leisure trip since March
  • 21% of Americans say they are likely to travel for Thanksgiving, 24% are likely to travel for Christmas
  • Looking ahead to next year, 24% are likely to travel for spring break 
  • 44% say their next hotel stay for vacation or leisure travel will be a year or more from now or they have no plans to stay in a hote

“This holiday season will be an especially difficult time for all Americans, and our industry is no exception” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Fewer people will be traveling, and business travel remains nearly non-existent. That’s why it’s so important for Congress to pass a relief bill now. Millions of Americans are out of work, and thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. We cannot afford to wait until the next Congress is sworn in for relief. They need help now.”

“For those who are considering traveling for the holidays, hotels will be ready to welcome you. Through our Safe Stay initiative, hotels have enhanced our already rigorous cleaning protocols to be more transparent and give travelers even more peace of mind,” said Rogers.

The hotel industry was the first impacted by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. Hotel occupancy rates partially rebounded from record lows in April, but they have continued to decline since Labor Day. According to STR, nationwide hotel occupancy was 44.4% for the week ending October 31, compared to 62.6% the same week last year. Occupancy in urban markets is just 35.6%, down from 71.8% one year ago.

As a result of the significant drop in travel, more than half of hotels report they have less than half of their typical, pre-crisis staff working full time currently. Without further governmental assistance, 74% of hotels said they would be forced into further layoffs. Business and group travel are not expected to reach 2019 peak demand levels again until 2023. As a result of the sharp drop in travel demand from COVID-19, state and local tax revenue from hotel operations is estimated to drop by $16.8 billion in 2020. 

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Don’t Wait Beyond Dec 15 to Book High-Demand 2021 National Park RV Vacation, Tracks & Trails Warns

Tracks & Trails, which organizes packaged RV vacations in national parks, features a ranger-guided hike to see granite portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln on its eight-night Mount Rushmore, Black Hills & Devils Tower itinerary out of Denver. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

GRAND JUNCTION, CO – The clock is ticking, with just over a month left to book a summer 2021 national park RV vacation with Tracks & Trails.
 
This company, which specializes in packaged RV vacations to national parks in the Western US and Canada, has set Dec. 15, 2020, as the cut-off date for new 2021 bookings.
 
Dan Wulfman, Tracks & Trails Founder and President, explains that this early booking deadline ensures that his team is able to secure the motorhomes and campgrounds necessary to create their signature self-drive itineraries that showcase the natural wonders of the parks.
 
“The idea,” says Wulfman, “is to locate your personal cabin on wheels as close as possible to all of the beauty and activities a particular park offers. You experience privacy and comfort in a fully-equipped, self-contained unit in the inspiring wilderness of our national parks.”
 
One example of a Tracks & Trails itinerary is the eight-night Mount Rushmore, Black Hills & Devils Tower itinerary out of Denver, which offers an optional add-on of two nights at Badlands National Park. This trip is available from May 1 to September 23, 2021, and the base trip price for up to 4 people starts at $5,250.
 
Highlights of this itinerary include:

  • A ranger-guided hike to see granite portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. 
  • A nightly lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore.
  • From Bears Lodge, viewing the 2,367-foot monolith known as Devils Tower that is a sacred site of worship for many Native Americans.
  • Exploring vast cave systems at Wind Cave and Jewel Cave in the Black Hills.
  • The remains of mammoths from the Ice Age where a simulated paleontology dig is hosted.
  • Wagon wheel tracks embedded on the original Oregon Trail.
  • Fort Laramie & Fort Fetterman which display the history of the Wild West.
  • Wild horses, bison, and begging burros. 
  • A mock shoot-out at noon in the legendary town of Deadwood. 

Why a December 15 deadline for booking next year’s vacation?

Wulfman notes that the pandemic is turning millions of non-campers into newbie RVers, and the trend is exploding. The RV Industry Association found that 20% of US residents surveyed are more interested in RV travel than in flying, tent camping, cruises, or rental stays amid coronavirus concerns.
 
For those savvy enough to lock in their dates for 2021 now with Tracks & Trails, the traveler’s work is done. The company’s team of expert planners handles all the arrangements that make it so challenging to organize a worry-free 9 to 14-day, multi-destination RV trip on your own. Travelers work with their T&T Trip Wizard to select one of the 20 carefully-crafted itineraries, decide on the fully equipped RV rental that will be best for them, and pick optional excursions that suit their tastes. The company takes care of the rest: reserving prime campsites, booking guided excursions with trusted outfitters, preparing personalized, comprehensive documentation that ensures things go smoothly on the road, and arranging first-night accommodations before the RV adventure begins.

Even before the pandemic, reservations were recommended at least 60 days in advance, because less lead time drastically reduced availability of specific RVs, campgrounds and excursions. Booking in the fall for a trip the following summer was recommended before but COVID-19 and a pent up desire to vacation (but safely, with self-distancing and the isolation an RV can provide), have caused demand for RV vacations and park campsites to be at an all time high in 2021 and beyond.

Tracks & Trails created the concept of packaged national park RV vacations in 1996, providing personalized, self-drive RV trips to active couples and families from across the U.S. They help people spend quality time together outdoors while exploring North America’s most iconic National Parks and other natural wonders.
 
For information on availability, pricing, and itineraries for 2021 please visit the website at www.tracks-trails.com, email: inquiries@tracks-trails.com, or call 1-800-247-0970.

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