(Moab, Utah) — Escape Adventures is introducing a 5-day mountain biking tour across the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument.
The trip starts at Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah, a 19th century Mormon settlement, and climbs high into the Abajo Mountains. Highlights include an array of archaeological sites and ruins, The Notch, Duck Lake, Sego Flat, Reef of Rocks, Maverick Point Overlook, Skull and Crossbones, The Causeway, and Jackson Ridge. Wildlife is abundant, and views atop the Abajo Mountains extend for 75-miles in all directions. This first-class camping tour starts at $1,299 per person. For more info, visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/bears-ears-mountain-bike-tour/. View the full itinerary here.
“This roughly 80-mile mountain biking tour covers a broad expanse of red rock, juniper forests and high plateau, while exposing riders to early human and Native American historical artifacts,” said Escape Adventures Director, Jared Fisher.
Named after a pair of monumental 2,000-ft twin buttes, Bears Ears National Monument is a remarkable remnant of 200-million year old sand dunes. Capped in shades of pale orange to light red sandstone, the Bears Ears formation is so distinctive it can be seen, even at great distance, from nearly every direction. Framed by Dark Canyon Wilderness and the Beef Basin to the west, Comb Ridge on the east, the Grand Gulch Plateau and Cedar Mesa to the south and Canyonlands National Park to the north, this mountain bike tour takes riders through the most unique and historical landmarks southeast Utah has to offer.
All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour, including all transportation, food preparation, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.
Maine’s Midcoast, and the Penobscot Bay region glows in the harvest hues of Mother Nature’s fall colors from mid-September through October. From the water, the Maine Windjammer Association captains watch as color sets in and the reds, yellows, and oranges of the hillsides bathe the entire region in fall foliage vistas. Add in a fabulous fall sunset and you can only imagine the beauty of fall cruising along the coast of Maine. Each month has its draws, but for many, fall is the best time of the year for a cruise with the Maine Windjammer Association fleet. For those not quite sure, here are six reasons to book a fall cruise this year.
Fall fleet events are among the favorites
The Camden Windjammer Festival, which is typically celebrated annually on the Friday and Saturday before Labor Day, is canceled this year. Instead, the fleet has organized an event called the Windjamboree where the fleet gathers at a destination they choose the day of the event, and small boat shenanigans are organized that evening. Captain, crew, and guests all partake in the race in hopes to win the coveted Oar Award.
Then, just a few days later, the Maine Windjammer fleet finishes out the season at the WoodenBoat Sail-In on September 11, 2021. The whole fleet gathers, with a few additional windjammers, at WoodenBoat School for the annual end of the summer mussel feed. Enjoy more small boat shenanigans fun, fine music, and lots of laughs and conversation with other guests. Dancing encouraged!
There’s still availability for last-minute planners
While availability changes daily, and not every cruise still has openings, it’s worth asking. You don’t have to assume that there’s no room on the boat because you wait to make your plans. The early bird may get the best choice of cabins, but the last-minute planner can still find cabins available. Call your favorite windjammer directly to learn more about availability this fall.
Best sleeping weather
There’s just about nothing better than sleeping on a boat. Whether you choose to enjoy a cozy bunk or to sleep on deck with the stars and moon to light your night, that gentle rocking of the boat will put you to sleep quickly. Add in a fabulous day, pulling lines on deck or exploring islands and taking in the ideal September temps, a great dinner, and it’s no wonder you sleep well on a windjammer. September and October offer cooler nights and days too. You’ll enjoy snuggling under the covers, perhaps with a good book. We challenge you to get through more than a few pages before you nod off, snug as a bug in a rug…. And that’s another reason….no bugs in September.
From music to mocktails and lighthouses in-between – great fall-themed cruises
From apple pies to squash dishes and hearty roasts, you’ll enjoy fresh fall fare on your September and October cruises. Talented chefs scour the markets for the freshest produce, meats, and offerings, and you can be assured that feasts aboard your September and October cruises will be delicious. From soups enjoyed on deck as you cruise at 10+ knots down Penobscot Bay in a fresh fall breeze to Pumpkin Pie for dessert, your fall feasts will be among the greatest memories you bring home from your windjammer cruise.
Maine’s brilliant fall foliage
There are few sights more beautiful than seeing the changing fall colors in the hills as they slope to the sea. Mother Nature’s harvest hues paint a patina of color that will mesmerize the mind when seen from the water. There are not many ways to capture this view other than from the deck of a windjammer. For those who yearn to experience the sight of New England’s fall foliage, seeing it from the deck of a windjammer simply can’t be beaten. The longer you go into October, the more brilliant the colors get. What day will the leaves turn? We’d be rich if we knew the answer to that question. Fall colors depend on a number of factors including summer temps, rainfall, changing daylight hours, and more. However, generally by late September, the leaves will start to turn and by mid-October, the colors will be approaching peak. The later in September or early October you cruise, the better the fall colors.
You can visit each of the Maine Windjammer Association’s individual vessels online at their websites by clicking below.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — This fall, South Floridians and tourists from across the globe will discover a culture that thrived in a mythical world thousands of years ago. World Heritage Exhibitions announced the world premiere of Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru, opening on October 16, 2021. The first stop of a worldwide tour will take place at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Cityneon presents the exhibition with support from the Government of Peru, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, and in partnership with Inkaterra Asociacion. The artifacts in the exhibition are on loan from Museo Larco in Lima, Peru, and Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón in Aguas Calientes, Peru.
Featuring one of the most impressive Andean gold collections ever to travel the world, this museum experience highlights a stunning selection of 192 artifacts from royal tombs, including spectacular objects that belonged to noble Andean lords, many never-before-seen out of Peru. One of the exhibition’s highlights is a fully intact gold attire of a Chimú Emperor that dates to 1300 AD.
“It’s enthralling for Cityneon to have the opportunity to present to new audiences these remarkable pieces of rare Andean artifacts,” said Executive Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer of Cityneon, Ron Tan. “Cityneon’s strong track record of staging immersive experiences globally with record-breaking visitor numbers reflects our strength in delivering high-quality experiences to visitors from around the world. Through this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with history in a way that has never been done before. Guests are going to be thrilled to encounter the ancient cultures who lived in this city 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains.”
Rivaled only by Ancient Egypt in longevity and by the Roman Empire in engineering, Andean societies dominated a substantial segment of South America for over 3,000 years straight through the reign of the Incan Empire. Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru will showcase Peruvian culture’s rich histories and traditions to the public like never before.
“South Florida, known as the ‘Gateway to Latin America,’ is the ideal location to host this world premiere, and having the opportunity to present this exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art is truly a pleasure,” stated President and Chairman of World Heritage Exhibitions, Anthony Tann. “This exhibition is exciting and engaging, and we expect Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru to be the largest cultural attraction throughout the region this fall.”
During their visit to the exhibition, guests are taken to the mysterious city in the sky, built and abandoned within a century. They will continue on a journey through the vast expanse of Andean history, traveling alongside the mythical hero Ai Apaec, and discovering the mysteries of Andean cosmology.
“Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru showcases the extraordinary and rich history of ancient Peru. It brings to life the various cultures that have lived in the land of the Incas and Machu Picchu over an astounding 3,000 years,” said President of Museo Larco, Andres Alvarez-Calderon.
Due to the current global pandemic, the need for social distancing, and other measures to prevent the coronavirus spread, the number of visitors allowed to visit Machu Picchu yearly has dropped to 250,000. This exhibition expands the ability to experience Machu Picchu to the world. Here, the first-ever virtual reality experience of Machu Picchu will be unveiled, allowing guests a window into the unrivaled beauty and flourishing landscape.
“Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru will allow the stories and riches of Andean civilizations to travel the world,” said Inkaterra Asociacion founder, Joe Koechlin. “We could not be more delighted about sharing our history and culture with the people of South Florida and beyond.” Beginning on October 16, 2021, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art,Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru will start its limited run in South Florida before leaving the U.S. and embarking on a multi-country, worldwide tour. The state-of-the-art exhibition will encompass the entire museum, including all galleries on both floors.
Exhibition ticket prices start at $19.95. Tickets will go on sale later this summer. An online registration process to pre-register for tickets is open. Those who pre-register will have early access to tickets when they go on sale to the public. To register to pre-purchase tickets, visit https://bocamuseum.org.
Registration for Bike New York’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour has been extended and will now close at 11:59 PM EDT on SUNDAY, 8/15.
The event offers an unmatched opportunity to ride 40 miles through New York City’s five boroughs car free, in a festival atmosphere. Though typically the event hosts 32,000 riders, this year, registration is capped at 20,000 (more room to ride).
Here’s a sneak peek👀 at what you can expect on event day this year:
Fully supported rest areas with bike maintenance and medical care ⚕️
Snow cone trucks at three rest areas: FDR, ConEd, and Commodore Barry 🍧
Numerous cooling stations to help you beat the August heat ☀️
Entertainment stops with local musicians and performers. )Check out one of the performers, Music With a Message, here) 🎤
Brand new Finish Festival location at Empire Outlets in Staten Island, conveniently located next to the ferry (don’t forget to bring your cycling shoe covers with you to the Finish Fest!) 🎉
Stress-free bike parking located at the Finish Fest 🚲
Celebrate your achievement with an ice-cold beer! Food and New Belgium beer will be sold at the Clinton Hall Beer Garden on Level 4 at the Finish Fest. Make sure to bring your ID and cash or card! 🍺
10-minute post-Tour Guided Stretching Sessions led by Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Sports Health experts at NYU Langone Health, from 11am-3:30pm 🤸
Frozen treats courtesy of our partners at TD Bank🍨
The mid-August border opening allows U.S. travelers to enjoy the late summer season in Atlantic Canada, which offers temperate weather, warm coastal waters, and outdoor adventure. The fall boasts colorful foliage and several world-class food and cultural festivals. Easily accessible from the Northeast, the region offers breathtaking coastlines, fresh seafood, wide-open outdoors spaces, land and water experiences, and so much more.
All travelers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. In addition to adhering to Canada’s federal travel guidelines, each province within Canada has their own set of travel restrictions and requirements to protect residents from COVID-19. As protocols vary by each province, here is what travelers need to know about entry to each province to plan their next Atlantic Canada adventure.
Once the Canadian federal border opens on August 9, New Brunswick will welcome American travelers who have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is accepted by the Government of Canada. Further details can be found here.
Newfoundland & Labrador
Starting August 9, fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are permitted to enter Newfoundland & Labrador and are required to submit a travel form within 72 hours of their expected travel date and follow public health guidelines during their stay. Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to self-isolate or be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival to the province. More information can be found here.
Beginning August 9, American visitors who qualify as fully vaccinated travelers are required to apply for entry to Nova Scotia before arriving to the province. Fully vaccinated travelers are people who have gone two weeks (14 days) since a full course of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada. Travelers must also complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-In Form, along with proof of vaccination status for each adult traveler ages 18 or older. Further detailed travel information is available here. All travelers, vaccinated or not, must present a suitable quarantine plan in case quarantine is required.
Prince Edward Island
U.S. citizens and permanent residents in the United States, who are fully vaccinated with Canadian-authorized COVID-19 vaccines and are granted permission to enter Canada by the federal government on or after August 9, 2021, will also be eligible to apply for a PEI Pass, which verifies that they are fully vaccinated and can visit PEI without isolating. U.S. travelers will be tested upon entry to PEI. For more information, click here.
About Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT):
This project has been made possible through funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). ACAT is a nine-member pan-Atlantic initiative comprising the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Provincial Departments responsible for tourism.
For more information on the four provinces, visit these websites or follow on social media:
Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.
Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021.
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/
2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry. https://aquariustrail.com/
3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/
4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/
5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/
6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/
7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/
8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back! Bike New York and its city government partners announce that the popular ride will once again welcome bike lovers from across New York and around the country on its new date of Sunday, August 22, 2021.
“Preparations are underway for the 43rd edition of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re thrilled and so grateful that we can once again host our celebrated car-free ride this year—and what better time to announce it than during Bike Month.”
The event, which typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for cyclists, returns to a city energized by cycling thanks to the 2020 bike boom and an increased demand for Open Streets across the five boroughs.
“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” said New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”
“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic—especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs—it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Podziba remarked. “The Tour has been a landmark event for NYC for decades, and it’s a true highlight for international tourism. We hope our ride will continue to support the city we call home as we all strive to come back strong from these hardships.”
“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a safe and welcoming space to reconnect, to celebrate,” he added. “Bike New York is hard at work making the 2021 Tour into the joyful and safe day of community fun that cycling enthusiasts have treasured for nearly half a century.”
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a fundraising event for Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Proceeds from the ride fund public classes that reach over 25,000 children and adults each year, with special focus given to improving cycling access and resources to residents of neighborhoods historically overlooked in infrastructure improvements. In addition to free classes held at Community Bike Education Centers located in all five boroughs, Bike New York has introduced bike safety education programs into area middle schools, co-developed a job training and placement program for bike mechanics with Brooklyn’s One Community, and helped pilot a free bike rental system in Shirley Chisholm State Park.
Though the organization’s 2020 education and events calendar was suspended in response to the pandemic, Bike New York introduced virtual programming to inform new bike boom cyclists and keep seasoned members of the city’s cycling community engaged and connected. The 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour will support the return of Bike New York’s in-person classes while sustaining their online offerings, which reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide in 2020.
Details about the August 22 event, including registration information, total number of participants, and changes to the event format, will be released in the coming weeks. “With the safety and well-being of participants being our highest priority, we will continue working with our government partners to monitor the changing Covid-19 climate and will adapt the Tour to satisfy all requirements that may be in place at any given time until ride day,” Podziba confirmed.
Riders are advised to subscribe to Bike New York’s newsletter and social media for the latest updates about the 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour.
New York State is partnering with a tent camping service to provide 45 glamping sites at four State Parks in the Hudson Valley. Tentrr’s fully outfitted campsites are available to reserve at the Sebago and Silver Mine areas of Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland Counties; Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County; and Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County.
The service provides tents, sleeping accommodations and an array of equipment needed for camping at each site. All items are set up and ready to use upon arrival for added convenience and sites are maintained by Tentrr staff.
All locations include a 10-foot by 12-foot, canvas-walled tent atop a raised platform. Each site is outfitted with a queen-sized bed and memory foam mattress, a propane heating source, a solar-powered “sun” shower, a camp toilet, water container, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, grill, and a picnic table with storage and benches.
Guests have the option of single, double, and triple sites. Singles sleep up to six (two occupants in the main tent and four occupants in a provided pop-up tent). Double sites – or buddy sites – sleep up to 12 (two occupants in each of the two main tents and four occupants in each of the two provided pop-up tents) and triples can accommodate group camping.
“Camping at a State Park is an ideal way to explore the great outdoors with friends and family,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This partnership continues our work to create diverse and exciting destinations to attract visitors to New York’s great outdoors, enhance our tourism economy, and help people experience all that the State has to offer.”
“The partnership with Tentrr is an opportunity to reach new visitors and encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and be active,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “We look forward to kicking off this summer and connecting people with the Hudson Valley’s many outdoor offerings. Not everyone has the equipment or the knowledge to enjoy camping in a state park, and this partnership is a great way to introduce this classic outdoor experience to more New Yorkers.”
“As a New York City-based company, it is great to partner with our home state supporting its incredible park system across the region,” said Todd King, Vice President of Marketing at Tentrr. “Through Tentrr, we hope New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors alike will explore the incredible natural resources and parks the state has to offer. Tentrr makes it easy to find an amazing site to enjoy the state’s vast landscapes and inspiring scenery.”
New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said,”Camping is a terrific way to experience New York State’s great outdoors, and this new service will make it easier than ever to enjoy New York’s unparalleled State Parks. I LOVE NY looks forward to promoting the availability of these extensively outfitted sites as part of the wide variety of camping offerings available across the state to residents and visitors alike.”
While Tentrr’s sites are naturally socially distanced, Tentrr adheres to state guidelines for maintaining and sanitizing the sites. Tentrr will continue to keep sites clean and wiped down with high-grade sanitizers and encourages guests to follow recommended COVID requirements and protocols. For more details on Tentrr’s COVID-19 protocols, visit here.
The Tentrr partnership complements Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 100 initiative, which renews the historic commitment to investing and expanding the State Park system by committing at least $440 million over the next four years. This critical period of revitalization will culminate in the 2024 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the State Park Act, which first created our nation-leading State Park system in 1924 under Governor Al Smith. NY Parks 100 will continue crucial investments in park infrastructure while enhancing opportunities to reach the full range of New York State’s recreational and cultural offerings, including local parks and trails, regional flagship parks and historic sites, and vast wilderness parks. The initiative will focus on creating places to recreate locally, relieving overcrowded parks, welcoming new visitors, and protecting New York State’s environmental and historic legacy. This new plan will ensure people from all communities and across all ages and abilities can fully experience our outdoors, our culture, and our heritage.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram , Twitter or on the State Parks blog.
National Park concessionaire Delaware North launches online guide to make extraordinary outdoor adventures in America’s most iconic natural destinations more accessible for all
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Americans are dusting off their bucket lists ahead of summer travel season, and iconic natural destinations such as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks are high on their lists. ExploreBetter.com is an online lifestyle platform that can simplify travel planning and make extraordinary outdoor adventures more accessible to first-time and even experienced National Park and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Already, the national parks are among the most popular destinations being snapped up by travelers bursting to get out after a year of confinement. And just in time, the CDC has lifted masking and social distance requirements for those who are fully vaccinated; it is expected that the mask requirement will also been lifted for federal buildings and federal lands. At this writing, masks were still required on airplanes, trains, buses and at airports and ports.
ExploreBetter.com shares trip-planning destination insights, accommodations, activities and inspiration featuring Grand Canyon, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks as well as New York’s Niagara Falls State Park. In addition to crowd-pleasing activities such as guided tours and other sightseeing suggestions, ExploreBetter.com is also the place for inside tips on active adventures like rock climbing, fishing and stargazing as well as romantic, wellness-oriented and even pet-friendly activities.
With content curated by site publisher and long-time National Park concessionaire Delaware North, ExploreBetter.com draws on insider knowledge of the parks and surrounding regions. The site plans to include contributions from members of the Bay Area Travel Writers, one of the country’s oldest regional professional travel journalist organizations, in the near future.
“First-time visits to National Parks can be overwhelming, and even seasoned visitors need fresh ideas. We’re simplifying travel planning so first-time visitors can plan with confidence and experienced visitors can always find new and exciting reasons to return,” explained Andy Grinsfelder, vice president of sales and marketing for Delaware North’s parks and resorts division. “As partners in the stewardship of many of these iconic destinations, we want visitors to experience unforgettable moments and forge deeper connections, not just with one another, but with their surroundings.”
With 2020 National Park visitation down by roughly 90 million visitors due to pandemic travel restrictions, ExploreBetter.com is intended to help encourage and restore responsible and sustainable visitation to National Parks and other iconic destinations. An upswing in National Park visitation was seen in data collected by U.S. Travel beginning in the spring of 2021, which fits with research that shows Americans continue to desire leisure trips to outdoor locations that are safe, socially distant and allow them to relax, disconnect, spend time with family and have new experiences.
At the lodging properties it operates, Delaware North last year implemented its Rest Assured Commitment to Care comprehensive health and safety program, including re-engineered operating procedures to minimize contact risk and bolstered hygiene protocols aligned with guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Delaware North Parks and Resorts operates lodging, food, beverage and retail services, recreational activities, and educational programming at destinations in North America, Australia and New Zealand. This includes lodging in and near many iconic national and state parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Shenandoah, Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Olympic National Parks and Niagara Falls State Park, as well as at cultural attractions such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. To learn more about Delaware North’s hospitality management expertise, visit https://www.delawarenorth.com/divisions/parks.
HONOLULU– To highlight American Hotel & Lodging Association’s commitment to hosting guests in a safe and clean environment, the organization is partnering with states and elected officials to launch a series of “Safe Stay” events across the country to increase awareness among travelers about the industry’s health and safety protocols. An event in Hawaii on May 5 was the first in this series.
With projections showing Hawaii is expected to be in the top five states with the highest number of hotel job losses for 2021, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) president and CEO, Chip Rogers and Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green joined in the event on May 5 to underscore efforts to bring hotel employees back as hotels prepare for summer travel.
In Hawaii, the total projected job loss for the year amounts to an estimated 20,029 jobs. Industry analysts estimate that hotel employment is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023, and recovery for the industry is not projected until 2024.
When selecting a hotel, enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices continue to rank as a guests’ number two priority, just behind price. At the onset of the pandemic, the hotel industry launched “Safe Stay,” an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19. These industry-wide guidelines were designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees.
Further, nearly half of consumers view vaccine distribution as a key to travel. As more Americans are vaccinated, the hotel industry is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative.
With vaccinations and testing become more widespread, and infection and hospital rates declining, hotels are seeing an uptick in leisure travel, with 61% of Americans expected to travel for leisure this summer according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by AHLA.
But while leisure travel outlook continues to grow, the hotel industry is still hurting from this pandemic. Business travel is down 85% from pre-pandemic levels and is not expected to fully return until 2024. Unlike leisure travel, which can often be booked or changed at the last minute, meetings and events are scheduled months, if not years, in advance.
“Tourism is an important industry that brings thousands of jobs to Hawaii, supports the livelihood of many residents and provides resources for hospitals, schools and cultural and environmental stewardship,” saidLieutenant Governor Josh Green. “As we continue the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and maintain public health best practices, we are optimistic Hawaii can safely reopen for summer travel with the support of our hospitality industry.”
The event followed the introduction of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), which will provide targeted relief to the ailing hotel industry until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels. While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. In fact, hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid.
“While leisure travel will start returning this year as more and more people are vaccinated, business and group travel will take significantly longer to recover and is a major source of employment for the hotel industry. We remain optimistic, but the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long and we need support, especially in states like Hawaii. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will help support the hotel industry with targeted relief in order to stem permanent losses and keep hotel workers employed,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “As we begin to welcome back travelers, Safe Stay’s rigorous health and safety protocols, which were designed in accordance with CDC guidelines and reviewed by the CDC, will continue to help create peace of mind.”
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the main national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality was the first industry impacted and it will be among the last to recover. That is why AHLA is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative. With an enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees, hotels across America are ready to welcome back travelers when they are ready to travel. Learn more at www.ahla.com.