ASTA delegates to be feted with music, dining, shows

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NEW YORK -- A dine-around program, Las Vegas entertainment and a concert for the millennium are highlights of the century's last ASTA World Travel Congress, being staged in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 7 to 12.

The Jamaica Tourist Board and Air Jamaica once again will sponsor coffee breaks and continental breakfasts at the convention center.

The conference kicks off with the annual Travel and Tourism Awards on Nov. 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show will feature singer Peabo Bryson. Chapter Kick-Off Dinners will be held at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are required.

The opening gala, courtesy of Strasbourg, will be held Nov 8 at 7:30 p.m. Instead of the usual large sit-down reception, delegates will attend more intimate dinners at about 40 restaurants throughout the city.

An ASTA spokesman said the dine-around program was designed to give delegates a better feel for the region's cuisine.

Travel Insured International is sponsoring a Fun Run/Fun Walk at 7 a.m. on Nov. 9. The event will be held in a public park in downtown Strasbourg. It is open to all delegates. Travel Insured is pledging $1 to the ASTA scholarship fund for every participant. The run is about three miles, and the walk about 1.5 miles.

Israel will host a reception and concert on Nov. 10 that is open to all delegates. There will be 62 entertainers from Israel, and the emcee for the evening will be Pat Boone, who is considered Israel's "tourism ambassador to the U.S."

A classical pianist from Nazareth; a child soprano and a tenor from the cast of "Les Miserables" in Tel Aviv, and a dance troupe will perform. The concert is set for 8:30 p.m. at the 2,000-seat Erasmus Auditorium.

Following the concert is an evening of music and dancing, courtesy of Continental Airlines. Continental plans to lasso in delegates with a good old-fashioned hoedown at the convention center. The evening will be held in conjunction with the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Texas Tourist Board.

The final banquet, sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, will take place on Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Manhattan Transfer will provide the entertainment for delegates.

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