TRANSGLOBAL VACATIONS, a Mark Travel company,
introduced two summer products out of Minneapolis/St. Paul. The
first is a charter program to Orlando using Transmeridien Airlines.
The second is a separate tour series to Fort Myers using scheduled
Delta flights. The Orlando charters begin on June 19 and continue
every Wednesday through Aug. 7, with three-night rates starting at
$290 per person, double. The Fort Myers plan operates Mondays July
1 to Aug. 19, with three-night rates starting at $535 per person,
double. For information, call (800) 338-2160.
IN DAYTONA BEACH, group overrides are available
from both Speed Park Motorsports and the Ocean Walk Resort. Speed
Park, an attraction, offers go-kart and dragster rides; it pays 40%
commissions on retail price bookings for groups of 10 or more.
Tickets cost $6.01 plus tax for go-karts and $19.72 plus tax for
Nitro Alley Dragsters. For information, call (386) 253-FAST; or
check the Web site www.volusiaweb.com/speedpark. Ocean Walk Resort
meanwhile pays 20% on group business through 2002. For information,
call (386) 238-8744 or check the Web site www.oceanwalkresort.com.
KEEPING THE KICKER: Universal Studios
Vacations, Orlando, extended its 1% bonus commission policy through
June 30 on electronic bookings made through its Web site, www.universalstudiosvacations.com, VAX Vacation Access
or the GDS, using code UNI. In other news, Universal Orlando,
parent of the tour firm, will be closing two rides at its Universal
Studios theme park to make room for two new adventures. Closing
will be the Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera, which will be
succeeded in spring 2003 by The Jimmy Neutron Adventure, which
stems from the animated movie "Jimmy Neutron Adventure: Boy
Genius." In addition, the attraction Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of
Making Movies, will be closing to be replaced in summer 2003 by a
10-minute show based on the animated movie "Shrek."
THE GROWING TREND of adolescent obesity and the
need for more interactive family vacations, drew the attention of
the Eden Roc Renaissance Resort & Spa, Miami Beach, which added
a Family Fitness Camp this summer. New is a two-night Family
Fitness package priced at $529 for four persons plus tax and tips.
For information, call (800) 468-3571, or check the Web site www.edenrocresort.com.
VISIT FLORIDA'S preliminary estimates for
first-quarter 2002 indicate that 18 million visitors arrived in the
state -- a decrease of 4.5% vs. the same period in 2001, but a
significant improvement over the 19% decline in arrivals in
fourth-quarter 2001. "Although some sectors continue to post
losses, the pace of loss has slowed drastically and we expect this
positive trend to continue, barring any further shocks to the
system," Barry Pitegoff, Visit Florida's vice president of
THE SEMINOLE COUNTY COMMISSION is planning a
63,000-square-foot conference center, possibly located downtown
overlooking Lake Monroe. However, the commission is awaiting advice
from the county's Tourist Development Council before proceeding, as
the construction of the center might be financed by boosting the
tourism tax that funds the council's efforts. It would increase one
percentage point to 4%. Once the conference center is agreed upon,
the city of Sanford will be seeking an operator for an anchor
hotel. Sanford, just north of Orlando, is the southern terminus of
the Auto-Train. Orlando-Sanford Airport, meanwhile, is thriving
from both domestic scheduled flights and European charters.
GOV. JEB BUSH and local travel interests voiced
their opposition to a security-oriented Immigration and
Naturalization Service proposal that would limit tourist visas to a
maximum of 30 days, with the option of extending the stay for valid
reasons. At present, six months is the maximum stay. Among the
opponents is the Orlando-Orange County Convention & Visitors
Bureau. If implemented, the 30-day visa would benefit Spain --
Florida's chief competitor for long-stay U.K. visitors -- and other
PENCIL IT IN
• The 35th annual Governor's Conference on Tourism is set for Aug.
11 to 13 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center,
Kissimmee. The conference room rate is $139 per night plus a $10
resort fee, applicable three days before the conference and three
days after. Bookings at this rate must be received by July 5. The
hotel can be reached at (407) 586-2000; fax, (407) 586-2199.
Registration to attend the conference is additional. Call (850)
488-5607, Ext. 322.
• The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) will
hold its Seventh World Congress Jan. 15 to 19 at the Miami Airport
Hilton. Registration to attend is $125 if prepaid by June 30. For
information, call (800) 513-1126; or e-mail [email protected].
• ASTA's Northern Regional Conference in 2003 will be held at the
Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando from May 1 to 4. The
Loews property opens in June.
THE FOOD & WINE Appreciation Weekend is set
for the Boca Raton (Fla.) Resort & Club July 12 to 14, with
guest chefs from New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Fort Myers
on hand, along with 80 winemakers. A two-night related package
starting at $495 per person, double, is available, with 10% pay.
For information, call the property, (888) 495-BOCA or check the Web
THE GRAND OPENING for the National Armed
Services & Law Enforcement Memorial Museum at 500 Douglas Ave.,
Dunedin, occurred Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for
students ages 7 and older. For military, senior citizen and school
groups, the admission is $1. Other group discounts for 20 or more
are available. For information, call (727) 734-0700.
THE HOLIDAY INN Express Hotel & Suites-Palm
Coast opened Monday in Palm Coast, just north of Daytona Beach. The
81-room inn is owned and managed by Silver Lining Ventures and is
near Flagler Beach and golf courses. It has a lounge, pool,
business center and a meeting room for 40. Its 15 suites have a
microwave, refrigerator, TV, two phones and a sofa bed. Included in
the rates is a breakfast bar. The address is 200 Flagler Plaza Dr.;
phone (386) 439-3939; or check the Web site, www.hiexpress.com.
HOT STONE MASSAGE is the latest service offered
by the Suncoast Fitness Center at the 390-room Sheraton Sand Key
Resort, Clearwater Beach. Visitors have their choice of 60- or
90-minute sessions whereby smooth, heated mineral stones are
applied to different areas of the body with long, flowing strokes.
Increased circulation is one of the proclaimed benefits. The cost
for 60 minutes is $90; for 90 minutes, $115. Commissionable
packages can be negotiated with the hotel's sales office, (727)
595-1611. The hotel's Web site is at www.sheratonsandkey.com.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES, as part of its summer
schedule, will operate one Saturday flight in each direction
between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Fort Myers, June 8 through Sept.
2. An Airbus A319 with 124 seats will be used on the route.