Its time to take note of notable events that didnt quite make it to Page 1, but nevertheless deserve a brief pause.

" Topping this list is the imminent arrival in the U.S. of Genesis, a reservations and remittance alternative for agents that has been in development for a decade. That may seem like a long time, given that a thousand dot-coms have come and gone since Genesis was conceived. But more than most start-ups, Genesis owes its existence to the persistence of one man, Bruce Bishins, whose pursuit of his goal in spite of numerous hurdles and setbacks has sometimes seemed to border on the quixotic.

Finally he has proved the naysayers wrong. Genesis exists. We hope his product gets a fair test in the marketplace. After 10 years, he deserves it. 

" A decade is a long time in the world of technology, and its also a long time on Montserrat. It was in 1995 that the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat started acting up. A mountain of ash buried much of the island, destroying the capital city of Plymouth. The airport was wiped out in 1997, taking the island off the tourist circuit for all but the most hardy adventurers. But a new airport opens next month and promises to put some life back into the struggling islands economy.

" The U.S.-China air travel market will get a long-overdue shot in the arm soon, now that the Department of Transportation has added more airlines to the mix. Continental was recently authorized to begin Newark-Beijing service this year, and American will launch Chicago-Shanghai service in about a year. The U.S.-China market has been off limits to all U.S. passenger carriers except United and Northwest since 1986. Way too long.

" Closer to home, United is returning to Chicagos Midway Airport, offering new service on Ted, its low-fare subsidiary. Uniteds energies in its hometown in recent years have been devoted exclusively to developing and defending the OHare hub. For a long time it could ignore Midway. But apparently, not any more.

See America Week

In a month, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) will get into high gear promoting the 22nd annual National Tourism Week, but this years event will have an added dimension because of a new name: See America Week.

Meaning no disrespect to our international partners, this is a nice change. The new name suggests that people should go out and actually do something -- see America. It also puts some distance between National Tourism Week and National Onion Week, National Fingernail Week, and all the other commemorative weeks that find their way on to the calendar.

And, as the TIA points out, the new name leverages the See America brand that is increasingly finding its way into promotional messages at home and overseas.

If you dont know much about See America Week, you should at least know this: Its May 7 to 15. To learn more, or to download a toolkit to help your company participate, log on to www.tia.org.

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