Culture

Cultural, Heritage and Shopping Tourism – One Travel Conference

Just back from ONE Travel Conference in Orlando, which was geared to cultural, heritage and shopping tourism. Kudos to conference producers, Rosemary McCormick and Sheila Armstrong, for a fun, well run and informative conference. We tweeted some intelligence, interesting facts and figures, and social media tips, but in case you missed it, here’s a roundup:

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Marketing in 2012: Differentiation by lifestyle immersion

Hotels will need to ratchet up offerings that entertain, educate and transform for special interest groups. Some of the more original offerings include The Dorchester’s Niemierko Wedding Academy for those aspiring to a career in wedding planning. Because the décor by famed designer Dorothy Draper is so much a part of The Greenbrier’s identity, those keen on interior design can enroll in its new Dorothy Draper School of Decorating. We’ve created a Mommy Bloggers Camp at Mexican client Velas Vallarta, a mini-conference/ getaway for professional and aspiring parent bloggers to learn and get professional blogging tips and advice from expert speakers.

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The democratization of high culture

In our last newsletter, we wrote about cultural organizations making their performances more accessible to the public, notably the Metropolitan Opera and Miami’s New World Symphony, which are leading the way. As a postscript, the New York Times just reported that the Met’s donations hit $182 million in the last fiscal year, an all time high and 50% more than the prior year.

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Today’s travelers are experience junkies

To meet the ever-changing travel desires of consumers with new experiences, we’re seeing ever-fracturing niches in travel So far we’ve seen the likes of religious tourism, beekeeping tourism, graffiti tourism, danger tourism, and grief tourism.

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Middle East tourism dispatches

Did you see me on TV at the demonstrations in Damascus? There I was with thousands, part of history in the making, at the plaza in front of the central bank with its huge poster of Bashir. Everyone was chanting God, Syria and Bashir. What a day!

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Middle East tourism dispatches

I’m currently on a World Affairs Council trip to Jordan, followed by a private tour of Syria and Istanbul, Turkey. The timing could not be more interesting…a new name for a Middle Eastern trip? Emerging democracies tour!

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Reach Out and Touch Someone 2.0

‘60s visionary, Marshall McLuhan spoke of “high tech, high touch.” He predicted a search for meaning, a yearning for community, and a desire for deeper relationships to balance rapid technological change. We see this all around us today. Whether due to our global society, recession, unemployment, telecommuting, today’s 24/7 digital work life, or maybe even that infamous 50% divorce rate, all these forces combine to create a renewed desire to reconnect and share. Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Match and its endless dating permutations facilitate just that. Via these social media, friends and strangers alike share information, experiences and bond around common interests like never before.

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Digital art sales enhance luxury ecommerce

Entrepreneurs are betting that the market is ready for seven figure online art sales as the art market is once again heating up. This weekend, the VIP Art Fair will debut – it’s an online only event with works from icons such as Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, and Damien Hirst.

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From blogs to books

Since roughly 2005, publishers have been looking to social media for new talent and new material to buoy book production, bridging the gap between computer screen and coffee table. There’s a world of difference between being a blogger and a book author, but more writers are wearing both hats these days. It’s not surprising that pro writers are becoming bloggers, but “amateur” bloggers getting book deals. According to statistics by R.R. Bowker, A staggering 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers. The number of “nontraditional” titles dwarfed that of traditional books whose output slipped to 288,355 last year from 289,729 in 2008. Taken together, total book output in 2009 rose 87% to over 1 million books.

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The World’s Happiest Countries

Wondering why you may not be as happy as you’d like? A glance at your passport might give at least one clue. A recent Gallup poll ranked 155 countries on their inhabitants’ well-being, based on in-person and phone surveys. By and large, rich countries are happier — and that’s no coincidence.

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