Sep 14, 2021
While the pandemic may have sidelined events at convention centers and other venues for a while, several made great use of the downtime to continue constructing new venues or expanding existing facilities. Check out five of the most notable new developments in 2021. Oklahoma City Convention Center Oklahoma City significantly elevated its capacity for hosting meetings, conventions, tradeshows and other events with the opening of the $288 million Oklahoma City Convention Center and adjacent 605-room Omni Oklahoma City headquarters hotel early this year. “The new venues and infrastructure… more
Aug 31, 2021
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., has become the first facility of its kind to receive GBAC STAR Facility Re-accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. The OCCC was one of the first convention centers to receive initial GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation when the program was launched in 2020, and the re-accreditation comes following one year of successfully hosting events amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our GBAC STAR re-accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery is… more
Aug 19, 2021
To help promote racial equity and overcome underrepresentation in its local travel and tourism industry, Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission are partnering with Tourism Diversity Matters, a tourism and events industry resource for diversity expertise, to launch the Diversity Apprenticeship Program (DAP). Designed to help close the significant racial equity gap in the Central Ohio hospitality community, the new apprenticeship program will provide hands-on experience and job opportunities to local students, recent graduates and professionals who identify as BIPOC (… more
Aug 13, 2021
The global hospitality industry continues readying itself for better times ahead with an array of new builds, remodels and expansion projects aimed to lure meeting and event groups through their doors. Take a look: New Properties   The Industrial Hotel     Marriott’s Autograph Collection recently opened its second Pittsburgh property, The Industrial Hotel. Housed within the historic James Arrott building in the city’s Central Business District, the new 18-story hotel features 124 rooms, including 28 suites, a second-floor lobby lounge serving Pittsburgh-style craft cocktails, meeting… more
Aug 11, 2021
Destinations International, the world’s largest and only association dedicated to destination organizations, CVBs and tourism boards, has released its 2021 DestinationNEXT Futures Study, an updated study of key trends and strategies that will help thousands of destination organizations around the world stay thriving and relevant. Built on the learnings from the 2014, 2017 and 2019 Futures Studies, the 2021 Futures Study identifies travel and tourism trends while taking a deep dive into the major opportunities for destination marketing and management leaders, thus providing a critical roadmap… more
Summit One Vanderbilt
Aug 02, 2021
New York City has opened its arms to the world again, ready to host groups with an impressive lineup of recently opened or soon-to-open venues.  “It’s time to return to New York,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Co., the city’s official destination marketing organization and CVB, pointing to the increasingly vibrant atmosphere prevailing throughout the city. “As we all emerge from the pandemic, keeping an eye on the Delta variant, of course, our venues are prepared with the right safety protocols, and there's so much that has happened over the last year in terms of new… more
Jul 20, 2021
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, N.C., is gearing up to complete a $250 million expansion this fall. The four-year project, which broke ground in June 2018, includes a new 725-room hotel tower, an 83,000-square-foot convention center and new food and beverage offerings, among additional amenities. “We are thrilled to see this project come to completion and to be able to offer our guests new amenities and offerings,” said Brooks Robinson, regional senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos. “This expansion has been an integral component to our property… more
Jul 19, 2021
One of the many effects of the pandemic was the movement of many city residents to nearby suburbs. The same reasons for the mini-exodus, namely cost and convenience, could also lead more events to make similar leaps. If any region is capable of a shift in event locations, it’s the surrounding areas outside the nation’s capital. Beyond being home to the federal government, Washington, D.C., and its neighboring counties are the hub of many national associations. Marriott International makes its home in nearby Bethesda, Maryland (where its new headquarters will also be located) and Hilton’s… more
Jul 16, 2021
After a successful innovation festival in 2018, all systems were a go for a sequel in 2020. Well, it goes without saying those plans were delayed. Surely by April 2021, the show would go on. COVID-19 wasn’t consulted, but fortunately, the folks at Visit Flanders were. Rather than canceling the And& Festival in Leuven, show organizers worked with the tourism bureau to develop a platform for our times.  And thus, a successful virtual event with some on-site activations showcasing Flanders and Belgium as a destination was born. The model, born out of necessity, proved to be a forward-… more
Jul 15, 2021
Donald Contursi, president of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, says corporate groups never lost their appetite for eating out. Now that COVID restrictions are being lifted nationwide, he expects business to be booming soon. After guiding 250 hosted buyers attending MPI’s World Education Congress around local eateries in Las Vegas, the prediction looks good. “There's nothing that can come between breaking bread and bonding over food and drink,” Contursi said. While Contursi has plenty of options at his disposal in Las Vegas, planners elsewhere can create evenings to remember at these fine dining… more