Posts Tagged ‘travelers’

Bradshaw Couple and South Dakota Woman Win Grand Prizes in Nebraska Passport Program

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Bradshaw Couple and South Dakota Woman

Win Grand Prizes in Nebraska Passport Program


OMAHA, NEB. (Oct. 20, 2011)—Craig and Sarah Eberle of Bradshaw, Neb., and Rhonda Tomlinson of Hot Springs, S.D., are grand-prize winners in the 2011 Nebraska Passport program. The Eberles and Tomlinson will receive an Apple® iPad™ valued at $800, in addition to prizes they earned while participating in the program, sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s (DED) Travel and Tourism Division.


Originally only one iPad™ was to be given away, but the overwhelming success of the program led the Division to extend the drawing to one Nebraska and one out-of-state entrant, according to Kathy McKillip, Travel and Tourism Division interim director. The program will continue in 2012.


The passport featured 33 attractions across the state and gave travelers the opportunity to win prizes while they explored Nebraska’s natural beauty and history.


Travelers’ souvenir passports were stamped at participating Nebraska attractions. They submitted tear-out sheets to Nebraska Tourism for prizes corresponding with the number of stamps obtained:

  • 11 stamps — Nebraska Passport T-shirt
  • 22 stamps — 25 GROW Nebraska gift card
  • 33 stamps — Bushnell binocular digital camera


For every 11 stamps submitted, participants received one entry into the grand-prize drawing. They also could submit a blog entry to for an extra entry in the drawing.


“Great for travelers and the state alike, this program helps travelers plan their vacations and encourages them to explore areas of Nebraska that may be unfamiliar to them,” McKillip said.


Overall, 308 travelers, including families, from 11 states submitted stamps for prizes and were entered into the grand-prize drawing. Of those entries, 75 went to all 33 participating stops and received all three prizes, 41 traveled to 22 or more stops, and 192 entries traveled to 11 or more stops.

Study shows U.S. travelers are pressed for time, eager to relax

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Study shows U.S. travelers are pressed for time, eager to relax

Peter YesawichPeter Yesawich, president and CEO of Ypartnership, talks to members of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association recently about trends in the travel industry. (Steven Graffham, Winter Park Photography / July 24, 2011
By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel7:54 a.m. CDT, July 25, 2011

The latest snapshot of U.S. travelers reveals them to be a stressed-out bunch who remain sensitive to price and continue to suffer from a syndrome known as “time poverty.”

That could prove to be a challenge for Central Florida’s tourism industry, but there is good news as well in the newest research by the Maitland travel research-and-marketing firm Ypartnership. For one thing, the number of people who say they are planning to take a leisure trip in the near future is rising, a sign that demand is returning.

When asked about their travel intentions, 61 percent of those surveyed said they planned to take a vacation by October, up from 56 percent at this time last year. About 14 percent of travelers said they plan to take at least one business trip during the same period, on par with a year ago.

“It’s pretty obvious that the destiny of the travel industry is listing toward leisure,” Peter Yesawich, the company’s chief executive officer, told hoteliers recently during a gathering of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association.

Yesawich drew his conclusions from two sets of data: the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American Travelers and a quarterly poll of traveler intentions.

When it comes to finances, travelers say they’re more concerned this year about just about everything: the cost of gas, the cost of airline tickets, the economy in general. More than a third say they’re using coupons more often, and 31 percent say they’re waiting for sales more frequently.

That reluctance to pay higher prices has manifested itself at Orlando hotels, where occupancy is rebounding more quickly than average room price. Hoteliers managed to raise rates 5.1 percent during the first half of the year, but average daily room rates in Orlando are expected to remain below their peaks in 2007 and 2008 through the end of next year, according to Smith Travel Research, which surveys the hospitality industry.

“We’re still seeing people looking for the best deal,” said Scott Tripoli, general manager of the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal. “A lot of shopping going on out there, a lot of third-party bookings.”

To lure price-sensitive travelers, some in the industry have turned to time-sensitive discounts — also known as flash sales — that encourage consumers to make quick decisions when booking.

A full 20 percent of leisure travelers said they have purchased a travel service through a flash-sale email, up from 14 percent last year, according to Ypartnership. Private sales and collective buying, on websites such as or via companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, are also catching on.

At the Mona Lisa Suite Hotel in Celebration, flash sales are a part of the marketing plan, used to drive demand during slower months such as August and September. The hotel recently offered a two-night stay in a suite, with complimentary breakfast, for $184.99 a person on‘s vacations website.

The short-term sales, generally good for a few hours to a few days, create a sense of urgency and are effective in helping consumers focus on a purchase decision, said Deborah Farish, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

“As long as you have a wonderful offer, something that is intriguing, something the consumer perceives as added value, … you can get great success,” she said. “If you put the flash up, you often see immediate results.”

While flash sales are gaining speed, Yesawich says the “long-form vacation” is losing ground. Pressed for time — something Yesawich terms “time poverty” — travelers are abandoning the weeklong escape and looking instead for close, quick getaways.

Orlando appears to be capitalizing already on that short-haul market: Last year, the destination drew more than half of its 38.3 million domestic visitors from within the Sunshine State, according to data from Visit Orlando, the area’s quasi-private tourism-marketing agency.

When they do arrive at their quick getaway, travelers want to be able to relax as soon as possible. That’s one reason the hotel spa is one of the hottest amenities in the industry, Yesawich said.

And with no time to spare, even during a vacation, consumers expect to have their expectations met.

“Tolerance for anything going wrong today is zero,” Yesawich said.

Bed and Breakfast Being Used for Movie Filming

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Bed and Breakfast Being Used for Movie Filming

5-Year Engagement, starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, is scheduled for release in 2012.

By Tran Longmoore | Email the author | May 13, 2011

Travelers along Macon Road were slowed Thursday as a crew descended on the Homestead Bed & Breakfast to film Five-Year Engagement.

The film, directed by Nicholas Stoller and written by Jason Segal and Stoller, stars Emily Blunt, Alison Brie and Segal.

Segal and Stoller teamed up for 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which grossed nearly $63 million in the U.S.

The 1851 brick farmhouse was surrounded by big trucks filled with gear. Officers from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office closed Macon Road down to one lane and directed traffic. Crew walked back and forth between white tents erected in the yard. Security guards ensured that autograph hounds  and star gazers were kept off the property.

A publicist for Universal Studios declined Patch’s request to visit the film set.

“Our cast and film-makers are not available for interviews at this time, but we appreciate your interest,” wrote Peggy Mulloy in an e-mail.

Reached by phone she said that there were more than 100 people working at the site.

“We’ve had a great time working in Saline. It’s a wonderful town,” she said.

Five-Year Engagement is the fourth major production filmed in the Saline area. Drew Barrymore’s Whip it and Rob Reiner’s Flipped were filmed, in part, in Saline. More recently, Cedar Rapids was filmed in Pittsfield Township and Saline. The film included a scene at the Rentschler Farm and a small role for Saline City Council Member David Rhoads.

According to the, 5-Year Engagement is a comedy that charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple’s relationship. It is scheduled for 2012 release.

10 Things Baby Boomers Want Hotels to Know

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

10 Things Baby Boomers Want Hotels to Know

Tips to make hotel stays more comfortable for a generation of guests.

Friday, May 06, 2011

David Porter

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to roam the cities of Europe for 30 days each year. This experience made a profound, and lasting impact on my life. I developed a love for travel, a child-like curiosity, and a passionate sense of wonder as I viewed beautiful landscapes, and diverse cultures.

Fast forward 30 years, and I now find that I have passed that adventurous spirit on to my wife Carol. During the last 20 years, as successful business owners, we always set aside time to explore the world, visit great museums, hike wonderful trails, dine in fabulous restaurants, unwind in the finest resorts and generally roam about with wide-eyed wonder.

We created the Roaming Boomers online travel magazine to provide our readers and subscribers with a well-worn path to exciting destinations, adventures and experiences. We roam, and our readers follow. We do all the scouring, planning, and heavy lifting so that others might simply experience vicariously and follow behind.

We’re excited about writing occasionally for Hotel Interactive because we are building relationships with thousands of baby boomer travelers, and we would love to be a bridge of communication between them and the hospitality industry.

Our first topic covers a quick list of things that baby boomers would like to communicate to the hotel industry that would make their stays more comfortable, and enjoyable. We compiled it from an informal poll through our social media channels.

In no particular order, hereʼs the list:

1. Electrical outlets. It seems that many hotels are stingy with their outlets. If you have a CPAP sleeping machine to plug in, or computers and batteries to recharge, this presents a challenge.

2. Massaging showerheads. Evidently someone has some sore muscles after a day of adventure.

3. Double sinks. We recently stayed in a hotel with only one sink. Rushing my bride out of the bathroom, so I can shave isnʼt received very well.

4. Makeup mirrors. My wife heartily agreed with this one.

5. Room dimmers/better lighting. Dimmers allow the guest can set the desired amount of light.

6. In-room coffeemakers. This one is a pet-peeve of mine. I donʼt like it when I am forced to the lobby with my hair askew, and my face unshaven. Further, I donʼt want to clean up before I have my morning coffee.

7. Charges for Internet service. There was an overwhelming cry on this topic. In particular, why do high-end hotels charge, when Motel 6 gives you Internet for free?

8. Comfortable furniture. Particularly with more modern decor, hotel design has taken precedence over comfort.

9. Make it special. Some guests feel that once the registration is done, there is no more communication by the hotel. A quick check to assure that everything is satisfactory is much appreciated.

10. Bring me back. This is business 101, but I canʼt recall a hotel ever sending me a thank-you note, with perhaps a promotion offering a discount for a return visit.

There you have it. The 10 things that press most upon the minds of your baby boomer guests. We hope youʼre listening.

Vacation Rentals – Friend or Foe? What do you think?

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

#On My Mind – Vacation Rentals – Friend or Foe?  What do you think?
By Jay Karen, PAII CEO
Anyone paying attention to the travel industry these days knows about the rise and success of the vacation rental as a popular lodging option.  Sites like VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey and others have skyrockted in popularity.  Many cities around the world are concerned with the increased use of houses, apartments, and condos as vacation rentals, possibly altering the culture of buildings and neighborhoods.  Everyone in our industry knows that HomeAway bought last year, so it brought the vacation rental question into the forefront for our industry.  But how are innkeepers supposed to see the vacation rental market?  Friend or foe?  Of course, it’s not so black and white.

Activities undertaken by the vacation rental industry and its major players may end up benefiting the B&B industry.  For two years now, HomeAway has run commercials during the Super Bowl promoting the hotel alternative.  Since B&Bs compete with hotels (and we do, for those who say we don’t compete with hotels), I like this advertising.  It gets people thinking about alternatives to what can be the “cookie-cutter” experience.  HomeAway received a big infusion of capital from Google Ventures not long ago, and they recently filed to become a publicly-traded company.  The escalating scale and scope of this company will hopefully mean more propaganda to get travelers moving in the direction away from hotels.

Popular vacation rental web sites also provide another distribution channel for innkeepers to market their rooms, cottages, or cabins.  Not all rental opportunities on these web sites are condos and entire houses – some property owners rent rooms as well.  Many innkeepers have months during which occupancy drops to single digits.  Vacation rental web sites may be a great place to experiment with renting the entire B&B out to groups for days or weeks at a time.  I know several innkeepers who are having great success renting rooms on sites like HomeAway.  Think about it this way – there could be some kind of corporate sales training or other group-type function happening near you, and people booking blocks of rooms may not be thinking “B&B” when doing their homework.  But I’ll bet many are looking at vacation rental web sites.

One thing in particular I like about the HomeAway purchase of is the possible cross-pollination of opportunities.  Maybe HomeAway will find a way to market B&Bs to their vacation rental customers.  Maybe there are technology or marketing ideas that are highly successful in the vacation rental world that will find their way to the B&B world.

But, I do have concerns about the rise of vacation rentals.  When I think about the Gen X and Gen Y traveler – heck, maybe all travelers – and their likes and dislikes, I cannot help but be concerned about vacation rentals.  More and more, travelers seem to want it “their way” and they want it to be fast and easy – everything from the search process to the booking process to the on-site experience.  Some of the top reasons people don’t stay at B&Bs are the real or perceived notions that they will be forced into social engagement with strangers (that includes the innkeepers), that they will have to deal with policies and procedures that make the experience difficult (and which exist to make the lives of innkeepers easier), and that they just don’t know what they’re going to get when they arrive.  Will it be quiet or noisy?  Will the food be good or bad?  Will the innkeepers be absent, perfectly present or intrusive?  Who knows, right?

With vacation rentals, people oftentimes get the benefit of having a nicely decorated and clean experience that rivals just about any typical hotel experience.  When I say nicely decorated, I mean that many are outfitted like upscale homes.  Most have kitchens or kitchenettes – some might even be stocked with rations.  Vacation rentals can feel like “home away from home,” which been the calling card of the B&B industry.  Most have free WiFi.  There is likely no concern from travelers that they will have to encounter anyone but the people they are traveling with, so no fears of socially-forced/socially-awkward possibilities.  They can come and go as they please without worrying about bothering other guests or the innkeepers (I’m in someone’s home, so I better be on my best behavior).  And, they can be found in just about any town or city where B&Bs can be found.

Of course, we know that the best of breed in the vacation rental market cannot compete with the best of breed in the B&B market.  A well-run B&B by a caring innkeeper, who has figured out the right recipe for taking care of all kinds of guests and their wishes provides something that no vacation rental can – the warmth of hospitality.  That’s not my concern, because I know that travelers who get the “B&B bug” after staying at one good B&B will come back and come back often.  What I am concerned about is being bypassed completely by travelers have never stayed at a B&B, who get the” vacation rental bug” after a good experience, and who harbor the prejudicial stereotypes that the average traveler harbors about B&Bs.  Why risk staying at a B&B, where the experience could go either way?  Why not stay at a vacation rental where there is a good chance the experience will likely be what you expect?

Maybe this is another reason why we need the Better Way to Stay campaign more than ever.  Maybe the hotel market is not what we should be worried about.  Friend or foe?  If you’re not using what that industry has to offer innkeepers, then they’re only a foe.  If you are using what they have to offer, then they could be more friend than foe.  What do you think?


Dr. Peter Tarlow’s “Tourism Tidbits”

Friday, April 1st, 2011
Two Guest Authors

April 2011

Editors note: Tourism Tidbits tries to provide differing viewpoints and ideas. As such this month we offer two articles by guest authors, one on fire safety by Dr. Richard Feenstra and one on tourism and ecology by Max Habestrom.  Please note that the ideas expressed in these articles are purely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Tourism Tidbits or Tourism & More, Inc.


By Dr. Richard Feenstra

Putting on a successful event takes a lot of work and coordination. One area often over looked is the need to work closely with the local fire department. For example, in many US locales when an event exceeds 300 people a permit for temporary assembly is required. Cooking, fireworks, even the simple use of candles may require an event planner to apply for a permit.

One only has to look at the most recent US Football Super Bowl to see event planning gone awry. Over 400 fans traveled great distances, excited to see the Super Bowl, just to find out the event planners had failed to coordinate with the Arlington Fire Department and therefore did not have seats. Issues with fire departments shutting down events are more common than expected. In 2010, the Los Angeles (California)  Fire Department shut down L.A. Production Studios hosting fashion week,  The Tampa (Florida) Fire Department shut down a haunted house, and the Santa Barbara (California) Fire Department shut down a number of down town wineries from hosting any events with occupancies over 50 guests.

To avoid potential mishaps with the fire department Tourism Tidbits offers the following to help with any challenges along the way:

– Submit your request for authorization early. How quickly a fire department can process a permit varies, so call and ask. Double the amount of time they give you and triple the amount if you hire a 3rd party to file the permit for you.  Even if the fire department says it will only take a couple of days, four weeks prior to any event is the minimum amount recommended. When revisions are requested, this extra time will help ensure success.

– Conduct your own inspection before the fire inspector arrives. While you may not be aware of exactly when the inspector is going to arrive, it is a good idea to walk through the event and check to make sure fire extinguishers are charged and have inspection tags, exits are not locked or blocked, exit signs are properly lit, there are no trip hazards, or any other obvious safety concerns exist.

– Seek a fire inspector you like. While fire codes are written in “black and white”, the way each city and each inspector interprets the codes will be slightly different. While one inspector focuses on keeping exits clear another may focus on the location of fire extinguishers. When you find an inspector you like, establish a relationship and request they work on your event. Done correctly, an inspector will pick up your call and help even when not assigned to your event.

– Get agreements in writing. If an inspector shows up at your event and requires or allows any changes, work with the inspector to get the changes documented. Regardless if the change is or is not in your favor, the better documented the more useful it will be for planning future events or for dealing with a new inspector.

– Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. If you really do not agree or find the inspector unreasonable, don’t be afraid to make a formal appeal or request to speak with a supervisor. The best approach is to remain calm and explain how the requirement the inspector is trying to enforce will impact your event and then ask the inspector to provide you with the appropriate appeals process so you can work together towards an equitable solution.

– Ask for a reasonable abatement date.
Given the nature of temporary events, sometimes an inspector will ask for a code violation to be abated immediately even though realistically it cannot be accomplished. The same violation noted in a permanent facility will often be given several days or even a few weeks to comply, but because an event is temporary the inspector may try to use the forthcoming assembly permit as leverage to immediately abate the problem.

– Be creative, there is almost always a way to get the fire department to say “Yes”. Within the code there is an option called Alternate Materials & Methods, sometimes known as Alternate Means & Methods. When told no, ask about what alternates are available. Can you use a fire watch, what about placing an engine on standby? Fire Protection Engineers can be used to craft alternatives to the code.

A Convenient Truth for Tourism
“Sustainable/Responsible Tourism and Renewable Energy for Peace”
by: Max Haberstroh

There is a documentary movie stirring up people’s minds (and hearts): The Fourth Revolution – Energy Autonomy (, produced by Carl-A. Fechner. The documentary responds to Al Gore’s blockbuster The Inconvenient Truth with a visionary ‘convenient truth’: Within thirty years from now, solar, wind, or biogas-powered transport will be real.

The basic idea of linking sustainable/responsible tourism with renewable energy is that ‘renewables’ have already been a global issue for a long time, with growing intensiveness ever since many scientists have become sensitized over the man-made impact on climate change. Instead of rehashing the technical advantages of system updates in coded messages, why not state that: “everyone can be an unlimited clean energy producer”?

It is time for the tourism industry to reflect on our own indifference towards the collateral damage caused by a civilization whose negative impact has become disproportionate to the desired conditions of many. Using and boosting renewable energy instead of fossil fuels would not demand ceding one slice from our usual comfort. On the contrary, it would improve it and profitability of businesses as well. However, using renewable energy is less dependent on a generally acknowledged rationale, but rather on an amalgam of consumer, company, and governmental long-heeded habits, combined with the well woven networks of conventional energy supplier and traditional financial players to keep wielding their overwhelming lobbying power with political decision makers.

Energy means power, and tourism means freedom. These are higher values added to mere functions like providing ‘electric power’ and offering ‘transport/accommodation/recreation’. It is up to us to extrapolate ‘renewable energy’ and ‘sustainable/responsible tourism’ to a ‘lifestyle’, keeping in balance the very sense of development of social wellbeing, economic progress and ecological sustainability.

Fossil energy has started to show its limitations, whereas renewable energy is practically unlimited. Biological systems are energy systems, after all, and invisible energetic conditions create and form visible and tangible conditions, as evolutionary research tells us. Hence, like fresh air, sunshine, and spring water, energy is originally a gift – renewable and accessible for everyone. Today, the heart of the matter is no longer technology, it is up to the political will to turn the magic of ‘tapping the sun’ into reality – it’s pioneering decision-makers awareness of butterflys flapping their wings.

An unrenounceable ingredient to wonderful holidays, the sun has become the ‘face of tourism’ on catalogues and advertisements. Providing the basic impulse for any kind of movement and life, the sun is the ‘face of energy’, a symbol of freedom, happiness, wealth, success, beauty, restart or unification. Why not catch the spirit, making The Sun, shown in so many national flags and coats of arms, the new symbol of an emerging Solar Age, the interface of Renewable Energy and clean global Travel and Tourism’?

In developing countries, especially, and other regions that depend largely on Travel and Tourism, the immense damage caused by tourism, due to high water and energy consumption, plays an elementary part. In their capitals, sometimes only a few major hotels account for most of total energy (and water) consumption. Mega hotels are energy eaters – almost like a small town under one roof.

People say that travellers won’t worry about their hotel’s energy source.
To be sure they will once it has become usual that hotel heating, cooling, illumination are constantly available, clean and free of charge.  This is contrary to some current experiences with scores of power cuts per day in so-called ‘holiday paradises’.  Once it is common practice that visitors are no longer exposed to the night-and-day sound of diesel-propelled power engines, spoiling the otherwise highly appreciated natural holiday ambience, whether in the shelter of an alpine cottage in the majestic Tien Shan mountains or in a rainforest lodge on the shores of the mighty Amazon river.

Sharing the spirit of the natural system in times of global complexity, renewable energy and sustainable/responsible tourism are nothing less than natural allies. We will decide what should prevail – the Authentic, the Beautiful, the Valuable – or mere mediocrity, hypocrisy, fallacy. The fossil-energy consumer or the renewable-energy user, the indifferent tourist or the responsible traveller, paradise lost, or Planet Earth regained? The options are more quantity, or better quality.

Attract More Travelers and Bookings in 5 Easy Ways

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Attract more travelers – and bookings – in 5 easy ways:
1. Post ANY special offer. It’s better to display even a small deal than nothing at all, in order to capitalize on the increased exposure.
2. Showcase low occupancy periods. It’s a perfect way to increase bookings with lower rates during off-peak seasons.
3. Change your offer. You can post alternative deals as often as you wish to determine the most effective tactics.
4. Track conversions. Telephone, email and web tracking are all easy to set up and will help pinpoint which channel your guests prefer.
5. Go direct. Don’t lose bookings by making customers hunt for your booking engine – send them straight to it.

Gov. Heineman Declares May 8 – 16 as ‘See Nebraska Week’

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today kicked-off ‘See Nebraska Week,’ which runs from May 8 to 16 and encourages Nebraskans and other travelers to learn more about vacation options in Nebraska. Several new tourism campaigns were developed this year to promote opportunities for summer travel across the state.

“We want to encourage more Nebraskans and their families to take advantage of travel opportunities throughout the state,” Gov. Heineman said. “Visiting a site along one of our nine scenic byways or exploring our state’s history on a road trip will lend the traveler not just an off-the-beaten-path experience, but a summer full of memories.”

Travelers in Nebraska spent more than $3.7 billion in Nebraska on overnight trips in 2009, and annual spending in the state has increased by more than $2 billion since 1990. Nebraska’s tourism industry provides more than 42,000 jobs and is the third leading industry in the state.

The Nebraska Byways Passport program highlights the many destinations along the state’s scenic byways. Travelers are encouraged to pick up a souvenir passport at one of 27 participating locations along Nebraska’s nine scenic byways and collect stamps from each location visited for a chance to win a prize.

The Division of Travel and Tourism has also created a program encouraging young people to help plan their family vacation. The History Along Nebraska’s Byways program supplements the Nebraska history curriculum offered to fourth graders and will be distributed to 1,140 schools across the state. Designed with the help of educators, the materials include a Nebraska map with icons for various historical locations across the state, a Nebraska byway history video and classroom activities including crafts, worksheets, interactive games, and field trip activities. Subjects include state symbols, American Indians, map reading, explorers, pioneers, forts and military bases, among other topics. More information is available online at

The division is also offering a new RVNebraska brochure with information to make the most of a trip along Nebraska’s scenic byways, including details on campgrounds along byway routes and top attractions.

Nebraska remains one of the most cost-effective destinations in the nation for travelers. AAA consistently names Nebraska one of the top five most affordable vacation destinations in the United States, with average daily vacation costs for a family of four well below the national average.

Richard Baier, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, said, “Nebraska offers travelers great value and great attractions. After a long winter, this summer is a good time to get out and see a new part of the state.”

Travelers can find interactive maps, road trip ideas, trip planners and more online at

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