U.S. ranked #1 in national brand survey
A halo effect from the 2008 national election and a shift in the political climate were two reasons an international public relations consultant says the U.S. landed on top of the FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index, which was announced this month.
The survey of 3,000 international leisure and business travelers is in its fifth year, and the 2009 study marked the first time the U.S. topped the list. Canada was second, and Australia was third. Despite the overall score, it was in the bottom half of nations for “ease of travel” to and within the country.
What percentage of Americans say they will take a leisure trip between Thanksgiving and next March?
- 25 percent
- 45 percent
- 55 percent
Got stress? Maybe you live in one of these cities
If you have a relaxing destination you want to promote, you’ll find lots of stressed-out prospects in Chicago, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego.
That’s what the relaxation-conscious folks at Princess Cruises report after a national research study. At the other end of the spectrum are the laid-back folks in Miami, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Dallas/Fort Worth. According to Princess, only about 25 percent of Americans feel they have achieved an appropriate balance of work and personal priorities.
It's cheaper to fly on 'unlucky' days
Looking to save money on a flight and aren't superstitious? You may consider flying on Friday the 13th or Sept. 11.
An analysis by Kayak.com, a travel search engine, found that a drop in airline demand on these particular days has led to prices that are 14 percent lower than the average flight. Put another way: you can save money because people are terrified to fly on those "unlucky" dates.
The prices for flying on Halloween were also reduced but only by an average of 5 percent, according to an LA Times article.
Almost certainly you’ve read about Royal Caribbean’s newest toy, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas. Beyond all the amazing statistics about the gigantic ships lies one question: Just where do they park the darn thing?
The $75 million answer is
AROUND THE SOUTHEAST U.S.
A 469-mile-long anniversary party
What’s 469 miles long, touches 29 counties in two states, rises in elevation from 649 feet to 6,047 feet and is about to start celebrating its 75th anniversary?
It’s the Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The party started earlier this month in Cherokee and Asheville, N.C., and ends Sept. 11, 2010, at Cumberland Knob, N.C., where construction began in 1935.
The parkway, an All-American Road as designated by the National Scenic By-ways Commission, attracts 17 million nature-loving, view-admiring travelers to the ridge tops of the Southern Appalachians. Anniversary details reside at BlueRidgeParkway75.org.
Elsewhere on the blacktop, three Tennessee roadways have received National Scenic Byway status. They are the East Tennessee Crossing, the Great River Road along the Mississippi River and Woodlands Trace between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in west Tennessee.
They’re leaving the holiday lights on for you
HotelsCombined.com, which describes itself as the world’s largest online rate aggregator (200,000 hotels in 195 countries) obviously wants people to travel. Perhaps that’s why the outfit compiled its list of Top 10 Tree and Christmas Light Shows. Seven of the selections are in the Southeast.
- Silver Dollar City “An Old Time Christmas” in Branson, Mo.
- Oglebay Resort Festival of Lights in Wheeling, W.Va.
- Callaway Gardens “Fantasy in Lights” in Pine Mountain, Ga.
- Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Tenn.
- Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas.
- Magical Nights of Lights in Lake Lanier, Ga.
- Holiday Festival of Lights in Charleston, S.C.
- Enchanted Garden of Lights in Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Southern Lights in Lexington, Ky.
- Mission Inn Festival of Lights in Riverside, Calif.