Category Archives: Travel & Tourism Industry

Hotel Industry, Most Hurt by Coronavirus Pandemic, Looks to Help with ‘Hospitality for Hope’

San Francisco, California hotels are among the 15,000 to sign up for American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) “Hospitality for Hope,” providing temporary housing for emergency and healthcare workers as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows. Over 1,300 California hotels have signed on. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The hotel industry has been the most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but is also an industry in position to be a crucial help to break the logjam between the public health emergency and the economic devastation. As the focus shifts to the dire need to test, trace and then isolate people who are positive for COVID-19, the empty hotels, facing bankruptcy, can be used to house both front line workers including health care workers who now have the daily anxiety of passing the virus to their loved ones, and the people who need to be separated from their own families.

The incidence of the disease has already shown to be disproportionate among communities of color, immigrant communities and low-income neighborhoods where people are likely to be crammed into close quarters, unable to be quarantined.

Similarly, the out-of-work restaurant and hotel workers could be hired as tracers; indeed, the call-centers used for hotel reservations companies hired to do the tracing.

The travel industry can also be put into a wartime footing to solve many of the other problems: farmers destroying their produce because they don’t have the commercial markets of hotels, restaurants and schools? Well, rather than throw bailout billions to farmers (already facing 8 percent bankruptcies because of Trump’s tariff wars), could sell their produce to the government, which could distribute to the very same hotels, restaurants and schools, to be hired to produce food for food pantries and shut-ins.

In fact, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is doing this – organizing dairy-products producers to purchase the excess milk and converting it into products that the state will purchase and supply to food pantries and needy people.

Meanwhile, places like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California that have been hardest hit and most restrictive, need to make accommodation for getting people out in the summer. You simply cannot confine people in tiny New York apartments with three kids when the summer temperatures (the last several years have been the hottest on record thanks to Global Warming) hit 100. Communities – especially urban ones – will need to reopen pools (probably mitigating the risk of reigniting infection rates by restricting admissions to two-hour segments), reopen beaches, state parks, hiking areas; fishing and marinas; kayaking and canoeing; even golf courses; and shut down some city streets for walking, biking, and while promoting grab-and-go style eateries and dining al fresco. If ever there was a time for summer concerts in the parks, it is now. People should be conditioned to maintaining social distance as a new cultural norm.

Cyclists take over Park Avenue, New York City (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

When we visited Central Park we saw people carefully respecting the new safety precautions, very possibly out of fear that if they didn’t, the city would close Central Park. We saw people walking on Jones Beach boardwalk, and on the sand also doing their best to maintain precautions (a couple of the bathrooms were open but closed frequently for cleaning, which is the pattern that other parks and facilities should use).

Governor Cuomo, looking ahead to reopening businesses at least the regions of the state least affected by the coronavirus (with infection rates below 3%), was careful to warn against reopening “attractions” that could become “nuisances” in the sense of attracting people into the area from downstate or neighboring states (the very definition of “travel”). But Cuomo’s reopening/”reimagining” strategy involves individual businesses to come up with plans that take into account the need for properly distance and that should hold true for places that give people necessary respite. Certainly you don’t want areas overwhelmed, but there should be a way to properly allow for people to enjoy – perhaps because parking lots have limits; restaurants that reopen to reduce their capacity (and take reservations) or do grab-and-go eating with outdoor tables for picnicking. And we are hearing about a revival in drive-in movie theaters.

A culture of social distancing seems to be taking hold as New Yorkers are desperate to keep access to the outdoor venues like Central Park (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Hotels and attractions should also be part of that Reopening/Reimagining Strategy to submit business plans that address the needs to continue to control the spread of the infection. This would include changes to working conditions, use of masks and gloves, taking temperature of employees as well as guests, more intense and frequent cleaning, providing hand sanitizer, limiting occupancy in order to maintain adequate social distancing.

Maintaining social distancing on the boardwalk at Jones Beach State Park, Long Island (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

The Crisis in Hospitality

Let’s be clear: many communities depend upon the very existence of hotels as a mainstay of their economy – quite literally putting their locality on a map. Local hotels not only bring business travelers in to do their deals and establish connections, but enable local businesses to sell their products; local hotels accommodate tourists who bring an infusion of spending – every $1 a tourist spends generates $4 for a local economy. Hotels provide the venues for family milestone events. Moreover, hotels are a mainstay of the economy, an economic engine that contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP and supports 8.3 million (1 in every 25) American jobs. All of this has shut down because of the coronavirus crisis.

As COVID-19 continues to devastate the hotel industry, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new data  showing that 70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed as eight in 10 hotel rooms across the nation remain empty.

As this crisis progresses beyond what anyone could have projected, the impact to the travel industry is nine times worse than 9/11, with forecasted occupancy rates for 2020 hitting record lows worse than rates in 1933 during the Great Depression.

“With the impact to the travel industry nine times worse than September 11, the human toll of this public health crisis has been absolutely devastating for the hotel industry. For the hotel industry our priority is rehiring and retaining our hardworking employees who power our vibrant industry,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. “Hotels were one of the first industries affected by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. The CARES Act was an important first step with a lot of supportive measures for the hotel industry, but we need Congress to make important changes to the program to reflect the current economic reality and help the employees in the industries that have been impacted the most.”

Clearwater Beach, Florida. America’s hotels, supporting one out of every 25 jobs, face catastrophe because of the coronavirus health crisis. Over 1,000 Florida hotels are participating in the “Hospitality for Hope” initiative, providing lodging for healthworkers and first responders. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Due to the dramatic downturn in travel, properties that remain open are operating with minimal staffing. On average, full-service hotels are using 14 employees, down from 50 before the crisis. Resort hotels, which often operate seasonally based on the area’s peak tourism months, averaged about 90 employees per location as recently as March 13, are down to an average of five employees per resort today.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Impact to travel industry 9x worse than 9/11. (Tourism Economics)
  • 50% revenue decline (projected) for entirety of 2020 (Oxford Economics)
  • Eight in 10 hotel rooms are empty. (STR)
  • 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy. (CBRE)
  • Forecasted occupancy rate for 2020 worse than 1933 during the Great Depression. (CBRE)
  • 70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed. (Oxford Economics and Hotel Effectiveness)
  • $2.4 billion in weekly lost wages due to the crisis (Oxford Economics and Hotel Effectiveness)
  • Nearly 3.9 million total hotel-supported jobs lost since the crisis began (Oxford Economics)

As travel halted in late February, the hotel industry took immediate action to work with the White House and Congress to help hotel industry employees and small business operators, which represent 61 percent of hotel properties in the U.S.

“The hotel industry is at a critical juncture. We need more resources to survive this unprecedented time,” said Rogers. “Additional funding is vital for small business owners across America, including tens of thousands of small business hoteliers, to help them keep their doors open and rehire and retain millions of employees.”

Hotel Industry Supports COVID-19 Effort

Meanwhile, more than 15,000 hotels have signed up for a new initiative, “Hospitality for Hope,” which identifies hotel properties that have offered to provide temporary housing for emergency and healthcare workers as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows.  While the program primarily focuses on housing for the healthcare community, some hotels could potentially be used as “Alternative Care Sites” such as an emergency hospital or a place for those quarantined to stay if needed.

(New York City has contracted for some 11,000 hotel rooms for this purpose and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that the testing-tracing-isolating campaign would also involve using hotel rooms to quarantine people.)

AHLA’s “Hospitality for Hope Initiative” was created to boost collaboration between the hotel industry and local, state and federal governments to help employees, communities across the country, and the industry during this unprecedented health crisis. In the short time since the initiative was announced, participation has grown to more than 15,000 properties. Already, this initiative has identified a total combined 2.3 million rooms located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities.

To help match and streamline the process for willing hotel properties to connect with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA and its state association partners are working to create a national “Hospitality for Hope” database to assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local emergency management and public health agencies. AHLA has also provided a number of resources for members, which can be found here.

“It has been so impressive to see hotel after hotel join this important initiative as a way of giving back to the communities in which they operate,” Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO said. “As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support our communities by caring for the first responders who are on the frontlines of this public health crisis. Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. We are proud to work to facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”

Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location. (Click here for a state by state breakdown of the number of hotels signed up).

Hotels partnering with local and state officials offering housing to doctors, nurses, homeless families and quarantined individual are being reported across the country including in Chicago, California, New York, Dallas, Portland and New Orleans.

“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”

“‘Hospitality for Hope’ is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.” 

Given the unprecedented public health and economic crisis, hotels and the industry as a whole are coming together to support the community and their furloughed employees, as well. 

In expanding “Hospitality for Hope Initiative”, the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, AHLA’s charitable giving arm, rolled out free resources to help industry employees continue their education during this difficult time including free hospitality management online courses, professional development scholarships for AHLA certifications and continuing education online programs. (Learn more about additional training and education efforts through AHLA’s “Hospitality for Hope” by visiting  AHLA.com/ahlas-hospitality-hope-initiative)

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) represents all segments of the U.S. lodging industry which contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP and supports 8.3 million (1 in every 25) American jobs. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at www.ahla.com.

_________________________

© 2020 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Travel in a Time of Pandemic: Tour Operators Tread Uncharted Territory

Biking in Albania with Biketours.com President Jim Johnson: “Bike touring is simply our chosen mode of world diplomacy. We believe travel brings us all closer together, fosters understanding and growth, and makes the world a better place. We’re also keenly aware of the positive economic impact tourism has on so many places.” © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

With travel all but shut down, tour operators are doing their best to keep travelers engaged and protected.

Tour operators are the facet of the global travel industry – which accounts for 10.4 percent of the total GDP worldwide and one out of every 10 jobs – most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic that has brought travel to a standstill and the least resilient. These tend to be small businesses operating on tiny profit margins. And like restaurants which are looking to supporters to purchase gift cards for future visits in order to stay afloat, many tour operators which are juggling booked clients’ trips, are taking reservations for future travel, offering incentives and waiving cancellation penalties, reissue and change fees if destinations become impacted.

“We haven’t been here before,” writes Gabriella Ribeiro, CEO of Explorateur Journeys, a Virtuoso agency that specializes in planning immersive travel itineraries. “Yes, we have seen health challenges in the world such as H1N1 and Ebola and we have weathered them but COVID-19 seems more challenging, more widespread and overall, entirely more concerning to everyone in the world and understandably so. It’s a new time, a new world, a new place, a new destination and just like any new location we find ourselves in, we all need time to explore it and get used to it temporarily.”

Explorateur is representative of travel advisors and tour companies who are constantly restructuring programs and accommodating guests who may already have booked or are looking to book.

“We are inundated with information that changes by the hour and we are doing our level best to keep our clients updated as frequently as possible in line with the world’s leading health organizations.

“The bottom line is that whatever you choose to do, we are here to support you. Changing your travel dates of your bookings with us, converting to new destinations that you may not have thought of for later in the year, or simply just opting to look at 2021. The world is big, bright, beautiful and will be ready for us all to return at our normal pace. In the meantime, we are here to help answer any of your questions and help share information if you’re still daydreaming about the days you can return to your normal Explorateurean pace. Here for you 24/7/365 at info@explorateurjourneys.com.”

Explorateur is enticing travelers to fulfill their wishlist of destinations to explore, taking advantage of booking incentives, flexible change policies. (http://explorateurjourneys.com/, .973-420-8343)

Pure Adventures president and founder Loren Siekman writes, “Clearly, this is a dynamic situation and the outlook changes daily. Therefore our first recommendation is to take a ‘watch and wait’ approach. While some of our destinations are currently unaffected, others like Italy are under travel advisories. If you have concerns about a trip you’ve booked, we remain hopeful that the efforts of public health officials and governments will bring the spread under control and restore order to a point where travel to affected destinations is once again responsible, relaxing, and fun.

To make the waiting easier, we have been working with our partners abroad to adopt a thirty-day advance notice rebooking and modified cancellation policy. Some airlines too are recognizing the wisdom of this approach and relaxing their rebooking fees. What this means simply is that you can watch and wait up to 30 days prior to the scheduled start of your trip to see if things are good to go as scheduled, or rebook your tour to start later in 2020 or 2021, with no fees. We can in some cases issue a full refund should you wish to cancel altogether.

Our primary hope is that you rebook your trip in the future. This shows support for the many small businesses that contribute to the operation of a trip, across many destinations, and that are adopting more flexible cancellation policies during this challenging time.

If you are considering travel this year and are holding off because of the current uncertainty, we are fortunate that our self-guided model gives us flexibility, so we can work on scheduling trips at the last minute once things clear up, and if you are rescheduling your trip that is already booked we can move it forward even if exact dates are unknown right now.

We are concerned of course for our travelers’ personal safety, but also for your experience of travel to a destination, and in that destination, as well as the return home. If you are to book now for some time in the near future, you have the option of getting added travel insurance, which is time-sensitive from the date of booking. We always recommend travel insurance to our guests, but for added cost and peace of mind, you can add the Cancel for Any Reason option offered by our partners at InsureMyTrip.

While we stay in close contact with our partners on the ground, we’d also like to recommend that people watch credible and reputable sources of information:

 The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers Covid-19 travel updates by country and also has hygiene and prevention tips

The World Health Organization has daily situation reports

The United States Department of State offers travel advisories by country

“We’re travel experts, not doctors, so the best we can do is to help you make an informed decision, and give you the most flexibility we can for you to make a change if necessary. We have been at this for over 25 years and have been through Sept 11, the 2008 economic crisis, and other smaller events. This too shall pass, and we will be here to help you get out and experience the world!”

Pure Adventures offers cycling (including self-guided), hiking, multisport, foodie tours and the opportunity to build your own trip (https://pure-adventures.com/, 800-960-2221)

The satisfaction at arriving at the end of BikeTours.com’s eight-day Venice-Trieste-Istria self-guided bike tour in Porec, Croatia © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jim Johnson, president of Biketours.com which brokers guided and self guided bike tours and bike/boat tours primarily in Europe, stated, that besides exercising caution, “we also want to encourage everyone to exercise patience. This is the seventh coronavirus to be identified since the 1960s, and we’re learning more about it every day. We’ve experienced similar situations before, such as SARS and MERS. We hope that this coronavirus is soon a distant memory, too.

“For those of you with pending travel plans, loved ones in distant places, or any other number of less-than-ideal scenarios, we empathize with you. The fear and discomfort of the unknown are unpleasant and stressful, to say the least.

“For those of you who have booked travel plans with us, know that as we continue to monitor the situation, we will advocate for you and keep you informed if your departure or destination is impacted. We want you to be confident and comfortable with your travel.

“Finally, bike touring is simply our chosen mode of world diplomacy. We believe travel brings us all closer together, fosters understanding and growth, and makes the world a better place. We’re also keenly aware of the positive economic impact tourism has on so many places. We’re hoping we don’t see destinations hit twice: first by the virus itself, second by devastating drops in tourism numbers.

“Thank you for being a traveler — an ambassador by bike, as we like to say — for seeing the big picture, and for being part of the BikeTours.com family. We hope that you are safe and healthy. And we hope to see you traveling soon (as soon as it makes sense for you!).” (biketours.com, 877-462-2423)

Butterfield & Robinson suspended all European scheduled small group departures with start dates before May 30.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the virus since it started, reacting to local developments with appropriate local responses in order to protect the safety of all our travelers,” Luc Robinson, President and CEO, writes. ”But now we need to go a step further. As a company, we believe that travel should enrich the soul not foster anxiety. Suspending these trips ensures this ideal continues for all of our travelers.

“Our team of travel advisors is currently getting in touch with everyone booked on impacted departures to review their options. You can transfer your booking to a scheduled small group departure later in the year or in 2021. If you would prefer to cancel outright, we will provide a full refund. Further, if you still do wish to travel, we can discuss options to do so privately – our team is ready to support you with your safety top of mind.

“If you are booked to travel privately before May 30th, the decision on how to proceed with your trip is yours. Your trip planner will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

“As of now, we are planning to run trips beyond May 30th as usual. We will continue to closely monitor all travel advisories from the WHO and the CDC, as well as coordinate with our teams on the ground, and revise our plans as necessary. We’ll communicate any revisions on our website and by email.

“Butterfield & Robinson has weathered many crises since we started running trips in 1966. Through decades of experience, we’ve grown to understand that these global events are unavoidable. We are financially prepared, and we will get through this.

“To our dedicated travelers who share our passion for seeing the world, thank you for staying committed to taking the slow road with us. We truly look forward to helping you explore the world again soon. And to all our partners in the travel industry, thank you for rallying together in these tough times. With our communities we remain long-term, steadfastly optimistic.”

Butterfield & Robinson offer programs around the world including biking, walking, hiking, family, small ships, wine, active, safari, wellness, expeditions, self-guided (butterfield.com, 866-551-9090)

Western River Expeditions, which specializes in outdoor adventures – rafting, hiking – in Utah, so far is planning to continue to operate its programs this summer.

“At Western River Expeditions, there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our guests and staff. As an organization, we are continually monitoring developments to make the best decisions regarding our trip offerings and policies.  We are sensitive to the impacts the COVID-19 news is having on all facets of our lives, and want to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to prepare and to focus on your safety and welfare,” writes Brian Merrill, Chief Executive Officer.

“It is our goal to operate all trips scheduled for this season. At this time, when we are advised to avoid crowds and enclosed spaces, getting out into the backcountry may just be the perfect way to spend your vacation. As our clients, guests, friends, and family, you have our pledge that we will continue to do everything both prudent and possible to keep you safe and healthy while you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.”

Western River Expeditions is taking care to assure clients of measures to provide sanitary conditions:

“On our river trips, each of our guides holds a backcountry food handler certification. We have thorough and comprehensive sanitation practices. 

“In each camp, we set up two hand-washing stations.  One near the toilet facility and the other near the kitchen.  These stations allow a person to wash their hands without the need to touch any surfaces after the washing is completed.  It is our policy that no one may come to the meal table without having first washed their hands with soap and water followed by the use of hand sanitizer.

“Of course, due to this specific virus, we will be even more vigilant in our efforts to keep surfaces clean, require frequent hand-washing, and practice safe handling of food and anything else that has the potential to spread viruses.  In addition to our on-river sanitation protocols, all of our equipment is sanitized (including our boats) between trips.

“Our trips occur in remote, backcountry locations. This gives our trip two distinct advantages: 1. We operate in an “open air” environment.  Potential contaminants are more naturally dispersed.  2. We rarely interact closely with other groups. These factors give us great control over our immediate environment.”

If a guide or guest develops flu-like symptoms during a trip, per CDC guidelines, the individual will be kept away from the rest of the group, any suspected areas of contamination will be disinfected, and, where applicable, the individual will be evacuated as soon as possible.

If an official travel ban has been issued that does not allow you to travel to or from your point of origin, Western River Expeditions will allow you to use the full value of your non-refundable payments as a credit for a future trip. Credits may be applied to the same trip for any available departure through 2022. No refunds for any unused portion of credit will be given.Once an alternate trip is booked, it will be subject to standard cancellation policies.

As you weigh the possibility of future flight restrictions, you may also want to consider the option of driving to the starting point of your trip.

If Western chooses to cancel a launch due to any reason(s), including closure by a federal agency, governmental intervention, health department requirements, or the decision on our part, Western River will issue a full refund or allow you to use the full value of your non-refundable payments as a credit for a future trip. Credits may be applied to the same trip for any available departure through 2022. Once an alternate trip is booked, it will be subject to standard cancellation policies.

These policies will also apply to new reservations for the 2020 season. Check availability online. Purchasing travel insurance is recommended; you may wish to consider the “cancel for any reason” policy.

The 2020 season along with much of the 2021 season is currently sold out for Grand Canyon, but there is an online waitlist available (add your name to the 2020 waitlist here).

“Thank you for your support and trust. Western River Expeditions has been family owned and operated for 59 years. We consider our employees and our guests to be part of our extended family.  These are challenging circumstances, and like any family, we will endure this and any other challenge we face together.”

Western River Expeditions (gorafting@westernriver.com, westernriver.com, 801-942-6669).

Discover France Adventures CEO Thomas Boutin writes, “The impact of the virus goes far beyond the persons infected by it. As you may know, some of the hardest hit industries are travel and hospitality. We are no exception.

“Many of you have been very understanding and rescheduled your trips, instead of canceling. This allows us to get through this period with minimal implications to the everyday lives of our team and partners. 

“As the situation changes frequently, we want to ensure that you can modify your travel plans accordingly. To this effect, special terms and conditions are applied until the end of June 2020. All you have to do is to get in touch with your dedicated tour consultant, and he/she will take care of the rest.

“Our self-guided tours give you the freedom to choose your departure date, without restrictions – our tour consultants will adapt the practical details to your needs. (Even for last minute bookings)”

Special terms until the end of June 2020:

Groups that re-schedule more than 30 days before the start date, get a travel credit of the full amount paid without any change fees. (normally there is a 200 euro per person fee for changes after a tour is confirmed)

Groups that re-schedule less than 30 days before the start date get a travel credit of the full amount paid minus hotel cancelation fees (if any).

The travel credit does not expire to give you the peace of mind to do your trip when you want.

“With these changes, our aim is let you keep your options open and see how the situation evolves.

“To make informed decisions about your travel, we advise you to follow reliable information from the World Health Organization, and official government travel advisory for your destination. 

“We do encourage you to remember the physical and mental benefits of cycling, as well as the joy of discovering new places. 

“Stay active and keep dreaming about cycling through exceptionally beautiful natural, historical and cultural regions!”

“While our regular season activities are on hold, other areas are moving ahead rapidly. Our teams are busy working on improving our offering and preparing the company for a comeback in due time.  

“Our tour planning team members, Valentine and Sebastien, have been busy on two main projects: Updating existing tours based on your feedback; Creating new tours that are available as soon as traveling is possible again. 

“Our tour consultants are staying in touch with all clients with travel impacted by travel restrictions. 

“While we are in exceptional times, we are still here for you, ready to answer any questions about travel.” (discoverfrance.com, 800-929-0152)

A source to find well-established tour operators is the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business. (ustoa.org).

_________________________

© 2020 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Hotel Industry Pleads for Government Help against Crippling Unprecedented Covid-19 Crisis

Clearwater Beach, Florida. America’s hotels, supporting one out of every 25 jobs, face catastrophe because of the coronavirus health crisis © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Leading hotel CEOs met with the White House on March 17 to discuss urgent economic recovery solutions needed to protect millions of U.S. hotel employees and 33,000 small businesses as travel grinds to a virtual halt across the country because of the coronavirus health crisis.  From Main Street to major cities across the country, hotels everywhere are on the verge of shutting their doors in the coming days – many by the end of this week. With 1 in 25 jobs supported by the hotel industry, the rapid pace of booking cancellations is having an immediate, negative ripple effect that risks seeing mom and pop hotel owners shutter, furlough their employees, hurting community businesses.  

The hotel industry is an industry of people and the current human toll is proving to be catastrophic. Based on current occupancy estimates, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) says four million total jobs have been eliminated already or are on the verge of being lost in the next few weeks. In certain affected markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Austin and Boston, hotel occupancy rates are already down below 20 percent and individual hotels and major operators have already shut down operations. 

The AHLA, the nation’s leading and largest trade association for hotel industry, made the case that the economic impact on the hotel industry is already more severe than 9/11 and the 2008 recession, combined. “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our 33,000 small business owners who operate 66 percent of hotel properties across the country has been extremely severe with many considering shuttering and closing their doors for good within days if they haven’t closed already.”

Chip Rogers, AHLA President and CEO, said the burgeoning COVID-19 health crisis is unprecedented in its size and scope, and it represents the single largest decline in travel in modern times.

“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including September 11th and the great recession of 2008 combined,” stated Rogers. “The White House and Congress can take urgent action to protect countless jobs, provide relief to our dedicated and hardworking employees, and ensure that our small business operators and franchise owners – who represent more than half of hotels in the country – can keep their doors open.”

According to an Oxford Economic Study, a 30 percent decline in hotel guest occupancy could result in the loss of nearly 4 million jobs, with $180 billion of wages and a $300 billion hit to the GDP – crippling the hotel industry, the local communities they serve and the U.S. economy.  

“This unprecedented public health crisis has quickly become a catastrophic economic crisis as well,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association President. “The losses for the travel industry alone are projected to double the unemployment rate over the next two months and plunge the country into recession. Small businesses, which make up 83% of travel businesses, need relief right now if they’re going to be able to keep paying their employees.”

The Oxford study estimates the hotel industry supports 1 in 25 American jobs, totaling 8.3 million jobs, paying more than $97 billion in wages and salary income, and contributes nearly $660 billion to the U.S. GDP annually.  In addition to major hotel brands, the hotel industry includes more than 33,000 small businesses, which represent 61 percent of hotel properties in the U.S.

Top hotel industry leaders laid out several immediate actions the White House and Congress could take to help the hotel industry protect jobs and help small business operators. The group focused on two critical goals – retaining and rehiring employees and keeping hotels from shutting down through access to liquidity and low interest loans, including for small businesses. 

Hotel CEOs who participated in the roundtable discussion today at the White House were hopeful that President Trump and Members of Congress will work together urgently to provide relief and ensure the industry is positioned to rebound from the unprecedented impact from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts President and CEO, David Kong said, “For nearly 75 years, Best Western has been a brand with small family businesses at our core. Most of our hotels are owned and operated by hardworking men and women with their children growing up in the business. For them, their hotels represent their families’ legacy and their future. Many are being forced to close their doors with no assurance of when they will be able to reopen. Their employees are left with no gainful employment and the resultant financial hardship. It is imperative that the government step in immediately with loan programs that provide capital and liquidity to help small businesses survive as well as other employment programs to help the impacted employees. The situation is dire.”

Choice Hotels International President & CEO, Pat Pacious said, “The majority of our 13,000 franchisees are small business hotel owners who have to meet payroll, pay their mortgages every month, and support their families during this crisis – as well as take care of their guests. As I told the Administration today, while Choice Hotels is acting to assist our franchisees, the federal government has a critical role to play in helping minimize the impact and disruption to the livelihoods of small business hotel owners and their employees, as well as stabilizing the economy during this difficult and unprecedented time.” 

Hilton President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher J. Nassetta said, “In Hilton’s 100-year history, we have never seen anything like the current situation. I am hearing directly from hotel employees concerned about their mortgage payments and hotel owners worried about making payroll. Nearly eighty percent of the hotels in our U.S. network are franchise properties that employ less than 50 people, and we are using every tool in our toolkit to keep these small businesses viable. Ours is an industry of people serving people, and that’s why we’re asking Congress and the Administration to help shield them from the economic impact of the coronavirus, so they can be part of the recovery that will follow.”

Hyatt president and CEO, Mark Hoplamazian said, “In our industry, success depends entirely on the passion and dedication of our people. It is critical that we take swift action to ensure that our workforce is protected with the proper healthcare and financial support so that the industry can return in full force following this unprecedented degree of business interruption.”

InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Americas, Elie Maalouf said, “The coronavirus represents a global economic emergency as well as a global health emergency, and the impact it will have on the hospitality industry is unprecedented. Even as we’re currently managing this issue to keep our guests and colleagues safe, and hotel owners secure, we’re committed to doing everything we can to protect the future of the millions of Americans employed by the hotel industry and prepare to expedite a return to normal once this crisis passes. We appreciate the administration’s engagement in this issue and look forward to continuing this important discussion in the weeks ahead.”

Marriott International President and CEO, Arne Sorenson said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented decline in demand impacting our hotels and our associates. We are looking to government to support the hospitality industry through this period of time so we can assist our associates and hotel owners, many of whom are small businesses.”

MGM Resorts International Chairman & CEO, James Murren said, “Within days we have transformed from a vibrant industry welcoming people from around the world, to one experiencing a total shutdown of business.  Addressing this public health emergency required major collective action which is why MGM shut down our operations. But it comes at a cost to our tens of thousands of employees, small businesses and communities who depended on us.  We look forward to a productive dialogue on how to ensure that when it is safe, the gaming industry can be in a position to open our doors so that we and the 2 million jobs that depend can be part of the economic recovery that is to come.”

“Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is a REIT with 54 hotels with over 13,000 rooms and over 8,000 employees around the country. Our hotels are in most of the hardest hit cities – Seattle, San Francisco, here in Washington, DC, NYC, Boston, Chicago and more. As of today, we have had to make the difficult decision to let go over 4,000 employees,” noted Jon Bortz, Board Chair, AHLA and Chairman & CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.

“By the end of the month, we expect another 2,000 employees will also be let go, representing over three quarters of our employees. We are looking at closing the doors at more than half of our properties. This is the reality we, and countless other owners and operators around the country are facing in the wake of this public health situation.”

HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards Look to Future of Travel & Hospitality Industry

HSMAI President & CEO Robert A. Gilbert with HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards “Best of Show” winners, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The HSMAI Adrian awards are the CLIOs of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – the nation’s third largest industry which people don’t readily recognize as being so integral to everyday life, so fundamental to the sustainability of local economies and communities, and so critical to global commerce, diplomacy and human progress. These awards honor the advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns that excite, engage, inform and ultimately spur millions of us to venture out and experience new places, people, activities and ideas.

A futuristic theme at the HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Travel bolsters local, state and national economies – the travel industry generates $2.5 trillion in economic output and supports 15.7 million American jobs. It creates an economic underpinning for communities that sustains heritage, culture and the environment – globally, travel and tourism generates $8.8 trillion (10% of all global economic activity) and 319 million jobs (10% of all jobs). An enterprise which relies disproportionately on people, rather than robots, the travel industry has provided extraordinary upward mobility, especially for women and minorities – it is still one of the few industries where stories of a bellman rising to senior sales executive of a $5 billion hospitality company are not unusual.

And while travelers are themselves enriched, often with life-enhancing, life-changing experiences; travelers become ambassadors, opening lines of communication and understanding between people that break down the barriers that promote conflict, in effect, winning the battle for “hearts and minds.” And going back to the age of Marco Polo, travelers help the free exchange and spread of ideas and innovations that foster progress.

A futuristic theme at the HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

This year’s theme for the Adrian Awards was “The Future” and many of the campaigns rewarded messages of sustainability, responsible tourism, social responsibility. Just as the travel industry pioneered e-commerce (electronic ticketing), branding and loyalty campaigns, the industry, from the airlines and cruiselines that are cultivating lower, if not zero-carbon emissions technologies, to the hotels that are building to LEED standards, and tour companies that employ and educate local people and bolster and give back to local economies, they are the leading edge for wider application of sustainable strategies.

More than 800 hospitality sales and marketing leaders gathered at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis to recognize excellence in travel advertising, digital marketing, and public relations.

The highly anticipated Best of Show awards were chosen from the Platinum Award winners for three divisions: digital marketing, public relations, and advertising. The 2019 Best of Show winners are:

Super 8 by Wyndham wins “Best of Show” for its #JourneySafe campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Digital Marketing “Best of Show”: Super 8 by Wyndham; Citizen Relations, Questus, Mullenlowe Mediahub, for its Super 8 #JOURNEYSAFE campaign

The National WWII Museum won Public Relations “Best of Show” at the HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards for its D-Day campaign © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Public Relations “Best of Show”: The National WWII Museum and its agency, MMGY NJF, for The National WWII Museum | Owning an Entire News Cycle: D-Day with The National WWII Museum campaign

Advertising ‘Best of Show’ winner, Ritz-Carlton Marriott International for its Stellar Dining Series. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Advertising “Best of Show”: Ritz-Carlton Marriott International for its Stellar Dining Series

“The 2019 competition was fierce — entries had bold ideas and brilliant execution,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The winning Adrian Award campaigns went above and beyond, leading the future of hospitality marketing with impactful and dynamic campaigns that achieved measurable success for their brands.

“This year’s award winners are making the future of hospitality brighter and better with their thought leadership and creative approaches to marketing challenges.”

Winning campaigns launched new products, repositioned brands, addressed disasters, inspired social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

Advertising Platinum Winners:

Best Western Hotels & Resorts winning campaign showcased summer. 2019 HSMAI Adrian Awards (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Ideas Collide; Initiative (2019 Disney Summer Partnership – 3300 display media clicks, +241K completed Youtube views, +10.7M social post impressions)

Discover Puerto Rico won for “Have We Met Yet?” brand repositioning campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Discover Puerto Rico; Miles Partnership (“Have We Met Yet?” Discover Puerto Rico Brand Repositioning – 41% increase in meeting bookings, +34% increase in room nights, +6% increase in likelihood to visit)

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism won for engaging Youtube stories. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target (Place of Stories – 700,000 Youtube views, 25,000 ebook downloads, +5.3% increase in trip planning, +9.3% increase in social followers)

Ritz-Carlton Marriott International won for its Stellar Dining Series. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Ritz-Carlton Marriott International (Stellar Dining Series – 749M PR impressions, 170 media clippings, 3M+ social media engagements)

Aruba Tourism Authority. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm, USIM (Aruba goes “Local” in Grand Central Station – 10M impressions, 500+ sweeps entries, uploads & comments, +7% increase in US visitation))

Digital Marketing Platinum Winners:

AccorHotels, Fairmont Hotel and Resorts winners. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

AccorHotels, Fairmont Hotel and Resorts (Fairmont’s Canine Ambassadors, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts – 2.5M social media impressions, 1M social media views, 1M in-room views)

British Virgin Islands winning campaign highlighted adventure experiences. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The British Virgin Islands Tourism Board & Film Commission; MMGY Myriad (Today’s Secret – 20M impressions, 2328% increase in website traffic, 245% YOY increase in unique visitors)

Marriott International’s winning campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Marriott International; Facebook, The Lacek Group, M1M – Publicis, Virtue, 160Over90, Telescope (Social Media launch (313M impressions, 65M consumes reached, 1M unique engagements).

Pet Travelers was winning social media campaign for Red Roof. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Red Roof (Pet Travelers Social Media Campaign – 91% increase in instagram engagement, 2.8% increase in instagram follows, 16% increase in facebook engagement)

United Airlines’ winning campaign highlighted efforts to reduce carbon emissions. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

United Airlines; 360i (United Airlines Carbon Cutback: “Our goal is to be the most environmentally conscious airline in the world.” – 100 M social impressions in 24 hours, 1000% increase in twitter replies, +62K influencer content impressions)

Visit Seattle won for its campaign telling stories of five immigrant chefs. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visit Seattle; PB& (Experience the Stories of 5 Immigrant Chefs Transforming Seattle’s Culinary Scene – 6.5% favorability increase, 7.% increase in visit intent, 6.5M views)

Super 8 by Wyndham honored at 2019 HSMAI Adrian Awards (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Super 8 by Wyndham; Citizen Relations, Questus, Mullenlowe Mediahub (Super 8 “Don’t Drive Drowsy #JourneySafe campaign – 110M earned media impressions, 49K Waze naviations, 6.4M digital video impressions)

Public Relations Platinum Winners:

Contiki won for a campaign that promoted voting. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Contiki; The Decker/Royal Agency (#VoteWithNoRegrets Campaign – 63 stories, 4B editorial/digital impressions, +2,310 hashtag social posts )

Discover Dominica won for landing a Travel & Leisure cover story. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Discover Dominica Authority; MMGY Myriad (Travel + Leisure Cover Story – 2.9M impressions, 968,734 print circulation, 3,168,640 UMV)

DoubleTree by Hilton’s “Cookies in Space” took Hilton Hospitality out of this world. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

DoubleTree by Hilton; Edelman (Cookies In Space: Taking Hilton Hospitality Out of this World, Doubletree by Hilton – 276 placements, 3.69B impressions, +422% WOW increase in brand conversation)

TWA Hotel won for its “Up, Up and Away with TWA Hotel” campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

TWA Hotel, MCR and MORSE Development; BerlinRosen (Up, Up and Away with TWA Hotel – 1,260 stories, 42 countries, 5.1B impressions)

Travel Michigan captured the “Pure Sounds” of Michigan for its winning campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Travel Michigan; Weber Shandwick (Pure Sounds of Michigan – 88K album streams/downloads, +190 media placements, +10M impressions)

The James New York won for its “Breaking Through the Rainbow” campaign. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The James New York – NoMad; MMGY NJF (Breaking Through the Rainbow – 25 stories; 151M impressions, print, online, digital video;  9M social media impressions )

Winners for National WWII Museum campaign, “D-Day.” HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The National WWII Museum; MMGY NJF (Owning an Entire News Cycle: D-Day with the National WWII Museum – 1.3B media impressions, +$46M ad equivalency; 132 national broadcast segments; 102 online placements = 1.12B impressions; record-breaking 480K site visitors in June)

Visit North Carolina and Discover South Carolina won for an innovative collaboration to counteract the impacts of Hurricane Florence. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visit North Carolina & Discover South Carolina; Luquire George Andrews (#Careolinas, Visit North Carolina & Discover South Carolina, “We Share More than a State Line”, a campaign undertaken after Hurricane Florence to show strength and resilience of the Carolina spirit)

VisitScotland won for its campaign showcasing Dundee. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

VisitScotland; Laura Davidson Public Relations (The Comeback Kid: Dundee: How Scotland’s Fourth Largest City Became the Kind of Cool” – 100 pieces of coverage; +146M impressions, 20% growth from North American market – +34K visits to website, +2700 downstream referrals, +94K hashtag engagements)

Integrated Marketing Campaign Platinum Winners:

Marriott International won for its Marriott Bonvoy Global Launch at the 2019 HSMAI Adrian Awards (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Marriott International – Marriott Bonvoy Global Launch, Marriott Bonvoy. Agencies: Mother Design, M1M –Publicis, The Lacek Group, Observatory (7.5% increase in enrollment, 820 packages redeemed)

Aruba Tourism Authority won for a campaign highlighting Aruba Local All-Star Xander Bogaerts HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm & USIM for Aruba Local All-Star Xander Bogaerts  (300,000 organic video views; 80,000 sweepstakes entries, 72,000 lead generating emails)

HSMAI Foundation Talent & Leadership Award Winners:

SALT Hotels; MMGY NJF; Attracting new talent

Marriott International; Mitchell Communication Group; Developing emerging talent

Terranea Resort; Engaging existing talent

HSMAI Foundation Talent & Leadership Award Winners. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“This year’s Adrian Awards winners showed remarkable ingenuity and truly embraced new techniques in their campaigns,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI’s executive vice president.  

A panel of senior industry executives selected the HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization for 2019. Each extraordinary mind was honored by HSMAI at a reception and celebrated onstage during the Adrians Gala.

Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

HSMAI also honored two industry leaders with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards. Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., executive vice president, 795 Fifth Avenue Corporation, and director, Summit Hotel Properties, was recognized with the 2019 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.

Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., was the recipient of the 2019 Winthrop W. Grice lifetime achievement award for Public Relations. HSMAI 2019 Adrian Awards, NYC © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

“From my first day working a hotel to tonight, HSMAI has been among the most important influences in my career,” said Hanson. “Thank you for this wonderful moment and memory for my family and me.”

Leland “Lee” Pillsbury, managing director, Thayer Ventures, was the recipient of the 2019 Albert E. Koehl Award for Hospitality Marketing. “We are in a service business, and that will never change”, said Pillsbury. “HSMAI has always stood for those values, and that is what makes this award so meaningful for me. I’m honored and humbled to receive this award and to join the extraordinary list of previous award winners.”

Leland “Lee” Pillsbury, managing director, Thayer Ventures, receives the HSMAI 2019 Albert E. Koehl Lifetime Achievement Award for Hospitality Marketing.© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Facebook Mobile Video Award went to DoubleTree by Hilton for its Cookies in Space campaign.

Facebook’s Travel Head of Industry Colleen Coulter presents its Mobile Video Award to DoubleTree by Hilton for its Cookies in Space campaign. 2019 HSMAI Adrian Awards. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

In addition, the Corporate Social Responsibility Award was presented to Rosen Hotels & Resorts for its Tangelo Park Program.

Harris Rosen, president of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, which received HSMAI’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its Tangelo Park Program © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

For 63 years the Adrian Awards have spotlighted excellence in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations. This year’s award winners were selected from more than 1,100 entries by senior industry and media experts for the following entry categories: advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and integrated marketing.

Gold Award winners across each category were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick, an Amadeus Company. Platinum winners receive the highest honor among each category’s Gold Award winners.

HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Gala is featured in BizBash’s Top 100 Events in New York. Access this year’s event photos to view the winners at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala.

For more information about the Adrian Awards, visit www.adrianawards.hsmai.org

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Marketing Strategy Conference, Adrian Awards, Sales Leader Forum, and HSMAI ROC. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, and HSMAI YouTube.

_________________________

© 2020 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visitgoingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions toFamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

HSMAI 2018 Adrian Awards Honor State-of-Art Travel Marketing Techniques that Get Back to People-to-People Basics

‘Best of Show’ winners of the HSMAI 2018 Adrian Awards © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

The HSMAI Adrians are the CLIO awards of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – the nation’s third largest industry which people don’t readily recognize as being so integral to everyday life, so fundamental to local economies and communities. But these are the advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns that excite, engage, inform and ultimately spur millions of us to venture out and experience new places, people and activities. Travel bolsters local, state and national economies, creates an economic underpinning for communities that sustains heritage, culture and the environment, while travelers are themselves enriched, often with life-enhancing, life-changing experiences; travelers become ambassadors, opening lines of communication and understanding between people that break down the barriers that promote conflict, in effect, winning the battle for “hearts and minds.”. And going back to the age of Marco Polo, travelers help the free exchange and spread of ideas and innovations that foster progress.

Brand USA, the public-private destination marketing organization for the United States, won an Adrian Platinum Award for public relations for its “Travel Transcends Politics” campaign to reset the narrative around travel to USA from abroad: (“Brand USA Faces Extinction Under Trump’s Proposed Budget; The USA Would Never Be the Same” “The Trump Slump: German tourists avoid US as travel destination”). “Welcome to the USA” generated 2 billion media impressions and $276 million in earned media. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its 62nd  annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, celebrating innovators in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations before more than 850 industry professionals.

It’s so interesting at these annual Adrian Awards galas to see how far and how fast hospitality, travel and tourism marketing has come. But it is important to note that the travel industry essentially birthed e-commerce – only then it was called “e-ticketing” and started with giving travelers the ability to book their own airline tickets online.

So much has happened in the past 30 years that few remember how not that long ago, an air traveler book and pick up a physical ticket at a travel agency or airline city ticket office. Since then, the travel and tourism industry has been on the leading age of yield management, CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) that gave us the loyalty programs, which gave us the data mining and micro-targeting and dynamic pricing.

Now the challenge is to get through all the clutter, to inform, inspire, captivate, and finally transform a consumer into a traveler, a guest, a passenger, a visitor.

Now, as Gopi Kallayil, Google’s Chief Evangelist of Brand Marketing, told the HSMAI Digital Marketing Conference the next day, the ability to search real-time databases of all sorts of travel components, putting all this power, knowledge in desktops, on smartphones literally in one’s hand. has created new expectations. The goal, he said, isn’t even three seconds to load a site and six clicks to book, but zero clicks by a program that virtually reads your mind.

Each year, the creativity and the technology leaps forward. (Imagine writing emails on your shower stall (Marriott International’s “Splash of Brilliance”). But what is so interesting now, is how it is all in the service of getting back to the basics of what travel and hospitality is all about: face-to-face encounters, personal experience. The award-winning advertising, public relations, digital marketing and sales campaigns are those that are “authentic”, “personal,” that forge “connections”. Winning campaigns this year celebrated the Golden Rule of kindness and respect, “unplugging” and “connecting”, “upcycling” discarded bedsheets into pajamas for needy children.

Fran Brasseux, Executive VP, HSMAI and Executive Director of HSMAI Foundation, and Agnelo Fernandes, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive VP Revenue of Terranea Resort present the first Adrian Corporate Social Responsibility Awards © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Indeed, one of the new categories introduced to the HSMAI Adrian Awards this year was for Corporate Social Responsibility – in essence modeling values for travel and tourism at a time when overtourism (spurred in part by social media) is an emerging concern and there is much more consciousness raised about both the benefits of tourism to preserve and protect ecology and heritage, as well as the risks that overuse can destroy the very thing people come to experience. Here again, the hospitality and travel industry can model techniques and solutions that individuals can bring back to their own homes and communities.

The first Leader in Corporate Social Responsibility Awards were presented to four recipients: 

Aqua-Aston Hospitality: “Reef Safe” Campaign that turned the tide against coral bleaching in Hawaii caused by a chemical in many sunscreens with both a consumer awareness campaign (including giving out 70,000 samples of appropriate sunscreen) and achieving a state ban on the use of sunscreens with the damaging chemical

Hersha Hospitality: EarthView Program, which partnered with Clean the World and Cornell School of Hospitality, to institute environmental and conservation initiatives system wide, the first REIT and management program to establish institutional sustainability program

Hilton Hotels and Resorts: “Travel with Purpose – Where Responsibility and Hospitality Meet” Campaign – a campaign to reduce carbon emissions system wide.

Micato Safari: “AmericaShare” Campaign, where a portion of guest fees goes to subsidize a child’s education,  and promoting wildlife conservation

The second new Award, Facebook Mobile Video Award, also reflected the changing media landscape, and was presented by Colleen Coulter, Industry Manager, Travel for Facebook  to Sheraton for its Halo campaign.

More than 850 industry professionals gathered at the New York Marriott Marquis to celebrate the standout campaigns of the past year and the creative individuals behind them.

“We received a lot of impressive entries this year, but tonight’s winners are truly the crème de la crème,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “Adrian Award-winning campaigns incorporate strong elements of originality, embrace technology, and also generate real measurable results for their brands.”

Established in 1956, the Adrian Awards recognize marketing achievements in hospitality across multiple segments of the industry. Award winners are selected by senior industry and media experts from nearly 1,200 entries, for entry divisions: advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and integrated marketing. Gold Award winners across these categories were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick. Platinum winners were selected from outstanding Gold Award winners.

Best of Show Awards, the pinnacle of the evening, were presented to Platinum Award winners from three divisions—digital marketing, public relations, and advertising:

Digital Marketing “Best of Show” – AccorHotels: Seeker Campaign

Public Relations “Best of Show” – Westin Hotels & Resorts and its agency, MFA, a Finn Partners Company: Westin Launches CSR Program to Upcycle Hotel Bed Linens, Transforming Them into Children’s Pajamas

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” Marriott International and its agency, mcgarrybowen: Golden Rule Campaign (Courtyard, Fairfield, Four Points & SpringHill Suites)

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Explore St. Louis: Sterling K. Brown Advertising Series

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Marriott International: Marriott Hotels and HK7s Innovation in Advertising Campaign

Digital Marketing Platinum Winners: 
Company; Agency

AccorHotels for the Seeker Campaign, Le Club AccorHotels (“Discover Where Your Heart Wants to Go Next,” using biometrics; the campaign generated 100 million media impressions and 125:1 ROI)

Bermuda Tourism Authority; Miles for Bermuda Google Streetview (generated 3.5 million street views; expanded street view coverage of the island four times)

Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Ideas Collide for Best Western’s YouTube Director Mix Campaign (No need to throw a Hail Mary, plan your summer trip today! Two-step your way out of town for a trip; the campaign generated 29 million impressions)

Curio Collection by Hilton; I.D.E.A. for “The Curiosity Gene Campaign” (Do you have the curiosity gene? It received 6.9 million impressions, 1 million engagements, 320% increase in Instagram engagements)

Margaritaville Resort Orlando; Concept Farm for The Integrated Consumer Digital Campaign (generated 12,000 ownership leads, 225 closed contracts, 20,000 rental leads).

Marriott Rewards for Dynamic Ads for Moments (“Blast off at Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL)

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target for “The IcebergFinder.com Campaign” (The campaign drew 33K Facebook engagements, 466K website interactions, 5K referrals)

VISIT PHILADELPHIA and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority for Retargeting Marketing (generated 1,265 overnight hotel stays)

Public Relations Platinum Winners:
Company; Agency

Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel; C&R, for “Urban Glamping at the Beverly Wilshire” story

Brand USA for “Travel Transcends Politics” to reset the narrative around travel to USA from abroad: (“Brand USA Faces Extinction Under Trump’s Proposed Budget; The USA Would Never Be the Same” “the Trump Slump: German tourists avoid US as travel destination”) “Welcome to the USA” generated 2 billion media impressions; $276 million in earned media

Major Food Group; NJF, an MMGY Global Company, for CBS This Morning segment

Marriott International for “Splash of Brilliance”

Marriott International for “W Hotels’ Experience At Coachella” (Marriott X Coachella: Elevating the Festival Experience)

Murphy Arts District; NJF, an MMGY Global Company for a campaign to create a new destination, “El Dorado, Arkansas, the Comeback Kid of the South, Murphy Arts District”

The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, for “Home Alone 2: 25th Anniversary”

Royal Caribbean International; Weber Shandwick for “A Perfect Night to Introduce a Perfect Day”

Westin Hotels & Resorts; MFA, a Finn Partners Company for “Westin Launches CSR Program to Upcycle Hotel Bed Linens, Transforming Them into Children’s Pajamas” (223 million media impressions)

Advertising Platinum Winners: 
Company; Agency 

Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel, Google, and Michelle Woodley, President Preferred Hotels and Resorts, present an unprecedented three-way tie for “Best of Show” for Advertising.
© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm for “The Authentic Aruba Local Stories Campaign” (which resulted in 13% increase in US visits, 10 M social media impressions, 1M video views)

Explore St. Louis for “The Sterling K. Brown Advertising Series” (which generated 200K visits, 4.5 million impressions, 140K Youtube views)

Hilton Garden Inn; GSD&M for “Simply on Another Level Video” (which generated 30% increase in campaign recognition, and 3.85 billion media impressions).

Marriott International; mcgarrybowen for “The Golden Rule Campaign

Marriott International for Marriott Hotels and HK7’s Innovation in Advertising (1.4 million views on facebook, )

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts for “Reconnected: A Wyndham Grand Family Experience” (which generated 2.9 million social media impressions, and reached 1.8 billion viewers)

Integrated Marketing Campaign Platinum Winner:
Company; Agency

Tourism Australia for its Dundee Tourism Campaign for Australia, “There’s Nothing Like Australia” (14,000 PR mentions, 102 million video views, 305,000 campaign leads; 50% lift in destination desirability)

Gold Award winners’ submissions – selected from close to 1,200 entries – were showcased on digital displays at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and featured during the Gala stage presentations. The largest group of winners in the Award’s history, they included 104 awards in Public Relations, 25 in Integrated Marketing, 89 in Digital Marketing and 48 in Advertising. They were selected by some 200 judges who are prominent members of the travel industry and subject-matter experts in advertising, digital marketing, media, and public relations.( View the complete list of Gold Award winners on the Adrian Awards website).

“The Adrian Awards winners raise the bar for the travel industry as a whole to be a place of creativity and innovation,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President.  “The Adrian Awards are a rare opportunity to recognize the exceptional work being done in travel marketing. But just as importantly, we are also putting a well-deserved spotlight on the exceptional people behind that outstanding work.”

HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds

Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2018 were honored by HSMAI in a reception and also recognized on stage during the Gala.

Jennifer Andre, Senior Director, North America and Latin America, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Dustin Bomar, Head of Industry – Travel, Google

Ronald Castro, Chief Strategist, Roca Marketing

Christopher Crenshaw, CRME, Vice President, Digital Data Solutions, STR

Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company

David Downing, President & CEO, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Erica Doyne, Vice President, Marketing, AMResorts

Gino Engels, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, OTA Insight

George Galinsky, Senior Vice President Marketing Communications, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment

Darren Green, Senior Vice President, Sales, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board

Chad Hallert, CRME, CHDM, Vice President of Performance Marketing, Noble Studios

Allison Handy, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Prism Hotels & Resorts

Adam Hayashi, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Management, AccorHotels

Carolyn Hosna, CHDM, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing, White Lodging

Jay Hubbs, CHDM, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, Remington Hotels

Jodi Kern, Senior Director, Digital Merchandising, Marriott International

Gil Langley, President & CEO, Amelia Island CVB

Dave Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Sarah Murov, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Loews Hotels & Co

Leticia Proctor, Senior Vice President, Sales, Revenue Management and Digital Strategies, PM Hotel Group

Julie Scott, President, Colwen Hotels

Jim Struna, CRME, Regional Director of Revenue, Rosewood Hotel Group

Matt Teixeira, CHBA, Director of Sales, Best Western Hotels and Resorts

Theresa van Greunen, Senior Director Corporate Communications, Aqua-Aston Hospitality

Cherilyn Williams, Director, Global Portfolio Marketing, Marriott International

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Additionally, the distinguished careers of three industry leaders were celebrated with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards.

Steve Bartolin, Chairman of The Broadmoor, was honored with the 2018 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.

Stephen Powell, most recently SVP Worldwide Sales for IHG prior to retirement, was the recipient of the inaugural HSMAI Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Sales.

Harris Rosen, President and CEO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, was celebrated with the Albert E. Koehl Award for Hospitality Marketing. 

For more information about the Adrian Awards, visit www.adrianawards.com.

Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at https://www.hsmai.orgwww.facebook.com/hsmaiwww.twitter.com/hsmai, and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.

_____________________________

© 2019 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com, www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin, and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

HSMAI’s 61st Annual Adrian Awards Honor Luminaries in Travel Marketing

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

They are the CLIO awards of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry – a gigantic segment of the US economy and culture which people don’t readily recognize as being so integral to everyday life, so fundamental to local economies and communities. But these are the advertising, public relations and digital marketing campaigns that excite, engage, inform and ultimately spur millions of us to venture out and experience new places, people and activities. Travel bolster local, state and national economies, creates an economic underpinning that sustains heritage, culture and the environment, while travelers are themselves enriched, often with life-enhancing, life-changing experiences; they become ambassadors, opening lines of communication and understanding between people that break down the barriers that promote conflict. And going back to the age of Marco Polo, travelers help the free exchange and spread of ideas and innovations.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) hosted its 61st annual Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala at the New York Marriott Marquis, celebrating innovators in hospitality advertising, digital marketing, and public relations before more than 800 industry professionals. A highlight was a look back at the organization’s 90 year-history in promoting standards for hospitality and innovations in marketing campaigns that inspire travel.

“HSMAI applauds this evening’s winners for their ingenuity and hard work,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. He added, “Adrian Awards winners spark innovation throughout the entire hospitality industry.”

HSMAI Adrian Platinum Award winners for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Established in 1956, the Adrian Awards recognize marketing achievements in hospitality across multiple segments of the industry. Award winners are selected from more than 1,200 entries by senior industry and media experts, for four main entry divisions: advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and—newly added—integrated marketing. Gold Award winners across these categories were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google, and TravelClick. Platinum winners were selected from exceptional Gold Award winners.

Rob Torres, Managing Director-Travle for google and Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof Inn, presenters at the 61st Annual HSMAI Adrian Awards © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The judges speak of authenticity, engagement, blurring of lines among media, emotionality, innovation and creativity, visual beauty, quality of content, storytelling, and most significantly measureable results in distinguishing the winners.

The stakes are huge: these advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns are a key part of the travel and tourism industry that generates $2.3 trillion in economic output (2.7% of the nation’s GDP) from domestic and international visitors. Travel expenditures support 15.3 million American jobs (8 million directly); account for $221.7 billion in wages, and generate $141.5 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments, levels that increased significantly over the past decade, and have been a significant factor lifting  the nation out of the Great Recession to “full” employment. International visitors to the United States in 2016 generated $212.3 billion, 9.5% of exports, but were forecast to fall by  0.6% in 2017, largely due to the political climate, travel ban, and concern over gun violence (which has accounted for several countries posting travel warnings). These are the kind of issues that the travel marketers address.

Travel and tourism is vital globally: Travel & Tourism generated $7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. The sector accounted for 6.6% of total global exports and almost 30% of total global service exports. Travel and tourism doesn’t just improve lives, but is critical to livelihoods.

The United Nations has designated 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. “As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world. The International Year provides an enormous opportunity to further showcase the tremendous economic, social, cultural, environmental, and heritage value that the sector can bring.”

The winner of the eighth annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award, presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler, was Terranea Resort.

Terranea Resort won the 8th annual Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award presented by HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Here are the award winners:

Best of Show Awards, the pinnacle of the evening, were presented to Platinum Award winners from three divisions—advertising, digital marketing, and public relations—as follows:

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism and its agency, Target: “Off the Beaten Path” Geo-Targeted Campaign

(Tie) Advertising “Best of Show” – Marriott International and its agency, GREY New York: “You Are Here” Campaign

Marriott International and its agency, GREY New York wins Best of Show in Advertising for “You Are Here” Campaign © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Digital Marketing “Best of Show” – Amelia Island and its agency, Paradise Advertising and Marketing: “Destination Dysfunction” Video

Amelia Island and its agency, Paradise Advertising and Marketing won Digital Marketing Best of Show for “Destination Dysfunction” Video © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Public Relations “Best of Show” – Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency, Weber Shandwick: “From Humble to Haute: Changing Perceptions of Mexico City”

Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency, Weber Shandwick wins Best of Show for Public Relations for “From Humble to Haute: Changing Perceptions of Mexico City” © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Platinum Award winners in the advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and integrated marketing divisions are:

Advertising Platinum Winners:

Company; Agency

Space Florida; Paradise Advertising and Marketing

VisitBritain; Expedia Media Solutions

Maine Office of Tourism; BVK

                                                                                                                          NewFoundland and Labrador Tourism; TargetMarriott International; GREY New York


Digital Marketing Platinum Winners:

Company; Agency

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown; Connelly Partners

Best Western Hotels & Resorts; Ideas Collide

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism; Target

Amelia Island; Paradise Advertising and Marketing

Orlando Magic; Net Conversion

Aruba Tourism Authority; Concept Farm


Public Relations Platinum Winners

Company; Agency

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau; Finn Partners

Singita; Imagine Communications

Singita and agency Imagine Communications, a Platinum winner for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hilton

Hilton, a Platinum winner for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Marriott Hotels; Catalyst PR

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Finger Lakes Tourism Promotion Agency; Quinn

Finger Lakes Tourism Promotion Agency and its agency Quinn, won Platinum for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Xanterra Parks & Resorts/Grand Canyon National Park Lodges; Percepture

Mexico City Tourism Board; Weber Shandwick

Mexico City Tourism Board and its agency Weber Shandwick won Platinum and Best of Show for Public Relations © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Visit Salt Lake


Integrated Marketing Platinum Winner

Company; Agency

Hilton Hotels + Resorts

Gold Award winners’ submissions were showcased on digital displays at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and featured during the Gala stage presentations. “Right in line with this year’s theme, ‘be a travel marketing superhero,’ the Adrian Award-winning campaigns demonstrated boldness, resolve, and charisma,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President.

Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2017 were honored by HSMAI in a reception co-hosted by Questex Hospitality + Travel and also recognized on stage during the Gala.

The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization for 2017 © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Additionally, the distinguished careers of two industry leaders were celebrated with HSMAI Lifetime Achievement awards. Edwin “Ed” Fuller, president, Laguna Strategic Advisors, was honored with the 2017 Albert E. Koehl Award and Terence “Terry” Gallagher, president, Lou Hammond Group, New York, was honored with the 2017 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.

 

“I’d like to thank HSMAI for giving me an honor that I wouldn’t have imagined possible more than 30 years ago when I began my own professional career,” said Gallagher, at the awards ceremony. “I’ve been blessed to be in what I feel is the greatest industry and it’s because of some wonderful people who taught me so much along the way.”

Terence “Terry” Gallagher, president, Lou Hammond Group, New York, was presented with the 2017 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations Lifetime Achievement by last year’s honoree, Melanie Brandman, founder & CEO of The Brandman Agency © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

After expressing gratitude for his award, Koehl Award recipient Ed Fuller shared some advice to his industry colleagues in attendance, “Remember to work on developing your people and investing in the people you are growing.”

Edwin “Ed” Fuller, president, Laguna Strategic Advisors, was honored with the 2017 Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement by last year’s honoree, Randy Smith, chairman and co-founder of STR © 2018 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award, presented by HSMAI and Libris by PhotoShelter, went to Aruba Tourism Authority and its agency, Concept Farm.

The Pioneer in Visual Storytelling Award, presented by HSMAI and Libris by PhotoShelter, went to Aruba Tourism Authority and its agency, Concept Farm © 2018 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Selected as one of the Top 100 Events in New York by BizBash, this year’s superhero-themed Adrian Awards incorporated eye-catching, comic book-inspired imagery and numerous other superhero references, which set an upbeat, playful tone for the evening.

For more information about the Adrian Awards visit www.adrianawards.com.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region.

Connect with HSMAI at www.hsmai.org,www.facebook.com/hsmaiwww.twitter.com/hsmai and www.youtube.com/hsmai1.

 

_____________________________

© 2018 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit goingplacesfarandnear.com,  www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin , and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com and moralcompasstravel.info. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures