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  U.S. Travel Quick Links >   Home    Member Services    Public Affairs    Research    Meetings    International            July 22, 2009

Government Meeting? Stay Away From Fun City
from The Wall Street Journal
What do Reno, Orlando and Las Vegas have in common? To some pockets of the federal government, they just seem like too much fun. Instead, employees at some big agencies, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are being encouraged to host meetings in more buttoned-down places such as St. Louis, Milwaukee or Denver. More
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Now TWO WAYS to reach cultural & heritage travelers!

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PURCHASE The Cultural & Heritage Traveler Report available this October. Order your copy now! Email Brenda Roth at Mandala Research or call 734.502.3853.

Belay That Welcome
from Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Weekly
Last November, the United States added eight more countries to its Visa Waiver Program, an initiative by the Homeland Security and State departments that permits people from nations the government trusts to spend 90 days in the United States without a visa. Today, though, seven of those countries would not qualify for inclusion. The difference? Homeland Security did not meet a June 30 deadline for setting up a system that uses data such as fingerprints to check that foreigners entering the country are the same ones leaving it. Absent such a system, countries that want to become part of the Visa Waiver Program must meet stricter security standards. Those already in, of course, may stay. More
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Tourism Blacklist Backlash
from Orlando Sentinel
Should government meetings steer clear of Orlando and Las Vegas because they're resort destinations that could cause image problems during a recession? The White House doesn't think so. Reports of a so-called federal travel blacklist surfaced last month, when the travel industry said an unwritten policy circulating among federal agencies barred meetings in cities perceived as leisure destinations. More
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Hotels, Airlines Offer Treats to Lure Customers
from USA Today
With many people staying put during these tough times, the travel industry is going to great lengths to woo people back on the road with promotions that range from the creative to borderline kooky. This is not your mother's fare sale or rate cut. More
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the West

Find an unrivaled collection of resorts at Starwood Hotels & Resorts in the West, offering award-winning properties from brands such as Westin, St. Regis, Luxury Collection and Sheraton. From sun drenched beach locations to the best address for skiing – you’ll find properties unlike any other. Click here to reserve an unforgettable stay for your clients.

SSA Defends Choice of Retreat Venue
from the Federal Times
Some House lawmakers are demanding answers from the Social Security Administration after the agency held a training retreat earlier this month at the Waldorf-Astoria’s Arizona Biltmore resort, but the agency contends the conference was appropriate. About 650 GS-12s through GS-14s attended the $700,000 conference in Phoenix earlier this month to learn better management skills, said SSA spokesman Mark Lassiter. More
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Travel Deals Taking Shine Off Staycation Plans
from the Daily Herald
For financial reasons, many suburban families planned to give up their summer vacations this year and just stay home. Now they're seeing almost irresistible travel deals, and they're feeling the urge to go somewhere, anywhere, even if just for a few days. More
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"Welcome to the United States" Webinar:
Updates for Industry on Travel from Latin America
Tuesday, August 4, 1 p.m. EST

from the U.S. Travel Association
Take advantage of this valuable opportunity to prepare your customers and update your colleagues! Join representatives from across the U.S. government for a free Webinar on the latest U.S. border security requirements for travelers from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

From visa issuance and inbound market statistics to the deployment of 10-fingerprint collection and the status of biometric exit procedures, this briefing will provide the information you need to ensure your travelers are prepared for their trip to the United States. Here’s your chance to ask questions... Access educational resources…Learn the latest updates on U.S. border security requirements.

To receive an e-mail with a link to the Webinar sign-up and dial-in instructions, please send your name, title, organization, address, telephone and fax numbers to by 6:00 p.m. EDT on August 3, 2009 in the United States. More

Marketing Outlook Forum Speakers
Focus on "The New Normal"

from the U.S. Travel Association
Frugality is taking hold as consumers struggle in the current economy. The two major forces impacting the travel industry, consumer behavior and the economy, will be the main focus of speakers kicking off this year’s Marketing Outlook Forum, October 26-28, in Little Rock, AR. Jon Clifton, Deputy Director, The Gallup World Poll will delve into the changing consumer behaviors dubbed The New Normal, while Adam Sacks, Managing Director, Tourism Economics, will look to 2010 to provide an up-to-date forecast. And CEO and co-founder Geoff Ramsey will map out the digital marketing future.

To register and for the most up-to-date program and list of speakers, go to or follow MOF on twitter at

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