South Korea goes for speed
The XXIII Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 9-25, 2018, in PyeongChang, South Korea, and attendees can expect a much quicker rail trip to the site of the Games from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. What had traditionally been a 2½-hour trip will now take just 69 minutes on the soon-to-debut bullet train that will travel up to 184 mph. South Korea is hoping that this improved infrastructure, and staging the Winter Olympics, will increase its popularity as a winter destination with tourists.
Best time to buy an airline ticket?
Some may have been in on the “secret” that the best time to buy an airline ticket was late Tuesday night after airlines had updated their computer systems and unsold inventory showed up. Recently, however, travel expert Peter Greenberg writes, “you can now throw the Tuesday night idea away” because airlines are updating their computers every night. His latest “best time” theory — about 45 days out from one’s desired departure date, and another window about ten days out, on a Sunday as that’s when the most unsold inventory surfaces.
Weekends Go the Distance
Travelzoo’s global travel deals Summer 2017 Travel Trends survey found that Americans aren't afraid to go the distance and plan to take a long weekend trip this summer. A majority are willing to travel three or more hours from home for their long weekend and travel by car is the favorite mode of transportation.
Boomers and Bucket Lists
AARP Travel research says that for Boomers, Bucket List trips are the most popular motivation for an international travel, while domestic trips are a combination of summer vacations, multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel.
Sustainable Travel’s Growing Popularity
When it comes to U.S. travelers and ecotourism, the most popular months to travel are May, August, and September, and the most popular places to go are Costa Rica, Iceland, and Galapagos Islands, according to Lodging Magazine.
Selfie Stick Alert
Overuse bordering on the absurd is forcing more museums, amusement parks, and public areas to prohibit selfie sticks, which may lead to distracted tourism associated injuries, and even death. Preoccupation with photo-taking can result in missteps like walking out in traffic, backing up over cliffs, and even falling into manholes.
The availability of complimentary WiFi largely influences where Millennials and Gen Z will stay. Digital connection is more important to them as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other social media platforms provide instantaneous connectivity to their circles of friends and family.
The largest generation in history, Millennials differ from Baby Boomers in that they are unable to leave internet behind. They need and want reliable, fast-speed, and complimentary internet. They like themed-events and cruises that cater to their interests. Fast casual is particularly appealing to Millennials.
Cuba, Canada, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, America’s numerous National Parks and stunning Alaska are high on travelers’ priority lists this year. Increased safety concerns, favorable exchange rates, and closer-to-home destinations are key motivators.
More than a million Millennials are becoming moms yearly. According to recently released data from The National Center for Health Statistics, 1.3 million 19-35-year-old women gave birth for the first time in 2015, bringing the total number of Millennial moms in the U.S. to more than 16 million. Compared to prior generations, the age group is behind in starting families—but not due to lack of interest. According to a recent Ypulse survey, 78% of 18-34-year-olds say raising a family is an important goal to them (Pew Research Center).
River cruises jump in popularity
Cultural immersions, specialized itineraries, and smaller numbers attract active travelers. Lines now include bicycles on board cruise ships for the biking savvy to have in-depth explorations of the towns and villages where ships dock.
While only a quarter of Millennials say they trust content created by brands, almost half say they trust user-generated content. Brands should be looking into the “use of authentic content in ads and marketing to build trust and create a more meaningful dialogue with their customers,” according to Olapic. They also suggest the use of branded hashtags to aid the 54% of Millennials who say they use them because they want friends and brands to know they like the product. (Adweek).
If the thrill of competition is what motivates you in the New Year, check out the NASTAR race course at Wintergreen Resort. Open to the general public, the modified Giant Slalom format electronically times racers and posts real time results on the Internet. Available Saturday and Sunday afternoons 12-2 p.m. weather permitting, cost is $7 for two timed runs, $15 for unlimited runs. Medals are awarded to racers qualifying with times compared to the day’s pacesetters.
Show Me, Alexa
The superstar of CES® 2017 was not a car, or a robot, or even a TV; it was Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the software that allows you to control compatible devices with your voice. Various reports estimated there were 700–1,100 Alexa-controllable products at the show.
Social Media Ranks High on Summer To Do List
Not surprisingly, wherever millennials are traveling this summer, they won’t stray far from their social media accounts. What are millennials’ favorite apps when traveling? Forbes lists them in order: • Facebook • Instagram • TripAdvisor • What’s App • Twitter Facebook is overwhelmingly the most popular go-to app of the quintet.
Top 10 Summer Destinations
According to TripAdvisor, here are the Top 10 destinations for U.S. travelers this summer: 1. Las Vegas 2. Cancun, Mexico 3. Orlando, Fla. 4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 5. Myrtle Beach, S.D. 6. New York City 7. London 8. Destin, Fla. 9. Paris 10. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Olympics Begin Today!
When the Summer Olympics begins today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it will mark the first time in Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games. Had Rio not won the bid, we might instead be looking at the Summer Olympics being hosted by Madrid, Tokyo or even Chicago.
Golf and Rugby – Back To The Olympics!
Two sports are returning to the Olympics after very long absences. Golf is back for the first time since 1904! Rugby returns, too, with its last entry in 1924 when the U.S. won the gold medal in the 15-person version of the game. For the 2016 Olympics, the rugby matchups will be seven-a-side, games will last only 15 minutes, and countries will field both men’s and women’s teams.
National Parks – Top of the Family Vacation List
Not surprisingly, Las Vegas isn’t to be found among the destinations families are choosing this summer. For the families yearning to get out into nature, Yellowstone and Utah’s national parks top the list, while amusement seekers will head to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The top cities for families? Chicago, Paris, San Francisco and San Diego are grabbing the most attention.
Philly and Cleveland
Philadelphia and Cleveland are two proud American cities on the rebound and continually polishing their images. They’re also witnessing dramatic population growth among millennials, whether they’re moving there for college or work. In fact, Philly’s millennial population is increasing fastest among the 10 largest U.S. cities. According to one study, Cleveland is attracting millennials at the same rate as Seattle and Miami. What else do Philadelphia and Cleveland have in common? The two cities this summer will host the Democratic and Republican national conventions, respectively, which expect to provide a further boost in positive exposure.
Also for the ninth time, the British Open returns to Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland. The last time the tournament was played at Royal Troon it produced one of the more unusual major champions of all time: Todd Hamilton. After his first and only major win, Hamilton missed the cut in 111 of his 187 subsequent Tour starts, and recorded just three Top 10 finishes.
2016 Summer Olympics
Does this make you feel old? The 2016 Summer Games will be the first Olympics to feature athletes born in the year 2000. Expect the youngest competitors to be from diving and gymnastics.
U.S. Open Championship
For the ninth time, the U.S. Open returns to Oakmont Country Club, located 13 miles outside of Pittsburgh. The course produced one of the tournament’s most memorable moments — Johnny Miller’s final-round, eight-under 63 in 1973. It remains the only 8-under-par round in U.S. Open history. Miller started Sunday’s round in 12th place, six strokes behind four co-leaders, including Arnold Palmer. One more note to ponder, especially in light of today’s major payouts: The win earned Miller $35,000.
Adding salt to food may not be good in our diets, but salt has made an impact in the world of spa treatments. Salt scrubs are a popular way to stimulate skin circulation and get rid of dry, dead skin cells. Therapists value the cleansing properties of scrubs and often use these treatments to prepare the skin for other services such as massage or hydrotherapy.
At HPR, we’re always on the lookout for spa and wellness trends. Keep your eyes open for the buzz about honey – in spa treatments, on menus, and in unexpected places!
Leave the Parents at Home
Multi-generational travel is on the rise as baby boomers age and their grandchildren get old enough to travel while leaving the parents at home.
Business travelers are adding more leisure to their business trips, extending stays and bringing along family and friends. As a result, business-oriented hotels need more programs for children and couples, and airlines will need faster and better Wi-Fi service to keep travelers connected.
We hope this is true: Cheapflights.com predicts the big airlines will start getting cheap to compete.
No More Selfies
One possible big loser this year? Selfies. Thanks to companies such as Flytographer (which lets travelers book a photographer in more than 160 vacation spots) and El Camino (a tour company that brings a professional photographer on every trip), travelers can put down their phones and enjoy authentic experiences.
According to Yahoo Travel, 2016 will see even less human interaction. Contacting “customer service” won’t necessarily mean talking to an actual person, with the option of never dealing with real people if we don’t want to. At HPR, we like to deal with real people and we ARE real…
Declutter – Everything!
But don’t just declutter overflowing closets and messy catch-all drawers. Declutter your mind.
If you plan to invite your company’s comptroller to the office party, just know his/her title is pronounced “controller.” Yet another one of those English language quirks as the “pt” is silent..
Southwest Still Baggage Fee Free
Southwest Airlines recently announced it has no plans to bag its bags-fly-free policy (max. 2 pieces of luggage). All other major airlines, including JetBlue as the most recent, have jumped aboard the cash cow: consider in 2014, airlines earned $3.5 billion in revenue from checked bag fees and $864 million in just the first three months of 2015.
Real Monopoly Money?
Courtesy of our friends at MentalFloss.com, the very first Monopoly game was based on real streets and locations around Atlantic City, N.J.
2015 Presidents Cup
Jack Nicklaus captained the United States Team to back-to-back Presidents Cup victories over the International Team in 2005 and 2007. Even though the U.S. team will be on foreign soil when the 2015 Presidents Cup is played in October, there will still be a distinct Nicklaus flavor to the event. Hosting this year’s event is the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea. The U.S. is 6-0-1 in the past seven President Cup events.
Throw Away Culture
The Disposable Film Festival in Lynchburg, Va. features movies created with disposable equipment such as iPhones, webcams, pocket cameras and the creativity of imaginative filmmakers.
The Virginia vineyard trend isn’t about cabernet or chardonnay it’s keeping pests at bay with vine-yard dogs. Some vineyards employ a corps of canine cops to shoo away hungry deer and fowl from pilfering the fruited vines. Some wine pooches even serve as public relations and label stars.
Medical tourism anyone? May sound scary but it could save money as well as lives. Researchers are considering the impact of comparison shopping for equally acceptable medical services with decreased costs that have the potential to increase the patient’s Social Security benefit payout.
Are Carbs Really So Bad?
Current diet trends trend away from carbs believed by many to be the culprits of weight gain, bloating and various GI maladies. Nutritionists are weighing in with some clear cut advice. “Carbs aren’t the enemy. Overconsumption of anything is the enemy.”
Feeling stretched? “The process of falling into a black hole – getting more and more stretched out – is known as spaghettification.” Another cool space thing.
In A Hurry?
“If you drilled a tunnel through Earth and jumped in, you would reach the other side in 42 minutes and 12 seconds, and your top speed would be 17,670 mph,” according to Astronomy Magazine’s new list of “The 500 Coolest Things About Space.”
Is there a better cold-weather comfort food than a grilled cheese sandwich? We don't have the expertise to tell you where to find the country’s best grilled cheese, but we can let you in on a little secret. The next time you’re in Los Angeles, don’t miss Heywood Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shoppe on Sunset Boulevard. One of the most interesting selections is “Bill Clinton’s Epiphany” – the vegan option for $14. According to the menu, it features, “Vegan cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers and avocado melted into a multi-grain bread that would have been the sandwich that helped our 42nd president be okay with becoming a vegan, had we been open then and through serendipity, he was passing by our shop.” Got it, we think. And if you’re not a vegan? You might order the $13 “Peking Pig,” which comes with prosciutto and maple bacon between two slices of brioche. Add a bowl of tomato soup and, well, life is good.
Move Over Rover
The heck with what people are naming their newborn sons and daughters. We’re here to tell what folks are naming their dogs in 2014. Top 10 male names: Ace, Bailey, Boomer, Charlie, Finn, Gus, Max, Buddy, Sam and Trapper. Top 10 female names: Bella, Coco, Daisy, Katie, Lexi, Maggie, Molly, Penny, Stella and Zoey.
Tennis + Ski = Golf
31.9% of all tennis players are also golfers. 29.5% of all skiers are also golfers. 30.7% of golfers play tennis and/or ski.
Do the Swiss Create the Best Watches?
In 2013, Switzerland exported 28.1 million timepieces at an average price of $830.
Soccer Without The Cup?
How big is soccer without the World Cup? England’s Premier League is broadcast on TV into 212 territories (countries and other political divisions), reaching 643 million homes.
A true fan
If you’re someone who wants to witness in person this year’s must-see sporting events around the globe, here’s a list to get you started:
• U.S. Open Championship | Pinehurst, NC | June 12-15
• FIFA World Cup | Rio, Brazil | June 12-July 13
• Tour de France | France | July 5-27
• Commonwealth Games | Glasgow, Scotland | July 23-Aug. 3
Note: Don’t think we’re PR geeks or anything, but can we add that the 2014 World Public Relations Forum is scheduled for Sept. 21-23 in Madrid, Spain? We just didn’t want you to run out of options after the Commonwealth Games.
Nearly 4 years on your phone
A recent study reveals that the average person now spends 90 minutes a day on their mobile phone, which tallies up to 23 days a year and 3.9 years during an average person’s life. The sixth most used function of that mobile phone? Yep, it’s calling people. Topping the list is browsing the web, closely followed by time spent on apps.
And, as people turn to their smartphones for more and more uses, traditional devices are slowly becoming obsolete. Three such examples: an alarm clock, a wristwatch and the home phone line.
Fitness fads for ’14
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), here are the top 10 fitness trends predicted for the upcoming year:
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
2. Body Weight Training
3. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
4. Strength Training
5. Exercise and Weight Loss
6. Personal Training
7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
8. Functional Fitness
9. Group Personal Training
Crazy Halloween Economy
Halloween is a spending frenzy! Consumers spend $2 billion in candy, $300 million in pet costumes, and $1.67 billion in decorations.
Oreos, Chocolate Chip, Thin Mints…pick your favorite flavor because October is National Cookie Month!
Crain's 50 Most Powerful Women in New York Celebratory Luncheon, October 1, recognizes what it means to command incredible power in this city. The 2013 honorees are driven, smart and passionate, and have risen through the ranks with the support of organizations and companies that have been a catalyst to their success. Among the 2013 honorees are Jenna Lyons, President and Executive Creative Director, J.Crew; Virginia Rometty, Chairwoman, President & CEO, IBM Corp.; Diane von Furstenberg, Chairman and Founder, Diane von Furstenberg Studio and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue
Pound: Rockout, Workout
Pound: Rockout, Workout classes turn your entire body into a rhythm instrument. Pound combines rhythm and weighted drumsticks called Ripstix into a full body cardio jam session. Pound is a fusion of cardio, pilates, plyometrics, isometrics movements and poses into a full-body 45 minute class that can burn 600-900 calories per hour!
Roll out the mat, strike a warrior pose, September is National Yoga Awareness Month! The Huffington Post reported in July the number of Americans practicing yoga has shot up by nearly 30 percent in the past four years, according to the latest Yoga in America study, produced by Yoga Journal. Their 2008 survey accounted for 15.8 million yoga practitioners, but the latest figure shows that 20.4 million Americans are now practicing — about 8.7 percent of U.S. adults. More than three-quarters, or 78.3 percent, said they were motivated to improve flexibility; overall conditioning, stress relief, improved general health and fitness level were other popular factors.
Who knew August is National Dirty Harry Month? Certainly Carmel-by-the-Sea is celebrating and hopefully its former mayor Clint Eastwood is, too. HPR is pleased to represent charming Carmel-by-the-Sea to the world every month of the year!
August is National Peach Month and nowhere is the fuzzy fruit more celebrated than in Georgia, the Peach State. HPR celebrates another Georgia favorite, client Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee with five championship golf courses, water sports, nature adventures, and succulent Southern cuisine just 80 miles east of Atlanta.
MOTHER'S DAY…'TIS THE SEASON?
Anna Jarvis was the driving force behind the advent of Mother’s Day as she wanted to honor her deceased mother. Young Anna remembered a Sunday school lesson that her mother gave in which she said, “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day. There are many days for men, but none for mothers.” At Anna’s urging, Congress in 1914 designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Nearly a century later, Mother’s Day has become the most popular day for families to dine out, a staggering 140 million greeting cards are exchanged, it is the second most popular holiday for gift-giving behind Christmas, and phone lines are burning up from coast to coast.
GREEN WITH ENVY
Just how did the tradition of the “Green Jacket” at The Masters golf tournament take flight? Augusta National Golf Club members first began wearing green jackets in 1939 as a way for patrons to recognize them if they needed help or had questions about the tournament or the golf course. The tradition of awarding the tournament winner a green jacket, however, did not begin until 10 years later. The first Green Jacket recipient? Sam Snead.
IF APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS…
… then it begs the question, “What does March bring?” Well, if you asked college basketball fans, the answer would be “March Madness.” Here’s how the venerable Sports Illustrated columnist, Frank Deford, analyzes the popularity of the tournament: “In a nation that prides itself on second chances, there are none. No we'll get ’em tomorrow back home. No interminable seven-game series. The finality of the NCAAs is as vicarious for us watching as it is terminal for the losers.”
According to a study released by the Cactus League Baseball Association, spring training baseball in 2012 generated $422 in economic impact to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy. A total of 67 percent of the visitors to Arizona in the month of March are there to see Cactus League baseball. Spending by those visitors included car rentals, hotels, restaurants, retail, entertainment and golf.
OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
If he were still alive today, Theodor Geisel would turn 99 on March 2, 2013. Most of us know Mr. Geisel better by his middle name of “Seuss.” Indeed, Dr. Seuss, who was born in Springfield, MA in 1904, now has his birthday commemorated along with “Read Across America Day,” sponsored by the National Education Association to inspire children to read. Besides all the joy he brought to millions with his books, along the way he won two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
I’LL TAKE ‘TICK, TOCK’ FOR $500, ALEX
The Answer Is: Hawaii and Arizona.
“Which are the only two states in the U.S. that don’t observe Daylight Saving Time?”
P.S. It’s officially Daylight Saving – not Savings – Time, and this year it will be observed beginning March 10.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
The colors pink and deep purple have been added to the weather map of Australia to represent temperatures above 122 degrees.
DON’T BE A SUGAR DADDY
An Idaho law forbids a citizen to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds. There are likely more than a few husbands in the Gem State who have used that as an excuse when they’ve come empty-handed on February 14.
Thomas Edison enjoyed sailing (“the sport which demands the least energy”), but shunned any recreational activity that required mental agility, such as Scrabble. “When I get through with work, I don't want anything that requires the working of the mind,” he once told The New York Times.
A GAME CHANGER
Among the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary new word entries for last year: mash-up, aha moment, cloud computing, man cave, underwater, bucket list, game changer and systemic risk. And two more, for better or worse: sexting and F-Bomb. What words will be new for 2013?
GO WEST, YOUNG MAN
Farmers’ Almanac predicts it “will be a winter of contraries, as if Old Man Winter were cutting the country in half.” It says the eastern half of the country’s 2013 winter will feature plenty of cold weather and snow, while the western half will be warm and dry.
A DIZZYING DIFFERENCE
From groundbreaking to opening day in July 1955, Disneyland was built in just 365 days at a cost of $17 million. Its recent remodeling of Disney California Adventure, next door to Disneyland, took 5 years and cost $1.1 billion.
RAINING CATS & DOGS
It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer heart attacks.
TIME MARCHES ON
Newsweek magazine, which recently announced it would abandon its print publication altogether, debuted in February 1933 as News-Week. It sold for 10 cents per copy, or $4 for a one-year subscription.
Bouquet Takes on a New Meaning….
The new Notes of Wine Collection from Kelly & Jones (kellyandjones.com) are fine fragrances that capture the essence of the vineyard. One of the owners feels that her perfume mingled perfectly with the wine scent found in a tasting room. She selected her five favorite varietals and created a brand new concept in fine fragrance – scents that enhance the nuances of both wine and perfume. There are five scents: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay as Eau de Parfum or Rollettes. Sample flights are also available. Hmm…
For what’s it worth, the United States has had eight left-handed presidents: James A. Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Conversely, only 3 of the 52 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom have been lefties: Winston Churchill, James Callaghan and current PM David Cameron.
To relieve stress and anxiety while filming “Argo,” Ben Affleck tackled The New York Times crossword puzzle. The director/actor reports he can finish Friday’s crossword with no problem, can’t complete Saturday’s and can only fill out Sunday’s puzzle if it’s early in the month.
IN THE BAG
In 2011, airline passengers paid $22.6 billion in baggage fees and other extra costs
PREPARED TO TRAVEL
As of this year, 35% of Americans have passports. While that’s significantly lower that most other countries— such as New Zealand (95%), Germany (90%), Britain (80%), Canada (60%), and Australia (50%)—it’s a significant improvement from 1989 when only 3% of Americans were prepared to travel abroad.
Is virgin coconut oil the new magic elixir? It's popping up everywhere as the latest and greatest way to treat common skin ailments from eczema to athlete's foot when applied topically, and is said to lessen the symptoms of Alzheimer's and Autism when ingested internally. You can cook with it and even use it to remove your eye makeup. Who doesn't want to smell like they just returned from a Caribbean vacation?
There are 50,000 storage facilities in the US and one in 10 American families stores stuff in them.
LEFT IS BEST
Do you have a good side? Researchers from Wake Forest University would put money on the fact that you'd say it's your left. According to a study published in the journal "Experimental Brain Research," people almost universally prefer looking at the left side of a human face. Artists tend to agree, since historically most portraits are depicted from the left. So next time you pose for the camera, go gauche and make sure you showcase that beautiful left cheek!
According to Google Travel there are 5 stages of Travel:
- Dreaming: 68% of business travelers watch travel-related online videos. Among them, 68% are thinking about a trip
- Planning: The average traveler visits ~22 travel related sites during 9.5 research sessions prior to booking
- Booking: 37% of leisure travelers report that the internet prompted them to book, up from 28% two years ago
- Experiencing: 70% of business travelers check into their flights/hotel with their mobile device. Almost 1 in 4 hotel queries come from a mobile phone
- Sharing: About 1 in 3 business travelers have posted reviews online of places they’ve been
Half of the adults in the US are unmarried, up from 22% in 1950. And nearly 15% of them live by themselves, up from 4%.