NTA's News Stories in Adventure, Agritourism, Culinary & Faith-based Tourism

(Click on the green links below to see the articles!)

 New! Market Focus  
Welcome to Tuesday's newest feature! NTA members represent markets that are Focusdiverse and specialized, and our goal is to help build your business, expand your markets, share ideas and innovations, and develop relationships with each other. Each week we'll connect you to articles about specific industry segments to inform and inspire you. Beneath each article title is a link to the NTA member to contact for more information.

Adventure Tourism
Kentucky Launches Zipline Trail
NTA member to contact: Kentucky Dept. of Travel and Tourism

The Calling Card of Tourism Pays Off in the Mountains
NTA member to contact:  North Carolina Division of Tourism Film and Sports Development 

The New Face of Grand Junction Tourism
NTA member to contact: Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau 

Jordan Conference: How can destinations seize the opportunities afforded by rapidly changing market conditions?
NTA member to contact: Jordan Tourism Board of North America

N.J. Agritourism Helps Farmer's Cover Costs
NTA member to contact: New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism

Partnerships Needed to Grow Agritourism
NTA member to contact: Washington Tourism Alliance

Culinary Tourism
Exploring Mississippi's Culinary Trails
NTA member to contact: Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division

Positioning Montreal as an international gastronomic destination
NTA member to contact: Tourisme Montreal

Tourism Richmond Reveals Identity of "Richmond Foodie Blogger"
NTA member to contact: Tourism Richmond

Faith-based Tourism
Globus Study Sees Solid Growth in Religious Market
NTA member to contact: Globus

And join our discussions on Linkedin.com: NTA's Faith-based Tourism Network gives you the opportunity to:
  • Meet and connect with industry colleagues involved in faith tourism.
  • Develop relationships and facilitate business interactions.
  • Exchange articles, strategies, insights, trends and ideas meaningful to the marketplace.
  • Build a coalition of faith tourism leaders, members and delegates.

Agritourism - Current Stories in the News

Mesa dairy thrives with agritourism
by Maria Polletta
The Republic | azcentral.com
Article excerpt:
"2009 was the tipping point," he said. "We were burning through equity and on a path to lose everything we'd worked for. I'd seen the writing on the wall and I thought, 'I'm either going to have to scale out and be a 5,000-cow dairy operation, or we're going to have to diversify what we offer.' "
That year, Stechnij and his sister, Alison, retired most of their milking cows and started focusing on agritourism to keep the farm at 3440 S. Hawes Road afloat. Now, nearly 100 percent of the farm's income comes from agritourism, which ranges from hay rides and Thursday-night farmers markets to a gourmet food truck and summer camps.

Agritourism takes root: Farm Tour highlights local produce
Article excerpt:
"It’s all part of Cleveland County’s growing agritourism industry – where visitors explore where their food comes from by going directly to the source: the local farm. The county and surrounding areas received national media attention in the last year with the release of “The Hunger Games.” That publicity has since sparked interest from other media outlets and travel writers wanting to capture everything Cleveland County has to offer its visitors."

Agritourism blossoms along the Red Rooster Route
Article excerpt:
ARLINGTON — It's farm fun time again in north Snohomish County, with a fresh slate of special festivals beginning in June. This year's roster of entertaining agritourism events will be larger than last year, reflecting the increasing popularity of the annual activities, all aimed at attracting city dwellers to the countryside for a rural farm experience and maybe a memorable overnight stay.

Agritourism brings in more money to local businesses
Article excerpt:
Vacationing isn't just about resorts on white-sand beaches anymore. Now more travelers around the world are looking to get back to their roots. A study from the University of Mississippi shows agritourism is a growing trend and many are booking vacations to farms and ranches. Companies on the Central Coast are tapping in and offering more opportunities for visitors to get an agricultural experience. Santa Margarita Ranch has done just that for almost a year now.

Looking for a job in the Growth Travel Markets? Here's one way to search them...

Would you like to obtain a job working with or in Growth Travel Markets?

If so, how or where do you begin such a job search? There are of course many ways but one is visiting popular job sites and performing a job search search specific to your areas of interest in Growth Travel Markets. Here's an example of what you can do....

1) Go to job search websites such as Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Monster.com, etc.
2) Perform a keyword search for phrases such as "adventure travel", "sports travel", "religious travel", and the like.

I just performed the above steps for "Adventure Travel" and sample job search results returned included jobs as adventure travel guide, adventure travel consultants, market research (adventure travel/outdoor), travel sales manager, etc.

Plus, always keep in mind that companies that specialize in Growth Markets (i.e. tour operator specializing in family travel) need accountants, sales personnel, marketing managers, etc., to operate on a daily basis. As such, the various types of jobs available in Growth Travel Markets are many and diverse.

Tourism Becoming Even More Diversified and Specialized: Adventure Travel Combined with Volunteering

Over the years the travel industry has continued to become more diversified and specialized. The coming years will bring even more diversification and specialization to tourism. This will include more cross-over between different "market segments".

An example of this is the blending of adventure travel with volunteering (voluntourism).  Here's a story recent published on the topic:

Why Blend Adventure Travel with Volunteering

Read full article at

Here are a couple selections from the above article:

Get the best of both worlds
Undoubtedly one of the most attractive things about combining these two types of travel is that you get to have your cake and eat it too. Rather than restricting your experiences to one type, you really get the best of both worlds, embarking on incredible adventures such as jungle treks, and reaping the rewards of helping local communities.

In-depth cultural experiences
Another reason to combine volunteering and adventure travel is that it offers an unparalleled chance to get under the skin of your chosen destination. The adventure side of things allows you to explore lesser-known places and try your hand at a wide range of active pursuits, while volunteering means you can get to know locals and learn far more about their way of life than you could otherwise.

Adventure Tourism in the News (Current Stories & Headlines)

Here are some of the stories about Adventure Tourism making the media rounds:

Eco tourism fastest growing, adventure travel most resilient
Speaking at the 2012 International Conference on ‘Seizing Tourism Market Opportunities in Times of Rapid Change’, Ecotourism to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature  special advisor Hector Ceballos-Lascurain defines ecotourism as environmentally responsible travel that promotes conservation, low negative tourism impact while providing social economic benefits to the local people. At 20 to 25 percent growth per year, he said it is the fastest growing tourism segment around the world, with 25 percent of all international tourists qualifying as eco travellers by end of this year.
Volcanoes Safaris celebrates fifteen years as pioneers in great ape tourism
Established in 1997 by Praveen Moman and Yusuf Mulima Mubiru, Volcanoes Safaris celebrates fifteen years as leaders in the safari and adventure travel world this year.  It has been a special journey at the forefront of the revival of adventure tourism in Uganda and Rwanda.

Water working as adventure tourism lure (in Kentucky)
ASHLAND — Officials in several Eastern Kentucky counties are ramping up efforts to create water trails in an effort to attract more adventure tourism.

Incredible Adventure Travel in an unexpected place (Puerto Rico)
Travelers wary of banal island vacations may want to take another look at this unusual spot in the Caribbean.  For those in need of some sun, dodge the trite and typical beach break and head to Puerto Rico for something different: a multifaceted vacation destination that promises action-packed adventure in surprisingly unique surroundings.

Adventure with a dash of comfort

Tour Ops to Agents: It’s Not Tuesday in Belgium Anymore (by Maria Lenhart; Travel Market Report)

Below is an outstanding article reprinted in its entirety by Maria Lenhart of Travel Market Report on the changing face, product and demographics of group tours. A definite must read for any tour operator, travel agent or supplier/tourist office who works with group tours.

View full article at http://www.travelmarketreport.com/leisure?articleID=7245&LP=1

Tour Ops to Agents: It’s Not Tuesday in Belgium Anymore

Tour products are growing more flexible and customized, they are no longer just for seniors, and they should in no way be associated with the classic movie, “If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium.” Today’s land tours allow clients to become more immersed in local culture than ever.

These were among key points about the changing nature of the tour industry from tour executives on a panel discussion at OSSN’s recent Home-Based Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas.

A more personal experience
“Fewer and fewer of our tours are like that,” said Peter Worthing, director of sales for Trafalgar Tours, when an agent in the audience asked about the dreaded comparison to “If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium.”

“More of our tours are regional in nature. We are changing the face of guided tours.”

Today, cruises are far more likely than land tours to fit the see-it-all-in-a-short-time mold, said Ari Marom, president of Vared HaSharon Travel & Tours.

“A land tour is much more in-depth; you see much more of the destination,” he said.

Old style tours still sell
However, agents should not assume that the old-style, destination-packed tour has disappeared entirely, said Bob Faucett, director of Religious Tours and co-owner of Unitours.

“There’s a certain segment that still likes the ‘Tuesday’ tour. Sometimes new immigrants to the U.S. will ask for them,” he said. “So don’t assume that they’ve gone away.”

Traveling at leisure
Trafalgar Tours is getting away from the fast-paced tour in favor of products such as its At Leisure program, which features 9 a.m. or later departures and multinight city stays, Worthing said.

The 65-year-old tour company has also launched such cultural immersion features as Be Our Guest, in which tour participants dine in the homes of local families.

“The first one we did was at a farmhouse in Sorrento, Italy, where travelers are greeted at the front door, stroll through the lemon grove out back and then sit down to a huge home-cooked Italian meal with local wine,” Worthing said.

“Each experience is unique. Travel agents can tell their clients that travelers can go to Europe on their own, but they won’t have a Be My Guest experience.”

Responding to agent feedback
Sceptre Tours, which specializes in programs to Ireland, Great Britain and Italy, also has modified its programs to suit changing traveler preferences, according to Marc Kavanagh, president.

“We listened to what our travel agent partners were telling us,” he said.

The result is Groups Your Way, a tour program for groups as small as 10.

“It works well for a family group,” Kavanagh said. “There’s a choice of daily excursions, based on interests. You can develop a unique experience for your group.”

Demographics skew younger
The stereotype of escorted tours appealing only to seniors is also changing, several panelists said.

While the average age for the Trafalgar Tours customer was once in the mid-60s, it is now down to 58, according to Worthing.

Multi-generational business also is booming, he said.

“Multi-generation business should be putting dollar signs in your eyes,” he told the agents. “And the grandparents are footing the bills.”

Family travel
Also noting growth in the family market, Kavanagh said that Sceptre Tours is serving an increasingly younger demographic who are going for options such as pub crawls and the chance to try the traditional Gaelic sport of hurling.

“It’s a very rough form of football – I call it soccer on steroids,” he said.

Demographics are also skewing younger in the religious travel market, according to Marom, whose company specializes in custom and religious tours in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Some religious organizations are encouraging young people to participate in tours because of the educational value,” he said. “Churches and synagogues are recognizing that too much learning is coming from movies and TV.”

The trends for family travel and customized experiences have also influenced what Vared HaSharon Travel & Tours offers, Marom added.

“In many cases, people are looking to find their personal roots or self-discovery,” he said. “There will be families traveling to Israel to meet their cousins. We’ll do things like help them arrange a Sabbath dinner. These experiences last for a long time.”

Maria Lenhart
Senior Editor, Travel Market Report
Maria Lenhart has covered the travel industry beat for many years, serving in senior editor positions at Meetings Focus, Meetings & Conventions and Meeting News and contributing to Travel Professional, Business Travel News, TravelAge West and other publications. Her articles have earned awards from the Society of American Travel Writers and the American Society of Business Press Editors. A former assistant travel editor of the Christian Science Monitor, she has written for many newspaper travel sections and consumer magazines and is the author of Hidden Oregon; Destination Specialist: France and other books. She lives in San Francisco.

Bald Eagles feeding on Salmon in Haida Gwaii

A quiet moment in Skidegate on Haida Gwaii. Every time the tide goes  out, the beach offers opportunities to explore what has been left  behind. The young Haida, the raven and the eagles in turn come out to  play. In a place where every day brings opportunities for new  discoveries, it is easy enough to spend an hour, or two or three just  taking it all in, as we did on that beautiful summer day.

Brand new book on Family Tourism to be published next month (July 2012)

Here's information about the book from Amazon.com:

Family Tourism: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Aspects of Tourism)
by Heike Schänzel, Ian Yeoman and Elisa Backer (Jul 15, 2012)

Book Description

July 15, 2012 Aspects of Tourism (Book 56)
This cutting-edge international book brings together leading experts latest research in the field of family tourism by adding to its underdeveloped knowledge base. Family Tourism: Multidisciplinary Perspectives underlines the infancy of academic family tourism research that belies its market importance and directs towards future implications and theoretical debates about the place of families within tourism.

Editorial Reviews


The family, in many countries, is in a state of flux and their vacation patterns have changed significantly in recent years. This book provides a comprehensive picture of the family on holiday, past, present and future. The authors fill a gaping hole in the academic and practitioner literature and this book will be an invaluable resource for students and professionals alike. Tom Baum, University of Strathclyde, UK This book addresses a much under researched aspect of contemporary life. Family tourism represents a major aspect of all leisure travel, yet little systematic research has, until now, been undertaken on the various forms of the family and their experiences of tourism. This book represents a systematic approach to the subject and is written in an accessible and interesting manner. I heartily recommend it to all those interested in tourism and in the family. Conrad Lashley, Oxford Brookes University, UK This book breaks new ground by bringing together a range of well-respected researchers from around the world to delve into the concept of Family Tourism from their individual knowledge base, so as to develop a multiple disciplinary focus to the study of Family Tourism. I am sure in a short time this book will be required reading, not only for students of tourism, but also for those who work in tourism marketing and want to better understand their markets. Brian Hay, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK

About the Author

Heike Schänzel is a lecturer in Tourism Studies at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. Her doctoral thesis on family holiday experiences won an award and resulted in several academic journal publications.
Ian Yeoman is Associate Professor of Tou

Africa Travel Association: Growth Markets Discussed at Annual Congress

The Africa Travel Association just concluded its Annual Congress in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Below are several selections from the news story by eTurbo about the event. To read the full story, click here:

The Africa Travel Association, the world’s leading travel industry trade association promoting tourism to Africa, held its 37th Annual Congress in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 18-22, 2012. More than 500 delegates from government, business, and the non-profit sectors gathered at ATA’s hallmark event in Africa.

The theme, “Africa Tourism: Partnering for the Future,” focused on how tourism, with growth rates in emerging markets outperforming more established destinations, is one of the most promising industries on the African continent for development. South African Airways served as Presenting Sponsor and Official Congress Carrier, and Arik Air served as Official Media Carrier.

Inspired by the Japanese television cooking show, Iron Chef, ATA held the first “ATA Culinary Experience.” Delegates enjoyed a luncheon prepared by culinary students from the Bulawayo School of Hospitality and Tourism Studies and chefs from Victoria Falls hotels. Visiting chefs from the USA, Chef Pierre Thiam, Senegalese cookbook author, Yolele!, and Eric Simeon, E&E Grill House Executive Chef, judged the competition, along with Ambassador Ray; Dr. Nancy Scanlon of Florida International University; Chef Christopher Gonzo, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwean Culinary Association; and Chef Johnson, Chief Technical Coordinator of ZTA.

ATA’s young professionals hosted the third annual "Celebrate Africa Social Night,” a time for the delegates to enjoy Zimbabwean music, cuisine, and dancing and culture. The night began with a traditional braai dinner in the garden of The Kingdom Hotel, followed by dancing at The Wild Thing Action Bar. At a press conference during the congress, Karikoga Kaseke, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), announced that Zimbabwe will form an ATA Young Professionals chapter to “…advance the interests of our young professionals in the industry.”

Family Travel & Tourism (Latest News Stories)

Below is a sampling of some of the current news stories in family travel and tourism:

Parents, grandparents, kids and more: Tips for traveling with extended family
Read full article at:
Family travel, also referred to as multigenerational travel, is a growing trend not likely to slow any time soon, with more and more people considering the benefits of traveling with extended family. If the idea of taking a trip with your family - children, parents, grandparents or more - appeals to you, here are some tips that will help ensure your vacation is one everyone in the family will enjoy.
Forty percent of U.S. leisure travelers - 20.8 million people - had taken a multigenerational trip in the previous 12 months, according to a 2011 Preferred Hotel Group study.

Family Holidays Poised for Strong Growth in Asia Pacific
Read full article at:
Findings from the inaugural Asia Pacific Family Travel 2012 survey indicate that families on vacation are prepared to spend even more than they already do. According to the survey conducted across key cities in seven Asia Pacific markets, an estimated 44 million people travel on family holidays every year – chalking up an annual spend of US$29 billion.
Other key findings highlighted in the survey include:
  • 51 million trips are made each year on family vacations
  • 44m people spend US$29bn (Domestic: US$11.75bn; International: US$17.13bn)
  • International travel is expected to see considerable increases in 2012: Indonesia (20 per cent); Malaysia (38 per cent); Philippines (81 per cent)
  • Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and India will remain popular destinations for family travellers, with growth expected from North Asia and regions outside Asia
  • Typically, the length of stay for domestic family travel is 4 days, whilst the length of stay for international family travel is 8 days
Moms Helping Moms: Expedia Launches "Kids in the City" Family Travel Guide
Top Family Travel Bloggers Share Tips for Vacationing With Kids in Top US Destinations -- the Best Places to Eat, Stay and Play
Read full article at:
Expedia.com, the world's leading online travel agency, today launched Expedia(R) Kids in the City Guide, a compilation of 12 distinct guides to top US summer vacation destinations. Each online guide is curated by a family travel blogger who is a mom herself from cities such as Boston, New York and Chicago. They feature the best places to see, stay, eat and play with children of all ages in the summer months.  
Expedia: Kids in the City Guide: http://mediaroom.expedia.com/kidsinthecity

15 Berlin adventures your whole family will love
Read full story at:
With miles of bike lanes, quirky pop-up museusm, a massive hotel boom, and some of the world's tasties street food, Berlin is drawing a new breed of traveler: families.

Resource: Going on Faith (Publication & Conference)

Looking for an excellent resource and publication on Faith-based Tourism?

Be sure to check out Going on Faith. Here's how you can learn more about them:

* Going on Faith (magazine): http://www.goingonfaith.com/

* Going on Faith Conference: http://www.gofconference.com/

Natural History Museums Nurture Local Sense of Place

This Royal Saskatchewan Museum golden eagle diorama has had quite a history. I saw it for the first time in the early 1980s. It struck me then as a vivid illustration of a land that had successfully maintained a definite sense of wilderness in the midst of massive agricultural transformation. In 1990, while the museum was undergoing major renovations, it was hit by fire. This diorama and many others were covered by black soot. The museum was closed to the public for a few months to repair the damage. The community and museum patrons pulled together, and invested in the creation of an even more ambitious set of galleries and displays that eventually yielded a spectacular First Nations Gallery.

Natural history museums play a subtle but critical role in helping shape a destination's brand identify. Their very presence in a community attests to the profound appreciation by its inhabitants of those aspects of life that enrich the local sense of place. Natural history museums highlight cultural capital and natural wealth. They are resource centres, learning opportunities for children, adults and visitors.

They are institutions tasked with the stewardship of artifact collections that researchers and citizens can enjoy in future generations. Perhaps more powerfully than other efforts, they eminently convey that private and public sector organizations are sometimes able to partner to achieve great projects. Perhaps studying what common ground was found among partners that allowed such institutions to be built might provide useful insight for all those who seek more mutually-beneficial partnerships in general.

Faith Tourism: 7,000 people from 99 countries traveling to Ireland for International Eucharistic Congress

Read full article at

Faith Tourism - Faith based tourism is growing and during IEC 2012, more than 7,000 people from 99 different countries will travel to Ireland. We profile other faith tourism initiatives and destinations. A special bell - reportage story of the Congress Bell and its two-year journey, and a preview of The ‘An Post’ commemorative stamps.

Books About Culinary Tourism

The following books as featured on Amazon.com:

Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets (New Canadian Library) - 2003

Editors: C. Michael Hall, Liz Sharples, Richard Mitchell, Niki Macionis, Brock Cambourne

Food and wine are vital components of the tourism experience, and are increasingly being seen as prime travel motivators in their own right. Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets offers a unique insight into this phenomenon, looking at the interrelationship between food, the tourism product and the tourist experience.

Using international case studies and examples from Europe, North America, Australasia and Singapore, Food Tourism Around The World: Development, Management and Markets discusses the development, range and repurcussions of the food tourism phenomenon. The multi-national contributor team analyses such issues as:

* the food tourism product
* food tourism and consumer behaviour
* cookery schools - educational vacations
* food as an attraction in destination marketing

Tourism and Gastronomy (Routledge Advances in Tourism) - 2002

Anne-Mette Hjalager and Greg Richards
In recent years, a growing emphasis has been placed on tourism experiences and attractions related to food. In many cases eating out while on holiday includes the 'consumption' of a local heritage, comparable to what is experienced when visiting historical sites and museums.

Despite this increasing attention, however, systematic research on the subject has been nearly absent. Tourism and Gastronomy addresses this by drawing together a group of international experts in order to develop a better understanding of the role, development and future of gastronomy and culinary heritage in tourism.

Students and researchers in the areas of tourism, heritage, hospitality, hotel management and catering will find this book an extremely valuable source of information.
Culinary Tourism (Material Worlds) - 2003
The following provides a list of several books on Culinary Tourism as featured on Amazon.com:

Culinary Tourism (Material Worlds) - 2010

Lucy M. Long (Editor)

View book on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Culinary-Tourism-Material-Worlds-Lucy/dp/0813122929

""From Kosher Oreos to the gentrification of Mexican cusine, from the charismatic cook of Basque communities in Spain and the United States to the mainstreaming of southwestern foodways, Culinary Tourism maps a lively cultural and intellectual terrain."" -- from the foreword by Barbara Kirshenblatt-GimblettCulinary Tourism is the first book to consider food as both a destination and a means for tourism. The book's contributors examine the many intersections of food, culture and tourism in public and commercial contexts, in private and domestic settings, and around the world. The contributors argue that the sensory experience of eating provides people with a unique means of communication. Editor Lucy Long contends that although the interest in experiencing ""otherness"" is strong within American society, total immersion into the unfamiliar is not always welcome. Thus spicy flavors of Latin Aermcia and the exotic ingredients of Asia have been mainstreamed for everyday consumption. Culinary Tourism explains how and why interest in foreign food is expanding tastes and leading to commercial profit in America, but the book also show how tourism combines personal experiences with cultural and social attitudes toward food and the circumstances for adventurous eating.



View on Amazon.com at

Food is an attraction - just like a museum. Had it occurred to you, however, that food and drink are the most overlooked components of the visitor experience? Every traveler eats and drinks, and consequently, the ubiquity of that behavior is something that travel industry and food and beverage marketers usually overlook. The reason is because we all take eating for granted - we do it three times per day. Culinary Tourism is an important new industry that weds two related but distant hospitality cousins - foodservice and tourism. Hospitality businesses have an enormous underexplored opportunity to make a significant impression on visitors with unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences. Culinary Tourism: The Hidden Harvest introduces professionals to the concept of Culinary Tourism and presents ideas how to best promote food and drink as a primary visitor lure. Relevant examples from all over the world help illustrate the importance of this new industry.

Globus Study Sees Solid Growth in Religious Market (by James Ruggia)

Globus Study Sees Solid Growth in Religious Market

Published by Travel Pulse
June 06, 2012

Read full story at :

Globus, the first large tour operator to embrace faith-based travel by creating a religious travel division in 2004, will unveil its 2013 itineraries in the coming week. According to a new religious travel study conducted by TravelStyles and commissioned by Globus, 35 percent of all outbound travelers are interested in taking a religious vacation. And, 17 percent hope to do so in the next five years.

At 16.3 million travelers, the potential market for international religious vacations is sizable. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that it’s grown nearly 5 percent since 2007, despite difficult economic conditions. Some 49 percent of religious travelers view a faith-based vacation as something they need to do to enhance their faith. And, 51 percent also feel more comfortable spending on a religious vacation than a “regular” vacation. Further, according to this same study, 25 percent of travelers are using a faith-based vacation as a motivator to travel internationally for the first time.

And, while the majority of potential religious travelers are motivated by the opportunity to deepen their faith (58 percent), visit the world’s most inspiring destinations (57 percent) and explore the historic roots of their religion (53 percent) on a faith-based vacation, nearly half (45 percent) would like to simply have fun on their journey. To showcase this further, the TravelStyles survey found that 42 percent of religious travelers are looking for a 50/50 blend of activities (50 percent religious/50 percent non-religious activities).

Says Mike Schields, Globus’ managing director of groups and emerging markets, “We get it. A faith-based journey should feel as special—and fun—as it does spiritual. With Globus, travelers can venture through Grand Catholic Italy while also experiencing the glory of the Roman ruins. They can take in the Marian Shrines of Spain and Portugal while savoring paella, tapas and regional wines. Or bring the Old Testament to life in Israel and Jordan while witnessing marvels like the Dead Sea or Petra.”

Join Me on Linkedin.com

Are you involved or interested in the Growth Markets of Tourism?  Are you on Linkedin.com?

If "yes" to both of these questions, send me an invite to connect on Linkedin with you.

Here's my Linkedin page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinjwright1

Popular Google Searches for Tourism's Growth Markets

Here's a little insight into some of the top "search phrases" that I'm coming across regarding this blog on Growth Markets in Tourism:

* Culinary tourism
* Faith-based travel
* Religious travel
* Agritourism
* Adventure
* Ecotourism

The New Face of Grand Junction Tourism (Colorado)

A par excellence example of a tourism organization tapping into the Growth Markets is the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau in the State of Colorado. 

The following article wonderfully captures the "entrepreneurial activity and vitality" of Grand Junction VCB.

Article title: The New Face of Grand Junction Tourism
by Caitlin Row, Grand Junction Free Press

Read full story at:

Already successfully branded as Colorado's Wine County, Grand Valley tourism seeks to expand its reach even further with a new push — to be known for its extraordinary recreation and culinary options.

Hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, dining — all the “-ings.”

“It's all about diversity and having lots of choices,” Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau (GJVCB) division manager Barbara Bowman said.
Like most tourism destinations, Grand Junction took a big hit when the national economy trended downward four years ago. Bowman said “stabilizing, rebuilding and regaining” its market share is GJVCB's top goal in 2012. Bowman will also seek new ways to attract a larger segment of international travelers flying into Denver.

Bowman and Meyeraan both say they hope an expanded tourism vision will bring more groups to the area. And, they said an investment in new technologies will play a larger role in attracting new business.

For more information abotu "The New Face of Grand Junction Tourism" visit 

Culinary Tourism - Current News Stories

Culinary tourism guide marks first year
By Linda Bates, Special To The Vancouver Sun
Taste & Travel, a handsome, glossy magazine produced in Canada, is celebrating the completion of a successful first year - a remarkable achievement in a tough economic climate, and at a time when digital publishing is increasingly replacing print. It took a new Canadian, Ottawa-based Janet Boileau, to see that there would be a market for stories about travel and cuisine.
"Culinary travel is a huge area," Boileau said in a phone interview. "Up until now there [have been] food magazines, there are travel magazines, there wasn't a magazine devoted 100 per cent to culinary travel like this is, so it's a first."

Tucson looks to brand itself: Home of the best Mexican food in the U.S.
“This is something that’s been here for decades, now it’s time to tell the rest of the world,” said Chris DeSimone, a tourism industry consultant.Working with the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau (MTCVB), DeSimone has helped launch a branding campaign staking out the Mexican food claim.
Discussing the plan over a plate of fish tacos at La Costa Brava restaurant, 3541 S. 12th Ave., DeSimone said the idea grew out of a bus tour he organized through Gray Line Tours. DeSimone also co-hosts with Joe Higgins a 6-8 a.m. weekday radio talkshow on KVOI 1030-AM and the two collaborate on a biweekly column in Inside Tucson Business.
The “Best of the Barrio” tour takes visitors on a journey to several Mexican restaurants where they can explore the unique culinary traditions.

Exploring Mississippi's Culinatry Trails
By Blake Guthrie
Some of Mississippi's greatest culinary treasures are found in unexpected spots such as roadside shacks, old gas stations and groceryand drug stores. The state's tourism division, along with the Southern Foodways Alliance, based in Mississippi, each have trails dedicated to the unique culinary culture of the Magnolia State. A hearty blend of international and homegrown influences can be found and savored at nearly 100 stops along the trails, from the coast to the delta and the northern hills. Here is a sampling of places to whet the appetite for a food-centric journey..

For decades, Tucson has capitalized on abundant sunshine, unique desert landscapes and golf to try to bring visitors to Southern Arizona. Now, a push has been launched to put Tucson on the culinary map as the home of the best Mexican food in the United States.

Medical Travel Morphing into Niche Markets, Study Finds (Travel Market Report)

Here are the opening two paragraphs to the above article:

A new study predicts that much of the growth in medical travel will be focused in three niches – dental, cosmetic and fertility services.

The 2012 Medical Tourism Facts and Figures study, released recently by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ), also predicts that medical tourism’s growth will be primarily in regional and domestic travel – and paid for by customers themselves, rather than health insurers.

Oil Leasing Boom Boosting Mount Vernon Occupancy

According to oil and gas officials by way of a Southern Illinois lawmaker the flurry of oil and gas leasing in the east half of the region in preparation for a potentially massive oil boom has already boosted occupancy rates in Mount Vernon. Neighboring Wayne County and Hamilton County are the current hot spots for leasing after three companies started in Saline County last year.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, passed along the tidbit Thursday during the last day of the spring session in what was either the second or third interview of the day. A surprise move by a liberal college-town representative change an all-parties agreed upon fracking bill into one that would cause a two-year moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, a technique that's been used for more than 60 years in Illinois.

Phelps and region's other lawmakers of both political persuasions blocked consideration of the bill and possibly saved hundreds if not thousands of potential jobs coming to the region. Fracking and horizontal drilling is expected to begin this summer. If they find oil in the New Albany Shale formation about a mile under the surface like they have in the Bakken formation up in North Dakota all bets are off for the region.

My story quotes Phelps as describing it as a potential $100 billion industry. I'm pretty sure that was with a "b" and not an "m" in the figures. Already oil and gas officials briefed lawmakers Thursday about the current impact of the potential boom.

Phelps noted that right now he was told, "(We) have 200 land men in Southern Illinois representing 10 companies. Hotel occupancies are up 20 percent in Mount Vernon alone."

My story from April talks more about the history of fracking in the region.

Southern Illinois lawmakers aren't the only ones who have been briefed about the potential for the region.

Even U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois who has been vocal in his support of new federal regulations targeting the use of coal expressed support for fracking during his visit to Harrisburg earlier [in April].

"You know we're going to ask all the right questions because there are legitimate concerns, but we've found it can be done safely if it is carefully regulated. We don't want in any way to contaminate water supplies in the process. We don't want to put anyone's public health in danger. We just want it done in a thoughtful careful manner that will call for some government oversight and regulation to make it work," Durbin explained.

...the Democratic senator would rather see the regulations take place at the federal level...

"If it can be done in that way it's a source of energy that we never dreamed of that's just sitting there waiting to be tapped," said Durbin who remained coy at giving an exact value to its potential, only pointing to the oil boom taking place in the Bakkan shale formation in North Dakota...

So how big is the Bakken boom? Well, first, Mount Vernon's higher occupancy rates may only be the beginning.

Williston, N.D., is the center of the new oil boom. KPAX-TV reported May 8 that Williston saw 10 hotels open last year with six or seven ready to open later his summer. At one point the Holiday Inn was charging $250 a night.

When I wrote my story quoting Durbin, North Dakota was the nation's third-largest oil-producing state. Since then on May 15, the Wall Street Journal reported North Dakota has now surpassed Alaska as the nation's second largest oil-producing state. Only Texas produces more oil.
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