Lisa Iannucci

How Will A Trump Presidency Affect Travel?

by Tammy

On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Everybody is wondering what decisions he’ll make and how it will affect their respective industries. One travel survey predicted that a million tourists would lose interest in travel should Trump win. The travel industry is also waiting to see how Trump will impact tourism. While the world waits, here are some opinions on what people hope he will do, as well as some concerns that they have.

Mahesh Chaddah of Reservations.com has hope that Trump will use his previous involvement in the travel industry to boost the industry. “With Donald Trump’s long-time involvement in the travel industry, coupled with his plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, many jobs can be created and make America a welcoming destination,” said Chaddah. “Due to improving relations with Cuba, OTAs plan to grow their business in this region. If the relationship were to change, projected growth OTAs planned for would be drastically altered as well.

Greg Geronemus, the co-CEO of smarTours, is very concerned about President-elect Trump reversing the tremendous progress that the States has already made with Cuba. Trump once tweeted, “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate the deal.”

“I’m also concerned about his follow through on his threat to repeal President Obama’s executive orders related to Cuba and prevent Americans from traveling there,” said Geronemus.

“I believe that there is no better way to help the Cuban people than to send Americans to engage in meaningful, people-to-people exchanges,” he said. “Ever since Obama’s historic announcement in December, 2014 and the massive influx of American travelers, we have seen tremendous progress in Cuba, and there’s no better example than the privately-owned restaurants that have served scores of American travelers. The owners of these restaurants have benefited financially and many have reinvested in their communities to restore buildings and help others.”

Geronemus is hopeful that President-elect Trump will do the right thing, but he makes sure to add, “If you really want to go to Cuba, go soon.”

Greg Antonelle of MickeyTravels LLC believes that Trump can change the travel industry by making travel to the United States easy for foreigners. “One would think owning a hotel empire and everything that goes along with the Trump brand, that he would have a vested interest in doing so,” he said.

Time will tell after Jan. 20, once Trump has a chance to move in and make some changes.

By: Lisa Iannucci

It’s all about rides, shows and fun at amusement parks and each year we flock to them to be entertained and enjoy the wildest of roller coaster thrills. What new rides and excitements can we expect at the parks in 2017?

“Globally, amusement parks and attractions entertain more than 1 billion people annually, and the key to the industry’s success is its ability to bring guests back year after year by creating new and unique experiences,” said Colleen Mangone, director, media relations of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. “In 2017, guests are sure to enjoy new rides and attractions which involve everything from virtual reality, pop culture, and video games, to roller coasters, water slides, and more.”

Mangone said that 2017 should see a continuation of a recent trend of parks adding hotels, which provide guest convenience and allow for a multi-day visit. “We see more and more restaurants and hotels opening near stand-alone attractions creating mini-destinations which can turn a three-hour trip into an all-day or multi-day outing,” she said.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the global organization for the $39.5 billion attractions industry, some of the newest trends in amusement parks include virtual reality, video games, dinosaurs, and robots. For example, Plopsaland De Panne in De Panne, Belgium, has a new virtual reality wooden roller coaster called “Heidi The Ride.” It reaches speeds of more than 43 mph.

SeaWorld, which will open new rides/experiences in three of their parks in 2017, debuts The Kraken Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coaster in summer 2017 at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the Kraken.

The Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster brings the reality of jet skiing across a body of water where riders lean into exciting hairpin turns. The InvadR will launch at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and is a new one-and-a-half minute ride on a wooden roller coaster, which includes more than a 70 foot drop.

“The Walking Dead” is a hit television show and now Triotech hopes it will be just as popular as an immersive amusement park experiece when “Fear the Walking Dead – The Experience on Fremont Street” opens in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017.

“Attractions themed with a well-known intellectual property are a hit with theme park guests because they instantly understand the premise, environment and basic story line,” said Christian Martin, vice president of marketing for Montreal-based Triotech. “They are also popular with operators — theme parks and others — because of precisely the same reason; the public already knows the brand which makes marketing the attraction easier for the operator.”

On that note, the “Ghostbusters 5D” dark ride comes to Heide Park in Soltau, Germany. Riders go inside Lord Explorus’ Warehouse and become part of a 5-D ghost hunting experience with the help of laser guns and 3-D glasses.

Around the world, Japan has opened their doors to Legoland, with more than than 40 rides, shows and attractions. The park features seven different lands, including Lego Factory, Bricktopia, Adventure, Knight’s Kingdom, Lego City, Pirate Shores, and Miniland.

In June 2017, Croatia opens its first theme park, FunPark Mirnovec, with 26 attractions including two roller coasters — “Alien 8,” which features spinning ride compartments, and the inverted steel coaster “Space Witch.” Movie Park Germany in Bottrop, opens “Star Trek: Operation Enterprise,” a movie-themed launch roller coaster manufactured by Mack Rides.

Demark introduces Djurs Sommerland in Nimtofte, which reaches a whopping 98 feet a maximum speed of 52 mph.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, introduces a double-launch roller coaster, “Walk The Big One,” which features 15 interactions and allows riders to experience the same levels of G-forces as felt by the driver of a Formula 1 car.

Wonderland in Maple, Ontario adds “Muskoka Plunge” with a drop of almost 60 feet and slides through S-curves and 360-degree loops at speeds of approximately 24 mph.

The amusement park industry is definitely growing and the next year will be exciting to watch the launch of all of these new rides and attractions.

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