Monthly Archives: February 2015

Puerto Vallarta has been awarded the TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARD 2014

Puerto Vallarta has been awarded the TOURISM EXCELLENCE AWARD 2014 by Spanish Corporate “Grupo Excelencias”at FITUR 2015 for the development and implementation of its strategic plan to “re-engineer” the destination’s Tourism Action Plan put together by the Mexican beach destinations Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, the Puerto Vallarta’s Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism of Jalisco.

The engineering plan involves all tourism stakeholders, government departments, associations, chambers and private initiatives, and involves improvements in infrastructure and tourist heritage as well as a formal program of training and awareness aimed at local people who become hosts / destination ambassadors, reinforcing Puerto Vallarta as one of the world´s most friendly destinations.

Since the Puerto Vallarta’s Convention and Visitors Bureau was restructured this past August, its new Executive Director, Miguel Andres Hernandez has been busy laying the ground work to ensure the destination’s future as a serious contender in the business travel industry.

An important element in the CVB’s work is training and presentation by renowned meeting planners and professional congress organizers. On November 13 of this year, the bureau hosted Miguel Harraca, President of the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of Latin America and the Caribbean in a presentation on strategic alliances.

From Nov. 25-27, the CVB partnered with SITE and other Mexican entities to do the first of a number of training aimed to make as many of the member of Puerto Vallarta tourism industry Certified Meetings Specialists. Over 20 members participated in the four-course class in Mexico City. Additional classes with PCMA and other associations are currently being scheduled for 2015.

The CVB has also started working on the development of its own certifications. Designed to create a service norm and standard across the city, it has partnered with local, state and federal institutions to train and certify local businesses. On December 5, the OCV started a certification program that is expected to train more than 2,500 taxi drivers in basic consumer relations, destination representation, language and others. Similar certification are being developed for other suppliers in the destination, including restaurants, hotels, tour operators, etc.

As part of its promotions and PR campaign with the tourism board agency, LATITUDE, the CVB, the Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, destination hotels and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board have continued to promote the city’s infrastructure in numerous events throughout the year including AIBTM, IMEX and MPI’s WEC. Puerto Vallarta also becoming an MPI Preferred Partner in April.

Puerto Vallarta is most definitely a destination that will not fail to surprise, taking full advantage of its long list of features and benefits. On a daily basis, it is committed professionally to offer a unique and distinctive product, full of added values, to be a true “Experience Generator” for all those travelers seeking tirelessly for the perfect destination.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico is one of the main tourist destinations in Mexico for sunny beach vacations. Its unique features, perfect weather and convenient geographical location has made it one of the cities with the best connections by air and sea as well as one of the most visited by travelers from Mexico, USA, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

With more than 22,500 hotel rooms, an active tourist seaport, international airport, more than 300 days of sunshine per year and the traditions of Jalisco: excellent cuisine, tequila, raicilla, mariachi and charrería (rodeo style Mexican cowboys), Puerto Vallarta is a destination that falls in love and outdoes itself every day. Its setting is perfect for cultural, artistic, historical, culinary and adventure travel, for destination weddings, romantic escapes and incentive trips, corporate events, conferences and conventions.

A fantastic International Convention Center and more than 30 hotels offering excellent and warm deals for conference tourism, including meeting rooms and social areas, complement a varied and quality nightlife that boasts some of the best restaurants in the country and endless activities such as adventure and ecological tours, artistic events and sports. Being highly competitive, Puerto Vallarta is also positioned favorably today as one of most popular and quality destinations for medical tourism.

About Puerto Vallarta
Besides being one of the top 5 tourist destinations in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta offers a wide range of hotels with business services as well as an International Convention Center, all of which is conducive to support a variety of events for all preferences, ranging from work meetings to international conventions. Besides sun, sand and sea, Puerto Vallarta boasts a rich environment to secure the success of your convention. Its geographical location bestows a beautiful, typical Mexican town surrounded by the emerald green mountains of the Sierra Madre and the deep blue sapphire tones of the Pacific Ocean.

The extensive range of hotels available includes international hotel chains as well as independent, traditional and boutique hotels that complement the various water sports, adventures, award-winning restaurants offering all kinds of cuisine, DMC professional services, exciting tours for large or small groups, world class spas, championship golf courses, entertainment 24/7, a picturesque downtown full of rich traditions and culture, friendly people and an enviable number of art galleries.

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most important tourist centers by the sea, having increased in popularity among event planners due to its accessibility, proximity, excellent climate and its new infrastructure for events.

DoubleTree by Hilton Expands Presence in Jacksonville

DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport Opens Following Multi-Million Dollar Transformation

DoubleTree by Hilton announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport, conveniently located just 200 yards from the main terminal of Jacksonville International Airport. Formerly an independent hotel, the property reopens to guests following a dramatic multi-million dollar renovation that includes modern design updates throughout the lobby, guest rooms, meeting spaces and restaurant. DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport is owned by Jax Airport Hotel, LLC and managed by Pyramid Hotel Group.

“As one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the upscale, full service hotel category, expanding our offering in key business and leisure markets like Jacksonville is a priority for DoubleTree by Hilton,” said John Greenleaf, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “Our second hotel in Jacksonville, DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport offers business and leisure travelers a freshly renovated hotel, the little things that mean everything and proximity to the airport and numerous attractions. We look forward to delighting guests with the award-winning DoubleTree by Hilton service culture, which starts with our iconic warm chocolate chip cookie welcome for every guest at check-in.”

The stylish and contemporary 201-room hotel creates a comfortable oasis for business and leisure travelers. The property-wide design updates reflect the region’s contemporary coastal flair, complemented by bright color themes and dark wood accents. In-room and lobby artwork is all custom-made and highlights the area’s beaches and attractions. Unique views of the nearby airport’s runways may also be seen throughout the property.

“This has been an exciting time of transition as we reimage and reintroduce the hotel in the market, while also creating 100 new jobs for the community,” said Robert Atkinson, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport. “Our dedicated team members look forward to greeting guests at the gateway to Jacksonville, serving our community, and delivering the high-quality services and amenities that have earned the brand a global reputation for excellence.”

During their stay, guests will enjoy all modern amenities, including LCD HDTVs, the inviting Sweet Dreams bed experience and complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel’s public areas and guest rooms. Additional complimentary offerings include a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art Precor equipment, 24-hour business center, on-site parking and 24-hour shuttle service to and from the airport.

An enticing menu of American cuisine is served all day long at the contemporary Frequency Restaurant, with signature dishes such as Southern Style Shrimp and Grits and Braised Lamb Shanks. Restaurant guests can enjoy lake and water fountain views, as well as outside patio dining. Guests can also relax with a cocktail before or after dinner at the Frequency Lounge, or enjoy a variety of in-room dining options.

With 11,000 square feet of function space covering three levels of the hotel, DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport is an ideal venue for meetings, conferences, weddings, banquets and other business or social events. Two ballrooms, two board rooms and four breakout rooms are suitable for a wide range of audiences and purposes. For smaller group meetings, the hotel offers the Meetings Simplified by DoubleTree by Hilton package from $15.00 per person, which includes the meeting room, basic meeting WiFi, meeting room supplies including a flipchart, markers, extension and power cord, and all day non-alcoholic beverage service.

DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport is located close to Interstates 95, 295 and 10, making it easily accessible to numerous Jacksonville attractions, such as the beaches of Amelia Island, bustling River City Marketplace, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the Anheuser Busch Brewery and Northeast Florida’s more than 70 golf courses. Nearby businesses include the distribution centers for Mercedes Benz, Coach and Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

In addition to the warm chocolate chip cookie welcome, guests will enjoy other DoubleTree by Hilton brand amenities, including an assortment of gourmet in-room tea and coffee choices from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, the refreshing new Aroma Actives natural skin and body care line, and an industry-recognized service culture built around the idea of CARE, which stands for Create a Rewarding Experience for guests, team members and the community.

As a participant in the Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program, Hilton HHonors members will be able to earn and redeem points with their stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport. To mark the opening, the hotel is participating in a Hilton HHonors promotion offering Hilton HHonors members 1,000 bonus points per night for a maximum of 5,000 bonus points for stays completed through April 30, 2015. Based on availability, Gold and Diamond members will enjoy upgrades to the hotel’s exclusive Hilton HHonors floor. Additionally, Diamond Hilton HHonors guests will enjoy complimentary continental breakfasts and bonus Hilton HHonors points during stays and Gold Hilton HHonors guests will have the option of complimentary breakfast or bonus Hilton HHonors points.
DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Airport is located at 2101 Dixie Clipper Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32218. For more information, or to make a reservation, travelers may visit

About DoubleTree By Hilton
With a fast-growing, global collection of more than 400 upscale hotels in gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations across six continents, every little thing we do at DoubleTree by Hilton inspires us to create a rewarding experience for our hotel guests, our team members and the communities we proudly serve. Our hospitality begins with a warm chocolate chip cookie welcome upon arrival and continues with the award-winning Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program, an array of fine services and amenities and our longstanding CARE Culture tradition that empowers team members to provide the special comforts and acts of kindness that make the traveler feel human again.

To make reservations at any DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, travelers may visit our brand website at Social media users may connect with us at, and

About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company’s portfolio of twelve world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,250 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 700,000 rooms in 93 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Canopy by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.

About Pyramid Hotel Group
Pyramid Hotel Group is a privately held, Boston-based hotel company with over 55 hotels and resorts under hotel management and asset management, comprising more than 22,000-plus rooms and approximately 8,900 employees. Pyramid Hotel Group, ranked among the largest U.S. hotel management company by independent sources, provides hotel management, asset management and project management services to a broad array of hotel assets ranging from a 90- room select-service hotel to world-class properties with more than 1,000 rooms. Pyramid Hotel Group is a franchisee of all major hotel brand companies and an operator of independent four- and five-star hotels and resorts. Additional information is available at

Goodbye Cold and Hello Sunshine in Kissimmee, Florida!

Enter to Win a Sunny Florida Getaway

Winter blues got you down? Snowy days seem never-ending? Then dig out your flip flops and hang up your winter coat, it’s time to prepare for warmer weather in Central Florida – where the only snow comes in a cone! Make Kissimmee your winter escape and enter Experience Kissimmee’s “Kiss the Cold” sweepstakes now through April 12 for your chance to win a sunny Florida getaway for you and 3 guests.

Goodbye Cold and Hello Sunshine in Kissimmee, Florida!

With year-round beautiful weather, Kissimmee is the perfect place to soak up some much needed sunshine. Imagine a place where you can zipline through the trees, skim across the headwaters of the Everglades in an airboat, soar above it all in a hot air balloon or enjoy quality time at the pool, all in the middle of winter. Imagine Kissimmee; located just minutes from world-famous theme parks including, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and LEGOLAND Florida.

Sun, fun & theme parks are waiting! To enter Kissimmee’s Kiss the Cold sweepstakes, text “warm” to 82257, or enter online by visiting the official campaign website, Throughout the 13-week entry period, four Grand Prize Winners will each receive a sunny Kissimmee getaway package for them and up to three guests. The 6-day/5-night prize package includes:

Round trip airfare for four
Hotel accommodations at a Kissimmee Resort
Rental car
Four 1-day, 1-park tickets to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Four 1-day/2-park tickets to Universal Orlando Resort
Four tickets to Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
A 1/2-hour airboat tour for up to four people at Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
A 2-hour guided tour for up to four people The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek
In addition to the four Grand Prize vacation packages, weekly winners will each receive a “Box of Sunshine” that will include various items representing Florida warmth.

Limit 1 entry per person, per day. For Eligibility, Official Rules, and complete prize details, visit

Sunshine. Blue Skies. Everything the Orlando area has to offer. Without the frost bite. With nearly 50,000 total accommodation options available, it is the best place to stay to visit world famous theme parks, as well as a wide array of outdoor attractions that showcase Florida’s natural side. Start planning today at

San Diego’s Waterfront Gets a Makeover with a New Embarcadero

Visitors to downtown San Diego’s bustling bayside will find a new, more pedestrian-friendly Embarcadero thanks to enhancements recently unveiled by the Port of San Diego. Two years in the making at a cost of $31.1 million, a new esplanade located along Harbor Drive between the Navy and B Street piers welcomes visitors, including cruise ship passengers boarding and disembarking from San Diego’s two adjacent cruise ship terminals. Representing the first phase of San Diego’s Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the improvements include a two-block area of West Broadway between North Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

The improved Embarcadero’s centerpiece is a beautifully landscaped 105-foot wide promenade which was made possible by removing parking spaces and realigning Harbor Drive 60 feet to the east.
The following are some notable features visitors can find along San Diego’s premier waterfront destination:
Two sleek metallic shade pavilions feature colorful and inviting new glass ticket kiosks for the Old Town Trolley Tours, Flagship Cruises and Hornblower Cruises.

The pavilions also house a new visitor information center, projected to open in April 2015, gift shop and Carnitas Snack Shack, a popular local restaurant scheduled to begin operating in late May/early June 2015.

Eye-catching public art by internationally-known artist Pae White integrates seamlessly throughout the architecture of the Embarcadero’s new buildings. Inspired by the novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull, White adorned the pavilions, ticket booths, restaurant, information center and a new public restroom with large cutout letters and words that represent the aerial views of a seagull in flight.

Lush, colorful gardens, landscaped plazas and pathways feature comfortable wooden benches and seating areas, groves of 42 purple-blooming jacaranda trees—San Diego’s official tree—and an environmentally-friendly water filtration system that captures street and sidewalk runoff, filtering pollutants from the water before it enters San Diego Bay.

New York lighting designer Leni Schwendinger installed dramatic sculptural lighting fixtures in the medians along West Broadway, complementing 18 towering palm trees.

In addition to the transformation of the North Embarcadero, a new 12-acre Waterfront Park featuring a spectacular 830-foot long fountain opened in May 2014. Also neighboring the new Embarcadero, construction is underway on two new hotels—Springhill Suites and a Residence Inn—and a public park at Lane Field, located on the northeast corner of Broadway and North Harbor Drive.
Happiness is calling in San Diego. For more information on San Diego Bay, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at, the Port of San Diego’s website at or call 619-236-1212.