Tourism Story Ideas

DCI TOURISM STORY STARTERS

2022-2023 EDITION

NORTH AMERICA

Baltimore, MD – www.baltimore.org

Baltimore, Maryland earned the nickname “Charm City” for a reason. Located on the Patapsco River, Baltimore is more than just a sea-port town with crab. It’s a city filled with a rich history and diversity of people and experiences. Baltimore boasts sites with fantastic elements of American History, including the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry, the critical role that Baltimore played in the Civil War at Historic President Street Station, and the childhood home of baseball legend Babe Ruth. In August 2022, the Peale Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country and has officially re-opened after five years and a $5.5 million dollar renovation. Lexington Market,  the oldest public market in the country will also be reopening this fall. Grab a drink at the new Church Bar or locally brewed Baltimore’s Checkerspot Brewing Company who even use the regional fruit, the pawpaw, in some of their brews. Places like Hotel Revival also offer zero proof (alcohol-free) cocktails to make sure a relaxing evening in an intimate setting can be enjoyed by all, regardless of what’s in their glass.

 

Camp Fimfo – www.campfimfo.com

Camp Fimfo, a new and award-winning elevated camping experience located in New Braunfels, Texas, recently opened a second location in July 2022 in nearby Waco. Named among the Top 5 Campgrounds for Families, as well as the Top 5 Campgrounds for Design, by Campspot, Camp Fimfo evokes memories of summer camp and family road trips of yesteryear but with all the conveniences travelers expect today. Both locations feature about 200 Red Carpet RV spots with full hook-ups, cement pads and patios. A collection of cozy cabins offers a glamping experience with multiple bedrooms, kitchens, full bathrooms and outdoor luxuries, including fire rings and charcoal grills. Campers who want a more-traditional experience can pitch tents at Camp Fimfo’s primitive sites. The amenity-rich destinations include restaurants, lounges, waterparks and plenty of activities for children and adults.

 

Chattanooga, TN – www.visitchattanooga.com

Named one of the Top U.S. Mountain Towns by Outside magazine, Chattanooga’s fall season brings with it a kaleidiscope of colors, alfresco adventures and a handful of events, including the Chattanooga Oktoberfest, Motorcar Festival, Collegedale Apple Fesitval and Rock City’s Enchanted Garden Lights during the holiday season. New hotel properties, such as the Avid Hotel, Element by Westin and a pair of soon-to-open TownPlace Suites add to the lodging landscape. Admire the fall foliage with a stroll along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Walnut Street Bridge or along one of the dozens of nearby trails all located within a 30-minute drive of downtown. Tennessee’s best bread is made in Chattanooga at Niedlov’s Bakery & Café, and was tapped by Food + Wine magazine to be included on its Best Bread in Every State list.

 

Expedia Group (Canadian B2B Media Only) www.expedia.ca 

Expedia Group’s Traveller Value Index: 2022 Outlook, based on a new study conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research, suggests that after two years of enduring a global pandemic, people value travel and personal time more than ever. Travellers rank flex travel at the top of their priorities, while focusing on travelling for good, including tipping industry workers more and choosing less-crowded destinations. The report also reveals the new world of work will alter travellers’ priorities, as 56 percent of those who often work remotely are planning to take a “bleisure” style trip — extending a work trip for leisure, or vice versa. In addition to these findings, EXPLORE, Expedia Group debuted a three-tiered strategy to redefine its place in travel that included, a new technology platform called Expedia Group™ Open World to power the industry; a reimagined marketplace that rewards partners for delivering great traveller experiences; and a focus on developing traveller technology that provides the right information to increase booking confidence. Expedia Group — which includes such brands as Hotels.com, Trivago, VRBO, Orbitz and Hotwire — is using data-powered technology to build a more-resilient global travel ecosystem.

 

Florida – www.visitflorida.com

The Sunshine State is basking in the spotlight as a collection of new hotels and resorts prepare to open or re-open. Plush properites include the Mandarin Oriental in Boca Raton featuring a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, a pair of rooftop pools and a cache of dining options – the rooftop MO Bar + Lounge among them. Loews Coral Gables will also make its debut with 242 rooms and suites coupled with more than 30,000 square feet of functional indoor and outdoor meeting space. The Baco Raton has undergone a $200-million reimagination and will soon unveil its revamped Spa Palmera. Finally, the legendary Sunset Lounge in West Palm Beach, the cornerstone of the Historic Northwest District’s restoration spearheaded by the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, is expected to reopen following a mutimillion-dollar revial. This century-old iconic jazz venue was once the south’s premier African-American entertainment venue.

 

Jackson, MS – www.visitjackson.com

This year marks Jackson’s bicentennial anniversary as the city celebrates its 200th birthday all year long with a variety of events and attractions. One of the most-anticipated events includes the new exhibit by 12 African-American artists at the Mississippi Museum of Art through the end of September. “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” examines the deep impact the Great Migration had on social and cultural life. Dining destinations and local watering holes are raising the bar with a selection of exclusive cocktails concocted especially for the bicentennial.  Made with local spirits and ingredients, these libations are available through the end of the year. Downtown Jackson will also be the site of the Mississippi State Fair—October 6-16—one of the south’s largest festivals with more than 600,000 visitors passing through its gates during the 10-day gathering.

 

Kissimmee, FL – www.experiencekissimmee.com

With an inventory of more than 50,000 accommodations including some 30,000 vacation homes, Kissimmee, located in Central Florida less than a half-hour from Orlando International Airport, has earned its reputation as the Vacation Home Capital of the World®. Striking a balance of excitement, with thrilling theme parks and wildlife parks, as well as relaxation, Kissimmee is an excellent homebase for exploring Greater Orlando attractioins, including Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which runs through Oct. 31 at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom or raise a stein in nearby Celebration during Oktoberfest.  Other events in Kissimmee include the Old Town Classic Car Show, a weekly gathering of classic vehicles.

 

Loudoun County, VA – www.visitloudoun.org

Raise a glass to Loundon County, boasting more than 45 wineries coupled with tours and tastings just beyond the bustle of Washington, DC. The harvest takes place in October and coincides with Virginia Wine Month and the annual Virginia Wine Festival the first weekend of October with food and wine pairings, live music and more. The celebration continues with the Harvest Party on October 15 where the entire county gathers in restaurants, vineyards and open fields for a feast of Virginia-grown food paired with some of the state’s award-winning wines. In mid-October, The Middleburg Film Festival gets underway at Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Resort & Spa with a curated selection of world and regional premiers, foreign films and Oscar contenders held in intimate theater envrionments along with “fireside chats” hosted by filmmakers, actors and other film-related guests.

 

Greater Louisville, KY – www.gotolouisville.com

From new exhibits celebrating Black heritage to bourbon and beyond, Greater Louisville is off to the races with a number of events this fall. Now in its second year, the Black Heritage Tour Collection offers exhibits around Louisville highlighting African-American contributions to the city’s history and culture that include local son Muhammad Ali. The newly expanded Black Heritage in Racing exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum showcases artifacts and stories revealing the legacy of African-Americans’ in the thoroughbred industry. The Midwest’s first climate-adaptive park is taking over the north side of the Ohio River, just across from Louisville in Souther Indiana. Once complete, Origin Park will span 600 acres of former wasteland lining the river and create a unique outdoor experience in the heart of an urban landscape. In March 2022 the team broke ground on the first stage of Origin Park – the Silver Creek Blueway, featuring a canoe and kayak launch site where Silver Creek intersects with the Ohio River. While there isn’t an exact date for the completion of the entire park, the next phase of development will be the River House building, an events center that visitors will be able to experience in 2023.

 

Greater Miami, FL – www.miamiandbeaches.com

Miami’s dining and cocktailing scene offers an elevated experience with a collection of new Michelin-reviewed chefs and dining destinations, including the Mediterranean-inspired Amalia tucked inside The Lennox Hotel with Executive Chef Hernan Griccini overseeing all-things culinary. Art dealer and restaurateur Alvaro Perez Miranda has added Ogaway, an intimate 12-seat dining experience in the Little River community, to his growing portfolio of Japanese restaurants with Master Chef Masayuki Komatsu under the toque. Vice Burger, Miami’s favorite burger pop-up and latest winner of South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s annual Burger Bash, has opened inside Lincoln Eatery food hall. And Smorgasburg, the the largest open-air food market in the U.S. with locations in New York and Los Angeles, recently made its debut. The market’s motto is “By Miami, For Miami,” with many vendors having local ties. In hotel news, CitzenM Miami World Center will open this fall with 351 app-controlled rooms, a rooftop bar and fitness center along with Atwell Suites, a new hotel brand for IHG opening its first location in Downtown Miami in November.

 

Redding, CA – www.visitredding.com

Redding, located at the top of the Golden State near the Oregon border, is home to the bi-annual Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race, an exhilarating ride that occurs every fall and spring. Participants are required to remove the chains from their bikes and careen downhill without pedaling. Billed as the “mullet-wearing stepbrother of the cross-county race,” the event attracts cyclists from all over who describe the experience as being “1,300 feet (about the height of the Empire State Building) of pure flow and concentration.” Proceeds raised from the event benefit the Redding Trail Alliance, which builds, maintains and advocates for progressive, diverse and high-quality trails that promote community.

 

San Antonio, TX – www.visitsanantonio.com

San Antonio is a UNESCO City of Creative Gastronomy and has one of the nation’s most vibrant and varied culinary scenes. Visit San Antonio and Culinaria have partnered with the world-renowned James Beard Foundation to bring the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival to the city’s historic Travis Park, October 27-30. The event will bring together some of the city and state’s top chefs with opportunities for gourmands and oenophiles to experience food-centric events throughout the city. Other events include Oktoberfest in Beethovel Maennerchor’ Southtown beer garden, the Ford Parade of Lights featuring 10 beautiful floating 26-foot-long boats filled with glowing lanterns along the River Walk. The San Antonio Zoo will host Zoo Boo! in October with costume contests, a Cowboy’s Scavenger Hunt and trick-or-treating.

San Francisco, CA (Canadian Media Only) www.sftravel.com

After the unveiling of the 2021 Michelin Guide to California, the San Francisco Bay Area firmly held its grasp as the top destination in the U.S. for fine dining with the greatest concentration of Michelin three-star restaurants in the country as well as the most Michelin-starred restaurants in California. Six Bay Area restaurants received the coveted three Michelin stars in 2021 — Atelier Crenn, Benu, Quince, The French Laundry, SingleThread and Manresa—while eight restaurants were awarded two Michelin stars. Altogether, 50 restaurants were awarded one or more Michelin stars last year, which accounted for 56 percent of California’s 90 Michelin-starred restaurants. While the Bay Area’s fine-dining destinations stand out, there is plenty of mouth-watering cuisine at easily digestible price points, including 64 Bib Gourmand eateries, another Michelin accolade for restaurants offering three-course meals for around $40 or less. Of the 147 restaurants in California who received this designation, nearly 44 percent are found in the Bay Area. Routier, Um.Ma and Dumpling Home were among the 18 newcomers.

 

San Luis Obispo, CA – www.visitslo.com

September is California Wine Month, and SLO’s Edna Valley, which just was just recognized as its own American Viticultural Area (AVA), is well-known for its whites and reds but is gaining a reputation for being green as well. Many of SLO’s wineries are Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certified, which means they meet a list of stringent criteria. Chamisal Vineyards has the distinction of being the first SIP-Certified winery and the first winery to plant grapevines in the Edna Valley nearly 50 years ago. Nearby Wolff Vineyards, a family-owned winery located minutes from downtown, is where enthusiasts can learn how the owners’ underground PVC irrigation project is saving at least 30-percent of water. The aesthetically pleasing Tolosa Winery, which offers reservation-only barrel tastings, boasts a solar system that produces enough power to offset 90 to 95 percent of the winery’s electricity demand. Most wineries are open to the public and some may require an appointment for tastings.

 

Seattle, WA (Business Events Media Only) – www.visitseattle.org

Seattle is one of the most environmentally progressive cities in the United States, and the newly rebranded Seattle Convention Center (SCC) boasts a comprehensive green program that reduces the impact of the facility on the environment. The latest addition to the SCC —the Summit, a new state-of-the-art convention center—is set to open this January. The Summit will incorporate sustainable practices, such as salvaged wood culled from log booms and a building that once stood on the site. In honor of International Day of Climate Action on October 24, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, which late last year, has made it its mission to be the world’s most-sustainable, progressive and responsible arena. Goals include creating the first International Living Future Institute, a certified zero-carbon arena that uses 100-percent renewable energy sources and includes the elimination of single-use plastics by 2024.

 

Tuolumne County, CA (Canadian Media Only) www.visittuolumne.com

Tuolumne County, located about two hours east of the Bay Area, is the gateway to Yosemite, California’s Gold Country and the High Sierra. Easily accessible year-round with all-season adventures, Tuolumne County is a great home base for exploring all that this region has to offer. The new Tuolumne County Craft Beverage Trail beckons epicureans, oenophiles, cocktailers and beer enthusiasts to sip their way from Sonora to Yosemite. The mobile-exclusive passport is a collection of curated craft beverage destinations offering food and drink deals and discounts that are redeemable while visiting Tuolumne County. The passport instantly downloads the offers via text or email (no app required) seamlessly guiding guests through the county’s craft beverage scene. The Craft Beverage Trail can be enjoyed at a fun and leisurely pace. Visitors are automatically entered to win a grand prize after three check-ins with winners announced in November.

 

St. Louis, MO – www.explorestlouis.com

Immerse in the colors of fall at Forest Park, situated in the heart of St. Louis. At 1,293 acres, it’s larger than Central Park by 500 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in the USA. Hike the paved trails, taking in the monuments, historic buildings, wildlife, waterways and beautiful landscapes along the way. Be sure to make time to visit the Anne O’C. Albrecht Nature Playscape, an experiential play area that recently opened. The park is also home to the Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum and Saint Louis Science Center – so after takeing in the beautiful scenery, visitor’s can enjoy one of the park’s many free amenities.  Several new restaurants have opened at the City Foundry STL, St. Louis’s bustling public market, including 4 Hens Creole Kitchen, City Winery and STL Toasted. Other dining news includes James Beard Award semifinalist Nick Bognar, owner of Indo Restaurant and named one of the 10 best new chefs in America, is set to open his new sushi restaurant, Sado. 21c Museum Hotel St. Louis will open later this year in downtown’s historic YMCA building.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Barbados – www.visitbarbados.org

With its newly minted status as a republic, the world is casting its eyes towards Barbados. It’s the only Caribbean nation to offer nighttime horseracing at the newly illuminated racetrack in Garrison Savannah near the capital of Bridgetown. Other recent additions include Rascals Waterpark, the Caribbean’s largest aqua park. Barbados’ top attraction, Harrison’s Cave, has been rebranded Harrison’s Cave Eco Adventure and is transitioning into an activity center for outdoor enthusiasts. Enhancements will include a free-swinging bridge across the gully, a zipline, a challenge course and an adventure zone. With a special focus on nurturing future culinary talent on the island, the Barbados Food and Rum Festival will return Oct. 27-30, 2022 after a two-year hiatus, under the theme ‘Feed the Future’. With a nod to its heritage as the “birthplace of rum,” the island’s top producers are making major strides in sustainability. The West Indies Rum Distillery is the first distillery in the Caribbean to achieve the Bonsucro Chain of Custody certification, which recognizes responsible sourcing and trading, and has installed a million-dollar solar energy plant as it makes efforts to reach carbon-neutrality by 2030.

 

Belize (Canadian Media Only)www.travelbelize.org

Belize is an eco-first country offering seven distinct regions with diverse outdoor offerings. Outdoor enthusiasts partake in a scuba dive to the Belize Barrier Reef, the Northern Hemisphere’s largest reef system, chase epic waterfalls, kayak or hike the open trails. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve is one of the world’s only jaguar preserves, while Shark Ray Alley, on the north coast, offers the rare opportunity to snorkel alongside stingrays, nurse sharks and turtles. Belize’s cultural flair is felt in the customs and traditions representing more than eight diverse cultures within the country. Tracing its history back to 1500 B.C., when the Maya developed it, Belize offers explorers and historians plenty of opportunity with impressive ruins, including Lamanai, Lubaantun, Xunantunich and Caracol.

 

Scotland (business events media only) – www. businessevents.visitscotland.com

Scotland has long been committed to finding innovative solutions and initiatives to help tackle global challenges, such as climate change, renewable energy sources and poverty. Its Journey to Change campaign, launched last year, continues to drive social transformation. VisitScotland Business Events views the industry as a catalyst for social and economic change and casts a spotlight on global solutions. The country’s theme for 2022 is the Year of Stories, which includes meetings and events planners hosting gathering by community groups, museums and heritage sites while encouraging travelers to visit real-life locations from favorite books, films and song lyrics. Traveling from North America to Scotland has become even more convenient aboard United Airlines with the return of three non-stop flights, including Newark (EWR) to Edinburgh (EDI), and seasonal service through the end of October from Chicago (ORD) and Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Edinburgh. WestJet, which now offers three weekly nonstop flights between Toronto and Edinburgh, has also launched service between Glasgow (GLA) and Toronto (YYZ) operating four times weekly.

 

Monaco – www.visitmonaco.com/en

The second-smallest independent state in the world is emerging as a leader in planet preservation. HSH Prince Albert II has rolled out a proactive sustainable development policy to combat climate change, preserve biodiversity and conserve water resources. Monaco’s hotel industry is one of the most-active sectors in protecting the environment. A pioneer in organic gastronomy, the Elsa restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Beach hotel is the first fully organic Michelin-starred restaurant certified by Ecocert. Green spaces cover about one-fifth of Monaco with the Saint-Martin Gardens in Monaco-Ville, the Petite Afrique Gardens near the iconic Casino de Monte Carlo, the Princess Grace Rose Garden and the beautifully landscaped district of Fontvieille being top spots for visitors. Monaco hosts some of the world’s most-prestigious sporting events, including the Monaco Yacht Show, September 29-October 1, showcasing megayachts available for charter and purchase.

 

U.S. Virgin Islands – www.visitusvi.com

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is an archipelago located in the Caribbean, and U.S. territory, where no passport is required for American citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Travelers can easily access all three islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — as part of their holiday. This fall, one of the most-anticipated hotel developments, the all-new Westin Beach & Resort at Frenchman’s Reef, will begin welcoming guests. The Seaborn at Frenchman’s Reef, part of a $350 million rebuild project and the first-ever Autograph Collection Hotel to open in the U.S. Virgin Islands, will also open its doors. With perfect temperatures, the USVI is an excellent year-round travel destination. Sailors describe the region, considered by some to be the world’s best sailing grounds, as “heaven on Earth” due to its sunny weather, dependable trade winds, stunning scenery, protected anchorages and short voyages between islands.

Vienna – www.wien.info/en

Viennese culture reveals itself this fall with the arrival of new venues, hotels, art exhibits and more. The Alte Post, a collection of buildings that once served as Austrian’s postal headquarters from 1850 to 2011, is receiving a new lease on life as it transitions into an expansive mixed-use development. Within its confines are Lebendiges Haus (Living House), a new contemporary museum featuring multidimensional media artwork that includes an immersive 360-degree sensory experience. Cultural milestones include the mumok, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a special exhibition starting October 22. Vienna will also usher in a dozen new hotel properties, including The Leo Grand Hotel Vienna, Rosewood Vienna and the Almanac Vienna, just to name a few.

 

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