Pig Island is just one of 50 promotional packages being offered by Bahamas Tourism to celebrate 50 years.


The Bahamas is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and you can get in on the 50 ways they offer to save money by celebrating with them. There are hotel/resort packages through the end of the year, spa packages, deals on having family portraits done, golf, food deliveries, and car rentals. With 50 different offers (such as the one on Pig Island with a stay at the Embrace Resort, you will just have to check them out for yourself.


The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA shows off entertainment, flowers, and family events from May – October.

Here’s an offer I’ve never seen before. Richmond Region Tourism has a summertime offer that will provide you a 15% rebate off your banquet master bill and a NetZero Emission Event Certification whether you book your meeting or event this month or June through August of 2024. The booking must be made by December 31, 2023. The Virginia tourism group will assist how many carbon offsets you are entitled to from examining your RFP and will purchase those offsets to make you eligible for NetZero Emission Event Certification.

sales@visitrichmondva.com; https://www.visitrichmondva.com/

Delta Airlines is ready for you to travel and will assist in making your travel plans easier. The new Delta Vacations experience for SkyMiles® Members is pumping up the number of miles you can earn with their vacation packages, as well as offering up fall and winter vacation packages that can save up to $250 per booking.

www. delta.com/us/en/delta-vacations/skymiles-member-experience/use-miles.

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach has promotional incentives.

You have plenty of time to book the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach for your group and still be able to take advantage of benefits offered. Book your new meeting by December 31, 2023 and actualize by December 31, 2024 to receive benefits such as 5% off all Master account charges, reduced resort fee to $20 per group room, or a complimentary basic Wi-Fi up to 3 mbps in the meeting space. The more rooms booked; the more benefits accessible. The hotel has 343 guest rooms, 22,000 sf of meeting space, and the area’s largest ballroom.

https://www.wyndhamgrandclearwater.com/meetings?; (727) 281-9500

El Remanso Rainforest Lodge in Matapalo, Osa Peninsula, one of many private villas available for late December vacations.

I don’t pretend to know who books private villas for personal or executive group use, nor do I know which aspect of the many offered by Journey Costa Rica would appeal to you, but the variety of homes available during the late December holiday period is wide-ranging, from urban to in the midst of a rainforest. Check them out for yourself.

www.journeycostarica.com; +1-619-819-5111.

Bowling anyone? If you’re in the Orlando, FL area this summer and have an urge to bowl with friends, family, or teammates, Boardwalk Bowl has daily promotions. Mondays are 50% off for hospitality

One possible dish on the menu at The Garden Villa.

Book the Garden Villa in Winter Park, FL any day of the week in June, July, or August for only $1,000. (New clients only.) The Garden Villa at Florida Federation of Garden Clubs features a banquet hall, chef-presented food, spectacular gardens, professional planners onsite, and a relaxing ambiance. 125-person max. Weddings and corporate events.

Events@TheGardenVilla.com; (407) 745-5718

Plano Foodie Pass is free!

Through September 30, Visit Plano (TX) has a FREE and limited-time foodie pass! Accumulate points for checking-in at participating restaurants and redeeming coupons. Points can be cashed in for prizes. Once you check-in to 20 restaurants, you are automatically entered into the “Fit for a Foodie” sweepstakes, which includes a Chef’s Table Dinner Experience, amazing hotel stays, and up to $500 in restaurant gift cards!

www.visitplano.com/tasteofplano to register.


ConventionSouth has a new Directory of Southern Meeting Sites.

Hot off the press, ConventionSouth has just published its Directory for Southern Meeting Sites 2023-2024. The Directory contains up-to-date listings of 1000s of destinations, convention and conference centers, hotels and resorts, and unique venues. Each listing has full contact info.


Ritz Carlton Naples updated the lobby bar among many renovations.

Ritz-Carlton, Naples has reopened after a two year renovation. The Naples, FL luxury beachfront property added the Vanderbilt Tower, which enhanced the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge to 4,000 sf and 70+ club-level guestrooms, as well as a new resort lobby and three new dining experiences. There are also new pools, bungalows, and cabanas. All 474 guest rooms and suites were redesigned with features by “coastal sophistication.”

https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/rswrz-the-ritz-carlton-naples; (239) 598-3300

Late 2024 is the projected date for the 500-room Great Wolf Lodge South Florida to open in Naples, FL. Great Wolf Lodge’s investment of more than $250 million with shareholders Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners will include a 90,000-sf indoor waterpark, a 60,000 sf family entertainment center, several dining rooms, and family-friendly suites. The activities will be included in the lodging fee. The resort expects to also have 8,000 sf of flexible conference space with breakout rooms, built-in AV technology, and onsite industry professionals.


Kimpton San Antonio (TX), a 10-story, 347-room property, is scheduled to debut late 2024. The brick, stone and wood architecture from a German-English school originally built by Germans in the 1800s was restored and repurposed to become a high-end steakhouse. Additional historic will become eight guest suites and a courtyard cocktail bar, surrounded by protected outdoor space and century-old trees. Kimpton and White Lodging, in partnership with HKS Architects, Harvey Cleary Builders, and Blum Consulting Engineers, are bringing the hotel’s structure to fruition. Interior design is by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group. Located between downtown San Antonio and the Southtown neighborhood, the hotel will also offer a rooftop pool with more than 11,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space.


Win $1,000 & 1 Year of Eventeny Pro with The Eventeny Fund! This program recognizes event organizers for their valuable contribution to their communities. Apply by September 15. First Prize is $1,000 and and one year of free annual Pro on Eventeny. Second prize is one year of free annual Pro on Eventeny.


Eventeny has a deal for subscribers. Understanding that creating an accurate event map within hours can be challenging for many individuals, so they are granting free access to the company’s hassle-free mapping feature for 14 days. The Georgia-based company indicates that you will be able to design maps easily, assign single or multiple booth spaces with a few clicks, and guide attendees around the event with sharable scalable maps.

Tell Molly@eventeny.com you read it here.

Root Beer Float fundraiser to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital,


Luminary Hotel & Co (Fort Myers, FL) is capitalizing on National Root Beer Float Day with a fundraiser to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital. The August 24 celebration will be held at the hotel’s Ella Mae’s Diner from 7 a.m to 2 p.m. All proceeds raised will benefit the local hospital as part of the Children’s Miracle Network and to honor the legacy of J. Williard and Alice S. Marriott, who, in 1927, opened the nine-stool A&W Root Beer stand in Washington, D.C. that would grow and evolve into today’s Marriott International Hotel Company. Marriott remains Children’s Miracle Network’s longest standing partner.



Lizards are just one species that makes their home on The Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos is not the only area I’ve seen requests being made to limit tourism. Venice, Italy wants to limit cruises, Barcelona, Spain wants to control visitor numbers, and even Salzberg, Austria has asked for the size of tour groups to be limited to 25. Areas can be overrun and the very beauty that draws visitors may be harmed irreparably. Awareness is why I am letting you know The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) is calling upon the government of Ecuador to limit land-based tourism growth in the Galapagos Islands. The request comes on the heels of the recently released 2023 State of Conservation Report released by UNESCO, which raises concerns about unsustainable tourism growth in the islands. Both IGTOA, a 501c3 non-profit founded in 1997, and UNESCO have been sounding the alarm over Galapagos tourism growth and its potentially disastrous consequences for more than two decades. In 2007, UNESCO took the extraordinary step of adding the islands to its List of World Heritage in Danger, citing uncontrolled development of tourism as a factor in its decision. Although the islands were removed from the list in 2010, tourism growth has since continued unabated, the period of the pandemic notwithstanding. Since 2010, tourism increased more than 60% by 2019 and 24% since that date. By 2041, more than a million annual visitors are projected. IGTOA board president Jim Lutz of Vaya Adventures said, “Many of our members sell land-based tours. But it needs to be as well-regulated and well managed as the ship-based sector of the industry is. For many years, Ecuador’s management of ship-based tourism in the Galapagos has served as a model for the rest of the world for how tourism and nature can successfully coexist. We believe a similar approach needs to be adopted with respect to land-based tourism. It is simply not sustainable to have never-ending tourism growth of any kind in a place like the Galapagos.” According to scientists, uncontrolled tourism growth poses several serious threats to the Galapagos Islands. Chief among them is the potential for devastating new invasive species to arrive as cargo shipments and passenger plane arrivals increase. Highly invasive Wild Blackberry, for example, has led to the loss of 99% of endemic Scalesia forests on the two largest islands, Isabela and Santa Cruz. With any increase in land-based tourism comes more shipments of cargo, more infrastructure, more roads, and more pressure for continued growth, something that will only become harder to stop the longer it continues. IGTOA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association of travel providers dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands. Through its Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund, IGTOA raises money to support critical Galapagos conservation initiatives and educates travelers about the challenges facing the islands. Since 1997, IGTOA has donated over $1 million in support of Galapagos conservation initiatives, including efforts to improve the biosecurity of the islands and combat invasive species.


Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is an active member of International Live Events Association, Meeting Professionals International and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is now serving on the 2022-2023 MPI Independent and Small Business Owners Advisory Board. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com;   www.karenkuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady. She is also active with Experience Kissimmee CVB and Wedding Venue Map..