Hotel Matilda in San Miguel Allende.

Journey Mexico has been guiding visitors through Mexico for many years, introducing the country’s diverse cultural heritage, landscapes, gorgeous resorts and exclusive private rentals in exotic locations. They have introduced a Responsible Travel Fee (RTF) to make an additional positive impact on the people and country. Aligned with their B-corp certification, the RTF empowers guests to directly contribute to the protection and preservation of Mexico’s legacy. They assessed and selected local non-profit organizations that strive to rescue and conserve Mexico’s cultural, historical and natural heritage, while making a social impact by boosting the skills and economy of local communities. The first named partners are Reeduca and Mundo Maya Haciendas Foundation. Reeduca (Mexico City) has a strong commitment to the conservation of Mexico´s natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystems. Their multidisciplinary team of biologists and educators runs and collaborates on several campaigns in Mexico City and the Pacific Coast. Mundo Maya Haciendas Foundation (Yucatán, Campeche and Quintana Roo states) first supported a group of Mexican entrepreneurs in the 90s. They created Las Haciendas, restoring former henequen plantations and haciendas via the input and employment of residents into a route of boutique hotels as a model of sustainable tourism to generate a socio-economic impact at a micro-regional level. They next created the Haciendas del Mundo Maya Foundation A.C. in 2002, after Hurricane Isidore stormed through the Yucatán Peninsula, to improve the quality and living conditions of the Mayan communities, while respecting and preserving local culture and the environment. The foundation strives to strengthen the capacities and skills of the residents of Mayan communities in the Yucatán Peninsula, generating microregional development hubs with the participation of residents as promoters of their own projects. The RTF began March 1. $100 USD will be charged per traveler, per trip — with a cap of $400 USD and the choice to opt-out. 100% of the funds will be donated to Journey Mexico’s positive impact partners.  On Journey Mexico’s dedicated sustainability page, updates will be posted showing the collective impact of travelers’ contributions.


Snorkel in the 33,500-gallon aquarium at RumFish Grill at RumFish Beach Resort, part of the TradeWinds Island Resort collection (St. Petersburg, FL)

The beaches of St. Petersburg, FL may be a strong attraction, but in this case, perhaps the reason to book one of the TradeWinds Island Resorts could be the promotional incentive to book your group’s meeting by December 20. The meeting for a minimum of 50 rooms on peak must also be used by December 20. There are at least a dozen incentives offered, and when you book, you get to choose six of them. Incentives may include 4% rebate to the master, donation to the charity of your choice; 10% discount on published Banquet Food & Beverage spend; 10% discount on published A/V spend; Complimentary break for staff office; or a Complimentary 2-night stay certificate for meeting planner.

Visit Plano Foodie Pass

Visit Plano (Plano, TX) has an offer designed for foodies. Receive a Free and limited time foodie pass when you accumulate points by checking into participating restaurants and redeeming coupons. Then you cash in your points for prizes provided by Visit Plano. Check in to 20 restaurants and be automatically entered into the “Fit for a Foodie” sweepstakes. First place: certificate for a Charcuterie Board Making Class led by the Executive Chef for six people at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West and $500 in restaurant gift cards. Second place winner gets a one-night weekend stay at the Hilton/Dallas Plano Granite Park and $250 in restaurant gift cards. Third place winner will receive a one-night weekend stay at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center and $100 in restaurant gift cards. Go to and register for free. Open the pass from the received text or email and follow the directions to add the button icon to your home screen. Do NOT forget this step. Then go eat and accumulate points!

Receive up to $20 per room night when you book a minimum of 300 rooms on peak with a minimum of two or more nights, by March 31 at any qualified event in The Palm Beaches (FL). The room actualization can be anytime through the 2026 calendar year and must utilize the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Additional rules, restrictions and blackout dates may apply. You can begin preparations by downloading the meeting planner guide.;

Book any new convention or meeting through Visit Winston-Salem (NC) by June 30 for a stay in any year and receive up to $3,000 in Travel Back Rewards towards a future meeting. Book through 299 room nights and receive $500 credit, but if you book at least 499 room nights and get $1,500 in credits. Book more than 500 room nights and receive $3,000 in credits.

Save 20%* on four-nights at a Universal Orlando Hotel by booking by December 15. Travel dates April 7-May 23, May 27-November 26, and December 1-19.

Decorated Grand Ballroom at the recently renovated Woodlands Resort (Houston, TX)

Book the recently renovated Woodlands Resort (Houston, TX) with new business by April 15 and receive double points and up to 1% rebate to the master bill for up to 100 total room nights. The more room nights, the better the incentives. Woodlands Resort is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. It has 402 rooms; 75,000 sf of meeting space divided among 55 unique venues and sits on 350 acres.; (281) 364-6389.

Florida and Georgia residents only: Buy a 2-Park 1-Day Park-to-Park and get two days free at Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure. (Hint: if you are a Harry Potter Wizarding World fan as I am, you must have tickets to both parks to receive the full experience). Must be used by June 26, 2024. Blackout dates March 25through April 6. Unused days will be forfeited. Guest must present valid proof of Florida or Georgia residency at time of purchase, ticket pick-up and redemption. This promo is only online.

Book a new meeting by March 31 at the Palm Beach Convention Center (The Palm Beaches, FL) with minimum contracted room nights of 300 rooms for two or more nights and receive up to $20 per room night. Event must be actualized by the end of 2026.

Planners who book a group for a Western River Expeditions’ rafting adventure in 2024 get the entire trip for free.  The charters are for river rafting trips in Souther

River rafting with Western River expeditions can earn planners a free trip!

Utah destinations such as Desolation Canyon and Cataract Canyon as well as through Moab. Early bird bookings have the best selection of departure dates and destinations. User-friendly links also come with supplemental trip information, all designed to make the organizer’s task stress-free. Each group member uses this private link to sign up and pay for their own reservation. “A private charter is a great option for groups ranging from extended family to corporate to non-profit. The benefit of going with your own group is the promise of building deeper bonds through shared adventures with family, co-workers, or others. Salt Lake City-based Western River Expeditions offers one of the few travel experiences that allows everyone to be doing the same thing at the same time in an extraordinary place – with absolutely no distractions,” says Brandon Lake, co-owner and CMO.; (866) 904-1160 (Local: (801) 942-6669);

Wyndham Alltra Vallarta La Costa Restaurant

The all-inclusive market in Mexico and the Caribbean just received a boost from Playa Hotels & Resorts with the completion of extensive renovations at the newly renamed Wyndham Alltra Vallarta in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. To celebrate the grand unveiling, Wyndham Alltra Vallarta if offering a 40% discount on bookings, valid for stays through December 20, 2024. Owner and operator of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, Playa Hotels & Resorts has drawn inspiration for the property (formerly known as Wyndham Alltra Riviera Nayarit) from ancient Huichol culture. The renovation includes 159 rooms, including all Junior Suites. The Alltra VIP Club for club level guests has speeded up its semi-private check-in (and out) service, enhanced its concierge assistance and personalized cocktail service. Club guestrooms receive upgraded minibars, in-suite Nespresso coffee makers and a complimentary hydrotherapy spa experience. Five dining venues have been revamped. The brand introduces its new Agave Bar and the first Mezcaleria in the chain’s portfolio.;

Book new business in a Boston or Cambridge (MA) hotel and receive a 10% rebate off the banquet master bill and 10% off all rooms booked. Here are the eligible program dates to qualify: 2024: now through 03/31/2024; 2025: 11/18/2024 – 04/17/2025; and 2026: 11/17/2025 – 03/31/2026.;

Wealth of Wellness package offered at Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Quivira, Los Cabos, Mexico.

I have a dear friend who believes the power of the beach overcomes any of the day’s negativity. She would go crazy for the ‘Wealth of Wellness’ package offered by Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts, located within the luxury residential development Quivira Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. The updated-for-2024-package integrates numerous wellness components available within the resort community. The exclusive five-day “Wealth of Wellness” package, available through December of 2024, includes all-inclusive F&B, two 50-minute organic massages or facials, mountain bike tour for two, use of beach cabanas with personal butler service, a cooking class for two, and shuttle service and access to sister properties, which also have all-inclusive F&B,; (800) -990-8259


Hilton Anatole (Dallas, TX) has finished its $30 million renovation on the 718 Tower guest rooms. The hotel’s room total grew by four rooms to 1,610. The hotel also completed an additional 87 new suites.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Gatlinburg Resort opened its 164 all-suite rooms on March 15. The Gatlinburg, TN-based hotel development and management company, Hospitality Solutions, and Hilton, partnered on the resort at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. Next door partner hotel, Hampton Inn Gatlinburg Historic Nature Trail, connects by walkways. There are 12,800 sf of flexible, multifunctional space; with a 5,000 sf ballroom and several breakout meeting rooms. The large Laurel Plaza provides space for outdoor events. The resort will offer a range of Appalachian cuisine. The signature restaurant is the Roaring Fork. The resort’s water park, Firefly Cove, has indoor and outdoor pools, lazy river, water slide, fire pits, and an activity lawn. Food options include Sugarlands Coffee and Cream and retail shops.


Mazatlan Resort encourages wellness during the solar eclipse.

It’s not every day that a solar eclipse passes over North America and peaks in Mexico, but it does this year on April 8. To celebrate the extraordinary event, Pueblo Bonito Resorts’ ARMONÍA Wellness Collection has created a three-day “Solar Rebirth: Eclipse and Well-Being in Mazatlán” program, running April 6 – 8. Mazatlán, which sits squarely on the path of totality, will be the best place in the world to glimpse the full glory of the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, visible only when the sun is completely covered by the moon. Both Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa and Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán Beach Resort are turning the special event into a wellness and relaxation experience in beautiful surroundings. A recent trend report in Conde Nast Traveler calls it astro tourism, noting, “In 2024, travelers will be putting what’s important to them front and center of their plans, valuing deeper experiences that leave a positive impact, time spent with loved ones, and wellness moments that last well after checkout,” the report stated. “We’ll be choosing destinations carefully, slowing it down to enjoy the silence and the stars…and immersing ourselves in wellness practices that help us live longer.” Emerald Bay’s program begins April 6 with a workshop on the astrological meaning of the eclipse, followed by a yoga and meditation session, and then dinner under the stars that will culminate with stories and legends told around a campfire. Day 2 begins with stretching in the pool, followed by a solar and lunar cycle workshop, an eclipse visualization workshop, and an afternoon aqua yoga session. An All-White Party with a themed dinner buffet begins the evening, followed by guided meditation. April 8 includes a morning meeting, meditation, and yoga, leading up to 10:16 a.m., the moment of the solar eclipse. A closing ceremony and group reflection will be followed with a celebration brunch. The schedule at  Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán is similar. Most events are free. NOTE: Guests must wear specialized protective glasses when viewing the eclipse.

(800) 990-8259;


Desolation Canyon UT) is an adventure including rafting and history.

There are plenty of trips where riding the rapids may be thrilling as well as safe for the whole family, but how many bring the history of the Osage people to life by experiencing their long-ago lives in Desolation Canyon, recently depicted in a multi-award-winning movie like Killers of the Flower Moon?  Western River Expeditions retells the early 1900s story to life about the Osage, who grew corn but didn’t realize the wealth of oil and coal that covered their land, during a five-day trip through Utah’s Desolation Canyon. The journey traverses a National Register of Historic Places cited for connections to ancient peoples, to surviving outlaw hideouts filled with stories of past adventures, and to the remnants of lost dreams testified by abandoned ranches and homesteads. Contrary to its name, Desolation Canyon is anything but desolate, except for the fact that it is part of the Bureau of Land Management’s largest Wilderness Study Area in the Lower 48. Nearly 291,000 acres comprise the area that includes deep systems of canyons, some up to a mile deep. There are no roads, no towns, and no cell service. Desolation Canyon was carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River, spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming. The Green, flowing for 450 miles through Utah, is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River, making it more amenable to family-friendly Class IIII rapids. What makes the journey unique lies in the stories told by the guides, such as Hailee Hughston, a second-generation river guide for Western River Expeditions. Her stories of rugged farmers and famous outlaws, such as Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch, who hid out among the rugged terrain. She introduces stories of real people and discusses 40 million years of geologic history. So, ride the rapids, have safe adventures, and all the while reliving history of the land and its people. As with all Western River Expeditions’ itineraries, all the ingredients for host-prepared hot and fresh meals (sourced from local farmers and producers) and for deluxe camping on sandy beaches come with the thrill of rafting and with guided exploratory hikes along the river route. The 2024 trips run from June through August, beginning and ending in Moab, UT,

For a catalog, questions & reservations: (866) 904-1160 (Local: 801.942.6669);


Music City Center celebrates 10th anniversary with new artwork.

Music City Center (Nashville, TN) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new piece of art by local artist Tony Sobota. The one-of-a-kind piece, titled “The First Ten Years,” is an acrylic painting on interlocking birch panels. The design concept was chosen for its creativity in representing the facility’s recent milestone. On display on the east side of the Davidson Ballroom, Sobota says the painting “is a celebration of the dedicated teams of people who help that building and its many parts function at such a high level.” In its first 10 years, the facility has generated $3.3 billion in direct economic impact for the greater Nashville region by hosting 2,335 events with 4.4 million attendees. The Music City Center is a 2.1 million square foot convention center with more than 353,000 sf of exhibit hall space, two ballrooms, 55 meeting rooms, and a covered parking garage with 1,800 spaces .The entire art collection can be viewed online at


Call for Speakers at Catersource + Special Event.

You have until June 10 to apply to be a Speaker for Catersource + The Special Event, to be held February 24-27 in the Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Speakers: be part of the Ldinnovation™ Conference, December 7 – 9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, West Hall, Las Vegas, NV. Sessions are generally 30 to 90 minutes and can range from a solo talk to a panel discussion on entertainment design and technology subjects. If you suggest a panel, please confirm that all speakers are available to attend LDI2023 before submitting your session. We are especially open to sessions led by an ETCP recognized trainer or with ETCP credits, so certified riggers and electricians can attend LDI to obtain renewal credits. LDI will be co-located with our sister show, DSE (Digital Signage Experience), so please consider sessions that would appeal to both audiences (projection on large LED screens; content creation; pixel mapping, etc.). Submission deadline: April 19. All speakers receive an LDI2024 conference badge as compensation ($745 value) and a speaker gift. LDI is not responsible for any travel or hotel costs associated with your attendance. All speakers in each session must be fully confirmed before you submit the session idea. Please make sure the written information correctly describes the session content in depth. Please indicate if the session is on a beginner, intermediate, or expert level. First-time speakers at LDI may be asked to provide two professional references that attest to their teaching ability and depth of knowledge.


Disco Show (Las Vegas, NV) logo

Spiegelworld says to “get ready to party like it’s 1977” in describing the July 27 debut of DISCOSHOW at 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard (Las Vegas, NV). Although already successful with adult-circus shows ABSINTHE, Atomic Saloon Show, OPM and The Hook, this show will be unlike the others. DISCOSHOW is being paired with a new restaurant for the Las Vegas Strip, Diner Ross. Inspired by the spirit of David Mancuso’s legendary New York City loft parties which began on Valentine’s Day 1970 at his home, later moving to a multi-level space at 99 Prince Street, the parties pay homage to ones the nuns threw at his childhood orphanage. During tough times faced by New York, Mancuso and his friends turned to dance, which evolved into Disco. Here’s how an evening at DISCOSHOW is described. Guests head to the center of The Strip, find the tiny door in the wall at The LINQ Hotel + Experience. Cocktails will be slung from midday to dawn at 99 Prince. Next, ascend to the Glitterloft where Spiegelworld’s mixologist supremo Disco Niko Novick has concocted disco-bevs that Steve Rubell would have happily jammed down. Diner Ross can be before or after the show, where Dancing Queen Chef Anna Altieri turns New York diner classics into disco-bistro-chic. And this is before the 70-minute live show begins each Wednesday through Sunday. Two shows nightly. This show brings together some heavy-hitter entertainment world greats, such as Director Steven Hoggett and Choreographer /Associate Director Yasmine Lee, who have previously teamed on movement direction or choreography for Broadway and London West End productions including Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Once, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and A Beautiful Noise. DISCOSHOW is written by Olivier Award-winner Michael Wynne (The Priory) with set and costume design by Tony Award-winner David Zinn (Spongebob Squarepants), lighting design by Olivier Award-winner Natasha Chivers (Sunday in the Park with George), sound design by Olivier Award-winner Tom Gibbons (Ivo van Hove’s West Side Story, Broadway), and projection and video design by Darrel Maloney (American Idiot).


International Day of Happiness doesn’t happen until March 20 but personal-finance website WalletHub has already issued its report on 2024’s Happiest Cities in America. WalletHub compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities across 29 key indicators of happiness. The data set ranges from the depression rate to the income-growth rate to the average leisure time spent per day. While you may not be surprised that Pearl City, HI has the lowest depression rate while Lewiston, ME has the highest, but you might be surprised that Fremont, CA has the lowest separation & divorce rate or that Newark, NJ boasts the lowest number of suicides per 100,000 residents. You can read the whole survey results yourself in link below. Meanwhile, here are the top 20 happiest cities. In first, Fremont, CA, followed by Overland Park, KS; San Jose, CA; Madison, WI; Irvine, CA; Honolulu, HI; San Francisco, CA; Pearl City, HI; Columbia, MD and Scottsdale, AZ in tenth. The next 10 are: Sioux Falls, SD; Huntington Beach, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Garden Grove, CA; San Diego, CA; Fargo, ND; Portland, ME; Seattle, WA; Lincoln, NE and Bismarck, ND.


Three new major attractions will be featured at the opening for DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios Florida this summer. Escape from spooky spiders on the caterpillar Caterbus on the Trolls Trollercoaster. Meet and talk with Po on a digital animated screen during Po Live! At Shrek’s Swamp Meet you will meet Shrek, Fiona and Donkey outside Shrek’s cottage.


Enter to win a Bahamas Beach Break for four days at Breezes Bahamas on Cable Beach in Nassau and receive a $500 credit towards airfare, just by clicking on the link and filling out the form by March 31.


March 26: The Marshall Tucker Band with special guests, The Georgia Thunderbolts, star in the 2024 Rockin’ on the River Concert Series at Caloosa Sound Amphitheater.

May 23-27: Abbey Road on the River (AROTR) celebrates over 60 years since The Beatles revolutionized music on The Ed Sullivan Show stage in front of 74 million television viewers. AROTR has honored Beatlemania for the past 20 years. This year at Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville, IN, 50 bands from all around the world will perform on six stages. The festival will feature Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four, as well as other tribute bands like Jan & Dean’s Beach Party, Tony Kishman’s Live and Let Die: the music of Paul McCartney, and tributes to Queen, Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen, The Monkees, Chicago, CSNY, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley. Local acts will include harpist Erin Hill, Louisville School Of Rock, The Rigbys, CMN Trio, Louisville Brass and Electric, The Get Down, Doorway, Nick Peay, The Kukes, Paulie Felice, and Laren Rapp.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased with a $20 discount through February 29 by using code LOVE at

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.;;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady. She is also active with Experience Kissimmee CVB and Wedding Venue Map..