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April 21, 2017: Tourism Industry Concerned Trump Will Cause Decline in U.S. Visitors, Coachella to Offer More Local Passes After Ticket Debacle, Esports One Step Closer to Becoming Olympic Event

By Ian Zelaya April 21, 2017, 8:50 AM EDT


1. TOURISM INDUSTRY CONCERNED TRUMP WILL CAUSE DECLINE IN U.S. VISITORS: While some foreigners are visiting America to see Trump Tower, tourism and hotel industry experts are worried that a majority of potential visitors are avoiding the United States because of President Donald Trump. The Economist: “The question for America’s hoteliers and airlines is whether such visitors are just anomalies. A strong dollar is one reason for foreigners to avoid visiting America. Donald Trump may prove another, suggests a growing collection of data. Yet measuring the precise impact of Mr Trump’s presidency on travel is difficult. In addition to the currency effect, many trips currently being taken to America were booked before his election. Marriott, a big hotel company, reported an overall increase, compared with a year earlier, in foreign bookings in America in February. But Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s boss, has voiced concern about a potential slump in tourism. In February, ForwardKeys, a travel-data firm, reported that in the week after Mr Trump first tried to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, international bookings dropped by 6.5% against the same period in 2016. Hopper, a travel app, found that average daily searches for flights to America have declined in 99 countries since Mr Trump tried to issue his travel ban, compared with the last weeks of Barack Obama’s term. Russia is one of the few places where demand has risen (see chart). Tourism Economics, a forecaster, expects 2m fewer foreign visits to America this year, a 1% drop from 2016. Without Mr Trump it had expected a 3% jump. ... America’s main tourism lobby group is now urging Mr Trump, who presumably has some sympathy with other hoteliers, to emphasise that the country continues to welcome foreign visitors despite all the new security measures. The tourism agency for New York city, NYC & Company, is trying to counteract negative rhetoric from Washington, DC with advertisements in Britain, Germany, Mexico and Spain. In the capital itself, any loss of visitors from abroad may be offset by a surge in angry American ones. After dates were finalised for a women’s march to protest Mr Trump’s inauguration, hotel bookings spiked. Elliott Ferguson, head of the city’s tourism group, expects a similar surge for this year’s Pride Parade, on June 10th." http://econ.st/2o9uhl6

2. COACHELLA TO OFFER MORE LOCAL PASSES AFTER TICKET DEBACLE: After a disastrous local sale that left hundreds without tickets for the second weekend of Coachella, Goldenvoice has announced it will offer more local wristbands and possibly move the sale online. The Desert Sun: “The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival general admission passes went on sale in January and sold out in mere minutes, but residents from the Coachella Valley had the opportunity to buy Weekend One and Weekend Two passes each Wednesday before the festivities began. Event organizer Goldenvoice offered 1,000 passes for each local sale. This year, the local sale for Weekend Two didn't go as planned. Over a thousand people were lined up by sunrise for the 9 a.m. sale, and around 7 a.m., people started rushing from the back to the front of the line and forming a mob that knocked through a fence to get closer to the coveted Coachella wristbands. Goldenvoice ended up selling 1,300 passes Wednesday to accommodate the huge crowd—300 more than it had planned—and still had to turn away 400 or 500 people, according to Goldenvoice chief operating officer Skip Paige. He said the company will probably allocate more than 1,000 wristbands for each local sale next year, and add an online sale. oldenvoice's permit with the City of Indio requires 'at least' 1,000 passes to be offered for local residents, Paige said. But in past years, the company hasn't been able to sell all those tickets. When it's tried offering the local passes online, there hasn't been much interest, said Paige. But, with the overwhelming demand this year, organizers are considering trying it again.” http://desert.sn/2oqPAus

3. ESPORTS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING OLYMPIC EVENT: The Olympic Council of Asia recently announced that eSports will become an official event at the I.O.C.-recognized 2022 Asian Games in China, which paves the way for them to become an official Olympic event. Mashable: “The Asian Games are essentially the Asian version of the Olympic Games and are officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They run every four years and bring together the top athletes across 45 different Asian countries to compete in a variety competitions. The Asian Games in 2022 will be the first time esports competitors can receive medals at an officially recognized Olympic event. Esports' inclusion in the 2022 Asian Games was ushered in by a partnership with Alisports, the sports division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Esports will also be featured in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia as a demonstration sport (AKA no medals) and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September.  The specific video games that will be a part of the next two Asian Games have not been announced, however the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will feature Fifa 2017, MOBA games (like League of Legends or Dota 2), and 'real-time action' games (like StarCraft or Civilization). This is a pretty big deal for esports and ups their chance of making it into the Olympic Games one day. Outside of the worldwide Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Asian Games are one of the biggest Olympic events in the world. The Olympic Council of Asia that runs the Asian Games is one of five continental organizations recognized by the IOC, and the IOC basically decides which events make it to the Olympic Games.” http://on.mash.to/2p0y9Ea

* LOCAL NEWS *

AUSTIN:  The rebranded Index Fest, which will take place May 13 at the Austin American-Statesman outside lot, has announced 75 participating breweries including Austin Beerworks, Blue Owl, and Hops & Grain.

BOSTON:  Mandarin Oriental, Boston has appointed Emily Conroy as wedding specialist.

CHICAGO:  The Rett Syndrome Research Trust will host its third annual Reverse Rett Chicago Gala on May 25 at Galleria Marchetti.

The Talbott Hotel will reopen in May after a four-month, $20 million renovation. Upgrades will include an interior redesign by Kara Mann, the addition of 29 guest rooms and suites for a total of 178, a new fitness center, and revamps of the lobby, meeting, and event spaces.

LAS VEGAS:  The fourth annual For the Love of Cocktails Grand Gala will take place May 19 at Delano Las Vegas. Offering craft cocktails and food from Alian Ducasses's Rivea, the event benefits the Helen David Relief Fund for Bartenders Affected by Breast Cancer.

LOS ANGELES:  Patina Restaurant Group chef and founder Joachim Splichal has appointed Andreas Roller as executive chef at his flagship dining destination, Patina Restaurant, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

On April 19, World of Children hosted its annual awards at Montage Beverly Hills, hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

NEW YORK:  Home goods stores Eskayel and Mociun in partnership with the Wythe Hotel will host Conscious Consuming on Saturday at the hotel. The event, which will offer panels and shopping related to Earth Day, will benefit nonprofits Rainforest Alliance, the 5 Gyres Institute, and Surfrider Foundation.

SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals has appointed Martin Tessler as director of finance.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

TORONTO:  The 38th annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, will take place June 26 at the Elgin Theatre. Nominees will be announced May 30 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Capital Pride Heroes Gala will take place May 13 at Carnegie Library. The event will honor L.G.B.T. activists including Dee Curry, Juan Carlos Loubriel, and Amy Loudermilk.

Shakespeare Theatre Company's annual bipartisan comedy event Will on the Hill will take place June 12 at Sidney Harman Hall.

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With contributions from Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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