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Pictured here (left to right): Eric Trump; Donald Trump Jr.; Ivanka Trump; Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray; Donald Trump; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; D.C. Council Member Muriel Bowser; and Norman Dong, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service for the U.S. General Services Administration. They met to break ground on Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C., on July 23. The $200 million redevelopment of the building includes 270 luxury guestrooms, presidential suites, a luxury ballroom, world-class restaurants, retail, and a luxury spa. The hotel is slated to open in mid-2016 just prior to the presidential election.

Brand USA Renewal Legislation Passes
House of Representatives

The travel sector received some welcome news July 22, when the House of Representatives passed the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4450) reauthorizing funding for Brand USA. The bill passed 347-57 with 28 abstaining from voting. A day later, an in identical bill (S. 2250) made it through the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation by unanimous voice vote.

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U.S. Travel’s POW WOW Headed to New Orleans in 2016

There’s been a change of plans. Originally to be hosted by Miami Beach, the 2016 edition of U.S. Travel Association’s IPW (Pow Wow) will now be staged in New Orleans from June 18-22, 2016, due to renovations and expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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Centennial DMAI Convention in Las Vegas One of
Praise and Promise

The 100th DMAI Annual Convention, held at the Aria Resort & Casino, was one in which one eye looked back to the past—while the other one looked ahead to the future.

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ASAE to Benefit Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

ASAE is striking a chord with Nashville. Thanks largely to the Nashville CVC, attendees of the Annual Meeting & Exposition at Music City Center will get a backstage pass to the town by participating in hands-on projects benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.

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Is London Bridge Falling Down? Or Are Journalistic Standards?

By Jonathan Trager

Often during natural disasters, destination-marketing officials bemoan the presentation on television and in newspapers. They say the coverage gives a false impression that an entire city has been devastated when the affected area isn’t even near the city’s core—where convention centers and most hotels and attractions are located.

But the Lake Havasu (Ariz.) CVB is bemoaning a report of a disaster it claims doesn’t exist at all.

USAE reported recently on the standoff between the Lake Havasu CVB and Britain’s Sun newspaper. A June 16 cover story in the popular tabloid alleged that London Bridge, an iconic landmark in the city, is crumbling and might soon be bulldozed, among other accusations.

The claims ignited a fierce reaction from Lake Havasu officials. They charge that there are 14 “demonstrably false” claims and fabrications the writer created “out of thin air.” They want to publish a letter in the paper addressing those claims, as well as receive a retraction and apology from the publication for each of the claims that were published. The CVB also threatened to file a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

On July 14, the bureau provided USAE with a letter from Philippa Kennedy, Sun Omsbudsman, saying the article in question had been removed from the publication’s website. She also offered to run a correction on page 2 of the paper (where corrections are published) as well as online, as well as run a short follow-up article detailing the recent investments and upgrades made to the area.

Doug Traub, President & CEO of the CVB, says that offer isn’t good enough. He believes the city’s reputation has been unjustly tarnished and visitation will suffer as a result.

Whatever the outcome of this conflict, this writer feels that sensationalism in journalism has become a serious issue. In an age in which so many outlets are vying for consumer attention, it can be easy for journalists to lose sight of the fact-reporting purpose of the news and slide into hyped-up claims of questionable veracity. Ultimately, however, any news source that follows that practice risks losing its credibility with its audience—which is the biggest repercussion of all.


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