Category Archives: TRAVEL

Time to Move Your Furniture

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Image by: discover.realestate.com.au

My parents built a home in 2000.  I know that place like the back of my hand.  I can easily walk through the house in the dark.  Why?  Because the furniture never moves.  The couches are stationary, beds stay in the same place and the world might come to an end if I move a plant.  My parents liked that everything had a place and go by “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.  

Now me being their child, I’m the complete opposite.  I’ve lived in my home four years and arranged my bedroom furniture at least six times.  Couches change places every few months.  I even trade my dining room and kitchen tables just to see how I like it.  I remember the first time my husband and I decided to move the couches.  We were both nervous because neither of our parents move their furniture.  Then a light bulb came on…We’re grown! We are not going to know if we like it unless we try and hey, it takes about five minutes.  If we didn’t like it, we could try something else.

Which are you when it comes to reaching your target audience?  Do you go with the “If it’s not broke” method or “Never know unless you try”?  Keep in mind that although your marketing and advertising methods worked great in the 1980s, times have changed and so has your target market.  Their needs are different.  For example, if you were a hotel advertising to business people in the ‘80s, you would probably highlight your friendly customer check-in and your business center with a fax machine.  Today, it’s all about Wi-Fi, convenience and speed.  

Travel among Women, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African Americans have risen significantly in recent years and continuing to soar.  The Asian-American population is projected to increase by 31 percent between 2010 and 2020.  At 47 percent, Asian-Americans reported the highest share of hotel/B&B stays in 2010 with Hispanic travelers second at 42 percent.  These numbers are steadily increasing and in order for advertisers to effectively capture the attention of the growing population, their advertising to reflect each group’s needs.  

Sources: Suzanne Cook Consulting, LLC; U.S. Travel Association; U.S. Travel/Ypartnership travelhorizonsTM; TNS Travels America; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Target Market News Covers Amtrak’s AOR Renewal with IMAGES USA

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IMAGES USA recently announced our AOR Renewal with Amtrak, continuing our longstanding relationship. The story was covered by Target Market News early this week, emphasizing IMAGES USA’s contributions to the Amtrak business over the years. We always enjoy our efforts and relevant news being recognized on any level by peers, and we would like to thank Target Market News for spreading the word around the industry. Kudos!

You can read the full story on Target Market News here

Amtrak Celebrates National Train Day

Since 2008 IMAGES USA has had the honor of being a part of Amtrak’s National Train Day celebrations adding African American, Hispanic and now Asian American components to the nationwide events.

IMAGES USA activated three successful multicultural events in Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles for National Train Day. In Philadelphia’s 30th St. Station, IMAGES debuted the Great Migration of African Americans exhibit which chronicled the voluntary migration of more than 800,000 African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North between 1910 and 1930. In Chicago Union Station, Amtrak celebrated the legacy of the Braceros, Mexican men who came to the United States during World War II to help maintain U.S. railroads. New this year to Los Angeles Union Station, IMAGES helped Amtrak recognize the contributions of Asian Americans to the railroads at the “East Meets West” exhibit.

All together more than 10,000 people attended National Train Day events across the country. This year’s National Train Day marks the 142nd anniversary of the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad linking existing railway systems to the Pacific coast for the first time. This year also marks Amtrak’s 40th anniversary of nationwide passenger railroad service.

IMAGES is proud to have helped make this year’s National Train Day a complete success and wishes Amtrak 40 more years of great service and enjoying the journey.

Amtrak Seeks Student Filmmakers for 2nd Annual TRAINsportation Video Contest

Is the next great student filmmaker aboard an Amtrak Lincoln Service, Wolverine Service, Missouri River Runner or Hiawatha Service train? It’s a possibility, since Amtrak is looking for another winning video travelogue in the 2nd Annual Amtrak TRAINsportation Video Contest. Created with the IMAGES Amtrak team, the rail giant is gearing up for their second search for the Midwest’s most talented student film makers. For details on how to enter, check out the video above produced by IMAGES’ Creative.

The contest is open to all college students in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconson for the chance to win more than $3,000 worth of prizes including a MacBook Air, a Fuji 3D Digital Camera and travel on Amtrak. Students can enter the contest by submitting a train travel-themed video by Feburary 28, 2011, through the amtraktrainsportationvideocontest.com website.

Read more here.

Can the Travel Promotion Act Increase U.S. Tourist Diversity?

Poster for the United States Travel Bureau promoting tourism. Created for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project, by Frank S. Nicholson, between 1936 and 1939.

As hard as it might be to believe, until President Obama recently signed the Travel Promotion Act into law, the United States did not have an official organization promoting travel to this country. Every other country in the world has some form of marketing and promotional organization encouraging people to visit their country, and now the U.S. can “join the party” and officially extol the virtues of travel to the United States.

The Act will create a nonprofit, Corporation for Travel Promotion, with the purpose of promoting the country as a travel destination and explain travel and security policies to international visitors.

“By signing the Travel Promotion Act, President Obama has acted to support the power of travel to serve as an economic stimulant, job generator and diplomatic tool,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

With this increase in international visitors there will also be an increase in the diversity of the visitors, which will necessitate increased awareness of how to deal with a diverse traveling market. Those companies in the travel industry – hotels, airlines, car rental companies, rail – will all have to develop the ability to train their staff to deal with an ever-changing client. From language training to cultural understanding, this will be a formidable task for the industry, but the potential costs will be far outweighed by the increased visitor spending. As the world make-up changes, so must the travel industry.

Read more on here.

The Rainbow Connections: Favorite Sites of African American Consumers

Depending on your personal cultural references, the “Rainbow Connection” reference might conjure up the dulcet tones of Kermit the Frog’s homage to “the lovers and dreamers” of the 70s, or perhaps the newest LGBT-focused magazine. Well, in this case, we’ve taken some liberties in redefining the “Rainbow Connection” by creating a new series of lists showcasing the best places to connect online with the colorful rainbow that is the multicultural consumer! See what we did there? RainbowConnection? Clever, we know.

Whether your industry is fashion, travel, tech, packaged goods or entertainment, your target consumer has a favorite site or blog where he or she can be reached. It’s up to YOU to find them, so let us guide you to a few of our favorites. First in this series, the African American consumer.

Read full list here.

Advocate.com: Amtrak Launches LGBT Campaign

Photo credit: Rob Sinclair/Gribiche

For nearly four years, Amtrak and IMAGES have worked together on developing innovative campaigns about rail travel for multicultural audiences. It is because of that longtime relationship of success that when Amtrak, which is government-owned and partially government-funded, decided to focus a portion of their multicultural marketing efforts on the LGBT community, they again turned to IMAGES.

In an interview with Advocate.com, Amtrak representative Karina Romero told The Daily Caller, “We are always looking for new ways to reach potential passengers and this community travels a lot.”

Gay groups such as the Human Rights Campaign welcome the travel industry’s allocation of marketing dollars toward the LGBT community and see the trend as a hallmark of progress. In the same Advocate piece, HRC spokesman Daryl Herrschaft noted, “Public sector operations are working in the same market as private, which has come to recognize and capitalize on the vast LGBT market.”

Read the entire Advocate article here.