This week, hundreds of Vermont hospitality industry professionals from across the state, gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington, VT for the 68th Annual Vermont Travel Industry Conference. During the conference’s awards ceremony, VTIC honored the Town of Killington for excellence in marketing; Bill Orleans, owner of PP&D Brochure Distribution, for Vermont Travel Person of the Year; and Morgan Goodyear, junior at Johnson State College, as recipient of the VTIC Scholarship.After a series of educational and motivational workshops led by industry specialists representing hotels, state tourist attractions, PR and marketing firms and more, the opening day, May 12, concluded with an awards banquet honoring some of the great people and projects in Vermont hospitality. The first award presented was the Governor’s Award for Marketing Excellence. As Master of Ceremonies, Josie Leavitt, owner of Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont, told the audience, the award is given to ‘a tourism-related business, region, or association that has shown a clear understanding of the Vermont Brand and has successfully incorporated it into one or more marketing initiatives.’ The award also gives recognition to the ‘ongoing commitment to Vermont’s tourism industry.’ The judges were asked to base their votes on the following criteria: strategy, creativity, innovation or utilization of a new approach, and achievement of stated bbjectives. The nominees were each unique and excellent in their own way and choosing just one proved to be an incredibly challenging task but the winning project successfully met all of the criteria for marketing excellence. Through their rebranding initiative, the Town of Killington, winner of the 2011 Governor’s Award for Marketing Excellence, developed a strategy from the grassroots level that collaborated events, marketing & special projects. They successfully were able to reach multiple audiences via various channels of communication and relied heavily on the public for private partnerships to leverage additional resources. The Town of Killington used Vermont’s intrinsic qualities while still retaining elements unique to Killington. Seth Webb, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the Town of Killington accepted the award. Honorable mention for the Governor’s Award for Marketing Excellence was given to the Vermont Convention Bureau for their meeting planners guide ‘ a beautiful, comprehensive directory of the Vermont’s event and convention facilities; Ski Vermont for their 5th Grade Passport Program, a project designed to get kids involved in snow sports, and to encourage their allegiance to Vermont products, and again to Ski Vermont for their Digital Travel Initiative, a unique mobile phone application. The second award presented was the VTIC Scholarship. The scholarship fund was established in 1994 to enable Vermont college students to further their education in a tourism-related field. The VTIC Scholarship Award helps a deserving student become a future leader of the Vermont hospitality industry. The 2011 scholarship recipient, Morgan Goodyear, is a junior at Johnson State College and currently works part-time as Conference Planning Assistant at Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe. The final award presented was the Vermont Travel Person of the Year. This award honors a member of the Vermont community who exemplifies and ongoing dedication to what makes Vermont such a special place to visit. The Vermont Travel Person of the Year award is presented to an individual who contributes significantly to Vermont’s travel & tourism industry, enforces the Vermont brand, helps position Vermont as a friendly and fun place to visit, promotes the value of tourism to the state’s economy, and exemplifies what is good within the travel industry and within our local communities. The 2011 Vermont Travel Person of the Year award was presented to Bill Orleans, owner of PP&D Brochure Distribution and Chair of the 2011 Vermont Travel Industry Conference. Bill’s services, as his nominees stated, ‘have become an integral part of the marketing plan of travel related businesses throughout Vermont.’ With over two million brochures distributed last year in hundreds of locations across the state, Bill has made a living promoting and supporting what is good in Vermont. For more information on the Vermont Travel Industry Conference, please visit the website at www.VTIC.org(link is external) or the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VTIC802(link is external).
Brazil’s death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed 25,000 on Wednesday, as the country emerged as the latest epicenter in the global pandemic.The health ministry said it had confirmed 1,086 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the fifth time the daily toll has exceeded 1,000 since the crisis accelerated in Brazil a week ago.That pushed the nationwide death toll to 25,598. The country of 210 million people now has 411,821 confirmed cases of the virus, second only to the United States.Experts say under-testing means the real figures are probably much higher.President Jair Bolsonaro is facing mounting criticism over his response to the health and economic crisis.The far-right leader has downplayed the seriousness of the virus and railed against stay-at-home measures, arguing the economic fallout risks causing more damage than the virus itself. Topics : ‘Brazil’s worst war’Brazil is facing the crisis with an interim health minister, army general Eduardo Pazuello — the third person to hold the post in a month.His predecessor quit, reportedly because he disagreed with Bolsonaro on hydroxychloroquine. And the president fired the previous health minister, also after clashing over how to respond to the pandemic.Meanwhile, hospitals are dangerously close to the breaking point in the hardest-hit areas, and the outbreak is not expected to peak here until next month.”We are particularly concerned that the number of new cases reported last week in Brazil was the highest for a seven-day period since the outbreak began,” Carissa Etienne, director of the Washington-based Pan American Health Organization, said Tuesday.One of Brazil’s best-known doctors, the neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, called it “the worst war Brazil has ever faced.””We never had an event like this. We never lost 25,000 people in a span of three months,” Nicolelis, who is coordinating the virus response in the impoverished and hard-hit northeast, told AFP.”We never got invaded in our history, but I’m referring to this virus as an invasion. It came like an invading army, and it’s invading the whole of the country.” But most state governments have stuck to the World Health Organization’s guidance and closed non-essential businesses.Sao Paulo, the country’s industrial hub and hardest-hit state, extended its stay-at-home Wednesday until June 15, though Governor Joao Doria announced a gradual reopening of “some activities” would be allowed from June 1.Bolsonaro has meanwhile pinned his hopes on the medication hydroxychloroquine, which — like US President Donald Trump — he has touted as a potential wonder drug against COVID-19.Brazil’s health ministry recommends doctors in the public health system prescribe hydroxychloroquine or a related drug, chloroquine, from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.It said Monday it stood by that guideline, despite the WHO ending clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine over concerns about its safety and effectiveness against the coronavirus. read more
Organizers of the Ghana Movies Awards have served notice of their readiness to be part of Boxing Day bout being staged by the Baby Jet Promotions on Friday as Asamoah Gyan.The boxing syndicate of Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is putting together another fight night featuring its leading boxer Emmanuel Tagoe.The ‘Game Boy’ as he is popularly known will be taking on Tanzanian hot shot Sidicki Momba in a WBA Intercontinental Lightweight championship fight at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday.The fight night which will feature under exciting undercard bouts will have several entertainment and lifestyle attractions.Almost all the hit-making musician friends of the Black Stars captain will be in attendance.Organizers of the Ghana Movie Awards also want to use the event as their unofficial nominee jam and also an opportunity for the movie stars to interact with their stars. “We see it as the pre-event party for our nominees,” lead organizer for the Ghana Movie awards Fred Nuamah told AsamoahGyan3.com.Meanwhile, the Black Stars captain with the rest of his Baby Jet entourage will arrive in Accra from the UAE base on Tuesday afternoon to kick star a series of activities towards the fight.Asamoah Gyan will address a planned press conference at 1pm on Tuesday at the Media Center of the Accra Sports Stadium.There are other planned activities during the week before it is climaxed with the Boxing Day bout on Friday. read more
1 Ricky van Wolfswinkel last played for Norwich in August 2015. Birmingham want to end Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s Norwich nightmare. The Blues have held talks with the Canaries over a season-long loan for their record signing, it is understood.Boss Gary Rowett believes he can revive the Dutchman’s career after it came to a grinding halt following his £8.5million move to Carrow Road from Sporting Lisbon in 2013.Van Wolfswinkel has no future under Norwich manager Alex Neil and the Canaries would welcome the chance to move him on as he enters the final year of his contract.He has scored just twice in 28 appearances and was loaned out to Saint Etienne and Real Betis in the last two seasons having flopped in Norfolk. The 27-year-old scored just 12 goals during those loan spells and while he has played for the Canaries in pre-season his days are numbered with Neil targeting Fulham forward Ross McCormack. His last Norwich appearance came when he scored in a 2-1 League Cup win at Rotherham in August 2015.Van Wolfswinkel is a number of Birmingham targets and they have had one bid of £1.1million rejected for Sheffield United’s Che Adams but returned last night with an improved offer. Should an move for Adams fail, van Wolfswinkel is a prime target.Blues desperately need striking reinforcements to share the goalscoring burden with Clayton Donaldson, who netted 11 times last season as they finished 10th in the Sky Bet Championship. James Vaughan is yet to score for the club after joining in January from Huddersfield while Nicolai Brock-Madsen has also failed to net following his £500,000 move from Randers last year. Kyle Lafferty was loaned from Norwich last season but scored once in six games and Birmingham will not return for the Northern Ireland striker with the Canaries understood to be looking for around £1million. read more