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20 SPECIAL FEATURE ADVERTORIAL GOLF TOURISM Cœur d’Alene America’s Best Practice Ranges © National Parks Adventure Fore! What drives the american golf vacation According to a 2015 study, Golf Around The World - there are 34,011 golf courses in the world and 45% are in the United States. Golf is a billion industry employing 2 million Americans. Golf even generates almost billion a year for US charities. Size, quantity, cost and convenience… the four most typical characteristics that define American sales offers of all types, also apply to the game of golf. It’s the size and space in America, the ability to stretch out… the inspiring scenic views along the fairways, the natural and man-made water obstacles of the golf courses that impress most tourists. When it comes to quantity, America is the golfer’s Xanadu. There are nearly 16,000 golf courses to choose from and about 12,000 are public-access. Golf tends to be cheaper in USA, except you won’t notice that at top level courses like Pebble Beach. And convenient. Not only because there are more courses but because when you ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016 arrive there is easier access, better parking, more facilities and less administrative fuss. Yes, American golf seems to international tourists… well, so democratic. There are so courses for many different levels of golfers. Let’s pick one example… on a vacation in the Thousand Islands region of New York State, you could drop in without a reservation, pay for 9-holes (plus if you rent clubs) and play the Wellesley Island State Park Golf Course, part of the New York State Park system. The “signature” hole would have to be #3, where a good drive will do nothing to save you from having to scale the 40’ rock cliff upon which the green is balanced. The views from the tees on Holes 4 and 5 are awe-inspiring. On Hole #5, you tee off from the top of a ledge to the green in a valley below. While the US offers some of the top golf vacations in the world, the message is golf vacations are accessible to all—and can even be incorporated into almost any other American vacation. If Wellesley Island might be your more average fare, consider the Coeur d’Alene AMERICAN GOLF SEEMS TO INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS… WELL, SO DEMOCRATIC. Resort Golf Course, on the shore of a lake in Northern Idaho. It is best known for its par-3 14th hole-- the only movable island green in the world. Built on a barge on submerged tracks, the green moves daily as a computer changes the distance to a variable 95 to 200 yards. Did we mention if you use the fax on #9 Tee you can order--delivered #10 Tee- - a picnic basket? Or have a complimentary sports massage on practice range. You can also dine at the five-star restaurant with panoramic lake views and a million wine inventory. This is the sort of over-indulgence that fascinates visitors and yet is only par for the course in America. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 Chelsea Piers Golf What’s golf without some practice? Here are some noteworthy practice courses that international visitors can try out. After all, practice makes perfect… CASCATA (Boulder City, Nevada) At Cascata, you drive golf balls toward a 418-foot waterfall on the mountain. The waterfall’s waterway meanders the course-- and even goes through the clubhouse. Bighorn sheep roam the back nine at this luxurious, million facility. BANDON DUNES (Bandon, Oregon) America’s most remote golf resort. The expansive range has loads of tees, plus big chipping areas and putting greens. Also on the resort property is The Punchbowl, a giant putting course featuring waitresses who take drink orders. RMU ISLAND SPORTS CENTER (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Operated by Robert Morris University, this is the largest indoor golf dome in America, 100 yards across, with two tiers of hitting bays. GOLF CLUB AT CHELSEA PIERS (NYC, New York) The range is only 200 yards long and you’ve got to hit off mats, but this is the Big Apple. Four levels and you’re hitting toward the Hudson River. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480

LUXURY SPECIAL FEATURE 21 Welcome To The Neighbourhood Canopy By Hilton aims to incorporate local culture into its new international properties With the first Canopy by Hilton hotel opening in Reykjavic in June, and a second in London announced this week, ITB Berlin News spoke to its guru, Gary Steffen, Vice President Hilton Brand Management. Steffen is confident that this new lifestyle concept - the latest addition to Hilton’s growing international portfolio of brands - will feel right for the right customer. It seems a younger-skewed brand, but in the process of explaining who this Canopy customer will be, Gary Steffen referred to himself as a “fifty-year-old millennial! We have created an accessible lifestyle brand, and we don’t want to group it by demographics: a grandfather who wants to experience great design, art, food - we welcome him. We don’t want to be restrictive - it’s for mindsets, not demographics,” he says. Steffen speaks enthusiastically about comfort and design, and the idea of a “neighbourhood” - a key word for Canopy. “The site in Reykjavic is at the heartbeat of the city. Great neighbourhood,” he says. “The site used to be a furniture factory, and a haven for artistic graffiti. So the hotel incorporates that - the furniture in the guest rooms will resemble the furniture of yesterday that used to be made in the factory. The graffiti and tagging art will also literally be incorporated into the design of the building - it’s a neighbourhood within a neighbourhood” Brandishing a pair of branded orange socks - “We won’t put slippers in the rooms, we’ll put socks - because we can!” - Steffen believes that Canopy will attract new customers to the Hilton brand who are positively seeking out an independent-seeming, unique experience. Hall 9 / Stand 316 Gary Steffen Vice President, Hilton Brand Management ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

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