Southern California Recovers From Fires

Following the recent wildfires throughout much of Southern California, two prominent tourist regions have reopened for business.

This is the first Image
Despite scenes of smoke over San Diego’s
skyline, officials say the tourism sector
was “extremely lucky.”
So. Cal recovers from fires
Following the recent wildfires throughout much of Southern California, two prominent tourist regions have reopened for business. In the mountains of San Bernardino, the resort and destination of Lake Arrowhead has emerged unharmed from the fires, having proudly served as the local command center for more than 400 firefighters and rescue workers. With the fires contained, the resort has resumed normal operations amid “clear blue skies and fresh mountain air,” according to a spokesperson for the resort.

On the southern edge of the wildfire area, the San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau reports that all hotels and attractions within the 2,000-square-mile resort region have reopened. The San Diego North area includes more than 200 hotels with 18,000 rooms and popular tourist attractions such as Legoland, the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, the Birch Aquarium and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The wildfires burned primarily open space in the outlying areas of San Diego North, and no hotels or attractions were lost. Several hotels closed down briefly to aid evacuees, however.

“The tourism sector of San Diego North has been extremely lucky,” said Cami Mattson, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Those visiting San Diego North in the near future would never know there was a fire in the region. They’ll still find the same pristine beaches, green golf courses and world-class spas virtually untouched,” Mattson said.

The San Diego International Airport is operational, all major highways in the region are open and Amtrak is back on schedule.



Overseas cell phone solutions

ASTA, through its marketing arm AMSI (ASTA Marketing Services Inc.), will be working with Cellhire Mobile Solutions to offer its members a variety of cell phone solutions while traveling overseas.

Cellhire will provide ASTA members and their clients with discounted rental rates. For example, European phone rental will be $3.99 per day, with discounted call rates for select countries. Customers will be able to use one phone and the same number throughout their visit, eliminating the need for calling cards, pay phones or expensive hotel phones.

“Working with Cellhire will give broader communications services to our members that will promote business and relationships. Taking a cell phone or Blackberry while traveling overseas has always been a challenge, but now with Cellhire to help, ASTA members will be able to do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively,” said ASTA president and CEO, Cheryl Hudak, CTC. Established in 1987, Cellhire is a world leader in mobile communications providing clients and partners with innovative and competitive wireless solutions. Cellhire is an independent company providing service on various networks worldwide. ASTA subsidiary AMSI offers suppliers and other companies a chance to work with ASTA by offering their products or services at a discounted rate to its members. ASTA encourages these partnerships to alert its members of new and useful products that can help them develop and improve their businesses. For more information about the program, agents should log on to the Web site.


Superferry saga continues

The embattled Hawaii Superferry may be back in service soon, thanks to emergency legislation expected to be signed by Gov. Linda Lingle.

“Hawaii Superferry and its employees are very grateful to the State Legislature and Governor Lingle for their efforts over the past three weeks, resulting in legislation that will permit the recommencement of interisland ferry service for the residents and businesses of Hawaii,” said Hawaii Superferry president and CEO John Garibaldi in an Oct. 31 statement.