Portland Rated “Only Livable City” in US

Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland at dusk. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Monocle, an esteemed London-based magazine covering culture, global affairs, business, and design, has given Portland, Oregon a significant nod to its “livability” (which is awkward considering the fact that former Nike CIO and London native Anthony Watson left the company because Portland was “too boring.” Oops). According to High Snobiety, Monocle’s annual Quality of Life Survey ranked 25 cities based on data from crime rates, healthcare, state-funded education, and business climate, along with a liveability assessment that considers green space, culture, sunshine, and local businesses. Portland placed 23rd (out of 25), right behind Lisbon, Portugal. Which doesn’t seem so impressive, except that it’s the only city in the US to make the list. Continue reading

Our Favorite World Travelers Share Their Craziest Stories (and vouch for why PDX deserves their #1 rating)

PDX airport at sunset

the PDX airport at sunset, Mt. Hood in distance. Photo courtesy of the Port of Portland.

We’ve got a secret to spill: Travel & Leisure has ranked Portland International Airport  #1 in domestic airports, according to their annual World’s Best Awards! For the second year in a row! Way to be, hometown. Way to be. You could check it out for yourself in their full list of 2014 World Bests, or you could save yourself 10 minutes of your life you’ll never get back (RIP iPhone battery)…and take our word for it! Because we have a totally neutral, un-slanted stance on PDX. Why would we be biased towards the best airport in the best city of all time? (Our airport carpet even has a cult following—it has a dedicated Instagram account with 11k followers, and even its very own PDX airport socks to boot.)
Basically, PDX is best. To back ourselves up, we asked our favorite world travelers (who are well experienced in the ways of airports and other traveling shenanigans) about their experiences with PDX, plus their craziest story from their airport hopping. This is a 100% scientific study. Enjoy.

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Crash Course in Singapore

If you ever conveniently find yourself in Southeast Asia on a day with nothing to do, Grace Teo has got you covered! Grace is originally from Kuala Lumpur but currently lives in Germany; she blogs and YouTubes about her various travel experiences. (Also, how cute are her dimples?!)

In this video, Grace he spends just 24 hours in Singapore and films her experience, effectively giving you a crash course in the must-sees and must-eats of the vibrant place. She covers essentials like chili crab and a 24-hour shopping center (fellow night owls rejoice!), and the video is definitely worth checking out.

How Social Media is Like Sex

How social media is like sexIn the travel industry, agents are flocking to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and even Google+ as these channels become valuable ways to reach new prospective clients, and keep in touch with existing clients. There are likes, shares, fans, +1’s, followers…but what does it all mean? What’s valuable to our client relationships and marketing, and HOW valuable are each of these?

I’m going to use a metaphor we can all relate to: sex. Continue reading

Press Release: Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association

For many U.S. and Canadian travel agents, destination weddings and honeymoons are big business:

  • 350,000 destination weddings take place every year – they’re 24 percent of all weddings, in fact.
  • More than half of those couples say they get outside help planning these trips.
  • And, 86 percent of them still plan to talk honeymoons after their destination weddings.

To help more agents tap into this market, the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) will “soft launch” today, in preparation for a charter membership drive this spring (Feb. 1-April 30). Continue reading

Getting Your Travel Website to Rank Well in 2012+

Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz posted this terrific White Board Friday video today:

He talks about some of the classic ranking factors–things you still need to do to your site to get your pages to rank for the terms you’re targeting. But more importantly, he dives into some of the newer factors that help not just ranking but also conversion, and all at a level that should be understandable to a non-SEO person.
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