Remember when you would walk into a tourist information center or a hotel lobby and collect armfuls of glossy brochures advertising everything from theme parks to wax museums to dinner-and-a-show venues? For a lot of travelers, those brochures are already a thing of the past, thanks to iPads, smart phones and the ease of searching for whatever you need online. But a new electronic kiosk is set to put the final nail in the coffin of the good old travel brochure.
The kiosks, which were developed by tech company City Corridor and are popping up in hotels and businesses across the country, are outfitted with large touch screens. Travelers can view information about attractions, see restaurant menus, print out maps and even make reservations through the kiosks. Some kiosks also are programmed to print out information in several different languages to cater to foreign visitors.The machines also feature a slot for credit cards so you can buy tickets to attractions on the spot. That’s great news for businesses who say they’ve seen their sales increase as a result. Unlike a travel brochure, which a tourist might pick up and then forget about, the kiosks (much like the Internet) let them click the buy now button while their interest in the attraction is still hot.
The creators of the kiosk say the machines also will be helpful for advertisers, who will be able to get feedback about the number of visitors clicking on their ads or downloading their discount coupons. The electronic kiosks will be fitted out with cameras so businesses and advertisers can track the types of people using the machines.
Travel brochures found at any given destination compete for our attention. Local tour operators want us to choose them over others. Convention and visitors bureaus work to highlight all their city has to offer. Florida, the land of theme parks, beaches and year-round sun is no exception.
Racks of colorful point-of-travel brochures can be found in airports, at hotels, highway rest stops and just about any other place that travelers are likely to gather. On a road trip from Orlando to Miami, we stopped at turnpike rest areas along the way and picked up some of the travel brochures that crowds of visitors seemed most interested in.
Kissimmee, Florida is home to must-see theme parks Walt Disney World Resort, Seaworld and Universal Studio’s Orlando Resort. From world-class resorts to RV campgrounds, Kissimmee offers a variety of choices for any age or interest.
Key West, Florida calls itself America’s Island Paradise for a number of reasons. Walking tours are a good way to see some of the island’s best attractions but trolley tours are also popular.
The Key West City Cemetery offers a quiet tour of Key West’s past, featuring a memorial to American sailors who died in the explosion of the USS Maine in 1898 along with legendary headstones that read, “I told you I was sick,” and, “At least I know where he’s sleeping tonight.”
A visit to Key West Audubon House and Gardens, Key West Harbour and the Florida Eco-Discovery Center make for a nice day and don’t forget a piece of Key Lime Pie, served at a variety of locations. Download a Key West vacation planner here.
Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida, is one of a number of attractions that host aviaries filled with butterflies and free-flying birds. This one lets visitors enter their man-made tropical rain forest, a living habitat with a mist-filled cave and a cascading waterfall.
Butterfly World features six aviaries, live butterflies, Hummingbirds, an Insectarium, a Butterfly museum and more. Open seven days a week, Butterfly World is the largest butterfly and bird park in the world.
Miami Seaquarium is a 38-acre tropical paradise that is home to Lolita The Killer Whale, Salty the Sea Lion and everything else one might expect from an aquarium located minutes from the ocean.
At Dolphin Harbor, visitors can connect with one of the ocean’s most intelligent creatures doing a deep-water swim that has no swimming or height restrictions.
In addition to sea life from sea turtles and manatees to sharks and stingrays, unique to Miami Seaquarium are a number of animal and tourism experts on hand to share information and answer questions.
Here’s more about Florida, featuring Florida swamps, working cattle ranches, beautiful lakes and streams, and incredible wildlife.
Travel brochures tout tourist-oriented destinations that commonly offer plenty of things to do. Any given place on the planet might have historic significance, a natural wonder of some sort or man-made things to see and do that draw visitors from around the world. The state of Colorado is no exception.
Racks of colorful travel brochures with a variety of attractions can be found in hotels, airports, restaurants and most public places. Stopping a couple days in the Denver area recently, we found some travel brochures that jumped off the rack saying, “take me.” Surely, that’s what they are designed to do; catch our attention over a hundred other brochures competing for our limited time in town.
It’s interesting though, how just one of those brochures can open up an entirely different experience; in this case, one that literally fell out of the sky.
Indoor Skydiving at SkyVenture Colorado in Denver simulates the free-fall part of a sky dive, the time between jumping out of a plane until the parachute is opened – what is commonly referred to as “flying.”
The SkyVenture wind tunnel facility does it so well, that avid and pro skydivers go there to practice what they might do during free fall, in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
Jumping out of a plane, skydivers get about 50 to 60 seconds until they need to deploy their parachute (called a “canopy”). To practice a routine or formation, many of these “drops” are needed and without a wind tunnel that means landing, repacking their parachute, getting back in a plane, taking off and jumping out all over again.
They don’t mind that; in fact, they pretty much live for it. But the Sky Venture wind tunnel allows skydivers to practice efficiently, often with other knowledgeable skydivers looking on, providing helpful tips and feedback.
Both experienced skydivers from different backgrounds, their paths crossed via skydiving.
Sydney Owen, a recent USF graduate, was climbing the corporate ladder at rapid speeds on a path to epic success when skydiving entered the picture. To feed her passion for the sport, she left the corporate world behind and started her own millennial-focused PR firm. Based at Southern California’s Skydive Elsinore, Sydney has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 300+ times.
Barry Williams, the Director of Elsinore Elevate Advanced Bodyflight at Skydive Elsinore with an extensive pedigree (AFF-I, USPA C/E, FAA Sr. Rigger, for readers in the know), has over 6000 jumps.
Frankly, having anything to do with “Pro Skydiving” was not on my original top-ten list of “Wishes For Our Children.”
But “Be Happy,” “Impact Those Around You” and “Find Someone To Share Your Life With” were probably in the top three and skydiving managed to make hitting all of them possible. Pictured here, their “first dance” after the ceremony.
The SkyVenture Colorado brochure lists a number of services they render, but “life changing event” is not mentioned. It kind of makes one wonder what other attractions might have to offer, beyond the brochure headlines.
Let’s take a look at some other Colorado offerings found on brochure racks throughout the state.
Also flight-oriented, Glider Rides in Boulder, Colorado, are not the small, lightweight hang gliders that these high-performance aircraft are often confused with.
Here an FAA-certified commercial pilot tows the glider, you and another pilot to a suitable altitude. Once there, the glider pilot releases the towline, allowing the aircraft to soar effortlessly and silently with no engine noise. Passengers can take the controls for a portion of the flight or just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Back on solid ground, the Downtown Aquarium in Denver features Diving With The Sharks in which visitors dive into the aquarium’s sunken shipwreck exhibit where they experience Sand Tiger Sharks, Brown Sharks, Zebra Sharks and Barracudas.
Another experience available, Swim With The Fish, lets kids ages 6 and up snorkel with the facilities 350-pound Grouper, Moray Eels and more.
Also water-oriented, Raft Colorado, run by Raft masters since 1989 offers a variety of raft adventures and specializes in group experiences. On the Arkansas River in Canon City and Clear Creek in Idaho Springs, Colorado, Raft Masters provides all the equipment and safety training.
Beginners to advanced rafters at Clear Creek experience some of the best and most exciting whitewater, about 30 minutes away from Denver. Arkansas river programs boast spectacular scenery on America’s most popular rafting river.
Package deals include a Rail & Raft offering that begins with a scenic round-trip train ride through Royal Gorge. After an included buffet lunch, choose an afternoon raft trip on either Bighorn Sheep Canyon or Royal Gorge. A Boat & Bridge package combines Royal Gorge Bridge and Park with a half-day raft trip.