2017 Smart Stars Award Winners

Meeting PlanningVenues

Best Airport Hotel Best Attraction/Theme Park Best Ballroom Best Beach Hotel Best Boutique/Lifestyle Hotel Best City Hotel Best Coastal Hotel Best Conference Center Best Convention Center Best Convention Center Hotel Best Cruise Line Best Desert Hotel Best Eco/Green Hotel Best Executive Retreat Best Family-Friendly Hotel/Resort Best Gaming/Casino Hotel Best Golf Resort Best Historic Hotel Best…

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LEED-Certified Hotels Gaining Momentum

Hotels & ResortsNews

Hotels worldwide are leading with LEED. The U.S. Green Building Council created this program in 1993—an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—to certify that buildings meet standards of energy efficiency, conservation and community sensitivity. USGBC’s rating system has four levels based on points earned: certified, silver, gold and platinum. Certified properties must accumulate at…

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Travel + Leisure 2017

And the Award Goes to … the 2017 It List for New Hotels

DestinationsHotels & ResortsNews

Call it the Oscars version of the hotel world (or maybe not, judging from Sunday night’s unprecedented best-picture gaffe). The Travel + Leisure 2017 It List does hand out an award of sorts by visiting all of the best new hotel and resort openings of the past year and ranks them in this envious list. If you’re in the industry of…

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5 Things Planners Can Learn from the Presidential Inauguration

Meeting PlanningTravel

What could be one of the most controversial presidential inaugurations in U.S history is happening in just a few days. On Jan. 20, president-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office, and nearly one million Americans are expected to travel to Washington, DC, to either attend the inauguration or protest it. People will be buzzing…

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Consider Yourself Invited to Avenida Houston

Convention CentersCVBsDestinations

Even the artwork at Houston’s reimagined convention district is inviting. As Houston prepares to host the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, the new Avenida Houston district christened a piece of artwork that is designed to welcome the public and delegates to George R. Brown Convention Center. Houston First commissioned Ed Wilson’s Soaring In The Clouds…

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Houston Convention District Takes Shape

Convention CentersDestinationsHotels & Resorts

Earlier this month, Smart Meetings received a hard hat in the shape of a cowboy hat in the mail as a PR tool to call attention to the emerging Houston convention district project. The box also contained press releases from Houston First, announcing the opening of “Texas’ largest convention campus.” The collateral proclaims that “With a $1.5 billion…

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Got Class? Group Learning Through Team Building

Hotels & ResortsHow ToMeeting Planning

School isn’t just for kids. More and more properties are providing groups with learning opportunities that also incorporate team building. Attendees will harken back to the days where they were excited for that first day of school, where open mindedness was pervasive and possibilities were endless. Here are a few properties that put class into team…

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5 Local Adventures to Engage Groups

DestinationsHotels & ResortsTrends

Local adventures are in the eyes of the adventurers. To some, a walk through a stunning garden is an adventure, while others may prefer surfing in the Pacific Ocean. With more and more business travelers arriving a day early or sticking around a little longer to experience a slice of local adventure, meeting hotels and…

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5 New Hotels with Intriguing Former Lives

Hotels & ResortsNews

Photo from Hotel Emma New hotels are springing up in some unusual places, including the former homes of a brewery, model-T car assembly plant and post office. It’s a trend that is designed to satisfy travelers’ desire to more fully experience the history and culture of destinations. It’s also helping to boost cities’ revitalization efforts…

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Australia Solidifies Reputation as Foodie Destination

DestinationsFood & BeverageInternational

Last week it was announced that Australia will be the host destination for the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2017—solidifying its reputation as an emerging food lovers’ paradise. The announcement was made by William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants alongside Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson at the…

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