‘Travel is back’ PTAA’s 30th Travel Tour Expo draws mammoth crowd after pandemic years

Bargain hunters filled the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City last February  3-5, 2023, bringing home with them the best travel deals and discounts, marking another successful trade run for the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA).

Travel Tour Expo PTAA

The annual Travel Tour Expo (TTE) drew in more than 91,000 visitors in its three-day run, matching pre-pandemic numbers. TTE Chairman Michelle G. Taylan said that they wanted the pearl anniversary of the expo to serve as a “huge economic boost” and to encourage more Filipinos to travel in the post-pandemic world. 

No less than President Bongbong Marcos congratulated the association for mounting yet another successful travel trade event, despite the challenges to the sector. 

“[The tourism industry] is poised to recover its vibrancy prior to the pandemic,” President Marcos said. 

After mounting relatively scaled down expos in the past years due to COVID-19, the organizers were able to deliver on their promise to go bigger than ever, with as much as 70 percent off on airfares and travel packages. More than 300 exhibitors occupied around a thousand booths participated in this year’s expo, which include airlines, travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, cruise liners, and more. 

“We in the PTAA are very thankful and very proud of what we have accomplished. We managed to pull together and stand as one through ups and downs. Lahat ng pinaghirapan namin in the past years, we see it bear fruit now and we’re so happy ,” Taylan said. 

Travel Tour Expo PTAA

The event featured new additions to the program, including the first-ever conference with tourism speakers and a cultural dance competition – which was participated by different schools and regions. Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila was hailed champion in the cultural dance competition. 

The 30TH Travel Tour Expo has gathered a number of sponsors and partners to make all

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Legendary longtime Aspen local John Callahan, who led a life of adventure, dies at 95

John E. Callahan lived in Aspen and worked as a ski instructor, patrol and trail crew worker at Buttermilk. He died Jan. 1 at the age of 95.

Courtesy of the Callahan family

John E. Callahan, a longtime ski instructor, Mountain Rescue pioneer, and active community member, died at the age of 95 on Sunday.

“We’re all lucky. All four of us were there and held his hand as he passed away,” said Pat Callahan, 57, his son. His siblings John Callahan, Anne Marie McPhee, and Nancy Humphreys were with him. 

Callahan and his late wife, Cynthia, were inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 2017.

John and Cynthia Callahan in Wagner Park, circa 1965.

Courtesy of the Callahan family

The couple met on a ski vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1959. As the story goes, he asked her to marry him the night they met. They married soon enough in 1960 and moved to Aspen from Los Angeles in 1965, seeking a smaller town to raise their growing family. 

Callahan worked briefly in hospitality at the Applejack Inn and bartended at the original Little Nell. Then, he turned to the slopes to work as a ski instructor, patroller, and on the trail crew at Buttermilk. 

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One of the first ski instructors fluent in Spanish, Callahan encouraged Aspen Skiing Co. to recruit skiers from Mexico. His love for Latin America and speaking Spanish endeared him to many Spanish-speakers in the valley and became somewhat of a running joke in his family. 

“He was a legendarily bad shopper because he had to speak Spanish with every single person at City Market. And, it would take him two hours to get in and out of the grocery store,” Pat recalled about his dad.

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Ask Angi: Prepping your home for vacation – 41NBC News

(41NBC/WMGT) — Preparing for a vacation is exciting but it can also be overwhelming to think about everything you need to do before leaving town, especially if you’re planning on being away for a longer period of time. Mallory Micetich, a home care expert at Angi, is here with her pre-vacation to-do list.

“Securing your home should be at the top of your priority list when prepping to go away for vacation this summer,” said Micetich “An un-manicured yard is a clear sign that no one is home, so do your landscaping — things like mowing your lawn — right before you leave. It’s also a great idea to leave a few indoor and outdoor lamps on or to have them scheduled to turn on and off while you’re away.”

Ask one of your neighbors to pull your mail every few days and to keep an eye on your house. If you have a spare key, consider giving it to your neighbor so they can get inside if there are any issues. Now is also a great time to install a doorbell camera or, if you already have one, make sure it works.

“Think about reducing your energy consumption before you leave for vacation,” said Micetich “You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by unplugging things like your television, computers, small appliances and chargers, which use electricity just by being plugged in. You can also save energy by setting your thermostat between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit before you leave for vacation.”

Help your future self by cleaning your home before you leave for your vacation. Toss out anything in your fridge or pantry that will spoil before you return, and clean your garbage disposal to prevent any unwanted smells. Right before you leave, take out

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Luke Bryan Had a Fun Birthday Fishing Trip With His Boys

Luke Bryan spent his birthday weekend out on the water with some of his favorite people. The country superstar, who turned 46 years old on Sunday (July 17), hit the lake for a summer fishing trip with his two sons, Bo and Tate, and his nephew, Til.

Snapshots from the family outing were posted to the “Country On” singer’s social media pages, revealing a crew full of smiles as they each held up their catch(es) of the day.

“It was a good birthday,” Bryan simply says alongside the photos.

Before heading out for the outdoor leisure activity, Bryan’s wife, Caroline Boyer Bryan — who has made a tradition of using her sense of humor to come up with funny and clever ideas for her husband’s birthday — marked the special occasion with a variety of customized cakes. One of the cakes featured a giant Two Lane beer can accompanying the phrase “Happy Birthday, Luke!”

Caroline shared a photo of the birthday cake and her planting a smooch on Bryan’s cheek as he shows off his tasty B-Day treat. In another clip, Caroline reveals she would be joining in on the fun fishing trip.

“Happy Birthday to my Hunk of burning love!!! We love you! And…I’m going fishing again because well…it’s your birthday!” Caroline writes alongside a video of the group dancing around the house while gearing up for their fishing trip.

On Tuesday (July 19), Caroline returned to her Instagram page to share the aftermath of her husband’s fun-filled birthday adventure, with the brood experiencing a not-so-smooth car ride. In the video, Caroline appears seated in the back of the vehicle with her kids, while Bryan is in the driver’s seat navigating some road bumps.

“When you’re a boy Mom …. hang on and enjoy the ride girls!”

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More great day trip ideas in South Jersey

If you’ve never been to Long Beach Island (LBI) you’re missing a unique Jersey Shore treasure. You won’t find any boardwalks and there is only one way in and one way out. That keeps the atmosphere and feel of a less developed barrier reef island more peaceful and authentic. It also causes some major traffic headaches getting on, off and up and down the island.

Here is a solution not everyone knows about in the summer. Probably the liveliest town on the island is Beach Haven. There is plenty to do for all members of the family and it’s still one of the prettiest towns on the shore. So, get there by boat! There is a ferry from the Tuckerton to Beach Haven Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays in the summer.  Before you go check out the Tuckerton Seaport.

If you don’t mind the traffic of getting on and off LBI, make a left and head to the quieter side of the island. About a 15-minute drive north leads you straight to the end of the road at Barnegat Light. Of course, you’ll want to check out Old Barney, the Barnegat Lighthouse. Even though the website says the lighthouse is open for business the following day it has been closed this summer for renovations. It still shouldn’t deter you from taking a walk around the jetty and the inlet.

TSM Jersey Shore

TSM Jersey Shore

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more peaceful scenic spot at the Jersey Shore. Besides the lighthouse, check out Viking Village.

Grab a bite to eat at Kelly’s after a long walk on the jetty.

One of the most beautiful hotels anywhere on the Jersey Shore outside of AC of course is Hotel LBI. It’s right at the entrance to the island and worth

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Top 5 Last Minute Summer Vacation Plans for Washington

We’re about halfway through summer, some people still haven’t had that summer vacation they’ve been looking for. So we dug around the Pacific North West looking for the perfect summer vacation plans to help you out.

Little did we know there’s so much to do for your summer in Washington, so we put together a list of things you and the family can do. Even tho we’re closer to the end of summer than the beginning, these spots should be perfect for some last-minute vacation ideas.

5.) Wild Waves Theme Park

Wild Waves and Enchanted Village is a theme park and water park rolled into one. Whether you’re looking for some thrill rides on the I.5 Dive, or you wanna dip into the wave pool and ride out the sick swell on a boogie board. There’s plenty of fun here for the whole family, even uncle Jack.

4.) Great Wolf Lodge

Want all the fun of a water park but all the shade from the sun, then this is the place for you and your family. Great Wolf Lodge is a giant indoor water park filled with delicious restaurants, top-tier bars, and great safe fun for the kiddos. You can call or go online to make reservations today, that’s right they also have their own hotel!

3.) A Weekend in Seattle

Time to strike while the iron is hot, take a trip over to Seattle, take in the sun, and the food, and hit some of the beautiful beaches while you’re there. We’d also suggest taking up a Mariners game while you’re there. No, it’s not a joke, the Mariners are on a hot streak and playing their best since the early 2,000s.

2.) Check Out Leavenworth 

Leavenworth is known for being a small german town in Washington, with

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10 Fun Family Ideas on LBI, NJ

Long Beach Island is absolutely one of the most beautiful spots at the Jersey Shore and Ocean County.

It’s an awesome place to visit in the summer, fall, spring, and winter. I love being “local” to LBI. Everything on this list is chosen by me, family, and friends. I couldn’t agree more these are some fun things to do on Long Beach Island.

Long Beach Island is approximately 18 miles of pure Jersey Shore magic. White sand, beautiful little towns up and down the island, and tons of cute shopping and adorable treats.

Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels

LBI is made up of six municipalities – Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Surf City, Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Township, and Ship Bottom.

Long Beach Island is a family island. Yes, there are some great bars, but mainly families come to the island for a great family trip to make memories. Some of my favorite times were going to Fantasy Island with Mom and Dad and a little Abby, probably when she was 4 or 5. Abby loved all the kiddie rides and always asked Poppy to go on with her.

Something that’s not on the list is a favorite of mine is the Sea Shell Resort and Beach Club. I love when a couple of us go down to LBI and hang at the Sea Shell, it’s absolutely gorgeous, right on the beach. If you’ve never been, try it. It’s more of an adult hangout. An afternoon of shopping at Bay Village with my girlfriends, then head over to the Sea Shell, it’s a perfect day.

Top 10 FUN Things To Do On Long Beach Island

20 Succulent New Jersey Seafood Restaurants too Sensational Not to Try

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Embattled Biden looks for foreign policy ‘plan B’ in trip to Israel

JERUSALEM — Arriving Wednesday to meet with Israeli leaders, President Joe Biden will confront a Middle East dramatically changed since his last visit to the region.

Israel’s ties to several Arab states under the Abraham Accords have reshaped security dynamics, agreements that were not in place when Biden was in office as vice president during the Obama administration.

Iran’s nuclear advances are another looming factor. Biden took office promising a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal is known, but negotiations have yet to yield results. In its wake, Iran’s nuclear breakout time has shrunk to one week or less by some estimates.

“This trip may be about trying to flesh out what a plan B looks like,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow and vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute.


Israeli officials said Biden would begin to tackle the issue through a joint memorandum they said “commits” the two countries to using “all elements of national power” to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Biden, who begins his first meetings with Israeli officials on Thursday, is expected to unveil the so-called Jerusalem Declaration after meeting Israel’s caretaker, Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

But differences between the United States and its partners over how to approach Iran could slow that process, Katulis said.

During a dinner hosted by the mayor of Jerusalem and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on Tuesday, the focus was pinned on Biden ahead of his arrival Wednesday, his 10th visit to the Jewish state.

The most important thing is to reinforce the “unbreakable bond” between the Biden administration and Israel, Nides told the Washington Examiner.

“He calls himself a Zionist

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