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NEW RESEARCH INDICATES THAT AMERICA’S PREMIER SHOPPING PLACES’ DINING EXPERIENCES SUPPORT GROWING TREND IN CULINARY TOURISM

(Forimmediaterelease.net) 2007, Chicago, Ill.….America’s Premier Shopping Places, an unparalleled collection of tourism-oriented shopping centers located throughout the USA, recognizes the importance of dining to the overall travel experience of both group and leisure visitors. As a result, each of these centers is proud to offer a diverse menu of dining options certain to please every traveler’s appetite. Whether visitors are traveling to major destinations such as New York, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Boston, etc, or exploring regional drive destinations such as Birmingham, Des Moines, San Antonio, Providence, etc., each of America’s Premier Shopping Places dishes up a variety culinary delights to tempt travelers’ palettes.

According to the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA), Culinary Tourism is important for many reasons. Recent research conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America indicates that 27 million travelers (17% of U.S. leisure travelers)sought culinary and wine related activities while traveling. The study indicates that culinary travelers are generally younger, affluent, and well educated. They seek unique experiences and cuisines while traveling. In addition, tourists who are interested in wine/cuisine also show a strong affinity for museums, theater, shopping, music, film and ethnic festivals and outdoor recreation. As a result of this burgeoning travel trend, many of America’s Premier Shopping Places are partnering with their restaurants to create or enhance programs designed specifically with today’s food-savvy travelers in mind.

“We are proud to have America’s Premier Shopping Places as one of our Gourmet Level Strategic Partners. They were the first in the shopping center industry to recognize the relationship between culinary tourism and shopping by joining our organization and working with the industry to provide travelers with unique dining experiences at their properties,” said Erik Wolf, President of the International Culinary Tourism Association.

The following is an example of dining programs currently being offered at select centers:
• The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian and Fashion Show-Las Vegas, Ala Moana Center-Honolulu, Glendale Galleria-Los Angeles, Galleria Dallas and Festival Bay Mall at International Drive-Orlando. – Offer Shop&Dine packages to both groups and FIT’s which are also commissionable to travel professionals and include a dining voucher valid at participating restaurants as well as a variety of special offers and services from select retail merchants and complimentary gifts.
• South Street Seaport in New York City, Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Riverwalk Marketplace in New Orleans, Bayside Marketplace in Miami and Harborplace&The Gallery in Baltimore - Offer groups pre-paid meal vouchers which are commissionable to group planners. The vouchers are valid for special meal offers in the Food Court and are especially popular with international groups and students visiting the centers.
In addition to the dining options outlined above, many of America’s Premier Shopping Places offer groups private event options onsite with catering by participating restaurants. These programs are popular with meeting and incentive planners looking for a unique alternative to hotel conference rooms. America’s Premier Shopping Places offer colorful indoor and outdoor venues that excite the senses with activity and fun, combining the top two travel activities of shopping and dining.

America's Premier Shopping Places is an award-winning branded collection of tourism-oriented shopping centers located throughout the United States which are owned and/or managed by General Growth Properties, Inc. The centers are located in the heart of America's best-loved cities as well as along America's scenic highways and byways, attracting millions of visitors annually from around the world. For a complete listing of destinations and further information, along with high-resolution photos, visit www.americasshoppingplaces.com or contact Kathy Anderson, Travel&Tourism Manager at href="mailto:shoppingplaces@aol.com">shoppingplaces@aol.com.

General Growth Properties, Inc. is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). General Growth currently has ownership interest and management responsibility for a portfolio of 209 regional shopping malls in 45 states, as well as ownership in planned community developments and commercial office buildings. The company portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes over 18,000 retailers nationwide. General Growth Properties, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP. For more information, please visit the company Web site at www.generalgrowth.com.

Az Travel Marketing, Inc. Kathy Anderson Email: shoppingplaces@aol.com Telefon: 602-678-1007

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