What’s New for 2016 with North American Travel Attractions? More than 80 new attractions in the USA and Canada are featured in the annual roundup released by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The new products include virtual reality roller coasters, 3D and 4D attractions, interactive guest experiences and “edutainment.” For the complete IAAPA list of new attractions, visit: http://www.iaapa.org/news/newsroom/news-articles/iaapa-releases-annual-preview-of-what’s-new-in-2016-in-u.s.-and-canada.
New Museum for Spam—the Edible Sort: The legendary luncheon staple, SPAM, now has a new museum. Opened by the Hormel Food Company in Austin, Minnesota as an afterthought once the now legendary meat product (the square-shaped mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate, it is identifiable by the squarish can in which it has been marketed since it was first produced in 1937) became globally popular, the new museum is actually a bit smaller than the one it has replaced. The new site was actually designed to be a museum, however, and accommodates visitors who are more inclined to make gift shop purchases and take selfies inside and outside the structure. The new museum is also vehicle friendly—its website even has a link to a parking map. For more information, visit: www.spam.com/museum, or call 800.588.7728.
Soon to Come—Pilot, the Language Translator You Wear in Your Ears, Due Next Year: “The internet went nuts for Pilot” last week, wrote one writer who covers technology put it when word came out that a New York startup had developed a real time translation wearable-hearable device, one that will provide real-time language translation to individuals who are have the app’s earplugs and are talking to one another. Said Andrew Ochoa, founder of Waverly Labs, which is developing the product, “A life untethered, free of language barriers. It’s just that it’s no longer a dream anymore.” The news coverage of the device (it’s in the beta stage), which was introduced at the launch of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, comprised more questions than answers as Ochoa explained the app, which translates and sends a voice with the other person’s speech to the earpiece.. The initial version will support some European languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian), with others to be added.
Some of the Internet chatter about Pilot seemed inflated, and it was. For instance, Forbes spoke with Ochoa, who told the publication, “We’re building a hybrid system. Some of it’s licensed and some we’ve built ourselves. We don’t want to make any promises or references that this is incredibly real-time or that we could give you an earpiece and drop you off in the middle of Tokyo. That is not what we’re trying to convey at all.” Also, another question not answered at the company’s website (www.waverlylabs.com) is where, exactly, it is located. For those seeking to business with the company, contact it through firstname.lastname@example.org,
New Tours in Taos, New Mexico: A guide and trip leader with more than a decade of experience, Angelisa Espinoza, started her own tour and tour guide business earlier this year, and has now partnered with Heritage Hotels & Resorts to launch three new tour products in the Taos area:
—Eat Pray Love Experience: a three-day tour that explores ancient petroglyphs, Taos Pueblo and San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, and a private concert with Grammy Award winner Robert Mirabal, yoga and wine-tasting among other culinary, artistic and spiritual explorations
—Weekend of Enchantment: a four-day tour that explores the historic village of Chimayo and the High Road to Taos, the Earthship Community, Georgia O’Keeffe Country, Abiquiu and Santa Fe’sCanyon Road among other cultural treasures
—Heritage Active Adventure: a five-day tour that involves hiking in Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and Bandelier National Monument, a Rio Grande River Float, llama trekking in Taos Mountain and other active adventures
The new company also offers half-day and full-day tours that embark from El Monte Sagrado Resort & Spa inTaos, NM. A new Chaco Canyon Tour will be announced for the new Hotel Chaco opening in Albuquerque in 2017. For more information, visit: www.heritageinspirations.com, or call Angelisa Espinoza, 575-779-5516.