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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: Ever since watching the US presidential inauguration of President Barack Obama, my husband and I have somehow gotten a renewed interest to visit the United States. We used to fly more frequently in the past. While we’re interested in a vacation there, we also wanted to check out some states and do a little comparison between them. I’ve checked individual web sites and travel agencies but both have proven to be time consuming. I don’t know if the US government has something on this level but it sure would make our lives easier. Any tips are of interest.

A: True, many countries have adopted the Internet as a way of promoting their destinations. Take the French Government Tourist Office, www.franceguide.com or Canada’s own www.canada.travel which is the official tourism web site of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Last year, the U.S. Travel Association launched www.DiscoverAmerica.com, the first-ever official travel and tourism web site for the United States. The 4,000-page web site is content-rich with photo galleries, interactive maps, official entry information, activities, and has loads of information on the 50 states and favourite cities.

Visitors to the web site can also read user-generated reviews and see user-uploaded images so you get another perspective from real folks who have actually travelled to your places of interest. “With its wealth of information on American destinations, DiscoverAmerica.com helps inbound travellers from Canada research and design U.S. travel experiences such as city breaks to New York, Boston or Chicago, a visit to one of the many theme parks, beach vacations in Hawaii, South Carolina or Puerto Rico, and guest ranches in Arizona and Texas,” notes Sana Keller, the Canadian rep for DiscoverAmerica.com and adds, “Highlights from more than 60 cities are featured on the web site as well.”

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