Booking.com Invites Americans to Reconnect with International Culture Right in Our Own Backyard
Global travel leader Booking.com recognizes that America has experienced internal rifts and unprecedented circumstances like never before in 2020. Amidst a difficult year, marked by a global pandemic that is taking its toll on every aspect of our everyday lives, as well as keeping us from experiencing travel the way we used to, it’s time to remember, celebrate and rediscover the incredible diversity and amazing mosaic of international cultures that lives and breathes within our nation. Booking.com believes that what unites us as Americans is ultimately stronger than what divides us, and that travel, even if only domestic, has a restorative role to play in bringing us closer together.
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With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, even when experiencing the world closer to home, Booking.com invites Americans to explore some of the amazing international cultures that might not be possible to travel to this year, but exist in our own backyard, by booking a stay – as it is safe to do so – featured on our ‘America Is For Everyone’ list. Recognizing the limitations on international travel, this list highlights 10 destinations and properties right here in the U.S. that celebrate a selection of the countless cultures and communities from around the world that have helped shape the beauty of the nation we live in today. From Little Haiti in Miami, FL, Little India in Jersey City, NJ and Little Ethiopia in Silver Spring, MD to Germantown in Frankenmuth, MI and Greektown in Tarpon Springs, FL, you do not need to leave the country to be transported to places, people and vibrant cultures from around the globe. Americans may not be able to travel internationally right now, but our own country is ripe with incredible cultures to explore close to home, whenever the time is right.
The eclectic mix of ‘America Is For Everyone’ properties includes everything from traditional Dutch and Danish inns to Bavarian lodges to modern hotels, striking cottages and converted lofts that have been designed with decor representative of international destinations like Japan, Vietnam, Mexico and more – including traditional art, colorful tapestries, and indigenous musical instruments – to help travelers rediscover international culture closer to home. All of the experiences offered come with a custom designed and safety-first itinerary so guests can enjoy authentic meals, historical tours and more, and are available to book exclusively on Booking.com starting on November 16, 2020 at 12:00PM EST, for a two-night stay, November 20 – 21, 2020. Booking.com will be offering the stays for $50 for the entire weekend, representative of the 50 United States that connect the people of this country.
‘America Is For Everyone’ reinforces Booking.com’s belief that experiencing the world and all of its culture can help unite Americans in unprecedented times of challenge.
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“Diversity has been a pillar of Booking.com’s culture from the day our company was founded. We are a brand for everyone working to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, no matter your budget or where you come from. This multicultural ethos not only makes businesses strong, but makes society stronger,” says Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com. “In these challenging times, it’s important to remember that it’s the diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives representing so much of the world that have made this country what it is today. We hope the ‘America Is For Everyone’ experiences help quench Americans’ collective curiosity and inspire travelers to seek out new experiences they may not have realized existed so close to home.”
#AmericaIsForEveryone gives local travelers the opportunity to experience international culture all while remaining close to home. Exploring beyond the horizon is central to our common American identity and Booking.com hopes this list makes it easier for Americans to set out on a journey to embrace all the country has to offer, as it becomes safe to travel again, and show the world how travel can help bring us together even when we feel so far apart. We may not be able to travel far, but even the shortest trips can bridge the widest divides.
Booking.com ‘America Is For Everyone’ Spotlight
- Ethiopia: Hampton Inn in Silver Spring, MD
o Silver Spring is known for its East African influence with a community that keeps the traditions of Ethiopia alive in aromatic cuisine and cultural events, while celebrating the achievements of today’s generation of African-American artists and entrepreneurs. Downtown Silver Spring is full of local public art, live theater and dance with a renowned performing arts program at Princess Mhoon Dance, as well as a plethora of Ethiopian coffee shops and restaurants. Hampton Inn Silver Spring is located in the heart of the vibrant downtown and easily walkable to a variety of retail, dining and entertainment opportunities to truly explore the Ethiopian cultural influence.
- Germany: Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, MI
o Frankenmuth, known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” offers a true German cultural experience to visitors from the charming Bavarian architecture, authentic German dishes at restaurants throughout town, many German festivals and history highlighting the area’s German roots at the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. The Bavarian Inn Lodge is the iconic place to stay in town, with it’s Glockenspiel Tower housing a magnificent 35-bell carillon and an illuminated clock imported from Germany, which plays lively German tunes that can be heard echoing for miles around the town.
- Vietnam: Factors Row Sextant in New Orleans, LA
o During the 1970s, the Vietnamese community in New Orleans grew as thousands looked to escape the Communist regime, with NOLA holding appeal due to it having many of the same qualities as Vietnam – from the climate to the fishing, and also, like Louisiana, Vietnam was once colonized by the French. In the neighborhood of New Orleans East visitors can shop at the famous Vietnamese Farmers Market or sample traditional Vietnamese food – such as banh mi, known locally as the “Vietnamese po-boy” – at a variety of restaurants, bakeries and shops with imported groceries. Factors Row offers modern, luxury apartments in the heart of the city where guests can experience all the best Vietnamese restaurants and culture in the Big Easy.
- Netherlands: Auld Holland Inn in Oak Harbor, WA
o Dutch settlers, including a cheesemaker, first arrived at Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in 1894 and to this day Oak Harbor has a Dutch ambiance, evident in the naming of local streets and stores, the grounds at Holland Gardens Park, iconic windmills and an annual Holland Happening Festival. The Auld Holland Inn is a unique property that is a destination in itself, with its Dutch architecture, antique furnishings and colorful gardens.
- Haiti: Cottages El Porto in Miami, FL
o Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood is the cultural heart of the Haitian diaspora and is a celebration of all things Caribbean – from one of the most vibrant arts scenes with colorful works in local galleries, museums and outdoor murals, to authentic Haitian restaurants to the Little Haiti Cultural Center, offering exhibition and instruction in traditional theater, dance, music and crafts. The Cottages El Porto offers a quaint and relaxed setting with features including a patio sun terrace with views over the garden so guests can take advantage of the outdoors before heading to nearby Little Haiti to explore all it has to offer.
- India: Hyatt House in Jersey City, NJ
o India Square, also known as Little Gujarat, is a district in Jersey City, NJ known for its strong Indian culture with several Hindu temples and streets lined with grocery stores and restaurants offering traditional dishes. The area is also home to one of the largest outdoor Navratri festivities and an annual, colour-filled spring Holi festival. The Hyatt House Jersey City is a residentially inspired, extended-stay property offering spacious and modern suites, located near India Square where guests can get a true taste of the culture.
- Mexico: Hyatt House Lakewood at Belmar in Denver, CO
o Mexican influences are evident across Denver, but it’s really the city’s Westwood neighborhood, featuring a Mexican Cultural District, that shines. The area celebrates Latino culture and supports Mexican owned businesses with authentic Mexican cuisine, architectural features and public art, such as a mural of civil rights leader Caesar Chavez. The Hyatt House Denver is an extended-stay hotel with one of the best views of the Rocky Mountain foothills, offering all the comforts of home including fully equipped kitchens and work areas, as well as an on-site restaurant and lounge where guests can enjoy a cocktail before visiting nearby Westwood.
- Japan: Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, HI
o Honolulu’s infusion of native heritage and Japanese culture is evident through the many offerings in Hawaii’s capital, with the Japanese Cultural Center where guests can take instructive courses on a variety of Japanese traditions, such as chado (the way of tea), kumihimo (Japanese braiding) and shodo (Japanese calligraphy), a stroll through the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk built to mimic the shopping district of a Japanese Monzen Machi where traditional cuisine can be sampled or a visit to the gorgeous Byodo-In Temple. The Pagoda Hotel provides an atmospheric scene for guests to relax with the on-site Floating Restaurant providing views of a dramatic koi pond and tranquil Japanese garden and waterfalls.
- Denmark: The Hamlet Inn in Solvang, CA
o Solvang is a lovely Danish village surrounded by stunning wine country with half-timbered houses and many local museums and attractions that pay homage to Danish heritage, such as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum at the Book Loft where visitors can learn more about Denmark’s master storyteller, the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art offering history of the Danish pioneer experience, many Danish bakeries and more. The Hamlet Inn is a Danish-inspired boutique property located in the heart of downtown Solvang with guest rooms decorated in Danish flags and coats of arms.
- Greece: Vista Inn Lake Tarpon in Tarpon Springs, FL
o Greek immigrants built Tarpon Springs‘ signature sponge industry, turning a remote village into “the sponge capital of the world” and the Hellenic influence remains strong today. Just stroll Dodecanese Boulevard and you will spy groups congregating in coffee shops playing cards, working their komboloi or “Greek worry beads,” and drinking retsina wine while aromas of lamb, spanakopita and baklava from the many Greek restaurants and bakeries fill the street. The waterfront Vista Inn Lake Tarpon is a Mediterranean inspired hotel that is a short drive to all Tarpon Springs has to offer, as well as some of the best Gulf Coast beaches.
*At Booking.com, it’s our goal to make sure travelers stay safe. We advise travelers to follow any travel advice updates from local government and health organizations, including state-to-state travel regulations with any quarantine measures in place, as well as adhere to appropriate safety measures.
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