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Travel Technology Association Files Comments with DoT Supporting Transparency & Consumer Protections

Travel Tech

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech), the voice of the travel technology industry and consistent advocate for public policy that supports a competitive and transparent marketplace, filed comments today in response to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “ Enhancing Transparency of Airline Ancillary Service Fees ” (DOT-OST-2022-0109). “Travel Tech has long supported the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to ensure consumers have access to critical ancillary fee information. We did so in 2014 and are doing so again in 2023,” stated Laura Chadwick, President & CEO of the Travel Technology Association. “For too long, consumers have lacked the consistent ability to know the true cost of different flight options.” In its comments, Travel Tech addresses how ancillary fee information should be provided to ticket agents. In its proposed rule, the DOT seeks to omit global distribution systems from receiving mandatory ancillary fee data from airlines. “Travel Tech strongly recommends that ancillary fee data be shared with all channels that distribute fare and schedule information,” Chadwick continued. “It is the most simple and direct way to solve the issue of ancillary fee transparency for consumers.” Travel Tech also filed a petition today requesting a hearing on DOT’s proposed requirement to display the critical ancillary fee information on the first page of online search results. Travel Tech addresses this matter in its comments. “Our members are the leading innovators in creating consumer-friendly online travel information sites. We are deeply concerned about the DOT’s first-page search results requirements included in the proposed regulation. These rules, if adopted as written, will clutter and confuse the online air travel shopping experience for consumers. This is especially true for travel comparison sites that display multiple airlines’ schedules and fares,” said Chadwick. “In our comments and hearing petition, we argue that the Department should not displace ticket agents’ well-established expertise with a government-regulated website design mandate. Ticket agents should have the flexibility to design appropriate displays of ancillary fees and develop innovative new methods for consumers as well,” Chadwick continued. ### About Travel Tech The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) is the voice of the travel technology industry, advocating for public policy that promotes transparency and competition in the marketplace to encourage innovation and preserve consumer choice. Travel Tech represents the leading innovators in travel technology, including global distribution systems, online travel agencies and metasearch companies, travel management companies, and short-term rental platforms. To schedule an interview with a Travel Tech spokesperson, contact Dan Rene of kglobal at 202-329-8357 or daniel.rene@kglobal.com. Contact Details Travel Technology Association Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://www.traveltech.org.

January 24, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Agora Data Attains SOC 2 Compliance Certification, Also Meets FTC Safeguards Rule for Protecting Customer Information

Agora

Agora Data, Inc., received a compliance certification with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA’s) System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2. Agora Data’s SOC 2 Type II standard for information security was certified by an independent, trusted third party CPA firm on January 13, 2023. The SOC 2 compliance certification is an industry-recognized designation that further reinforces Agora Data’s ongoing commitment to automotive dealer customers, vendors, partners, and personnel connected to Agora Data’s systems. Agora Data met the rigorous and high industry standards set by the AICPA for information security to receive the SOC 2 Type II designation. “Agora Data has always prioritized the importance of protecting customer information. The SOC 2 certification is an industry gold standard for security for technology companies that work with sensitive information,” said Chad Stilwell, Chief Technology Officer, Agora Data. “This accomplishment further validates the security measures we’ve already put in place to protect our infrastructure and is one of many best-in-class initiatives the company has implemented to optimize business security and performance for all stakeholders.” SOC 2 is an auditing measure that ensures service providers securely manage user data and requires a clean audit to receive certification. Compliance of SOC 2 Type II covers multiple categories for operational effectiveness including: Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of information, and damage to systems that could compromise the availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of information or systems and affect the entity’s ability to achieve its objectives. Audit controls are in place such as system and security monitoring, employee onboarding and termination processes, background check on all employees, data encryption in transit and at rest, multi-factor authentication, segregation of duties, and ongoing risk assessments. Agora Data’s SOC 2 compliance goes beyond the requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a congressional law known as the Safeguards Rule overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions – companies that offer financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance – to explain their information-sharing practices to safeguard sensitive data, including personally identifiable information. Under the 2021 amendment to the Act, or Safeguards Rule, U.S. auto dealers are required to undertake a series of procedural, technical, and contractual steps to protect customer and other personal data. The requirements must be in place by June 9, 2023. Information to help auto dealers understand their obligations under the Safeguards Rule can be found on the National Automotive Dealers Association website at this link. Agora Data is a fintech company transforming automotive financing for U.S. auto dealers offering in-house financing for non-prime customers. The company provides auto dealers with access to ample, affordable capital with precision loan performance data and analytics. Agora Data, Inc. Agora Data, Inc., an automotive industry fintech, is the nation’s leading resource for auto dealers and finance companies. Auto loan originators can secure affordable capital to build their own non-prime captive finance solution, obtain actionable loan performance data to improve their lending portfolios, and use other products to grow their business safely. Powered by patent pending technology, originators can access real-time data analytics and planning resources to help optimize the performance of their portfolios. Agora Data made history by closing the first-ever crowdsourced non-prime auto securitization in 2020 and continually brings groundbreaking products to an underserved market. For more information, visit www.agoradata.com or contact us at 1-877-592-4672. # # # Contact Details Shelly Vandeven +1 682-282-4130 media@agoradata.com Company Website https://agoradata.com/

January 24, 2023 09:06 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Autotrader Is UK’s Leading Car Shopping App With 5x More Downloads Than Top Competitor

Finance News

In the UK, one car shopping app stands out above the rest, according to a new study. The data analysts at Fair Betting Sites have crunched the data from AppMagic to uncover the top car shopping app in the UK. Car shoppers in the UK are 5x more likely to use AutoTrader than any other car and car parts app AutoTrader was downloaded 1.3 million times, 472% more than the CarGuru, the next most popular car shopping app. Used car parts app, AUTODOC, was second on the list of car shopping apps with 442,550 downloads US-based competitor CarGurus ranked third with about 275,000 downloads. Check out the complete highlights from the study below. AutoTrader Has Nearly 5x More Downloads Than Leading Car Shopping Apps AUTODOC Is Top App To Shop For Car Parts In The UK AutoTrader Has Nearly 5x More Downloads Than Leading Car Shopping Apps In the UK, car shoppers trust AutoTrader more than any other car shopping app. Recent data from AppMagic reveals that AutoTrader was downloaded nearly 1.3 million times in 2022. Not only was AutoTrade downloaded more than 3x more than any other car shopping app, but it was downloaded 472% more than CarGurus, another app to buy used and new cars. AUTODOC finished second on the list of cars and car parts shopping apps with 442,550 downloads. CarGurus, an app based in the US, was next on the list of most popular car shopping apps in the UK with just under 275,000 downloads. Online auto auction app Copart finished fourth on the list while the Mercedes me Store rounded out the top-five. Check out the complete list of the top car and car part shopping apps in the UK below. AutoTrader AUTODOC CarGurus Copart Mercedes me Store AutoScout24 Cars24 UAE Auto.ru Drom.ru AUTODOC Is Top App To Shop For Car Parts When it comes to buying car parts, one app stands above the rest in the UK. While AutoTrader finished first on the list of car shopping apps, it doesn’t sell car parts. For that, auto enthusiasts have a different solution. AUTODOC has emerged as the best app to shop for car parts, according to a recent study. When combining its Android and Apple Store downloads, AUTODOC was the second-most popular car and car part shopping app with 442,550 downloads. For the full story, visit: https://fairbettingsites.co.uk/blog/2023/01/20/autotrader-is-uks-leading-car-app-with-5x-more-downloads-than-top-competitor/ Contact Details Finance News Alex Brown alex@financenews.com

January 23, 2023 05:38 PM Eastern Standard Time

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‘Ready for Ron’ launches $3.3 Million National Independent Expenditure Campaign

Ready for Ron

Ready for Ron, the only credible independent group working to draft Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to run for President, launched a $3.3 million Independent Expenditure campaign to build the grassroots “ground game” to support a DeSantis Presidential candidacy. As detailed in a recent FEC report the campaign includes $2.3 million in national television advertising – at a rate of $100,000 per week – and $1 million for phone, mail, and digital outreach efforts. “This is a critical investment to engage the public with our message that Joe Biden and the Democrats are the problem, and electing Ron DeSantis is the solution. We must build up the national volunteer network it will take to win,” stated Dan Backer Counsel to Ready for Ron. “Following 3 straight election losses, it is clear, blowing big money on consultants for flashy ads that just talk at voters fails – but we see time and time again that our unique strategy of direct engagement creates real results around which we can build a winning ground game. We are pursuing a volunteer driven strategy that cuts out high-priced consultants and puts every penny into building the infrastructure to support a DeSantis candidacy.” In an interview with the Financial Times, Backer explained that “the purpose of the ad spending was to create ‘the backbone of a real ground game’ for DeSantis and ‘convince DeSantis that he has the grassroots support to run and win in a general election’. He added that Ready for Ron wanted to ‘bring in a whole host of people who aren’t part of the current universe’, including those who are not part of Trump’s base of conservative voters, which has dominated Republican campaigns in recent years. Fox News reported that In November Ready for Ron had already announced its petition has received more than 100,000 signatures. The petition is also the focus of a lawsuit Ready for Ron brought in the U.S. District Court for D.C. against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) challenging an FEC Advisory Opinion preventing Ready for Ron from sharing with Governor DeSantis the names of those who signed a petition encouraging him to challenge Joe Biden. Comments from Dan Backer featured in a Newsmax story focused on how the Ready for Ron “…spending should help ‘offset any competitive advantage that any other campaigns may or may not have”….between now and a hoped-for eventual announcement of a DeSantis candidacy. Politico also reported the news in its popular Playbook and Influence newsletters. In interviews with The Daily Caller and The Washington Examiner, Backer stated, “Ready for Ron is investing heavily in drafting Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024, knowing that he is the Republican Party’s best chance to win back the White House. DeSantis’ pro-freedom platform has made Florida the best state to live in America — I know, I moved here — and we won’t stop until that platform goes national for all Americans to enjoy.” Since its launch in late May, Ready for Ron has enlisted more than one hundred twenty thousand supporters to build on-the-ground grassroots support, generated significant media attention, and produced and placed advertising to convince Ron DeSantis to run for President. Ready for Ron has emerged as the most successful and credible independent organization in support of a Ron DeSantis candidacy. Following nearly nine months of work by Ready for Ron, Governor DeSantis has a growing lead in polls in key states. The advertising efforts, phone calls, petition, and grassroots campaigns are helping generate significant leads in early primary and key battleground states and in the hearts and minds of the American people. Ready for Ron continues its TV and online advertising efforts to engage Americans to sign the petition at ReadyForRon.com to Draft Ron DeSantis to run in 2024. ### For more information or to schedule an interview with a ‘Ready for Ron’ spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or dan@readyforron.com. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 dan@readyforron.com Company Website https://www.readyforron.com/

January 23, 2023 02:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise in Denver Acquires 31-Year Business A Great American Print Shop

Minuteman Press International Inc

Abel Corral, owner of Minuteman Press in Denver located at 4725 Paris Street, Suite 200, has acquired independent printing business A Great American Print Shop from retiring owner Frank Hibberd. A Great American Print Shop operated in Denver for 31 years. When Frank received a mailer from Minuteman Press, he reached out to Regional VP Jack Panzer. Jack says, “Frank wanted to retire and I told him about our unique ability to help independent print shops sell their business. I connected him with Abel, who had expressed interest growing and expanding his business through an acquisition. I am glad they were able to work out a deal, and I wish Frank all the best in retirement.” On the acquisition, Abel Corral says, “The acquisition came about on the heels of our three year anniversary; this is also our second acquisition in two years. I was looking for a way to grow my business and so I let it be known to Jack Panzer that I’d be interested in acquiring another print shop.” Abel continues, “A Great American Print Shop was strategically located within an area that I already reach and market to and so this acquisition just seemed like a good fit. I really liked that this was an established business with growth potential that I feel my team could capitalize on. The potential upside, close proximity, and perfect timing all came into play.” He adds, “The acquisition included an established client base, paper inventory, some equipment including cutters, and access to Frank during the transition. I expect this acquisition to help increase revenue by 20-25%. Also, this acquisition benefits AGAP’s customers in three key ways: First, we have received all of the previous artwork for AGAP clients to ensure a seamless transition as we serve their print, design, and mailing needs. Second, we will be able to offer promotional products and apparel to AGAP clients, which were not previously available. Third, we will be providing value-added local customer service and client support. Our Minuteman Press location is near Peoria & Interstate 70: 4725 Paris St. #200, Denver, CO 80239, inside the Pinecreek Office Center. We are also offering free delivery to AGAP customers.” Abel concludes, “I’m very grateful that my Regional VP Jack Panzer helped me by presenting this opportunity and helping me through the process. I expect this could be a game-changer for our business.” Abel Corral’s Minuteman Press franchise in Denver is located at 4725 Paris Street, Suite 200, Denver, CO 80239. For more information, call or visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/co/denver20/ Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and see Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com. Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

January 23, 2023 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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PIERCE COUNTY AND COMCAST PARTNER TO BRING HIGH SPEED INTERNET TO KEY PENINSULA

Comcast Washington

Pierce County and Comcast have finalized an agreement that will expand the availability of high-speed internet services on the Key Peninsula. Comcast will construct the infrastructure and make available a fast and reliable fiber-rich network and full suite of services to over 526 Key Peninsula homes and businesses, including multi-gig broadband speeds for residential customers and speeds up to 100 Gbps for business customers. Pierce County is working to facilitate the expansion of broadband infrastructure to underserved areas of Pierce County. This program partners County funding with broadband service providers to build infrastructure for the benefit and quality of life of residents and to enhance economic opportunities for local businesses. The approximately $5 million high-speed internet expansion project is being funded as a public-private partnership between Comcast and Pierce County, with the County contributing $3.75 million of federal funding allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). “Now, more than ever, it is crucial that people have access to high-speed Internet,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive. “Whether for work, school or entertainment, we want to help all County residents enjoy the benefits of this important infrastructure.” “Today’s announcement about the expansion of high-speed internet services on the Key Peninsula is an extension of our commitment to investing in and expanding our network to ensure that more residents and businesses across our region have the important broadband connections they need for their educational, professional and personal lives,” said Roy Novosel, vice president of engineering, Comcast’s Pacific Northwest Region. “We are proud to connect these communities with fast, secure and reliable internet service that is built to meet their needs today and into the future.” Once permits are obtained and construction has begun in the public rights of way, Comcast will create an online resource for residents seeking information about the network build in their neighborhood, including answers to frequently asked questions and product and service details. For more information about Pierce County’s broadband expansion initiative please visit www.PierceCountyWa.gov/BoostingBroadband Information about Comcast’s broadband investments in rural communities and the Key Peninsula expansion is available at Rural Broadband Expansion | Comcast Washington. About Pierce County Nearly 1 million residents live in Pierce County, the second largest county in the state of Washington. Our mission is to build strong communities that people are proud to call home. From the top of towering Mt. Rainier to the sparkling shores of Puget Sound, and everywhere in between, Pierce County is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family. Pierce County Media Contact: Erin Babbo, communications manager, 253-442-4452, Erin.babbo@piercecountywa.gov About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information. Contact Details Comcast Andy Colley andy_colley@comcast.com Company Website https://washington.comcast.com/

January 23, 2023 08:55 AM Pacific Standard Time

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Goodway Group Earns Top Number One Spot on Ad Age’s 2023 Best Places to Work; Makes the List for Third Consecutive Year

Goodway Group

Goodway Group, a leading data-driven and technology-enabled digital media and marketing services firm, has earned the top number one spot on Ad Age Best Places to Work 2023 list. This is the third consecutive year Goodway Group has been ranked on Ad Age Best Places to Work list, a research-driven program that analyzes company's practices, programs and benefits and surveys employees for their perspective. Goodway Group was recognized for its award-winning culture rooted in its shared behaviors guiding the company to lead with heart, smart and grit to drive innovation that leads to real business outcomes. Goodway Group has pioneered a remote workplace since 2010 and has a deep history of providing flexibility and greater work-life balance. To meet the needs of the evolving workforce and times, Goodway Group continues to adapt its work culture to address new challenges. For example, to help combat increasing burnout rates experienced on a national scale in 2022, the agency’s People Experience (HR) team created a team building exercise around work flexibility that empowers teams to create their own work coverage arrangements to be creative within working hours and allow time for care needs. Goodway Group is committed to focusing on employee mental health and well being to forge a path toward excellence and a commitment to its people. To provide unique opportunities to its employees, Goodway partners with Ginger to provide employees with resources and benefits to optimize areas of their lives outside of work, including mental health counseling, nutrition needs and financial planning. Additionally, the Goodway Council acts as a feedback loop from employees to the leadership team on various topics to prioritize and influence company culture, and respond to evolving needs. “We are so honored to be recognized for the third time by Ad Age for Goodway Group’s dedication to its people in all that we do. At Goodway, we are committed to maintaining a people-first culture that supports employees’ well-being and professional goals. Goodway Group truly believes that the best client experience stems from exceptional employee experience first,” said Kandi Gongora, Chief Transformation & People Officer of Goodway Group. “Being among the top companies in the advertising industry and being featured on this list is particularly rewarding because it is based on the direct feedback from our employees. They report strong satisfaction in all areas that matter most, which is a testament to our policies and practices. This recognition inspires us to continue to strive for excellence in building a workplace that is best in class.” ” In addition to Goodway Group’s inclusion on Ad Age’s Best Places to Work for three consecutive years, the agency has also been recognized for Newsweek’s 2022 Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces® list and named Best Employer for Remote Employees at the 2021 Digiday WorkLife Awards. Goodway Group was also featured on the Inc. Best Workplaces 2022 list among the top American companies that have excelled at creating exceptional workplaces and company culture. Ad Age Best Places to Work 2023 honors 50 companies that did a standout job over the past year as the ad business met with the challenges of a weakening economy, changing media market and a continued tight talent pool. The winners—top companies with 200 or fewer employees and top companies with more than 200 employees—reflect the highest overall numerical scores based on an analysis of questionnaires submitted by employers and survey responses from their employees. “The tight labor market forced every business in the industry to compete for talent, and the 2023 Best Places to Work winners proved the value of understanding what employees want today,” said Dan Peres, president and editor-in-chief of Ad Age. “Companies will face challenges this year with the economy and ongoing effects of the pandemic, but winning workplaces understand that taking care of employees is central to business success.” Ad Age produced Best Places to Work 2023 in partnership with Best Companies Group, a research firm specializing in identifying and recognizing great places to work. The competition was open to agencies, ad tech firms, brand or corporate marketing departments or groups and in-house agencies of marketers. About Goodway Group Goodway Group is a leading data-driven and technology-enabled digital media and marketing services firm with teams in the U.S. and the U.K. Our diverse team of digital strategists, media practitioners, technologists, and data scientists have won the most prestigious awards for innovative marketing technology, impactful work, and inclusive remote-first places to work including being honored as a multi-year Ad Age Best Places to Work, AdExchanger's Best Use of Technology by an Agency Award, and two MarTech Breakthrough Awards. The firm deploys deep expertise across both consumer and B2B marketing, including brand-performance advertising, retail media and commerce, and advanced analytics using proprietary digital programmatic technologies, data, analytics methodologies, and consultation. Goodway Group is an independent and remote-first media and marketing services firm with a 90+ year history. Find Goodway Group online at goodwaygroup.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Goodway Group. Honestly Smart Digital. Contact Details Kite Hill PR for Goodway Group Gina Preoteasa goodway@kitehillpr.com Company Website https://www.goodwaygroup.com/

January 23, 2023 11:33 AM Eastern Standard Time

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NLPC Calls Upon Special Counsel to Search Biden’s Senate Records Stored at University of Delaware for Additional Classified Documents

National Legal & Policy Center

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has called upon the Special Counsel to conduct a search of Biden’s Senate records stored at the University of Delaware. The request follows revelations that additional classified documents were discovered Friday at President Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, during a 13-hour search by the FBI. The documents reportedly include at least one document from the time that Biden served in the Senate. In 2011, Biden donated a treasure trove of documents from his 36-year career in the U.S. Senate (January 1973-January 2009) that fills 1,875 boxes and also includes 415 gigabytes of electronic records. During his Senate career, Biden was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or its ranking member and had access to many classified documents. “The FBI needs to search the entire 14,000 square foot Penn Biden Center where classified documents were found by his private attorneys searching only Biden’s private office on November 2 nd. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who served as managing director also had an office there. The FBI also needs to search Biden’s Senate records stored at the University of Delaware as well as his beach home,” said NLPC Counsel, Paul Kamenar. “This scavenger hunt for classified documents has been a total farce and insult to the American people,” said Peter Flaherty, Chairman of NLPC. “The House Oversight Committee, Special Counsel, and NLPC’s FOIA investigation need to get to the bottom of Biden’s mishandling classified information.” NLPC has also criticized the handling of this matter by Biden’s private attorneys who are not cleared to review classified information and who may have tainted evidence of a crime with their fingerprints and mishandling. A major question remains unanswered: why did Biden decide two years after he occupied the White House to move his office at the Biden Center and why hire expensive private attorneys to do so instead of Biden Center staff? Other locations that Biden occupied since leaving office in January 2017 should also be searched. He first had a temporary transition office set up by GSA near the White House. Then a temporary Penn Biden Center facility was opened mid-town in Washington, D.C., before the office was opened in February 2018 near the Capitol. Biden also rented a 12,000 square-foot mansion in McLean, Virginia at $20,000 a month after he left the White House, about twice the size of his home in Wilmington, Delaware. NLPC has been investigating the Biden Center since early 2020 and its funding by Chinese donations, much of it anonymous. NLPC filed a complaint with the Department of Education in May 2020 and with the Department of Justice that both Hunter Biden and the Biden Center should be registered as a foreign agents with China under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. ### Please visit http://www.nlpc.org. For more information or to schedule an interview with a NLPC spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at drene@nlpc.org or call 202-329-8357. Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 danrenejr@gmail.com Company Website http://www.nlpc.org

January 23, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Longing for Pristine Beaches and Turquoise Waters?

YourUpdateTV

Recently, the Commissioner for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Joseph Boschult conducted a satellite media tour to share tips on how to best experience the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you are longing for pristine beaches and turquoise waters, the U.S Virgin Islands offers some of the best beaches and resorts found anywhere in the world. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/V2al2NCSyZQ New year, new outlook, new travel plans! About 40 miles east of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands comprise a United States territory located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. The three islands are St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Major U.S airlines offer direct daily flights from the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico to the islands. The islands are perfect for leisure or business travel, the U.S. Virgin Islands features breathtaking, world-renowned beaches, an international marine industry, European architecture, and a burgeoning restaurant industry. No passports are required from U.S. citizens traveling from the U.S. mainland or Puerto Rico. Resilience in Tourism During Covid and the Great Comeback With three to four ships visiting per day, the USVI is one of the largest cruising destinations in the Caribbean. Before the pandemic, cruising injected over $300 million into the local economy and accounted for about 70% of the tourism business. Unlike other islands in the Caribbean, the airports in the USVI never closed. In addition, implemented an online travel screening portal and worked closely with all of their local partners, including restaurants, hotels, excursion companies, and other tourism-related businesses. The USVI is gearing up for a very successful 2023. USVI had the highest increase of visitors in the Caribbean from 2019 vs 2022. Best Places to Travel to in 2023 The editors of Conde Nast Traveler put the USVI at the top of its Best Places to Go in 2023 citing the islands’ new hotels, resort openings, the national park, and Carnival festivals. The editors at Travel + Leisure ranked USVI as one of its 50 best 2023 destinations in its “For Beach Vibes” section. Yahoo! Life listed the USVI as one of the top ten tropical islands to get to in under three hours from the U.S. Readers of Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine voted USVI as the Best Caribbean Cruise Destination for 2023. Frommer's also gave the island territory top billing in its annual Best Places to Go in 2023 list. New Brand Campaign: Naturally in Rhythm, what that Means for the USVI The campaign is designed to supports the hotel recovery and to inspire visitors to fall naturally in rhythm with the diverse culture, natural wonders, and beautiful hotels and resorts of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. The new campaign also reminds visitors that they can come again to escape the stresses of city lifestyles and to invite newcomers to imagine tasting our unique cuisine, laying on our powdery beaches, swimming in our pristine waters, and exploring our historic cobblestone streets and protected national parks. It speaks to travelers seeking an authentic Caribbean experience comprising food, heritage, culture, and nature without having to leave U.S. soil. Among other aspects of the campaign is the revamped USVI tourism website, which contains a more comprehensive trip- planning section that highlights restaurants, shops, services,and other businesses that cater to tourists in the destination. In addition to dynamic content, the site uses new imagery that keeps it authentic and enthralling at the same time. Food- Sharing and Culture Local signature USVI dishes include Johnny Cakes, deep-fried bread made from cornmeal; pate, a ground beef, chicken, or salted cod wrapped in dough and deep-fried; peas and rice, kidney beans with brown rice; or fungi, the Caribbean version of polenta. Locally made fish soup is served for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Another popular dish is callaloo soup, which is made with daheen plant leaves, okra, local herbs, and sometimes meats or seafood. Wash it all down with a local Cruzan Rum signature cocktail. The USVI is rich with historic and cultural influences include Danish, French, Spanish and African - Danish the most prevalent. Carnivals are celebrated in the USVI in December/January on St. Croix, June/July on St. John, and April/May on St. Thomas. For more information visit: visitusvi.com BIO: JOSEPH BOSCHULTE Joseph Boschulte is the Commissioner for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. Commissioner Boschulte brings over 30 years of experience in business, finance, and government to the tourism department. The Commissioner has held high-level positions in transportation, utilities, telecommunications, finance, government development and investment banking with a proven track record of improving organizational performance and growth. Boschulte formerly served as President and CEO of The West Indian Company Limited (WICO), Chief Financial Officer of both the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, the Government of the Virgin Islands Employees’ Retirement System, and chaired the VI Public Services Commission. Additionally, Boschulte serves as the former Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), Executive Director for UVI’s Reichhold Center for the Arts, Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance with Wachovia Securities in Atlanta, and Vice President of Banc of America Securities in Charlotte and New York City. Currently, Boschulte serves as the Chairman for the Board of Directors of The West Indian Company Limited (WICO) and sits on the board for the Virgin Islands Port Authority. He is also a member of the US Travel Association. Commissioner Boschulte earned his MBA from Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. A family man first, Commissioner Boschulte is a husband to his wife Aisha, and proud parents of children Jaeden and Janae. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

January 19, 2023 03:20 PM Eastern Standard Time

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