Student Groups Seek Affordable Destinations, by Michael Embrey

By: Rajinder Dogra

One of the major concerns of school and youth performance groups is finding affordable and interesting places to go.

Over the last 24 months the cost to visit the Big 3 student destination (New York, Washington DC, and Orlando) has increased approximately 20%. This has forced many performance groups to look for affordable alternatives.

GOOD NEWS: Throughout the United States there are more cities, convention and visitors bureaus and special events organizations offering student performance groups a more affordable option. These options come in the form of competitions, special event performances and unique venues. Through the efforts of Prep Traveler, a list of places to perform is now available.

Breaking away from the traditional student destination, there are many opportunities for groups to perform. The key is to get this information in the hands of student tour operators and the performance groups themselves. These goals are a focus of The SMART Organization and Prep Traveler.

The SMART Organization works with attractions and CVBs in promoting student performance opportunities worldwide. Through the combined efforts of these two organizations, a list of more than 2,500 performance sites will be available by early fall 2006. This information will be available through a website link for both tour operators and student groups, in addition to what is listed in this Prep Traveler magazine.

An example of new information will be the location and type of events offered to performing groups.

There will be a listing of parades nationwide for marching bands. For many schools the major St. Pats parades are in Boston, New York and Chicago. Through our efforts, there will be listings of over 60 St. Pats parades nationwide. Mardi Gras parades are synonymous with New Orleans, yet one of the largest Mardi Gras parades is in Mobile, Alabama. A new parade will be hosted in Louisville in 2007 celebrating baseball. Jazz festivals have been located in 25 different states. BroadwayToYou.com offers theater workshops and show tickets in 28 U.S. cities. Museums are hosting and requesting performance groups. Cedar Point Theme Park (near Cleveland) and Six Flags Elitch Gardens (in Denver) now offer music festivals in the park. Chicago hosts a holiday program for madrigal choirs. And the list goes on.

What makes this whole program unique is now performance groups can travel to a nearby city (within eight hours travel time), experience a competitive or non-competitive festival or event and still provide the students an affordable educational experience. Through the combined efforts of interested organizations, performance groups can still take an inexpensive trip and have fun, too.

Source: www.leisuregrouptravel.com 

other links:

 www.grouptravelblog.com 

 www.grouptraveldirectory.com

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