A U.S. dollar that has been weak against foreign currency since December 2002 is not all bad news. At least not for destination resorts. As the United States becomes more affordable for foreign tourists, resorts have been able to attract more visitors with relatively little extra effort.
International arrivals were up roughly 7.5 percent in 2004 and another 5 percent boost over that is expected for 2005. Most of this increased activity is from cost- conscious Europeans.
Several ski resorts nationwide reported increased reservations this season. Vermont’s Killington saw a 10 to 12 percent rise in winter reservations with the bulk of that due to a British invasion. Vail Resorts, in Colorado, wass expecting its growth for the year to exceed 10 percent.
Clubs now have another chance to increase their wine prowess. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., has introduced a course in wine sales.
The course comes as a result of a July 2004 Russell Research study which found that two out of three wine drinkers want more help from restaurants in pairing wines with meals. Half of the respondents thought they would drink more wine if they had more guidance and felt less intimidated by the wine list.
The course includes information on pricing, wine-by-the-glass programs, glassware options and selling tactics for various types of wines.
The course will be held in the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies in Napa Valley, Calif. Contact the CIA at Greystone at 800-333-9242 for more information.
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