Check out the latest group travel industry updates.

Detroit is waiting to welcome first-time and repeat groups

Eastern Market pedal tour Visit Detroit
Eastern Market pedal bar tour, Detroit, Mich.
Credit: Visit Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. — Detroit welcomes groups with wide smiles and open arms. The people-powered city is ready to integrate groups into its unique social and cultural fabric for an authentic and unforgettable adventure. Pedal through Eastern Market, surrounded by streets with larger-than-life murals, restaurants and retail. Feel Detroit’s community spirit as groups explore the 4-mile, paved Riverwalk, Detroit’s gathering place. Connect with Detroit’s vibe and delve into its storied past of resilience and innovation at its notable museums. Visit Detroit offers sample itineraries, group-friendly attractions, restaurants and more to help group tours experience all that Detroit has to offer.

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum opens Ford Island Control Tower 

Pearl Harbor  Aviation Museum
Ford Island Control Tower, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
Credit: Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum recently opened the doors of the historic Ford Island Control Tower, which had been closed for decades. A new guided tour, Top of the Tower Tour, includes access to the historic Operations Building, the Firehouse Exhibit and an elevator ride to the upper cab of the control tower — the pinnacle of the tour with 360-degree views of the Pearl Harbor aviation battlefield from 168 feet high. Historic videos and pictures in the upper cab show the impact and aftermath of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.  

The bottom of the Operations Building is anchored by the “Preserving our National Treasure” exhibit, researched and fabricated by U-Haul®, which explores the history of the building and tower in WWII and beyond. The exhibit also shares the WWII story of U-Haul founders: L.S. Ted and Anna Mary Cary Schoen.

Freeman to lead US Travel Association  

Geoff Freeman
Geoff Freeman
Credit: TraveMedia

WASHINGTON — Geoff Freeman, an industry association veteran, rejoins the travel industry Sept. 1 as president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. He succeeds Roger Dow, who is stepping down after 17 years as leader of the organization. In 2007, Freeman was named executive director of Discover America Partnership, one of three organizations that merged to become the U.S. Travel Association in 2009. Freeman’s strategic work at U.S. Travel led to the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and the creation of Brand USA. He was chief operating officer at U.S. Travel when he left in 2013 to become president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. Most recently he was president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announces next major exhibition  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, recently announced a new exhibition: “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock.” The exhibit will examine the LA-based movement that transformed popular music and inspired future generations of country and Americana artists. It will be housed in the museum’s newly transformed 5,000-square-foot gallery and open Sept. 30 for a nearly three-year run. 

“Western Edge” will examine the close-knit communities of Los Angeles-based singers, songwriters and musicians who, from the 1960s through the 1980s, embraced country music, frequented local nightclubs, and created and shaped the musical fusion known as “country-rock” — ultimately making an indelible and lasting impact on popular music. 

The museum’s curatorial and creative teams have conducted more than 40 hours of filmed interviews and collected an array of significant artifacts from central figures in the musical movement for display in “Western Edge.” The exhibit will feature stage wear, instruments, original song manuscripts and more. Interactive elements will illustrate the connections between artists that made up the musical communities explored in the exhibit, allowing access to audio recordings, performance clips, original interview footage and historic photographs.

National Harbor welcomes Spirit Park  

Spirit Park, National Harbor
Spirit Park, National Harbor, Md.
Rendering: Courtesy of Bignell, Watkins and Hasser Architects

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Spirit Park at National Harbor, billed as a modern tribute to the soul and spirit of the American flag, is slated to open Sept. 11 at National Harbor in Maryland. Thirteen ceremonial flags circle the park to represent the 13 original colonies. The Spirit Park American Flag measures 50 feet by 80 feet and is one of the largest flags on the East Coast. The flagpole is 177.7 feet, a nod to June 14, 1777, the date the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. The park holds a series of sculptures, including American Bison, a hybrid metal art piece of three American bison by Jon Lopez of South Dakota.