Westin Hotels and AFAR Launch Digital Destination Guide That Takes Travelers off the Beaten Path WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR Guides Travelers to Unforgettable and Culturally Immersive Experiences in the U.S. and Abroad Community of Travel Experts Create Itineraries Personalized for Singles, Couples, Families and More Business Wire STAMFORD, Conn. -- August 19, 2013 Westin Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with AFAR – a celebrated travel brand that inspires and guides travelers to enjoy richer and more meaningful experiences –today announced the launch of WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR, an engaging digital destination guide that steers travelers to local favorites and under-the-radar, must see sights within easy reach of Westin hotels. Developed by AFAR’s community of travel experts, the curated guides launch today for more than 40 top travel destinations around the world including Athens, Boston, Milan, Mexico City, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Shanghai and more. WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR will be available for all Westin hotels and resorts by end of year. “We are delighted to join forces with AFAR, one of the most highly respected travel brands, to help our guests plan one-of-a-kind travel experiences that go off the beaten path and beyond the typical tourist experience,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Le Meridien. “Everything we do at Westin, from our innovative programming and signature suite of Heavenly amenities, is designed with our guest’s well-being in mind. Our goal is to provide a truly unique and instinctive travel experience at our hotels and resorts around the world that brings our brand promise to life no matter where your travels take you.” Before you Check-In, Check-Out Westinfinds.com With content curated by AFAR exclusively for Westin, the digital platform, which includes a website and mobile component, provides a source of recommendations sure to make any vacation truly memorable. From authentic restaurants, to enchanting shops and memorable sights, the itineraries range from simple: a peaceful kayak ride down the Mercer Slough in Washington, to extravagant: a private bike tour of the Balinese countryside punctuated by ancient temples and colorful Patchouli fields. Shunning the one-size-fits-all formula, WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR lets travelers personalize their itinerary based on whether they are traveling as singles, couples, families or groups of friends. Looking for an authentic culinary find for the entire family in Mexico City? Treat everyone to a fun afternoon exploring empanada stands in Distrito Federal. Need to plan a romantic evening in Shanghai? Arrange for a private chauffeur to whisk you away to a secret location for a 20-course meal prepared by a celebrated chef. In true AFAR-style, the online destination guide boasts exquisite photography and beautifully written travel descriptions that help transport the reader to a pub in Boston or a farm to table restaurant in Milan. “AFAR is proud to partner with Westin on an initiative that aligns so closely with our core values,” said Joe Diaz, Co-founder of AFAR. “Our mission has always been to empower travelers to experience a destination like a local – and with WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR, we have a new platform with which to reach even more travelers.” WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR is the latest addition to the brand’s dedicated weekend program, Westin Weekends, that gives guests more flexibility and time to make the most out of their weekend getaway and features 3pm Sunday check-out, extended breakfast and more. To discover WESTIN FINDS FROM AFAR please visit www.westinfinds.com. Launched in 2009, AFAR is the leader in experiential travel, inspiring and encouraging travelers to go beyond the typical tourist experience and celebrate global diversity by connecting with different people and cultures. The brand encompasses the award-winning AFAR magazine, recipient of multiple Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards, including the 2010 and 2012 Gold Award for “Best Travel Magazine;” AFAR.com, nominated for a prestigious ASME award; a mobile app; and the nonprofit AFAR Foundation, which grants travel scholarships to high achieving students who would not otherwise be able to explore our world. For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com, Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter. About Westin Hotels & Resorts Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed, delicious SuperFoods and WestinWORKOUT studio – have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 190 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,162 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com. About AFAR AFAR is the multi-platform travel brand that inspires and guides those who travel the world to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives. Headquartered in San Francisco, with an office in New York City, the company launched in 2009. Its platforms include the award-winning AFAR magazine, AFAR.com, the AFAR mobile app, the nonprofit AFAR Foundation; and immersive travel series AFAR Experiences. Contact: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Nadeen Ayala, 203-351-2542 Nadeen.Ayala@starwoodhotels.com or Nancy J. Friedman PR Chris Walters / Lisa Goldstein, 212-228-1500 Chris@njfpr.com / Lisa@njfpr.com
Westin Hotels and AFAR Launch Digital Destination Guide That Takes Travelers off the Beaten Path
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