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Houston An International Hot Spot, MasterCard Says

By John Egan Move over, Los Angeles and Miami. Houston ranks as the fastest-growing destination in North America for international visitors. According to this year's MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Houston is the only major North American city to see a double-digit average annual growth rate (10.9 percent) for international visitors since 2009. These cities sit behind Houston on the MasterCard index: Los Angeles (7.8 percent) Miami (7.5 percent) New York (6 percent) San…

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Houston's Visitor Center Moves to New, More Visible Location

In an effort to improve visibility and access to those visiting Houston, the city's official visitors center moved to a new, temporary spot on Avenida de las Americas on June 1 before a more permanent home is established in the Convention District. The board of Houston First Corporation last month approved the move of the center, which formerly resided at City Hall on the western edge of Downtown. The new location offers enhanced visibility and easy parking. Research has shown that…

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Habsburgs in Houston: World-Famous Royal Collection Hosted at MFAH

For more photos of the exhibit, see our photo album on Facebook. Wars, family feuds, marriages, and opulence are the foundation of much of the world's history. The Habsburg family was one of Europe's longest-reigning and most powerful dynasties. This summer, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) hosts "Habsburg Splendor" - a one-of-a-kind exhibition featuring the armor, artwork, clothing, and other medieval luxuries of one of history's most influential families. The exhibition comes…

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Houston Arboretum & Nature Center: It's Dog-Gone Great!

By John Egan The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center has collared some high praise from pups. The nonprofit Houston Arboretum & Nature Center appears at No. 11 on Milk-Bone's new list of America's top 50 dog-friendly destinations for road trips. But it also ranks as a favorite for plenty of people, including meeting planners. By cross-referencing online reviews with data about dog-friendly restaurants and hotels, Milk-Bone compiled its list of dog-approved parks and landmarks. Each place was…

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Superblock urban park in the works for Midtown

Community leaders broke ground on a sprawling urban park south of downtown earlier this month. The green space will feature an artificial bayou, a concert pavilion, an eight-story apartment tower, and a public underground parking garage. The Metro rail line at McGowen will give access to the park as well as numerous retail components in development surrounding the area. Park-goers will also be treated to great views of the downtown Houston skyline. The 6-acre site is located in an area that…

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3 ‘Authentic’ Experiences for Houston Meeting Attendees

By John Egan These days, meeting planners increasingly are craving "authentic" experiences for attendees of corporate and association gatherings. According to BizBash, it's no longer enough to secure a meeting location "purely based on the feasibility and budget appropriateness of its room block and function space." "Instead," BizBash says, "groups want to experience local culture outside of the hotel, both as a part of the meeting, and separate from it, returning to their desks enriched and…

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A Live Chat with Houston Zoo's Primate Supervisor Jill Moyse

We recently chatted with Houston Zoo's Primate Supervisor Jill Moyse about the new gorilla exhibit. If you couldn't join in the conversation, don't panic! You can read all about it here. Q: What has been the most surprising part of being a primate supervisor? A: I'm really excited about working with all the different primates here at the Houston Zoo that I haven't been able to work with in the past. For instance, the sifaka lemur is fascinating and they surprise me every day! Q: Do the…

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Houston Convention Center Nurtures Comicpalooza

By John Egan Over this year's Memorial Day weekend, more than 45,000 fans - many of them clad in their comic book hero costumes - descended on the George R. Brown Convention Center for Houston's own international comic convention, Comicpalooza. The 2015 version of the event took up about 1.1 million square feet, compared with about 800,000 in 2014. Comicpalooza's move from smaller venues in Houston to the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) in 2010 has enabled the event to spread its wings…

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