Where the experts holiday: Mike Gallagher, co-founder and co-CEO, City Pass

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Mike Gallagher, co-founder and co-CEO of City Pass – those brilliant bundles that allow you to experience a city’s top attractions while saving up to half off the cost of admission – reveals why he loves hanging out in Hawaii and while he’ll always have Paris

 

What do you like to do on holiday?
I always like going to the CityPASS cities [CityPASS is now available in 11 North American destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California and Toronto] but we’re also beach and ocean people. We love to hang out at the beach, lounge in the sun, and play in the waves. Hawaii is a favorite destination for my family.

Where did you last go?
Maui in Hawaii.

Maui, Hawaii

Do you know where you’re going this year?
At Christmastime, we’re going to Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
For my wife and I, Paris is our favorite destination because of the food and the ambience. The feel of Paris is so interesting,  with its cafés and bookstores. People in Paris don’t eat, they dine: it’s a whole lifestyle. And obviously they drink great wine with their meals. It’s a much better way to live.

Eifel Tower, Paris

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Africa for sure. Our dream is to go on safari in one of the national parks there.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
Borrego Springs in California. It’s located in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, so it’s right in the middle of this protected desert area. Picture a doughnut: the desert being the doughnut, and the town is in the centre. The town reminds me of what Palm Springs must have been like 50 years ago. When we tell people from the East Coast of the US. that we’re going to the desert, they look at us like we’re crazy. But the desert is beautiful: it’s a magical place. It not only looks different at each time of the year, it looks different at each hour of the day, as the light moves across the mountains and the landscape.

Africa: Mike's next trip?

How do you plan your holiday?
I don’t: my wife does all the planning! So I never complain. I’m very grateful.

How often do you go away?
We go away around two to three times a year for vacations. I also travel a lot for business, and I try to tie in pleasure travel with those trips. For example, when I was in Boston on business recently, we drove down to Newport, Rhode Island – which is only two hours away – to celebrate the Fourth of July aka American Independence Day.

Who do you travel with?
Mostly my wife now that the ‘children’ have left home. However when we can, we do try to plan a trip with the kids and our son-in-law.

Brand USA's new logo

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
In general, the American people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. They love to welcome visitors to their country. In terms of international visitors, I think tourism in the United States will show double-digit growth for the foreseeable future. Brand USA, the new US travel promotion organisation, is helping to spread the message overseas, and we’ve seen that visa wait times have dramatically decreased for countries like Brazil and China. Within our government, officials have a much deeper understanding of the importance of tourism – much more so than they did five years ago. I also hope that as we move out of this recession, people will be more likely to travel. So, I’m optimistic.

City Pass

Thanks Mike! For more information on CityPASS, please visit www.citypass.com

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