In Sydney last night  Qantas and the Dallas and F

In Sydney last night  Qantas and the Dallas and F

first_imgIn Sydney last night,  Qantas and the Dallas and Fort Worth tourism boards hosted a night of Texan hospitality to update media on the latest developments in their Texan cities. Guests were treated to the tunes of Fort Worth-born singer and performer Austin Allsup, a finalist in the 11th Season of The Voice (USA) and currently on tour in Australia. Austin Allsup. Image: Katrina HoldenAs Phillip Jones, President and CEO of Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “Dallas is one of those undiscovered destinations in the US”. While many of us think of cowboys, hats and that TV Show, Dallas is one of the most fast-changing and progressive cities in the US with a thriving arts and culinary scene. “Dallas is home to the largest urban arts district  in the USA. The district is flanked by the Klyde Warren Park which cost $110 million to build and is now one of the most popular places to visit,” said Jones. As Jones explains, Dallas is fortunate to have some 23 billionaires who live in the city and who want to give back to the community, just as the philanthropists behind the construction of Klyde Warren Park have. “Most people when they think of Texas don’t necessarily think of art but we want to change that perception,” said Jones. The Nasher Sculpture Centre, for instance, is the largest private collection of sculpture in the world. NorthPark, one of the top five shopping centres in the US, even houses an amazing collection of art amongst its retail shops.“You will pass Andy Warhol sketches on your way to the restrooms,” says Jones. Shopping here is tax-free for Australians.The good news for visitors is just how many of the city’s facilities are free to use.The Dallas Museum of Art has free entry – and you can catch a trolley there, which is also free as part of the city’s public transport system.Dallas is one of 12 cities in the CityPASS program where travellers gain significant discounts. The US$38 pass is valid for nine days. Tourists can visit attractions including the George W. Bush Library and Presidential Museum; the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens; Reunion Tower GeoDeck and the Sixth Floor Museum. Jones tells us that Australians are the number one international visitors to the Sixth Floor Museum, a brilliant interactive exhibit housed in the Book Depository Building that details the events leading up to and following the assassination of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22 November, 1963. In 2019, another museum is set to open with the current construction underway on the 51,000 square feet Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. Currently, Jones tells us, there are 29 construction cranes on the go in the city. Among the new projects being built is the forthcoming US$108 million Virgin Hotel Dallas, due to open in 2019. The Statler Hotel and Residences, first opened in 1956 by Hilton has just undergone a $122 million renovation, in keeping with its mid-century design. It’s again managed by Hilton under their Curio Collection brand. Addressing stereotypes, Jones speaks of the city’s diverse community, made up of 40 per cent Latinos and Dallas having the fifth largest gay and lesbian population in the United States. “I think people who come to Dallas are pleasantly surprised by how progressive we are,” said Jones, who also reveals that some 64 per cent of Dallas dwellers voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election — and the rest for “the other guy”. Fort Worth. Image: Katrina HoldenNearby Fort Worth is also seeing growth and development but thankfully it sounds as though it will retain its unique charms. Robert L. Jameson, President and CEO of Visit Fort Worth says there are currently 35 hotel projects in some form of development, with most centred around Sundance Square and Downtown. While a visit to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards is a must, one imagines a contrast can be experienced by visiting Fort Worth’s new outlet mall that has just opened; or meandering the Ale Trail with a Brewery Passport; or visiting and touring the newly expanded TX Bourbon facility located on a historic golf course. To get to both Dallas and Fort Worth, Australians are well serviced by daily Qantas flights into DFW international airport. DFW now services 208 non-stop destinations. Travellers can take a fast commuter rail trip into the city for just US$2.50. Similarly by the end of 2018, Tex Rail will also whizz travellers into Fort Worth in 20 minutes for also US$2.50.  AmericaDallasFort WorthqantasUSAlast_img

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