Monday, October 1, 2012

The Center for Productive Longevity Announces Winners of the Nationwide Later-Life Story Contest

Both Winners use Volunteering as a Basis for Inspiration

Boulder, CO, October 01, 2012 - The Center for Productive Longevity (CPL) is pleased to announce the winners of its Later-Life Story Contest, which was created to demonstrate that older people can continue to lead successful and inspirational lives. Barbara M. Traynor was chosen for the Inspirational Life Story category and Lynn Brooks for her Entrepreneurship Success Story. Both entries are available to read online at A panel of three independent judges selected the winners from many fascinating stories sent in by people 50 and older. Lynn and Barbara will each receive a prize of $1,000 and a specially designed display trophy.

In Lynn Brooks’ winning essay, she wrote about beginning an organization in 1992 at age 59 called Big Apple Greeter in New York City. It is a non-profit that pairs visitors to NYC with volunteer greeters who explore the city together. This was the first “Welcome Visitor” program of its kind in the country. Today, the organization is extremely successful, but it was a challenging journey along the way. Lacking funding, support and computer skills, but holding onto a will to succeed, Lynn overcame many challenges.

Her story describes how far the organization has come. “Today we have more than 300 Greeters – most are over 55, more than 50% work, many are multilingual, some are blind or use wheelchairs. They are ready, rain or shine, to spend two to four hours with visitors, showing them our people, culture and diversity.”

Lynn also shared wonderful metrics. “In terms of success, our cup runneth over. We’ve had more than 120,000 visitors since we started. We’ve generated over two billion positive, world-wide media impressions about New York City. Ninety-five percent of our visitors give us 'extraordinary' evaluations. Our volunteer retention rate is incredibly high. We’ve been called the most cost-effective public relations arm in the city. We’ve been widely recognized, starting in our early years, with awards that run the gamut from corporations to city government, and in January we will receive the prestigious 2012 Hotel Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award.” To read her story, visit:

Barbara M. Traynor’s story begins with a situation that sounds familiar to many people. Yet she took some giant leaps of faith to change her life forever.

“Walking provides impetus to ponder. My 65th birthday was hovering. I was not feeling old, but sixty-five? That’s major!  Why I chose to walk the beach on a frigid winter afternoon is questionable, however with boots crunching on the frozen sand, gloved hands balled into my pockets, I reviewed my six-odd decades. Married at nineteen, three children by twenty-seven, moved eighteen times with a grass-is-greener spouse – instant on-the-job-training in how to deal with transition – and divorced after seventeen years.

“Working as an administrative assistant for over forty-five years, single mother raising three children, generated an abundant desire for freedom and travel but little savings and no pension. Life was crammed with drama and trauma. Income matched outgo. I would have to live on Social Security income alone. I screamed into the thundering surf, ‘How can I afford to go anywhere? When is it my turn?’ Surprise! Someone was listening.

“Arriving home, I checked my email. A message from Alaska cajoled: How about becoming a long-distance, long-term volunteer? Hmmmm – it seemed that some organizations supplement their staff with volunteers, offering free room and board in exchange for workplace skills? WOW! That I could spend my over 65 ‘mystery’ years this way inspired my imagination. My frozen fingers tingled. I began to rethink retirement.”

At age 65, Barbara retired and drove to Alaska from Connecticut with a mission and copious notes about sites to visit along the way. The journey to be a volunteer exploded into becoming a journalist, author and speaker as well. Read her story, chock-full of adventure and inspiration at:

CPL will also select a variety of other inspirational and touching entries to post on its website.

“This contest was a tremendous opportunity for us to validate why we are passionate about later-life living,” says William Zinke, founder and president of the Center for Productive Longevity. “People from all walks of life are doing amazing things and positively impacting the lives of others along the way. These two women serve as an inspiration for us all, illustrating that success can be achieved with perseverance and passion.”

For more information on CPL, visit or Facebook at

Company Contacts:
William K. Zinke or James R. Hooks
Center for Productive Longevity
303.499.3939 or

Media Contacts:
Jenny Foust or Alicia Hassinger
Communications Strategy Group
303.433.7020 or

About the Center for Productive Longevity:
The mission of CPL is to stimulate the substantially increased engagement of people 55 and older in productive activities, paid and volunteer, where they are qualified and ready to continue adding value. Visit for more information. Follow us on Facebook at

Alicia Hassinger
Communications Strategy Group
3225 East 2nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80206

Luxury Travel Ltd. Promotes High-end Vietnam Tourism Products at WTM London 2012

Vietnam-based Luxury Travel ( will join the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in October to promote luxury travel products at World Travel Market London 2012 (WTM) in the UK from November 5 to 8. Stand AS480

Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct 01, 2012 - Vietnam-based Luxury Travel ( will join the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in October to promote luxury travel products at World Travel Market London 2012 (WTM) in the UK from November 5 to 8. Stand AS480

According to Pham Ha, founder of Luxury Travel, the UK has been a great market for the company, which has appealing products for Britons’ tastes and preferences.

“We target the right clients with personalized products and services.” said Ha.

He also noted that the company had increased the number of private small groups that it served, primarily with tailor-made holidays.

“British holidaymakers like custom and private tours, not big groups. The boom in demand suggests that holidaymakers are becoming increasingly canny and watching exchange rates as well as seeking out keenly-priced packages before deciding on their destination.” he said.

Britain’s tourists, according to Ha, picked Vietnam for their vacations for safety, affordable prices, authenticity, warm weather, and convenient direct flights.

Vietnam Airlines introduced service between Gatwick and Hanoi in December 2011, becoming the first direct flights to the country from Britain, and reducing the journey by several hours.

“With our marketing efforts and commitments, we will attract more British travelers who wish to experience Vietnam in style and luxury, and we’ll encourage them stay longer. Typical stays are 10 or 14 days, and in 5-star hotels.” he said.

Another reason for the sharp increase in Britons taking holidays in Vietnam is the recent opening of new holiday resorts in the Southeast Asian nation. The past few years have seen the completion of many luxurious resorts with names such as Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa, Intercontinental Peninsula Danang Sun Spa and Six Senses Con Dao, entering the market and offering more choices for travelers.

“With our representative office in London for the UK and Ireland markets, we are targeting double digit growth in this market for 2013." said Ha.

Luxury Travel is a long established Asian specialist in luxury privately guided and fully bespoke holidays in Vietnam and the Indochinese Peninsula. Vietnam now has world class hotels and resorts, beaches and cuisine, in addition to its natural beauty, rich history and traditional culture. The country receives 100,000 British tourists yearly, and the number of tourists increases an average of 68 percent annually.

Britons traveling to Vietnam are looking for a more authentic experience and seek to have a deeper understanding of the country’s culture, food, history and everyday life. While Thailand is geared more toward mass market tourism, Vietnam is a destination that is attractive to a more selective class of travelers.

Luxury Travel Ltd.’s booking record indicates that British travelers prefer Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, the former imperial capital Hue and Hoi An Ancient Town.

They also want to visit Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta and Sapa, Mui Ne, Con Dao and the Phu Quoc Islands, while many also combine Vietnam and Cambodia or Myanmar in one trip.

Vietnam’s first luxury tour operator/DMC ( is based in Hanoi, with offices throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Luxury Travel is exceptional at designing tailor-made tours and providing unique travel experiences. Opened in 2004, the Luxury Travel Company Limited has its own offices, luxury vehicles, luxury travel advisors, and representative offices in California, London,Paris, and Sydney. The company’s depth of experience and large infrastructure enable it to create unique itineraries with the operational confidence to fulfill client expectations. Luxury Travel Ltd. has won numerous travel awards for excellent performance including the most recent Guide Award in 2012.


David Nguyen
Sales and Marketing Manager
Luxury Travel Group Ltd
05 Nguyen Truong To Str.,
Ba Dinh Dist, Hanoi 84444