ROUND-UP: April 3-10, 2023
A new agreement between Canada and the UAE last week promised more flights between the destinations; Canada Jetlines refocussed attention on sun routes; El Al delivered “not the best news” to Canadian agents, and a TD survey revealed Canadian habits when it comes to travel insurance.
Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced the conclusion of an expanded air transport agreement that allows 21 flights per week for each country – 50% more flights than the maximum number previously possible. The new rights under the expanded agreement are available for use by airlines immediately. Currently Air Canada, Emirates and Etihad serve the market directly.
As part of a new brand identity, NYC & Company, New York’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau is now known as New York City Tourism + Conventions. The destination’s new brand system is aimed at travellers from around the world and includes a new brand strategy and comprehensive visual identity system comprising a new logo, color standards, typography, art direction and graphic elements.
The Aruba Tourism Authority has announced the implementation of seamless travel to Aruba through the use of verifiable digital credential technology (DTC). The innovation will soon allow travellers to fulfill government immigration requirements before boarding their flight using a simplified process that eliminates the need to manually enter information from paper travel documents. Using a DTC, passengers can consent to share any of their relevant data directly from their digital wallet on their mobile device to multiple entities across journeys, from the government at the port of entry to other touchpoints such as hotels or car rental.
BY THE NUMBERS
A TD Insurance survey says the majority of Canadians (65%) plan on taking a trip in the near future, but only 36% of those planning to travel intend to purchase both medical and cancellation travel insurance. Among those likely to travel in the next year, younger Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 appear least likely to purchase travel insurance with only 27% saying they intend to buy cancellation and travel medical coverage, compared to 39% of those over the age of 35.
Canada Jetlines has pressed pause on its domestic routes as the airline refocuses its efforts on sun destinations and leasing its planes, but says it plans to resume in-country flights come fall. The carrier quietly halted its twice-weekly return trips between Toronto and Vancouver and Toronto and Calgary in January after launching commercial operations in September. The carrier continues to offer two return flights per week from Toronto’s Pearson airport to Las Vegas and to Cancun, Mexico. Meanwhile, the carrier says it has signed a letter of intent for its third Airbus A320 aircraft, to be provided by a global aviation lessor with delivery expected by July.
Porter Airlines is adding flight frequency on its new Ottawa-Charlottetown route. Service begins on May 17, but the initial seven weekly round trip flights increase to 11 times weekly during the spring and fall, plus 14 flights per week during the peak summer travel season.
El Al Israel Airlines would like to return to Canada, but there is “no date circled on the calendar” for that to happen, the carrier’s Sr. VP Sales for North America, Marc Cavaliere told an audience of travel agents at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto, and that though he was delivering “not the best news” he would not “perpetuate unrealistic expectations” out of respect. He added that the carrier will continue to work in Canada and is promoting connections through its US gateways. El Al mothballed its Canadian service last October.
Continuing through April 14 for travel between May 24 and Oct. 31, Swoop’s Easter Sale is offering 30% off select scheduled routes. Use the promo code BUNNY30 when booking.
Until April 11, Club Med Flash Sale is offering up to 50% off on stays at selected properties. Participating properties include Club Med Punta Cana, Club Med Cancun, Club Med Turkoise, Club Med La Caravelle, Club Med Les Boucaniers, Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda, Club Med Columbus, and Club Med Quebec Charlevoix. Travel must be between April 29 and Oct. 20, 2023.
Karibu adventures, a new Edmonton-based tour specialist has three curated itineraries to unique destinations in Canada and Italy designed for “curious, active adventurers seeking raw and real experiences in amazing wild places.” The intimate small-group adventures include a five-day fly-in to Temagami, Ont., featuring back-country canoe trip and wilderness lodge; a seven-day tour on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island that based on sea kayaking, wildlife encounters and Indigenous culture; and seven days of hiking, food and culture in the hidden gem of Alta Valsesia, Italy.
Following Bellagio’s recent remodelling of more than 2,500 guest rooms in its main tower, the Las Vegas hotel and casino will redesign the Spa Tower in a similar Lake Como, Italy, motif across 819 guest rooms and 104 suites. The reno is slated for completion in October, with the first collection of rooms available for guest stays beginning in July.
Scheduled to open in July, the W Budapest will be housed in the heart of the city in the impressive neo-renaissance style Drechsler Palace, which will be fully renovated. The hotel will feature 151 stylish guest rooms, including 45 suites and one Extreme WOW, the brand’s lux-take on the Presidential Suite. Amenities include a restaurant, a bar, a W Lounge, three meeting and event spaces, an Away Spa, FIT fitness centre, and WET pool.
Calling it “a new chapter” in its storied history as a pioneer of the beach and mountain all-inclusive resort concepts, Club Med has unveiled a new refreshed and modernized brand identity. The popular lifestyle brand says it is evolving into a more premium, family-friendly, and eco-conscious experience. As part of the brand evolution, Club Med is enhancing all consumer communication touchpoints with refreshed logos, iconography, and colour palette from its website and emails to the ‘My Club Med’ app and in-resort signage in order to reflect its new identity both in the resorts and outside.
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth‘s 2024 summer program in Alaska will sail 10 roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver, ranging from nine to 11 nights. The ship will visit the immense Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park along with calls at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, and more. She will also make two maiden calls at Misty Fjords and Wrangell.
Disney Cruise Line will unveil a new island destination in summer 2024 celebrating the unique culture of The Bahamas. Located on Eleuthera, Lighthouse Point is being designed in close collaboration with local artists and advisors to provide an experience that “combines breathtaking natural beauty with the magic of Bahamian hospitality, storytelling and artistry.”
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park welcomed its newest attraction, TRON Lightcycle/Run, which enables guests to feel as if they’ve been digitized and transported into the popular film’s grid for a special Lightcycle race. The attraction will be one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world.
A collection of trade representatives including Tourism Australia, Jamaica Tourist Board, Globus family of brands, Carnival Cruise Line, and Couples Resorts is continuing its series of “Coffee Time Travel Chats,” having attracted close to 100 agents at previous Ontario events in St. Catharines, London, and Burlington. The mini trade shows allow advisors to pop in for a coffee between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Upcoming shows will take place in Brantford on April 11; Kitchener, April 26; and Woodbridge, May 2, with more shows being planned throughout Ontario and BC in the months to come. To attend, RSVP HERE.
Registration is now open for the annual ACTA travel industry golf tournament, set to the take place on Thursday, July 13 at the Royal Ontario Golf Course in Milton. The event is open to both ACTA members and non-members, individuals and teams, and non-golfers can join post-golf for the cocktail reception and dinner. Tee-off is 10 a.m., with a call to carts at 9:45. Click HERE for the registration form.
To celebrate its first anniversary, Lynx launched a contest for Canadians to win free flights for a year. Two grand prize winners will each win one roundtrip per month for 12 months to fly anywhere on Lynx’s North American network. Five additional winners will each receive one return flight to anywhere on Lynx’s network. The contest runs until today (April 11) and winners will be contacted via email. To enter, visit flylynx.com.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Lujure is offering travel agents 12% commission on new bookings made by June 1 for travel until Dec. 31. The Canadian travel company specializes in global destinations and premier accommodations that are “perfect little hideaways… ideal for relaxing and restorative getaways.” The organization also offers concierge services, event planning, and other tailor-made services. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian travel industry veteran Susan Lawson has joined Trevello Travel Group as National Director of Sales & Training. Most recently a business development manager at Allianz insurance, Lawson has also served a lengthy term with Club Med and Air Canada Vacations in western Canada during her career.
Willie Montano has been promoted to VP of global marketing at Collette. In his new role, Montano will oversee global marketing, including production and marketing in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Coinciding with NASCAR’s 75th anniversary this year, North Carolina’s new ‘Moonshine and Motorsports Trail’ connects travellers with the storied history of the sport in destinations across the state. The trail features a pair of modern signatures (the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord) along with museums and legacy tracks, including Hillsborough’s Occoneechee Speedway, Rockingham Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway, a NASCAR original located in the “moonshine capital of the world.” Special exhibits will illuminate moonshine history from the mountains to the coast and highlight the connection between bootleggers running from revenue agents and stock car drivers on speedway tracks.
2023 is a year of anniversaries in San Francisco. The city is celebrating 150 years of cable cars traversing its steep hills, the 125th anniversary of the Ferry Building, the 90th season of SF Ballet, and the 60th anniversary of Alcatraz prison closing, with festivities planned to commemorate the milestones.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1960, Canada entered the jet age when Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada) began service between Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
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First published at Travel Industry Today