ROUND-UP: Feb. 27-March 3, 2023
Airports in Montreal and Toronto made big news last week, along with the unveiling of a number of appealing agent incentives. And, as usual, there’s the latest airline cruise, hotel, and tour operator tidbits, plus much more.
The Greater Toronto Airport Authority says it will impose a “hard limit” on how many commercial planes arrive at and depart from Pearson International at any given hour during March break and the summer season, thereby spreading demand out over the course of each day. It will also put a ceiling on the number of passengers that can arrive from abroad or depart to the US within a given 60-minute period.
Porter Aviation is partnering with Montreal Saint-Hubert Airport (YHU) to develop a new terminal capable of serving over 4 million passengers annually. Construction is scheduled for completion by late 2024, providing a second airport for Porter to serve the Montreal market. More than 10 potential YHU routes have been initially identified by Porter, from Vancouver to St. John’s, Nfld. The airline also intends to connect YHU with both Toronto’s island airport and Pearson.
Toronto travel agency World Travel Inc. has had its registration under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 revoked. TICO says a Licence Appeal Tribunal found that company’s operator would accept consumer funds to book airline tickets, but that the requested airline tickets were not booked and the consumers were presented with falsified booking documents. The agency is said to have failed to properly handle consumer funds held in trust, failed to comply with record-keeping obligations, and did not cooperate with TICO inspectors.
A new entry process that allows for the electronic processing of air travel to Saint Lucia is designed to reduce the processing time of arriving passengers. The electronic Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) can replace the written form (which may still be presented) and filed in advance. Go to www.stlucia.org/entry for details.
Hong Kong lifted its mask mandate on March 1, ending the city’s last major restriction imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s chief executive, John Lee, said masks are no longer required for residents or travellers both outdoors and indoors, including on public transit.
BY THE NUMBERS
BC Ferries reported that 4.5 million passengers and 2 million vehicles travelled on the ferry system in Q4, a year-over-year increase of 10% and 3% respectively. In 2022, 17.4 million passengers and 7.5 million vehicles were carried, an increase of 23% and 12%, respectively.
Air Transat has updated its mobile app. Users will receive info for pre-trip preparation, as well flight notifications and status, access their travel documents and links to add inflight services such as meal pre-order. More new features will also be added throughout the year.
Canada Jetlines’ first scheduled flight to Mexico from Canada (Toronto-Cancun) took place Friday.
Complimentary unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi has been rolled out by Singapore Airlines for all Business Class customers, as well as its PPS Club members and PPS Club supplementary card holders. In addition, KrisFlyer members now enjoy free three-hour Wi-Fi plans when travelling in Premium Economy and free two-hour Wi-Fi plans in Economy.
Goway is now the exclusive distribution partner in Canada for Australia and New Zealand specialist tour operator APT & Travelmarvel with the new travel offerings to be known as APT by Goway. Goway will continue to support existing trade partners on most APT bookings. Agents can also earn cash rewards on every booking with the GowayPro Loyalty Program.
Tauck is ramping up its small group offerings for 2023, boosting the number of special land tour departures featuring small group sizes this year by 35% over pre-pandemic levels. In total, the company will feature small group departures on some 75 land journeys around the globe. Most departures will average 24 passengers and as few as 18 on many African safaris.
Now open, Canopy by Hilton Toronto Yorkville (photo) marks the brand’s debut in Canada. Located at 387 Bloor St. E., near Sherbourne subway station in downtown, the 184-room hotel features chic spaces, locally inspired cuisine, and amenities including “Just-Right” rooms with canopy beds, as well as pool, fitness centre, lounge, and meeting space. Bikes are available so guests can explore the city, including nearby Yorkville and leafy Rosedale.
Thailand-based Onyx hospitality group has reinforced its expansion plans, with a strategic focus on its home territory of Thailand and neighbouring Malaysia. The Asian hospitality group is on track to operate 54 properties by 2025, including eight new hotels this year. Onyx currently operates 44 properties with an additional 10 properties in development. Malaysia will be the first country outside Thailand to feature all three Onyx brands: Amari, Sharma, and OZO.
Clients can have the “slime of their life” with the first-ever “Slime Break Getaway” at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana. The package includes themed events, exclusive food and beverage offerings, pop-up activities at Club Nick, character meet & greets, and “endless slime-centric fun.” The getaway is available March 18-April 16 and guests can also save up to 40% off with $350 worth of resort credits.
Banyan Cay Resort & Golf will become Florida’s first ‘Destination by Hyatt’ hotel and the first full-service Hyatt-branded property in Palm Beach Co. The new-build luxury resort, due this spring, will boast an upscale West Indies style with 150 oversized rooms and suites and a robust menu of amenities that include a lush spa inspired by West Indies rituals, three on-site restaurants, two pools, and 18 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus. Banyan Cay’s premier location within minutes of downtown West Palm Beach.
Carnival Cruise Line is expanding its offerings in Galveston, Texas, by bringing a fourth ship, Carnival Miracle, to the port that will offer sailings of nine, 10, 11 and 12 days beginning in the fall of 2024 through spring 2025.
In presenting its “biggest refresh in the region for a long time,” Holland America Line‘s 2024 Europe season will feature several new itineraries that combine regions, more voyages of 14 days or longer, and new departure ports in Northern Europe. From April to November itineraries will range from seven to 35 days aboard Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam. Destinations include the Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands, French and Spanish rivieras, Israel, Mediterranean, and Northern Europe, including Iceland, Greenland, and Norway.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Rapids Waterpark, South Florida’s largest water park, has a new ride coming in 2023. Mega Mayhem, Dueling Water Coaster will open this summer at the Riviera Beach park in Palm Beach Co. The new attraction features two side-by-side flumes where riders speed down twists and high-banked turns as they are propelled uphill by a unique blast jet propulsion technology. Thrill seekers compete to reach the finishing plunge first while experiencing drop and dive sensations along the way. Riders can see other racers speeding down the slide through open low-separator walls at a max speed of up to 22-35 km.
More than 450 travel agents turned out last week for Air Canada Vacations breakfast seminars across the country (above) as the tour company touted Europe for the upcoming season. Partners included Tourism Ireland, Tour Greece, Visit Portugal, TopAtlântico, Meet&Greet your Italian Way, Royal Caribbean International, and Celebrity Cruises. Events took place in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Halifax. ACV’s new Europe program showcases over 100 tour packages. Early booking savings are available through April 9.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Through March 10, travel agents can earn 5x Loyalty Rewards points on any six-night or longer Encore Cruises (TravelBrands) Europe sailing in 2023. Plus, travellers will receive exclusive offers, such as air discounts and shore excursions credit.
As part TTC Tour Brands an ongoing partnership with Tourism Switzerland, top TTC advisors from around the world – including Canada – can apply for a chance to take part in FAM showcasing offerings from Trafalgar, Costsaver, Insight and Luxury Gold. The trip will focus on each brand’s ‘Make Travel Matter’ experiences plus ‘Swisstainable’ (sustainable) travel options. The seven-day trips departs July 22 and will call in Lucerne, St. Moritz, Zermatt and Geneva. For more details and to apply, click HERE.
G Adventures’ popular “Change Makers Challenge” agent incentive program is returning this year after a three-year pandemic hiatus. Agents receive one entry per traveller booked for a chance to attend the global summit – to be held from Sept. 22-28, 2023, in a yet-to-be-revealed destination. Log into Sherpa for details.
New business development representative Justin Clarey has joined the commercial team of Transat. With extensive travel industry experience, including as and advisor at CWT Vacations/Enjoy Travel and manager at Marlin Travel, he will oversee the Eastern Ontario.
Flair Airlines has named Maciej Wilk Chief Operating Officer. Wilk will lead the team that manages Flair’s core operational functions including Flight Operations (inclusive of Safety, Security, and Quality Assurance), Airport Operations, and Maintenance. He joins Flair following 10 years’ experience at LOT Polish Airlines in Warsaw including holding the role of COO since 2017.
Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway will not open this season due to warm temperatures. This is the first time the weather has prevented the 7.8-km stretch through the city from opening at all.
The Florida Keys bicentennial celebrations this year kick off with a gala concert and drone firework show March 25 in Key West. Additional events will include an air show in Key West April 15-16; and Bicentennial Day festivities and fireworks July 3 in the Lower Keys, including creation of the world’s largest Key lime pie.
In addition, museum exhibits around the Keys, annual festivals will celebrate the milestone and the Keys’ multifaceted heritage.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1964, the Toronto International Airport terminal building was opened.
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First published at Travel Industry Today