ROUND-UP: July 10-14 2023
In last week’s news, ACTA rallied support for federal government financial relief, the Canada-US border was declared to be in “disarray,” the world’s biggest cruise ship completed sea trials, Lynx announced a new destination, and The Bahamas celebrated a major milestone.
ACTA launched a survey to assess the retail industry’s capacity to pay back government loans issued during the pandemic, which currently comes due Dec. 31. The association says tight repayment terms are now proving impede travel business recovery across Canada. ACTA will aggregate the responses but will not reference individual travel businesses. The survey is open to all travel agencies, host agencies, and independent travel agents. Deadline for completion is Friday, July 28 at 3 p.m. EST. To take participate, click HERE.
Members of US Congress are growing concerned about what they say is a shortage of agents on the southern side of the Canada-US border that is causing “disarray” at entry points to the country. The reason, says New York Rep. Brian Higgins, is that there is a southbound surge of US Customs and Border Protection personnel being temporarily reassigned to help fortify the American border with Mexico, which has led to unstaffed kiosks and generally longer delays for those entering the country from the north.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has launched consultations on proposed amendments to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) and Canadians are invited to contribute. The consultation period will be open for 30 calendar days ending Aug. 10 after which CTA will publish draft regulations that will be subject to further comment. To take part, click HERE.
Members of Unifor Local 114 working at the ‘Victoria Clipper’ are warning that the pace of bargaining for their next contract suggests that the Victoria-Seattle fast ferry service could be disrupted before the end of the summer. The union says Clipper workers are seeking to negotiate wage increases, adjustments to the scheduling system, and better job security. The union 25 workers at the Victoria side of the Clipper’s workforce in customer service, ticketing, baggage handling, and docking.
BY THE NUMBERS
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it intercepted 3,251 firearms – 92% of them loaded – at airport security checkpoints during the first half of 2023. The total represents an average 18 firearms per day at TSA checkpoints. The figure represents an increase from the first half of 2022 when Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) stopped 3,053 firearms at security checkpoints of which more than 86% were loaded.
Lynx Air announced a further expansion of its US network, adding non-stop flights to Tampa International (TPA) from both Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Montreal Pierre Trudeau International (YUL). Lynx will operate four services a week from both Toronto and Montreal, beginning Nov. 16 and 17, respectively.
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways will end their partnership in the Northeast US this week, after a judge ruled that the deal violates antitrust law.
JetBlue said Friday that it will end codesharing and reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits on July 21.
The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, has successfully completed its first open ocean sea trials. Next up will be a second round of sea trials later this year, which will be when the first Icon Class ship is pushed to its limits ahead of its debut in Miami early next year, where it will sail year-round seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations itineraries that include the cruise line’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas; plus Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Roatan, Honduras.
Silversea Cruises has opened general sales on its 140-day World Cruise 2026, ‘The Curious and the Sea.’ Calling in 70 destinations in 37 countries – more than any voyage in the company’s history – the six-continent sailing will feature a curated selection of exclusive events, three optional overland programs, and a range of S.A.L.T. culinary enhancements that will immerse travellers sailing aboard Silver Dawn deep into regional cultures with unique access.
For a limited time, guests can book at up to a 30% discount across any Quark Expeditions sailing season: Arctic escapes this summer, Antarctic expeditions (photo) next winter, and all itineraries in 2024 or 2025. Solo travelers on select Antarctica voyages can save up to $20,000 by booking now with no single-occupancy premium. Together with these summer specials, regular offers are always available – an additional 5% discount for guests combining back-to-back voyages, an immediate 10% off when paying in full at time of booking and, for all repeat explorers with the company, a further 5% discount for life as a member of the Shackleton Club.
The new “Unforgettable Journeys Event” from Holland America Line adds several perks for guests booking by July 31 for travel from October to April 2024. In addition to prepaid crew appreciation (gratuities) and 50% reduced deposits, the incentive features shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi with the “Have it All” premium package. With a savings of approximately US$115 p.p. per day, this represents a value of $1,610 for a seven-day cruise or $3,450 for a 15-day Panama Canal transit with a double occupancy booking.
Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto, the lavish new entertainment complex in north of Pearson airport (beside Woodbine Racetrack), will open its hotel on Aug. 1. The 400-room property is part of the $1-billion development that opened its first phase on June 20. The Hotel at Great Canadian Toronto will cater to both leisure and business travellers with 400 well-appointed rooms that give guests access to the adjoining casino, dining and retail and venues, and 5,000-person entertainment venue.
The “Suite Family Plan” at Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau in the Bahamas (photo) offers a range of treats for the whole family, including up to 20% savings on brand-new luxury suites, complimentary meals for kids aged 12 and under, movie theatre passes, and 2-for-1 bowling at the resort’s ICONS sports bar and entertainment complex. Guests will also receive a US$50 resort credit per adult per stay. The deal is valid for travel through Sept. 5.
Transat AT Inc. says it has sold a piece of land in Mexico to resort company Finest Resorts for US$38 million. The company says the sale is part of its plan to focus on its airline business as it tries to return to profitability after more than two years of losses. Transat noted it announced in 2018 that it bought the land as part of the development of a hotel subsidiary which it discontinued in 2021.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Through its limited time Flash Sale, in addition to commission earned on every part of Railbookers’ vacations, including rail travel, hotel accommodations and sightseeing activities, travel advisors will be awarded a Visa gift card of up to $100 for bookings that travel in 2023.
Agents (and a friend) have a chance to sail with Swan Hellenic to Antarctica in November 2024. By booking three staterooms for the 2023-24 season before Dec. 31, 2023, each booking will be entered for a chance to win one of 10 cruises for two. More bookings increases the chances of winning. The offer includes a host of amenities including regional (but not international) airfare. At the same time, clients are eligible for 30% savings on a nine-night Antarctica cruise taken before Aug. 31.
A save the date notice has been issued by The Travel Agent Next Door for its
Annual VIP Supplier Event, to be held in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 9, starting at 5:50 p.m. The supplier-only event is dedicated to thanking TTAND partners for their support. More details are to come.
Trevello Travel Group has welcomed Cathy Redekopp and Jolana Phillips-Veinott, to professional development positions – Redekopp as the new Professional Development Manager for Western Canada, and Phillips-Veinott as Learning Manager.
Maritime Travel has announced the appointment of retail travel industry veteran Kimberley Wood as Director of Branch Operations for Western Canada. Wood, most recently at Transat, will be responsible for Maritime Travel’s 22 leisure agencies in British Columbia and Alberta.
VISIT DENVER has reappointed Pulse Travel Marketing as the city’s Canadian representative with the mandate to ensure that the Mile High City is prominently positioned with the travel trade, consumer, and key distribution media channels in Canada.
July 10 marked the 50th Anniversary of Independence for The Bahamas, and locals and visitors alike celebrated the milestone heartily, not least with a vibrant Junkanoo. But it doesn’t end there: the islands’ tourist board says Golden Jubilee events will continue throughout the year.
Visitors to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens in Northern Ireland can now discover ‘Life Through A Royal Lens,’ Hillsborough’s first exhibition. The display documents the British Royal Family’s ever-evolving relationship with the camera over the last 200 years and invites visitors to explore how photography has been used to create an image of duty and stability throughout the centuries and how advances in technology and media have allowed the Royal Family to connect at a more personal level with a wider global audience, including through the choice of photographer, photo composition, clothing, and environment throughout the photo series provides insightful cultural commentary on the social climate at the time each photo was taken.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1972, Criminal Code changes in Canada provided life sentences for airplane hijackings and abolished the lash as a form of punishment.
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First published at Travel Industry Today