All travel news.

ROUND-UP: July 18-22, 2022

Airline news was front and centre last week with WestJet workers setting a possible strike date, Porter ordering many more planes, Canada Jetlines revealing the date of its inaugural flight, and IATA giving Canada another earful over mandatory, albeit, random, COVID testing for air arrivals.

NEWS

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships prompting several cruise lines to immediately announce the end of pre-embarkation testing. CLIA also welcomed the news.

As the Canadian government re-introduced random COVID testing for airport arrivals (albeit offsite), IATA blasted Canada – again – for the measure, saying the country is “out of step” with the global trend of lifting travel measures and cease and desist immediately.

BORDERS

Effective Aug. 8 there will be no pre-arrival testing requirement for vaccinated persons arriving in Anguilla. Evidence of vaccination status must still be presented to the airlines on check-in and on arrival at the ports of entry in St. Maarten and Anguilla. Unvaccinated visitors will be permitted to enter Anguilla with a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test result with no quarantine or further testing.

BY THE NUMBERS

Porter Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 more Embraer aircraft for service through North America. The purchase of the E195-E2 passenger jets, valued at US$1.56 billion, adds to its existing 30 firm commitment orders with the aircraft manufacturer. The airline also holds purchase rights for 50 more (for a total of 100). Porter had previously ordered the 30 Embraer E195-E2 jets in 2021, worth US$5.82 billion at list price.

AIR

Canada Jetlines has announced its inaugural flight out of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Winnipeg (YWG) is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Starting Nov. 25, Fiji Airways will fly direct from Nadi to Vancouver twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. The destination will be the 20th direct international service provided by Fiji’s national carrier. A limited number of seats at are available through an introductory return fare of $599 plus the option to continue on to any of the airline’s four destinations in Australia and three gateways in New Zealand at no extra cost (some conditions apply). Passengers in Vancouver will also have the chance to book a one-off promotional direct flight to Nadi on Aug. 9 for the same fare with a return flight via Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Bahamas Air has relaunched a weekly non-stop flight from Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Florida to Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) in Freeport, The Bahamas. The flight will operate every Monday and Thursday through Sept. 10.

DEALS

Through Aug. 15, Princess Cruises “Kids Sail Free” applies to third and fourth guests on 2023 sailings, coupled with additional family discounts of up to 25% off. Kids must stay in the same stateroom as parents.

HOTELS

The opening this month of Park Hyatt Jakarta marks the debut of the brand in Indonesia. Occupying the top 17 floors of the 37-story Park Tower in the centre of the city’s financial and diplomatic district, the hotel’s surrounding area, Menteng, was originally conceived in the early 20th century as a garden city and is now known for its peaceful tree-lined streets, abundant greenery, and elegant heritage architecture. The hotel’s location harkens back to the origins of the Park Hyatt brand with its first property overlooking a serene park in Chicago, its proximity to nature reflecting how Park Hyatt hotels around the world offer an oasis of calm in the midst of the bustle of the city.

Now open is Royal Palm Galapagos Curio Collection by Hilton, a boutique estate with 21 villas and deluxe rooms brimming with the charm of an Ecuadorian Hacienda. Secluded on a 160-hectare estate in the lush Miconia Highland Forests adjacent to Galapagos National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Curio Collection is designed to respectfully maximize guests’ interactions with the remote and eco-sensitive destination.

RESORTS
July 14 marked the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Marbella after a full renovation. It is Palladium Hotel Group’s third Hard Rock Hotel and third hotel located in Spain’s Costa Del Sol. Located in the Puerto Banús, the adults-only hotel has 383 rooms, including 64 suites, each showcasing interior designs seamlessly blending Hard Rock’s signature musically infused aesthetic with local cultural references from Picasso to Flamenco.

Top Havana luxury hotel Paseo del Prado is set to fall under the Blue Diamond Resort Cuba banner, with the rebranded Royalton Habana expected to begin operations on Aug. 1. The 250-room city hotel offers both a privileged location on Paseo del Prado and the Malecón, and exceptional views from its rooms, three restaurants and bars, plus rooftop infinity pool that faces the Havana Bay and the San Salvador de la Punta Castle.

CRUISE

Royal Caribbean Group has received approval to acquire the former Crystal Cruises ultra-luxury cruise ship Endeavor. The polar expedition ship will be renamed Silver Endeavour and will be fifth expedition ship in Silversea’s fleet of 11. The ship is scheduled to begin its inaugural season in Antarctica starting in November.

Late last month, Viking “floated out” its newest ocean ship, the 930-guest Viking Saturn marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Scheduled to debut in April 2023, the Viking Saturn will spend her maiden season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe.

TOURS

Visitors to Antigua can get a unique taste of the island with Eat n’ Lime Food Tours, which highlights diverse local diverse dishes influenced by West Africa, Spain, and Britain. A guide leads travellers on an excursion to different venues to taste local island favourites, beginning with a traditional breakfast and smoothie. The afternoon menu includes tastings of grilled patties, Rastafarian-inspired dishes, chicken roti, and island delicacy, fungee (not fungi!). The tour also features a build-your-own rum punch at its local distillery.

Canadian-based ToursByLocal, which connects travellers in search of customized, private tours with handpicked guides in 189 countries, is introducing a new fully customizable safari product. Travel advisors can help their clients design once-in-a-lifetime experiences and earn a 5% minimum commission with each booking made. And once an agency has booked $9,700 (US$7,500) worth of tours, the commission is raised to 10%, and applied retroactively to all tours booked that year. Register HERE.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

Forget about witches, ghosts, and goblins – LEGO Monsters are taking over this Halloween season at LEGOLAND Resorts in North America as Brick-or-Treat presents the all-new “Monster Party,” the largest children’s Halloween celebration! This fall, LEGOLAND California, LEGOLAND Florida, and LEGOLAND New York celebrate Halloween with new LEGO Monster characters, treat stations, not-so-spooky décor, entertainment, and the release of the exclusive new 4D movie: “The Great Monster Chase!”

FAMS & INCENTIVES

Goway Travel has an elephant to name and is asking for help from its agent partners, who could win a coveted spot on a Kenya FAM in November to meet the elephant they named. To qualify, agents must book and deposit any Goway Africa trip between July 18 and Aug. 15, 2022. Eligible agents will then receive an email with an invitation to suggest a name for Goway’s elephant. If the name is chosen, the agent will earn a free spot on the FAM. Up to five additional agents who entered will also have the opportunity to book a spot on the FAM at a discounted price. The FAM itinerary includes the Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, Tsavo West National Park, and Nairobi.

Travel advisors who reserve AmaWaterways sailings for their clients on any 2022 Europe, Mekong, Africa, or Egypt river cruise before Sept. 30 will receive a $200 gift card once the final payment has been made. For solo travelers, travel advisors can earn $100 for reserving a single occupancy stateroom.

EVENTS

Registration is now open for the ACTA’s three in-person Summit conferences in September in Toronto, Richmond, BC, and Laval, Que. Travel agents, managers, senior leaders, consortia, and host agency teams are all invited to attend, which are complimentary for ACTA members, while non-members are asked to contribute $99 towards ACTA’s advocacy fund. The Summits will include keynote speakers, critical updates from government and industry leaders, and opportunities to connect with peers. There will also be a full trade show with prizes awarded throughout the day. Register HERE.

ACTA

Deadline for nominations for the annual ACTA Awards is July 29. Categories include Leisure Travel Agent Award; Corporate Travel Agent Award; Tomorrow’s Leader Award; Ches Chard Education Award; and Gerald Heifetz Advocacy Award. Anyone can make a nomination, but nominees must be ACTA members. Criteria for each of the categories can be found at https://www.acta.ca/acta-awards-2022

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Top performing agents from the Travel Agent Next Door in 2019 were rewarded with a Rhine cruise with Avalon Waterways from Switzerland to Amsterdam earlier this month (photo). Stéphanie Bishop, President Canada, Avalon Waterways hosted the 55 TTAND travel agent partners. TTAND Suppliers Lisa Connell of Royal Caribbean International, Brenda Yeomans, Celebrity Cruises, and Kelly Christine, Princess, joined the group for the week.

Destination Toronto has promoted Paula Port to VP of Global Marketing. With over 20 years of experience and expertise at Destination Toronto, including in her most recent role as Director, Brand & Content, Port will lead the strategic development and implementation of marketing and communications for the destination.

DESTINATIONS

The Belize Tourism Board  is hosting the inaugural two-day Belize International Music and Food Festival July 30-31 at Saca Chispas Field in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, showcasing local and international musical artists as well as authentic Belize cuisine. Ten international artists, two international DJs, 16 local artists, and a number of local DJs will take the stage to celebrate global music genres ranging from Reggae, Afro-Beats, Dancehall, Soca, Punta, and Latin beats. And festival attendees will also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Belize’s rich culinary culture by sampling local delicacies showcased within four food pavilions offering favourite local street eats, gourmet dishes, as well as ethnic recipes passed on from generation to generation.

Egyptian authorities resumed hot air ballooning over the ancient city of Luxor following a two-day hiatus after two tourists were lightly injured during a ride. A hot air balloon with 28 tourists drifted off course Monday because of a change in the direction and speed of winds. The balloon was at an altitude of 60 m. when it veered off course and before landing in an open area, slightly collided with another one.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to set foot on the Moon. Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface at 10:56 p.m. ET and proclaimed, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin and Armstrong collected nearly 22 kg. of lunar rock and soil before blasting off 21 hours, 36 minutes, and 21 seconds after they landed and rejoining crewmate Michael Collins orbiting above. American astronauts would land on the Moon five more times in the following three years.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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