ROUND-UP: July 3-7, 2023
Canada unveiled a new tourism strategy, and a boost for travellers arriving in Ottawa and Halifax; also last week, Canadian carriers announced some new destinations, Emirates conducted its first flight to Montreal, and a member of the Canadian travel trade was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Calling the post-pandemic surge in travel a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canada’s visitor economy to compete on the global stage, Ottawa as has unveiled “Canada 365: Welcoming the world. Every day.” – a new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy that will invest tourism assets; embrace recreation and the great outdoors; partner to grow Indigenous tourism; attract more international events; and improve coordination through a federal ministerial council.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) plans to launch a pilot for dedicated Verified Traveller screening lines at Ottawa International Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The new pilot, to be in effect by Aug. 23, will test the feasibility of having dedicated lines open on a daily basis at these airports by opening them during peak periods; outside of these peak periods, a front-of-the-line service would be offered to eligible verified travellers.
After being charged by TICO, Angela Comella pleaded guilty to operating as a travel agent without registration, while and Angie’s All Seasons Travel Inc was convicted of other infractions contrary to the Travel Industry Act, 2002. Comella was fined $5,625, inclusive of a victim surcharge, and sentenced to a two-year probation plus other non-monetary penalties. The agency received a similar two-year probation.
BY THE NUMBERS
From April 2022 to March 2023, the Government of Canada issued 3,346,223 passports, while for 2023-24 fiscal year, between 4.3 and 4.9 million passports are forecast to be issued. Since April 1, 2023, the Government of Canada has issued 745,401 passports.
WestJet has announced the addition of Bonaire to its roster of Caribbean destinations with non-stop seasonal weekly departures from Toronto starting Dec. 12. The carrier will be the only Canadian airline providing scheduled non-stop lift to the island (departing on Tuesdays, returning Wednesdays).
Canada Jetlines reports it has signed a six-month contract with FlyAllways, a Caribbean airline based in Suriname, where FlyAllways will charter Canada Jetlines to provide weekly flights between Toronto and Georgetown, Guyana. Commencement of flying is expected to start this fall subject to Guyanese government approval.
PAL Airlines and Air Canada completed the inaugural PAL Airlines operation of an Air Canada Express flight between St. John’s and Halifax. The inaugural section on July 1 was the first flight operated under a newly completed commercial agreement achieved between the two carriers to fortify regional service in eastern Canada. The commercial agreement will see PAL Airlines acquire up to six additional Dash 8-400 aircraft to be progressively introduced into service on behalf of Air Canada for a term of up to five years.
Emirates made a landmark touchdown in Montreal last week, marking the start of scheduled daily non-stop aboard Boeing 777 services to its second gateway in Canada. Emirates now serves Canada with 14 flights per week.
Highland Explorer Tours is inviting clients to sample Scotland’s golden ‘water of life’ straight from the source on its four-day “Isle of Islay Whisky Experience,” departing Aug. 11 and Sept. 15. Dubbed the “Queen of the Hebrides,” the island is renowned for its peaty and smoky malts and is home to nine working distilleries, creating some of the finest and single malt whisky in the world. Tour participants will experience Gaelic culture first-hand with a local guide, stroll along scenic beaches, and sample some of the most sought-after Islay whisky, before travelling to the picturesque west of Scotland.
Trailways of New York announced the immediate addition of service to Montreal to meet demand of suspended Amtrak service. The additional service brings Trailways of New York’s total number of daily trips to and from Montreal to 10.
Through 12 July, IHG Hotels & Resorts guests can save up to 25% off on bookings with participating hotels across hundreds of locations in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. IHG One Rewards members will also receive an additional 10% when booking. The offer applies to travel through Sept. 30.
Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos, Mexico, has introduced its latest amenity, “Float My Boat,” a floating tray that elegantly and in some cases, extravagantly, showcases curated culinary and beverage selections, from Imperial Ossetra Caviar and Moët & Chandon champagne to a sweet corn tamale topped with golden caramel popcorn and gold flaked margaritas. The new amenity brings together the finest flavours of the resorts’ award-winning culinary teams paired with stunning views. The amenity is priced from US$150 to $400 (plus service charge) depending on the resort.
Toronto Marriott City Centre, otherwise known as the hotel attached to the Rogers Centre – home of the Blue Jays – has opened On Deck, an open-air patio designed to reflect the stadium dugouts next door and offer a game-day tailgate party vibe. Ideal for a beer and bite before or after the game, the 44-seat space is located at the entrance to the hotel and is open from 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 to 10 on weekends. Food options range from barbecue meats (including the 24-inch “Slugger” hot dog) to salads, flatbreads, and handhelds, complemented by an extensive selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Seats are first-come, first-serve, reservations not accepted.
Riviera River Cruises is extending its at-par incentive for Canadian travel advisors to book clients on its European river cruises for an additional month. Riviera will continue accepting bookings for 2023 departures in CAD equivalent to prices listed in USD through the end of July, providing significant savings through the exchange rate. The incentive had been set to expire at the end of June.
Expanding its reputation for immersive travel experiences, Holland America Line has launched “National Geographic Day Tours” in the Mediterranean. The exclusive shore excursions were developed with National Geographic, a world leader in geography, cartography, and exploration. Beginning this summer, guests sailing on Oosterdam and Nieuw Statendam can participate in the tours, which include such experiences as meeting powerful female figures in Kusadasi, Turkey; experiencing a day in the life of a marine biologist in Naples, Italy; learning about organic honeybee farms in Rhodes, Greece; and meeting local families in Santorini, Greece. Each tour is led by a National Geographic trained guide.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Coinciding with Shark Awareness Day on July 14, Discovery Cove in Orlando is celebrating July as “Shark Month” with unique ways for visitors to learn about these magnificent animals. Additionally, “Shark Month” themed content will be available all month on Discovery Cove’s Instagram and Facebook page.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Variety Cruises has announced offers for vetted active travel professionals, valid for all itineraries in Greece, the Seychelles, Tahiti, West Africa, Cape Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Costa Rica, and Panama. With the new offer, travel professionals benefit from a 75% for bookings made 59 days prior to departure, 60% for bookings made 119 to 60 days prior and 50% discount on official rates for bookings made 120 days prior to departure (terms and conditions apply). Travel agents interested in any of the above cruises are asked to send an enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org along with proof of employment and their business card. Reservations are subject to availability and, in order to be confirmed, full payment is required. Payments are fully refundable up to 30 days prior to departure.
This year’s ACTA Fall Summits will feature Bruce Poon Tip, CEO of G Adventures (who was named an Officer of the Order of Canada this year, see below) and Pam Hoffee, President, Avalon Waterways, as keynote speakers at the association’s events in Western and Eastern Canada respectively (Sept. 14 – Toronto; Sept 21 – Vancouver; Sept. 27 – Montreal).
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of Toronto-based G Adventures has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his services to both Canada and humanity. The social and community travel pioneer was one of nearly two dozen people named to the Order for 2023 and is the first person in the travel industry to receive the title of Officer in 34 years.
The Organization of World Heritage Cities recently granted the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, membership among an elite group of more than 200 cities from around the world that are home to UNESCO World Heritage sites. With this acceptance, the organization recognizes Scottsdale as the location of Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home and laboratory, Taliesin West, and welcomes the city as an active participant in international efforts to protect and preserve the heritage of mankind.
The biannual NYC Restaurant Week dining program returns this summer from July 24 to Aug. 20 with hundreds of restaurants across New York’s five boroughs offering prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. A full list of participating eateries is available at nyctourism.com/restaurantweek.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1886, the first Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train from Montreal reached Port Moody, BC, after a 139-hour trip. The first eastbound train left the next day.
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First published at Travel Industry Today