ROUND-UP July 6-10, 2020
In case you missed it, and even if you didn’t, here’s a quick look at some of last week’s need-to-know travel news, including: A new Canadian carrier based in Quebec is set to launch; Disney World is re-opening; and the Travel and Leisure show will be held virtually in September.
Quebec-based Nolinor Aviation has launched a new airline, OWG (Off We Go). The carrier will take flight in about two months with 158-passenger Boeing 737-400s aircraft to “southern destinations,” which will be announced in the coming weeks. Nolinor has specialized is commercial flights to Canada’s Far North since 1992
The Ministry of Health advises that travellers must complete a Bahamas Health Visa application and present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test with a sample taken within 10 days of arrival.
Caribbean Airlines has made the wearing of face covering mandatory through at all journey touchpoints: check-in at the airport, departure gate areas, jet-bridges and on-board the aircraft for the duration of the flight.
Grenada will open its borders for regional travel on July 15 and to international travellers on Aug. 1.
Lift access for alpine hiking and DH mountain biking are now available to the public at Sun Peaks Resort, BC. Previously opened were the golf course and most other village amenities and services, including hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.
Bally’s Las Vegas will open again on July 23 following the re-openings of Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas. Caesar’s Entertainment has also re-opened the gaming floor and other amenities at The LINQ Hotel + Experience, as well as The LINQ Promenade, High Roller Observation Wheel, FLY LINQ and Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck.
Carnival has updated the status of several of its ships due to the pandemic:
• Mardi Gras will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, Fla. on Feb. 6, 2021. Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from Nov. 14 to Jan. 30, 2021 have been cancelled.
• Carnival Radiance’s $200-million remake is not likely to be completed until the spring. As a result, Carnival Breeze will assume the vessel’s itineraries from Nov. 8 to Apr. 24, 2021, and its own sailings from Nov. 7 to Mar. 7, 2021 have been cancelled.
• Carnival Magic’s transatlantic and European itineraries from Mar. 13 to May 3, 2021 have been cancelled with the ship instead taking over Carnival Breeze itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale from Mar. 13 to Apr. 24, 2021.
The organizers of Key West’s Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival have announced that the 2020 festival, originally scheduled Oct. 16-25, will be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Calling it nothing short of a “historic” moment of the Canadian aviation industry, Air Transat has signed the first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) offtake agreement in this country with clean fuel developer SAF + Consortium to help meet greenhouse gas emission targets and reduce its environment footprint.
Following on the heels of Etihad, Aeroplan has added Azul Brazilian Airlines to its roster of airline travel partners.
Air France and KLM, which have continued to serve Canada throughout the pandemic will continue to increase operations in July and August. This will include added flights as well as resuming service between Toronto and Paris for Air France, and flying out of Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary for KLM, for a total of 28 flights a week, or 37% of the 75 weekly flights originally scheduled.
Trafalgar’s new ‘Near Not Far Limited Series’ of guided vacations in Canada is designed to appeal to residents of this country who can’t, or don’t want to, travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. With two departures each starting in September, the three tours include a nine-day “Maritimes Adventure” trip; seven-day “Escape to the Rockies,” and nine-day “Enchanting Châteaux of Ontario and Quebec.” Check the web site for dates and details.
Meanwhile, Trafagar/Costsaver have introduced an initiative that allows groups to pay a surcharge in order to ensure their trip is private. Applicable to European departures in fall, winter and spring, the surcharge ranges from 10% for 20 to 25 pax, 20% for 16 to 19, and 30% for 12 to 15.
The new Travel with Confidence Plus Collection of tours by G Adventures is designed re-assure clients with a program of 37 trips in 27 countries that incorporate additional social distancing measures to compliment the small group operator’s new hygiene protocols across all its tours. The Plus collection, offered from Oct. 2 to Dec. 31, 2021, includes smaller group sizes, private transport, 50% off private room rates, and no multi-share accommodation or shared bathroom facilities.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has unveiled plans to open its first hotels in Nepal and Bhutan, while also announcing the recent opening of the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dwarka—the first Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotel in India. All three hotels are part of Wyndham’s larger efforts to significantly expand its footprint across the Indian subcontinent and are complemented by additional properties in the region that either recently opened or are slated to open over the next nine months. The new properties include Ramada Encore by Wyndham Kathmandu Thamel (Nepal) opening in August, Ramada by Wyndham Valley Thimpu (Bhutan) in 2021, and Ramada by Wyndham Mussoorie Mall Road (India).
AMResorts opened its newest Mexican resort on July 2, Dreams Vista Cancun Golf & Spa Resort. Set in the exclusive gated community of Puerta del Mar, adjacent to Puerto Cancun Golf Course, the resort has 416 rooms overlooking the Caribbean Sea and is located 30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport.
More than 90 different itineraries across the globe will be offered by MSC Cruises in 2020/21. Highlights of the newly released program include the cruise line’s third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages program. Departures are scheduled to start in late October and MSC says its entire fleet (photo), including two new vessels currently under construction, will be sailing by March 21. In the meantime, all company operations in the US are suspended until Sept. 15.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
After being closed for nearly four months, Walt Disney World has begun a phased re-opening with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom welcoming guests on Saturday, to be followed by EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on July 15. Aside from various pandemic safety protocols, the parks will limit the number of guests and require those with tickets or passes to make advance reservations online.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Agents will earn 5X ACV&ME points when booking any Canada flight and hotel package, tour or hotel with Air Canada Vacations for travel through April 30, 2021. This promotion is not applicable for groups.
Expedia is fast-tracking members of its Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) to Silver tier status and increasing their earnings potential by up to 42%. Any agency based in Canada joining Expedia TAAP, as well as existing partners that haven’t used the tool for over 12 months, are eligible and will automatically be enrolled as a Silver partner for the rest of the year. This incentive also unlocks discount package rates for clients on average of 20%.
Canada’s first-ever, nation-wide virtual Travel and Leisure Show, presented by The Globe and Mail, will take place Sept. 10 and 12 with the former designated for the travel trade and the latter for consumers. Attendance is free. Participants will have an opportunity to explore destinations with their own devices. Multiple travel service providers will also participate and attendees will be able to access exhibitor videos, download brochures and virtually chat with representatives at their own pace, similar to the way they would in-person at traditional shows. An estimated 5,000 travel professionals are expected to attend the virtual event. Pre-registration information is available HERE.
Air France KLM has named a new vice-president and general manager in Canada. Catherine Guillemart-Dias takes the reins on Aug. 1 succeeding Vincent Etchebehere, who returns to Paris. Guillemart-Dias is a 13-year veteran of the Group, most recently working in Atlanta for Delta Air Lines.
The long-time vision for Anaheim’s “Platinum Triangle” – the the 330-hectare area surrounding the Honda Center (hockey) and Angel Stadium (baseball) – is finally taking shape with plans announced for a new mixed-used community that will include homes, offices, parks and plazas, and a sports and entertainment hub with hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues (rendering above). Visit Anaheim says the area will be a major draw for visitors, the first phase of which will open in 2024.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation’s new, free mobile app provides an easy-to-use resource and tool for consumers planning a visit to The Islands of The Bahamas. Key features of the app include downloadable island guides, flight charter request processing and recommendations based on the user’s geo-location within The Bahamas. It also highlights current deals, Bahamas.com blog posts, an interactive map and suggests top activities for adventure, relaxation and romance.
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* Future dates and events listed here are up to date at time of publication, although obviously subject to changes due to ever-involving pandemic information. Travel Industry Today accepts no responsibility for sudden or unreported inaccuracies.
First published at Travel Industry Today