ROUND-UP: May 22-26, 2023
Last week, there was good news for Canadian trusted travellers; two Canadian carriers boosted their codeshare; Sandals unveiled its newest resort; there were flash sales galore; and Allianz stepped up – again – for Dreams Take Flight.
The federal government will roll out a tweaked verified traveller program starting in June that will feature dedicated security screening lines at Toronto Pearson, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. Eligible passengers will include Nexus members, aviation workers and military and RCMP officers, who will be able to pass through security more quickly. Program changes include allowing trusted travellers to keep laptops and liquids stowed in their luggage instead of placing them separately onto the X-ray conveyor belt. Children under 18 and adults 75 or older can also now accompany program members through the expedited queues.
Starting May 30, the Canadian tourism industry will be saying “Bonjour Quebec!” as its congregates in Quebec City for Rendez-vous Canada 2023. The annual tourism marketplace is held in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada with the aim of showcasing Canada’s “beauty and warm hospitality” to international travel trade.
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways must abandon their partnership in the northeast United States, a federal judge in Boston has ruled, saying that the government proved the deal reduces competition in the airline industry.
New data from UNWTO, expressed in its second World Tourism Barometer of the year, shows that the sector’s swift recovery has continued into 2023. Overall, international arrivals reached 80% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2023 with an estimated 235 million tourists having travelled internationally in the first three months, more than double the same period of 2022.
As part of the second phase of the codeshare agreement between Air Transat and Porter Airlines, the carriers have added more connections, enabling travellers to take advantage of additional routes linking Canada to destinations in the South, the US and Europe. The partnership, initially launched last October, will allow Porter Airlines’ domestic flights to be combined with Air Transat’s flights via a connection at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and now Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) effective June 1.
Canadians will be able to fly to Martinique directly from Toronto for the first time with the launch of new Air Canada flights this winter to the French Caribbean island, complimenting existing service from Montreal. The non-stop, five-hour flight between YYZ and Fort-de-France will be aboard Airbus A220 aircraft with a capacity of 137 seats.
Nonstop transborder service between Winnipeg and Atlanta by WestJet will commence on Sept. 6, operating five times weekly, on a year-round basis.
BY THE NUMBERS
Air Canada posted a record $4.9 billion in revenue in the first quarter – nearly double what it earned a year ago. The quarter also marked the second in a row where the carrier has turned a profit following 11 straight quarters of losses totalling $10.1 billion.
It’s last chance for Elite Island Resorts’ “Summer Nights” Caribbean travel promotion, which give travellers their first night free on a minimum three-night stay. The incentive must be booked by May 31 for travel through Dec. 21 (new bookings only). Resorts include all of the company’s all-inclusive properties in Antigua (Pineapple Beach Club, St. James’s Club & Villas, and The Verandah Resort & Spa), as well as The Club in Barbados. Call 1-800-858-4618.
The ‘Book early, get plenty’ promo from Transat invites Canadian travellers to plan their winter getaway right away to benefit from plenty of perks, including up to $400 off per pair; Price Drop Guarantee up to $200/adult and $100/child; reduced deposit of $100 p.p.; future travel credit of $50/adult and $25/child; 50% off Option Flex Standard. Plus, travel agents get 5X BONBON per booking, which means $25 per room. Also, they get a chance to win one of five packages for two to a Hyatt Inclusive Collection resort. The promotion applies to new individual bookings of Transat South packages made by June 29 for travel between Sept. 1 and April 30, 2024.
Club Med’s flash sale, which offers up to 50% off stays, plus kids under 16 years old stay free (one child per paying adult) concludes May 30. Participating properties include Club Med Québec Charlevoix, Club Med Cancun, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Club Med Punta Cana, Club Med Turkoise, Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Club Med Columbus, Club Med La Caravelle and Club Med Buccaneer’s. Travel must take place between June 17 and Dec. 15.
Karisma Hotels & Resorts is celebrating the opening of its newest location, Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Maya, Mexico with a five-day flash sale. Dubbed the ‘5 O’Clock Somewhere Sale,’ guests will save up to 60% off their stay if they secure their trip between June 1 and 5. And to sweeten the pot further, the resort is offering a lucky guest the chance to win a free trip and invite-only access to the resort’s Grand Opening festivities through a massive sweepstakes. The contest’s winner will receive a four-day/three-night all-inclusive Island Reserve Inclusive stay for two, plus $1,000 towards airline tickets.
A limited time sale by Qatar Airways is offering fares starting at CDN$1,220 to the carrier’s 160 global destinations. The sale continues until May 30 for travel starting July 10 through March 31, 2024.
Cunard’s new luxury line, the Queen Anne, will set sail on her first-ever World Voyage on Jan. 9, 2025, visiting five continents and stopping at more than 30 ports on a 107-night voyage, roundtrip out of Southampton, England. She will offer nine overnight calls in destinations such as Honolulu, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Dubai, as well as three late evening departures, giving guests time to explore each city to the fullest.
In 2024, a newly enhanced and “hassle free” 12-day New Zealand Adventure by Adventures by Disney includes the opportunity for guests to participate in the America’s Cup yachting experience in Auckland, dinner with a Maori family, seeing glow worms in an underground cave, visiting a kiwi bird hatchery, gazing a geysers in a geothermal park, and much more.
The all-new Sandals Dunn’s River has opened to guests as the 17th resort in the Sandals Resorts portfolio. Having debuted over 30 years ago, the 260-room Ocho Rios all-inclusive is “utterly transformed” – except for the stunning stretch of white sand beach it inhabits. Highlights include Tufa Terrace SkyPool Butler Suites, a first in Jamaica with glass panel edge infinity pools spanning the length of balconies flanked by views of the Caribbean Sea; Coyaba Sky Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suites with Private Pools; new culinary concepts, and the brand’s first-ever signature fragrance, which greets guests upon arrival to the open-air lobby.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts its preparing to open a new luxury property in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, the luxury chain’s fourth hotel in the country. Expected to open later this year, Four Seasons Hotel Rabat at Kasr Al Bahr will be set within a 19th-century palace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, 90 minutes from Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport. The property will feature seven restaurants and lounges; a spa with well-appointed treatment rooms and an indoor pool; several outdoor resort-style pools; as well as expansive conference and event space.
Over the next two years, Quebec’s Le Westin Tremblant is investing over $15 million to revitalize the hotel, including two new restaurant and bars operated by Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality, a world-class spa and fitness facilities, and the complete renewal of all 122 guestrooms, public spaces, meeting rooms, banquet and facilities.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi opened May 23. The all-new experience in the United Arab Emirates features interactive family fun and eight themed realms to uncover.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Travel advisors will earn a booking incentive for each new custom safari (excluding specials, Classic Safari Vacation Packages, and groups) booked with TravCorp brand African Travel Inc. (ATI), through Dec. 15. Plus, advisors will receive up to 15% commission on land safaris and savings of up to 30% for themselves and a travel companion. When they have five plus bookings, advisors can travel with three guests. The tour operator encourages advisors to sign up for its specialist program for access to marketing and event support, educational trips, new client amenities, the Agent Academy, and the new ATI summer webinar series. To receive the travel discount advisors must be registered for the program and complete the Academy courses before travel. (www.africantravelinc.com/advisor)
As an added incentive, new bookings made with Karisma Hotels & Resorts for its Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts and the Margaritaville brands before July 31 for travel through Dec. 15 will receive Double Gourmet Inclusive points when registered by the agent in their account via Karisma’s travel agent portal.
Allianz Global Assistance (Allianz) reports it is again proudly sponsoring travel insurance for over 1,000 kids and volunteers who will take a trip-of-a-lifetime with Dreams Take Flight in 2023. Eight flights are scheduled throughout the year to give children facing mental, physical, or social adversity a magical day at Disney. For over 10 years, Allianz has been Dreams Take Flight’s national sponsor for travel insurance.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state agency providing tourism management for the Hawaiian Islands, has renewed destination brand management and marketing services in Canada with Toronto-based VoX International for another 2.5 years beginning on June 30 with an option for a two-year extension. VoX has managed the account since 2017.
Nada Semaan has been announced as Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority for a five-year term. CATSA is a Crown corporation mandated with protecting people through effective and efficient screening of air travellers and their baggage.
Having recently concluded its 41st annual conference in Barbados, Jamaica was announced as next year’s venue for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The event will take place next May in Montego Bay.
The Travel Agent Next Door’s 10th annual conference will be in Jordan in 2024, but never mind registering, it promptly sold out in 45 seconds. The event was announced at TTAND’s recent national conference and marks the first time it will be held outside North America. For the record, the 2024 event will be held in partnership with G Adventures and Royal Jordanian Airlines from April 20 to 24. Activities will include a candlelit private dinner in Petra and an afternoon at the Dead Sea. Bruce Poon Tip, founder and CEO of G Adventures will be a keynote speaker.
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano has been coating nearby towns with ash and disrupting flights at Mexico City‘s airport, the busiest in Latin America. Approximately 25 million people live within 100 km of the mountain. Hundreds of explosions have spit lava from the snow-tipped peak of the volcano. Volcanologists say that, while a massive eruption doesn’t appear imminent, eruptions are likely to continue, as they have for three decades.
France has formalized its ban on domestic flights for journeys that can be completed in less than two-and-a-half hours by train. The move was included in a 2021 climate law is actually already in practice. The change mostly rules out air trips between Paris and regional hubs such as Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux, with connecting flights unaffected.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, about 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland.
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First published at Travel Industry Today