Global Travel and Lifestyle News Network

ROUND-UP: Nov. 27-Dec. 04, 2023

A fiery crash at the border, the re-instatement of Indian visas, and a government tourism investment program highlighted last weeks news. Other items included StatsCan’s suggestion that airfares are dropping, new trans-border flights from WestJet and Porter, and a new Disney milestone in Hong Kong.


Terrorism was ruled out after a vehicle exploded at a checkpoint on the American side of the US-Canada bridge in Niagara Falls Wednesday, leaving two people dead and prompting the closing of four border crossings in the area, including the Rainbow Bridge where the crash happened for an extended period.

Canadians can apply online for tourist visas to India once again. The reversal comes two months after India stopped processing visas at its Canadian missions and for Canadian citizens abroad after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada’s intelligence services had credible information about “a potential link” between India’s government and the killing of Canadian Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

With tourism to this country projected to grow significantly in the coming years, the federal government has launched an investment program that will provide $108 million over the next three years to support tourism projects across the country to help meet the goal of attracting 40% more visitors by the end of the decade. The launch of the Tourism Growth Program (TGP) comes after Canadian tourism suffered some of its worst years in history (due to the pandemic), says the government, of an industry that supports almost two million jobs and contributes $38 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2022.

A parliamentary committee is launching an investigation into accessibility at Canadian airlines, with a focus on the country’s two largest carriers. Following a motion put forward by NDP lawmaker Taylor Bachrach, the federal transport committee voted to undertake a study on the state of accessible transportation for Canadians living with disabilities as well as the regulatory regime surrounding it.



WestJet has announced (photo) new, year-round, daily service connecting Regina and Minneapolis starting April 28, 2024. The route is Regina’s first year-round transborder service since 2016 and marks the province’s second direct route to the Midwest US, following the launch of WestJet’s year-round service between Saskatoon and Minneapolis, launched in June.

Porter Airlines began two new routes to Orlando International Airport (MCO) last week, with flights departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Ottawa International Airport (YOW). The start of service to Orlando marks the third new Florida destination that Porter has touched down since the start of November, following Tampa and Fort Myers.

Portuguese carrier Azores Airlines is now offering the Simple fare on all of its routes, Simple represents the tickets with the lowest purchase price in Azores Airlines’ Economy Class and includes hand luggage up to 8 kg. It has been designed for those who wish to travel with cabin luggage only. This fare competes in a market segment that prioritizes price over other attributes and has been the target of growing demand.


Statistics Canada says airfares have plummeted over the past year, as airlines shore up capacity, even while consumers think twice about travelling in a world of higher costs. In its consumer price index (CPI), the agency said the price of air transportation dropped 19.4% last month compared with October 2022. The figure follows a roughly 21% year-over-year drop in September and a 20% decrease in August, after rampant post-pandemic demand last year outstripped carriers’ capacity to meet it, resulting in sky-high fares. The data also showed airfares declined 4% on a monthly basis in October, when they typically rise ahead of the holiday season.


Many Black Friday deals remain active until today (Monday), and some beyond. For our latest list of what’s available, click HERE.

There are plenty of travel deals still available through CheapOair on Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday (Nov. 26-27), reports the company.


Tauck is expanding its partnership with Rocky Mountaineer to introduce two new North American journeys that each feature a scenic two-day rail component. The two new itineraries are the eight-day “Salt Lake City to Denver by Rocky Mountaineer” and the 10-day “The Best of Western Canada & Rocky Mountaineer.” The two companies already partner on a third itinerary, “Vancouver & the Rockies by Rocky Mountaineer.”

A new brochure launching Collette’s 106th season of travel is now available. The 2024 brochure boasts 170 tours – including several new tours – and the revamped ‘Passport Club’ loyalty program. The guide can be seen on Collette’s website.


The new Crowne Plaza hotel in Saint John, NB, offers 135 guests rooms an on-site restaurant and indoor pool. The pet-friendly property was converted and renovated and is located within walking distance of downtown

IHG Hotels & Resorts Indigo brand has debuted in Sydney, Australia, with the unveiling of the 105-room Hotel Indigo Sydney Potts Point. Tucked behind the city’s prominent neon Coca-Cola sign, the boutique hotel marks a new chapter in the property’s history thanks to a multi-million-dollar refurbishment inspired by the eclectic Kings Cross neighbourhood that’s been a place for creatives and revellers for nearly a century.


Jamaica’s hotel boom continues with the official opening of Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort, an adults-only resort located in the heart of Montego Bay. With 352 modern rooms, featuring and suites with terraces or balconies with spectacular views, plus 12 diverse dining options, pristine pools, a private islet, and plenty of entertainment, the oceanfront property is the fifth Blue Diamond brand resort in Jamaica.

Carlisle Bay in Antigua will celebrate its 20th anniversary in December with a series of events for guests and staff at the hotel. Located on the idyllic southern coast of Antigua, the luxury resort boasts turquoise waters, a powdery white sand beach, a lagoon, and lush tropical gardens. Comprised of 87 contemporary luxury suites, each with its own private balcony or terrace leading directly to the beach, the hotel also offers guests four diverse restaurants and bars with a varied choice of global cuisine using locally grown produce.


The new groups program from Windstar Cruises makes it easier than ever for travel advisor partners to earn a tour conductor credit (AKA sail for free). For a limited time, in addition to the tour conductor credit earned, advisors receive a $100 per guest bonus commission after booking seven guests. The group promotion is combinable with Windstar’s lowest available fare, plus a 10% group savings. In addition, travel advisors can offer their clients an exclusive $100 per guest onboard credit, as well as a complimentary cocktail party on board with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The offer is available through Nov. 30.

MSC Cruises has implemented a new itinerary for MSC Orchestra for this winter. The ship will now offer seven-night voyages from Dec. 16 to April 19, 2024, calling Valencia, Spain; Cagliari, Sardinia; Civitavecchia for Rome, Livorno for Pisa and Florence, Italy; Marseille, France, and Palma in Mallorca before returning to Valencia. This new program has been introduced to replace the Red Sea itineraries that had been cancelled due to the proximity of some of the ports of call to Israel and the restrictions in place in some bordering countries. MSC Cruises also reports that its Canadian website,, is now available in both English and French.


Hong Kong Disneyland opened its first ‘Frozen’-themed attraction last week. Based on Disney’s wildly popular Frozen animation film, the new section of the Hong Kong park, dubbed “World of Frozen,” features landscapes and characters from the movie and two new rides, a roller coaster and a boat ride that takes visitors through different scenes featured in the film. Elsewhere in its international landscape, Disney plans to launch a Zootopia-themed area at its Shanghai Disneyland in December, a Fantasy Springs port at Tokyo DisneySea next spring and a Frozen-themed Kingdom of Arendelle at Disneyland Paris, slated to open in either 2024 or 2025.


Windstar Cruises’ first-ever winter and holiday itineraries in Europe are now available for booking, including a special “Sell One & Sail Free” incentive for travel advisors. Agents who make a reservation through Dec. 31 for one of the “Legendary Winter in the Mediterranean” cruises (sailing from December to April 2024) earn a complimentary suite for themselves and a guest. More details are available HERE.


The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced that the bid for hosting the PATA Annual Summit 2024 has been awarded to the Macao Government Tourism Office. The annual event will be held from May 15 to 17, 2024 at the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort Macau and will bring together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are professionally engaged in driving tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.


Discover the World Canada has been appointed as the Canadian sales representative for South African Airways. For support, contact national sales manager Sharon Minos at

Travel industry leaders Roger Dow, former president and CEO of the US Travel Association, Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of Destination DC, and Peter F. Herschend, co-founder of Herschend Enterprises, were inducted into the US Travel Association Hall of Leaders at a ceremony last week. Dow was the 2022 inductee while Ferguson and Herschend were the 2023 honorees.


Fort Lauderdale takes diversity seriously – so much so that the Visit Lauderdale’s float (rendering above) in the upcoming Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Cal., was specially designed to amplify its “Everyone Under the Sun” brand campaign, which welcomes people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and disabilities. “This float will bring our exceptional destination to life and in full bloom,” says Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “It’s an organic blend of sights and sounds representative of the diverse people and iconic attractions, showcasing to the world.”

Venice has rolled out a pilot program to charge day-trippers 5 euros ($7.45) apiece to enter the fragile lagoon city next year in an effort to reduce crowds, encourage longer visits and improve the quality of life for residents. In all, 29 days from April to mid-July – including most weekends – will be subject to the day-tripper fee during peak hours from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. A host of exemptions also apply, notably for tourists who have hotel or other lodging reservations.

Starting on Jan. 16, a website,, will go live at which visitors can “reserve” their day in Venice.


In 1969, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet got its first public preview as 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, flew from Seattle to New York.

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First published at Travel Industry Today

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