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ROUND-UP: Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2022

Canada and Colombia announced a new air agreement last week, while ACTA launched a new advocacy initiative. Other highlights included a sneak peak at ACV’s summer program 2023, new addition to Swoop’s fleet, TIAC’s annual tourism award winners, and details on the Winter Lights Across Canada program.

NEWS

Canada and Colombia have announced an expanded air transport agreement between the two countries that will allows designated airlines of both countries to operate an unlimited number of passenger and cargo flights to an unlimited number of destinations in Canada and Colombia. The previous agreement allowed only 14 passenger and 14 cargo flights per week. Colombia is currently Canada’s largest South American international air transport market.

ACTA is launching a new member survey as part of its supplier advocacy initiatives to take the pulse of members on key supplier issues, including airlines, cruise lines, river cruise companies, tour operators, and consolidators. “Advocacy on supplier issues remains a critical priority for ACTA and this survey ensures that we continue to act on the issues most important to members,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA President. Take the survey HERE.

Toronto Pearson is now using satellite-based data and modern flight management systems to help airplanes arrive at the same time on parallel runways, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and noise caused by descending airplanes.
Pearson is the second airport in Canada to roll out the procedures after Calgary International Airport did in 2018.

AIR

This December, starting from the 16th, Sunwing is returning to Hamilton with five weekly direct flights from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to tropical locales in Cuba, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop welcomed its sixth new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with WO flight 360 from Toronto to Halifax. In just under 10 months, the airline has added six new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to its existing fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 NGs, bringing its total fleet size to 16 aircraft. The addition reflects Swoop’s growth in 2022, adding 12 new destinations to its network with more to come in 2023.

Three additional routes have been announced by Flair Airlines for 2023 as the airline expands its presence in Ontario. Kitchener-Waterloo to Abbotsford begins May 9 with three times weekly service; Toronto to Kelowna begins June 9 with service twice weekly; and Ottawa to Thunder Bay’s two times weekly service begins June 10. All flights are non-stop.

Indian conglomerate Tata Sons says it will merge its Air India with Vistara, which it jointly runs with Singapore Airlines, in a major step toward revamping the country’s debt-laden national carrier. The merger will strengthen Singapore Airlines’ foothold in India’s fast-growing aviation market, the company said in a statement. It is also expected to bolster the Tata Group’s competitive position in the market against the country’s dominant carrier, IndiGo.

DEALS

With the tour operator’s “Cubamania” promotion, Air Transat clients can book all-inclusive packages to Cuba starting at $749, including checked bag. The offer is valid on new individual bookings made by Dec. 15, 2022, for travel between by Oct. 31, 2023. Some exceptions apply.

Today (Dec. 5) is the final day for Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Greatest Deal Ever,” which enables the second guest to sail free for any voyage on any NCL ship. The promo can be combined with the Free At Sea offer, where travellers can choose up to six free perks including: unlimited open bar; specialty dining; shore excursions credits; WiFi; airfare for the second guest when airfare is purchased for the first guest; discounted rates for friends and family, which offers guests three and four, regardless of age, to sail free or at a reduced rate of $99 p.p. based on select sailings when sharing a stateroom with guests one and two.

Aurora Expeditions is waiving the single supplement on some of its most popular Arctic and global voyages when booked and deposited before Dec. 31, representing savings of up to 50%. Non-solo travellers can receive up to 20% off all Arctic and global 2023 voyages when booked and deposited by the same date.

TOURS

Air Canada Vacations teased its summer 2023 vacation lineup boasting the return of key seasonal sun destinations like Saint Lucia, Aruba, Grenada, Curaçao and Liberia in Costa Rica. As well, the 2023 summer schedule will feature daily flights to Hawaii, Florida and California and an updated flying schedule for many cities in Europe – including Barcelona and Athens (ideal for an cruise offerings). US hotspots include Miami, New York, and Hawaii.

Collette reports a surge in sales for its Explorations Tours in Italy, so much so that the program has made up 11% of the company’s total revenue for 2022, with travellers rating them as excellent 78% of the time. The tour operator’s ‘Best of Italy’ Small Groups Explorations Tour lets travellers immerse themselves into the country’s culture with activities ranging from a wine-infused mud treatment or spending the day in Ravenna for a guided tour of its mosaics to walking tours in Rome or touring the city’s famed catacombs.

HOTELS

The recently opened Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport hotel is owned by Long Plain First Nation, which is located on Treaty One Territory on Long Plain Madison Reserve, the city’s first urban reserve. The 132-room, which celebrates Indigenous culture through art, a tranquil colour scheme inspired by the Earth, and more. “Ode’ Ackiing” is written in black lettering behind the check-in desk, which translates to “Heart Land” in Ojibway. Manoomin restaurant (“Wild Rice”), features Manitoba ingredients like bison, berries, grains, granola, seeds, and pickerel on an earth-inspired menu by Executive Chef Jennifer Ballantyne of Opaskwayak Cree Nation at the helm.

Located four blocks from ‘Miracle Mile,’ the new Loews Coral Gables boasts 242 guestrooms, including 21 stylish suites featuring a sophisticated, modern design, luxe amenities, spa, fitness centre, pool and four restaurants and lounges. Additionally, a 9th floor event deck with spectacular views of downtown Coral Gables. The hotel is the second property in the greater Miami area, for Loews Hotels & Co, joining the 790-room Loews Miami Beach Hotel, located in the epicentre of South Beach.

RESORTS

Marriott International, Inc. will soon begin construction on the W All-Inclusive Punta Cana in Uvero Alto (photo rendering), an adults-only all-inclusive luxury property in the Dominican Republic. The hotel is expected to be the first W Hotels property in the market and one of the first W All-Inclusive resorts globally. W All-Inclusive Punta Cana Uvero Alto is anticipated to feature 349 guest rooms with balconies and plunge pools, as well as several suites. With immersive adult-focused programming, plans for the resort include a spa with 11 treatment rooms, a retail area, three pools with pool bars and eleven food and beverage destinations. It is expected to open in 2025.

CRUISE

Small ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has partnered with the Coral Gardeners, a Mo’orea (French Polynesia)-based organization determined to revolutionize ocean conservation and create a global movement to save the coral reefs through reef restoration, awareness activities, and innovative solutions. The team works to grow, plant, and monitor thousands of heat-resilient corals with the goal of bringing life back to the ocean. The three-year partnership begins this month with Windstar’s $35,000 donation to Coral Gardeners to adopt coral for all guests sailing with Windstar in French Polynesia for the remainder of 2022.

Aurora Expeditions has launched its second purpose-built small ship, Sylvia Earle, which will embark on her inaugural voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Antarctica on Dec. 10. The state-of-the-art expedition ship will be a floating ambassador for the conservation of the planet. With its strong focus on education and conservation, the new Sylvia Earle is designed to accommodate an average 132 passengers per voyage in a relaxed, fun, and informal onboard setting.

BY THE NUMBERS

MSC Cruises says it reached a new milestone with more bookings in October than it has ever had for one month in its entire history. Nearly 400,000 passenger bookings were taken last month for winter 2022/23 and summer 2023 itineraries across its global fleet.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park for 24 select nights (through Dec. 22) this holiday season. This event offers an evening of merriment featuring “Minnie’s Wonder Christmastime Fireworks,” “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” complimentary cookies and hot cocoa at locations throughout the park, three jolly new photo opportunities and more (separate ticketed event).
EVENTS

The Jamaica Tourist Board’s Jamaica Virtual Product Showcase takes place Wed. Dec. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. EST. The free event, which will offer agents a chance to hear the latest island news, and meet with tour operators, hotels, and other travel suppliers, is casual and can be attended on a drop-in basis. Prizes will be offered. Register HERE.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has announced the winners of its 22nd annual Canadian Tourism Awards – designed to reward success, leadership, and innovation in the industry. Notable winners included: Great Wolf Lodge – Niagara Falls; The Mi’kmaq Heritage Path Tour, NB; AREA 506 Waterfront Container Village, St. John, NB; ERTCU Travel Group; Eagle Wing Tours; Kaleigh Potts, Adventure Canada; Karla and Matthew Bailey, Must Do Canada; and Tourism Kingston.

Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s Communications Manager Ryan Rogers was recognized with the TIAC 30 Under 30 Achiever Award, one of 30 individuals 30 years of age and younger across Canada, working in tourism and recognized for their contribution to the development of the industry. A member of the Musqueam Nation, Rogers completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC Sauder School of Business in April 2020. Starting as an intern with the Indigenous Tourism Association of BC, he now has over six years of experience in the Indigenous tourism industry.

DESTINATIONS

Nearly 40 years after the lights went out, Battersea Power Station (photo) in London has re-opened with the architectural masterpiece having been transformed into a public venue featuring shops, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Dating to 1929, Battersea Power Station at its peak supplied a fifth of London’s electricity, including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. The building was dismantled in 1983 and subsequently several failed attempts were made to rebuild the site.

The 38th Winter Lights Across Canada program, formerly known as Christmas Lights Across Canada, will begin on Dec. 8 and run until Jan. 8, 2023. The colourful program, celebrating the winter season, is highlighted by a multimedia projection on Parliament Hill and the Pathway of Lights, in Ottawa, and a TV show presented by IllumiNATION showcasing Canadian talent on Dec. 21.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1976, the first commercial flight landed at Mirabel International Airport.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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