ROUND-UP: Oct. 17-21, 2022
Canada’s airlines dominated the news last week: Transat and Porter paired up, as did WestJet and Pacific Coastal; Canada Jetlines announced a new plane and route (Toronto-Vancouver); Air Canada got cooking with Destination Canada; and Sunwing announced flights from Northern Ontario. Also, ACTA wants Ontario agents’ opinions on TICO and the Compensation Fund.
ACTA is inviting members of Ontario’s travel trade to weigh in on the Travel Industry Council of Ontario’s recently announced review of its funding model and the Compensation Fund. Travel agencies and independent travel agents are encouraged to submit their opinions via an online survey by 5 p.m. EST, Oct. 26, to ensure it is analyzed in advance of the government submission. Access the survey HERE.
The latest US Business Travel Tracker reports that while companies are increasingly paring back pandemic-era restrictions on business travel, there are developing storm clouds in the form of persistently high inflation and a looming recession. According to the Tracker, many companies slashed their business travel budgets during the pandemic, but less than half of companies (42%) still have policies in place restricting business travel – down from 50% in Q2.
Destination Canada and Air Canada have come together to showcase Canadian cuisine by creating a cookbook designed to showcase Canadian cuisine and its practitioners. “Canada’s Best New Cookbook,” authored by Amy Rosen and published by IndigoPress, features mouth-watering recipes from more than 30 restaurants and stories that explore the unique culinary regions and personalities across Canada. The book is available in stores in English and French editions and each book sold supports future hospitality professionals through the work of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation.
Canada’s much publicized border woes continue to edge towards pre-pandemic standards reports Transport Canada in its most recent update, reflecting data from the week before Thanksgiving. For the week of Oct. 3-9, 99% of flights planned for Canada’s top four airports were completed (i.e., not cancelled); an improvement from 95% for the first week of July; from Oct. 3-9, 91% of flights from the top four airports left on time, or within one hour of their scheduled departure – an improvement from under 75% for the first week of July; and the number of arriving international flights being held on the tarmac at Toronto-Pearson was 0.6%, or 12 international flight arrivals, compared to the peak of 373 during the first week of May.
Air Transat and Porter Airlines have launched a new bilateral codeshare. Air Transat is now using its “TS” code on flights operated by Porter Airlines between Toronto’s Billy Bishop and Montreal as well as between Halifax and Montreal. Travellers are then able to easily connect to or from a destination served by Air Transat via Montreal. This winter, connections to and from Paris, London and Lisbon are available, as well as domestic and several South destinations. Additional connection to and from the US will be rolled out later this year. Codeshare flights are currently available for bookings made via Air Transat for departures as of Nov. 2, 2022.
In mid-December, residents of Northern Ontario can to the South with greater ease with the return of weekly Sunwing flights from Sudbury and North Bay. Flights from the former to Punta Cana start Dec. 14, through April 12, while Varadero service begins from the latter Dec. 15 through April 13.
WestJet and Pacific Coastal Airlines have launched a reciprocal interline relationship, the first interline collaboration for Pacific Coastal Airlines. The new interline expands the existing relationship between the airlines, through which Pacific Coastal Airlines operates all WestJet Link flights on behalf of WestJet under a capacity purchase agreement, serving 11 communities in Alberta and British Columbia.
Canada Jetlines has signed a lease agreement for a second Airbus A320 aircraft, with delivery of the aircraft expected by Nov. 30. A new route – YYZ-YVR – will follow in December. The carrier conducted its inaugural flight on Sept. 22.
Starting Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 respectively, Air Canada will resume flights to Lima (LIM) from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL), replacing Air Canada Rouge. Both routes will be operated on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with a capacity of 298 passengers and will include one to three flights seasonally.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has announced new offerings for 2023, including new and updated itineraries, excursions, and cruise extension options. Highlights include four new itineraries across Europe and beyond. The 15-day Grand Central Europe, 10-day Zurich & the Rhine River Valley, eight-day Belgian Holiday Markets itinerary, on May 20, the 46-night Rivers of the World cruise will take guests to nine countries aboard five luxury Super Ships. Additionally, Uniworld’s ‘Nights Out’ private evening experiences will be included on almost every European itinerary in 2023 and new immersive shore excursions will be added to the Masterpiece Collection portfolio, available to guests at an added cost.
North American tour operator, Big Five Tours & Expeditions has launched a new interactive digital gateway geared towards connecting travel advisor partners and their clients while providing all travel information in one central hub, before, during and after a trip. “Portal Five” is designed to assist advisors in creating lasting bonds with their travellers and provide content to keep the conversation going after the travellers return home, including providing content on destinations the clients visited, updates on the Spirit of the Big Five Foundation project their previous trip supported, as well as sustainable efforts being made thanks to the support that journey generated. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to the brand, Hilton at The Key, Arlington-Rosslyn, a state of the art, full-service hotel just minutes from Washington, D.C. Located at the foot of the Potomac River’s historic Francis Scott Key Bridge in Arlington, Va., the 36-storey, 331-room property is surrounded by numerous corporate headquarters based in Rosslyn’s business district and minutes from the riverfront Fort Bennett Park and Palisades Trail. The modern hotel is under development as part of The Key, a project that includes a destination restaurant, street-level retail, plus panoramas of the water and the nation’s capital. It is located within steps of the Rosslyn Metro Station, Georgetown, and the National Mall, and is less than five minutes from Reagan International Airport.
Following the success of the Royalton CHIC Resorts concept in Cancun and Punta Cana, Blue Diamond Resorts has announced the opening of Royalton CHIC Antigua in late 2023. Located on idyllic Dickenson Bay Beach, the fully renovated adults-only 227 room five-star beachfront resort is located 20 minutes from V. C. Bird International Airport and will feature day-to-night activities available such as themed pool parties and DJ sets, as well as a six gourmet dining experiences, including an over-water restaurant, five bars and a world-class spa.
New wellness programming for kids has been introduced at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Maui, Hawaii. Children ages 5 through 12 can learn how to centre themselves with breathing and visualization techniques, as well as improve coordination, strengthen their bodies, and increase flexibility. Restorative Sound Bath immerses pint-sized guests into a full body listening experience that intentionally uses sound to invite gentle yet powerful therapeutic and restorative nurturing. Yoga Sculpt combines power yoga and strength training while silk hammocks welcome all levels in an AntiGravity Yoga session.
Stylish Montego Bay property S Hotel Jamaica (photo) is offering guests a free night when making a booking by Jan. 6 for travel Jan. 6-April 30, 2023. The offer includes a sixth night when a minimum five are booked. The beachfront S Hotel has 120 rooms and agents earn commission on all bookings made directly to the hotel or through the GDS.
Beginning in 2023, Avalon Waterways is lifting the spirits of its guests at “Happy Hour” on Suite Ships across Europe with free house beer, wine, and spirits as well as a featured cocktail of the day.
Explora Journeys, MSC’s luxury lifestyle travel brand, has revealed three new Alaska journeys departing from Vancouver, in summer 2024. The 11-night “Remote Wrangell and Spectacular Sitka” itinerary departs May 6, featuring Inside Passage, Wrangell, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan, Misty Fjord, Victoria, returning to Vancouver on May 17. Subsequent journeys include the 11-day “Sailing the Whale’s Highway” and 10-night “Journey of the Glaciers” concluding Aug. 28.
BY THE NUMBERS
Holland America Line‘s Rotterdam VII departed the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Oct. 15 on its historic 150th Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing. The 15-day journey recreates Holland America Line’s maiden voyage of Rotterdam I that departed the city 150 years ago today. The crossing follows the path of that first sailing to New York, with calls at Le Havre, France, and Plymouth, England.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Forces of good and evil will once again battle it out in Mickey’s dream as the long-awaited return of Fantasmic! debuts Nov. 3 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. The popular The elaborate 29-minute spectacular takes place nightly – a kaleidoscope of entertainment featuring thrilling stunts, dazzling special effects and a rousing score based on classic Disney animated films. Fantasmic! is just one of many new and returning live-entertainment experiences guests can enjoy during the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration.
Expedia Group has introduced new features to help its TAAP travel advisors, including more than 300 customizable templates for social media, email marketing, banners and more. The marketing suite is designed to help TAAP advisors gain a competitive edge by increasing visibility and engagement with travellers. Expedia Group TAAP offers access to a wide breadth of travel inventory to travel advisors, including more than one million properties, 200,000 activities, 175 car rentals and 500 airlines.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
AmaWaterways is giving agents a chance to earn Tour Conductor (TC) Credits on airfares and land packages, in addition to its river cruise TC Credit. The limited-time offer applies to all new group contracts for 10 or more guests signed with deposits paid by Dec. 31 for travel on select dates on Europe and Mekong River cruises in 2023 and 2024. Travel advisors can earn unlimited TC Credits based on one TC for every nine full-paying guests reserved in each of the three trip components – river cruise, airfare, and pre- and post-cruise land packages. Earned TC Credits can be applied to the 10th guest or group leader, or the value of the TCs can be taken as a discount shared by all guests in the group or as additional commission.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) have announced that the 8th installment of Showcase Antigua and Barbuda will take place on June 7-9, 2023. The dedicated travel trade business-to-business event is aimed at increasing business from the destination’s main source markets in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and the Caribbean and targets tour operators and buyers from overseas markets. Registration details are to come.
TL Network Canada has announced the addition of 37 new member agencies across the country to date in 2022. Lindsay Pearlman, Sr. VP International Leisure for Travel Leaders Network, stated, “Our laser focus on the needs of agencies and advisors has resulted in mega agencies joining our network, as well as agencies of all sizes and models in Canada. We are delighted to add such industry leaders as 510 Travel, Kemp Travel and many more who recognize the tremendous care and benefits we have to offer members.”
Air Transat has announced the appointment of Jhadyd Gonzalez as National Sales Manager. He takes over Julie Sareault’s former position, which she held until July this year. Gonzalez had been part of the Transat team from 2006 to ‘14 as Regional Manager Destination Services before working seven years in the airline industry as an account manager. He recently held a leadership position for a large hotel chain. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Aviation executive Jim Sullivan has been named Chief Operating Officer of Lynx Air, effective immediately. Sullivan brings more than 30 years of airline operations experience to the role, as both a pilot and an airline executive, most recently as VP of Flight Operations at JetBlue Airways.
Celebrating 40 years, the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights illuminate the city of Niagara Falls (Ontario) for 101 Nights of Twinkling Lights from Nov. 12 until Feb. 20, 2023. With over 3 million lights and 75-plus spectacular displays (photo) providing colourful visuals, Niagara Falls will be transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and across the tourist districts. Visitors to this popular annual event can bundle up and walk or drive through the Festival route to explore the outdoor, self-guided experience and warm up indoors with 40 nights of free family entertainment options.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1938, Trans-Canada Airlines (later to become Air Canada), created by an act of Parliament the year before, was ready to start carrying mail and freight between Montreal and Vancouver.
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First published at Travel Industry Today