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ROUND-UP: Oct. 3-7, 2022

In last week’s round-up: WestJet and Korea Air announced a codeshare partnership; KLM implemented a huge surcharge on some European flights; TravelBrands was back with a blast at sold-out roadshow events; and more border restrictions continued to fall.

NEWS

The WestJet Group and the Government of Alberta announced a partnership focused on advancing aviation across the province. WestJet will invest aircraft capacity, designate YYC as its single global connecting hub, grow its mid-range fleet, and strengthen its North American offerings, with its commitment to double capacity in Calgary before the end of the decade.

KLM introduced a surcharge of €250 ($338) on some European flights departing from Amsterdam. The fee increase is an attempt to reduce the number of passengers travelling out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which like many European airports has been hit hard by staff shortages. The airport also introduced a cap on passenger numbers and asked airlines to reduce schedules.

The European Commission announced four shortlisted destinations for its annual EDEN awards recognizing best achievements in sustainable tourism and green transition practices in smaller destinations across Europe. Nominated for the European Destination of Excellence 2023 award are Grevena (Greece), Kranj (Slovenia), Larnaka (Cyprus), and Trikala (Greece). The winning destination will be positioned as a tourism sustainability pioneer committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will receive expert communication and branding support at the EU level throughout 2023.

BORDERS

The United Arab Emirates, home to global business and travel hub Dubai, has eased requirements imposed over the coronavirus pandemic. The wearing of face masks is no longer required in public places, except for medical facilities, mosques, and public transportation.

As of today (Oct. 11), Individual tourists, not just authorized groups, will be able to easily enter Japan for the first time since the start of the pandemic. A cap on the number of tourists who are granted entry will be nixed altogether. And visa requirements that were imposed in response to the pandemic will also be rescinded.

Taiwan will end quarantine requirement for all arrivals in Oct. 13. The previous weeklong requirement will be replaced with a seven-day self-monitoring period and a rapid antigen test will still be required upon arrival. The current limit of 150,000 visitors allowed to enter Taiwan weekly will also be gradually relaxed.

BY THE NUMBERS

Canadian arrivals in Hawaii have almost reached pre-pandemic levels with July figures from the state showing that 25,684 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 26,939 visitors (-4.7%) in July 2019. At the same time, spending increased by 14% to US$57.1 million during the month compared to $50.1 million in July 2019 with Canadians spending $189 p.p., daily – a jump of 19.6% compared to $158 p.p. in 2019.

AIR

WestJet and Korean Air have expanded their long-standing codeshare agreement with the placement of WestJet’s codeshare on Korean’s flights between both Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and Vancouver International (YVR) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul. This is WestJet’s first reciprocal codeshare with an Asian partner.

Sunwing customers can book the Sunshine State for winter travel starting Nov. 1, with weekly direct flights on board Sunwing Airlines, including Toronto-Orlando, daily starting Nov. 1; Toronto-Melbourne, Saturdays and Wednesdays starting Dec. 10; Toronto and Miami, Sundays starting Dec. 18; Winnipeg and Melbourne, Saturdays starting Dec. 10; Montreal-Miami, Sundays starting Dec. 18; and Halifax-Melbourne, Fridays starting Feb. 10, 2023.

Blaming the high inflationary environment and ongoing impacts from COVID-19, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) will increase aeronautical rates and its airport improvement fee (AIF) at Toronto Pearson on Jan. 1, 2023. Effective Jan. 1, aeronautical rates for commercial aviation, business aircraft and general aviation aircraft will increase by 4%, while the AIF for departing passengers will increase by $5 and $1 for connecting passengers.

DEALS

GoldenEye, the lush Jamaican hideaway where Ian Fleming wrote all fourteen 007 novels is offering 30% off accommodations, plus other perks, for guests booking a minimum four-night stay from through Dec. 19. The 60th Anniversary package is one of GoldenEye’s many offers for this year. Others include License to Chill, an exclusive promotion that gives guests US$500 to put toward dining during five-night minimum stay through Dec. 19.

Clients booking their winter getaways to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America with Sunwing will save up to 40% on vacation packages and enjoy added luxuries like room upgrades, exclusive beach access at select properties and more.
The “Save More Event,” is in effect for bookings made by Nov. 6, for travel between Nov. 1 and April 30, 2023.

TOUR OPERATORS

TravelBrands team in Toronto

TravelBrands’ annual Agent Appreciation Event returned (for the first time since 2019) with two sold-out shows held in both Toronto and Montreal, with the Toronto event live streamed for travel agents across the country. Participants were able to meet with TravelBrands’ top suppliers and learn about developments in products, platforms, and packages, including a revamped Access+ agent platform, brand-new air booking engine with enhanced benefits, and close to 1.8 million hotels from which to choose. “All I have to say is wow,” said TravelBrands CEO Frank DeMarinis of the show, who added the company is seeing a healthy recovery for travel.

African Travel Inc. has unveiled its new 2023 ‘inspiration guide.’ Available digitally, the brochure includes expanded and enhanced tours, the Platinum Collection, plus new safaris, and each itinerary features at least one Make Travel Matter Experience that supports wildlife conservation or local communities. As part of its Advisor Educational Program, qualified advisors can travel with up to three guests and receive 30% saving on African Travel’s 2023 brochure safaris of seven-plus nights. Advisors also receive $200 after their first booking of seven nights or more.

HOTELS

Expected to open in 2023, Tempo by Hilton Times Square, will mark global premiere of Hilton’s newest brand. The 661-room lifestyle hotel is located at TSX Broadway, the city’s new 46-story entertainment and hospitality destination that will also be home to TSX Entertainment, a next generation entertainment company whose mandate is to “empower the world’s most innovative artists and fans to stage the moments that define pop culture.” Guests will have access to programming at the venue.

Nordic Hotels & Resorts opened its newest luxury hotel, Sommerro, located in the heart of Frogner in Oslo’s West End. The urban retreat is set within the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company, and pays tribute to Norway’s cultural heritage. The 231-room Art Deco hotel includes seven restaurants and bars, meeting and event spaces with capacity for up to 150 people, a 100-seat gilded theatre, wellness space with a fully equipped gym, and the city’s first year-round rooftop pool, sauna, and terrace.

RESORTS

On Oct. 30 Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa invites guests to join them as they don their national dress of colourful madras and commemorate Saint Lucia’s biggest cultural festival, Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day). The resort’s Bon Fete Kweyol entertainment includes traditional cultural dancers and Saint Lucian musicians playing ‘kweyol’ music on instruments including the Shak-Shak, Boom-Boom and Tambos. A Creole lunch feast is served on the Splash Lawn including Green Fig and Salt Fish (Saint Lucia’s national dish), Accra (fish cakes), Bouillon, Callaloo Soup, Dumplings and Cocoa Tea, breadfruit, Oxtail Stew and much more. On Oct. 31 Halloween hijinks will ensue.

Dreams Flora Resort & Spa in Punta Cana will now begin welcoming guests Feb. 15, 2023. The adjustment in opening date is due to delays due to Hurricane Fiona.

CRUISE

Silversea Cruises has revealed a new collection of 25 voyages for its new expedition vessel, Silver Endeavour, which will set sail in May 2023. Through March of the following year the vessel, dubbed “the world’s most advanced luxury expedition ship,” will journey to 116 of the planet’s most beautiful and remote cold-weather destinations including in Northern Europe, the Arctic, and Antarctica. The series of cruises will include 24 maiden calls for Silversea.

Cruise lovers can be first on board the new MSC Seascape‘s on the vessel’s delivery trip across the Atlantic, departing from Civatavecchia (Rome) on Nov. 19 and making stops in Spain, Portugal, and Bermuda prior to arriving in New York City on Dec. 5, ahead the ships naming ceremony on Dec. 7. The new ship will then offer two different seven-night itineraries: Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and Nassau in The Bahamas, San Juan in Puerto Rico, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Cozumel in Mexico, George Town in the Cayman Islands and Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

Transitioning from sister line Costa, Carnival Luminosa has officially joined the Carnival Cruise Line fleet today as the newest Fun Ship which will debut from Brisbane, Australia, Nov. 6, 2022.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

Canadian residents can enjoy four days of theme park thrills for the price of a two-day ticket with the return of its Universal Orlando Resort’s “Buy 2 Days, Get 2 Days Free” offer. The offer is available through March 2, 2023.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

Seventeen Travel Agent Next Door agents recently took part in the first exclusive FAM trip on a Celebrity ship since the pandemic. The group sailed on Celebrity Edge for seven days from Barcelona to Rome, with stops in Spain, France, and Italy. The TTAND agents were hosted by Brenda Yeomans, Key Account Manager, Canada for Celebrity Cruises. Exclusive workshops were held on board to learn about the product and help grow sales.

Expedia Group’s ‘All Inclusive Your Way’ booking promotion offers members of the Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) access to a world of all-inclusive hotel possibilities at great rates. At the same time, a grand total of $4,500 of gift cards are up for grabs (one for $2,000, one $1,000, and three $500). TAAP members will be in the running with every eligible standalone all-inclusive hotel bookings made between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 and used before April 30, 2023. The more agents book, the more chances they have to win. Five winners will be drawn and announced in December.

EVENTS

TL Network Canada is set to host three complimentary in-person regional events for its member agencies this fall. The annual PEAK (Programs, Education, Advisors and Knowledge) events will take place Oct. 26 in Toronto, Nov. 8 in Calgary, and Nov. 10 in Vancouver. Registration is currently open for each event, where advisors will have the opportunity to interact with supplier partners at a sold-out tradeshow, take part in interactive training sessions, and connect with peers.
Spaces are limited, so members are encouraged to sign up early. For more details, visit TLNetwork.ca.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Two well-known Canadian travel industry professionals – Brenda Bradley and Aaron Crawford – have joined TTC Tours Brands as members of its Ontario-based sales team. Bradley is the new Sales Manager for Northeastern Ontario (Toronto, north to Barrie and along the eastern Ontario corridor to the Quebec border), while Crawford fills the same role in the Southwestern region of the province (Mississauga, Brampton, the Golden Horseshoe and west to Windsor, as well as covering Northern Ontario). Email brenda.bradley@ttc.com or aaron.crawford@ttc.com.

Royal Irish Tours (RIT) has promoted John Fallon from the reservations department to Sales Manager, Canada. Jonathan Sargeant is now Director of Sales.

DESTINATIONSFor over 100 Years Peru’s famed “Lost City of the Incas” (photo) has been called the wrong name – Machu Picchu (“Old mountain peak” in the Indigenous Quechua language). However, the Inca who built the ancient city likely called it Huayna Picchu, meaning “new or young,” mountain peak. Believed to have been built around 1420, the settlement was an estate for royals living in Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire. Later, when Spaniards conquered the Inca, Huayna Picchu was abandoned and for centuries after, remained hidden in the Andes mountains until American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, when it became known to the world, incorrectly, as Machu Picchu.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1869, the first postcards were printed and put on sale by the Austrian government.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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