ROUND-UP: Oct. 31-Nov. 04, 2022
NCL announced commissions on NCFs; Canada Jetlines took a step closer to flying transborder; the feds are convening a summit on the troubled air sector; and IATA revealed what passengers really, really want these days; plus, plenty more in last week’s round-up.
After a tumultuous summer at Canada’s airports, the federal government says much work remains to be done to sort out this country’s aviation sector. To that end the National Summit on the Recovery of the Air Sector will be convened on Nov. 24, bringing together government departments and agencies, as well as industry partners including airports, airlines, industry associations, unions, and consumer groups to discuss critical issues facing aviation and the future of the air sector in Canada.
Canada Jetlines is a step closer to being able to offer service to the US, having received economic authority to serve the US for the US Department of Transportation. Final approvals expected to be received before the end of the year. In its application to the DOT in September, the airline said it is initially considering service to Sarasota and Melbourne, Fla.
TD Home and Auto Insurance Company, a subsidiary of TD Bank, has settled a class action lawsuit with Canadians whose trips were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit alleged TD Insurance breached the terms of its travel insurance policy around cancellation after denying reimbursement to those who were offered credits or vouchers from airlines, cruise lines, Airbnb. TD Insurance has agreed to pay $4.8 million in compensation to those who were insured by a TD travel insurance policy between March 16, 2018, and Oct. 15, 2021, as well as $200,000 on account of costs and $100,000 on account of administration expenses, according to the settlement documents.
BY THE NUMBERS
Travellers’ top concerns in the post-COVID crisis period are focused on simplification and convenience of the journey, according to a new survey by IATA. Passengers are willing to complete processing elements off-airport. 44% of travellers identified check-in as their top pick for off-airport processing. Immigration procedures were the second most popular “top-pick” at 32%, followed by baggage. And 93% of passengers are interested in a special program for trusted travelers (background checks) to expedite security screening.
Effective Dec. 1, Air Canada and Emirates will launch a codeshare partnership allowing customers of the carriers to have seamless connectivity to 46 markets spanning three continents, including to destinations across the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Tickets are available for sale to 35 markets, with 11 more to be added pending final regulatory approval, and the potential for more markets to be included beyond that.
Sunwing has returned to Ottawa with Cancun and Punta services kicking off with four weekly flights respectively on Nov. 5 and Varadero on Nov. 6, to be followed by Cayo Coco (2x weekly) on Nov. 15, and Cayo Largo, Holguin, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata, and Santa Clara in December.
The inaugural WestJet flight between Winnipeg and Los Angeles took place on Oct. 31. The thrice-weekly service departs Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays on a year-round basis giving passengers a seamless four-hour link to the Southern California city.
The ‘Oh Canada’ package, at South Carolina’s Beach House Hilton Head Island offers Canadian travellers a discounted stay at Hilton Head Island’s sole oceanfront boutique hotel. Catering to families and guests of all ages, the hotel has on-property restaurants, and is central to the area outdoor adventures, local wineries, golf courses and more. With the booking code CAN2022 guests receive 10% off and get complimentary breakfast for two guests when booked by Nov. 30 for stays through Feb. 28. Canadian ID is required at check-in.
The Goldwyn Resort, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World is scheduled to open on a pristine stretch of Nassau, Bahamas’ Cable Beach with 81 studios, and one- two- and three-bedroom suites on Feb. 1. Described as an “intimate, modern retreat that stands in contrast to the large resorts of Nassau and departs from the traditional beachside aesthetic,” the resort similarly will offer “a nod to the seaside travel of yesteryear combined with the best in today’s luxury travel.” Amenities will include studios and suites with full kitchens or kitchenettes; signature restaurant, OIA; art installations, including a five-storey indoor sculpture; and spa. The resort is located 15 km. from the airport and 10 from downtown Nassau.
With JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa’s 20th anniversary underway and new restaurant Tía Carmen already open, the Arizona resort unveiled the rest of its plans for its $80 million transformation. The new renovations will include a refreshed lobby, redesigned guest rooms, expanded pool complex and another new restaurant.
Dubbed as Bali’s thriving entertainment, dining and fashion district, Four Points by Sheraton Bali Seminyak has re-opened its doors with a refreshed look and feel, including 121 guest rooms and suites with brand new wooden-look floor design that reflects tropical island-inspired patterns that blends seamlessly with Indonesia’s Batik craft adorning the backdrop of the room. The stylish deluxe room and suites comes with a balcony or terrace, delivering views of the pool as well as the garden. Ranging from size 37 to 80 sq. m. all rooms are equipped with a bathtub, separate walk-in shower, 42-inch flat-screen TV, comfortable workspace, and high-speed internet access to keep guests connected.
KAI, a leading brand of hot-spring ryokans in Japan, will open in three new locations in November. KAI Izumo will feature 39 rooms, serene views of the Japan Sea and Hinomisaki lighthouse; it is located just 20 minutes from Izumo-taisha, one of the most ancient and important shrines in Japan. The 24-room KAI Tamatsukuri in the Shimane Prefecture features an onsen experience using local spring water known for beautifying the skin since the 8th century; guests can also book a unique “Sake Bar Stay,” as the area is known to be the birthplace of sake. KAI Unzen, located in Unzen-Amakusa National Park, is known for its steamy, sulfurous hot springs.
With Japan re-opening to international tourism, Goway is preparing to meet an influx of demand to the Asian nation with a host of renewed travel packages. Goway’s refreshed travel packages – over 20 – present a renewed focus on exclusive traveller experiences that highlight the nation’s traditions, culture, and natural landscapes. Sample packages include the 10-day “Japan Zen & Wellness” and 11-day “Japan for Families” itineraries. Goway has also launched additional luxury tours throughout the nation, including the 15-day “Ultimate Japan,” which includes deluxe hotels, ryokan (hot spring) stays, and private-guided experiences in Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka.
Portland, Oregon-based First Nature Tours aims to educate intrepid travellers through sustainable explorations of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, including trips to the Willamette National Forest to plant trees in areas devastated by wildfires, and the Olympic Peninsula to regenerate salmon habitat and learn about Indigenous culture. A leading example of Travel Oregon’s Why Guides program, the tour operator shows visitors how utilizing a knowledgeable local guide can leave Oregon not just as they found it, but better.
The original cast of “The Love Boat” recently met “The Real Love Boat” hosts and crew onboard Discovery Princess at the Port of Los Angeles (photo) while departing on a specially themed “Love Boat” cruise leaving from Los Angeles on a seven-day round-trip Mexican Riviera cruise. Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing) was joined by fellow “Love Boat” cast members Cynthia Lauren Tewes (Julie McCoy), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher) and Ted Lange (Isaac), and was joined by Real Love Boat cast members Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, along with real life crew, Captain Paolo Arrigo, Ezra Freeman (bartender) and Matt Mitcham (cruise Director).
Travel advisors can now earn commission on non-commissionable fares (NCFs) with Norwegian Cruise Line. The policy, which the cruise line says is part of its “Partners First” philosophy. The payment of NCFs will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, for reservations made outside of final payment (120 days prior to sailing) on sailings departing May 1, 2023, and onwards. To qualify for the NCF commission, travel advisors must submit a marketing plan through Norwegian Central by Dec. 31, 2022.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
The “Awesomest Celebration of the Season” at Universal Studios Hollywood will return Nov. 25, running through to Jan. 1, 2023. Highlights include “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “Grinchmas with all holiday festivities included in the price of theme park admission.
This December, Visit Orlando is inviting travel advisors in Toronto and Montreal to discover the destination like never before at its New Orlando Live! training series, to be held in the cities Dec. 5 and 7 respectively. With partners Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and several others in attendance, the innovative, interactive in-person training events will feature interactive games, unexpected takeaways, and surprises. To register, go to https://cvent.me/2wENDn.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
The Jamaica Tourist Board treated VIP travel advisors (photo) to a week of island-inspired activities during an ‘Irie Hour’ FAM trip from Oct. 23 to 28. Over the course of the invite-only trip, agents had the chance to reconnect with the JTB Canada team and immerse themselves in Destination Jamaica while visiting multiple hotel properties and attractions in the area. The exclusive FAM opportunity was offered to a select group of 19 travel advisors who have been loyal attendees of the JTB’s virtual Irie Hour sessions. The weekly chill-and-chat show was launched in May 2020 as a way for Canadian agents to stay informed on the destination and remain connected with JTB staff during the pandemic.
November marks Partner Appreciation Month At PONANT and Paul Gauguin Cruises and to give thanks to their “industry ambassadors,” PONANT is giving gift cards up to $500 per stateroom for 2023 voyages and beyond, while Paul Gauguin Cruises is giving gift cards up to $250 per stateroom for 2023 voyages. Amazon eCards will be gifted to travel advisors by Dec. 15 for new bookings made and deposited by Nov. 30.
As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, the G Adventures sales team is expanding with appointment of a third global purpose specialist (GPS) and the promotion of Erin Rogers to national sales manager. Jenna English now in the role of GPS for BC the Northern Territories after a two-year break from the travel industry. Hilary Arsenault will be responsible for Quebec and the Maritimes, and Nuppy Mistry will look after the Ontario region. The new team will be hosting a meet and greet for agents on Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST, where they will update agents on what is new for 2023, and exclusively reveal the deals for G Adventures’ upcoming Cyber Sale, which launches on Nov. 10. Agents can sign ip here.
The Michelin Guide has deemed eight Vancouver restaurants each worthy of one of its prestigious culinary stars. The Parisian ode to gastronomy revealed its second Canadian edition that touted foodie standouts including the Vancouver outpost of celebrated Beijing restaurant iDen & Quan Ju De and the Japanese-Italian fusion of Kissa Tanto. The full selection, including recommended eateries, totals 60 restaurants.
PLATEFORME 10, the new museum campus in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, is adjacent to the central railway station and built on a former train platform. It’s home to three museums: Musée cantonal de design et des arts appliqués contemporains (mudac), Photo Elysée, and Musée cantonal Beaux-Arts (MCBA), as well as the collections of two foundations, Toms Pauli and Félix Vallotton. Plateforme 10 is a dynamic Arts District with an esplanade, restaurants, terraces, and book and gift shops.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1999, the Hong Kong government and Walt Disney announced a deal to create a theme park in one of the outlying islands of Hong Kong. `Hong Kong Disneyland‘ opened in September 2005.
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First published at Travel Industry Today