ROUND-UP: Sept. 18-22, 2023
India suspended visa services in Canada last week due to a tensions between the countries; other round-up highlights include air passenger complaints in Canada hitting a peak, WestJet and Air France’s expanded codeshare partnership, Porter Toronto-Victoria service taking flight, and ACTA giving the thumbs down to the terms of government CEBA loan forgiveness for small businesses.
India‘s visa processing centre in Canada suspended services Thursday as a rift widened between the countries after Justin Trudeau said India may have been involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen.
Fresh off its inaugural Summit for 2023 in Toronto, and the news that the federal government is extending the CEBA loan repayments for small businesses and introducing more flexible terms, ACTA continued its regional Canadians events in Vancouver on Sept. 21, with Montreal still to come on Sept. 27. Delegates heard that ACTA believes the new loan terms were “not enough” and ACTA would continue its advocacy on the matter.
The global push to decarbonize the aviation sector by 2050 will lead to a major increase in ticket prices unless governments step in to offer support, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech warned last week. Von Hoensbroech made the comments at the 24th World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. In 2021, the IATA – which represents 300 airlines, including WestJet – committed to reaching net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement global climate treaty.
He said that in Canada, if governments don’t step in to help the aviation sector transition to lower-carbon fuels, the cost of those fuels will make air travel cost prohibitive for many.
BY THE NUMBERS
The backlog of air passenger complaints at Canada’s transport regulator has hit a new high topping 57,000, as dissatisfaction over cancellations and compensation persist three and a half years after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers reveal that an average of more than 3,000 complaints per month have piled up at the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) over the past year, with the current tally well over three times the total from September 2022.
On Sept. 19, 104 children from Alberta and the Northwest Territories, many of whom have never stepped foot on an airplane, took off from Edmonton International Airport as Air Canada’s Dreams Take Flight jetted off for a theme park in California, marking the 30th anniversary of the Edmonton chapter of Dreams Take Flight and the first since 2019. It was the fourth of eight Dreams Take Flight trips planned across Canada for 2023. Over the past 30 years, Dreams Take Flight and Air Canada, as the exclusive carrier, have given more than 42,000 Canadian children a Dreams flight.
Air Transat has extended service on its latest route to Lima, Peru for summer 2024. The airline recently announced the addition of twice-weekly Toronto-Lima flights, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and weekly Montreal-Lima flights, on Fridays. The first departures will take place on Dec. 20 and 22 from Toronto and Montreal respectively. Bookings are now open for both winter 2023-2024 and summer 2024.
Starting Sept. 25, a newly expanded codeshare agreement with Air France will enable WestJet passengers to access 31 additional cities across 11 European countries via Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Previously, WestJet and Air France’s code share agreement included 22 destinations through CDG, all of which will be maintained as the number of onward destinations in Europe now grows to 53.
Porter Airlines inaugurated service in Victoria, BC, Sept. 20 with daily flights between Toronto Pearson Airport representing another link in the growing network of routes the airline has introduced this year with its new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft. The Toronto Pearson-Victoria route operates with the following flight times: YYZ-YYJ, departing 10:55 a.m.; YYJ-YYZ, 2 p.m. Connecting flights with Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, and St. John’s are also available.
Solo travellers can get a break on 2024 travel from Cosmos, which is waiving the single supplement on several tours (limited to the first five participants per tour). The “SO LOW” promo includes select itineraries in Europe, such as “Paris, Normandy & the Loire,” and in North America, including “Grand Alaskan Adventure.” Visit the Cosmos travel agent portal for more details on the limited time offer.
“Sun, Sand & Savings” by Inclusive Collection, part of World of Hyatt, is designed drive fall and winter bookings at all Impression by Secrets, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. With this offer, consumers booking through Dec. 15 with a travel window through March 24, 2024, are eligible for $200 in resort coupons, as well as savings up to 40% off.
Among Contiki’s new selection of trips for 2023/24 is “Thai Island Hopper West Plus” – an upgraded version of one of Contiki’s most popular Asian products. The ‘Plus’ variation includes upgraded accommodation (twin share, centrally located with a view of the sea) and additional Included Experiences, such as a half-day Phuket sightseeing tour and a visit to a well-known rum distillery.
With the launch of its 106th season of travel, Collette – North America’s longest-running tour operator – is introducing several new tours, including “Spotlight on Northern Italy” and “Historical Greenbriar,” the latter will take travellers on a historical journey through Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas in Virginia with a stay at the renowned Greenbrier resorts. The Season 106 tours, along with several other new journeys, are set to debut in the new season.
In Maui, the Fairmont Kea Lani’s multi-year renovation project is set for a December completion, transforming the resort “in meaningful ways that evoke stories of the island’s rich cultural heritage and accentuate the natural beauty of Hawaii.” The 9-hectare all-suite and villa property will unveil a reimagined lobby, Hawaiian cultural centre and oceanfront restaurant and lounge. All of this in addition to a redesign of the property’s 413 one-bedroom suites and 37 two-storey villas.
Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort will close completely from April 15 through Dec. 15, 2024, for a complete renovation. World of Hyatt says a stop sale will be employed, and any reservations impacted by the project will be relocated to another Inclusive Collection resort in the Cancun area.
The first avid hotel has opened in New York. The 76-room avid hotel Brooklyn – Dyker Heights (photo) is located just 25 minutes outside the city and is designed to offer a welcoming environment for those seeking a place to rest while on their way to, or from, the Big Apple. The location also offers convenient accommodations for guests travelling to Brooklyn or visiting the Coney Island Lighthouse and other notable area attractions. Feature of the IHG Hotels & Resorts property include right-size rooms designed with sound sleep in mind – complete with black-out roller shades and sound-reducing features – and complimentary breakfast with grab-and-go items and freshly ground coffee 24/7.
Airbnb says it has removed 59,000 fake listings and prevented another 157,000 from joining the platform this year. Fake listings and high cleaning fees are among several issues that Airbnb says its users highlighted in a company survey. Others included high cleaning fees and a desire for lower prices.
Building on a fleetwide initiative to add even more options for guests in its dining rooms, Carnival Cruise Line is introducing new vegan menus, which have just been added on board Carnival Freedom in Port Canaveral, Fla. and Carnival Horizon at PortMiami. Going forward, the new vegan menus will be implemented fleetwide in a phased approach through the end of year. At each meal in the ships’ dining rooms, the new vegan menus will offer a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts that are entirely vegan. Carnival chefs created recipes for each menu item to be prepared without the use of animal products, and the proteins included are made from meat substitutes.
Cunard is rolling out a new Wi-Fi service on board as it launches SpaceX’s Starlink across its fleet. Starlink will provide guests with greater capacity across Cunard ships, allowing for sharing photos and videos, streaming films, and enjoying other content on board with a more reliable Wi-Fi connection at even faster speeds. The roll-out began in June with the service due to be available in both public spaces and staterooms on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth by the end of 2023. Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Anne, will launch with the service in May 2024.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
The Walt Disney Co. is planning to invest approximately US $60 billion into its theme parks and cruise lines over the next decade. The “accelerated and expanded” investment is nearly double what it spent in the prior 10-year period. While the company didn’t provide details, it did say that “there is a deep well of stories” that haven’t been fully explored at its theme parks yet. Disney has seen growth following previous periods of significant investment, which included the additions of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Avengers Campus at California Adventure, and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. Disney noted that it has significant room to expand its theme parks further, with more than 400 hectares of land for possible future development to expand theme park space across its existing sites. That’s equal to about seven new Disneyland parks.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
By booking any combination of Avis, Budget, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, or Europcar rentals with TravelBrands through Oct. 20, the tour company will issue a gas card of up to $100. The ‘Fuel Your Success’ offer is valid on pick ups from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 in any destination. To make qualifying bookings visit www.travelbrandsaccess.com or call 1.844.5.TBRAND(827263).
Travel Leaders Network will be hosting three complimentary in-person regional events this fall. A mix of innovative training sessions, networking, leadership advice, trade show, and dinner, the event will also feature agency-enhancing programs and new technology benefits designed to directly improve clients’ overall travel experience. Dates include Edmonton – Oct. 17, Renaissance Edmonton-Airport Hotel; Vancouver – Oct. 19, Sheraton Hotel – Richmond; and Toronto West – Oct. 25, Hilton Mississauga/ Meadowvale. Featured this year will be speaker Carlo Trinidad, BDM, Western Canada at Inclusive Collection, who will speak on evolution of all-inclusive vacations and how to help members elevate a typical vacation package to increase overall commission earnings. Attendees will be eligible to win one of many travel prizes.
G Adventures says it is back to full sales support coverage across Canada with the appointment of Ana Santa Maria to the role of global purpose specialist (GPS) for Alberta and the Prairies. Sara Murphy has also been appointed to the role of regional marketing manager for Canada, where she will be working on brand marketing opportunities and tourist board opportunities. Santa Maria, who previously worked for G Adventures in a similar role from 2019 to 2020, returns after a three-year hiatus. They can be reaches at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, proudly announces the appointment of Milton Segarra as President and CEO, effective Oct. 1. The appointment follows the retirement of long-time industry veteran Jorge Pesquera, who has led the organization for the past 16 years.
The the ancient West Bank city of Jericho was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Palestine, a decision that angered Israel, which controls the territory and does not recognize a Palestinian state. Jericho is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth and is in a part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is administered by the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.
Venice has again escaped the tarnish of UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger, drawing scorn from environmentalists and scientists alarmed by the impact of mass tourism and climate change on the storied lagoon city. Venice similarly avoided joining the list of sites in danger two years ago after the Rome government announced a ban on big cruise ships past St. Mark’s Square and through the Giudecca canal.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan began his voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan was killed enroute, but one of his ships eventually circled the world.
Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org
First published at Travel Industry Today