All travel news.

ROUND-UP: Sept. 19-23, 2022

Hurricanes and Canada’s COVID measures at the border (the easing of), dominated last week’s news, as Canada Jetlines took flight, Sunwing implemented airline service fee changes, and travel companies (ACV, TDC) continued an impressive slate of in-person fall launches.

NEWS

Monster Hurricane Fiona left a trail of destruction from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic/Haiti, Turks and Caicos) to Bermuda and Atlantic Canada. Florida declared a state of emergency ahead of the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Ian later this week.

World Tourism Day will take place Tuesday (Sept. 27). Held each year since 1980, the date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970, paving the way for the establishment of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) five years later.

BORDERS

Reports suggest that Canada will likely drop the vaccine requirement for people who enter Canada by the end of then month. Also gone will be the need to fill out the unpopular ArriveCan app. An announcement could be made as early as today (Monday).

From Atlin, BC, to Wingham, Ont., the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resumed services at 55 airports across the country that were still affected by temporary measures put in place as a result of COVID-19.

As of Sept. 22, Barbados discontinued all COVID-19 related travel protocols. As such there is no testing requirements for entering Barbados whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. In addition, the wearing of masks generally is now optional.

AIR

Canada Jetlines, which took flight on Sept. 22 with an inaugural flight between Toronto and Calgary, has announced a worldwide distribution agreement with Sabre.

Starting Oct. 24, Sunwing is implementing airline service changes that will include the addition of preferred seating, and à la carte baggage fees. The airline says the move will upfront costs while provide options for customers to purchase extras or add-ons to suit their specific needs.

Air Transat has unveiled a brand-new phone menu it says is part of ongoing efforts to simplify the work of travel agents and improve the accessibility of its call centre. The system now reflects the best practices and most recent technology in telephony, says the company. Features include a streamlined navigation menu and geolocation service based on the caller’s area code to automatically serve travel agents in their preferred language. Hold music can also be customised between five different styles of music.

BY THE NUMBERS

Not surprisingly, Amsterdam Schiphol reported soaring passenger numbers in the first half of the year as the aviation industry worldwide rebounded strongly from the pandemic. The Dutch airport had 23.8 million passengers in Q1 and 2, up from 5.6 million in the same period last year. Schiphol Group, which also includes smaller airports in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, handled 27.3 million passengers in the year’s first six months.

TOURS

evan evans

British sightseeing company Evan Evans Tours announced its first fully electric zero-emission motor coach (photo) on select itineraries, an industry first by a major sightseeing tour operator in London on fully guided day tours. The electric coach can travel 320 km. on a full charge and Evan Evans will be offering select day tour departures including: Buckingham Palace and Royal Windsor Tour, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and select London Day Tours.

H.I.S.-Red Label Vacations Inc., which includes redtag.ca, itravel2000.com, Sunquest, The Travel Experts, Flights.ca and Cruises.ca amongst its many brands, has partnered with luxury spaceflight experience company Space Perspective to offer six-hour “space balloon” flights to consumer starting in 2025. Ticket price is $125,000 p.p., and all ticket sales require payment of an initial refundable deposit of a minimum of $1,000 to hold the reservation.

HOTELS

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced plans for an extensive portfolio expansion in Egypt with the addition of new hotels, residential offerings, and significant property enhancements. Opening in 2025 will be Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty and Four Seasons Hotel Luxor, while Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Sharm El Sheikh, has doubled the offerings of the existing property with new accommodations, dining outlets, leisure activities, and more.

Marriott International, Inc. expects to open 14 additional luxury properties in Asia Pacific by the end of 2023. The planned additions, emerging destinations such as Jeju and Jiuzhaigou, highlights the strategic growth of Marriott International’s luxury hotel portfolio in the region, where it currently operates 156 luxury properties. Marriott luxury brands include Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott, and Bulgari.

RESORTS

The popular ski destination of Hokkaido, Japan is home to Club Med’s newest four-season mountain resort in Asia. Set to open in December, the 400-room Club Med Kiroro will provide guests access to some of the best powder snow in the world, with long ski seasons and fresh ski tracks. The elevated Club Med mountain vacation experience will offer guests unlimited ski-in/ski-out access to an untouched ski domain with 23 courses, and activities like snowboarding lessons, group ski, and snowshoe hikes. Indoors, guests can enjoy nature centres, a dedicated kid’s zone with highly customized Children’s Clubs, a gallery showcasing works from local artists, and culinary delights from local breweries, wineries, and bakeries.

Following recent earthquakes in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, the AMR Collection reports its six resorts in the area suffered minimal damage and all operating normally.

DEALS

Lifestyle hotel brand B Hotels & Resorts is offering up to 20% on stays at its Florida properties with its new Fall Escapes promotion. Available for booking through Dec. 20, visitors will receive special discounts on stays of two or more nights through Dec. 22. Use the promo code, BFALL.

CRUISE

Royal Caribbean International has released its line-up of holidays on Spectrum of the Seas for 2023-24, and longer cruises are making a comeback. A mix of new five- to 12-night cruises will whisk adventurers to far-flung destinations in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, joining the cruise line’s popular short getaways to Malaysia and Thailand.

Windstar Cruises’ small ships are known for sailing to luxurious and off-the-beaten-path ports around the world. The full breadth of sailings is highlighted best in the cruise line’s, available to order or access online today, including the line’s newest offering: cruises to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf – a first for the luxury cruise line. Cruises begin November 2023 on the all-suite, 312-guest Star Legend.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

MSC Cruises is raising the bar when it comes to ground-breaking onboard entertainment options with MSC Seascape. ROBOTRON is a state-of-the-art robotic arm with an attached gondola that seats three guests – flying them nearly 53 m. above the sea. The adrenaline-pumping experience gives riders an unobstructed 360° view of the horizon as they hang over the edge of the deck, flip upside down and move in all directions.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

To celebrate the release of its new 2023 ‘inspiration guide’ brochure, luxury outfitter African Travel is offering qualified travel advisors that have joined its educational program the opportunity to travel with up to three guests and receive 30% saving on brochure safaris of seven nights plus. Additionally, advisors receive $200 after their first booking of seven nights or more.

EVENTS

TDC president Karine Gagnon (centre)

 

Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) welcome close to 150 travel professionals from its network to its first face-to-face Regional Conference in three years in Toronto Sept. 17-18. Under the theme “Rebound,” the TDC community and its preferred partners gathered to energize themselves collectively and, above all, to get informed and take stock of the situation to make the most of the long-awaited recovery in travel demand.

Also last week, Air Canada Vacations returned to in-person events with a gala event in Montreal.

With this year’s ACTA regional summits having wrapped up, the association announced that an inaugural River Cruise Summit will be held in October 2023. Hosted by Avalon Waterways, the event will welcome 100 travel advisors on the cruise line’s seven-day “Romantic Rhine” itinerary in Europe. Registration is expected to open in mid-November on a first-come-first-serve basis, once all registration criteria are met.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in Canada has added Daniel Stubbs to the team as Business Development Officer. Stubbs will be based in Montréal and responsible for overseeing business development in Québec and Eastern Canada. He can be reached at 514-231-1968 or dstubbs@visitjamaica.com.

Air France-KLM has announced the appointment of Jean-Eudes de La Bretèche as General Director of its Canadian operations. He began his 13-year career with Air France-KLM in Paris as part of the Revenue Management team before joining the CEO’s office as Project Coordinator.

Trevello (TPI) has been named “Top Agent Partner – Q3” by Uplift, a buy-now-pay-later payment program that allows travel advisors to offer flexible payment options to consumers. Trevello advisors Josephine Cruz and Jonathan Miguel ranked first and fourth individually.

DESTINATIONS

Los Angeles Tourism is inviting visitors – including Canadians – to discover what’s “Now Playing” in the City of Angels with the kickoff of a creative new advertising campaign spotlighting the wide breadth of attractions, experiences, entertainment, and accommodations found only in LA. Shot on location at several iconic LA. sites, the spot combines live-action film, music, animation, and voiceover designed to create a dazzling mix of campaign content. The campaign will run in both traditional and digital media.

Staring next summer, a new high-speed hovercraft service across Lake Ontario – the first of its kind in North America – could cut travel time between Toronto and the Niagara Region down to 30 minutes. Operated by Hoverlink Ontario Inc., which says it has entered the final stage of approval, the service will operate between Ontario Place in downtown Toronto and Port Weller in St. Catharines, Ont., a trip that can take about two hours by car or train.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1908, Thomas E. Selfridge, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the “Wright Flyer.” The accident, which also seriously injured pilot Orville Wright, occurred at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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