ROUND-UP:Aug. 30-Sept 03, 2021
Ontario is queuing up for QR codes; Hurricane Ida ravaged the US, south and north; Sunwing makes staff vaccinations mandatory, and latest doings at Disney, all in today’s round-up.
Ontario has joined the growing list of provinces introducing COVID-19 vaccine passport systems. The province will require residents aged 12 and older to show their vaccine receipt and a piece of government-issued photo ID starting Sept. 22 in order to access the indoor areas of restaurants and bars, nightclubs, meeting and event spaces, gyms and theatres. As of Oct. 22, residents will receive a QR code that will serve as proof of vaccination, which businesses can scan using a government app.
Sunwing says it will be requiring all new and existing employees across all Canadian divisions be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new policy aligns with the Government of Canada’s recent announcement that it intends to require vaccination across all federally regulated industries later this fall. Employees will have until Sept. 13, to provide proof of their full vaccination status or their intention to vaccinate.
Sixteen years to the day that Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, Hurricane Ida blasted ashore in the state as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US, blowing off roofs and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River as it rushed from the coast toward New Orleans. Ida’s 230 kph winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland US The storm continued north and devastated parts of the northeast, including New York City, where flooding catastrophic flooding and multiple deaths occurred.
On Aug. 29, Crystal River Cruises celebrated the resumption of European river cruise operations as Crystal Ravel sailed from Vilshofen on a seven-night Danube itinerary, followed by the next day by sister ship Crystal Debussy seven-night Rhine itinerary from Basel, Switzerland.
Oceania Cruises also welcomed guests across the gangway on Aug. 29 for the first time in 524 days. Marina was the first of Oceania Cruises’ ships to resume sailing and is also the first cruise ship to sail from the port of Copenhagen since 2019. Next up for the cruise line will be a restart by the Riviera, which resumes sailing in the Greek Isles on Oct. 18; Insignia from Miami on Dec. 21 on a six-month-long “Around the World in 180 Days” voyage; Sirena starts in the Caribbean on Jan. 21, 2022; Regatta will sail Feb. 5, 2022, in Polynesia; and Nautica will make waves in the Mediterranean on April 1, 2022.
British soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats are once again parading outside Buckingham Palace as the Changing the Guard ceremony resumed after a pandemic-induced 18-month gap.
Due to current market conditions resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to provide enhanced liquidity, Celestyal Cruises says it as decided to sell its “Experience” vessel and will revert to operating the same sized fleet it had prior to the pandemic. The cruise line will resume 2022 operations with the Crystal and Olympia in March.
BY THE NUMBERS
In July, Destination Canada launched a Canadian travel packages portal, showcasing 130 different itineraries for domestic travellers to explore and experience the best of Canada. The Canada tourism board reports that to date, it has received over 1.46 million views and has created 86,000-plus leads to tour operators. Any Canadian tour operator that sells direct to consumers is invited to have their product placed on the site by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A fully redesigned Air France lounge at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is now open. In association with the Plaza Premium Group, the 490 sq. m. lounge has a seating capacity of 149 and is free for Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus customers; other AF and KLM can purchase passes subject to availability. The new space features seats and large sofas, a shared work, free Wi-Fi and USB sockets, showers, and more. Flying Blue Ultimate customers have access to a more private space. It is open from 2 to 10 p.m. daily.
New service between Toronto and Scotland will be launched by WestJet next spring with the addition of non-stop flights to Edinburgh and Glasgow set to launch on June 2, 2022, while flights between Glasgow and Toronto will begin on May 20, 2022. The former is set to operate three-times weekly, while the latter will operate four-times weekly. Flights between Halifax and Glasgow are also set resume next spring.
Porter Airlines has completed the modernization of its De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft fleet with a series of updates ahead of its return to flying on Sept. 8. All 29 aircraft now feature the new TiSeat E2 from Expliseat, the world’s lightest aircraft seat, along with a number of other cabin enhancements.
Air Canada’s loyalty program Aeroplan has announced a new multi-year strategic partnership with the LCBO that will enable Aeroplan members to earn points when shopping at LCBO stores across Ontario. The partnership will launch before year end.
G Adventures has introduced a “Vaccinated Tours” program, with each trip having a fully vaccinated chief experience officer (CEO or tour guide) confirmed to lead the tour, on which all travellers must also be fully vaccinated. The tour operator notes that 304 October departures across 116 tours will operate as Vaccinated Tours and 64 departures will be designated as Travel-Ready. On the former, all travellers and CEOs must have received a full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days prior to day one of the tour. On the latter, all travellers and CEOs must have either received a full vaccination or have a negative PCR test within 96 hours prior to departure. An icon will be featured next to each trip on G’s website to indicate a tour’s status.
Starting in November, Sunwing returns to the national capital region with flights and packages from Ottawa International Airport for the 2021-22 winter season. Through April, the travel company will offer 11 different destinations across the Caribbean and Mexico, amongst them Los Cabos, Cancun, Punta Cana, Holguin and Montego Bay. At the same time, the company says it will offer 10 different sun destinations this winter from Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport this winter, beginning Nov. 1.
The new “10,000 Seats Under $299” flash sale by Air Transat invites Canadian travellers to book their fall travels through Sept. 13 for flights departing from Montreal, Quebec City, or Toronto for travel between Sept. 20 and Dec. 16, to the South (Cuba, DR, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, St Maarten), Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando) and within Canada (Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver). Listed rates are for one-way Economy or Eco budget fares; the later can only be booked through Sirev Air and GDS. See the web site or Get Connected for details.
As part of Ottawa Tourism, Tourisme Montréal and Destination Toronto’s newCity Friends with Benefits campaign, Air Canada is offering 20% off valid new bookings through Sept. 30 between Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa for travel on Friday, Saturday and Sundays through Dec. 31; and VIA Rail is similarly offering 20% off best available fares (excluding Escape fares) between the three cities on bookings made by Oct. 8 for travel between Sept. and Dec. 31. Check the details HERE.
Holland America Line says travellers can anticipate a restart date of May 2022 for Volendam and Zaandam. The ships will join Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and Zuiderdam, which have returned to service or are slated to restart cruising by November 2021. The Volendam will explore Northern Europe and Zaandam will return to the Canada/New England region. With these new start dates, the Grand World Voyage and Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage will not operate in 2022 and will resume in 2023.
Dubai will be the setting for the naming ceremony of MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Virtuosa. Set to take place on Nov. 27, the occasion will also be a part of the celebrations surrounding the Golden Jubilee of the UAE and will be staged during Expo 2020 Dubai. Following the naming ceremony, the ship will depart for its maiden Gulf voyage on Nov. 28, the first of a series seven-night cruises with visits to the ports of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Doha with additional embarkations at Abu Dhabi and Doha.
Holiday Inn Dublin Airport has recently opened in the Irish capital. The new build hotel has 421 rooms and is located 10 minutes from Dublin Airport Terminals and a short reach of the city’s Guinness Store House and Old Jameson Distillery.
A new Maldron Hotel has opened on Renfrew Street in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Located in the former STV headquarters, the four-star property has 300 rooms and is centrally located, offering a great new hub in the city for short breaks and getaways.
As part of their ongoing Paradise Protection Protocols initiative, Saint Lucia’s Premium All-Inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and the luxury, couples-only Serenity at Coconut Bay have brought back their offer of free travel insurance included with stays of five-nights or longer. The insurance program covers medical and quarantine expenses up to US$100,000 and is free for international arriving guests and all bookings made through Oct. 31 for travel through June 30, 2022. Guests staying fewer than five nights have the option to purchase the insurance within 24 hours of arrival on resort for US$39 p.p.
Effective Sept. 1, Elite Island Resorts, with all-inclusive hotels in Antigua, St. Lucia, The Grenadines, Barbados, and Panama, requires all guests over the age of 12 to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination upon arrival.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Fifty years ago, the Walt Disney World Resort opened its gates in Orlando and beginning Oct. 1, 50th anniversary festivities – dubbed “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” – will begin. Find out more, along with the latest news from Disney Destinations – including on the new Disney Dream, Avengers Campus, and Adventures by Disney – at our special Disney inFocus microsite. Click HERE.
Sept. 30-Oct 1: ACTA has announced the addition of several keynote speakers and topics for the upcoming virtual Travel Industry Summit. Seminars will include: Dr. Dominique Tessier –The Travel Health Group – Restoring Confidence and Travelling Safely in the COVID-19 era; Indira Barthelemy and Megan Mustonen, Global Affairs Canada – Travel Advisories and the Role of Global Affairs; Amandine Gicquel, IATA – The Airline Industry and the Demand for Travel; Marie-Claude Du Cap – CEO, Aléas – Due Diligence: Explore new ways of marketing your agency to meet client needs; and Brett Walker, CATO, and Nathalie Guay – ATOQ – Restarting and Rebuilding your Relationship with Tour Operators. ACTA notes that the trade show will take place on Day 2 of the event from 2 to 14:30 p.m. EST, with over 40 exhibitors already confirmed.
Continuing to expand its presence in key markets throughout Canada, Direct Travel, Inc., has acquired Ottawa-based McCord Travel Management. The company will now operate as McCord Travel, A Direct Travel Company. McCord Travel founder Scott McCord will join the Direct Travel senior management team as Director of Customer Experience and continue to oversee the operations of McCord Travel.
Cruise ships will still be docking in Venice, thanks to a temporary solution that re-routes big ships away from the fragile canal that skirts the historic city. Temporary landing places are being set up to accommodate up to 10 cruise ships at the Venice Ro-Port Mos Terminal in Fusina. It’s a compromise to salvage the fall cruise schedule following an Aug. 1 decree banning all ships from the city, but not the final answer.
Peru has created its first fully protected marine area, the Nazca Ridge National Reserve. Covering approximately 62,400 sq. km. of Peruvian territorial sea, the reserve is mainly intended to protect an undersea mountain range that occurs in the region, from 1,800 to 4,000 m. deep, providing a space to conduct deep marine research. The area is off the south coast of Peru and puts almost 8% of the country’s marine domain under protection.
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First published at Travel Industry Today