All travel news.

ROUND-UP:May 24-28, 2021

Ireland is ready to open; Royal Caribbean is good to go and Carnival is also a step closer to sailing in the US; Transat CEO Jean-Marc Eustache retires; and much more in this week’s comprehensive re-cap of all that happened last week:

NEWS

The United States says it has made no decisions about when or how to reopen the border with Canada, the White House said in response to reports suggesting American patience with the closure has run its course.

The UK government says a fast-spreading new coronavirus variant could delay its plans to lift remaining social restrictions next month in Britain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that “we may need to wait” beyond the planned date of June 21.

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario’s (TICO’s) Board of Directors approved four claims protecting five consumers against Gideon Travel & Tours Ltd. for a total amount of $2,250. The consumers did not receive the travel services for which they had paid. Gideon Travel & Tours’ registration was terminated on Oct. 5, 2020.

RE-OPENING/RE-START

Royal Caribbean Group has received approval to resume sailings from the United States after more than a year of suspended operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 26, the cruise company will mark a long-awaited return with Celebrity Cruises’ ‘Celebrity Edge’ departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Carnival Corp. reports it is “one stop closer” to sailing in US waters after receiving CDC) acceptance of its Phase 2A Port Agreements for PortMiami, Port of Galveston, and Port Canaveral – the first three homeports that Carnival is focusing on for its return to guest operations this summer. Carnival has already announced that Carnival Horizon (sailing from Miami) and Carnival Vista and Breeze (sailing from Galveston) will be the first ships to carry guests as the line plans its July return to service.

Tourism Ireland says Ireland’s adoption of the EU’s new Digital Covid Certificate, will enable more seamless travel among EU member states beginning on July 19. Travellers from EU member states bearing the pass – which attests that the holder has either been vaccinated, has had a negative test for COVID-19 or has had the virus – will then be able to visit Ireland without the need for a test or quarantining. Tourism Ireland adds that it welcomes the government’s commitment to extending the Digital Covid Certificate to vaccinated visitors from other countries, “including Canada, in due course.”

BY THE NUMBERS

Preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) report a total of 484,071 visitors arrived by air service to the Hawaiian Islands in April 2021, compared to only 4,564 visitors who travelled to Hawaii in April 2020. The dramatic increase was no thanks to Canada, however, which provided only 527 visitors, of which 136 originated on direct flights from Canada to Kahului, while 391 visitors arrived on US domestic flights. Most of the Canadian visitors were independent travellers (95%) with 31.4% staying in hotels, 29.9% in condos, 15.8% VFR, and 11.8% in rental homes. In Q1, 4,243 visitors were from Canada, down 97.3% from the same period last year.

AIR

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Air Canada are signing a new partnership to reduce carbon emissions and advance a green and sustainable aviation sector. The EIA-Air Canada Sustainability Partnership aims to reduce the carbon impact of air travel with both organizations working together to test emerging green technologies at EIA’s Airport City Sustainability Campus. The partnership reflects both corporations’ pledges to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions to a net-zero future.

Ecuador’s Ecuatoriana Airlines, which had folded in 2006, plans to take flight again in October and has appointed Discover the World as its sales partner in the local Ecuadorian market as well as internationally, including Canada.

Silver Airways will commence service from San Juan to Anguilla on June 2. The summer flights will operate twice weekly between the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport in Anguilla through Aug. 6. Silver Airways is the parent company of Seaborne Airlines, which has operated in Anguilla for many years.

DEALS

Spring Sale 2022 from American Queen Steamboat Co. and Victory Cruise Lines enable guests to save up to US$2,000 per stateroom on select American Queen Steamboat Company 2022 itineraries and up to $4,000 per stateroom on Victory Cruise Line 2022 voyages when booked by June 30.

TOURS

Air Canada announced a new partnership for Aeroplan members to earn and redeem points, as well as enjoy premium benefits, when booking a new scenic rail journey with Rocky Mountaineer. Aeroplan members can earn up to 20,000 bonus points for each eligible traveller booked with Rocky Mountaineer.

HOTELS

The Langham, Boston will re-open its doors in June after a two-year, multi-million-dollar renovation. Guest will discover a luxurious new lobby, decorated in jewel tones, with a cozy fireplace, ample seating, and high-design concierge area and check-in desk. The completely redesigned guest rooms and suites will all feature brand new marble-clad bathrooms, New England-inspired décor and, in the case of the hotel’s signature Loft Suites, two story brass-embossed windows accenting the bi-level living and sleeping quarters left from the hotel’s days as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Opening June 24, The Westley Hotel, Calgary’s newest boutique hotel is now accepting reservations on Hilton.com. Part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection Hotels, the 104-room pet-friendly Westley is centrally situated near the city’s Eau Claire neighbourhood on 4th Ave. between 5th & 6th St. SW and is designed to balance “cool sophistication and down-home hospitality.”

CRUISE

June 20 marks the return to cruising for Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, which will use the occasion to debut its new S.S. La Venezia super ship in Italy. Cruises will restart in France shortly after with first departures for S.S. Bon Voyage on June 27, S.S. Joie de Vivre on July 4, and S.S. Catherine on July 11. The announcement comes with the news that Italy and France will reopen their borders for international travellers in June.

Clients booking a 2023 Crystal River Cruises voyage will qualify for two-for-one fares through June 30. Available are 190 voyages exploring the Danube, Rhine, and Moselle rivers and the waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium on cruises ranging from five to 17 nights.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

Following the launch of nine new rides, including the world’s tallest swing ride, along with a whole new F&B and retail experience at Bollywood Parks Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts reports more plans on tap for the rest of 2021 including the launch of two world-first rides inspired by the “Now You See Me” and “John Wick” movies at Motiongate Dubai, plus the Middle East’s first LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND Dubai.

RESORTS

Sandals Dunn’s River

Sandals Resorts International (SRI) broke ground last week on an ambitious project for three new resorts in Jamaica. Sandals Dunn’s River will return to the Sandals family under the same moniker as when it was originally added to the Sandals Resorts portfolio in 1990 (late 2022), followed by the creation of the adjacent sister-property Sandals Royal Dunn’s River (2023). In addition to the US$250-million development of the two resorts, the resort company is also planning Beaches Runaway Bay Resort in Ocho Rios, the third Beaches resort in Jamaica.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

Agent who complete Rail Europe’s new e-learning module have the chance to win a first class Eurail pass for unlimited travel in Europe. The “Rail Agent Course” is designed to help travel agents learn about the Eurail pass in all its forms, including the recently releases mobile version. Access the course HERE.

A new “rediscover” promotion from Atlantic City for Canadians is offering three monthly e-gift cards ($150 each) and a $500 grand prize for those taking part in various website activities: daily quiz, virtual tour, webinar, or requesting a visitor guide. Deadline to enter is June 30. Click HERE.

EVENTS

June 29: The Annual General Meeting of the members of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29. Registration for members in good standing wishing to vote on issues must be completed by June 25 at 4:30 p.m. via ticoagm@tico.ca. Anyone can attend the event through a link that will be posted on TICO’s web site.

PEOPLE

Jean-Marc Eustache is retiring as chair, chief executive and board member of Transat AT Inc., the travel company which he helped start in 1987 and build. Eustache’s retirement follows a tumultuous year due to the pandemic that also saw a deal for Transat to be bought by Air Canada fall apart. Annick Guerard, COO since 2017, has assumed the role of president. Raymond Bachand, Transat’s lead director, will become chair and Guerard will also join the board.

DESTINATIONS

Puerto Rico has ended a nightly pandemic curfew after more than a year in force and will allow vaccinated visitors to enter the island without a negative coronavirus test result.

New York City plans to spend US$25 million to hire over 1,500 artists and performers for an “Artists Corps” that would create murals, pop-up shows and other works throughout the city.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have resumed large group tours with safety measures intended to limit the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and being tested with 72 hours before the trip or showing proof of vaccination. American Bus Association President Pete Pantuso called it a “reasonable” approach, citing increased demand and interest from people to visit.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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