All travel news.

ROUND-UP:May 31-June 4, 2021

Fines for skipping quarantine have been hiked, Transat is a buyer, a Paris webinar sounds appealing, we say farewell to Captain Stubing, and lots more news you need to know wrapped up in a neat little package.

NEWS

The federal government has increased the fine for air travellers who refuse to quarantine in a designated hotel for three days after arriving in Canada. Travellers who had faced a $3,000 fine if they didn’t abide by the requirement will instead be liable for a $5,000 penalty. As of May 24, 1,091 people have been ticketed for not complying with hotel quarantine since the rules came into effect in February.

Transat A.T. Inc., a 70% shareholder of TraficTours Canada Inc. has announced that it has by mutual agreement acquired the 30% minority interest in the incoming tour operator held by the minority shareholder. The manager of the company and its subsidiaries will remain in place. TraficTours offers excursions and other services to vacationers in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. By becoming sole shareholder, Transat says it is strengthening its inbound services in the three key markets.

Seven European Union member states – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland – have introduced vaccination certificate systems, ahead of the rollout of the program across the bloc on July 1.

RE-OPENING/RE-START

After maintaining some of the toughest pandemic-related travel restrictions in the country, Newfoundland and Labrador is aiming to once again welcome travellers from the rest of Canada as early as July 1. The province’s chief medical officer of health announced the goal of lifting the province’s travel ban on Canada Day as part of a post-pandemic reopening plan.

Effective Wednesday, vaccinated visitors from “orange”-rated countries, including Canada, will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival and will no longer have to justify the reasons for their trip to France. They will, however, still be asked for a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or a negative antigenic test of no more than 48 hours.

Norwegian Cruise Line says it will resume operations from additional US and international ports this fall with cruises aboard Norwegian Breakaway, Encore, Escape, Pearl, Jewel, Sun, Spirit and Pride of America set to explore Hawaii, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Asia, and more. NCL has previously announced its return to Seattle for the Alaska cruise season starting Aug. 7. Voyages expected to operate in the US are contingent on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”).

DELAYED/ CANCELLED

One of Manitoba’s major tourism events is cancelling plans for this year. The Winnipeg Folk Festival had already been pushed back from its normal July time to mid-August. Organizers now say that due to the ongoing uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held at all this year and will return in July 2022

BY THE NUMBERS

VIA Rail Canada reported a first quarter a decrease of 80.2% in ridership and an 80.9% drop in passenger revenues compared to the same period last year. The results illustrate the continued impacts COVID-19 has had on VIA Rail and the transportation industry as a whole, the company said.

AIR
South Africa
welcomed the arrival of United Airlines’ new non-stop service between Newark, NJ, and South Africa on June 3. The daily service to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg compliments the carrier’s season thrice- weekly Cape town flights. The 15-hour journey, aboard Boeing 787-9 aircraft, departs at 8:45 p.m. with connections to Star Alliance partner South African Airways service upon arrival.

After years of fighting and litigation over who can include “Orlando” in the name of their central Florida airport, Orlando International Airport (MCO) officials and Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) officials have tentatively agreed that the latter will change its name to Melbourne Orlando International Airport.

DEALS

Travellers can save up 35% on select Sunwing Sun packages with the tour company’s “Steal of a Deal” sale. Deadline for bookings is June 11 for travel between Nov. 1 and April 30, 2022. Plus, for a limited time, groups will receive free travel for the sixth adult on select bookings made by July 13 to RIU Hotels & Resorts and Royalton Luxury Resorts for the same travel terms.

TOURS

Aeroplan members can now earn and redeem points and enjoy premium benefits when booking a scenic rail journey with Rocky Mountaineer. As a special introductory offer, members can earn up to 20,000 bonus points for each eligible traveller booked.

Polar exploration operator Quark Expeditions is TravelBrands’ newest latest partner. For a limited time (June 1-July 31), agents booking any Quark sailing in the Arctic or Antarctica through TravelBrands will earn $100 bonus commission.

HOTELS

Delta Hotels, part of the Marriott Hotel Collection, recently opened a new hotel on the shores of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach. The Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites is an all-suite, 295-room property, offering panoramic waterfront views over the Bay. The latest hotel to open in Virginia Beach, it also features a bayfront pool and a private beach for guests to enjoy.

Groups looking for a luxurious private getaway can reserve a stay at the new Yrie Beach Villa in Negril, Jamaica. Situated on Jamaica’s famous Seven Mile Beach, the family-owned villa is a spacious 1,200 sq.-m. property that sleeps up to 20 guests with 10 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms, a swimming pool, and a rooftop lounge area. Ideal for multi-generational family reunions and friend group getaways, the beachfront villa is professionally staffed with a gourmet chef, housekeepers, gardeners, concierge and a 24-hour security service, with spa services available on site by request.

RESORTS

Ontario’s Blue Mountain Resort officially reopened for summer on June 4. The four-season destination, located in Collingwood, two hours north of Toronto, was forced to close before the end of the resort’s busy ski season due to the provincial shutdown orders and remained closed for over two months.

AMResorts reports that construction on its new Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa is running ahead of schedule and that the Cancun property will now open on Dec. 7 instead of 21.

CRUISE

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has received a green light from US The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a simulated sailing on June 25. The launch will simulate all aspects of the onboard experience, including dining, entertainment, leisure activities and shore excursions. The cruise line plans to resume sailing July 2 and is currently accepting bookings on its website. The CDC also approved Disney Cruise Line’s request to conduct a two-night simulation cruise on June 29 on the Disney Dream departing from Port Canaveral.

Following a series of four cruises to Greece in summer 2021, Holland America Line’s Eurodam will assume the previously scheduled Mediterranean cruises of the Westerdam. From Sept. 12 through its Oct. 30 transatlantic departure, Eurodam will offer five 12-day itineraries roundtrip from Venice, Italy; between Venice and Piraeus (Athens); Venice and Barcelona; or from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Guests who were booked on Westerdam cruises will automatically be rebooked on the same departure date aboard Eurodam in a comparable stateroom. Immediately following the transatlantic crossing, Eurodam is expected to begin its scheduled Caribbean season of cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
A cast of superheroes assembled to June 2 to celebrate the dedication of Avengers Campus in a colourful ceremony at Disney California Adventure Park. Teaming up with Iron Man, Spider-Man (photo), Captain America, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and others, Disney CEO Bob Chapek unveiled the new land, which opened to the public on Friday at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca.

EVENTS

Atout France Canada and Air France present a webinar on Paris for the trade on June 10 at 1 p.m. EDT. The training will deliver current information on the newest tourism offers and partners in the French capital, as well as Air France’s most recent programs and safety protocols. Catherine Guillemart, Executive VP Air France-KLM Canada and Mélanie Paul-Hus, Director Atout France Canada, will host the event. Register HERE.

Throughout June, TravelBrands will host 15 30-minute online webinars with key cruise partners, open to both travel agents and their clients. The sessions will focus on the new policies, procedures, and measures meant to keep guests safe as cruising opens again. For details, visit HERE.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Popular actor Gavin MacLeod, who starred for 10 seasons as Captain Merrill Stubing in the popular television series “The Love Boat” has died at the age of 90. MacLeod’s iconic role led to him serving as Princess Cruises’ global ambassador for 35 years, starting in 1986, making him the longest serving celebrity spokesperson and brand ambassador in history.

DESTINATIONS

Hosted annually for more than 20 years at Quebec’s Jardins des Métis, the International Garden Festival is the largest contemporary garden show in North America, showcasing an open-air collection of contemporary sculpture gardens created by internationally renowned landscape architects and visual artists. This year’s theme celebrates the outdoors as a space for revival and rejuvenation after a prolonged period of confinement. The festival runs from the end of June until Oct. 3, 2021. The event is located at the Reford Gardens in Grand-Métis, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, halfway between Rimouski and Matane.

Europe’s environmental watchdog has ranked Cyprus first among the European Union’s 27 nations for having the cleanest swimming waters. According to the European Environment Agency’s rankings for the 2020 swim season, Cyprus received a perfect score of 100% for excellent water quality at 112 swimming spots around the island, which were tested between May 1 and Oct. 31 last year.

Cyprus beat out Austria, Greece and Malta, which came in second, third and fourth.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

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