All travel news.

ROUND-UP:Nov. 16-20, 2020

The Canadian-US border remains closed; more cancelled cruises; and name a rhino, win a trip to Africa.

NEWS

The opening of the Canada-US border has been postponed again until at least Dec. 21.

Canadians travelling to Hawaii on Air Canada and WestJet will be allowed to avoid quarantine so long as they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken with a pre-approved airline partner within 72 hours of departure.

Destination Canada has partnered with Virtuoso to develop a high-end book showcasing the best Winter and Spring adventures in Canada. Entitled “Boundless,” the book highlights the rich experiences available across Canada, from aurora borealis viewing in the Yukon to searching for wildlife in Western Canada and snow-fuelled adventures in the Canadian Rockies. Earlier this month, the book was distributed to 23,000 Virtuoso subscribers in Canada.

RE-OPENING/RE-START

Dec. 1 will mark the re-opening of Couples Sans Souci and Couples Negril in Jamaica. The sister resorts join couples Tower Isle and Couples Swept Away which opened previously. The two properties have implemented a range of enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures, as well as flexible booking policies and new packages and incentives. New offers and incentives include a “6th Night Free” promotion for bookings made by Dec. 24.

Secrets Royal Beach Punta in the Dominican Republic has re-opened after an extensive $36-million renovation. The AMResorts property added 90 rooms, two new pools and two additional bars, amongst other enhancements.

DELAYED/ CANCELLED

January cruises from all US homeports have now been cancelled by Carnival Cruise Line. Additionally, Baltimore, Charleston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, Mobile, New Orleans and San Diego embarkations are cancelled through Feb. 28, plus Carnival Legend cruises out of Tampa through March 26.

Holland America Line has postponed all cruise departures from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2021. Also, cruises of eight days or more that call at a US port through Nov. 1, 2021 and select longer voyages in Asia, Australia/New Zealand and South America through mid-April 2021. Some departures will be rescheduled to comparable dates in 2022. Guests and their travel agents are being notified of the cancellations and options for Future Cruise Credits and rebooking.

Also postponing operations is Princess Cruises: All cruises sailing through March 31, 2021; all cruises longer than seven days sailing in and out of US ports through Nov. 1, 2021; and cruises departing in and out of Japan through June 25, 2021.

AIR

In time for Christmas, Air Canada is offering a new flight pass option offering travel to one of six geographic zones (Canada, US, South America, Europe, Asia, or Sun). “The Gift of Travel Flight Pass” can be given to any Aeroplan member (recipients have to join if not a member) and can be used through April 2022. Prices vary according to the travel zone and the pass is purchased via one-way flight credits starting at $367 (domestic). The pass is available until Dec. 1.

British Airways says it will start testing passengers flying from the US to London’s Heathrow Airport for COVID-19 in an effort to persuade the British government it should scrap rules requiring most international travellers to quarantine for 14 days. The pilot program will offer voluntary testing starting Nov. 25 in partnership with American Airlines for passengers flying to Heathrow from New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Korean Air says it will acquire Asiana Airlines for US$1.62 billion. The companies said the deal will help to stabilize the Korean aviation industry, which is struggling to emerge from the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic.

DEALS

Sunwing clients can save up to 50% on vacation packages to popular tropical destinations including Cancun, Punta Cana and Varadero with the tour company’s “Orange Friday Sale” on now.

Collette is offering 20% off tours worldwide for bookings made by Dec. 1 for travel Jan 1, 2021 to Aug 31, 2022 (use offer code SAVEBIG20). No change fees up to 60 days before departure apply. For agents, the tour operator’s Advanced Commission Program pays travel advisors $100 for land-only bookings, $125 for land and air bookings and $200 for any booking with the company’s Travel Protection Plan on bookings made through the end of 2021 for May 2021 departures and beyond, and the advanced portion of commission will be paid the month following deposit.

TOURS

The new “Out of Office Collection” by Transat highlights 30 hotels where clients can work from a distance in a sunny, southern location. Destinations include Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Stays are for minimum of 14 days and feature no single supplements, amble workspace, complimentary or reduced-rate printing and IT services, free fast WiFi, and complimentary or reduced-rate laundry services.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Christmas spirit has been unwrapped at Universal Orlando Resort with seasonal offerings now in place through Jan. 3. Guests will find Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley decorated in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have a chance to meet the Grinch (photo) and other characters, discover the all-new “Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons,” and follow the holiday treat trail amongst other activities.

HOTELS

Nantucket’s iconic White Elephant Resort welcomed its boutique sister property in historic Palm Beach on Nov. 4. The White Elephant Palm Beach comes after a total renovation of the historic Bradley Park Hotel. The 32-room and suite hotel is located at 280 Sunset Ave. and promises the feeling of a private residence with each unit offering a private outdoor space. Among the amenities are an art collection exceeding 100 works, personally curated by the owners. Guests have complimentary use of bicycles and BMW vehicles, as well as exclusive access to Barton & Gray yachts.

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ first voco hotel in the Americas has opened. voco – The Franklin New York is a 50-room hotel, originally built in 1930, which is now a reimagined classic with contemporary touches. Located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the hotel is near top attractions like Museum Mile, Central Park and Madison Avenue shopping.

RESORTS

Jamaica update: In Montego Bay, the 1,700-room Hard Rock Resort, located on the Elegant Corridor, will be laid out and construction will begin soon; The SeaGarden Beach Resort, located near the Hip Strip is adding an additional 800 rooms to their beachfront all-inclusive property; In Trelawny, Oceans by H10 is adding a 440-room property and the Royalton Group is building two more resorts totalling 1,200 rooms; In Ocho Rios, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has begun phase one of the Sugarcane property with 700 rooms. Phase two will add another 3,800, bringing the total room count to 4,500.

CRUISE

Norwegian Cruise Line has opened for sale summer 2023 itineraries while also launching its Black Friday Sale, offering 30% off a voyage on any ship visiting more than 300 destinations worldwide, plus five Free at Sea offers including free open bar, free specialty dining, free shore excursions credits, free WiFi and discounted rates for friends and family. The offer is available on all 2021-23 departures.

Originally planned to sail in early 2022, the Disney Wish is now scheduled for its maiden voyage in summer 2022 due to pandemic-related construction delays. The ship will be powered by liquified natural gas or LNG, one of the cleanest-burning fuels available. At approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, the ship will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

BY THE NUMBERS

Oceania Cruises’ launch of its 2022 Europe & North America Collection of voyages resulted in a record-setting day for a summer season launch. The record day represented a more than 20% increase over the line’s 2021 Europe & North America season launch, which occurred in August 2019. More than 90% of the reservations were new, cash bookings with less than 10% using future cruise credits issued for previously cancelled voyages. Additionally, one-third of the reservations were from first-time, new-to-brand guests.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

I’m partial to Rufus. African Travel and The TreadRight Foundation are inviting Canadian travel advisors to help name a rare male baby rhino, discovered by their project partner, Wilderness Foundation Africa on a reserve in South Africa. Submissions will be accepted online through Dec. 1. If an agent’s name is selected, they will receive a free educational journey to Africa in 2021 or 2022. Enter HERE.

EVENTS

Nov. 30: Travel counsellors are invited to attend a live webinar on Nov. 30 to learn about the highlights of Silversea’s new 2022/23 itinerary collection. Sign up HERE:

AWARDS

The Travel Agent Next Door has been named the number one agency for total sales with Ensemble suppliers in 2019 for Ensemble Canada. The award was presented last week at the Ensemble virtual conference.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Direct Travel has named Joelle Goldman to the new role of VP, Host Services. Goldman comes from Virtuoso where she was Director of Member Relations, US & Canada. In Canada, Goldman will be closely involved with the Vision Travel brand, which is growing its portfolio of hosted travel agencies. Goldman, who is located in Chicago, can be reached at jgoldman@dt.com.

Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and Destination BC have named Francine Douglas as the Indigenous Specialist for the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains (VCM) region. She will collaborate with Indigenous communities and industry partners to support experience and destination development. Douglas is a member of the Stó:lō (Sts’ailes) and Tsimpshian (Metlakatla) First Nations and holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from the UBC.

DESTINATIONS

Starting Dec. 1, visitors to Saint Lucia staying at registered accommodation service providers will be required pay a prescribed nightly levy on their stay. In the two-tier system, guests 18 and over will be charged US$3 or US$6 p.p. per night, depending on a room rate below or above US$120; kids under 12 are free and those 12 to 17 years pay half.

With more than 17% of Peru protected through 76 natural protected areas, 21 regional conservation areas, and 134 private conservation Areas, the South American country attracts travellers looking for sustainable travel experiences. To better serve these visitors, PromPeru has launched a new online guide titled “A Journey in Sustainable Travel,” covering experiences throughout the country and telling the story of Peru’s landscapes and people.

 

 

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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