ROUND-UP:Oct. 11-15, 2021
Canadians finally get the green light for cross-border travel; Air Canada is increasing service to India, as is SIA to Singapore from Vancouver; the DR did better than ever in September; and a changing of the (airline) guard in Italy all make this week’s round-up.
The US will at last reopen its land borders to non-essential travel starting Nov. 8 ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals – including those with mixed doses – to enter the US regardless of the reason for travel and includes travellers entering the US by vehicle, rail, and ferry. No testing will be required to enter by land or sea, provided the travellers meet the vaccination requirement, which includes vaccines approved for emergency use by the WHO, which notably includes AstraZeneca vaccine.
Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, made its final flights on Thursday (Oct. 14) before formally folding, marking the end of business for the 74-year-old carrier and an end of an era for Italy. The carrier, which had operated in the red for more than a decade, was officially replaced by a new national carrier, ITA, or Italy Air Transport, which launched Friday. The last scheduled flight was AZ1586 from Cagliari to Rome.
The Indonesian resort island of Bali has reopened for international travellers from 19 countries, although Canada is not one of them. Lucky travellers, mainly from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, will have to be fully vaxxed, test upon arrival, and quarantine for five days at designated hotels at their own expense.
Air Transat has resumed flights to Puerto Plata after several months of forced suspension due to COVID-19. The company operated its first flight from Montreal to Puerto Plata on Oct. 14 and will progressively enhance service from seven Canadian gateways to other DR destinations including La Romana, Punta Cana, and Samana.
Starting Oct. 31, Air Canada will offer three flights from Montreal to Delhi. Additionally, the airline is increasing frequency to Delhi from Toronto to 10 flights per week beginning Oct. 15. All flights will be operated with modern 298-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The carrier also offers 10 flights a week from Vancouver.
Air France will be expanding its Caribbean Regional Network with two new destinations departing from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadaloupe, including two weekly flights from Montreal starting on Nov. 23.
Singapore Airlines will begin four-times weekly seasonal service to Singapore from Vancouver starting on Dec. 3. Continuing until Feb. 15, the service is timed over the year-end holiday season and also reflects the inclusion of Canada under Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) arrangements. SIA will operate twice-weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore designated VTL flights (Tues., Fri.), as well as two flights catering to customers who are ineligible to enter Singapore under the VTL arrangement.
A cosmopolitan city, gorgeous coffee farms, abundant biodiversity, and pristine beaches are among options that can be discovered for no additional airfare with the relaunch of Copa Airlines’ popular “Stopover in Panama” program. The initiative encourages passengers who travel to any of the airline’s destinations through its Hub of the Americas in Panama to schedule time (up to seven days) for a stop in the country without additional cost in airfare. The “two destinations for the price of one” deal must be reserved at the time of ticket purchase. Canadians can take advantage of the program via Copa Airlines routes out of Toronto and Montreal and applies to all destinations served by the airline across 28 countries across the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For details, click HERE.
Young travellers can save up to 50% off select TruTravels tours in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico this November and December when booking before Dec. 4. For more information, check the web site or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new 2022-2023 Worldwide collection from Insight Vacations features 133 itineraries with over 100 unique ‘Insight Experiences’ across Europe, Northern Africa, the Americas and Asia. Travel advisors can explore the new interactive brochure for full details, including Insights’ “Make Travel Matter Experiences,” featured on every tour. Click HERE.
With the announcement that the US will reopen to international travel in November, G Adventures has unveiled an expanded “United States of Adventure” collection with an additional 13 newly developed tours. Initially launched in February 2021 for US domestic travellers, the collection now offers 28 trip options to national and Navajo Nation parks across the country. The new, small-group trips will launch next spring and are a mix of Classic and ‘18-to-Thirtysomethings’ travel styles.
Located on an 8.5-hectare private island in Udai Sagar Lake, the palatial Raffles Udaipur is now open. Surrounded by spectacular hills and a view of the 400-year-old temple in the background, the property has 101 rooms, each with a private pool. The hotel provides a rare and authentic experience of one of India’s most scenic destinations.
Nestled in the vibrant and diverse Gulch neighbourhood, W Nashville is now open. Part of Marriott International the 286-room, 60-suite hotel was designed from the outside in, with six street level entrances emphasizing the venue’s connection to neighbourhood and local social scene. Features include a “welcome den” for guests, original artwork in each guest room, six drinking and dining venues including rooftop bar, and, coming soon, high-end retail and a live entertainment facility.
Arizona desert landscape is the inspiration for the newest outdoor venue at Arizona’s Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa. Located in a serene courtyard and surrounded by a grove of mesquite trees, the Desert Garden weaves together natural textures, materials, landscape, and design to create an oasis in the Sonoran desert. The venue features a bridge over a shallow reflecting pool and cascading waterfall, while a blue palo verde tree anchors the space, separating a 490-sq.-m. lawn from the 1,130-sq.-m patio area.
Sandals has announced a host of initiatives and activities to coincide with and celebrate its upcoming 40th anniversary of opening its first resort in Montego Bay on Nov. 27. They include building a hotel and hospitality school for the Caribbean, conducting 40 community tourism projects in the region through the Sandals Foundation, launching a podcast series, introducing classic cocktails and merchandise, and hosting special “rewind” festivities across its extensive property portfolio.
A new 11-night Crystal Cruises journey from Miami to Lisbon aboard Crystal Symphony will depart March 26, 2022. The ocean-spanning “Trans-Atlantic Indulgence” voyage will call in Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI before spending nine days at sea on its way to Portugal. “Book Now” savings bring the starting prices down to US$1,999 p.p. when booked by Nov. 3.
In early 2023, Disney Cruise Line will return to the Bahamas – including Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay – as well as the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera. A variety of itineraries will set sail coast-to-coast from US home ports including Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla.; New Orleans; Galveston, Texas; and San Diego. Bookings open on Oct. 21.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
On Oct. 14, Madame Tussauds Dubai opened its doors. Located on Bluewaters island next to world’s largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, the world-famous wax attraction is the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf region and 25th edition of the attraction globally. Seven specially designed themed rooms will feature 60 celebrities ranging from Queen Elizabeth to athlete Connor McGregor.
Sandals has announced the remaining topics in its training series “Sandals and Beaches Resorts… in 10 Minutes,” which takes place Fridays at 1 p.m. EDT. Developed exclusively for Canadian travel advisors and led by Lorna Richards, National Training Manager, Unique Vacations Canada, the live virtual training sessions are concise yet provide a comprehensive overview of the featured subject. Upcoming topics are: Oct. 22 – Sandals South Coast; Oct. 29 – Beaches Ocho Rios; Nov. 5 – Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbado; Nov. 12 – Sandals Royal Bahamian; Nov. 19 – Sandals 5-Star Global Gourmet dining. CIick HERE to register.
Nearly 80 Canada travel agents attended a Tahiti Tourisme webinar on Oct. 8, but for those who missed it, Atout France is making the session available on demand.
Among the topics covered are health measures, hospitality, accommodations, UNESCO sites, air access, sustainable tourism, boating and diving. To watch the webinar, click HERE.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Collette has announced a special added incentive for travel professionals to earn on bookings that include the famed Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. Agents who make five new bookings with the tour operator with a minimum of one Oberammergau booking for 2022 travel (double or single) will receive $500. The amount will increase to $1,500 for two Oberammergau bookings and five domestic bookings. Those making 10 Oberammergau bookings can receive $1,500. Accompanying the bonus offer is a client discount of up to $1,500 per couple off the land cost of the tour on new bookings made by Nov. 8 for travel May 1 to Sept. 30, 2022.
New Canadian leisure carrier Canada Jetlines has named Adam Wilcox Director of Business Development and Network Planning. The Canadian airline industry veteran (Porter Airlines) is tasked with shifting the airline into new streams of revenue, connecting with key stakeholders and destinations, and working with corporate and government entities, travel agencies, and tourism marketing companies.
German charter airline Condor has engaged Discover the World to help grow travel agency sales in Canada and the US. The carrier’s 2022 Canadian flight schedule, says Discover Canada director Jane Clementino, will include seasonal summer service to Frankfurt from Vancouver, Whitehorse, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. Condor mainly operates the Boeing 767-300ER for long haul flights and offers both excellent onboard service and highly competitive pricing via the GDS. Agents can access even better availability and pricing for their clients by signing up for Condor’s Agent Extranet via Discover the World’s sales team.
BY THE NUMBERS
The ministry of Tourism for the Dominican Republic reports that the country recorded its best arrival numbers ever in September. Notably, the total of 365,544 non-resident visitors represented an increase of 14% compared to pre-pandemic levels and 25% by compared to September 2020. Hotel activity reached a post-pandemic peak with 87% of rooms in operation, an occupancy rate of 54% on weekdays, and 61% on weekends.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) notes that most of the region’s 30-plus destination offerings have similar travel and health safety protocols, however the association has created a guide listing variations and updated protocols, available HERE.
The World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is among four national parks to be handed back to traditional owners in Australia. More than 160,000 hectares of land in northern Queensland state stretching from the Daintree, north of Port Douglas, to south of Cooktown will be jointly managed before a full handover is made to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people. The Daintree, Ngalba-bulal, Kalkajaka, and the Hope Islands National Parks will now be jointly managed by traditional owners and the Queensland state government, while a new nature refuge will also be created. Vast tracts of Australian wilderness have been handed back to traditional owners in recent decades, including the Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks in the Northern Territory.
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First published at Travel Industry Today