ROUND-UP:Oct. 4-8, 2021
In this week’s round-up: Canada mandates a full vaccination requirement for travellers; a ‘historic moment’ in the fight against malaria; Porter is back in business and Air Transat returns to Cuba.
New measures introduced by the federal government will require all travellers in Canada, along with air travel and rail employees, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 29. Cruise companies will also be required to implement mandatory vaccines for employees and travellers in time for the 2022 season.
Calling it a “historic moment” in the battle against the spread of a parasitic disease that afflicts more 229 million people annually, killing over 400,000, the World Health Organization has approved the world’s first vaccine for malaria.
Foreign tourists won’t be welcomed back to Australia until at least next year as the country instead prioritizes the return of skilled migrants and students after reaching vaccination of 80% of the population aged 16 and older. Australia has had some of the toughest and longest COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by any democracy during the pandemic.
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario’s (TICO) approved 45 claims against the Compensation Fund totalling $125,321.39 to assist 97 consumers who did not receive the travel services for which they had paid. The claims included Albarkah Travel and Tours Inc., 32 claims to assist 77 consumers, totalling $105,101.99; Fly Jamaica Airways, two claims to assist four consumers, totalling $1,924.99; and Jet Airways, 11 claims to assist 16 consumers, totalling $18,294.41.
On Oct. 3, Antigua and Barbuda welcomed the resumption of Air Canada service from Toronto.
An international ferry service that links Canada with the United States is set to resume next year after being cancelled three years in a row. An update on the Bay Ferries Ltd. website says its high-speed catamaran ferry service between Yarmouth, NS, and Bar Harbor, Maine – known as “The Cat” – is expected to start in the spring of 2022.
BY THE NUMBERS
What’s a few billion here and there? IATA forecasts that net airline industry losses are expected to reduce to US$11.6 billion in 2022 after a $51.8 billion loss in 2021 (worsened from the $47.7 billion loss estimated in April). Meanwhile, net 2020 loss estimates have been revised to $137.7 billion (from $126.4 billion). Adding these up, total industry losses in 2020-2022 are expected to reach $201 billion.
After several months of forced suspension due to the COVID-19, Air Transat has resumed service to Cuba, with service from Toronto and Montreal to Holguin. Other destinations will resume progressively through the winter from Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Moncton, and Halifax.
On Oct. 6, Porter Airlines reportedly that it had officially returned to all 18 of its year-round destinations today, with the addition of Fredericton, Saint John, NB, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, and Windsor.
Air Canada will launch a new service between Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and Ottawa beginning Oct. 31. The route will start with four return trips daily, increasing to up to eight return trips daily starting in summer 2022. Air Canada presently operates five return flights daily between Toronto Island and Montreal.
Starting next spring, WestJet will introduce new flights between Toronto and Dublin. The new non-stop seasonal flights are set to operate four-times weekly, beginning on May 15, 2022, and will increase to daily by June 2, 2022.
The “Keep Palm and Travel On” promo from Air Transat invites travellers to take advantage of specially priced South packages starting at $899. Bookings must be made by Oct. 25 for travel Dec. 17-April 30, 2022. Details on the web site or at Agent Direct.
Throughout October, Canadians who book seven nights or longer at any Sandals or Beaches resort will receive a variety of instant savings (redeemable from tour operators) ranging from $300 to $600 per room. The offers include:
• $300 per room off on all Sandals or Beaches bookings (excluding Sandals Grenada and Beaches Turks and Caicos) for travel through 2022
• $500 per room booked at Sandals Grenada or Beaches Turks and Caicos for travel through 2022
• $400 per room booked at all Sandals Resorts for travel between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30, 2022
• $600 per room booked at all Beaches Resorts for travel Sept. 1-30, 2022.
Reflecting an increased interest in Europe from Canadians, G Adventures has launched a new tour featuring Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. The week-long “Christmas in Central Europe – Berlin to Vienna” tour includes the Hellbrunner Christmas Market in Salzburg, home to more than 700 beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and Germany’s Nuremberg market, which is celebrated as one of the oldest markets in the world. Four departures will run from late November to the end of December, with an additional stop in Munich. Tour participants must be fully vaccinated.
Intrepid’s new mandatory vaccination policy for all travellers and tour leaders took effect Sept. 1 and the adventure travel company has also launched a global vaccine equity campaign that focuses on improving COVID-19 vaccine access and education and offering donations to support global equitable access to vaccines. Intrepid has mobilized 23 operational offices across five continents to offer logistical support, transportation resources, training, and education. In Cusco, Peru, for example, Intrepid began offering free transportation to a vaccination hub for trekking porters and their families and also hosted an information and QandA session with a member of the WHO’s technical advisory committee to help educate tour guides about COVID-19 vaccines.
Sunwing reports that 20 of its Blue Diamond Resorts properties have now been fully integrated into Marriott International’s Autograph Collection. The move follows the news earlier this year that the company’s hotel division had signed a mutual partnership agreement with the hotel giant. The 20 participating Blue Diamond Resorts, now including Royalton Grenada, are the first all-inclusive properties to join the Marriott brand, a curated collection of independent properties with distinct perspectives on design and hospitality. The resorts will continue to be independently owned and operated by Blue Diamond Resorts under the Autograph Collection name
The High West Distillery and The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, Utah, have teamed up to offer a unique whiskey spa treatment. The Edge Spa at The Lodge at Blue Sky offers a 90-minute ‘High West Whiskey Rubdown,’ channeling the Old West with a whiskey, salt and sage foot soak paired with an herbal-infused whiskey elixir, followed by a massage, foot scrub and scalp invigorator.
Bookings for Margaritaville St. Somewhere Punta Coco, Holbox Island by Karisma are now live. The Mexican property, located on Isla Holbox, a budding yet remote island northwest of Cancun, is set to debut later this fall and will be the first in Margaritaville’s new boutique hotel collection, St. Somewhere. With 39 suites and an intimate open-air concept, the resort is nestled over mangrove gardens, and will feature winding wooden bridges elevated two metres above the ground offering scenic views of the destination’s lush flora and over 900 m. of pristine beach. Pre-opening rates start at $495 per night and can be booked through Dec. 31 for reservations through June 30, 2022
Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans for more ship restarts for January and February as it works towards the return of its full fleet sailing from US homeports in the spring of 2022. With 17 ships scheduled to be operating by year-end, Carnival Sunshine will restart from Charleston, SC, on Jan. 13, and Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 11.
Disney Cruise Line has completed a roster of new and reimagined experiences for guests sailing on the Disney Wish next summer. Among the highlights: A high-tech starship on a mission to assist the Resistance, a nautical playground where little cadets train with “the most magical captains at sea,” and a hip hangout for teens and tweens with an ultra-exclusive VIP list. The Wish will sail its maiden voyage on June 9, followed by a season of three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Fla.
Patrick Bui has been named Chief Financial Officer of Transat AT effective Nov. 15. Bui was most recently CEO of Kruger Energy, a renewable-energy producer with operations throughout the Americas.
Transat has also announced the appointments of Cole Keitamo and Marie-Eve Charbonneau to group sales managers. Keitamo is responsible for Ontario, Atlantic, and Western Canada; he has over 20 years of experience in various roles at Transat, including group sales manager in Western Canada since March 2017. Charbonneau has been promoted to group sales manager, Quebec, and Ottawa. She joined Transat in 2003 and has held several positions over the years, including various supervisor roles within the group department. They can be reached via email respectively at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Red Label Vacations Inc. (RLV) has announced Rod Hanna as the new Director of Branding, Independent Program, and Related Projects. Hanna brings a wealth of Canadian travel industry experience, most recently as director of sales Canada for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. He has also held various roles within the Sunwing Travel Group, and previously worked with Selloffvacations.com.
The annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival returns Oct. 15 to 24, 2021 giving star-gazing guests of all ages the opportunity to power down and look up in the world’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve. The annual event helps raise public awareness about light pollution while building a deeper connection to the universe and beyond and features an extensive line-up of activities and guest speakers. Click HERE for full details.
The largest Krispy Kreme store in the world, the Times Square Flagship location, is now open in New York. Doughnut patrons can watch the doughnut creation process, browse themed merchandise, and stop by the street-side pickup window that is open 24/7, for hot glazed donuts.
Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org
First published at Travel Industry Today