Here’s my first recap of Tourism Industry News for the year to date.
Airlines / Aviation News
TRAVEL WEEKLY: American Airlines and JetBlue will kick off their Northeast Alliance next week with nearly 80 codeshare routes.
UNITED: United’s “Travel-Ready Center” will allow customers to upload and validate test results, review local entry requirements, find testing providers, and store vaccination records – all in the United app and United.com
AA: In this American Minute, American Airlines AAdvantage member and Sandals Resorts Senior Vice President of Sales Gary Sadler walks through the ease of at-home COVID-19 testing through LetsGetChecked
DELTA: Delta customers are just a couple of clicks away from the information and resources they need to meet new negative COVID-19 test requirements introduced by many international and local governments during the pandemic. Shipped directly to your door or available for pickup locally, the airline is introducing new in-home PCR testing options from third-party testing providers for purchase that can conveniently and accurately offer test results.
WSJ: Airlines Upgrade Loyalty Programs and Perks to Meet Millenial Tastes
TRAVEL MARKET REPORT: The Mexican Caribbean has come out as one of the most popular destinations for Americans to visit this year, as they look to escape to a sun and sand destination. In turn, the region is increasing its air connectivity.
WSJ: Delta announced on Monday that it was extending its middle-seat block for one more month, to the end of April. Delta, the last U.S. airline to block all middle seats in coach, will consider further extensions based on Covid-19 transmission and vaccination rates.
CNN: Bastian told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Tuesday that the proposal being discussed by the Biden Administration would drain testing resources away from people who need it more. He said the number of confirmed Covid cases transmitted during air travel since the start of the pandemic has been “absolutely minimal.”
WSJ: More executives are flying in business jets than before Covid-19, which could eventually reshape trends in small-aircraft manufacturing
Cruise Lines News
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES: Your safety is our #1 priority—both on and off our ships. Due to the current global environment, we are extending the suspension of cruises to include all cruises embarking through May 2021.
CARNIVAL: AIDA Cruises today announced it will open its 2021 cruise season starting March 20 with AIDAperla sailing around the Canary Islands, the group of Spanish islands off the northwest coast of Africa, a favorite “fly and cruise” vacation for German travelers looking to enjoy the region’s “eternal spring” weather and unique destinations.
The restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with an unchanged itinerary, sailing guests to beautiful Italian locations, with 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.
CANADA: Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means: Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters. Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
TRAVEL MARKET REPORT: citizenM is a younger hotel brand, having entered the industry in 2008, less than two decades ago. The focus is on providing business travelers a unique experience built around the “new luxury.” Since its start, the Netherlands-based hotel chain has taken off, adding properties not only across Europe but in the Americas and Asia, too, with many more in the pipeline.
IHG: Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer: “Now, perhaps more than ever, it’s really important that we think about how our actions affect others and the world around us. I am inspired on a daily basis by stories of people caring for loved ones, helping those in need and striving to do the right thing in their communities and beyond in the face of the global pandemic.”
US NEWS: U.S. News & World Report identifies the best hotels using a comprehensive methodology centered on three components: reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings.
MARRIOTT: Marriott Bonvoy Mobile App Refreshed to Offer a More Intuitive and Personalized Experience in Anticipation of Increased Desire for Travel
CN Traveler: Just because a tiny house is petite in stature doesn’t mean it lacks amenities. In fact, some of our favorite diminutive dwellings pack a bigger design punch than houses three times their size. That’s because the owners are intent on maximizing their square footage, dreaming up clever ways to squeeze in all the comforts of home without sacrificing environmental sustainability or dashing good looks.
SHERATON/MARRIOTT: With travelers dreaming of new discoveries in 2021, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is ready to welcome them as it unveils the initial hotels around the world exemplifying the brand’s new vision: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, USA; Sheraton Denver Downtown, USA; Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel; Sheraton Grand Dubai, UAE; Sheraton Guangzhou, China and Sheraton Mianyang, China.
HAWAII: In accordance with Hawaii’s Safe Travels program, CLEAR offers Delta passengers traveling to Honolulu on flight DL 480 additional lab options for the COVID-19 test requirement
CN Traveler: Stanley Tucci’s Travel Show Is About Italy—But He Really Wants to Go Back to Iceland
St. KITTS – TRAVEL WEEKLY: “It’s been an interesting year.” Those words of understatement from Raquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, belied the challenges faced and obstacles overcome by this island of 53,000 people, one half of the two-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere.
NEW YORK STATE: Governor Cuomo Announces Sports and Entertainment Events in Major Stadiums and Arenas Can Reopen with Limited Spectators Beginning February 23
DENMARK – LONELY PLANET: A new Hans Christian Andersen museum is due to open this summer in Odense, where the world-famous Danish author was born. The aim of H.C. Andersen’s House is to rethink how the story of the fairytale writer’s life and work is told.
ISTANBUL – WSJ: Turkey’s most hypnotic city isn’t as inaccessible as you think. You can teleport yourself there anytime with these TV shows, films, dishes, books and at least one psychedelic rock ’n’ roll band.
WSJ: Every diner in America? Sign us up. Supermodel Ashley Graham talks about what she can’t wait to do when the pandemic ends.
Restaurants and other Food News
NY TIMES: What began as an emergency measure in the pandemic’s early days has turned into a long-term business plan that could help many kitchens keep running.
NY TIMES: Its ease and affordability made it a pandemic staple for many families and a rare bright spot in an industry that has been decimated.
WSJ: Multiple stops and starts are making daily life even more challenging for small businesses as they grapple with shifting government directives and employee illnesses. ‘You are almost on standby all the time.’
AFAR: A handful of contemporary restaurants led by Indigenous chefs highlight the diversity of Native American foods and cultures across the country.
COVID and Tourism
CDC: Communication Resources for Travelers
AXIOS: “Axios on HBO”: Pete Buttigieg talks future of flying, cars and cities
BLOOMBERG: Giving preferential status to those inoculated against the coronavirus is bad for inter-generational fairness, and medically risky.
ALBANY TIMES UNION: the world’s top circus festival has found a way to flourish between the cracks in the rules — even without the huge crowds that would normally have attended.
NY TIMES – Louis Aliot, Perpignan’s mayor, is a member of National Rally, the far-right political party associated more with a hard line on immigration than with support for the arts. He became the unlikely champion of culture when he defied the national government and passed a decree allowing the city’s four museums to welcome visitors for the first time in over three months.
BIZIMPLY (UK & Ireland): Hospitality operators expect increased safety measures such as social distancing and wearing masks to be trading requirements for the foreseeable future, according to new research by workforce management specialist Bizimply.
BIGHOSPITALITY.CO.UK: Event bookings platform Feast It has launched a platform for the sale of mealkits that features the likes of Pizza Pilgrims, Lima London and The Cheese Bar.
Black History Month – Travel Ideas
T+L: In honor of Black History Month, The Shed art center is offering a self-guided online audio tour and accompanying short film called Fighting Dark, which features narration by artist Kamau Ware and tells the story of New York City’s 1863 race riots. The tour focuses on the city’s history of racial violence as well as “the power of Black resilience.
CN Traveler: Hotels have always been more than just a place to sleep. The most storied accommodations come with a rich history, based on their location or guests that have passed through the doors. Many hotels with ties to Black history have long closed or been destroyed, but several still remain today. If the walls could talk, we can only imagine some of the stories they would tell.
Fresh Ideas for the Tourism Industry
TRAVEL WEEKLY: Travel’s Local Impact — What You Can Do to Bring It Back
CN TRAVELER: It’s no secret that the pandemic has gutted business for airlines. But smaller sectors of the air travel industry—like helicopter tours—have also been deeply affected by the sharp downturns in demand. Most helicopter sightseeing companies across the U.S. shuttered for weeks or even months starting in March 2020 as local restrictions fluctuated and tourism numbers waned.
CN TRAVELER: Packed chalet bars and raucous dance parties in your ski boots are, for many, a beloved part of the ski experience. As the 2020-21 ski season plows ahead—with resorts all over the country focused on COVID-19 safety—the on-mountain bar scene is noticeably different this winter. In October, Vail Resorts announced that all full-service bars on the mountain would be closed for the upcoming season, effectively changing après ski as we know it—for this year, at least.
Occasions That Will Bring in Tourists
Weddings, Babymoons, Family Reunions — what group event ideas will get more people coming to your business or region? Here are some ideas from CN Traveler & NY Times: