In was Tourism Week in Canada last week, while amongst other round-up dispatches, a report suggested Canadian airports are still struggling, YVR unveiled new flights, and IGH Hotels made news in Nepal.
Tourism Week in Canada last week marked an important milestone: the first peak travel season in three years without pandemic-related border restrictions. Across the country, tourism businesses, destination marketing organizations, government celebrated tourism as a key economic driver in Canada with special events and consumer offers, social media messaging, and programs like lighting up green as part of TIAC’s #GreenMeansGo campaign.
Canadian airports and airlines logged a large number of flight delays last month, raising questions about their readiness for the summer travel rush. Figures from aviation data firm OAG show large airports and carriers had a much weaker on-time record in March than comparable US outfits – and than their own performance in 2019. Toronto’s Pearson airport saw 61.2% of flights leave on time – that is, within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure – versus 73% four years earlier. By comparison, New York’s JFK airport and Chicago’s O’Hare airport had an on-time performance of about 73% and 79%, respectively.
US President Joe Biden declared Florida’s Broward County a disaster area Friday, two weeks after record-breaking rain left parts of Fort Lauderdale and its suburbs flooded. More than 0.6 m. of rain fell in some parts of the county on April 12. The one-in-1,000-year deluge left some neighbourhoods with up to 0.9 m. of water. The flooding also closed the airport for almost two days.
TICO reports that Travel Broker Group Inc., a travel agency located in Kingston, Ont., terminated its registration under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 effective April 18. The Travel Broker Group Inc. specialized in custom tours and group tours for women
Air Canada has announced new, non-stop flights from Vancouver to Dubai. The new route will operate four times weekly beginning Oct. 28 onboard Air Canada’s flagship Dreamliner fleet.
New daily service between Dubai and Montreal by Emirates will begin on July 5.
Lynx Air is expanding its Montreal network with the introduction of six flights a week between Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and Vancouver (YVR) starting June 23.
Canada Jetlines has announced a partnership with Travelport that allows connected agents to be able to view and book Canada Jetlines inventory via the GDS.
Rocky Mountaineer’s season kicked off in mid April and the company is offering a promotion for returning guests on Canadian and US routes in 2023 and 2024. Couples will receive $500 off in Canada and US$400 on the ‘Rockies to the Red Rocks’ in the US.
Tickets for the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix 2023 go on sale to the general public starting June 1, but Goway has pre-sale access available now. Those who book will secure a three-day Main Grandstand ticket, which offers seats near the pit boxes with views of the main straight and start line. This ticket includes access to all three days of the event, as well as fan zones and other festivities. The Qatar F1 Grand Prix Super Special also includes deluxe accommodation, a visit to the Geneva International Motor Show, and tours of Doha and the surrounding desert and Inland Sea.
Collette, the longest-running tour operator in North America (since 1918) has launched a new way to unpack the world with the brand-new “Travel Unpacked” podcast. Hosted by Joshua, Nicole, and Kelsie, the show will touch on all of the interesting, fun, and curious aspects of the travel industry, with the answering popular questions, and chatting with guests from all over the travel industry, and much more.
IHG Hotels & Resorts has signed a management agreement with Nepal-based Shangri-La Hotel & Resort Group to develop four new hotels in the country: InterContinental Kathmandu Lazimpat, Hotel Indigo Pokhara Gharipatan, InterContinental Resort Pokhara Begnas Lake, and InterContinental Resort Chitwan, Meghauli. The signing will see IHG add close to 500 rooms to its portfolio in Nepal, and debut two of its global brands, InterContinental and Hotel Indigo in the market.
A recent travel trends survey conducted by Marriott International in the Caribbean and Latin America found that the most crucial factor for guests when choosing a destination is exploring the culture and local history (86%), gastronomy (79%), beach settings (74%), outdoor adventures (73%), and extreme adventures (39%).
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico recently debuted a new bee sanctuary, the Meliponario, to protect the local Maya Melipona Bee. In addition to preserving the species and facilitating their honey production, the resort now offers an experience for guests to learn more about the species with a new eco-tour and honey tasting taking place every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The tour is free and requires reservations made through the concierge.
AmaWaterways has announced the debut of two newly designed ships, AmaMagdalena, and AmaMelodia, both of which begin sailing in Colombia in 2024. Specially designed to maximize views along the Magdalena, the intimate AmaMagdalena (photo) will accommodate 60 guests, while the AmaMelodia, can take 64. Amenity-filled staterooms are between 22 and 48 sq. m. and all feature both a French and an outside balcony. In addition, guests will find a sun deck pool, and massage and fitness facilities. Optional pre-cruise land packages in Medellín and Cartagena, and post-cruise land package in Panama City, Panama are available.
Oceania Cruises’ Free Land Programs, available on select 2023 sailings, has been extended into 2024 voyages. The program is available on 24 featured sailings reaching Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and beyond. Travellers who book by June 30 can lengthen their voyage to include immersive Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Programs with itineraries featuring more than 600 destinations. Valued at up to $5,000 per stateroom, the Land Programs explore such popular places as the Cape Winelands, Taj Mahal, Jerusalem’s Old City and more.
BY THE NUMBERS
Quebec is expecting more than 300 cruise stopovers at nine Saint Lawrence ports of call in 2023, bringing over 460,000 expected passengers to the province.
ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS
Vancouver’s Chinese Canadian Museum, located in the Wing Sang Building on East Pender Street, will open its doors on July 1. Melissa Karmen Lee, CEO of the museum, says its opening will be a significant milestone for Chinese communities across Canada, and the venue will serve as a hub where people can learn more about the communities’ intangible heritage. The museum’s opening will feature a national exhibition titled “The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act,” with July 1 marking the centennial of the passing of the Chinese Immigration Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act.
FAMS & INCENTIVES
Montreal-based Rental Escapes a full-service luxury villa company specializing in providing private villa rentals worldwide since 2012, has announced the launch of a new travel advisor rewards program that offers the opportunity to earn free villa vacations. Believed to an industry first in the sector, agents will earn one reward point for each $1 booked, which can then be used towards their own trip. Visit rentalescapes.com for details.
On May 9, 10 and 11 (2-3 p.m. EDT each day), ACTA, in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board, will offer three one-hour online sessions with travel industry expert and TV Host Sandra McLemore, designed to help lay the groundwork for sustainable business success, including topics such as de-cluttering your business space to make room for revenue-generating activities; smart prospecting and client retention strategies; and productive lead generation and business building success. Those who register and participate in the Business Building Workshops on will be eligible to win a $250 Visa gift card and a $250 VIA Rail travel voucher.
For details and registration, go HERE.
Greek Islands and the Eastern Med cruise line Celestyal is putting a greater emphasis on North America, including the addition of Stephanie McDonald as BDM in Canada in Canada and Morgan Hatfield, marketing executive, North America, based in Virginia. Priorities include developing strong relationships with key travel agents, group and tour operators, increasing trade awareness, providing training and marketing support, and representing the company at industry events. Hatfield will be responsible for developing and executing both B2B and B2C marketing campaigns throughout the US and Canada.
Grenada’s 10th annual Chocolate Festival (photo) will take place from May 16 to 21, celebrating the rich history and culture of chocolate production in Grenada, which is home to six chocolate companies. This year, the festival is returning with a special Rum Edition where attendees will learn about the history of rum and chocolate production. Activities include rum tastings and tours at local distilleries, a masterclass with chocolate producers, and mixologist competitions. Visitors will also be able to explore the cocoa fields of sustainable chocolate factories, take behind-the-scenes journeys of the ethically produced tree-to-bar chocolate making processes, and partake in chocolate arts and crafts, and even chocolate yoga meditation.
Niagara Falls will be illuminated in rainbow colours in celebration of LGBT+ pride and inclusivity on June 24 and 30.
LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY
In 1626, French explorer Samuel de Champlain sailed from Dieppe on his 11th voyage to Canada.
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First published at Travel Industry Today