ROUND-UP: May 8-12, 2023

A new look passport is coming for Canadians, plus the ability to renew online. Also last week, Emirates announced a new country manager in Canada and interline agreement with Etihad; Qantas added new meaning to the term ‘long haul’; travel agent month incentives continue; and German rail workers cancelled a planned strike.


Canadians will be able to apply to renew their passports online beginning this fall. The new document will include updated security features and colourful new pages. Those applying for new passports, including children, will still need to go through the traditional application process. The majority of applications the government receives are for new passports, but an expected surge in passport renewals is expected over the next year as the first 10-year passports issued in 2013 are set to expire.

A labour union representing more than 200,000 railway workers in Germany cancelled plans for a two-day strike after employers met one of its key demands. The strike had been scheduled to start Sunday and run until late Tuesday affecting regional and long-distance travel.

Bermuda has rejoined the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). “As our tourism sector continues to recover following the difficult COVID years, it is important that we have access to and work with similar jurisdictions to share ideas that have been successful and can benefit Bermuda. Our membership in the CTO will be of great value as we continue to build a successful, sustainable tourism industry that helps grow our economy and provide exciting and empowering careers for Bermudians,” stated Tourism Minister Vance Campbell.


New service from Porter Airlines between Ottawa International Airport (YOW) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will begin July 26, with one daily roundtrip flight operated with the state-of-the-art 132-seat Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.

Air Transat has announced details of its 2023-24 winter flight program, slated to begin on Nov. 1. At the peak of the season, the carrier’s steadily growing program will include increased capacity over 300 direct flights per week to Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America and Europe, departing from eight Canadian cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, and Halifax.

Cathay Pacific is marking a milestone this month: 40 years of flying to the Americas. The launch of non-stop service between Hong Kong and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on May 1, 1983, represented the airline’s first entry into North America, and also becoming the first airline in the world to connect the two cities with a nonstop service.

Bell is teaming up with Air Canada to offer free messaging for all Aeroplan members worldwide on Wi-Fi-equipped airplanes. The telecommunications giant will sponsor inflight Wi-Fi services across the airline’s fleet, including Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express planes, starting May 15. The service will also be available to partner airline loyalty members, including customers of United MileagePlus, Lufthansa Group Miles & More and Emirates Skywards, when their account numbers are associated with an Air Canada booking.


Qantas will launch the world’s longest commercial nonstop flight. It will take QF1 21 hours to cover the 10,978 miles from Sydney to London. It will leave Sydney in the evening and arrive in London the next morning. QF2, from London to Sydney, will leave before lunch and arrive in the late afternoon on the following day after 20 hours. The flights are expected to launch in 2025.


Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is expanding its portfolio in Europe to a new destination, adding two post-cruise extensions in Greece this summer and fall. Uniworld guests can select a three-night extension to Athens or a five-night extension to Athens and Santorini, available as add-ons to Uniworld’s Italian itineraries: Milan, Venice & The Jewels of Veneto; Venice & The Jewels of Veneto; and Cruise & Rail: Venice & The Swiss Alps. The new Greece offerings join an existing portfolio of pre- and post-cruise extensions, including land, rail, and customizable options.

Adventures by Disney’s new 2024 ‘Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Land Adventure’ is an eight-day itinerary packed with family activities celebrating the outdoors and the region’s Maritime culture and scenery. Highlights include visiting an authentic maple syrup farm in Nova Scotia; tea with a descendent of author Lucy Maud Montgomery (‘Anne of Green Gables’); learning about the indigenous Mi’kmaq peoples; an onboard fisherman’s feast, horseback riding, stargazing at during a bonfire, biking, canoeing, and kayaking and more.


JW Marriott has unveiled its newest property in Clearwater Beach, Fla., with the opening of JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa (photo). Located along a secluded stretch of beach, the 162-room beachside property, with 36 residences, features a JW Market, full-service Spa by JW, 24-hour Fitness Center, JW Kids Club, and rooftop pool deck. All guestrooms feature complimentary use of two beach chairs and access to daily fitness classes offered in the resort’s well-appointed fitness center or outside in nature. The 11th floor rooftop pool deck offers striking views of the Gulf and Sand Key.

The winners of 2023 BC Hotel Association Awards of Excellence have been announced and are as follows: Hotelier of the Year – Trina White, General Manager, The Parkside Hotel & Spa; Hotel of the Year – Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa; Housekeeping Award – Coast Prince George by APA; Heart of Hospitality Award – Kunal Dighe, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver; Leader of the Future – Pink Yu, Director of Operations and Marketing, Robin Hood Inn & Suites; and, Recruitment Award – Accent Inns Inc.


Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is preparing to add the Maldives – a destination the company calls “a preeminent tropical paradise” – to its roster. Set to open in 2027, Rosewood Ranfaru will offer approximately 120 beachfront and overwater villas, ranging in size from one- to five-bedrooms, all with private pools and a select number located on private islands. Amenities will include several specialty restaurants, a beach club, and an Asaya well-being facility, numerous swimming pools, and activities ranging from water sports to paddle courts, plus an Explorer’s Club for kids.

For summer stays, Velas Resorts, in Mexico are now offering suite upgrades, kids’ stay included half off teens and roundtrip airport transfers, spa and boutique credits, discounted golf, early check in and late checkout, and more. In addition to summer savings, Velas Resorts offers an extensive list of activities for all ages. From Mexican cooking classes to alebrijes painting, and nightly shows to Mariachi, astronomy nights and movies under the stars.


Silversea Endeavour in Antarctica

Silversea Cruises has introduced a new incentive for Travel Partner Appreciation Month: When travel advisors make a new confirmed booking on any expedition cruise during the months of May and June, they will automatically be entered into a weekly prize draw for a chance to win a gift card. One winner will be selected for each week in May and June. In addition, the cruise line notes its introduction of kicker commissions in early 2023, whereby Silversea is offering agents an extra 1% kicker commission on all expedition cruises, an extra 1% on all new-to-brand guests, and an extra 1% an all new-to-repeat guests (guests who book for a second time with Silversea through the same agency).

MSC Cruises will bring award-winning kids and family offerings to its latest flagship, MSC Euribia, set to begin sailing this June. Among the offerings are seven rooms fully dedicated to children and teenagers of different age groups with endless entertainment; more than 100 hours of live entertainment per cruise for kids and teenagers organized in MSC Cruises’ clubs; and nine live family activities/shows and six teens primetime activities per cruise, organized by MSC Cruises’ youth staff.


Seabourn is offering multiple value-added promotions for guests seeking to book their next Seabourn cruise, including air credits, extraordinary savings, and more. The “Bon Voyage Event” offer includes an air credit up to US$2,000 p.p., a complimentary two-category Veranda Suite upgrade, and a reduced 10% deposit on select Seabourn sailings (including expedition) through 2024. “The Finale Sail” offers savings of up to 30% when booking a fully non-refundable cruise fare for select suite categories on select 2023 and 2024 sailings. The promotions are available through July 10 and are not combinable.

Through May 28, Sunwing customers can save up to 35% on select packages to popular sun destinations including Cayo Largo and Cancun with the ‘Celebrate Your Feelgood Sale.’ Options in the former include the Starfish Cayo Largo and Memories Cayo Largo, or, for adults, Sanctuary at Grand Memories Cayo Largo.


Air Canada Vacations’ month-long “You Mean the World To Us” event offers travel counsellors booking any package by May 31 (for travel through Dec. 31, 2024) a chance to win a trip for two to anywhere Air Canada flies. The prize includes roundtrip economy tickets for one agent plus a companion and includes a $2,000 accommodation voucher to anywhere that Air Canada Vacations serves. The winners will be announced on June 15, 2023. The more you book, the more you can win.

To celebrate Travel Advisor Appreciation Month, Collette is offering each advisor who secures at least two bookings from May 1 to June 30 a $50 incentive. Plus, the three advisors who secure the most bookings in the month of May will earn even more. The top booking advisor will win a free Spotlight tour of their choosing. Second and third place will win $2,000 and $1,000 travel vouchers respectively. The winners will be announced on May 31. Meanwhile, the tour operator notes that agents receive a 50% discount on tours, with companions receiving 25% year-round for personal travel.


Disney has updated its invitation to Canadian travel agents to expand their product knowledge and increase their sales potential at a series of upcoming Disney seminars. The offer is exclusive to Canadian travel agents who are invited to join Canadian Disney Business Development Manager for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Canada, Cindy Charest, to find out the latest Disney Destinations news. Presentations will be offered in both English and French. For details, click HERE.


Emirates has named Shaz Peshimam as Country Manager for Canada. Peshimam will be responsible for leading the airline’s operations, driving growth and strengthening Emirates’ footprint in the country. He was previously Emirates’ Manager of UAE Sales, Dubai & Northern Emirates since 2008. Former long-time Canadian country manager Don McWilliam retired in 2022.

Christopher Brothers has been appointed Director of Business Development at Travelsavers Canada, joining Jane Clementino, who was recently named Sr. VP and GM Canada for the organization. Brothers will oversee strategic acquisition and service for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta regions. Previously, he served as the Business Development Manager at WestJet where he worked with travel agencies across Western Canada, implementing sales strategies, managing key accounts, and driving revenue growth.


The County of Maui has temporarily closed a portion of Hāna Highway from Alelele Bridge to Lelekea Bridge near Kīpahulu in East Maui due to rockfall that is impacting the road. This closure, which may last up to a month, is necessary for county crews to stabilize the cliffside conditions, including the removal of loose rocks, say authorities. Visitors are advised to avoid traveling to the affected area to lessen the impact on residents.


In 1992, the Montreal-based charter airline Nationair declared bankruptcy.

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First published at Travel Industry Today


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