ROUND-UP: Nov. 14-18, 2022

Masks are back, or at least should be according to the federal government. Also last week, a new Canada-India deal was announced, Japan lifted its cruise ban; Tommy Bahamas said it is getting into the resort business; and there were many –many! – Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals launched.

NEWS

The Canadian government strongly encouraged people to wear masks on planes and trains – but stopped short of making it a requirement. In the face of increased growth” of COVID-19 variants, influenza and a surge of the respiratory syncytial virus that is posing a challenge for the health system in several parts of the country, the transport said it is a kind thing to do.

Finnair flights are expected to return to normal today (Monday) after the carrier was forced to cancel approximately 100 flights leaving Helsinki Airport on the weekend due to a strike by the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT. Flight cancellations and rerouting of customers began on Saturday, however return flights for long-haul flights cancelled on Sunday and Monday will not be flown and there may be delays and cancellations on individual flights, warns the airline.

Canada and India have expanded their air transport agreement to allow designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights between the two countries. The previous agreement limited each country to 35 flights per week. The agreement gives Canadian air carriers access to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, and Indian air carriers access to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and two additional points to be selected by India. Other cities in both countries can be served indirectly through code-share services.

Frontier Airlines and five international carriers have agreed to refund more than $600 million combined to travellers whose trips were cancelled or significantly delayed since the start of the pandemic, according to federal officials in the US. However, the largest US airlines, which accounted for the bulk of complaints about refunds, avoided fines.

BORDERS

Japan is lifting a more than 2-1/2-year ban on international cruise ships that was imposed following a deadly coronavirus outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess at the beginning of the pandemic. Japan’s Transport Ministry says cruise ship operators and port authorities’ associations have adopted anti-virus guidelines and that Japan is now ready to resume its international cruise operations Among the first is a Japanese ship departing from Yokohama in December for Mauritius and returning in January.

BY THE NUMBERS

Jamaica has welcomed over 2 million stopover arrivals for 2022. Full-year projections are for over 3 million stopover arrivals and generating total earnings of over US$3.7 billion. The destination is also expected to return to 2019 pre-Covid arrivals levels in 2023 and remains on track to welcome 5 million visitors by 2025.

AIR

WestJet has announced an enhancement to its codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines, enabling the airline’s “WS” code on Japan Airlines (JAL) operated flights between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo, Japan.

Sunwing will be offering weekly flights from Thunder Bay, Ont. to Cancun on Mondays starting on Dec. 12, until April 10, 2023, and weekly flights to Varadero on Tuesdays starting on Dec. 13 until April 11.

The Caribbean region’s newest airline, Arajet, took to the skies with direct flights between Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Kingston, Jamaica, reducing airfare from an average US$800 to US$252 round-trip and travel time from more than 20 hours (via Miami) to under two hours. Inter-Caribbean air service has long been a goal in the region.

British Airways is increasing its service from Pittsburgh to London Heathrow to six times a week. Current service operates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with a fifth flight to commence April 24 and a sixth on May 14. With the new frequencies, British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft will arrive at PIT every day of the week except Saturday.

THEME PARKS

For a limited time, Canadian residents can save 25% on a 5-Day/5-Night Vacation Package to Universal Orlando Resort that includes five-night hotel accommodations at Cabana Bay Beach Resort or Aventura Hotel, five days of park-to-park admission to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, Early Park Admission, complimentary transportation around the destination, and more. The offer must be book by Feb. 28; travel window is Feb. 21-May 26 (blacked out March 31-April 15).

BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY

A host of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are being offered across the industry. Here are but a few:

Valid on new individual bookings made by Nov. 27, Transat’s Black Friday promo applies to flights to Europe, the South, US, and Canada, as well as South and Europe packages for travel through and Oct. 31, 2023. The latter features $500 off packages for two including one complimentary checked bag per person. Visit the web sight for details.

Promotional rates from Swoop include 70% off base fares network wide Nov. 21, and 50, 40, and 30% off respectively on domestic, transborder and international from Nov. 22-28, all for travel January-March. The promo code to access the deals is BFLYDAY, posted on the website.

From up to 50% off Uniworld River Cruises to savings around the world with Trafalgar, TravCorp brands – also including Insight, Contiki and Costsaver – have various deals throughout the week; see individual web sites for details.

Travellers can receive up to 60% off winter, spring, or summer getaways at Club Med’s resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada. The deal includes 60% off Deluxe and Suite Rooms and 55% off Superior Rooms. Additional perks include free cancellations and free stays for kids under four. Book by Nov. 27 at https://www.clubmed.ca/ .

From Nov. 23-29, promotional rates are available from AMR Collection brands Zoetry, Secrets, Dreams, Breathless and Sunscape. Visit amrcollection.com for details. Applies to travel through Dec. 22.

Velas Resorts‘ Cyber Monday sale kicks off on Nov. 28 offering 15% off in regular room categories, 20% off in superior room categories, 50% off for kids up to 12 years old, and a $50 spa credit per adult per night. Go to https://blackfriday.velasresorts.com/ .

From Nov. 22-30, guests can choose from 60 sailings under $60 per day (per guest), and hundreds more sailings under $100 per day (per guest) from Princess Cruises. In addition, guests booking through the sale can take advantage of $1 deposits, meaning those who reserve their sailings to worldwide destinations by Nov. 30 don’t have to pay the remaining balance until 90 days before their trip.

Continuing through Dec. 5, Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Greatest Deal Ever allows the second guest to sail free for any voyage on any NCL ship. The promo can be combined with the ‘Free At Sea offer,’ offering travellers up to six free perks including unlimited open bar; specialty dining; shore excursions credits; WiFi; airfare for the second guest when airfare is purchased for the first; and discounted rates for friends and family ($99 p.p. on select sailings) when sharing a stateroom with guests one and two. Savings value is up to US$3,450.

The annual promotion from Seabourn offers 15% savings on nearly 500 voyages through summer 2024 with average savings of CDN$3,750 per suite. The Black Friday Sail is available until Dec. 5. The offer can be combined with promotions in the market and Seabourn Club Savings.

Through Nov. 27, clients booking a Holland America Line cruise, starting from 2022 holiday sailings, will receive prepaid stateroom crew appreciation (gratuities) and have access to up to 40% off cruise-only fares. The offer is combinable with Holland America Line’s ‘Have It All’ premium cruise package, which includes four popular perks: shore excursions, a beverage package, specialty dining and Wi-Fi.

For select sailings booked by Dec. 2 for travel through January 2024, passengers on the Cunard Queens – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth – will receive an onboard credit up to $600 per stateroom and 50% reduced deposit. Promo Code: RD8; offers apply to the first two guests per booking.

Bargain hunters will have the chance to secure Jimmy Buffett-inspired Margaritaville at Sea between Palm Beach, Florida and Freeport, Bahamas sailings starting at $99 p.p. with kids sailing free, as well as receive a $25 p.p. Ocean View upgrade and 25% off all supplements.

HOTELS

Coulibri Ridge, located in Petit Coulibri, Dominica, is the first Caribbean property to become part of Beyond Green’s global portfolio of sustainable hotels. Beyond Green is a global portfolio of planet Earth’s most sustainable hotels that represent sustainability leadership based upon action and impact. Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green offers travelers a curated way to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their responsible travel values and aspirations.

RESORTS

Breezy island clothing retailer come lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama has plans to open its first resort, adding a new plank to its portfolio of 160 retail locations, which includes stores, bars, and restaurants worldwide. The Tommy Bahama Miramonte Resort & Spa will debut in Indian Wells, Ca. in late 2023 and will offer 215 custom appointed rooms including 23 suites, three resort style pools, and signature treatments at the 1,100-sq. m. spa. The resort will cater to leisure travellers, groups, events, retreats, and weddings, as well as a locals’ hangout.

CRUISE

MSC Cruises lit up Doha, Qatar last week during the official naming ceremony of its newest ship, MSC World Europa. On hand were dignitaries, travel industry partners, including Qatar Airways, and media from around the world for the ceremony, which included local entertainment, an amazing drone show and a performance by singer-songwriter Matteo Bocelli, followed by a fireworks display. And, of course, the traditional breaking of the champagne bottle against the bow.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

During November, Canadian travel agents are invited to test their knowledge of Jamaica by correctly identifying resort areas featured in 12 images of iconic sites and locations (photo) showcased in the island’s new ‘Come Back’ campaign. The top 10 winners will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and Jamaica-branded gifts. Winners of the “Come Back to Jamaica Photo Contest” will be announced on Dec. 12. The entry page can be found HERE.

Throughout November, agents making a deposit for a new booking with Ponant cruise line will earn an extra $500 gift card while clients receive a 5% discount.

EVENTS

The eight-part “Grow Your Regent Business Series” webinar series from Regent Seven Seas Cruises that completed its live sessions last week is still available on demand. Subjects include Digital Prospecting; Paid Digital Video; Database Optimization & Direct Mail; and more. Travel partners can register or view on demand HERE.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Laura Di Nardo is the new field sales manager – Eastern Ontario for Celebrity Cruises Canada. The Toronto native boasts eight years experience in the industry and can be reached at ldinardo@celebrity.com.

DESTINATIONS

The Washington DC Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has opened the second and final phase of its Silver Line Metrorail extension which connects Dulles Airport to the region’s flagship mass transit system. Riding from the airport to Metro Center in the city takes just under an hour.

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is returning to the streets of downtown Las Vegas for its 18th year. The event features a hybrid format this year, offering runners in person (Dec. 3) and virtual options (Dec. 3-24). The event begins with a pre-show under the Viva Vision canopy at Fremont Street Experience, complete with food trucks, vendors, and live entertainment. Proceeds of the event benefit Opportunity Village, a local non-profit that supports individuals with severe physical and intellectual disabilities.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1869, the Suez Canal formally opened for navigation. The manmade waterway, which stretches 168 km and joins Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea to Suez on the Red Sea, greatly reduced the distance by sea between Europe and the East.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today