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Travel Industry Today

LISTENING IN: The Bee Gees song I’m embarrassed to like

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After the great response we got to a recent Dolly Parton video (“Gotta love Dolly!”) it got me thinking about reluctantly liking, or at least appreciating, artists who are not part of your regular repertoire. Top of that list for me is probably The Bee Gees.

Understand that when the Brothers Gibb were hitting new heights in the disco era, I was checking in to Hotel California with The Eagles, really liking the Stones’ rock and roll, and playing some sweet air guitar along with Lynyrd Skynyrd. I didn’t have a Disco Sucks T-shirt, but it was written in marker on my forehead.

Nevertheless, I ultimately came to appreciate The Bee Gees’ capacity for reinvention and wide range of capabilities (from their own ballads of the ‘60s to writing “Islands in the Stream,” which turned into a No. 1 hit for country singers Parton and Kenny Rogers). And I recall listening to their AM Radio hits “Jive Talkin’” and “Nights on Broadway,” which in hindsight may be seen as a precursor of the disco to come.

Some years later, I acknowledged this unsettling condition of liking a song or band despite one’s inner inklings and compiled a CD I dubbed, “Songs I’m embarrassed to like.” The only disco song on that CD is “Shake Your Booty,” but there’s a Britney, a Christina, Hanson (come on, how can you not like “Mmmmbop”?), ABBA, and even “Da Da Da” by the German band Trio, of which I don’t mind outing Fort Lauderdale tourism’s Paul Mason, who I think told me it was his wedding song (just kidding, but he does like it!)

In the meantime, here’s “Jive Talkin’” The Bee Gees No. 1 hit from 1975. It’s not on my “embarrassed to like” compilation, nor was it played at my wedding, but I do really like it. And that’s no jive!

Lyrics

It’s just your jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Jive talkin’
You wear a disguise

Jive talkin’
So misunderstood, yeah
Jive talkin’
You’re really no good

Oh, my child
You’ll never know
Just what you mean to me

Oh, my child
You got so much
You’re gonna take away my energy
With all your jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Good lovin’
Still gets in my eyes

There’s nobody
Believe what you say
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in the way, yeah

Oh, my love, you’re so good
Treating me so cruel
There you go with your fancy lies
Leavin’ me lookin’ like a dumbstruck fool
With all your

Jive talkin’ (Oh yeah) (Oh yeah)
Your jive, jive talkin’
Jive talkin’
It’s just your jive, jive talkin’
You just ain’t no good!

It’s just your love talkin’
Is all very fine, yeah
And jive talkin’
Just isn’t a crime
There’s some-somebody
You’ll love ’till you die
Then all that jive talkin’
Just gets in your eye, yeah

Jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Good lovin’
Still gets in my eyes

There’s nobody
Believe what you say
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in the way, oh yeah

Love talkin’
Is all very fine
And jive talkin’
Just isn’t a crime

If there’s some-somebody
You’ll love ’till you die
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in your eye, no way

Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

MIKE HANNAH: A loss to the industry

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Mike Hannah had a long and distinguished career in travel. He was a senior executive at P.Lawson Travel, Sears Travel and President of UFTA. He was a longtime highly valued member of the Skal Toronto Club and a member of the executive board. He was a familiar presence at the monthly meetings and his experience and expertise proved invaluable over the years.

Mike suffered a massive heart attack three weeks ago and died on Saturday at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto. It was the second tragedy for his family as Ann, his wife of 50 years, died just last September.

Mike and Ann Hannah

Mike loved the industry he served so well and for so long. He had a fine sense of humour, loved a round or two of golf with his friends, and enjoyed a glass of red wine. He was especially devoted to his family especially his grandchildren.

Mike and the Skal executive

In a thoughtful gesture that Mike, an avid golfer and a member of the Lambton Golf Club for many years, would surely have loved, in his memory and to honour his long membership and service, Skal Toronto and Skal Toronto North’s annual Golf Tournament taking place this year on August 23rd at the Royal Ontario Golf Course will be named the ‘Mike Hannah Memorial Golf Tournament.’

Funeral details:
Date: Thursday May 26th, 2022
Time: 2:00pm
Location: All Saints Church Kingsway
Address: 2850 Bloor St. West, Etobicoke, Ontario M8X 1B2

Memories of Mike Hannah





First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

A FIRST FOR TRANSAT: Airline lands in California for the first time

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Air Transat began non-stop service to Los Angeles from Montreal this week. This first flight to the City of Angels — famous for its Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Boulevard, countless film studios and Malibu Beach — marks the start of the carrier’s operations in sunny California.

The first TS240 flight to Los Angeles landed on May 16, with passengers and crew greeted with excitement by the airport team.

“We are thrilled to be operating this route and flying passengers to a multifaceted city that is known for its many tourist attractions, but that also represents an excellent gateway to the rest of California,” said Joseph Adamo, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Transat. “The new flight shows our commitment to developing the transborder market and offering new destinations to travellers seeking discovery and experiences,” he added.

“After recently consolidating its position in the transatlantic market with its first flight from Montreal to Amsterdam, Air Transat continues to develop its services, this time to the United States with a new route to Los Angeles. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, our passengers will be happy to enjoy the sunshine of the Pacific Coast. Nothing makes us happier than to see our partners enrich their services. In the end, the entire community benefits from its international airport, and after two difficult years, YUL is well positioned to resume its role as a major air traffic hub,” said Stéphane Lapierre, Vice President, Airport Operations and Air Services Development at ADM.

“The addition of Air Transat at LAX will enhance the economic and tourism ties between Los Angeles and Montreal and give Angelenos a new option when it comes to exploring all that Canada has to offer,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports. “We welcome Air Transat to beautiful Southern California just in time for travellers to head north for fun and vacations this spring and summer.”

Flights to Los Angeles will be operated until the end of October three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On May 19, Air Transat will also inaugurate its non-stop service between Montreal and San Francisco, which will run twice a week.

The crew of the very first TS240 flight from Montreal to Los Angeles

This will allow Canadian travellers to book a multi-destination flight; for example, passengers can land in Los Angeles, venture along the scenic Route 1 and return home from San Francisco.

Air Transat passengers flying to California will do so on board the new-generation Airbus A321neoLR which is 15% more fuel efficient, 50% less noisy and lowers emissions of the greenhouse gas NOx by 50% compared to previous generation aircraft. In addition, its modern cabin provides more personal space and larger individual entertainment screens in both Economy and Club Class.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ANYBODY UP THERE: Congress looks into UFOs, but no signs of extraterrestrials

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Congress held its first hearing in half a century Tuesday on unidentified flying objects. And no, there is still no government confirmation of extraterrestrial life. Testifying before a House Intelligence subcommittee, Pentagon officials did not disclose additional information from their ongoing investigation of hundreds of unexplained sightings in the sky. But they said they had picked a director for a new task force to coordinate data collection efforts on what the government has officially labeled “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, said the Pentagon was also trying to destigmatize the issue and encourage pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see.

“We want to know what’s out there as much as you want to know what’s out there,” Moultrie told lawmakers, adding that he was a fan of science fiction himself. “We get the questions not just from you. We get it from family and we get them night and day.”

Lawmakers from both parties say UFOs are a national security concern. Sightings of what appear to be aircraft flying without discernible means of propulsion have been reported near military bases and coastlines, raising the prospect that witnesses have spotted undiscovered or secret Chinese or Russian technology.

But the sightings are usually fleeting. Some appear for no more than an instant on camera – and then sometimes end up distorted by the camera lens. The US government is believed to hold additional technical information on the sightings that it has not disclosed publicly.

This file video grab image obtained April 28, 2020 courtesy of the US Department of Defense shows part of an unclassified video taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with “unidentified aerial phenomena”.

An interim report released by intelligence officials last year counted 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or trajectories. In all but one of the sightings investigated, there was too little information for investigators to even broadly characterize the nature of the incident.

A top Pentagon official on Tuesday briefly demonstrated the challenge. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, stood next to a television to show a short video taken from an F-18 military plane. The video shows a blue sky with passing clouds. In a single frame – which it took several minutes for staff in the room to queue up – there is an image of one balloon-like shape.

“As you can see, finding UAP is harder than you may think,” Bray said, using the acronym for “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Rep. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat who chaired the hearing, called on investigators to show they “are willing to follow the facts where they lead.”

Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, noted that the investigations were not “about finding alien spacecraft but about delivering dominant intelligence.”

“The inability to understand objects in our sensitive operating areas is tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid,” he said.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ROLLING ON THE RIVER: Mississippi River Country

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The event was at Cirillo’s Academy in Toronto, and the invitation was tempting “Chefs Sam and Cody Carroll will bring their culinary talents and expertise as Louisiana restaurateurs and former Food Network stars to showcase the farm-to-table cuisine of the Mississippi River Country States.” Naturally, we would also learn the stories of the people, places, history and attractions from states bordering the river – Minnesota, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Well, that was certainly of interest, and the evening got off to a quick start with a featured cocktail: French 75. I’d never heard of it, but turns out it’s a tasty combination of gin, simple syrup, champagne, lemon juice, and a lemon twist. More than one media type tasted more than one French 75.

The Chefs Carroll explained that each state had been asked to suggest three components or ingredients typical to their local cuisine and the Carrolls prepared a six course dinner each course featuring a different state. Everything was delicious – from the pumpkin pierogis (Illinois) through the Seafood Gumbo (no prize for guessing Louisiana), to the Nashville HOT Chicken chop salad (Tennessee), Arkansas’ cornmeal fried catfish with sweet and sour collards and chow chow, followed by Minnesota’s Venison Filet, with wild rice, blueberry bordelaise and bent river sauce. Dessert was Mississippi Mud with Cathead Vodka cream (surely no cats were decapitated for our gastronomic delight).

Of course, the states have lots more to offer than just epicurean delights.

The Mississippi begins as a “small stream” in Minnesota before it grows and flows 1,800 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way there are sights and sounds galore. It meanders through music country – Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. Elvis Presley fans get a double banger – Graceland, his home in Memphis and Tupelo, his birthplace in Mississippi. All three states are worth exploring and not just for the music and the cuisine – though truthfully, that’s reason enough for me.

For those of you who watched and Ozark – that was filmed in Georgia, the gorgeous Ozark mountains are actually located in Missouri and Arkansas. From wild forests to beautiful parks and scenic backwaters, this region offers beauty and adventure. The Clinton Library an interesting piece of architecture also located on the banks of the river in Little Rock, Arkansas, is I know, having visited it, interesting, engaging and well worth a visit.

Illinois means not only can you drive part of the famous Route 66, but you get to visit Chicago, with its fabulous waterfront, art galleries, culture and cuisine. And the music – not every city has its own sound. But Chicago has its own local brand of blues that flows throughout the city, and there are live performances at local blues clubs every night of the week.

And, why not actually take a cruise on the Mississippi River itself. The choices are numerous, whether you want just a day trip or a luxurious cruise experience, there are plenty of options for cruising the Mississippi.

Frankly, we’ve all been cooped up for so long, the idea of a cruise sounds wonderful, but so does a leisurely drive along The Great River Road, a historic, scenic route that traces the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles (4,800km) through 10 states from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

And the best part is you can break it up and stretch your enjoyment of the Mississippi River Country over several visits, or, if you’re ready for a long summer adventure – you might want to start packing.

Get all the information you need at: https://mississippirivercountry.com/

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ONE DEAD IN FLORIDA BRIDGE PLANE CRASH

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One of the three people aboard a small plane died when it crashed onto a bridge near Miami this weekend, police said. The aircraft lost power Saturday shortly after takeoff, coming down on the bridge and striking an SUV, then bursting into flames.

The two other people on the plane were taken to a trauma center, while a woman and two toddlers in the vehicle were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Miami-Dade Police.

No further information was released on the person who died. Police said the body was found in the wreckage after firefighters put out the flames.

Drone video on social media showed the plane crumpled on the bridge with a damaged SUV nearby. A man can be seen scrambling from the plane and being helped by others to the side of the roadway just before the aircraft is engulfed in flames.

The single-engine Cessna 172 crashed on the Haulover Inlet Bridge, after departing from Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale International Airport bound for Key West, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

 

 

 

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

COUNTRY STARS: Where are the highest-rated Michelin star restaurants

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When it comes to choosing a destination to visit on holiday, local cuisine and restaurants are one of the most important things to consider for food-loving travellers. But where are the best countries to visit based on their quality of restaurants?

The study by money.co.uk analysed Tripadvisor reviews and set menu costs for three-starred Michelin restaurants to reveal the highest-rated Michelin star restaurants in the world.

The highest-rated Michelin starred restaurants in the WorldThe Michelin star restaurant ranking in first place being highest-rated is the Frantzén in Stockholm, Sweden. Run by head chef Björn Frantzén, the Frantzén restaurant has the best Tripadvisor ratings, with 98.25% of ratings describing the restaurant as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ and a total number of 171 reviews.

Taking second place is the King’s Joy Restaurant in Beijing, China, with 96.81% of reviews being positive. The restaurant run by Gary Yin has a total of 1381 reviews on Tripadvisor and also ranks in first place as the best value Michelin star restaurant.

Régis et Jacques Marcon takes third place, with 96.5% of its reviews being either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. The restaurant run by Régis and Jacques Marcon receives 1103 reviews on Tripadvisor.

Further study findings:

• The best value Michelin star restaurant is the King’s Joy in Beijing, China. The restaurant has an overall value score of 9.96 out of 10.

• In first place again, this time for the cheapest Michelin star restaurant is the King’s Joy. The restaurant run by Gary Yin has a set menu price of £83 making it the cheapest in the rankings.

You can view the full research by clicking HERE

Related article: Toronto sees stars.

 

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

DEEPLY SORRY: Alaska Airlines CEO warns flight cancellations to continue

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The CEO of Alaska Airlines says the high level of flight cancellations since April will continue through this month. Passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted have found little help from the airline in finding alternative ways to their destination, with customer service phone lines citing hold times of up to 10 hours.(VIDEO)

The Seattle Times reports that Ben Minicucci said in a message to employees Thursday evening that stability should return in June.

“Of the 1,200 flights that we operate every day, we’ve been canceling about 50 of them, roughly 4%. This is coming at a time when flights are already full, so rebooking options are limited and many of our guests have experienced extraordinarily long hold times,” Minicucci wrote.

In a follow-up video message for the traveling public that was posted on YouTube Friday morning and sent via email to Alaska’s mileage plan members, Minicucci apologized.

“I’m deeply sorry,” he said in the two-minute video. “I hear every day from friends, neighbors and guests about how disruptive our flight cancellations have been.”

In his message to staff, Minicucci acknowledged that responsibility for the situation lies with management, saying he and the leadership team “take full responsibility.”

He said Alaska started April and May with 63 fewer pilots than needed to fly the published flight schedule. Management didn’t recognize this shortage until too late.

He said the airline has centralized staff and schedule planning under one team and prioritized hiring, training and recruiting for pilots, flight attendants and other workgroups.

Minicucci’s apology and some passenger reactions:

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

MAKING A SPLASH: New Royalton readies in Riviera Maya

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Sunwing reports that its newest Royalton Luxury Resorts property, Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun, is slated to open Dec. 20. The new all-inclusive Riviera Maya resort will feature an expansive on-site water park.

More than 1,000 modern suites will feature a host of in-room amenities including Royalton’s signature DreamBed with high-thread-count sheets, rain shower, 24-hour room service, in-suite Jacuzzi in select room categories, and a well-stocked mini-bar.

Outside, on-site water amenities and activities include four pools, a variety of beach and water sports and one of the Caribbean’s largest on-site water parks, featuring 14 large water slides, two lazy rivers, a kids’ pool and splash pad, to which guests have unlimited access.
Entertainment facilities are designed with both families and friend groups in mind. In addition to the brand’s Sports Event Guarantee, where the big game is always on, there is daily entertainment and nightly shows, two theatres, laser tag, bowling, a trampoline park, supervised programming for kids and teens and complimentary resort-wide Wi-Fi.

Guests can enjoy The Royal Spa or a private beachfront cabana ($); or keep trim at the on-site fitness centre with the Royalton Fit program.

The resort offers 12 restaurants, nine bars along with unlimited reservation-free dining, all set among picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea.

For a more elevated experience, Sunwing customers can upgrade their booking and stay in the resort’s exclusive Diamond Club section where they’ll receive dedicated butler services, a private oceanview lounge with premium drinks and canapés and an exclusive beach area, among other upscale amenities in designated suites.

“For 11 years and counting, Sunwing’s resort division has continued to expand its portfolio and meet our customers in some of the most beloved sun destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America,” says Samantha Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at Sunwing. “We’re thrilled for Sunwing customers to experience the new Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun, the first Royalton Splash in Mexico, and enjoy its luxury offerings and larger-than-life amenities, just in time for the 2022-23 holiday season.”

 

 

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ROUND-UP: May 9-13, 2022

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Last week, temperatures frayed over airport passenger congestion; countries continued to ease entry rules; air and cruise lines inaugurated new routes/ships; new hotels to note in LA and NYC; and new agent incentives were announced.

NEWS

Tourism is rebounding across Canada, but won’t hit 2019 levels until 2023, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The WTTC says the sector will come within sight of pre-pandemic levels of activity in Canada this year but won’t match 2019 numbers until next year as bottled-up demand is uncorked across the globe. The international trade group forecasts that travel and tourism’s economic output in Canada will reach $138 billion in 2022, 88% of pre-pandemic figures. That number is estimated to hit $157 billion in 2023, nearly on par with the $158.1 billion of 2019.

Joining other trade groups, ACTA said the chaotic situation at airport security and customs, and significant delays in trying to renew passports, is creating a major obstacle to the recovery of travel and is urging the federal government to fix the problem “expeditiously.” ACTA president Wendy Paradis adds, “administrative hurdles such as these are unacceptable.” Canadian transport minister Omar Alghabra said staffing issues were not to blame, suggesting instead it was out-of-practice travellers and congested flight schedules.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is gradually resuming border services at select airports affected by the temporary measures put in place as a result of COVID-19. The CBSA resumed services at 47 small airports through May 15.

BORDER

Starting May 20, arrivals in Israel in will no longer have to take a PCR test upon arrival (or quarantine for up to 24 hours while waiting for the results). Visitors will continue to have to produce a negative test before travelling to Israel, however the new guideline (as of May 10) also allows for an antigen test to be taken within 24 hours of travel.

Laos has reopened to tourists and other visitors. Vaccination certificates or virus tests will still be required for Lao citizens and foreigners entering the country. The tests (rapid antigen, taken within 48 hours of departure for Laos) are for unvaccinated travellers 12 years of age or older.

RE-OPENING/RE-START

Oktoberfest, Munich’s famous festival of beer and Bavarian culture will take place this year from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, marking a return after two years off due to the pandemic.

BY THE NUMBERS

The final week of April saw nearly 460,000 travellers touch down in Canada on international flights, more than 17 times the number of arrivals in the same week a year earlier but still just two-thirds of 2019 levels, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

AIR
WestJet
launched its long-awaited service to Rome with the departure of WestJet flight 32 from YYC Calgary International Airport on May 9. The first-ever scheduled connection between Calgary and Rome, operated on a 320-seat 787 Dreamliner, was celebrated alongside several dignitaries (photo). The service will operate during peak season up to three-times weekly. The flight was originally set to launch in May of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Yukon’s airline Air North celebrated its first-ever scheduled direct service between Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Toronto on May 10. The twice-weekly service is expected to help boost tourism to the territory.

The very first Air Transat flight between Quebec City and London took flight May 11. The service will operate weekly on Wednesdays from Quebec City and Thursdays from London-Gatwick, until late September.

DEALS

Available through July 31, travellers can receive 15% off their stay at Hyatt hotels and resorts in Canada with the code 15OFF, redeemable for stays between before Sept. 6.

TOURS

Sunwing’s latest promotional offer, valid on bookings made by May 29, offers clients a complimentary room in a variety of sun destinations. The free room upgrades are available on a first-come, first-served basis and upgrade categories vary by resort and are applicable to select destinations and resorts for new bookings on a seven-night vacation package (double occupancy) between June 1 and Oct. 31. Plus, agents can still earn STAR Agent Reward Points on final payment, in accordance with STAR Program Terms and Conditions.

G Adventures has announced its relaunch list for June and, for the first time since the pandemic, more than 1,000 departures are on the list, representing a return to 50% when compared to 2019. The June list sees the return of Borneo, Cuba, and Madagascar, as well as the reopening of the Thailand Hilltribes trekking route, and restart of the popular Mont Blanc hiking season. This follows May returns to Vietnam, Indonesia and South Korea, and Eastern Europe and “the ‘Stans.” Preferred partner travel agents are eligible for up to 50% off rates on departures (and 25% off for up to three travelling companions), some exclusions apply.

HOTELS

More than 9,000 new hotel rooms will be coming online in New York City this year, including the highly anticipated Aman New York, a new urban sanctuary opening Aug. 2 on Fifth Avenue; the Ritz-Carlton, NoMad, a new experience inspired by the essence of the new Madison Square Park coming soon; and the Hard Rock Hotel New York, which just opened this month. Additionally, the Renaissance Hotels brand will soon open properties in Harlem and Flushing; the Virgin Hotel New York City and Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s New York are expected to open this summer; Moxy Hotels will open properties on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn later this year; and The Fifth Avenue Hotel is expected to open this fall.

Short Stories is a new 66-room hotel in Los Angeles featuring contemporary guest rooms, a full-service destination restaurant, outdoor courtyard, pool oasis and event space. Just across the street from the Original Farmers Market and The Grove and a short walk from LACMA and the Academy Museum, the hotel lies in a prime location of LA’s thriving arts and culture scene.

RESORTS
W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is now open in Dubai. Situated on the scenic Arabian Gulf coast, the 31-story hotel boasts striking glass architecture, the property reflects the city’s historical, cultural, and social fabric in its 318 rooms and suites – all sea-facing with a private balcony. Highlights include the BAR-B Spa, sleek rooftop lounge ATTIKO (opening in June), and exclusive Malakite beach club and pool, set on a private beach (coming in 2023).

Effective May 16, all bookings made by AMR Collection guests that require a COVID-19 test to return to their home country will be able to schedule their test for a fee with the concierge on property. For bookings made prior to May 16 for guests who booked in a club level or xhale club, as well as guests staying at Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts for three or more nights will have the previously communicated complimentary testing policy honored. Additionally, resorts will continue to offer quarantine reassurance for affected guests through reduced nightly rates and special services.

CRUISE

Norwegian Cruise Line celebrated the completion of its ‘Great Cruise Comeback’ with the sailing of Norwegian Spirit in the South Pacific on May 7. The departure was the 17th and final ship in its fleet to return to service after a 500-day pandemic pause. Since then, the brand has systematically relaunched its ships around the world.

A day later, Holland America Line welcomed its ninth and 10th ships back into service on May 8 and 12 respectively, as Oosterdam embarked guests in Trieste (Venice), Italy, and Zaandam set sail in Fort Lauderdale. Still to come: the Westerdam on June 12.

Canadians will soon be able to sail on MSC Cruises’ newest flagship – MSC Seascape – when it comes into service later this year in New York City. The ship’s Naming Ceremony will take place at New York’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Dec. 7, with a star-studded inaugural event featuring godmother Sofia Loren that will precede the ship’s inaugural Caribbean season. Travel agents from Ontario, Quebec and BC are invited to contact their BDM for a possible invitation to the event. After the ceremony, the ship will position to Miami for a winter in the Caribbean (eastern and western itineraries).

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

The world’s only official exhibition of ‘Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon’, is making its North American debut in Montréal on June 10 at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal. Tickets can be purchased at fridakahlomontreal.com with ticket price starting at $34.99 for adults (before taxes and fees), with discounts available for students, children, and families.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

Continuing throughout May, travel advisors can earn a $20 gift card for each new 2022 AmaWaterways FIT booking and earn a reward cruise when they confirm three FIT bookings made between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 for 2022 sailings. The company will also give away complimentary river cruises with round-trip business class airfare to two lucky travel advisors who attend its popular Webinar Wednesday series during the month of May.

During May Travel Advisor Appreciation Month of May, Silversea Cruises is offering a CDN$250 bonus commission per booking on any 2022 voyage. In addition, it is extending travel advisors an invitation to sail on select 2022 Alaska and Northern Europe voyages for as low as US$150 p.p. per day.

EVENTS

“African Romance & Honeymoons” is the next webinar in a summer series presented by Africa Travel. Set to take place May 24, the webinar follows the inaugural session on May 10, with several more to follow through August. Collectively the tour operator (a division of TravCorp) is thematically highlighting “the many compelling reasons to visit Africa.” For more information, dates, and registration, click HERE.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Friends and colleagues of the late John McKenna are invited by his family to a Celebration of Life on June 25, 2-5 p.m. at the Fergus legion, branch 275. The hall is located at 500 Blair St., Fergus Ont.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has announced the appointment of Ernie Balint to Strategic Account Manager for Uniworld’s Eastern Canada market, and Peter Nowicki for Uniworld’s Western Canada market, effective immediately. Based in Toronto, Balint has worked in the travel industry for 10-plus years, including Collette Vacations, and G Adventures. Based in Vancouver, Nowicki has over 20 years experience in travel and cruises, including nearly a decade at Crystal Cruises.

H.I.S.-Red Label Vacations Inc. (RLV) and Merit Travel have named Lora Hamre as Director of Retail and Independent Consultant Program. An experienced business leader, Hamre assumed responsibilities on May 2, focussing on growing the retail and independent travel divisions and fostering new business development activities that drive greater engagement and opportunity.

DESTINATIONS

Fremont Street Experience, the six-block entertainment district located in downtown Las Vegas, is ready to rock the city with the return of its epic free concert series, “Downtown Rocks.” The jammed-packed lineup is filled with fan favourite and chart-topping bands appealing to music fans of all ages set under the glow of the world’s largest digital screen, Viva Vision. The free concert series features top artists covering multiple decades of music including Rick Springfield, Jelly Roll, X Ambassadors, The Pretty Reckless and more. The series culminates with the Stone Temple Pilots. Downtown Rocks continues through the fall and additional dates and performances are expected to be added.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News