Tara Air DHC-6 Twin Otter | Wikimedia Commons
A Tara Air aircraft 9N-AET, DHC-6 TWIN OTTER, en route to Jomsom from Pokhara with 19 passengers and 3 crew aboard has gone missing. Read the rest of this entry »
VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is proud to remain the most trusted transportation company in Canada for the fourth consecutive year according to the 2022 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), published by the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business.
In addition to having obtained a better ranking than last year, VIA Rail performed as one of the best employers for employee recognition ranking sixth out of 402 brands in the study.
“As we approach the almost complete resumption of our services planned in June 2022, we are very proud to have been awarded this title for a fourth consecutive year despite the circumstances that have affected the transportation industry for over two years now,” said Martin R Landry, Chief Commercial Affairs Officer. “Determined to always go further together and driven by our mission to put our passengers first, the results of this ranking show that VIA Rail stands out as a transportation provider. I would like to thank all of our passengers for their continued trust throughout the pandemic, as well as our employees for the outstanding service they offer every day from coast to coast to coast.”
Besides a brand’s functional performance (quality, reliability, value for money) and the experience it offers, this study reveals that consumers also have a keen interest in the social responsibility and values of a brand. VIA Rail has been working for several years to reimagine the travel experience of its passengers, for a more modern, accessible and sustainable passenger rail service. Whether through its modernization program or its recently unveiled accessibility and sustainability plans, it’s time for VIA Rail to embody a vehicle for change in Canada.
To establish the Gustavson Brand Trust Index, the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business completed a survey of close to 9,200 Canadians to learn about their perception of various brands in terms of their performance and social responsibility, among other things.
As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional, and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.
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American Cruise Lines announced today that the 2022 river cruise season on the Columbia and Snake Rivers has begun. Read the rest of this entry »
The United States will ease some of the Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, the Biden Administration, in line with campaign promises, announced on Monday. The U.S. will allow some charter and commercial fights to airports other than Havana and reinstate educational travel but not yet the “people to people” program. Read the rest of this entry »
Air Traffic Controllers in Jamaica went on strike for several hours on Thursday, resulting in the cancellation of dozens of flights, forced to turn around mid-flight or canceled at their points of departure. Read the rest of this entry »
Exceptional Demand Leads Luxury River Cruise Line to Add Additional Opportunities for Guests to Experience the Beauty of Portugal
Luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways today announced that it has extended its 2022 and 2023 Portugal river cruising season with 14 additional sailings round trip from Porto onboard AmaDouro. With cruises available through the end of December, guests now have the opportunity to experience the joys of this popular destination in the early winter season with temperate weather, fewer crowds, and charming Christmas markets, complemented by stunning landscape and delectable food and wine tasting experiences.
“Full of rich culture, inspiring architecture, and enticing cuisine, our Portugal sailings have always been extremely popular. This demand inspired us to extend both our 2022 and 2023 season until the end of December, giving guests another reason to travel and experience all that Portugal has to offer during this special time of year,” said Kristin Karst, co-founder and executive vice president of AmaWaterways. “The extended season opens up a new opportunity for our travel partners to reserve groups to visit Portugal’s festive Christmas markets, delightful vineyards, and historic sites during this quieter period!”
Sailing onboard the spectacular AmaDouro, the extension of the 2022 and 2023 season in Portugal includes additional dates for AmaWaterways’ Enticing Douro itinerary – a seven-night roundtrip from Porto river cruise along the Douro River Valley. Throughout the itinerary, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic cultural experiences with a variety of included small-group shore excursions, such as:
Portugal is known for its mild winters that make it a magical destination during the pre-Christmas period. Those wishing to extend their time in the destination can add three nights in Lisbon pre-cruise, including a tour of the city and a morning excursion to Serra de Sintra, one of the loveliest mountain villages in Portugal. Guests will enjoy the temperate climate as they stroll through Lisbon and Porto’s intimate Christmas markets, where they will find charming handmade gifts and festive treats.
Travelers interested in experiencing AmaWaterways’ extended Portugal season from November 12 to December 31 during the 2022 season can take advantage of the More to Love sale. Guests who book their Portugal sailings for this year by June 30, 2022 will enjoy a comprehensive package complete with a 7-night river cruise in a French balcony stateroom, round-trip airfare, transfers, a 3-night pre-cruise land package in Lisbon, port charges, and Travel Waiver Plus starting at $5,999 USD* per person. With this special sale, guests can enjoy extended time in Portugal with a comprehensive, peace-of-mind package.
For more information or to book an AmaWaterways river cruise for a client, visit AmaWaterways.com or call 1.800.626.0126. Follow AmaWaterways on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmaWaterways, Instagram @AmaWaterways, Twitter @AmaWaterways, and YouTube at YouTube.com/AmaWaterways.
Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company that provides customized villa experiences, today released its Summer Travel Forecast, revealing its top five most popular summer travel destinations.
Based on booking demand for luxury villa rentals from June through September, Rental Escapes has identified that luxury travelers are increasingly eyeing the Caribbean and close-to-home domestic destinations for their summer 2022 getaways.
“Summer travel bookings are up over 30 percent across the board and as the temperatures are heating up, so is demand for close-to-home luxury vacations that feel a world away,” said Willie Fernandez, chief marketing officer of Rental Escapes. “In addition to seeing an uptick in bookings for domestic villa rentals and Caribbean island destinations, we are seeing a surge in large group bookings.”
According to Rental Escapes, the top 5 most sought-after spots for luxury villa rentals this summer include:
As one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, Jamaica has something to offer every type of traveler. With ocean views, gorgeous sunsets, reggae music, and complete relaxation—it’s not hard to see why this destination made the list. With its many mountains and rivers, this nature-lover’s paradise is the perfect location for adventure seekers. Luxury villa rentals, which are all fully staffed, can be found beachfront amid white sands, seaside, cliffside or on the bay. With a variety of villa sizes and price ranges to choose from, the options are endless for travelers that are ready to enjoy some “island time.” View Jamaica Luxury Villas
The Dominican Republic is known as one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Caribbean. The towns and cities of the modern-day Dominican Republic are a clear testament to times past, and today people gather to celebrate among their historical remains. On the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, travelers will find La Romana, a 16th-century artisan’s village and one of the island’s best places to shop for quality crafts and gifts. With magnificent mountain scenery, desert scrublands and stunning beaches, there is never a lack of choice for those seeking adventure. Whether it’s the peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of life or the inviting Dominican culture travelers are chasing, Rental Escapes’ luxury villa rentals will provide everything they need to enjoy this destination to the fullest View Dominican Republic Luxury Villas
Florida is full of fun-in-the-sun activities and a wide variety of attractions. Home to Walt Disney Worldâ, this destination is a year-round favorite for families looking to experience the wonders of the Magic Kingdom. Beachgoers can enjoy not one—but two beautiful coasts, with the Atlantic side on the east and the Gulf Coast on the west. For fashion and nightlife lovers, Miami provides the perfect destination with world-class shopping, eclectic dining and a thriving arts and culture scene. Florida travelers can choose quiet condos on the beach, or free-standing homes perfect for larger groups. Luxury villa rentals in Florida will cater to every need, whether travelers are seeking convenient theme park access in Orlando or the animated scenes of Miami Beach, among many other city choices. View Florida Luxury Villas
From the Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast to Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta or Punta Mita, Mexico provides the perfect getaway for any traveler. While some seek the simplicity of a cold drink in the warm sand, others look to Mexico for an adventure-driven getaway. This destination offers an impressive range of activities, excursions and adventures for any risk-taker or explorer. Whether it be a fun-filled family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a tropical wedding, Rental Escapes’ exquisite luxury villa rentals in Mexico will provide a relaxing home-away-from-home with magnificent views. View Mexico Luxury Villas
Turks and Caicos
For those looking for a beachfront paradise, Turks and Caicos is the perfect spot to book a luxury villa. Whether one’s ideal vacation includes basking in the sun or parasailing over the turquoise-blue surf, this destination is sure to meet every need. There are a number of incredible things to see and do in the Turks and Caicos. The island boasts some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving, as there is a huge variety of marine life in addition to the beautiful coral reefs. Travelers will find the perfect balance of relaxation, excitement and entertainment by booking a luxury villa at this breathtaking destination. View Turks and Caicos Luxury Villas
For more information on Rental Escapes, visit RentalEscapes.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by following Rental Escapes on Facebook Facebook.com/RentalEscapes, Instagram @RentalEscapes, Twitter @RentalEscapes and LinkedIn.
About Rental Escapes
Rental Escapes is a full-service luxury villa company that prides itself in providing top-notch personalized service and unforgettable villa experiences. The company offers a hand-picked selection of more than 5,000 carefully vetted and curated luxury villa rentals in 70 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, the United States and beyond. Its team of highly trained villa specialists assist guests and travel advisors in planning and booking the ideal villa stay. In addition, every reservation is provided with a concierge service to take care of arranging everything from private chefs to boat charters.
Intrepid Travel, the B Corp certified tour operator that has been a leader in decarbonizing the tourism industry, has put together a list of some of the company’s most low-impact trips ahead of Earth Day for travelers interested in a climate-conscious adventure.
While all of Intrepid’s 1,000+ tours around the world are fully carbon offset and the company itself has been carbon neutral since 2010, the past few years have seen an increased focus by its product development team to create trips that lower its carbon footprint even further, with a focus on removing internal flights, increasing its use of low-carbon accommodations and adding more human-powered adventures.
“Intrepid recognizes that travel has an environmental impact,” says Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel’s Managing Director for North America. “We are committed to ongoing improvement of our environmental performance in our operations and across our value chain to minimize our impact on the environment. Intrepid has developed more than 40 new low carbon trips, with a focus on activities including walking, trekking and cycling. Lowering the carbon output from our trips is also supported by the development of our new domestic range. In addition, flights have been removed from five top-selling products in Borneo, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and Egypt.”
Here are 5 of its top picks for a low impact holiday:
Trading planes for trains, taxis for cyclos
This 13-day tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh shows how travelling with a low footprint can help create a big impact. From navigating cities on a cyclo, a novel three-wheeled zero-emission wonder, to a family dinner at KOTO, a not-for-profit restaurant connecting at-risk youth with careers in hospitality, this trip is a perfect example of travelling with people and the planet in mind.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Beyond local, low-impact transportation and a focus on community operated restaurants, in 2022 we’ve replaced a flight from Hanoi to Hoi An with an overnight train. Rail travel is not only better for the planet but it often enhances the experience for travelers, seeing more of the countryside and smaller towns that you’d otherwise miss.
Off-grid is even better than offsetting
Going off-grid is one of the surest ways to minimize your environmental impact. On Intrepid’s Larapinta Trail adventure, travelers will tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks, where days are spent hiking and swimming in the wild and nights are spent camping in the wilderness in traditional swags under the star-filled desert skies.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: While a digital-detox can help provide a much-needed mental recharge, it is also the most environmentally friendly way to travel. A 100% human powered adventure like this effectively means eliminating your footprint.
Non-essential flights can essentially be the same as driving
This cultural expedition is filled with small examples of how travelers can make a big impact. From trains and boats to dinners with a Nubian family, you’ll quickly learn why locally minded travel is better for the planet.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: In 2022, the flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel was removed in favor of driving. Between airport check-ins and wait times, it was calculated that door-to-door there was essentially no time saved from flying and lots of emissions to be saved by driving. Be sure you are looking at total travel time vs. flight time for the truest picture on how much “time” and “energy” a flight will take – the answer may surprise you.
Community-owned > foreign-owned
On Day 2 of Intrepid’s Premium Peru trip, travelers will visit Posada Amazonas, nestled on the side of the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon. This lodge is community-owned by the Ese Eja Indigenous people and will host travelers for 2 nights. As traditional stewards of the land, the lodge was built using local materials and designed to work in concert with nature.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Community-owned lodges and hotels are collectively owned and developed to benefit multiple families and residents of a community. These types of properties are found all over the world and almost guarantee 100% of your tourism dollars genuinely support the community you visit. When looking for a unique stay, try booking a proper community-based hotel stay.
Undertourism that over delivers
Travelers will capture the magic of the USA’s famed Grand Canyon on a guided 5-day walking adventure, starting with a hike along the popular South Rim, soaking in spectacular views of the Canyon and Colorado River, before continuing to the lesser-visited and awe-inspiring North Rim that sees just 10% of the visitors of its southern counterpart. Local guides will show off hidden trails, secret look out points and unusual wildlife each day, before spending the evenings in a scenic campsite beneath a sky full of stars.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: The road less travelled is often a much more sustainable and responsible one. By seeking under-touristed trails and lookouts, you are reducing the strain on the built environment and helping ensure other places and people benefit from tourism. Always seek out alternative views, perspectives and paths that will provide the same effect with a reduced impact.
ABOUT INTREPID TRAVEL
Intrepid Travel is a world leader in sustainable experience-rich travel that has been taking travelers to discover the world’s most amazing places for more than 30 years. The company’s mission is to create positive change through the joy of travel. The company offers more than 1,150 trips on every continent and every is designed to truly experience local culture. With its own network of destination management companies in 23 countries, Intrepid has unique local expertise and perspectives. Globally renowned as a leader in responsible travel, in 2018 the carbon-neutral business became the world’s largest travel company to be certified B-Corp. Intrepid Travel is the only global tour operator with verified science-based carbon reduction targets and its not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, has raised more than $11 million for more than 130 charities around the world. For further information download the company’s 2021 Integrated Annual Report and follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
“Guerrilla Marketing”, is all about achieving the maximum marketing bang for the buck. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to be creative. Today we are going to seek out three new tactics to tap into groups of consumers and to spend our money in as leveraged a way possible: Read the rest of this entry »
It wasn’t long after we published last week’s post, Seven Workarounds To France’s Pass Sanitaire, that we learned of the French government’s plans to drop requirements for the health pass. This comes as welcome news to travelers heading to France this spring and beyond. In fact, Britton is headed to France on Monday. See I’m Going To Paris On Monday.
While we won’t know the full details until next week, this site, www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus, (translated from French), suggests that the Pass Sanitaire will not be required for most activities: From March 14, the application of the “vaccination pass” will be suspended in Read the rest of this entry »
Listen up! We’ve all heard the phrase “What’s old is new again.”
Live audio is all the rage now. It’s the mash-up of old school and new school. First off the block was Clubhouse, now comes Live Audio Rooms from Facebook.
Tune in for a quick low-down on these 2 popular platforms. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, if that is not an attention-grabbing title, I don’t know what is. But bear with me because there is a lesson to be learned and it is a good one. And I promise all links will be completely suitable for work.
I have long championed owning your own sandbox when it comes to an online presence. There are many travel agencies that rely on cookie-cutter websites provided by their host, franchise, or consortia. There are even some who have foregone a website and are relying on Facebook for their online presence. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make. Read the rest of this entry »
As travel begins to resume, I thought it might make sense to look at some basic strategies to help us all recover. Remember when Facebook was the place you went to tell your friends what you ate for lunch? Social media has become much more than just a place to connect with friends. It is now a full-blown powerhouse for businesses of every stripe. But you already knew that right?
Every user is a potential customer, and to make sure you place your best foot forward, every engagement matters. So, how do you maximize that engagement? Here are seven tips. Read the rest of this entry »
Things change! Did 2020 prove that or what? And the travel industry is about to undergo a significant shift in 2021 and beyond in the way it works. There will be challenges. There will be wins, and losses. I was having dinner with an agency owner the other week and we were discussing (and maybe arguing) how the industry must adapt to a changing travel world that is yet to be defined. Here’s what we came up with! Read the rest of this entry »
Do you find that as the recovery of travel ramps up, that some social marketing tactics seem old and out of touch with the times?
Over the last year, so much has changed in the ways that people consume marketing that savvy travel pros are turning to new ways to stand out in the noisy social marketing space.
Let’s explore 3 creative ways to get noticed, so that fans and clients are excited in this new era. We’ll dive into the 3-A’s to amplify your brand: Ads, Audiences, and Audio.
“Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, “Greenroom,” last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned (MSFT.O) LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products.” Source
Technology has empowered customers in ways we never would have imagined ten years ago. Heck, we probably could not have imagined it last week. With the touch of a few buttons, customers can have all the information they want at their fingertips and often “know” more than we might about a particular destination—and that’s alright.
Also, they also can decimate a business with a few taps on their phone with a negative review, or worse. This scenario is even harsher for smaller agencies with fewer reviews—the negative ones will stand out!
Keeping up with technology isn’t easy. As a business owner, you need to think about not only managing your reputation but how to get the attention of potential clients and keep them interested enough to make them want to continue interacting with you.
So, what can you do to increase the number of customers engaging with you and your agency? Read the rest of this entry »
By now, you probably heard about the current squabble between Facebook and Apple. If not, here’s the background. So, why should a battle between tech giants impact the travel industry? Well, it doesn’t directly, but it might significantly affect your marketing and further reinforce the need to own your own sandbox. Read the rest of this entry »
Travel will return soon, spurred by an increasing number of people vaccinated or simply willing to hit the road after so many months of being shut-in. If your clients haven’t yet made a road trip, that may be first on their agenda, and then as countries open up, that first airline ticket purchase. Already countries like Costa Rica, Belize, Poland, Croatia, and Iceland are accepting arrivals. Is it safe to travel now? That is such a personal question it is unanswerable in the abstract. Everyone has to decide for themselves when they are ready. Certainly, we have seen busier airports and destinations in Mexico are already seeing increases in the number of tourists visiting. But for each of us, the decision to travel absolutely must be a personal choice when your clients and their traveling companions are confident and willing. Read the rest of this entry »
With the dominance of social media marketing, you might think that sending an old-fashioned email might be akin to a letter, right? Wrong!
When it comes to keeping clients and prospects engaged with your agency — email marketing is king.
New tech comes and goes daily it seems. Google+…out. Tik Tok…in. Snapchat…who knows. But you know what is always “in?” Email.
Maintaining an email list is no longer something nice to have, but it is imperative if you want to grow your travel business, and here are four reasons why. Read the rest of this entry »
We all saw the memes* last week of Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration of President Biden, right? Off topic, this is my favorite; but they were good and I started to think of how our news cycle and, in fact the election, was largely guided by memes and decided I needed to have one of my own. So here it is. Read the rest of this entry »
Back when I first started shooting video, I used to stare at the keyboard (procrastinating). I’d then search online for what other people were doing (time-suck). And then, I left my desk to get glammed up thinking inspiration would come to me from my make-up bag! (NOT!)
After 40 minutes, I still had nothing anywhere close to video content. Nada! Zilch!
Does that sound familiar?
The other day a travel pro asked me, “Why even bother shooting video… it takes so much time! Who’s watching travel & tourism videos now anyway?”
That got me into research mode, and here’s what I found. In their 2020 report, Wyzowl found: Read the rest of this entry »