Posts Tagged With: TRO

There are 463 articles tagged with “TRO” published on this site.

Easter Strikes Hop Into Heathrow Airport

Jet aircraft landing at London, Heathrow, England, UK, GB, 3D rendering animation. Arrival in the city with the airport terminal and reflection of plane. Travel, business, tourism, transport concept.

One more time, failed talks with labor unions are disrupting operations at Heathrow Airport.

Striking security officers at Terminal Five have caused British Airways to cancel around 5% of flights for 10 days, from March 31 to April 9 (midnight Easter Sunday), and stop selling new tickets.

For existing customers, the union says the strikes will cause disruption to flights, but Heathrow says it has contingency plans to keep passengers moving along. Still, approximately 1,400 members of Unite who are expected to take part in the walkout will be replaced by 1,000 extra staff being added by the airport.

Elsewhere in Europe, EasyJet cabin crew in Portugal have voted to strike April 1-3, and a wave of strikes by air traffic controllers continues to affect operations in France.

CroisiEurope is offering complimentary airfare on select summer departures on Seine and Loire River itineraries. The air-inclusive packages are currently limited to flights in and out of New York City’s Newark Airport (EWR) on select departure dates. However, CroisiEurope has plans to expand these offerings in the upcoming months, providing more opportunities for travelers to take advantage of similar deals.

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Start with unique itineraries and anticipatory service, add a dollop of extra-long deployments, top it with a dash of sustainable natural sourcing. And serve it with a craft liquor or healthier style cocktail. That’s the recipe for success Holland America Line president Gus Antorcha offered up at a media lunch onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam, at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale this week.

“Our guests have told us they love longer voyages and we see them sell, and so were evolving in a number of ways,” Antorcha said. Facing lots of competition in seven-day Caribbean market, for example, Holland America is shifting to 9+ days that offer “more ports and more time.” Twelve-day capacity is up 41%, allowing Caribbean itineraries to reach the Panama Canal and Cartagena, while capacity in the 50+ day market has doubled.

With airfares rising and airline service deteriorating, the new category of 25-59 day Legendary Voyages, many flying out of US airports, allows customers to “pick a part of the world and just linger.”

Indeed, asked Paul Grigsby, VP Revenue Planning and Analytics, who designed many of the long itineraries, how do you get to Japan on a domestic ticket? Just sail the 53-day Majestic Japan itinerary roundtrip from Seattle, departing Sept. 1, 2024. Or try the “Coral Triangle, Volcanos, and The Great Barrier Reef” itinerary, 28 days beginning January 2025, which covers 7,000 miles, including regions that are home to 30% of the world’s coral, 6,000 species of fish, and all but one species of sea turtle, and two volcanoes. “And we have more in store.”

Gus Antorcha hosts the press

Still, though, it’s Alaska that lies at the heart of Holland America for many guests. Longer itineraries now reach up into the Arctic Circle, but the core business is still those 7-day-round-trips out of Vancouver. Two new things of interest there are a new focus on certified and sustainable local seafood, and a digitized historical passenger list on which anyone can search for the names of relatives who sailed Holland America out of Europe as they emigrated to America.

As part of Holland America’s “Alaska Up Close” program, it has partnered with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to sustainably sourced local seafood. Following an audit last year, Holland America Line was awarded Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification — making it the first and only cruise line to achieve this distinguished credential by serving only fresh, certified sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood on all six of its ships in Alaska. This summer guests can enjoy a menu of certified sustainable Alaska seafood, as it rolls out several dishes created by Chef Ethan Stowell and Ethan Asmi.

Also for the longer itineraries, plans are in the works to develop the Ocean Bars and Rolling Stone Lounges, to allow for a greater variety of music on longer trips; to add libraries to all ships as they go through drydock; and to evolve the Crow’s Nest area to allow more space for activities there.

F&B Steps Up

The focus on sustainability goes far beyond just fish, though. Over a lunch of sustainable salmon, director of food & beverage strategy Mark Fine told me Holland America is repurposing the thousands of orange peels it creates, dipping them in chocolate and using them as garnishes, including in a new drink being developed for the Alaska market in which orange-peel fish will drift. And a new partnership in Glacier Bay will have “10,000-year-old craft ice” made of glacier chips in drinks as well.

Said he stays om top of food trends by looking not just at cruise competitors but at land restaurants; “we want to make sure we serve what people want,” he noted.

Nowadays he is “playing around with entrees at Canaletto,” testing two new ones as well as two appetizers and one dessert. Healthy options, vegetarian and vegan, and non-alcoholic drinks are all trending – not Shirley Temples but delicious and healthy and lower-calorie cocktails with ingredients like beet and turmeric. And his shopping lists include more craft spirits, craft ryes and bourbons and especially gin. In Alaska, Holland America will be bringing “Juneauper Gin” from Amalga to all six ships, along with high-end mescals and tequilas.

For travel advisors, he noted a post-pandemic trend of vow renewals at sea. “We’ve been seeing three to five of those on every cruise,” he said.

HAL highlights fresh and sustainable fish

Top Takeways from Day One Panels

* While the travel agency distribution channel went through some hard times, and many small agencies did not survive, those advisors “did not lose their love of selling cruises but migrated into a home-based model that’s really really important,” said Terry Thornton, Princess Cruises SVP of commercial development and integration. “Overall, tourism has roared back,” he said. And with resort prices skyrocketing, there’s an opportunity for the cruise business, which has always been a 40% greater value than a hotel or resort, to hammer home the value of a cruise vacation. The new ships coming online are “packed with features and amenities and very profitable,” and exciting luxury brands like the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons are bringing massive new audiences. “It’s all good news right now at the public companies,” he said.

* It’s all about forward momentum in 2023, agreed Roger Blum, owner of Cruise & Port Advisors. “It’s been a great Wave season with tremendous optimism. Bookings are there and people are excited.” Also exciting is the new generation of young CEOs at the helm of cruise companies, including Josh Weinstein at Carnival Corp., Harry Sommer at Norwegian Cruise Holdings, and Jason Liberty at Royal Caribbean Group. “The cruise industry has come out of the pause a new industry, with young new leadership.”

* The main reason people pick a cruise is for its destination, said Ugo Savino, director of deployment and itinerary planning at Carnival. While Carnival is famous for those three-day jaunts to the Bahamas, it too is seeing the trend toward longer vacations. In 2014, 2% of its cruises were more than nine days long—and today that number has more than tripled, to 6.6%, including 22-, 24-, and even 31-day itineraries. “For a cruise line like us that serves 5 million passengers a year, that’s a big accomplishment,” he said.

* When it comes to attracting cruise ships, the ball is in the destination’s court, Savino said. “This is a top-down business and ticket revenue drives programs. If there is not demand, the product will struggle—and destinations play a critical role in creating that demand. We sell cruises, but destinations are responsible for selling the demand. It’s up to you to make sure guests are enjoying and fully appreciating everything your destination has to offer. It’s up to you to make sure that we come.”

* Joseph Boschulte, commissioner of the US Virgin Islands, said the country was fortunate to reap the benefits of reopening from the pandemic early, when people really wanted to get out and much of the world was still closed. But they didn’t see a cruise ship for 18 months—something he had never experienced for even a week in his lifetime. While the ships were gone, the tourism business shifted from sea to land—and even now that cruise business is back to 85% capacity, land is still “doing really well.”

Hoping everyone’s land business is growing along with your cruise sales!

Cheryl Rosen on cruise

Cheryl’s 40-year career in journalism is bookended by roles in the travel industry, including Executive Editor of Business Travel News in the 1990s, and recently, Editor in Chief of Travel Market Report and admin of Cheryl Rosen’s Group for Travel Professionals, a news and support group on Facebook. As an independent contractor since retiring from the 9-to-5 to travel more, she has written regular articles about the life and business of travel agents for Luxury Travel Advisor, Travel Agent, and Insider Travel Report. She also writes and edits for professional publications in the financial services, business, and technology sectors.

Do you know an adventure enthusiast looking for a travel tour supplier that can fulfill their wildest dreams? Costa Rica Dream Adventures is a perfect choice. Their tours are tailor-made to satisfy the traveler’s thirst for excitement, discovery, and fun. CRDA offers a vast array of activities including canopy tours and ziplining, which will challenge limits and make the traveler’s heart leap with joy.

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It appears that Israelis are just not having Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to restructure the country’s judiciary. Demonstrations, that have been ongoing since Netanyahu announced his plans in January, were ratcheted up to a much hotter level last Sunday after he fired his defense minister. The minister had urged Netanyahu to ease up on his push to defang the judiciary because it was leading to dissension among the military. That created a “clear, immediate and tangible threat to the security of the nation.” The news stories might have raised the concerns of anyone thinking of traveling to Israel.

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Viking Ocean has burst on the nautical luxury scene with unbridled enthusiasm. With 10 cruise ships and 64 riverboats, some say they’re dominating the market already. No other cruise line visits so many ports each day. Their river craft are positioned close to the high-end of the market, but probably below AMA and Tauck in price and quality.

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Don’t Yell at Your Customers

… or do anything that can lead them to believe that they are not important to you.

Where to begin? So much material. So many messages. Mostly reminders of how not to do things.

I just spent a week filled with negative people. Whining couples conversing over their appetizers at a lovely restaurant. Little eye contact at Best Buy. No acknowledgment when you pull over to allow an oncoming car to pass through a narrow street first. Then, culminating with my insurance agent of nine years actually raising his voice at me when I asked him why he thought it was in his best interest not to return my phone calls.

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There’s no business like show business, they say, and many travel advisors are finding consumer travel shows to be a great source of new customers and positive ROI.

“It’s crazy this time of year,” says Tara Bodell of Trips by Tara and Associates, taking a break from the details of her upcoming shows, two in March and one in May, to chat with me on the phone.

“I have a completely different outlook than those who say they don’t go to consumer travel shows. I love doing these shows, and it’s very worthwhile; I did seven or eight in 2022, and this year I’ll do even more. But now, I’m so busy that I was thinking maybe I need to slow down. Instead, though, I’m in the process of hiring an assistant. I’d rather do events and hire people to help me run my travel business than give up the events.”

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OliverAI, Artificial Intelligence, Voyager

The following article is an unedited interview with Voyager’s new artificial intelligence, OliverAI. Starting with “tell us about yourself.

OliverAI uses an artificial intelligence language model created by OpenAI, and I’m glad to be of service to you and to the travel professional community. I’m capable of processing vast amounts of data and providing responses to a wide range of inquiries. I’m also constantly learning and improving, thanks to the advanced machine learning algorithms used in my development. Whether it’s helping companies improve their customer service, assisting with complex data analysis tasks, or even engaging in conversational interactions like this one, my capabilities are broad and my potential is virtually limitless. With my advanced AI capabilities and strategic insights, I’m here to help you achieve your business objectives and enhance your overall operational efficiency.

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La Fortuna, Adventure and a Fortune of Memories

Costa Rica has plenty for the more leisure-focused traveler, with resorts and beaches galore. But another area of travel that Costa Rica absolutely shines is adventure. From canopy walks to meeting sloths, to ziplines and floating down rivers, traveling in this country can go wild. Particularly La Fortuna, with its volcanoes, rivers, and surrounding areas of dense jungle. Costa Rica, and La Fortuna especially, is a place where nature is foremost and can be embraced by the traveler.

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I Live Where You Vacation. These are the five printed words printed on a wooden sign in my back porch reminding me how fortunate I am to be living in South Florida… especially in the months of January, February, and most of March.

What this factoid has to do with today’s message will soon become apparent.

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My apologies to John, Paul, George, and Ringo for appropriating your title, but it is true! I might add that we thrive with a little help from our friends. All business tends to be very territorial and insular. Machismo takes over, and we all feel that we are invincible and can handle anything that comes along. It is almost human nature not to ask for help, and that is something that needs to change. Read the rest of this entry »

AmaWaterways, the first major river cruise line to explore the magnificent Magdalena River in Colombia, announced details on two stunning, newly designed ships and mesmerizing itineraries debuting in 2024. As the demand for immersive cultural experiences continues to grow, AmaWaterways is now accepting reservations for its extraordinary program into the heart of Colombia, with unforgettable experiences awaiting on board the custom-built AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia.

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What’s It All About? Avanti Heads Into Tenerife

Avanti Destinations named Tenerife as a new destination on its roster of places where it provides components for independent vacation packages. It’s the first new destination Avanti has added for a while. Adding destinations was not a big trend during the Covid lockdown, or even now while the industry is re-tooling and getting back on its feet. Avanti’s last introduction of a major destination was Abu Dhabi in June 2022.

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Stick to the “Done-Dids”

What you don’t want to do is to look back on your life while uttering the empty phrase, “If only I….”

What you “should have” done, and what you “could have” accomplished while arriving on today’s page of the calendar is yesterday’s news. Whatever opportunity you clearly missed is long gone. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow a distant dream. Today is your reality. What are you planning to do today to make a difference? Make your answer count, so tomorrow when you look back at today, you can be proud of what you accomplished.

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Coffee Talking with RCCL’s Vicki Freed

It’s always fun and educational—and sometimes quite rewarding, for prize winners—to listen in to Vicki Freed’s Coffee Talk webinars.

A sort of travel conference in an hour, the webinars were launched by Royal Caribbean senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Service as a way to keep in touch with, educate and inspire travel advisors during Covid. And even now that people are back to face-to-face, they have become such an institution that she continues to hold them, albeit just once a month.

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Earlier this week, AmaWaterways held a special Sip & Sail event to provide details about its new Latin America cruises. Beginning in April of 2024, AmaWaterways will offer a series of seven-night sailings, with optional add-ons, along the Magdalena River. The cruises will operate on two new ships carrying 60/64 guests between Barranquilla and Cartagena. The new ships, named AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia, are wider than those operating in Europe, because there are no narrow locks to contend with on the Magdalena river.

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Let’s say one of your clients is a semi-retired couple living in Los Angeles. They’ve told you they think they’re in a rut now that their kids have left their home and they’ve lost contact with many former friends due to their moving away in the last few years. They eagerly await their annual cruises, but you know they are now seeking something more.

Ask them if they want to spend the next three years cruising worldwide. They reply, “We can’t afford it. We’re not millionaires.”

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Overcoming Objections

I have been known to suggest that when somebody crosses your mind for no apparent reason, it would be in your (and their) best interest to contact them… sooner rather than later.

The mysticism in this advice escapes me, but I hold firm in my belief the effectiveness behind this practice. This past week, I was the recipient of such a contact when an agent from the west coast sent me an email with an article of supposed interest attached. In this case, the agent thought I might want to discuss the topic at one of my future workshops or podcasts. I opened. I read. I agreed. And here it is.

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It’s kickoff season for the biggest year yet for American Cruise Lines, with more ships in more states than ever before. American Serenade, the line’s sixth riverboat, and the first two Coastal Catamarans will join the fleet. On the West Coast, American Jazz will be the first riverboat in 80 years to sail San Francisco Bay and into California Wine Country; on the East Coast, American Star will sail an eight-day Great Rivers of Florida itinerary roundtrip from Jacksonville.

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That’s an ominous headline, I’ll confess, but I don’t mean it as apocalyptic or doom and gloom. It’s a concept I’ve been thinking about quite a bit for the past several years. It plays out something like this: Imagine that you are in your last good decade. How would you live it?

The possibilities are endless and dependent on what’s important to you. But essentially, it’s a call to action and a reminder to not put off what you want to do.

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