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Destinations

Europe's summer tourism outlook dimmed by variants, rules
Chaos and confusion over travel rules and measures to contain new virus outbreaks are contributing to another cruel summer for Europe’s battered tourism industry. Popular destination countries are grappling with surging COVID-19 variants…

Travel to the Caribbean during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go
If you're planning to travel to the islands of the Caribbean, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic…

Italy Makes Vaccine Passport Mandatory For Indoor Activities Including Restaurants
Italy has mandated an official COVID-19 vaccine pass to enter various indoor activities, including bars, restaurants, and cafes…

How has Las Vegas changed since reopening? 5 things that are different since the pandemic
Las Vegas is buzzing again! If you haven't visited since before COVID-19 hit, here's what to know about masks, casinos, buffets, hotels and parking…

Bubble burst: New Zealand suspends quarantine-free travel with Australia
New Zealand will pause its quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia for at least eight weeks starting Friday night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as Australia fights an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta virus variant…

Tours and Activities

At This Family-friendly Florida Resort, Kids Can Have 'Pirate Campouts' — and Parents Can Dine Kid-free
There's something to keep guests of every age happy at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island…

11 Tastiest Pastries To Try In Europe
One of the joys of travel is the opportunity to sample local cuisine and regional specialties. Desserts are at the top of everyone's list…

10 Ways To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist In Italy
As they say, “When in Rome…” But what does it mean to “do as the Romans do”? Quite literally, the phrase means that it is advisable…

Top 5 Adventure Travel Destinations for Your Bucket List
Learn about these 5 adventure travel destinations for your bucket list…

Traveling to Los Cabos? What to know
Traveling to Cabo looks a little bit different right now because of Covid - here's what you need to know before you go…

Cruise

More Celebrity ships sail, for total of eight now cruising
Celebrity Cruises continued comeback, Millennium to Alaska, Xpedition in Galapagos and Eclipse bound for Caribbean…

Court reverses course on COVID-19 cruise-ship regulations, lifting CDC's safety measures
The federal appeals court has changed course and said the CDC cannot require cruises to follow its COVID-19 protocols…

Three more major cruise lines resume departures as cruising comeback ramps up
Holland America, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are the latest big cruise lines to restart operations after a 16-month, COVID-19-related hiatus…

Oceania adds Europe and Tahiti cruises in early 2022, marking full return to service
Oceania Cruises introduced 16 new Europe and Tahiti voyages in early 2022 aboard Regatta and Nautica, marking its full return to service with all six ships…

On These Expedition Cruises, Guests Play a Critical Role
Researchers like Allison Cusick are recruiting cruise passengers to help them carry out their life's work…

Transportation

Mandatory Masks On U.S. Airlines Could Be Dropped By September
The CEO of a leading airline and lobby group has revealed there's no push in the industry for the mask mandate to be extended…

United Airlines evacuates plane ready for take off after multiple passengers receive ominous text message
A United Airlines flight was evacuated in San Francisco after a teenager onboard allegedly sent several other passengers pictures of an Airsoft gun via AirDrop before departure…

The 10 best U.S. airlines in 2021
Travel website The Points Guy ranked the best U.S. airlines this year…

More than 450 airlines can now use IBM’s blockchain-based vaccine passport
Airline passengers can show a QR code for proof of their Covid-19 status. The technology may one day replace passports…

This Airline Was Just Voted Best in the World for 2021
Qatar Airways was voted the best airline in the world for 2021, according to AirlineRatings.com…

Lodging

EU gives Google 2 months to improve hotel, flight search results
Alphabet unit Google (GOOGL.O) has two months to improve the way it presents internet search results for flights and hotels and explain how it ranks these or face possible sanctions, the European Commission and EU consumer authorities said on Monday…

The best hotels in Bali of 2021
The Indonesian island of Bali is one tourism destination whose reopening we’ve been eagerly awaiting. The opening to foreign travelers has been delayed…

5 Hotels For Serious Tequila Lovers
If you love all things agave, and believe tequila deserves more than just a day to be celebrated, go a step further and book a tequila-centric vacation…

Legends Of Luxury: Four Historical Hotels
Choosing the perfect place to stay should be equal parts style, comfort, and variety; where you wake up and spend your down time counts as much as exploring your destination…

Maui Mayor Vetoes Hotel Construction Moratorium Bill
Maui’s mayor has vetoed a bill that would have imposed a moratorium on hotel construction in parts of Maui…

Other and Odd

Singapore aims to start quarantine-free travel by September
Singapore is looking to allow quarantine-free travel for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from September, when 80% of the city-state's population should be inoculated, the government said on Monday…

Is it cultural appropriation to wear another country's national dress when you travel?
Here's what to know about dressing up in a qipao, hanbok or kimono…

Luxury Hotels Are Building Hundreds of New High-end Vacation Homes — and We Got a Look Inside
More hotels are getting into the real estate game, selling private vacation homes that come with all the bells and whistles…

Man avoids travel restrictions by dressing up as his wife
The man covered his face and checked in on his wife's ID to board the domestic flight. But his trick was discovered by a flight attendant onboard…

State Department removes option to book last-minute passport appointments online
The State Department is no longer allowing travelers to schedule last-minute passport appointments online to prevent third parties from scooping up the appointments for a profit…

Editorial Musings

Are you bringing your “A-Game” to the table with the human touch?
The competition is fierce out there. Not only are we competing with the travel agency down the road, we are competing with the one across the globe. We are competing with the big, bad Internet. And, we are even competing with our “valued partners” who are still leveraging their direct to consumer sales. So, how does a small agency (or a large one for that matter) compete in today’s market? Easy!  Bring your “A-Game” to the travel table. It’s just that easy. I am not sure about your neighborhood, but 10 years ago, Home Depot was the place to go for any hardware store type needs. I remember walking into a cavernous building with millions of items. An associate would approach me and ask if he or…

Publishers Corner

Good examples of bad examples
In the past I’ve written articles about how travel professionals can learn from really good companies and industries. An incident over the past week, however, reminds me of how much we have to learn from companies whose sense of customer satisfaction was apparently developed in a vacuum. On a positive note, because most consumers have to deal frequently with these bungled attempts at customer service, the cosmic bar has been lowered and good customer service is a very welcomed change you can deliver on with surprising ease. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to briefly study some good examples of bad examples: Cable companies - certainly Comcast and Time Warner have worked hard to earn the top

Press Releases of Interest

8th Annual ‘Promote Your Professionalism’ campaign underway with annual 50% certification scholarships from The Travel Institute
FRAMINGHAM, MA, JUNE 28, 2021 –The Travel Institute’s 8th Annual Promote Your Professionalism, or PYP, campaign kicks off today, June 28, and again runs through July as the annual opportunity for agents to utilize scholarship funds while strengthening both their business skills and travel industry knowledge. Delivering the travel industry’s education gold standard for more than 55 years, the non-profit has supported more than 3100 students in endowed scholarships…

Honoring the Legacy of Bob Duglin
Zane Kerby, President and CEO of The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), issues the following statement on the passing of ASTA colleague and friend, Robert (Bob) Duglin: “With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our friend, colleague and industry statesman, Bob Duglin. Bob passed away on Sunday at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. More than ten years ago, Bob was hired by Scott Koepf, who served as President of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) at the time. Bob’s initial role was to organize FAM trips for NACTA, now known as the ASTA Small Business Network. Through the years, Bob rose steadily in responsibility. At the time of his passing, he held the title of Vice President, International Membership & Host…

Hungary Opens Its Doors to European Visitors
Budapest, July 5th, 2021 - After reaching the significant 5,5 million vaccinated mark, another long-awaited stage of reopening took effect in Hungary. While many restrictions have already been lifted in recent months, everyday life in the country is going further back to normal: mandatory mask wearing is lifted at all places indoors and outdoors – except for health- and social care institutions – while hotels, beaches, restaurants, and spas are open to the public without the obligation of holding an…

American Cruise Lines Alaska Season is Underway 1st Ship to Dock in Haines in 622 Days!
Guilford, CT—June 26, 2021— American Cruise Lines is pleased to announce that their 2021 Alaska season is underway and their small ship cruises will continue to explore throughout Southeast Alaska all summer long. On June 12th, American Constellation was the first cruise ship to dock in Haines in 622 days (since September 29, 2019). To celebrate the town’s 1st docking in almost 2 years, American’s guests were warmly welcomed on shore by Mayor Douglass Olerud, the Chilkat Dancers, and many members of the Haines community. “We are thrilled to be back in Haines and appreciate the wonderful reception we received from the community…

Beyond Times Square Announces Luxury Summer Experiences in New England – Spend Summer 2021 in Style with BTSQ
June 30, 2021 – New York, NY— Beyond Times Square (BTSQ), a New York City-based leading luxury travel service company, recently announced the launch of its line of luxury summer experiences to one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Northeastern U.S. – the New England region. “The New England states are adorned with beautiful cities, charming historic towns, secluded natural attractions and pristine beaches,” said Joel Cohen, General Manager at BTSQ. “In other words – it’s the perfect choice for a luxury summer vacation!” BTSQ has focused its experiences on both…

1:1

Interview with LeeAnn Roper Cumbow, Senior Business Development Manager for Vacation Express
LeeAnn Roper Cumbow’s career within the world of travel began in 1992 with Northwest Airlink as one of their flight attendants. In 1997, she shifted gears and launched her career with Vacation Express as one of their travel agents. She immediately caught the attention of Vacation Express executives, and in 1998, Cumbow became their Business Development Manager for Memphis. In 2001, she was promoted to Inside Sales Manager and simultaneously served New Orleans and Nashville as their Business Development Manager. In 2012, Cumbow became the Senior Business Development Manager for Vacation Express. Today, she provides strategic direction for overall business development and implementation. Her knack for developing pricing procedures, contract negotiations, and overall strategies…

Editorial Musings

Travel Success in 2021 and Beyond: Adapt to These 9 Strategies And You May Have A Chance
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…

Mike's Morning Missives

And That’s a Wrap
2019 is just about yesterday’s news. I don’t want to use a beat up worn-torn saying but I will: “Where has the time gone?” I also refuse to suggest that you have a Happy New Year. I’d rather remind you that time waits for nobody, and whether your New Year will be happy or not…

Mike’s 1-Minute Marketing Memos

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda
  Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this behavior: I would’ve done it if I had more money. I could’ve tried if I had more time. I should’ve called them but … This happens more often than not, when you get an idea and fail to act on it. This simply does not have…

Publishers Corner

Relationship Sales
They say every preacher really has only one sermon. Here’s mine: success in the travel industry has everything to do with relationship selling. Too much of the agency population continues to act as though it is in the business of selling travel and is trapped in a transactional, retail mentality. The travel advisorys and agencies  doing…

1:1

Anita Pagliasso, VP of Industry Relations, KHM Travel Group
Anita has been in the travel industry for over 28 years. She founded the host agency Ticket to Travel in 1993, which was merged into KHM Travel Group in 2020. Her voice has been one of inspiring the at-home advisor with books such as “How I Made a Small Fortune as a Home-Based Travel Agent”,…