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Destinations

Hawaii tentatively reopening to tourists October 15
For the fourth time in as many months, the state of Hawaii announced plans to reopen to tourists who have negative Covid-19 test results.…

The Philippines revealed as 100th destination to receive WTTC Safe Travels stamp
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced that in just three short months, 100 destinations are now using its ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, with the Philippines becoming the official 100th destination. The widespread adoption of the stamp demonstrates that WTTC and all its global members have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.…

Cancun Has Become One Of Top Destinations in The World During the Pandemic
Cancun has become one of the most popular destinations in the world during the pandemic and more airlines are adding connectivity to keep up.…

11 Unique Fall Camping Destinations In The U.S.
You know it’s fall camping season when summer’s heat begins to fade, the leaves begin to put on their splendid show, and a desire to get outdoors has you digging through your camping gear. All the senses seem to alight with the invigorating, crisp air, the sound of leaves crunching underfoot, the vibrant colors, and the smell of the campfire.…

Caribbean records 50 per cent decline in visitor arrivals
Caribbean countries have recorded a 50 per cent decline in tourist arrivals up to the month of June this year, a senior official of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) said on Wednesday.…

Tours and Activities

Intrepid Launches New International Tours to Get Families Traveling Again
In September, global tour operator Intrepid Travel launched new family-friendly trips all over the world in response to what it calls “unprecedented demand” for family tours. In a statement, the company explained, these retreat-style tours come with “safety and quality as top priorities.” …

Italian-style car tour in ... Paso Robles? Of course, there's wine
Drivers, start your engines. With many tours and events canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canossa Grand Tours is launching Italian-style car tour in the Paso Robles area during harvest. Four-day luxury road trips, called Grand Tour California…

This Exclusive Napa Valley Estate Is the Perfect Place to Social Distance With Wine, Food, and Farm Animals
The Adamvs estate in Angwin, California, has always been an ideal setting for outdoor wine tastings, and, like before COVID, is accepting guests by appointment only.…

This New Malibu Bike Tour Includes Stunning Ocean Views and Wine Tasting
Saddle Rock Ranch vineyard, a ranch encompassing some 1,000 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, will take guests through the grapevines, too.…

Is virtual tourism the new way to travel the world?
A new proposal for virtual tourism using livestreaming and mathematical techniques could help revitalise an industry that has been devastated by COVID-19…

Cruise

Royal Caribbean CEO warns of anti-cruise group using CDC website to try to extend no sail order
According to the CEO of a major cruise line, an anti-cruise group is attempting to flood the CDC website in an apparent attempt to pressure the organization into extending the no-sail order. In an attempt to counteract the group’s efforts, the CEO is asking fans of the cruise line for help.…

Carnival Cruise Line Terminates Thousands of Crew Members and Senior Shipboard Officers
Carnival Cruise Line is taking steps to terminate and/or not renew the contracts of employment of several thousands of officers and crew members throughout its fleet, according to several crew members who wish to remain anonymous.…

Tests, masks, temperature checks: 'Healthy Sail Panel' submits 74 COVID-19 cruise recommendations to CDC
It's not news that cruising will be different when ships return to U.S. waters as cruise operators seek to ensure passengers' safety. But the question of just what a cruise vacation will look like in the COVID-19 era has lingered during a more than six-month industry-wide pause.…

Carnival Cruise Lines cancels more cruises, plans to sell 18 ships amid pandemic fallout
Some cruise lovers will to wait a little longer before they can set sail again. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Carnival Cruise Lines says it will cancel voyages until early next year. Carnival announced Wednesday that Caribbean cruises are cancelled until the end of January, and other voyages are cancelled into the spring. …

Caribbean's First Cruises Start in November Aboard SeaDream Yacht Club
The Caribbean is taking its first steps for the resumption of cruising after more than six months since the pandemic forced the suspension of the vital tourism industries. Luxury yacht cruise line SeaDream Yacht Club is preparing to launch what will likely become the first cruises into the Caribbean.…

Transportation

Spirit Airlines reiterates mask policy, CDC standards after passenger refuses to swap gaiter
Spirit Airlines reiterated its policy of wearing only masks approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a passenger refused to wear anything other than his neck gaiter, which does not meet CDC standards. …

Covid-19 Can Spread On Long Airline Flights, Per Two New Studies
While the airline industry has touted flying as a low-risk activity during the coronavirus pandemic, two new international studies strongly suggest that Covid-19 is transmissable on long-haul airline flights.…

Airline CEOs plead with Washington as layoffs loom
The race to prevent massive airline layoffs in October is heating up with CEOs and union leaders pleading with the White House and Congress to reach a deal for more industry aid.…

Southwest Extends Middle Seat Blocking to Nov. 30
Southwest Airlines will continue to block off middle seats in airplane cabins through at least Nov. 30, accommodating Thanksgiving travelers. …

Why Another Government Grant To US Airlines Is Good Economic Policy
The first CARES Act provided aid to US airlines in three ways: subsidies to keep people employed, loan opportunity for those who couldn’t get enough help in the private markets, and a temporary suspension of the 7.5% excise tax usually levied on all airline tickets.…

Lodging

'Tsunami' of hotel closures is coming, experts warn
The Luxe Rodeo Drive is the first L.A.-area luxury hotel to go out of business because of the pandemic. An unusually high loan delinquency rate may mean more hotel closures are likely to follow.…

Hawai‘i Hotels Continue to Struggle in August
The hotel industry in Hawai‘i continues to struggle mightily amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as August numbers dipped significantly year over year.…

Hotel Cleanliness Policies in the Time of COVID-19
COVID-19 has posed challenges never seen before by the hotel industry, requiring owners, managers, and brands to take new precautions to keep both guests and staff safe. The industry faced the added challenge of not only creating a safe lodging environment but also creating the impression of security to give guests the confidence to travel again.…

COVID-19 tanked the hotel business. Workers of color are feeling the biggest squeeze
Coronavirus hit the hospitality industry especially hard. Blue-collar, mostly Black and Latino employees face long-term damage to their financial futures.…

Stellar deals at Caribbean and Mexican hotels and resorts
With hoteliers more keen than ever to welcome back guests, stellar deals are on offer for travelers happy to fly south to resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean in the fall of 2020.…

Other and Odd

Morocco to Reopen Borders to Travelers From U.S., 66 Other countries
Morocco has seen nearly 80,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 1,500 deaths.…

LEGO Butlers, Bird Whisperers, And Sandcastle Concierges: 33 Surprising Hotel Jobs
The traditional hotel concierge can do a lot to help guests have an excellent stay. They can score hard-to-get reservations or front-row-seat tickets and point the way to the best a destination has to offer. In the past few years, however, hotels have been stepping up their “concierge game” as they seek to meet the needs of a well-connected and more demanding traveling public.…

5 tips to help you enjoy your next holiday
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the past six months in one piece, despite the many challenges of staying safe and keeping everyone happy. Now it’s time to reward yourself with some much-needed relaxation.…

Air Canada Is Offering Free Insurance If You Get COVID-19 While Travelling Internationally
Would you travel during a pandemic? The new Air Canada insurance offer will make sure your expenses are covered if you get COVID-19 while travelling internationally. Plus it's free when you book a flight.…

As airlines begin selling middle seats again, it's time to remember nobody owns the armrests
Arm rests are not yours. They're ours. Just like the space behind you, they must be shared and negotiated with your fellow passengers.…

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

Collette Announces Advanced Commission Program
Pawtucket, RI (September 8, 2020) – In an announcement today, Collette introduced a new Advanced Commission Program that will offer advanced commission payments to Travel Advisors. Upon deposit, Collette will pay a portion of the full commission amount based on type of booking. …

American Cruise Lines New Modern Riverboat Passes Sea Trails
GUILFORD, CT — August 31st, 2020 — American Cruise Lines proudly announces that American Jazz has passed Sea Trails with flying colors. Following the successful trials, American accepted delivery of the riverboat from Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. The 190-passenger American Jazz is the latest in American’s acclaimed series of 5 new modern riverboats and will be added to the company’s fleet on the Mississippi River. American’s building plans have continued at full strength, despite this year’s pause in cruising, underscoring the Line’s confidence in domestic U.S. small ship cruising.…

Hungarian Tourism Agency Announces Launch of Educational Specialist Program
Dear Travel Advisors, Hungarian Tourism is delighted to announce the launch of its first official Educational Specialist Program - Hungary Specialist. Hungary Specialist is a one-of-a-kind program designed for travel professionals worldwide, giving you a valuable familiarization tool to help develop your knowledge of Hungary and all it has to offer in today’s fast-paced digital world. The Hungary Specialist program will provide you with everything you need to know about selling Hungary. It will include main attractions and events so you can create the perfect itineraries for your clients. You will learn about our fascinating cities and countryside, our culture, cuisine, wines and gracious hospitality, customs and traditions, wellness and health and much more.…

Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that Cheryl Rosen will begin a bi-weekly column for TRO
Tallahassee, Florida / August 14, 2020 - Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that Cheryl Rosen will begin a bi-weekly column for TRO. 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.…

‘Have Mask, Will Travel’ – Cruisers Take to the Water in Age Of Social Distancing as Katarina Line Ramps Up 2020 Season
Croatia’s premier small ship cruise company Katarina Line is reporting brisk bookings since launching its 2020 season, following Croatia’s reopening of borders to visitors. The company says that pent-up demand after months of government lockdown due to COVID-19 is helping to fuel the positive trend. Confidence in the cruise experience is also a factor, with passengers wanting a safe environment that includes the observance of all necessary health protocols, such as cleaning and disinfecting of public surfaces onboard, as well as the use of facial covering and social distancing, when appropriate. Customers also want assurances of a flexible booking policy that allows them to reschedule their cruise, should it be cancelled due to government regulations. These are all features of a Katarina Line cruise. …

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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

Walt Disney really knew what he was talking about

Walt Disney left an incredible legacy behind when he passed away in 1966. Disney defined what great customer service is in the hospitality industry and crafted a conglomerate that I the envy of most every business. If I had been in the travel industry when he was alive, you can be sure I would have…



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

Clarity of Intention

  “Clarity of intention propelled by enthusiasm is the most potent combination known to humankind. It is the basis of all accomplishment.” – Author Unknown Wanting to grow your business is admirable. Wishing you had more profitable sales is a common objective. Hoping things work out for you in the long run should come as…



Publishers Corner

Ex Fida Bona

Ex Fida Bona is Latin for “good business norms.” Last week TRO produced a webinar entitled “Don’t Let a Crisis go to Waste”. The webinar had its origin in an article in TRO by Richard D’Ambrosio. Like many good articles, I think Richard’s was a starting point.  Listen to it with the slightly abbreviated podcast…



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Susan Shultz-Gelino, VP of Trade Relations, American Cruise Lines

Susan Shultz-Gelino is the Vice President of Trade Relations for American Cruise Lines. She has been with American Cruise Lines for over 20 years and has worked in Sales and Marketing for over 30 years, beginning her career with the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor. During her tenure with American Cruise Lines, Susan has led…