Image 

Destinations

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

Turns out Americans are itching to go to Key West, St. Thomas and these other popular destinations
The good news: the vaccine is slowly but surely rolling out. The even better news: Americans are ready to travel once again, and they're planning those vacations. The airline industry has obviously morphed in response to a global pandemic that has all but halted vacationing as we know it. At-home COVID-19 tests…

Which destinations need tourism most to survive after COVID-19?
International tourist arrivals worldwide were down on average by 72 per cent between January and October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while many of us remain in lockdown at the start of this year, we’re looking ahead to future travel. Every aspect of the tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic…

Where Americans Want to Travel in 2021, According to Flight Searches
While travel might be on hold as COVID-19 infection rates soar in the U.S., one thing is certain: Americans are looking forward to the day they can start planning more vacations. Recent data from travel search site Kayak show that flight searches out of U.S. airports are up for several domestic and international destinations…

8 Best U.S. Cities for a Workcation
The era of cubicles and water-cooler chitchat feels like a world away. These days, many people are clocking in from home and wearing PJs well into the afternoon. Staying home is a luxury in itself…

Tours and Activities

Elvis Presley's Graceland starting virtual tours
Elvis Presley’s Graceland is now offering online tours for fans around the world, including those who can’t travel to the Tennessee tourist attraction during the coronavirus pandemic…

Disney gives 'exclusive' Cinderella Castle Suite tour on TikTok
Walt Disney World just gave fans a sneak peek into one of the most exclusive areas of its Orlando theme park. Last week, the Disney Parks TikTok account shared an "exclusive" video tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite inside the castle …

You can now take a 5G-powered virtual tour of The Met
Pandemic travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders have made it difficult to access cultural experiences. But a virtual tour of the Metropolitan…

Celebrity Travel Expert Creates the Ultimate Italian Dream Getaway
Recognized as the number one expert for Italy and curator of luxury holidays for the likes of Jude Law and Stella McCartney, Merrion Charles has harnessed her expertise and incomparable little black book to create a brand new ultimate luxury Italian Grand Tour. With so many holidays cancelled in 2020…

You can now take a 5G-powered virtual tour of The Met
Pandemic travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders have made it difficult to access cultural experiences. But a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City could help ease some of those stuck-at-home blues…

Cruise

Cruise Line Announces Epic Cruise That Spans Half a Year
Oceania Cruises, one of the world’s leading destination and culinary cruise lines, has announced an epic cruise that will span 180 days and visit 27 islands…

River cruising could return 'very quickly' after COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, says an industry icon
River cruise ships that cater to North Americans could be back to normal operations by the summer (or soon thereafter) if a significant number of Americans are vaccinated for COVID-19, according to one of the industry’s leading figures…

Royal Caribbean adding new cruises from Barbados in December
As Royal Caribbean prepares to return to cruising from its coronavirus-driven suspension, the cruise line is already planning to add new routes later this year…

Disney Cruise Line extends suspension over COVID-19 pandemic
Disney Cruise Line announced another extension of its cruise suspension on Wednesday as it works to meet government requirements to begin carrying passengers again. The cruise line canceled all sailings through March, including planned voyages of the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream…

Adventures by Disney to Offer First Expedition Cruises Geared Toward Families
Adventures by Disney has announced its first-ever expedition cruises, building on the company's highly successful river cruise ventures in Europe. The company -- which is part of The Walt Disney Company's "Disney Signature Experiences" but exists as a separate entity…

Transportation

U.S. airlines back Biden plan to mandate masks for passengers
A group representing major U.S. airlines on Thursday backed President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to mandate face coverings for all air passengers, but asked him to give them flexibility…

American Airlines In No Rush To Make Pilots Get Vaccinated
American Airlines has told its 15,000 pilots that a COVID-19 vaccination is a personal choice, and if they decide to have one, could they please do it in their own time. American Airlines has no current plans to make it mandatory for their pilots…

Most Major US Airlines Ban Guns in Luggage for DC Flights
Airlines and airports say they are stepping up security before next week's presidential inauguration, with Delta and other major airlines saying they will prohibit passengers flying to the Washington area from putting guns…

Another major airline is blocking middle seats — but there’s a catch
For months now, airlines have touted their cleanliness and sanitation protocols. At the onset of the pandemic, it was about blocking seats for extra space onboard. However, airlines have mostly abandoned this safety (and marketing) tactic as we entered 2021. Delta remains the only airline blocking all middle seats through March 30, 2021…

Travel Alert: COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Passengers Traveling to the US
Beginning Jan. 26, the U.S. government will require all passengers traveling to the United States from any international location to test negative for COVID-19 within three calendar days of departure…

Lodging

Hotels offer properties as vaccine administration sites to Biden team
The leading hotel trade group is offering properties to President-elect Joe Biden's transition team for use as COVID-19 vaccine administration sites across the country…

A Best Western hotel in London is now taking in Covid-19 patients as hospitals run out of beds
The Best Western Hotel in the London suburb of Croydon would normally be packed with visiting families, out-of-town construction workers, and business travelers. But today the lobby is clear of all guests and furniture except for a single table with a bottle of hand sanitizer…

Cambria Hotels Introduces Oceanside Property In Fort Lauderdale
New Hotel with Prime Access to North Beach Area Becomes Upscale Brand's Fourth in Popular Sunshine State. On the heels of the official debut of the Cambria Hotel St. Petersburg - Madeira Beach Marina on December 4…

How to gift airline and hotel elite status
From free breakfast at hotels to first-class upgrades on flights, elite travelers get to share many of their perks when traveling with companions. But what if your family or friends are traveling alone? With the exception of Hyatt’s Guest of Honor program…

22 US Hyatt Place Hotels May Become Sonestas
A contract dispute may cause 22 Hyatt Place properties in the US to leave the Hyatt portfolio. Let’s take a look at why, and which properties could be impacted. This follows a similar recent situation with 103 IHG properties …

Other and Odd

Airbnb CEO says travel never going back to the way it was before pandemic
Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky on Thursday predicted travel would permanently change due to the pandemic with people seeking out thousands of smaller cities and spending more time visiting friends and family…

Can you be too old to travel? Age isn't as important as your mental, physical fitness level
Slowing down was the last thing on Elaine Schaefer's mind when she turned 70 last year, She'd enjoyed an ambitious travel schedule for the previous decade, which included a 10-day horseback safari in Botswana…

5 things you need to know about post-vaccine travel
In several countries around the world, including the UK and USA, vaccines are now being rolled out to the elderly, health workers and those with underlying health conditions. Finally, there appears to be a big, shiny light at the end of this long, dark tunnel…

Trip.com says it's 'more confident than ever' in China's long-term travel recovery
Online travel agency Trip.com is “more confident than ever” that China’s domestic tourism will recover in the long run, chief executive Jane Sun said on Thursday. That’s despite fresh lockdowns in the country as new coronavirus cases emerge…

U.S. Travel Reacts to CDC Int’l Travel Testing Mandate
U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will issue an order requiring a negative COVID-19 test before boarding…

Press Releases of Interest

Croatia’s Katarina Line Launches New E-Bike ‘Cycle & Cruise’ Tours for 2021 as Active Vacations Grow in Popularity
With travelers seeking healthier, more active vacations and a return to “the great outdoors” after months of staying at home, Katarina Line, Croatia’s premier small ship cruise company, has launched two new “Cycle & Cruise” tours designed especially for e-bikes. Available out of Opatija and Split, the unique 7-night round-trip tours combine a cruise along the coastal waters of the dazzling Adriatic Sea with daily guided e-bike tours…

The Travel Institute releases new online version of Exploring The World destination resource; ushers in ‘Better Days’ for 2021
FRAMINGHAM, MA, January 5, 2020 –The Travel Institute is starting the year with its new online version of Exploring the World, the well-known and well-regarded destination reference guide that gives frontline agents easy access to the destination content that matters to them most. With content migrated from the current, 400+-page, 4th print edition, the new interactive, online version brings destinations around the world alive through 15 chapters filled with interactive maps, vibrant photography, graphics, chapter objectives and summaries, as well as search capabilities and student progress tracking. “The ultimate resource for both new agents and industry veterans, Exploring the World does an agent’s homework for them…

A Special Message from The Travel Institute team
With the holiday season and the year’s end upon us, many of us have found our traditions, our lives, and our careers upended. But, we are in this together, giving us a shared reality and a special strength in numbers as we continue to fortify ourselves and our community for the eventual return of travel. As you pack up 2020, unpack your holiday décor and experience the season, we invite you to enjoy a few special gifts. We’ve ensured something for everyone during this December’s…

COLLETTE ANNOUNCES OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2022
Pawtucket, RI (December 2, 2020) – Collette, global tour operator, is eager to announce a once-in-a-decade event. In 2022, the tiny town Bavarian hamlet of Oberammergau will host thousands of visitors to showcase the must-see European epic Passion Play, depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ. Collette will once again have premiere access to tickets, following the earlier cancellation of the event in 2020, due to COVID-19. In 2010, Collette brought over 10,000 guests to the Passion Play the most of any tour operator. Collette will offer the same itineraries originally…

A Season of Giving: A Time for Agents to Receive
With the holiday season and year’s end now upon us, many of us have found our traditions, our lives, and our careers upended. But, we are in this together, giving us a shared reality and a special strength in numbers as we continue to fortify ourselves and our community for the eventual return of travel. As we pack up 2020, unpack holiday décor and experience the season, we invite agents to enjoy a few special gifts from us. We’ve ensured something for everyone during this December’s Season of Giving, hoping to meet agents where they’re at in their careers and regardless of finances…

Agent Perspectives

Shin Kicking, Floral Extravaganzas, Opera, and a Royal Regatta

  I don’t know about you but after the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations, January and even February are often dull and drab months that have to be endured. Let me lift your spirits with a collection of festivals and events that can be used as the cornerstone for a UK tour that can…



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…



Soundings

Underserved Niche Championed by Dina Farmer

  As I interview travel professionals and persons in the travel industry, I find there are two camps for niching. The first group plants a flag in the camp of, “choose a niche” you are passionate about, learn about it, visit it and then dominate you niche. The other camp says, “your niche finds you,”…



Deck Plans

What Will 2021 Look Like For Us?

  With 2020 finally behind us (thank goodness), we, like many of you, feel a dire need to plan for 2021 and beyond. After all, who among us can say they’ve not missed cruising? Though the first week of 2021 has not proved to be much better than last year was, we are still holding…



Anita’s Tips and Tools

The Incessant Traveler

Robin Tauck Sets Optimistic Tone for Tourism Cares in 2021

  COVID-19 is one of the deadliest natural disasters the world has ever seen. Scientists who study pandemics say COVID, SARS, ebola and avian flu are consequences of human incursion into animal habitats. Rob Jordan, of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, explained in the Stanford News, “Viruses that jump from animals to people,…