travel

Future Leaders in Travel Retreat Virtually Paves the Path for Upcoming Tourism Professionals

Future Leaders in Travel Retreat Virtually Prepares Upcoming Tourism Professionals

Future Leaders in Travel Retreat Virtually Prepares Upcoming Tourism Professionals 1280 721 admin

The third-annual conference to direct and advise future leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry kickstarted online between Aug 31 and Sept 2, 2020. Profoundly dedicated to inspiring the next generation travel entrepreneurs; Future Leaders in Travel Retreat provides inside knowledge into the field of travel & tourism supply and demand. The aim is to cultivate young minds and to unleash their innovative potential to collectively strengthen industry values and instigate cooperative actions.

The event was led by TravelAge West, and joined by 52 travel advisors and 13 suppliers, comprising a total of 65 industry professionals, who provided several group meetings with keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and discussion-based educational training. This year’s theme was “Strength in Community”, and involved topics such as communicating in a crisis and improving the lack of diversity within the industry.

If Covid-19 conditions allow, the next event, planned for 2021, will be presential in Aspen Meadows Resort (Colorado, USA).

American Citizens opt for Greece and Italy as their main European holiday destinations

American Citizens Opt for Greece and Italy as Their Main European Holiday Destinations

American Citizens Opt for Greece and Italy as Their Main European Holiday Destinations 1280 719 admin

The major public transport service in Europe and the UK, Trainline, has been researching travel destination interests among their American customers. The company traced more than 4.5 million Google searches in the last 12 months, analysing data for more than 300 worldwide destinations.  Their conclusions were riveting, to say the least!

The most searched European nations were Italy and Greece. Considering their neighbours, 16 states (mostly trump supporting) opted for Mexico and 14 looked for Puerto Rico for their potential holiday. These are the top international searches for Americans:

1. Puerto Rico
2. Greece
3. Italy
4. Costa Rica
5. Japan
6. Canada
7. Mexico
8. Jamaica
9. The Bahamas
10. Thailand

Search Volume by State - Domestic TravelAs for domestic travel, Hawaii was the most popular staycation. Florida State, for example, ventures Northwards to New York, and Hawaiians seem to prefer the Vegas nightlife. Among national trips, Michigan came in 4th place, closely followed by Florida, Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta and Seattle.

Search Volume by State - Domestic Travel

The statistics gathered by Trainline, which involved 4.5 million keywords across Google data-streams, is extremely useful to determine travel patterns of  American citizens, both internationally and domestically. It is also a way for every state and country to adjust their marketing strategies towards their American target clusters, and consider brand adjustments and re-adjustments, depending on positive or negative feedback.

Star Alliance upgrades its Travel Information Hub platform

Star Alliance Upgrades Its Travel Information Hub Platform

Star Alliance Upgrades Its Travel Information Hub Platform 1200 675 admin

The largest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance, is developing new upgrades to its platform Travel Information Hub.  These will help flight passengers to plan multi-stop itineraries during times of COVID-19.

Many countries have closed their borders and governments are taking strict regulations to contain the spread of the virus. The aim of this online tool is to guide the user through this uncertain travel landscape. Key features include a configuration of complete itineraries with several airlines/airports along with airport of origin and transfer and connecting airlines. Daily health & hygiene measures of each country will also be provided to ensure the best safety during your flights. One particular feature will allow the user to share their findings with others through email. This will positively impact sharing helpful knowledge and information between travel professionals, friends, family and travel companions.

The Alliance Customer Experience VP, Christian Draeger, expanded on the purpose of this virtual customer experience: “The Star Alliance Travel Information Hub initiative grew out of the need to reduce complexity in air travel in these times of COVID-19. It combines the input of all 26 of our member airlines, and the many key airports in our global network, to provide our customers specific health and hygiene safety guidance for an ever-expanding array of destinations and transfer points.”

The aviation industry has been extremely constrained due to global quarantine and health & safety measures. Which is why, new, updated features are constantly being added to the STAR Alliance platform because they are investing in virtual presence with the hopes of helping customers regain their confidence with air travel while making ease of access and safety a priority. The online platform is currently available in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish.

Intrepid Travel launches a new guide to decarbonize travel businesses

Intrepid Travel Launches a New Guide to Decarbonize Travel Businesses

Intrepid Travel Launches a New Guide to Decarbonize Travel Businesses 800 450 admin

As a tour operator that has become carbon neutral since 2010, Intrepid Travel is making efforts for the travel industry to curb climate change during the 2020 pandemic. Along with its’ advocacy to rebuild business more sustainably with the hashtag #RebuildResponsibly, Intrepid has focused on creating an open-source document for businesses to do so; The 10-Step Quick Start Guide to Decarbonize Your Travel Business. The guidelines are thought to provide an effortless action plan to reduce carbon footprint while operating a business, and it’s available to download on their website.

The mastermind behind the platform is Dr Susanne Etti, the Environmental Impact Specialist of Intrepid. With more than 15 years of experience in matters of sustainability, she is responsible for determining environmental performance in a business outlook, and advocates for the ethical culture of sustainability leadership to be developed and implemented worldwide.

James Thornton, the CEO of Intrepid, is clear in adapting tourism business models and policies to our current times: “The COVID-19 crisis has brought our sector and the global economy to a halt this year and we would be remiss to not let it be for something good. We shouldn’t be aspiring for things to go back to normal, but rather redefine what normal means and use this period of travel stagnation to focus on rebuilding our businesses more ethically and sustainably so that our earth is preserved for future generations to explore.”

For this reason, it is important to ‘re-define’ what it means to be ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ in regards to the travel industry, since the 2020 pandemic can be seen as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves, strengthening our roots with safety and environmental concern present in our thoughts.

A large Number of US Passengers Is Ready to Fly Again

A large Number of US Passengers Is Ready to Fly Again 1920 1080 admin

A survey conducted by Xenophon Analytics in Washington DC, which consisted of 200,000 opt-in frequent flyers across the USA, estimates that 60% of them will catch a flight within the next 6 months. Of these, 63% are planning on personal travel while 10% will be travelling for business and 27% will be travelling for both. For the ones travelling for pleasure, 2/3 of them will be taking a holiday or vacation and 1/3 will be attending an event such as graduations, weddings or anniversaries. This poll, conducted with the firms’ Frequent Flyer Database was done between May 28 through June 18, and the margin of error is +/- 2%. The majority of participants ranked high their expectations of social distancing, face masks for crews and passengers, availability of hand sanitizer, good aircraft disinfection procedures, and an increase in the use of touchless technology.

David Fuscus, the President of Xenophon Strategies has said this on the matter: “Large numbers of air passengers are ready to begin flying again, which is good news for the airline industry. Over the past four months, global aviation has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic with fewer flyers, job cuts, grounded aeroplanes, and deferred or cancelled aircraft orders.”⠀

Jamaican Ministry of Tourism Plans to Financially Support SMEs

Jamaican Ministry of Tourism Plans to Financially Support SMEs 1920 1080 admin

As a monetary effort to aid tourism businesses amidst the crisis of Coronavirus, the Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, has reported that 2 billion Jamaican dollars will be allocated to Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMEs). Advocated by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the funding will come from multilateral partners and financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Jamaica, World Bank, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, EXIM Bank, and Jamaica National Group. The tourism businesses operating with a small array of employees and customers will benefit from access to a suite of loan facilities ranging from J$5 Million up to $J30 Million.

The Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels Partners up With Relax Melodies App

The Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels Partners up With Relax Melodies App 1024 576 admin

The Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels operates more than 381 hotels in 242 countries worldwide. In an effort to increase guest satisfaction, Choice Hotels recently announced a new partnership with Relax Melodies App.  Relax Melodies is the most highly-rated sleep and relaxation app on the virtual market that helps over 3 million monthly users with a combination of gentle sounds, sleep meditations, and bedtime stories tailor-made for people who have a hard time sleeping.

Sleep Inn will offer premium access to guests for the duration of their stay. Moreover, employees working with the entire franchise of Choice Hotels International will also benefit from it as a stress management and wellness tool.

Photo © The Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels

Mount Taranaki, NZ Will Be Given the Same Legal Rights as a Person

Mount Taranaki, NZ Will Be Given the Same Legal Rights as a Person 1920 1080 admin

The ancient giant of New Zealand will soon become the third geographic feature in the country to be granted “legal personality”, along with the Bay of Plenty and Whanganui River. Mount Taranaki is a 120,000-year-old dormant volcano reaching a height of 2,518m, situated on the West Coast of North Island. Due to its’ significance to the local Māori tribes, it will be granted the same legal rights as a person, meaning that if someone abuses it or harms it, it will be equally as consequential as harming the indigenous community itself. Eight Māori tribes will share guardianship with the government, after a series of negotiations long-awaited by the community, who see the sacred mountain as an ancestor and ‘wanahu’ (family member, blood relative). Andrew Little, the NZ Minister for negotiations said that this agreement is the best possible protection for the landmark that was becoming a frequented tourist attraction, especially for climbers, after Lonely Planet named it the second-best place to visit worldwide. Little mentioned that these “agreements are a major milestone in acknowledging the grievances and hurt from the past, as the Taranaki iwi experienced some of the worst examples of Crown behaviour in the 19th century.” The agreement also involves an apology from the government to the Māori peoples for historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi against the mountain, although local tribes will receive no financial redress. Furthermore, the chief negotiator for Taranaki iwi, Jamie Tuuta said in an interview that “It [Mt Taranaki] provides that sense of place, social association and identity.”