This week in Travel and Tourism — 5/14/2012

DOMESTIC

Abu Dhabi opens tourism office in New York

The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has begun on-the-ground U.S. operations, opening an office in New York City. Abu Dhabi is promoting the emirate with a combination of marketing efforts ranging from a “takeover” of Times Square to branding collateral in the city’s taxis.

INTERNATIONAL

Mexico hotel occupancy up 7.6% through April

Mexico saw record hotel occupancy for the first four months of the year, chalking up a 7.6% increase over the same period in 2011, according to the Ministry of Tourism. From Jan. 1 through April 29, a total of 185,550 guestrooms were booked. Mexico’s 70 leading destinations posted occupancy numbers that exceeded those of 2008, the barometer by which all other years since have been measured.

AIRLINE

American requests permission to expand Brazil service

American has asked the Transportation Department for the rights to add 17 weekly flights to its U.S.-Brazil service this fall.

The carrier plans to add a second daily flight on its New York-Sao Paulo and Miami-Rio de Janeiro routes on Oct. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively.

Allegiant expands Hawaii plans

Allegiant Air will add five more Hawaii routes, including a Maui segment, in mid-November. From Bellingham, Wash., the discount airline will launch service to Maui on Nov. 14 and to Honolulu the following day.

CRUISE

Revenue up more than 15% at Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas Cruises reported a 15.5% hike in revenue for the first quarter of the year, to $119.9 million — a record first-quarter result. However, net income dropped to $400,000, down from $1.5 million last year. Net yields increased 5.2%, driven by a 4.7-point rise in occupancy, the three-ship luxury line said.

Celebrity completes upgrade of Millennium ships

Celebrity Cruises has completed its $140 million, two-year project to outfit Millennium-class ships with amenities and services introduced on Solstice-class vessels. The Celebrity Millennium was the fourth and final ship in the class to be “Solsticized.” AquaClass category staterooms, the Qsine dining venue, the Michael’s Club lounge, Cellarmasters wine bar and the Celebrity iLounge were among the upgrades to the Millennium-class ships.

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