Mission accomplished — and forever remembered

It took but only a moment for me to firmly decide in Group Therapy that winter morning, after falling in love with everything the Foundation is and stands for (R&R romanced me hard that day),  that I would be headed to Nicaragua this summer, to assist on Project El Crucero. It would cost some money and some PTO, but all of that could be sorted out later. I realized that this was the opportunity I had been itching for, and I had to take it. In a few short months, I’d bust out of the confines of my comfort zone and do what I could to improve the quality of life for another, even if only in a small way.

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 5.01.13 PMMy wildest expectations were surpassed this past June when a group of R&R employees and Friends of Tonner made the trip down to El Crucero, Nicaragua. For most of us, it was our first mission trip. We arrived to Managua hours after the sun had gone down, sweaty and tired, but ready. Our emotions ran the gamut: excited, nervous, anxious. But then, after 40 long minutes of curves and bumps and sweating on the ride up the mountain to El Crucero, we pulled up to the clinic on that first Sunday, and everything was peaceful, and right. Our hearts had led us to this point, and would lead us through it.

Our days were filled with small construction projects on the clinic itself, painting, making and sharing any kind of lunch we could with the food we had, kicking the soccer ball around, arts and crafts, and for the teens in the group (and Roy), leading many, many rounds of “Down By The Banks.”

IMG_7215On the off day we had from the clinic, we found ourselves really missing the kids. The lake was beautiful, the market was a blast (ask someone else on the trip if shopping with me is recommended or not), and the rest and relaxation was probably necessary. But it wasn’t the same as having one of the kids run and leap into your arms when you piled out of the van upon arriving at the clinic. Or the look in the eyes of the boy you gave a new pair of shoes. Or the mother who was in tears because all of her children were fed for a day.

They say 80% of communication is unspoken. None of us are fluent in Spanish, or even close, but conversation never ceased. We filled the holes in our dialogue with hugs, and smiles and laughs. I’ll say these were some of the most instantaneous, meaningful connections I’ve ever made.

Nica 210On the last day, we were able to leave everything we brought: the clothes we wore, the shoes off our feet. I experienced the single most touching moment of my life after giving my tennis shoes to a young teen boy who owned but only a single pair of shoes. They were black dress shoes, with the sole flapping as he walked. After I said, “para usted” to him and handed him the shoes, the look of gratitude on his face, the way he looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Thank you” in English, made me instantly tear up. I will never be eloquent enough to put into words the impact of that moment on me, and the others, as we gave our belongings away. If that were the only moment of the whole trip, it would have been worth it.

We pulled away from the clinic for the last time on Friday afternoon, with some of the kids chasing our van down the dirt drive. We had just held a BBQ for the families of the town, and said our long goodbyes. At dinner that night we reflected on the week as a whole, unanimously agreeing that it was life-changing. One thing is for certain, we’ll all be back next year.

We welcome and encourage you to consider this as part of your personal journey as well.

 

 

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 11/19/2012

INTERNATIONAL

Travel summit notes rise in demand for exotic destinations

Travel agents and tour operators who attended Ensemble Travel Group’s recent Las Vegas conference report that travelers are increasingly being drawn to exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations. “The hot destinations are Ecuador, the Galapagos, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, African safaris. People are going for big-ticket items. It’s like they want to spend money now because they don’t know how things will be later on,” said Judy Ruffini, a regional sales manager at General Tours.

Airlift problems hamper tourism in the Caribbean

Air travel between Caribbean islands usually consists of multileg flights that take several hours. This lack of convenient flight options could be one reason that tourism in the region is not growing as rapidly as hoped, tourism experts say. “Intra-Caribbean tourism is down by 40% in the last five years. Make air travel more accessible — get rid of the visa regulations, make it cheaper — and more people will travel. It changes the equation,” said Richard Doumeng, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.

Luxury travel is leaning toward uniqueness, customization

Luxury travelers are increasingly demanding customized trips heavy in out-of-the-ordinary experiences, experts said during Signature Travel Network’s Sales Meeting and Trade Show in Las Vegas this week. “We have arranged white-linen banquets on the Great Wall and trips down a tributary of the Li River (Guilin) in bamboo rafts. We take clients to studios of major artists and fashion designers. In Beijing, there’s a private $300 million art collection, which people can see, and be taught by the owner how to understand Chinese art,” said Margot Kong, a vice president with Imperial Tours in San Francisco.

DOMESTIC

Survey: Holiday travel spending will rise 12% this year

An annual survey by Allianz Global Assistance USA indicates that holiday travel spending this year will reach $72.9 billion — up about 12% over 2011. Forty-five percent of respondents said they are “very confident” that they will take a holiday vacation this year, compared with 42% in the previous year.

Business travel could benefit from U.S. “fiscal cliff,” group says

The impending “fiscal cliff” of expiring tax cuts and reduced federal spending could benefit business travel over the long term, the Global Business Travel Association says in a report. “The elimination of tax cuts and reductions in federal spending would lead to reduced deficits and lower interest rates over the long run, resulting in business travel spending and an overall economy that grows more quickly after absorbing the shock of the fiscal cliff,” the GBTA said. However, the U.S. economy stands to lose $20 billion in business-travel spending over nine quarters if the economy goes over the so-called cliff, the group says.

U.S. Travel Association grass-roots program will focus on Congress

The U.S. Travel Association has unveiled plans for a grass-roots initiative that aims to cultivate industry advocates in Congress. “Every congressional district in America can thank travel for jobs and economic activity, so we’ve designed a program to build our bench of champions in Congress, those members who will stand with us and play offense on policies to protect and stimulate increased travel,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. The Travel Blitz program is set to launch next year.

CRUISE

Norwegian overcomes hurdles to become successful in Hawaii

Norwegian Cruise Line’s 10% price increase on Hawaii cruises next year is a big improvement from several years ago, when the line’s 2,138-passenger Pride of America was struggling.

AIRLINE

Virgin Atlantic gains short-haul slots at Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic said it has been offered all of the Heathrow short-haul slots available following International Airline Group’s acquisition of BMI. International Airline Group is the parent of British Airways.

DOT approves Delta’s route to Tokyo from Seattle

The Department of Transportation has approved the request from Delta Air Lines to transfer service from one of its two routes between Detroit and Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Seattle. The switch will “open Haneda access to a new region of the country,” the DOT said.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 11/5/2012

INTERNATIONAL

Future travel will include nontraditional destinations, study finds

Market research firm Euromonitor International has released the results of its “Global Trends Report,” which shows the world’s top emerging travel trends. The study says U.S. travelers will be increasingly drawn to destinations previously off-limits to foreigners, such as Myanmar, Cuba and North Korea. The travel industry is also expected to see a rise in “technology-free” vacation packages and trips that focus on relaxation.

DOMESTIC

Effect on tourism is a contentious issue in pro-marijuana measures

Measures that will loosen restrictions for the recreational use of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado have raised questions about its potential effect on local tourism, this feature says. Opponents in Colorado say the measure could have a negative effect on the state’s image. “If Colorado receives international media attention as the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana in their constitution, Colorado’s brand will be damaged and we may attract fewer conventions and see a decline in leisure travel,” said Visit Denver CEO Richard Scharf.

CRUISE

Norwegian Cruise Line will raise prices for Hawaii sailings

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced plans to increase fares on cruises in Hawaii. Prices for cruises aboard the Pride of America are scheduled to increase by about 10% starting Jan. 1, the cruise line says.

MGM Resorts and Royal Caribbean partner to offer more benefits to loyal members

MGM Resorts International and Royal Caribbean International recently launched a strategic partnership to benefit members of    both companies’ loyalty programs, MGM’s M life and Royal’s Crown & Anchor Society.

AIRLINE

Holiday air, hotel bookings filling fast

Travel agents say demand for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday travel is up sharply, and that travelers who don’t make plans early may face sold-out locations. “This is not a great year for procrastination,” said Simon Bramley, vice president at Travelocity, where Thanksgiving ticket purchases are up 9%.

AA offers double-mile rewards to compensate for flight disruptions

American Airlines has announced that frequent fliers will be getting double elite-qualifying miles for flights from through Dec. 31 to compensate for flight disruptions that passengers experienced during the carrier’s contract negotiations with its pilots. The airline appears to be nearing an agreement with leaders of the union, who hope to “reach a final agreement this week to be voted on by pilots,” this feature says.

Airlines seek new fees despite ancillary revenue increasing

Airlines earn ancillary revenue for extra baggage, Wi-Fi service and other goodies, and they stand to make 11.3% more in 2012 than they did with such fees the year before, this feature says. Major carriers will earn $36.1 billion in fees this year, according to a report by IdeaWorksCompany and Amadeus. But watch out for new charges. “The low-hanging fruit is gone; they are going to have to invent products,” says travel writer Joe Brancatelli.

OTA

Priceline to buy Kayak for $1.8 billion

Priceline.com will buy travel metasearch company Kayak for $1.8 billion. Priceline will pay $40 a share for Kayak, including $1.3 billion in stock and $500 million in cash, the companies said Thursday afternoon.

LAS VEGAS

Tropicana Las Vegas to become a DoubleTree by Hilton

Las Vegas’ Tropicana hotel will be reflagged in January as the Tropicana Las Vegas — a DoubleTree by Hilton, marking the first time a Hilton Worldwide-branded hotel will be on the Las Vegas Strip since Hilton spun off what would become Caesars Entertainment in 1998.

Mexico’s Interjet will add Las Vegas service this month

Mexican airline Interjet will begin service to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Nov. 15. Flights will operate twice a week from Mexico City’s secondary airport in Toluca. The new route marks the fifth U.S. destination for the airline.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 10/22/2012

INTERNATIONAL

MGM gets approval for Macau casino-hotel

MGM Resorts International received approval from the Macau government to open its second hotel-casino on the China-controlled group of islands. MGM China Holdings, a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Hong Kong billionaire Pansy Ho, will build a $2.5 billion, 1,600-room hotel-casino on Macau’s Cotai Strip. Plans call for 2,500 slot machines and 500 gaming tables.

Airlift priority for Jamaica

The island of Jamaica is in good shape for the upcoming winter season, with advance bookings at many resorts pacing ahead of a year ago at this time.

DOMESTIC

PreCheck will check in at Honolulu airport

Honolulu Airport was expected to launch the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program this week. Not all airlines participate in the program, and passengers must be eligible to go through an initial screening in order to participate.

Orlando, Fla., hotel activity in September was lower than a year ago

The hotel market in Orlando, Fla., declined in September, as 55.2% of rooms were filled compared with 56.2% the previous year, according to Smith Travel Research. The average daily rate decreased 1.4%, to $80.35, as children went back to school and fewer large-scale events took place.

AIRLINE

US Airways Group reports record Q3 profit

US Airways Group posted a record third-quarter net profit of $245 million, up from $76 million a year earlier. Excluding special items totaling $192 million, the result was the second-best third quarter in the company’s history.

Delta posts $1B third-quarter profit

Delta Air Lines reported a third-quarter net profit of just more than $1 billion, aided by $279 million in one-time items. The result compared to a $549 million profit a year earlier.

Southwest will take over AirTran flights in 4 cities next year

Southwest Airlines has announced that starting in April, AirTran service at airports in Flint, Mich.; Portland, Maine; Rochester, N.Y.; and Charlotte, N.C. will be converted into flights under the Southwest brand. Southwest also unveiled new services that will launch also in April, including daily service between Boston and Kansas City, Mo., and between Houston and Pittsburgh.

Spirit: We don’t want you to pay our $100 carry-on fee

Spirit Airlines will be charging a $100 carry-on fee to passengers who do not pre-pay for bags. Some industry experts say it could hurt business, but Spirit says the fee will dissuade passengers from slowing the check-in process with last-minute bags.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 10/8/2012

AIRLINE

Delta eyes New York market with added routes, landing spots

Delta Air Lines has added more than 100 daily flights at La Guardia Airport in New York, a move that it hopes will increase market share in the region. The airline this year acquired landing spots from US Airways. “We’re trying to win New York. That’s really what this expansion is about,” said Gail Grimmett, a Delta executive.

Delta will cut number of nonstop flights to Europe

Delta Air Lines has announced that it is reducing the number of nonstop flights to European destinations including Barcelona, Spain, and Milan, Italy. The carrier says it will be shifting its capacity toward connecting flights through Paris, where it plans to add more flights in partnership with Air France.

Delta Air Lines plans expansion of flights from Seattle to Asia

Delta Air Lines is looking to capitalize on its partnership with Alaska Airlines to add flights from Seattle. The plan includes expanded service to Asian destinations such as Shanghai, China, and proposed service to Tokyo-Haneda, Japan.

Row 44, Allegiant team up for streaming success

Allegiant Travel Company subsidiary Allegiant Air will launch Row 44′s Video-On-Demand service on all of its Boeing 757 aircraft. It will be the first carrier to use the wireless, streaming in-flight entertainment system.

LAS VEGAS

In Sin City, green goes beyond what you gamble

Las Vegas hotels are making even more of an effort to go green as tourists are in the market for sustainable hotels. MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands have incorporated sustainable practices into their business models. MGM’s CenterCity project, for example, earned six U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certifications. Hotels in the city have embraced composting, rootop gardens, recycling and water-saving measures.

CRUISE

Cruise sellers expect improved business in Q4, 2013

Many travel agents reported weak business in the cruise segment during the third quarter, brought about by competitive pricing and slow bookings. However, agents’ optimism is high for the year’s remaining quarter, with prices expected to regain strength going into 2013. “There’s pent-up demand, an end in sight to the presidential election, and bookings are pretty attractive,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown of Cruise Critic.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/24/2012

AIRLINE

Virgin America to offer nonstop flight from N.Y. to Calif. for winter

Virgin America plans to add a nonstop route from New York’s JFK airport to Palm Springs, Calif., beginning Dec. 22. The service will run on Saturdays throughout the winter season. “We’re pleased to be expanding in the market and offering a new nonstop option for travelers coming from New York to the desert this winter,” said John MacLeod, a senior vice president at Virgin America.

British Airways eyes no-wait electronic check-in

British Airways has developed a system that checks passengers in the day before their trip, selects their seat and sends a boarding pass electronically. The system, which would eliminate the need to check in at airports, will roll out on a trial basis.

U.S. airlines collect $932 million in bag fees in Q2

U.S. passenger airlines collected a total of $932 million in baggage fees in the second quarter, up from $816 million in the first quarter, according to figures released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics on Tuesday.

InterJet will launch Orange Country-Mexico City flights

InterJet plans to offer daily nonstop flights from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., to Mexico City and Guadalajara in mid-October.

TRAVEL AGENT

More agents are collaborating with OTA network, Expedia leader says

Expedia’s Travel Agent Affiliate Program is enjoying healthy growth in the ranks of its affiliated traditional travel agencies, and agents are boosting engagement with its platform, says Diego Pedrani, a director at Expedia Worldwide. “We currently work with more than 25,000 travel agency affiliates worldwide, and new agent signups continue to accelerate. We signed double the number of agents in the first three months of 2012 compared to the previous year,” Pedrani said.

CRUISE

2 decks of relaxation await on Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line will debut its 23,000-square-foot, two-floor Mandara Spa on the Norwegian Breakaway. The spa will feature 13 heated loungers, a salt room, vitality pool, whirlpools, sauna, solarium, steam room, salon and barber shop. It will include 22 treatment rooms and offer cosmetic medical treatments including Botox injections.

ETC.

Six Vegas restaurants earn top honors from Wine Spectator

Six Las Vegas restaurants were honored with Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, the top honor in the publication’s annual Restaurant Wine List Awards. Aureole Las Vegas (at Mandalay Bay); Delmonico Steakhouse and Piero Selvaggio Valentino (both at the Venetian); Joel Robuchon Restaurant (MGM Grand); Picasso (Bellagio); and Restaurant Guy Savoy (Caesars Palace) earned Grand Award status.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/17/2012

INTERNATIONAL

Hawaiian Airlines is bidding for nonstop flights to Tokyo

Hawaiian Airlines is among the four U.S. airlines bidding for flight rights for nonstop travel between Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Kona, Hawaii. The flight rights were awarded to Delta Air Lines in 2010 with its service to Detroit, but when Delta suspended that route, the Department of Transportation decided to accept new bids. Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines have also submitted bids for routes to Tokyo through different U.S. cities.

Global tourism is on pace to reach 1 billion in 2012

International tourism numbers continue to grow, having risen 5% between January and June against the same period last year, says Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the U.N. World Tourism Organization. Rifai predicts that global tourism will reach the 1 billion mark by the end of 2012. “As we lead up to the milestone of 1 billion, we need to ensure that the tourism sector is supported by adequate national policies and that we work to reduce existing barriers to the expansion of the sector, such as complicated visa procedures, increased direct taxation or limited connectivity,” Rifai said.

DOMESTIC

Travel firms note slow recovery of luxury segment

Hotel chains and travel booking firms say the luxury-travel segment is inching back toward a full recovery, with bookings in group and leisure showing the most stable growth. “The strongest segment by far has been leisure. The consumer is buying more premium rooms every year over the previous year,” said Chris Gabaldon, chief marketing officer of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.

AIRLINE

Fares on U.S. airlines rise for fourth time in 2012

Southwest Airlines last week raised about 10% of its routes by $10 per round-trip. United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Virgin America and JetBlue Airways raised some rates as well, marking the fourth time this year that U.S. airlines have increased fares.

Delays, cancellations hamper American Airlines’ performance

American Airlines has suffered poor performance in the past few days, with a steep number of flight cancellations implemented throughout the country and a sharp increase in flight delays, this feature says. The carrier is embroiled in a dispute with its pilots over impending mass employee layoffs and new cost-saving work policies. American Airlines has announced plans to cut its scheduled flights in September and October in light of alleged disruptive actions by its pilots.

Hawaiian Airlines passenger traffic grew 12.6 percent in August

Hawaiian Airlines has released its August and year-to-date statistics. The carrier’s number of total passengers increased 12.6% in August compared with the same month in 2011. Year-to-date passenger totals are up 8.4% over the same period last year.

Budget airlines are growing in a sluggish industry

Several airline executives spoke at Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit on Monday to say that their low-cost airlines are growing during a sluggish economy. Executives from Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines spoke of the growth their airlines are experiencing. Consolidation was also a common topic at the summit, with leaders supporting the measures as being good for the industry.

JetBlue plans to roll out speedy in-flight Wi-Fi

Starting in the first quarter of next year, passengers aboard JetBlue flights will be able to access Wi-Fi service fast enough to stream movies and TV shows. According to an internal company e-mail, the low-cost carrier plans to partner with ViaSat to offer fast Wi-Fi that it says will give it a competitive advantage over its rivals. The e-mail says the service will be free during an initial trial period.

CRUISE

The Rockettes to christen Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship The high-kicking Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall fame will christen the Norwegian Breakaway on May 8, Norwegian Cruise Line disclosed on Tuesday. The Breakaway will be the largest ship to be homeported in New York, and the cruise line said the choice of the Rockettes to serve as godmothers will deepen its ties to the city.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/10/2012

INTERNATIONAL

Las Vegas Sands will build EuroVegas casino resort in Madrid

Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon G. Adelson has announced that Madrid, not Barcelona, will be the site of a casino resort called EuroVegas. The company hasn’t yet revealed the project’s size or financing sources. “Progress toward resolution of the current economic challenges within Europe will be an important consideration,” the company said.

DOMESTIC

Hawaii expects continued growth in air seat capacity

The Hawaii Tourism Authority anticipates more growth in air travel to the state through the remainder of the year. Total air seat capacity for 2012 is expected to exceed 10 million seats, a 9% increase over last year. Total capacity is expected to reach 99% of the peak travel to Hawaii, which occurred in 2007.

Chicago travelers pay highest taxes in U.S.

Travelers incur the highest average daily tax burden in Chicago at $40.31, according to the GBTA Foundation. Considering general sales taxes on car rentals, hotel stays and meals, and what it terms as “discriminatory travel taxes” in the top 50 U.S. travel markets, GBTA found that New York ($37.98) and Boston ($34.58) followed Chicago at the top of the list.

AIRLINE

Allegian Air adds nonstop Vegas-Boise flights

Discount airline Allegiant Air will be adding nonstop flights between Boise, Idaho, and Las Vegas beginning Oct. 26. This will compete with a route already established by Southwest Airlines, which offers two daily, nonstop flights between Las Vegas and Boise.

Frontier means business with direct booking policy

Frontier Airlines is putting its foot down with a new penalty for passengers who do not book directly through its website. Fliers who book through online travel websites such as Expedia and Orbitz will not be able to obtain seat assignments until they check in, will pay more in fees and earn fewer frequent flier miles.

American is the first US airline to replace all paper manuals with iPads in its cockpits

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that pilots on American Airlines flights would be allowed to use iPads for the “electronic flight bag,” replacing the last bit of paper that pilots deal with, such as when flying below 10,000 feet.

CRUISE

Cruise lines work to attract more meetings business

New initiatives and ship amenities mark cruise lines’ continued drive to bring in more business from the meetings and incentives industry. “Cruising is a great way to engage and motivate employees, customers and channel partners in a unique setting that provides great value and experience through incredible built-in features,” said Christine Duffy, Cruise Lines International Association’s president and CEO. Cruise lines are touting the cost-effectiveness and higher levels of customization that cruise meetings can offer compared with meetings on land.

GROUP TRAVEL

Group travel a growth category

A June survey of 216 agents who had booked groups in the previous 12 months, undertaken jointly by Travel Weekly and TravelAge West, revealed that 46% of the respondents expected their group business to continue to grow through the end of 2012.

ETC.

American Express Travel Finds U.S. Employees Have 8 Unused Vacation Days

U.S. employees have an average of eight unused vacation days this fall, according to American Express Travel’s American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. At the end of the year, 38 percent of workers will lose these unused vacation days while 74 percent are planning to use them over the fall months. Of those planning to use their vacation time this fall, 31 percent said they choose to travel during fall because it is the most affordable time of year, and 23 percent will travel to off-season destinations like the Caribbean and Hawaii, as they offer some great deals during this time, the study said.

Study shows aspiring travelers are online more than the average American

On a weekly basis, the Internet reaches 94% of intended travelers, in comparison to 85% of the general population reached. The comparable TV numbers are 97% vs. 89%. On weekdays, Internet weekly reach among intended travelers approaches parity with TV (91% Internet vs. 95% TV). Soon-to-be travelers are more likely to surf the Internet (91% vs. 82%), listen to radio (77% vs. 69%), and read magazines (61% vs. 51%) and newspapers (58% vs. 50%) than the general population.

Statue of Liberty interior to reopen Oct. 28

The interior of the Statue of Liberty will reopen to visitors on a limited basis on Oct. 28. The statue was closed for a one-year renovation on Oct. 29, 2011. The 125-year-old statue has been undergoing improvements for visitor safety, including upgrades to the fire-suppression system, two new means of exiting the monument, and a fire break between the statue and the pedestal, according to the National Park Service.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 9/3/2012

INTERNATIONAL

Dominican Republic visitation up 7% this year

Travelers arriving by air in the Dominican Republic grew to 2.9 million visitors from January through July, up 7.2% over the same period in 2011. The U.S. continues to be the top source market, according to data from the Central Bank, which compiles arrivals statistics for the destination. Other markets showing growth include Russia, Canada and Venezuela.

AIRLINE

United Airlines plans capacity cut through 2012. CFO says

United Airlines plans to trim capacity by up to 3% from September through the end of 2012. The carrier had previously forecast capacity cuts of up to 2% for the fourth quarter. “We are beginning to see some modest slowness in the economic outlook and we’re responding accordingly,” said CFO John Rainey.

CRUISE

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils hull art for the Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newbuild to be homeported in New York will feature a hull painted with a New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty and a stylized solar system. Norwegian on Tuesday unveiled the design by pop artist Peter Max. It will decorate the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, which is scheduled to arrive in New York next May for a summer of seven-day cruises to Bermuda.

Royal Caribbean launches product around Barbie doll

Royal Caribbean isn’t trading in its signature gold and blue colors, but its ships are going to be a lot more pink starting in January. That’s when something called the “Barbie Experience” will debut for young princesses ages 4 to 11. Girls can sleep in Barbie-themed cabins, design Barbie outfits, go to tea and participate in a fashion show at the end of the cruise. The experience will come in a basic free version and a premium one that will cost $349.

This Week in Travel & Tourism — 8/27/2012

DOMESTIC

Tourism in Hawaii is on pace for record gains

Hawaii’s tourism officials forecast another banner year for the tourism economy as it announced that the number of visitors as well as per-visitor spending from the first half of the year were both on pace to beat 2011 levels. Visitor arrivals were up 9.8%, to 4.7 million, and expenditures rose 20.8%, to $8.4 billion.

AIRLINE

Spirit to add Los Cabos service

Spirit Airlines will launch nonstop daily service between San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico, on Nov. 8. The flight will be supplemented by a daily connecting flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to San Diego, launching on the same date.
In addition, Spirit will begin nonstop service four times a week between Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Cabos in June 2013.

JetBlue widens markets for upgraded Go Pack offering

JetBlue Airways has reintroduced its Go Pack travel deal, which has been expanded to include 32 markets. The new package offers fliers 10 nonstop one-way flights for a fixed price, and the travel window has been extended to three months.

United will launch 787 Dreamliner service in November

United Airlines plans to inaugurate service aboard its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Nov. 4. The carrier will fly domestic routes on the Dreamliner for a month before launching international service on Dec. 4. United has ordered a total of 50 Boeing 787-8s.
http://www.ausbt.com.au/united-s-boeing-787-dreamliner-flies-from-november-4-on-domestic-usa-routes-international-flights-start-november

Hawaiian Airlines seeks to add route from Big Island to Tokyo

Hawaiian Airlines has applied to the Transportation Department for daily service to Haneda Airport in Tokyo from Hawaii’s Big Island. The airline has proposed a nonstop route between Kona International Airport and Haneda Airport that could begin by March.

CRUISE

Princess Cruises announces start of construction of new ship

Construction has begun on a new Princess Cruises ship, the Regal Princess, the cruise line has announced. Set to launch in spring 2014, the 3,600-passenger vessel will follow the debut of the Royal Princess in June 2013. Both are part of a new class of ships for the cruise line.

Disney Cruise Line, Texas port reach 2-year deal

Disney Cruise Line will be launching voyages aboard the Disney Magic from the Port of Galveston, Texas, for at least two years under a new agreement that includes a one-year renewal option. Disney says it has scheduled 38 cruises from Galveston during its first operating year.