Mexico City efforts include medical tourism, green programs
Mexico City is on the move with new initiatives and programs designed to garner specific market segments, capitalize on the destination’s myriad offerings and showcase its total product line. The city’s minister of tourism, Carlos Mackinlay, said that “tourism is a key economic generator of Mexico City,” representing 7% of its gross domestic product.
USTA will highlight importance of travel at political conventions
The U.S. Travel Association has announced its Vote Travel 2.0 plans for the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions. The multipronged initiative seeks to inform policymakers about the crucial economic role of travel and tourism. “We are pushing a message that will stay with attendees — that the travel industry generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and includes 14 million of U.S. jobs — and without it, the conventions wouldn’t be possible,” said Blain Rethmeier, U.S. Travel’s senior vice president for public affairs.
Interjet applies to serve six U.S.-Mexico routes
Mexican carrier Interjet applied to the Department of Transportation for authorization to begin service on six U.S. routes. The routes are: Mexico City-Orange County, Calif.; Guadalajara-Orange County; San Jose del Cabo-Orange County; Toluca-Houston, Toluca-Chicago and Toluca-Las Vegas. Aeromexico and Volaris serve Las Vegas from Mexico City. Toluca is a secondary airport serving Mexico City.
JetBlue reportedly will boost flights to Colombia
JetBlue Airways is looking to increase its flights to Colombia, a newspaper based in Bogota, Colombia, reports. Portafolio also reported that JetBlue will add a route between Bogota and Puerto Rico in 2013. The carrier is also considering flights to Cali, Medellin and Barranquilla, the newspaper says.
Southwest explores flying outside continental U.S.
Southwest and Transport Workers Union’s Local 556 are waiting to see if flight attendants approve a measure that would allow the airline to fly routes to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and non-U.S. destinations. The union president says the deal would be a launching pad for the airline to plan for growth.
Window, aisle preferences could cost you
Airlines including US Airways, Spirit, American and Delta are imposing fees for window and aisle seats, two popular flier preferences. According to 2012 data from Expedia, 21% of customers chose window seats, while 20% preferred to sit along the aisle; the rest had no preference.
Airlines could continue to test demand with fare increases
A successful fare hike on trips shorter than 500 miles by Southwest Airlines could signal more airfare increases this year. “I think they are testing demand and they will continue to do it for the rest of the year,” said Rick Seaney, founder of the travel website Farecompare.com.
Agents are getting more online options for cruise training
More cruise lines are launching online cruise-training programs to improve agents’ skills in selling their products, this feature says. Training modules include destination education, brand orientation and sales and marketing training.
Cunard announces world itineraries for its 3 Queen cruise ships
Cunard Line has unveiled the 2014 world-cruise itineraries for its three Queen vessels — flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Queen Mary 2 is set to visit 19 countries around the world with overnight port destinations including Hong Kong, Dubai, and Cape Town, South Africa. Queen Elizabeth will visit Japan for the first time with port calls in Kobe, Kochi, Nagasaki and Yokohama. Queen Victoria will traverse the globe on a 116-day sailing that will visit 40 ports in 19 countries.
Carnival tries out drinks program about the Carnival Victory
Carnival Cruise Lines is holding a trial run of its “My Awesome Bar Program,” giving passengers access to a variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks for about $50 a day including tips. The package is available to passengers 21 and older aboard the Carnival Victory.
MGM Resorts proposes $800 million Massachusetts resort
MGM Resorts International has proposed building an $800 million entertainment-retail resort in Springfield, Mass., that would have 250 hotel rooms and 89,000 square feet of gaming space, as well as 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Hotels take up growing juice trend
Juice bars and juicing-themed packages are popping up in hotels in response to the growing wellness trend, this feature says. “Hotels have taken notice that their travelers, especially those that spend time in the spa, are looking to keep their bodies healthy on the road. These clients are not interested in spending time and money detoxing in the spa only to fill up on unhealthy, processed food,” said Linden Schaffer, director of wellness-travel firm Pravassa.
Google ignites speculation with Frommer’s acquisition
Google’s announcement last week that it would purchase Frommer’s, the iconic publisher of print and electronic travel guides, touched off a wave of speculation over the search giant’s motives and what the move might portend for the travel industry.