Tag Archives: luxury travel

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


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.


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.


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.


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 — 9/17/2012


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.


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.


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.


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.