Posts tagged with "travel industry"

Passport illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Tim Hentschel × HotelPlanner

By: HotelPlanner.com Co-Founder/CEO Tim Hentschel

We all welcomed the news of vaccine rollouts that started in January this year, but what does this specifically mean for the travel and hospitality industry? How do vaccine passports work? And are they ethical?

Experts agree that we will start to see real progress against the spread of Covid once 70 percent of a country’s population is vaccinated. We’re already hearing more optimistic sentiments from many governments, travel organizations and businesses as countries reach 30% to 50% vaccination levels. Still, the rate of vaccinations varies greatly per country, and this is causing daily changes to the do-not-fly list, which makes it extremely challenging to reliably plan international travel.

That said, there is great optimism in our industry. For example, the International Air Transport Association Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac was quoted in March that “personal and leisure travel will return from the 2H2021. ″

Tim Hentschel, CEO and co-founder of HotelPlanner, we are developing the tools to travel safely in Covid, with vaccines on a worldwide rollout, he discusses how this will affect tourism and hospitality locally and across the world.

Vaccine passports become essential

The European Commission has been the latest body to propose vaccine passports. While there are concerns about discrimination against the unvaccinated, an internationally recognized official certification for vaccinated travelers would help to lift quarantine restrictions and ease the processes of entering other countries.

In fact, Singapore Airlines began piloting a digital vaccine passport in December 2020 and has plans to integrate it into their mobile app by mid-2021.

During the pandemic, travel operators have acted quickly to label hotels that have complied with Covid-19 countermeasures and get the word out to their customers.

In the coming months, we expect operators to start implementing new measures based on vaccine passports that will be in line with government regulations. The simplest way is to have travelers include a vaccine certification as part of their personal details for bookings. These details could then be shared with partner airlines and hotels to facilitate a smoother, less restricted travel experience. 

Of note, it’s important to distinguish the vaccine passport initiatives individual countries or international bodies are pursuing versus what some private sector venues are piloting.  For example, the Biden Administration clarified recently that they would not be sponsoring or mandating a country-wide vaccine passport and that any related projects would be up to the private sector. Florida’s Governor also recently banned the use of vaccine passports in the state entirely, which could trend in other states. To date, New York is one of the few states that has piloted what they’re calling an Excelsior Pass to verify vaccine status before entering venues like Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center.

Green lanes and travel bubbles will revive suffering travel destinations in the short term 

Governments should speed up establishing green lanes or travel bubbles with ‘safe’ countries, where travelers are exempt from quarantine. These partnerships will be critical for bringing life back to economies that rely on service-based and labor-based industries.

Thailand, for instance, has seen an 83 percent drop in foreign tourists. This is a devastating blow that contributed to the Thai economy falling by 6.1 percent in 2020, its worst performance since the 1997 Asia financial crisis.

The Thai Hotels Association estimates at least a million workers have been laid off from its hospitality sector as hundreds of hotels have closed. Domestic tourism and the implementation of special tourist visas for long stays have done little to reverse the pandemic’s impact on the industry.

Thailand’s special tourist visa permits foreign visitors to stay up to 90 days, including 14 days of quarantine, with the option for two extensions. It has attracted only a fraction of the expected 1,200 monthly visitors since its launch in October 2020, likely due to the lengthy quarantine requirement.

India is now experiencing a huge spike in Covid infections, and the USA has added them to the list of over 100 countries that US citizens cannot fly to. As India is one of the US’s largest trading partners, this will hurt both countries with similar effect to the tourism devastation in Thailand.

As we look to the future, there is a golden opportunity for the USA and other developed nations of the world, which have successfully implemented vaccine rollouts, to continue to help countries that are still challenged. This will help the USA, EU, and UN reestablish themselves as global leaders. If all goes well, we could be celebrating a return to near normal by the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Amtrak Logo by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Amtrak’s Roomette Summer Sale

Buy a Roomette, Bring a Companion Free on Amtrak

Amtrak customers can take advantage of this limited-time summer sale

Great deals are now available for summer travel on Amtrak with someone special. For a limited time, a customer booking a private Roomette for travel this summer can bring a companion for free. Roomettes offer meals included in the price of the ticket, scenic views by day, and comfortable beds at night. Available on Amtrak’s website, this sale is valid between Apr. 6-16, 2021, for travel between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2021.

“We want to offer our customers a truly unique way to see the country this summer,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Roger Harris. “With our nationwide Roomette sale, customers can share the experience with a travel companion while taking advantage of some of the best sightseeing opportunities this country has to offer.”

For those seeking both space and privacy, Roomettes include a big picture window, fresh towels and linens and access to a restroom and shower. A dedicated attendant provides turndown service, assists with meals, helps with luggage and shares great stories of life on the rails. All customers in private rooms receive complimentary lounge access at major stations, priority boarding and complimentary meals onboard.

During this promotion, two customers can travel together in a Roomette for as low as:

Route  Fare Cities  Fare
Chicago – St. Paul-Minneapolis

 

$193 Lorton – Sanford $296*
Chicago – New Orleans $319 New York – Chicago $394
Chicago – Seattle $527 Philadelphia – Miami $489
Denver – Salt Lake City $252 St. Louis – Austin $314
Los Angeles – Albuquerque $297 Washington, DC – Atlanta $352
Los Angeles – Portland (Oregon) $409 Washington, DC – Boston $288
Fares may vary

*Plus the cost of your vehicle on Auto Train

Private rooms are available on 15 routes across the national network: Auto Train, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle.

To apply this discount, visit Amtrak’s website, or enter code C645 when booking a trip on the Amtrak app. The paying adult and free companion must travel in the same room and reserve in the same reservation. This offer is valid for Roomettes only; no upgrades permitted. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. Other terms and conditions apply.

Airplane illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Medjet Partnership with Luxury Card

Pioneer in Air Medical Transport & Travel Security Memberships Now Available with Exclusive Pricing for Luxury Card’s Mastercard Gold Card, Mastercard Black Card and Mastercard Titanium Card Members

Medjet, the industry leader in air medical transport and travel security memberships for travelers, has announced a new partnership with Luxury Card, a global leader in the premium credit card market. Luxury Card’s Mastercard Gold Card, Mastercard Black Card and Mastercard Titanium Card members are now eligible for discounts on the company’s two membership options: MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon.


“Medjet offers unparalleled professionalism and peace of mind,” says Marina Kissam, Vice President of Customer Experience at Luxury Card. “Safety while traveling is a growing priority, so we are pleased that our Cardmembers will be able to take advantage of exclusive savings on Medjet memberships before they embark on their next adventure.”

An industry forerunner, Medjet provides travelers hospitalized more than 150 miles from home with premier air medical transport to a hospital of their choice at home. Most travel insurance medical evacuation coverage is only to the “nearest acceptable” hospital. In October of 2020, Medjet was the first program of its kind to announce transport benefits for its members hospitalized with COVID-19 in the contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico and Belize, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda at no additional cost to members. That was followed shortly thereafter with the addition of Costa Rica and, just this month, Medjet added all of Central America (including Panama, Guatemala, and Honduras) to the list of countries from which members can be transported, if hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Even before the pandemic, statistics showed that one in 30 trips end in a medical emergency,” said Mike Hallman, CEO of Medjet. “We hope this new partnership, and Medjet protection, can bring a little more confidence to travelers, knowing that if the worst happens, they have someone to call.”

Since 1991, Medjet has upheld the highest service and standards in the industry. With the partnership between Luxury Card and Medjet, Luxury Card members can now receive 10% off all annual MedjetAssist memberships, which start at $265 per year for an individual, $359 for a family (two adults and up to five children). Additional security and crisis response protections are available with the MedjetHorizon membership for just an additional $149 per year for individual memberships or an additional $179 per year for family memberships. This discount is available to Luxury Card members until December 31, 2021. 

Medjet Website

Luxury Card Website

Travel 3 by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Lush Experiences Luxury Travel Expansion

TWO PRESTIGIOUS TOUR OPERATORS JOIN FORCES WITH LUSH EXPERIENCES TO CREATE LIFE AFFIRMING MEMORIES FOR TRAVELERS

The Spain Collection and Casablanca Tours are the latest additions to the Lush Experiences roster of luxury travel providers and properties.

Lush Experiences, one of travel’s premier sales, marketing and representation organizations boasting long-held and deep relationships with travel advisors and members, announced that The Spain Collection and Casablanca Tours  have become a part of the Lush family of luxury properties and travel experience providers. The countries represented by these outstanding and internationally recognized experiential travel providers include Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The Spain Collection is world-renown for creating outstanding travel experiences  throughout Spain and Portugal, covering areas of traveler interest from nature and sports, to shopping and religious heritage. The group prides itself on creating authentic cultural and traditional connections for its clients, while also supporting local businesses.

“There is no shortage of representation companies to select from but very few stand out the way Lush Experiences does,” said The Spain Collection CEO, Abene Mendizabal. “They share our passion for the region, its history and what it has to offer, and they have the contacts and connections to achieve the business objectives we have set in place to move us forward.”

Casablanca Tours is comprised of native Moroccans residing in the U.S. and as a result, have their fingers on the pulse of what travelers are seeking when visiting the kingdom. Their first-hand, expert knowledge of spectacular sites, fine hotels and food–down to details such as transportation options throughout the country–set them apart from others that serve this multicultural country.

“Knowing the travel industry as I do, it was critical to work with a group that agrees that ‘our special Morocco’ has something to offer every traveler and who appreciates the desire to create the perfect holiday, special occasion or experience of a lifetime. Lush Experiences made that crystal clear to us,” said Souad Seghrouchni, President & Executive Director of Casablanca Tours.

“We are honored to be affirmed and entrusted with the business of two outstanding travel industry veteran providers who share the same passion for travel that we do,” said Brad Beaty, co-founder of Lush Experiences.” When you put your heart and soul into your work as our team does, and respected travel providers like The Spain Collection and Casablanca Tours recognize you for that effort, it is heartening and we are thankful for the trust they have shown in us.”

About Lush Experiences 

Lush Experiences is one of travel’s premier sales, marketing and representation organizations, boasting long-held and deep relationships with travel advisors and members. Proud of a client retention rate greater than 90%, one of the highest in the industry, Lush Experiences is all about professionalism, service and your success.

Lush Experiences prides itself on making travel advisor’s work simpler and effortless, approaching its member’s business with a philosophy that “every booking is a relationship.”

Lush Experiences portfolio is comprised of the finest luxury hotels and destination curators throughout the world. From regions including Asia Pacific to Europe to Mexico and the Caribbean, its members are recognized by travelers and travel professionals as being among the most prestigious names in the industry. Also offering destinations services, the experienced team at Lush Experiences treats its clients and relationships as family, and the results show it.