The six advisors and suppliers at the Luxury Travel Advisor roundtable in January have their sights set on summer, when they expect restrictions to loosen. People are booking for later in the year or 2022 and many are planning long excursions to bucket-list destinations.
Travel companies are asking Congress for help for the industry and sent a letter to legislators representing Florida. The coalition proposed relief plans that were in line with the American Society of Travel Agents, reminding the lawmakers that 98% of US travel agencies are small businesses and 66% are owned by women.
Lufthansa is adding more than 30 new destinations, including Greece, the Canary Islands and the Caribbean, in anticipation of an uptick in travel this summer. The German airline, which received an $11 billion state bailout last year, expects hygiene protocols will remain in place.
Global airline industry body IATA estimates the industry could lose as much as $95 billion this year. To aid in the recovery, IATA is launching a travel pass in March that will digitize COVID-19 tests and vaccines to facilitate travel.
Travel advisors believe multi-generational family trips will continue to grow over the next few years. "I expect the demand for villa vacations to increase as families save money on long haul airfare and invest savings into a longer stay in one house for the entire family," said David Hartman of Fantastic Endeavors.
Internova CEO J.D. O'Hara says clients are telling travel advisors they are ready to take the trip of a lifetime. As the largest travel advisor organization in the US, with 50,000 advisors, he says they will play a critical role helping travelers plan trips around health and safety issues, rising prices and the changing landscape of providers.
After travel stood still in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, InterContinental Hotels Group believes it will start to see a shift in travel since people are sticking to remote work. Hotels could benefit from this switch, CEO Keith Barr said, as people can effectively work while still staying in hotel rooms.
The hotel industry in New York is pushing for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow staffers to receive coronavirus vaccines. Hotel workers say they are at risk because facilities remain open to people in quarantine, those who are homeless and those who are recovering from COVID-19.
Several proposals for a new casino-resort have been received in Richmond, Va., including a $517 million project by Urban One, which would be the first majority Black-owned US casino. Other proposals have come from Bally's, the Cordish Companies and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe.
The defunct cruise excursion-seller ShoreTrips will be sold to Hornblower Group for $1.8 million after a Wisconsin judge approved the transaction. Secured creditors will be compensated but travelers whose excursions were canceled will not receive a full refund.
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