Carnival Cruise Line is putting all hands on deck to encourage potential passengers to work with travel agents as part of its 2019 "Why Use A Travel Advisor?" campaign. This week, the company has unveiled a website, interactive Facebook page and brochure, along with testimonials, a contest, videos, tips and more.
US travelers can expect to wait eight weeks instead of six for new and renewed passports, the State Department says, with expedited, two- to three-week service available for an additional $60. The number of passport applications has increased, while the number of staff members has decreased due to Trump administration cuts, which also have contributed to an understaffed Transportation Security Administration and longer waits in airport security lines this summer.
Palace Resorts' swanky, adults-only, five-diamond Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun is open again after a $30 million dollar renovation, and its newest destination --Moon Palace Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic -- debuted last fall. Palace's Frank Corzo says the company has boosted its sales staff to provide more attention, training and support to travel advisors, and he highlights its incentive- and commission-laden PRO 2.0 program for partners.
The US has adjusted its ruling on American travel to Cuba, now allowing stays in certain hotels to prevent a supply-and-demand issue involving private residence rentals. If Americans can secure authorized travel under the "support for the Cuban people" category, they may stay at any property that is not on the State Department's restricted list, which includes hotels owned by the Cuban military.
JetBlue has named an airplane in honor of the popular show RuPaul's Drag Race to celebrate Pride Month. The airline also created a video featuring two prior show winners, Trixie Mattel and Bob the Drag Queen.
American Airlines will again offer twice daily nonstop seasonal service between California's Palm Springs International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport beginning in October. Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines will launch nonstop daily flights from Palm Springs to Everett, Wash.
The Airport Innovation Lab at San Diego International Airport is recruiting applicants for its third group of innovators to go through a 16-week accelerator program. "The continuing successes of the Airport Innovation Lab have the promise of enhancing the airport experience for everyone," Airport Authority President and CEO Kimberly Becker said.
Only about a dozen wild white lions exist in the world, and one of them is a white cub roaming South Africa's andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. A stay at andBeyond's Ngala Safari Lodge or Ngala Tented Camp are the best bets for seeing the cub.
Despite the deaths of seven American tourists this year alone as well as the shooting of former MLB player David Ortiz, Dominican Republic travel officials insist the country is a safe destination. "These cases are very regrettable, but isolated," Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia says, while Dominican government spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena tweeted about the "cheerful, welcoming" nation with "beautiful beaches and mountains ... tasty gastronomy and hardworking people."
Lead magnets -- whether pre-trip checklists, destination reports or any other free, useful content designed to attract potential clients -- "are especially important for home-based agents because it keeps you top of mind with prospects," says Boomerang Escapes' Lisa Wood Rossmeissl, whose content includes 9- and 15-day sample Australia itineraries. Richard D'Ambrosio offers a how-to that includes topic suggestions, presentation and more.
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