Americas

Cuba prepares to reopen

Tuesday, 12 October 2021 04:27

In Cuba the vaccination rates are advancing rapidly and there are some advances with respect to tourism, according to Viva Expeditions.

Managing director of Viva Expeditions, Rachel Williams reports that Havana has already lifted many of the restrictions, having opened restaurants and other recreational places, and it was announced that on 15 November the country will begin to open more widely to tourism. Several Spanish hotel companies such as Melia and Iberostar have already announced the reopening of their hotels, and 23 airlines will resume flights during October.

New high in Canada

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 01:02

World Journeys reports that a new attraction offering the ‘ultimate natural high’ has opened on Vancouver Island, BC.

The Malahat SkyWalk immerses visitors in nature as they embark along a wooden walkway through the forest, then ascend a circular ramp gently rising to the top of a 10-storey, spiral tower lookout.

At the top, guests are 250 metres above sea level and enjoy 360-degree views of two countries, including islands, inlets, fjords, forests and mountains in British Columbia and Washington State.

Viva: 'Peru is coming back’

Friday, 03 September 2021 00:44

After enduring some of the worst of the Covid pandemic so far, Peru’s cases are dropping, vaccines are increasing, and the country is welcoming tourists back.

Viva Expeditions’ hotel and operations manager, Nick Macciocca has been at Casa República in Lima and reports an increase in occupancy month on month with August now having 50% occupancy during the week, growing to 70% on weekends following a trend nationwide. All hotel staff are back on full hours and the hotel has had to increase its staff numbers to meet increasing demand.

Anchorage re-enters ANZ

Friday, 27 August 2021 03:37

Visit Anchorage is re-entering the New Zealand and Australian markets with the re-appointment of Canuckiwi Ltd as its representative agency.

‘Pre-pandemic our markets were ranked as Alaska’s number one international market for visitor arrivals,’ says Corey Marshall, director of Canuckiwi. ‘With the rise in interest for wide open spaces and independent travel vacations post pandemic it is an extremely important time to ensure awareness amongst trade partners of the offering Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska has available for when international travel resumes in 2022.’

British Columbia 'Open to More'

Friday, 20 August 2021 01:50

Destination British Columbia in Canada is preparing to welcome the world, launching ‘Open to More’. The concept aims to encourage wider exploration and new adventures throughout the province.

A trip planning tool supporting Open to More has been developed on-line at exploreBC.com, highlighting ideas to experience British Columbia in a new light. 

Destination British Columbia identified the top 10 BC experiences over spring, summer and autumn:

Shift in US attitudes

Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:30

Active Adventures reports a shift in American clients’ eagerness to travel; one that is likely to be observed among the New Zealand market also. The company says clients are turning their nervousness into readiness to travel. In June, Active Adventures had its largest sales month in its 25-year history.

‘We are seeing a new type of client as we approach a post-Covid-19 era – one who is eager to travel with a company which can ensure its guests are in safe hands and every detail is taken care of. They are also seeking premium and sustainable travel,’ Active Adventures CEO Wendy Van Lieshout says.

USA: Long haul to recovery

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 04:58

Despite an increase in leisure travel, a new report released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows that the road to recovery for the industry remains a long one.

The new data from benchmarking specialist STR, shows that 21 of the top 25 US hotel markets remain in a depression or recession. Urban hotels are still in a ‘depression’ cycle while the overall US hotel industry remains in a ‘recession’.

Vax clarity would help NZ retain US marketing budgets

Monday, 05 July 2021 22:55

Getting clarity around what post-vaccination travel from New Zealand will look like is crucial for US destinations intending to allocate budget to this market, trade heard at a pre 4 July event.

Corey Marshall, of Canuckiwi, told a Skal Auckland lunch at Bald Eagle Diner that with other markets starting to open up it is a frustrating time for USA representatives in New Zealand and Australia.

US to ‘reboot’ with trade

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 01:08

A record turnout of presenters for Visit USA NZ’s ‘Independence Day Virtual Roadshow 2021’ illustrates yet again the vital role the trade will play in the reboot of travel between New Zealand and the United States.

With more than 20 organisations participating including airlines, destinations, hotels, tour operators, and others, the Independence Day webinar event will be streamed live from the Hawaiian Airlines Auckland office on Tuesday 6 July, at 9.30am. The atmosphere will be enhanced by an on-site audience including invited Auckland-based travel trade.

RM extends first US season

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 01:53

Rocky Mountaineer is extending the inaugural season of its new route in the United States, Rockies to the Red Rocks, by four weeks due to strong sales from the domestic US market.

Peter Armstrong, founder and interim CEO of Rocky Mountaineer says some high-demand dates are nearing capacity.

Rockies to the Red Rocks is a two-day train journey between Moab, Utah and Denver, Colorado with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Cruises steam back on US rivers

Wednesday, 02 June 2021 02:57

American Queen Steamboat Company will sail the Ohio River region during its largest season in the Midwest. In 2022, the company will have three paddlewheelers operating a full season with 30 Ohio River sailings.

The voyages will introduce guests to major urban centres like Louisville, Kentucky; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; through to port towns like Madison, Indiana; and Brandenburg, Kentucky.

Ohio River itineraries in 2022 include Louisville to Pittsburgh or vv, Memphis to Louisville or vv, Louisville to Nashville, Clarksvilleor vv. 

Visit USA still here for trade

Monday, 19 April 2021 22:08

The Visit USA committee is assuring travel agents and brokers that the organisation and its members continue to be active in the market and are ready to support the trade whenever necessary.

The new chair of the committee, Chris Ingram, says despite the challenges and (specifically) closed borders, Visit USA’s members continue to be committed to the industry here.

‘We’ll be running an event around the 4th of July and details will be released to the trade soon. It will be mainly virtual but there will also be a physical element to it, with some people from the trade and media joining us. We’re likely to have up to 20 presenters there.’

RM opens 2022 bookings

Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:35

Agents can now book 2022 packages for Rocky Mountaineer’s Canadian routes via the sales centre or agent portal. 

Travellers booking a Rocky Mountaineer 2022 package for the routes in western Canada will benefit from a 20% risk-free deposit, fully refundable until 3 December 2021. The final payment is due 60 days before travel (45 days for wholesale bookings).

Tierra Hotels to re-open

Tuesday, 16 February 2021 02:28

Viva Expeditions has advised that Tierra Hotels in Chile have confirmed reopening dates after long closures due to strict Covid lockdowns in Chile. Tierra Hotels offers accommodation in spectacular locations in Chile.

Tierra Atacama in San Pedro de Atacama will re-open 3 September 2021, Tierra Chiloé on the Island of Chiloé will re-open 30 October 2021 and Tierra Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park on 1 October 2021. The hotels will close again for the winter period in 2022 – Tierra Patagonia on 30 April, Tierra Chiloé on 31 March. Tierra Atacama is currently planning on being open until the end of April 2022.

Viva Expeditions’ double Tierra  Hotel experience starts from $8945 for eight days and includes luxury accommodation, all meals and drinks, internal flights, guided activities and more. Click here for details.

Repat flight to South America

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 21:01

xtravel is again privately chartering a Latam Dreamliner 787-8 to help get South American passengers back home given there are still no direct commercial services between NZ and South America.

The company is advising other agents in New Zealand who have any passengers who may be interested in this flight.

The flight schedule is 26 February depart AKL at 18:10pm, 26 February arrive SCL at 13:40pm. Times are subject to change a little depending on landing slots.

This flight includes two pieces of baggage weighing up to 23kgs per person plus carry-on of 7kgs. Additional pieces can be purchased directly at the airport for US$200 per piece.

Add-ons to regional South America are available and should be booked in conjunction with this flight .

The recommended retail price (NZ$) is $2590 per adult, $2370 per child and $359 per infant. xtravel is able to offer finders’ fees of $200 per adult, $175per child and $35 for infants.

Agents should check other conditions and details. info@xtravel.co.nz

Graceland, virtually

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:53

Graceland in Memphis has introduced virtual live tours.

The tours will provide fans from around the world with behind the scenes access and never before seen highlights of the complex.

Hosted by one of the world’s foremost experts on all-things Elvis Presley, vice president of Graceland Archives and Exhibits Angie Marchese, the virtual live tours will provide an in-depth look into Elvis’

Canada ‘on the rise’ for 2021

Thursday, 17 December 2020 00:51

National Geographic’s Destinations On The Rise For 2021, notes that while the pandemic has brought global journeys to a standstill, travellers’ curiosity is still evident.

Canada is recognised in two of the report’s categories.

In the Family Journeys category, learning about indigenous culture in British Columbia’s Vancouver and Vancouver Island are noted, with emphasis on a guided forest ramble with Talaysay

Growing Kiwis’ confidence in Latin America

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 01:54

How to grow consumer confidence so New Zealanders will travel again to Latin America post Covid-19 was on the agenda when Viva Expeditions managing director Rachel Williams caught up with the Latin American ambassadors in Wellington recently. The group also discussed creative ideas to be able to market the various destinations within Latin America with limited resources available in the short to medium term.

US route for Rocky Mountaineer

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 21:33

 

Rocky Mountaineer plans to take its luxury train journeys to a new route in the Southwest United States in 2021. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route will be a two-day rail journey between Denver, Colorado; and Moab, Utah; with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Rocky Mountaineer will launch the route with a preview season of 40 departures across 10 weeks from 15 August to 23 October 2021. The company is working with local tourism

Hearing it from Grapevine V

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 19:58

TRAVELinc Memo has had an audience with Paul W McCallum, the executive director of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. The result has been a series of articles that have run over the past few weeks. Within a stone’s throw of Dallas Fort Worth, Grapevine will be a logical and attractive stop for Kiwis when borders reopen and the American Airlines service begins between AKL and DFW.

Hearing it from Grapevine IV

Monday, 12 October 2020 21:43

TRAVELinc Memo has had an audience with Paul W McCallum, the executive director of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. The result is a series of articles that have been running over the past weeks. Within a stone’s throw of Dallas Fort Worth, Grapevine will be a logical and attractive stop for Kiwis when borders reopen and the American Airlines service begins between AKL and DFW.

Hearing it from Grapevine III

Thursday, 03 September 2020 04:48

TRAVELinc Memo has had an audience with Paul W McCallum, the executive director of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. The result is a series of articles that will run over the next few weeks. Within a stone’s throw of Dallas Fort Worth, Grapevine will be a logical and attractive stop for Kiwis when borders reopen and the American Airlines service begins between AKL and DFW.

Hearing it from Grapevine II

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 22:18

TRAVELinc Memo has had an audience with Paul W McCallum, the executive director of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. The result is a series of articles that will run over the next few weeks. Within a stone’s throw of Dallas Fort Worth, Grapevine will be a logical and attractive stop for Kiwis when borders reopen and the American Airlines service begins between AKL and DFW.

TM: The Vintage Railroad appears to be one of the top experiences in Grapevine. Is there anything new to report on that activity – and what are some of the other top family attractions in the area?

PW: We are always adapting the activities on board the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Our newest addition is a ‘whodunit’ experience that takes place between Grapevine and the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Events, such as the Kiss Me I’m Irish Train, Jazz Wine Trains, Witches Brew Train, North Pole Express and Christmas Wine Trains are examples of how we highlight the Grapevine Vintage Railroad and continue to enhance the on-board experience.

Grapevine offers a wide variety of family-friendly attractions. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center encourages children to bring out their inner architect. Clients can view sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and other sea creatures at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium. Peppa Pig World of Play brings the popular children’s show to life at Grapevine Mills mall. Round 1 Entertainment offers family activities including bowling, karaoke, arcade games, pingpong and more. Main Event is another great family entertainment venue, with laser tag, bowling and an arcade. Corky’s Gaming Bistro provides the popular axe throwing activity along with an arcade and escape rooms. Including Corky’s, Grapevine has three escape room attractions, all with multiple themed rooms to master. Summit Climbing Gym provides the opportunity to try your hand at one of the newest Olympic sports. Lake Grapevine provides numerous water activities, including boat rentals, canoeing, paddleboards and even an on-site waterpark called Whoa Zone! Sticking with outdoor activities, Grapevine is also home to three golf courses, including Cowboys Golf Club, named for the Dallas Cowboys and the only National Football League themed golf course in the world.

https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com

 

 

Caption// The Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Hearing it from Grapevine I

Monday, 10 August 2020 22:52

TRAVELinc Memo has had an audience with Paul W McCallum, the executive director of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas.

Brand USA webinar

Monday, 03 August 2020 23:15

Brand USA will be highlighting its Giant Trees and Ancient Forests Insider Guide itinerary (amongst other things) at its travel trade webinar tomorrow, 5 August, at 10.30am.

Oklahoma debuts down under

Thursday, 09 July 2020 22:05

Oklahoma Tourism has debuted in the Australia and New Zealand market with the appointment of Linkd Tourism to handle trade, PR and marketing activity.

Michael Cassis will lead the trade development and marketing programme positioning Oklahoma as the heart of Route 66.

New dates for Memphis webinar

Monday, 15 June 2020 21:38

Memphis Tourism’s first recovery training webinar is back on.

The webinar was rescheduled in a sign of respect for the global civil rights movements unfolding in recent weeks. The significance of the global anti-racism movement is particularly poignant for Memphis, a city that has played an integral role in the US Civil Rights Movement. 

Memphis postpones seminars

Thursday, 04 June 2020 00:38

In light of current events across the USA, Memphis Tourism has announced the postponement of its recovery training webinar, originally planned to take place tomorrow, 4 June. 

 ‘A city with civil rights at its core, and the home of the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis has been rocked by the recent tragedy of George Floyd’s death. Proceeding with the training would not be appropriate at this time,’ says Australian and NZ director Chris Ingram.

Memphis ‘ready to rock’

Monday, 25 May 2020 23:46

Memphis Tourism has announced its first recovery training webinar, giving agents fresh insight into the city that remains ready to rock when the world is again ready to roll.

US learning while in lockdown

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 03:35

Kiwi agents have been punching above their weight when it comes to demonstrating a willingness to keep learning in these tough times, say the organisers of a recent USA focused series of webinars.

Corey Marshall, founder and co-director of Canukiwi says the New Zealand trade made up considerably more than half of strong turnouts for Australia-NZ focused webinars on Utah, Nevada, Anchorage and Washington DC recently.

Viva helps empowerment

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 01:48

Viva Expeditions has partnered with the MAD project and Kiva to provide microfinancing for small businesses operated by women in poorer countries across Latin America.

Viva helps empowerment

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 01:48

Viva Expeditions has partnered with the MAD project and Kiva to provide microfinancing for small businesses operated by women in poorer countries across Latin America.

Viva brings Kiwis home

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 01:38

A LATAM aircraft chartered by Viva Expeditions and the New Zealand Government set off from Lima in Peru towards Santiago in Chile this week, making a stop in the popular tourist destination of Cusco (the base for visiting Machu Picchu) to pick up more stranded tourists.

In and out of South America

Monday, 06 April 2020 22:13

Viva Expeditions is recounting a March tour led by guides Franco De Antoni and Melinda Cleaver.

Canuckiwi webinars

Saturday, 28 March 2020 05:43

Canuckiwi is running destination webinars at http://www.canuckiwi.com/sell-yourway-to-the-usa-2020/ to help agents upskill from home.

Sell your way...

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 00:28

Agents are being encouraged to still look at opportunities to continue earning points towards Sell Your Way to the USA, despite the incentive being put on hold through to mid-April at this stage.

Agents ski on with travel&co.

Thursday, 12 March 2020 23:04

A group of travel agents are currently on travel&co’s 2020 SKI BC, Canada agent famil, run in conjunction with Air Canada and Destination BC.

Canada gains traction

Tuesday, 03 March 2020 01:49

The growth of New Zealand numbers into western Canada, much of it driven by bookings through trade, has prompted a number of operators to plan increased efforts in this market.

Renewed NY awaits Kiwi clients

Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:39

The New Zealand trade is being told this is the year to see New York’s icons ‘renewed and reinvigorated’ – a timely message for both new and repeat visitors as Air New Zealand gears up for direct services to the city from AKL.

Canada ‘stars’ for incentives

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 02:34

Canada is a star player in North America’s incentive travel scene, corporate agents in New Zealand were told yesterday.

Wendy Wu to South America

Monday, 24 February 2020 23:21

Wendy Wu Tours has launched into South America with four tours – including a 28-day Ultimate South America itinerary. Wendy Wu Tours New Zealand managing director, Paul Dymond says the programme was a couple of years in the making, starting when company founder Wendy Wu had a holiday in the continent and ‘fell in love’ with it. ‘She saw a gap in the market for the type of tour we do, so she employed a team with South American experience who have created a programme that includes all airfares, most meals and sightseeing.’ Dymond says the brochure has been brought forward a few months to compensate for what is happening in China, but it was always going to be released this year. ‘We’ve got a selection of Classic and Go Beyond tours, plus FIT add-ons and we have intro offers with savings of up to $600 per person.’ 

The brochures will be available early March from Brochurenet and digitally. Other itineraries include a 12-day Essence of Argentina and Brazil, 14-day Chile top to toe (including Patagonia), and 15-day Panoramic Peru. Meantime Dymond says the company continues to get enquiries about Asia and is still seeing sales into Japan, Vietnam and India. ‘There is definitely still interest in Asia,’ Dymond said at Flight Centre’s Travel Expo in Auckland over the weekend. ‘A lot of people are not willing to book right now but they know what they want to do and as the climate changes they will start confirming.

Win: USA famil spots

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 00:13

Premium economy flights on American Airlines and famils packed with interesting land content are features of the 2020 Sell Your Way to the USA incentive programme launched recently.

Grapevine appoints Canuckiwi

Thursday, 30 January 2020 23:38

Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau has appointed Canuckiwi as its international representation firm in Australia and New Zealand.

New Patagonia tours

Thursday, 16 January 2020 22:32

Viva Expeditions has launched four new tours in Patagonia that are included in the Great Chimu Sale with a 10% discount.

Savings on Great Lakes cruise

Monday, 13 January 2020 22:33

Kiwis can save up to $800 per couple on a new 10-night cruise through America’s Great Lakes taking in Niagara Falls, Detroit and Chicago.

Back to nature in Georgia

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 03:06

For clients wanting eco-experiences in the US, Explore Georgia has some suggestions.

LA ‘value proposition’

Sunday, 01 December 2019 23:32

Highlighting value propositions in the city (despite the NZ to US dollar exchange rate) and updating the trade on major changes at LAX were objectives of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board when it held a lunch at The Grove in Auckland this week.

High flying in Hawaii

Monday, 18 November 2019 21:35

Travel Managers Group’s top sellers were rewarded with a fully hosted trip to Hawaii recently, flying Air New Zealand.

Oregon not exaggerating to Kiwi trade

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 20:43

A long term relationship with the New Zealand and Australian markets and the trade here continues to pay off for the US state of Oregon, says Todd Davidson, chief executive officer of the Oregon Tourism Commission. Davidson says Australasia is now the fifth largest overseas market for Oregon, spending US$42 million dollars a year there. Traffic from the combined markets grew by 53% from 2013 to 2018.

Vancouver and beyond

Thursday, 24 October 2019 06:14

The opportunity for more yield by utilising increased connectivity to and beyond Vancouver was highlighted at the Canada Eh! event in Auckland this week.

Jared Jamison, sales account manager for Air New Zealand, says a move to the 787-900 (rather than the 777-200) in December also puts more Business Premier and premium economy on the AKL-YVR route. Both cabins are in demand with New  Zealanders heading to Canada, he says. ‘We’ve got 29 connections within domestic Canada working with Air Canada, United Airlines and WestJet Airlines that can be accessed via our North American gateways and there will be connections from New York into Canada as well.’

More at Panorama Mountain Resort

Monday, 14 October 2019 01:31

On the back of its busiest snow season in more than a decade, Canada’s Panorama Mountain Resort is making significant investments to enhance the visitor experience.

Ski BC, Canada agent famil

Monday, 30 September 2019 20:21

travel&co. and Air Canada have launched an incentive that will see six Kiwi travel agents jetting off to Canada in March 2020.

Excite – Disney partnership

Monday, 23 September 2019 22:54

Excite Holidays is partnering with Disneyland Resort in California for its ‘Dream a Little Longer’ campaign.

Explore DC neighbourhoods

Friday, 06 September 2019 00:05

Washington DC’s neighbourhoods were to the fore at SO Auckland this week when the city’s tourism organisation invited agents to ‘Discover the REAL DC.’

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