Mexico travel demand fueling major airport expansion in San Antonio






Mexico travel demand fueling major airport expansion in San Antonio





















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2 major road projects on I-285 could make your travel times longer – WSB-TV Channel 2


2 major road projects on I-285 could make your travel times longer If you’re planning on using I-285 over the next few days, you may want to prepare yourself for travel times to increase.

NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — If you’re planning on using I-285 over the next few days, you may want to prepare yourself for travel times to increase.

Two big road projects on sections of I-285 westbound in north Fulton County.

“Hopefully, eventually, it will decrease the amount of traffic when they finish this construction,” driver Aidan Schettino told Channel 2′s Christian Jennings.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

The Georgia Department of Transportation has shut down the I-285 westbound offramp to Roswell Road. It will not reopen until 5 a.m. on Monday morning. The eastbound ramp is still open.

“You still have to get to point A, point B. The side roads will be bad too, Roswell and Abernathy, but I guess we will have to deal with it,” business owner Chris Deetanna said.

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Also on I-285 westbound, big changes are in store for the Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd. exit, which means more delays there too.

“Peachtree-Dunwoody Road will shut down for the weekend. That’s all in anticipation in preparation for a brand new exit point,” Kyle Collins with the Georgia Department of Transportation told Jennings.

Collins added that starting Sunday, there will be a new exit location at Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd.

“As a driver, you’re going to have to think ahead. I know we’re always asking you to do that and be alert and think ahead, but you’re actually going to have to exit once this is finalized,” he said.

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The roads are expected to open back up in time for your Monday morning commute.





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International Travel Is Making a Major Comeback


According to the Spring 2022 edition of Global Rescue’s ‘Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey’, many of the world’s most seasoned travelers are returning to international trip-taking now right, despite the fact that there’s the war being waged in Eastern Europe and there’s still a risk that new COVID-19 variants of concern will emerge.

After more than two years of pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions, avid travelers are done waiting for their next overseas getaway. It seems avid travelers have reached their limit and are ready to take on the world, whatever the consequences.

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“Now more than ever, people want to travel. Many (27 percent) travelers expect to spend extra time or more money—or both—on upcoming vacations to compensate for the two-year pandemic-induced travel moratorium,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, a leading provider of integrated medical, security, travel risk and crisis management services, and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Travelers see the best window for international travel is now. They’re not going to miss it despite government policy hurdles, remaining coronavirus fears or military conflict in Eastern Europe,” Richards added.

The vast majority of international travelers surveyed (84 percent) said that they’re “less” or “much less” concerned about the safety of traveling today than they were at the start of the pandemic.

Over three-quarters (78 percent) of participants polled said that the threat of a new COVID-19 variant is “not likely” or “not at all likely” to prompt them to cancel or postpone their international travel plans this year. A similar percentage of respondents (71 percent) reported being “somewhat concerned” or “not concerned” about venturing abroad because of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Experts are anticipating that international travel in 2022 will finally meet, and possibly surpass, pre-pandemic levels. “People are going to travel in record numbers this year,” Richards said, referencing the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) recently released international travel forecasts for 2022.


Kooky travel signs
Kooky travel signs. (photo via Pixabay)

The survey’s findings suggest that many people are already traveling overseas. Over half of respondents (56 percent) reported that they’ve traveled internationally since the start of the pandemic, marking a 33 percent increase over the number of folks who said the same six months ago. Sixteen percent of participants said that they expect to travel abroad by the end of June 2022, and another 16 percent are planning to travel internationally before the end of the year.

Survey results also revealed that cruise-goers’ comfort levels have changed dramatically. In Summer 2021, 74 percent of participants said that they would not feel safe going on a cruise, but only 10 percent reported that they still would feel unsafe now, which constitutes a seven-fold decrease in concerns about cruising.

Finally, Global Rescue’s Spring 2022 Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey also found that over three-quarters have outdoor activities and adventure trips planned in 2022, while 44 percent are opting for relaxing vacation getaways; 33 percent are planning reunions with family and friends; 18 percent intend to go on educational trips; 12 percent will travel for weddings, honeymoons or anniversaries; eight percent will be taking cruise-based trips and two percent will be traveling for genealogical/ancestral research purposes.





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U.S. State Department Updates Major Changes To Mexico Travel Advisories


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The United States has made major changes to the way it issues travel advisories for Mexico. Previously, the U.S. State Department issued level 1, 2, 3, or 4 nationwide advisories based on how safe Mexico is for U.S. tourists. 

Now the U.S. State Department has broken down its Mexico travel advisories into state-specific travel advisories instead of a nationwide travel advisory.  

Aerial View Of Playa Delfines In Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Caribbean

The U.S. State Department is only doing this for Mexico; they will continue issuing nationwide travel advisories for other nations. 

Mexico remains the most popular destination for American tourists. The nation didn’t close during the COVID-19 pandemic and became the 2nd nation to remove all entry requirements in January 2022.

Recent Travel Advisories For Top Mexico Destinations

Cancun

Cancun is an extremely popular destination for U.S. tourists. The current travel advisory says U.S. travelers should exercise increased caution when traveling in Cancun due to crime in Quintana Roo. 

The U.S. State Department says: “Criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations.”

Cancun from above

However, the U.S. State Department also adds: “While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have killed or injured innocent bystanders. Additionally, U.S. citizens have been the victims of both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist and non-tourist areas.”

Furthermore, the U.S. State Department suggests all tourists should exercise increased caution after dark in downtown areas of Cancun. 

Puerto Vallarta 

Puerto Vallarta is a very popular destination for millions of U.S. tourists. However, the U.S. State Department currently says U.S. tourists should reconsider traveling to Puerto Vallarta due to crime and kidnapping in the state of Jalisco. 

The State Department says: “Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.”

The Panorama Arch In Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos 

Los Cabos is a highly popular destination in the State of Baja California. However, the U.S. State Department suggests U.S. tourists should reconsider traveling to Los Cabos due to crime and kidnapping in the state of Baja California. 

The U.S. State Department says: “Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations.”

However, the U.S. State Department also adds: “Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.”

Couple Of Tourists Looking At The Pyramid Of The Moon In Teotihuacan, Mexico

The ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisories 

The U.S. State Department has issued Do Not Travel advisories to:

  • Colima state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Guerrero state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Michoacan state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime and kidnapping
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
mexico police beach

What’s Traveling To Mexico Like In May 2022? 

Mexico has dropped all COVID-19 entry requirements. Therefore, it’s a straightforward travel destination for U.S. tourists. The country doesn’t require testing, quarantine, proof of vaccination, or passenger locator forms. 

However, some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place nationwide. For example, travelers have to wear masks indoors in Cancun. 

That said, if Americans are looking for a normal vacation in 2022—it’s hard to look past Mexico.

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022

Mexico Ends Warning System For Covid And Will Treat Virus As Endemic

Mexico’s New Mayan Train Project Suspended

Celebrity Cruises Announces New Services To Mexico And The Pacific Coast

These Are The Top 5 Countries That Americans Plan On Traveling To This Year

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories



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Disneyland Announces Major Upgrades, Including A Pixar Hotel


A number of changes are coming to Downtown Disney, including a makeover of the Paradise Pier Hotel to take on a Pixar theme.

The renovations will also include a new back entrance directly from the hotel to Disney California Adventure specifically for hotel guests.

The hotel will not close during the Pixar makeover as most of the changes will be cosmetic, including a giant version of Luxo Jr., Pixar’s iconic lamp, standing on a ball. Luxo Jr. appears at the beginning of every Pixar film and stars in a number of shorts.

Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock announced a number of updates last week, noting the resort is moving forward after all of the closures and protocols necessary throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a really important milestone and another anchor in our continuous momentum, really not just for Disneyland but for Anaheim and Orange County and other related business partners,” Potrock said, according to the Orange County Register.

In addition to Luxo Jr., the hotel makeover will include characters and concepts from Coco, Monsters Inc., Soul, Wall-E, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and more.

Paradise Pier Hotel got its name originally from the Paradise Pier boardwalk area of Downtown Disney, but it was altered to Pixar Pier 4 years ago. The region has sections for fans of Toy Story, Inside Out, and other Pixar films.

The hotel was originally built in 1984, opening as the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Officials expect to rename the hotel once the rebranding is complete, although Potrock did not reveal what the name might be. Unlike other Pixar-themed hotels around the world — such as the new Toy Story hotel at Disneyland Shanghai — the one in Anaheim will not feature just one film.

Potrock said the renovations will be a multi-million dollar project that will impact both the interior and exterior, as well as individual rooms, the lobby, pool, and more.

Dining Options

The Pixar hotel is not the only change Potrock announced for Downtown Disney, including changes in dining options.

The big addition is Din Tai Fung, a high-end Taiwanese chain known for its soup dumplings.

There will also be a new Mexican restaurant guided by Carlos Gaytan, Mexico’s first chef to earn a Michelin star. His new restaurant will take the space that currently houses Catal & Uva.

The Jazz Kitchen will also get a revamp to its menu.

Other Changes

Potrock noted some other changes involving the resort, including the voice assistant “Hey Disney” being added to hotels. With functionality similar to Alexa, visitors will be able to ask the voice assistant for information about the resort and amusement parks.

And speaking of parks, California Adventure’s Avengers Campus will get the addition of Scarlett Witch and America Chavez from the forthcoming Dr. Strange movie.

Potrock also said Disneyland will host the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween party again this fall.

On the negative side, however, Inside the Magic confirmed that Mickey’s Toontown is closed to guests for a complete refurbishment, and Pirates of the Caribbean is closed indefinitely for updates and changes.

Officials have no date set for either to reopen.

Be sure to read up on all our latest Disney travel news:



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WTTC launches major hotel sustainability initiative at Global Summit in Manila – Breaking Travel News



WTTC launches major hotel sustainability initiative at Global Summit in Manila  Breaking Travel News



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Online Travel Update: Booking.com Adds Loyalty Program Benefits; Yelp Makes News on Two Fronts; and Major OTAs Spend More Billions on Marketing | Foster Garvey PC


Yelp Making News on Two Fronts
(“Yelp Reviews Not Meaty Enough To Support Defamation Suit,” March 30, 2022 via Law360)
(“Yelp expands health ratings for restaurants, with help from Seattle startup,” April 1, 2022 via Geekwire)
Our Update features two stories this week on restaurant review site, Yelp. The first details a recent announcement by Yelp to now include health inspection data to its existing restaurant reviews. Leveraging health inspection data collected (or even generated) by local Seattle startup, Hazel Analytics, Yelp will now provide inspection results for restaurants in 48 states, and Toronto and Vancouver. Given customers’ (and travelers’) continuing concerns regarding health and safety (a phenomenon likely to continue long past COVID), this addition of health inspection data is not surprising. Our second story looks at an issue that is frequently raised by many of our clients – at what point does a user’s review cross the line from helpful information to actionable defamation or libel? The case at issue arose from two patrons’ reviews of a Pennsylvania restaurant’s “mediocre” offerings and lack of supplies. On Wednesday, March 30, a New Jersey federal court dismissed the restaurateur’s defamation claims, stating that the patrons’ reviews constituted a statement of opinion and not fact (and therefore did not support the defamation claim). The restaurateur’s related claims for libel and tortious interference were also dismissed.

Here Comes Those Crazy Marketing Budgets Again
(“Online travel giants ramped up marketing spend in 2021,” March 30, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
No, we are not back to 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels quite yet, but the amounts spent by the major online travel agencies (OTAs) for marketing this past year were close. In 2021, Booking Holdings spent $3.8 billion on marketing, which is a considerable increase over 2020 ($2.2 billion) but still below its 2019 peak ($4.98 billion). In the fourth quarter alone, Booking Holdings spent nearly $1 billion ($974 million) on marketing activities. Not to be left behind, Expedia Group actually outspent its rival by nearly $300 million in 2021 (total spend of $4.1 billion, compared to its 2019 peak of nearly $6 billion). In contrast, Airbnb, which has largely avoided many of the traditional online marketing tactics of its OTA rivals, spent only $1.9 billion. Trip.com spent $772 million in its 2021 marketing efforts, which is far behind its 2019 peak of $1.3 billion. My prediction – expect record levels of marketing spend in 2022.


Other news:

HotelPlanner and Choice Hotels Sign Deal to Integrate Group Bookings
March 31, 2022 via PRWeb
HotelPlanner, a leading travel technology platform powered by proprietary artificial intelligence, announced a service provider alliance with Choice Hotels International, Inc. The alliance integrates HotelPlanner’s group inventory and group leads with Choice Hotels properties to expand group sales for both companies.

Google Maps Antitrust Probe Gains Momentum
March 31, 2022 via Skift (subscription may be required)
The U.S. Justice Department has breathed new life into an investigation of Google Maps to determine if bundling the service together with other Google software illegally stifles competition, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The probe of the Alphabet Inc unit first came to light in late 2020 and had been quiet until recent months when investigators again began making inquiries, the sources said.

CWT Adds Point-of-Booking Carbon Indicators
March 28, 2022 via Business Travel News
CWT has partnered with Thrust Carbon to add carbon footprint indicators at the point of sale in its myCWT web and mobile booking tools. With the data integrated, travelers can see estimates of carbon emissions for flight and hotel choices, and compare them with the typical carbon footprint for air routes, according to screenshots provided by CWT.



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Major flight delays caused by East Coast storms


(CNN) — Thunderstorms and low clouds over the East Coast are complicating air travel as many Americans are heading to airports during the busy spring break season.

Thousands of flights are delayed, with some delays stretching up to two hours, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

By 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, more than 4,500 flights had been delayed, including more than 700 on Southwest, more than 560 on Delta, more than 370 on United and more than 560 on American, according flight tracking data from FlightAware.

Thunderstorms and clouds in the New York area caused air traffic controllers to halt departing flights bound for the New York’s LaGuardia Airport, according to the FAA. Delays at John F. Kennedy International Airport stretched over an hour and a half and were approaching that mark Thursday afternoon at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport.

Storms also affected air travel in Florida, according to the FAA. Delays ranged from 15 to 45 minutes in Orlando, Miami and Tampa on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, more than 5,700 flights within, into or out of the United States were delayed, according to FlightAware.

Flight delays also hit travelers over the weekend during the busy spring break travel season.

More than half of Saturday flights on Southwest Airlines were either canceled or delayed because of “an intermittent technology issue, as well as ongoing weather challenges,” according to a tweet Saturday night from the airline.

According to FlightAware, 35% of Spirit Airlines’ flights, as well as 33% of JetBlue’s flights and 10% of Southwest’s flights were canceled on Sunday.



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