Hawaii covid testing: Everything to know for travel, in 6 steps

Once you book your trip to Hawaii, you will need to create a Hawaii Safe Travels program account. This is the easy part. I made mine in a minute, and it took about 10 minutes to fill out the personal details, which include your phone number, driver’s license or passport ID, flight information, dates you will be in Hawaii, and the address of the place where you will be staying.

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Anslow steps into UK sales role with Norwegian | News

Anslow steps into UK sales role with Norwegian

Norwegian Cruise Line has appointed Gary Anslow to the role of senior sales director for the UK and Ireland.

He will work on expanding market share in the region, growing and retaining existing accounts, while acquiring new ones.

Anslow will capitalise on a growing presence worldwide with the delivery of six new Prima-class ships, which will expand the fleet to 23 ships by 2027.

In this role, he will report into Eamonn Ferrin, who has recently been appointed vice president of international sales and will lead a sales team of ten.

An industry expert, Anslow has 25 years’ experience in FMGC and travel, including extensive board and senior leadership team experience in organisations such as PepsiCo, Diageo and Monarch Travel Group.

Anslow joins NCL from Cunard where he worked as sales director since early 2018.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gary on board,” said Ferrin.

“He brings an impressive skillset and extensive senior-level experience in the travel industry, which will be instrumental toward NCL’s growth in the UK and Ireland.

“Gary has a proven track record of delivering high value projects combined with longer term strategic thinking. Having him lead our operations in one of our most important markets is a testament to our growth strategy.”

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Online Travel Update: Airbnb takes steps to accommodate hotel listings; Hopper is ranked the most downloaded travel app in the first half of 2021 | Foster Garvey PC

Fall has definitely arrived in the Pacific Northwest. It was a relatively quiet week in the online travel world. This week’s Update features a story on one of the most widely used Global Distribution Systems – Amadeus – as the company announces its second (unnamed) major customer for its new reservation platform. Enjoy.

Airbnb Takes Steps to Accommodate Hotel Listings
(“Airbnb revives hotel strategy, moves closer to rival OTA model,” September 29, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
While the pandemic may have led Airbnb to pause its hotel distribution aspirations, it appears that the pause may have only been temporary. Airbnb is reportedly testing a new API that allows suppliers to provide and display multiple rate plans (similar to many of Airbnb’s OTA competitors). According to two of Airbnb’s beta partners – RoomCloud (an Italian channel manager and booking engine) and Cloudbeds (an US cloud-based PMS provider), the changes are designed to appeal to hoteliers. Airbnb is also apparently re-starting efforts with its mobile booking platform, HotelTonight, as it seeks to fill multiple open positions within the company, including market managers. Airbnb has refused to provide comment on either effort.

The Most Downloaded Travel App in the First Half of 2021? Hopper
(“Top Travel Booking Apps: Look Who’s Winning the U.S. Now,” September 28, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Those of you who have read my Update for the past year or two know all about Hopper. While Hopper may have started out as just another mobile booking application, it is now successfully leveraging its many fintech tools to appeal to post-pandemic travelers seeking maximum flexibility in their travel plans (as evidenced by the 1.3 million U.S. consumer downloads of the app that occurred in July alone). As noted in last week’s Update, Hopper CEO, Frederic Lalonde, isn’t satisfied just being the most downloaded app, he hopes to create the “West’s first travel superapp.” For those of you wondering, with the exception of Tripadvisor, Expedia and/or Booking Holdings owned applications dominated the remainder of the list of the top ten most downloaded apps.

Other news:

Amadeus Signs Another Hotel Giant to Its Enterprise Software Platform
September 28, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
On Tuesday, Amadeus revealed it had signed on an as-yet-unnamed hotel company to use its hospitality software platform.

Pandemic Twist Emerges on Bookings for Hotels in Tussle With Online Resellers
September 27, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Several hotel groups have tried to lower costs for roughly a decade by driving more consumers to book directly. During the pandemic recovery, hoteliers have by and large continued to avoid overusing aggregators such as Expedia and Booking.com for much of their online sales.

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Guevara steps down as WTTC chief executive | News

Gloria Guevara had stepped down as chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

A former tourism secretary of Mexico, she had led the private sector body since 2017.

Guevara will be replaced by Julia Simpson, who currently sits on the executive committee of International Airlines Group (IAG).

Simpson, who will take up the role in August, brings extensive experience of the tourism sector, having served on the boards of British Airways, Iberia and most recently as chief of staff at IAG.

She also previously worked at senior levels in the UK government including advisor for the UK prime minister.

Julia Simpson will take over as leader of the WTTC this summer

Carnival Corporation chief executive, Arnold Donald, who was recently appointed as chairman of WTTC, paid tribute to Guevara and welcomed Simpson to her new role.

Donald said: “I would like to first thank Gloria for her dedication and commitment to WTTC, especially in these difficult times.

“Her contributions have been immeasurable, from helping to unite the sector as it manages and recovers from the pandemic, to providing a clear voice and direction for the safe restart of international travel.”

He added: “I am delighted to welcome Julia Simpson, an exceptional leader with experience both in the private sector and in government, to help guide WTTC at this critical juncture of the tourism sector.”

Guevara, who recently presided over a successful Global Summit in Cancun, said she was leaving with a heavy heart.

“I am very proud to have led this diverse and talented team and to have worked with so many amazing industry leaders, who are our members, and built strong relationships with government heads of tourism around the world.

“I leave WTTC after completing my mandate, in a stronger position as the voice of the private sector and the leader of the global agenda.”

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Thailand Suspends Travel From India as It Steps up Coronavirus Measures at Home | World News

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand has suspended issuing travel documents from India over concerns of imported coronavirus cases, as more venues were closed in Bangkok on Monday as part of efforts to contain a third wave of infections in the Southeast Asian nation.

India on Monday set a global record for coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day with 352,991 new infections, as its caseload crossed 17 million and with hospitals running out of oxygen, beds and anti-viral drugs.

The Thai embassy in New Delhi said in a statement that certificates of entry for non-Thai nationals travelling from India will be suspended until further notice.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) denied reports that private jets carrying wealthy people from India were flying into Thailand.

“We confirm that no chartered flights from Indian millionaires have sought permission from the CAAT to come to Thailand,” it said in a statement on the weekend.

There would be four repatriation flights from India to Thailand in May, CAAT said.

Thailand is dealing with its own outbreak and reported 2,048 new cases on Monday, bringing its total infections to 57,508 and 148 coronavirus-related fatalities.

Of the cases reported on Monday, 901 were in Bangkok, which has been the epicentre of the outbreak.

Parks, gyms, cinemas and day-care centres in Bangkok were ordered to shut starting on Monday until May 9.

A 20,000 baht ($635) fine was also introduced for not wearing masks in public with new measures being considered to rein in the outbreak.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat, Chayut Setboonsarng and Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Ed Davies)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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Coronavirus live updates: U.S. appoints new global coronavirus coordinator as Biden steps up efforts to combat pandemic

Here are some significant developments:

  • More than 4 million people in the United States received a coronavirus vaccine on Saturday — the nation’s highest one-day total since the shots began rolling out in December — amid a rising caseload and increase in hospitalizations.
  • New Zealand said Tuesday it was launching a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia later this month. Travelers would still be subject to restrictions, but the new program could help reunite families separated by the pandemic.
  • China is offering its citizens an array of incentives, including free food, to ramp up a flagging vaccine drive that aims to inoculate 40 percent of its enormous population by June.
  • Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has tested positive for the coronavirus and will quarantine for 10 days, his office said Monday. His wife, Susan Gianforte, has exhibited no symptoms and is awaiting her test results, the office said.
  • More than 556,000 people have died due to the coronavirus in the United States, out of at least 30.7 million confirmed infections.

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UK destinations take steps to avoid tourist pandemonium

(CNN) — Back in June 2020, as the the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown started to ease, a bout of beautiful weather culminating in the hottest day of the year saw people flocking to the country’s beaches.

Within hours, the southern coastal town of Bournemouth had declared a “major incident” as it was swamped by traffic, trash, and unmanageable numbers of people.

Despite issuing pleas for visitors to stay away, local officials reportedly issued hundreds of parking fines and collected 33 tons of waste, citing “irresponsible behavior and actions of so many.”

“It was extreme what we saw out there,” Bournemouth resident Peter Ryan, who runs a 700-strong team of volunteers who keep the area’s shores clean, tells CNN Travel. “It wasn’t just the beach which was trashed, it was the streets, the town center, the gardens, it really did leave it in a dreadful state.”

If all goes well, the end of March will see outdoor gatherings in groups of six or less permitted in England. Then, on April 12, the hope is to reopen restaurants, bars, museums, and theme parks. Private vacation rentals will be allowed to welcome back tourists traveling with their own household.

By May 17, hotels, hostels and B&Bs should be able to follow suit.

With international travel likely to remain off the table until later in 2021, for most Brits any vacation this year will involve traveling within the UK.

For the country’s tourist hotspots, that will bring relief at the prospect of business returning after months of closure, but also trepidation about how sudden influxes of visitors will be managed.

Ryan is worried the chaos of last June could repeat itself in Bournemouth, although the local council is laying on more facilities and parking monitors to try and mitigate that risk.

“Staycations are very, very popular this summer, we can’t all fly away,” he says. “So, for this period of time, we’ve got to learn to appreciate what we have actually got on our doorstep.

“That’s a brilliant thing, we should take advantage of it, enjoy it, embrace it. But at the same time, respect the environment and respect other communities.”

“We’re expecting an absolute deluge”

A major incident was declared in Bournemouth in southern England last year folowing the easing of lockdown restrictions.

A major incident was declared in Bournemouth in southern England last year folowing the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The UK has always been a popular destination for international tourists and domestic travelers alike.

There are bustling cities like London, Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, plus miles of coastline, from the White Cliffs of Dover in the southeast of England to the sandy shores of Scotland’s islands. The UK is also home to several national parks including the picturesque peaks of the Lake District and the mountainous Cairngorms in Scotland.

These destinations usually compete with European hotspots such as Spain and Portugal for UK travelers, but in 2020 as the country’s own restrictions placed most overseas trips off-limits, staycation interest rose.

Self catering accomodation overlooking the sea in Tenby, Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Self catering accomodation overlooking the sea in Tenby, Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

Jane Reese-Baynes, chair of Visit Pembrokeshire, a region of southwest Wales known for its craggy coastline and green valleys, says she was surprised by the number of visitors who flocked there last year.

“I think there was a genuine concern that nobody would want to come on holiday,” she says. “So, when everybody came on holiday, it was kind of a case of: ‘Right, we have to deal with the numbers now, we didn’t expect this.'”

For Visit Pembrokeshire, the goal for 2021 is to highlight lesser known spots, and stress that visitors should pre-plan and pre-book accommodation or campsites.

Wales, like Scotland and Northern Ireland, has yet to detail its roadmap out of lockdown, but has suggested self-catered accommodation could reopen around the Easter break in late March to early April.

And while some visitors will book as soon as they get the green-light, Reese-Baynes is also anticipating many last-minute bookings and camping trips plans, leading to large numbers of visitors.

“We’re all expecting an absolute deluge,” she says.

To prepare, the region is putting more feet on the ground. This summer, rangers will patrol Pembrokeshire’s coastal paths and parks, connecting with local visitors, checking all is well and letting people know which spots might be quieter.

Getting local businesses on-message is also key, says Reese-Baynes.

“There was a real push last year, once we realized how busy it was, to try and communicate out to the trade: ‘Please can you point your guests in a different direction?'”

Reese-Baynes also manages a Pembrokeshire hotel: Elms Grove Country House. Last year, her team started advising visitors on lesser-known spots and plan to do that again this summer. It’ll all also continue at reduced capacity, even if not required, and maintain social distancing enforcements.

“Even though restrictions will be lifted, I still think that there will be some level of concern there,” says Reese-Baynes.

Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park, the UK’s largest, is also working to deploy more rangers after a flood of visitors in summer 2020 stretched services to the limit.

The park reported an increase in litter, vandalism, antisocial behavior and human waste. Full parking lots led to damaged woodland. There was also a series of fires, likely the result of campfires, which are discouraged in most areas of the park.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority made the decision to employ seasonal rangers for the first time and plans to reinstate this service for 2021 to ensure visitors treat the park with respect and locations didn’t become overcrowded.

“We want people to enjoy coming to the national park, but we want to make sure that the next person that comes and enjoys the national park as well,” Cairngorms National Park Authority CEO Grant Moir tells CNN Travel.

Some of the most successful solutions were based around traffic management, he explains.

At Loch Muick, popular with hikers and wild swimmers, access was limited by barriers operating a one in, one out system. Another spot, Linn of Dee, gained an overflow parking lot. Visitors were directed elsewhere when it filled.

“The Cairngorms is 4,500 square kilometers, there are plenty of places for people to go and walk, cycle, whatever it might be they want to do, sit in a deck chair and look at the trees, whatever it might be,” says Moir.

As well as infrastructure investments, social media also plays a part in redistributing people around the park, he adds. Promoting lesser known spots on Instagram and Facebook can help spread footfall.

Campers in Buttermere Lake in England's Lake District in August 2020.

Campers in Buttermere Lake in England’s Lake District in August 2020.

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

In summer 2020, a rush on self-catered accommodation, limits on numbers in hotels and an emphasis on the relative safety of being outside during the pandemic led to a growing interest in camping.

Wild camping is allowed in Scotland, but it’s forbidden in most parts of England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Last year, Forestry England’s Stuart Burgess told CNN that a spate of illegal camping had caused damage to the country’s forests. This year, the group are trying to be prepared.

“We are taking what we have learned from last year to support people this year,” Burgess says. “We expect a very busy spring and summer.”

Preparation includes making sure woodland trails, public bathrooms and car parks are ready for high numbers. Burgess says the key is giving people information and helping them “make good choices.”

“Many people want to do the right thing and it might be something simple as remembering to bring a separate bag to take your litter away.”

For Burgess, the rise in interest in camping and exploring England’s forests is ultimately cheering, despite the problems that can come with high numbers.

“It has reminded experienced visitors, and the many new ones we have seen, just how important the nation’s forests and other green spaces are for our health and wellbeing,” he says. “Simply being outside and connecting with nature has brought relief to many.”

A new front for overtourism

The White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, southeastern England -- one of the UK's most famous landmarks.

The White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, southeastern England — one of the UK’s most famous landmarks.

BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Many of the solutions implemented in the UK echo those employed by cities or countries that were bywords for overtourism in a pre-pandemic world.

In 2018 and 2019, Venice, Iceland and Barcelona were focusing on crowd control, dispersing people away from hotspots, promoting responsible travel and encouraging expenditure in the local economy.

For any destination, dealing with a sudden influx of visitors is a careful balance between continuing to promote the place and ensuring visitors treat it with respect and avoid negatively impacting local residents.

In the UK, that equation has been made trickier by the country’s recent Brexit from the EU, a move that could potentially discourage visitors from Europe. Any negative publicity could do further harm.

In the southeastern county of Kent, tourism officials are keen to focus on the positives such as Covid-safe initiatives in restaurants of country houses, but they’re also conscious of the impact of of Brexit-induced traffic gridlock en route to its major port of Dover and the impact of the so-called Kent variant, a highly infectious coronavirus mutation.

“We as a destination have got to work super hard,” says Deirdre Wells, CEO of local tourism body Visit Kent.

Wells also acknowledges the UK’s domestic tourism market is “competitive,” but believes her region’s acres of vineyards, historic castles and famous coastline are enough to negate long-term negative impact and deliver a summer boom.

“We’re really looking to have a sort of major reboot moment in June to try and drive some of that footfall back which our businesses have missed so much,” she says.

Destinations across the UK are also hoping this influx of domestic visitors won’t be a flash in the pan, and that travelers who weren’t previously aware of the delights on their doorstep will continue to enjoy UK destinations, even once they can also travel further afield.

Plus, investing in tourism infrastructure should pay off in the long term when international travelers return to the UK.

For Moir, the buzz around the Cairngorms, and local destinations more generally, is ultimately positive.

He’s excited to see the region come to life again this summer and see people across the UK appreciate its beauty.

“It’s sometimes quite easy to focus on the negative story of somebody cutting down a tree or lighting a fire in the wrong place. But what you don’t see is the hundreds or the thousands of people who are doing the right thing, and who are there to enjoy themselves.”

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Flyers Rights Publishes Covid-19 Air Travel Mitigation Policy Memorandum, Applauds the Administration’s First Steps

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Flyers Rights has released its Covid-19 Mitigation Policy Memorandum, advising the White House, Department of Transportation (DOT), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on important mask rule considerations and other air travel policies to slow the spread of Covid-19 and make air travel safer for everyone. 

Paul Hudson, President of Flyers Rights explained, “President Biden was clear that a mask rule was just one of the policies that the DOT and FAA should implement to halt the spread of Covid-19 in air travel. The DOT and FAA must consider enhanced social distancing policies, temperature checks, rapid COVID testing, and a suspension of change and cancellation fees”.

Flyers Rights’ memorandum recommends a DOT rule prohibiting airlines from putting passengers in middle seats. While many airlines at one point adopted this as a policy, only Delta Air Lines has an active middle-seat blocking policy, set to expire at the end of March. 

Throughout 2020, the DOT declined to mandate mask-wearing, social distancing, or other COVID-19 protocols. As a result, airlines and airports each devised their own self-enforced policies. Paul Hudson noted, “The Biden Administration’s mask mandate is a welcomed change of policy and a great start in making air travel safer. Airlines creating and enforcing their own safety standards led to confusion, uneven enforcement, and put passenger and employee lives at risk.”

On the scope of the new mask rule, Paul Hudson cautioned, “The mask rule is not clear on the penalties for both passengers and airlines, how passengers are to be warned, and how passengers with disabilities or health conditions can obtain waivers from the mandate.” 

FlyersRights.org is the leading passenger organization on issues of passenger safety and health. The memorandum explores policies that would encourage passengers to alter their travel plans if they suspect they are ill, prevent more COVID-infected passengers from flying, and reduce the risk of transmission during the flight and at critical points in the airport. 

The policy memorandum can be accessed at: https://flyersrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Flyers-Rights-Covid-19-Mitigation-Policy-Memorandum-01.29.21.pdf 

FlyersRights.org maintains up to date passenger rights information at www.flyersrights.org/know-your-rights/ and also provides passengers with legal information and appropriate contacts by phone, 877-FLYERS-6 and by email, [email protected]

FlyersRights.org, established in 2007, is the largest airline passenger organization. It publishes online newsletter, maintains a full service website, is active on Twitter and Facebook @flyersrights , operates a free hotline for airline passengers 877- FLYERS6, advocates for passenger rights and interests, represents passengers on the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee dealing with air safety, and maintains a staffed office in Washington, D.C. See: FlyersRights.org or https://twitter.com/FlyersRights. Media line 800- 662-1859. FlyersRights.org, 4411 Bee Ridge Road, 274, Sarasota, FL 34233

SOURCE FlyersRights.org

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Travel industry taking steps to welcome people back in 2021

With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out even more in 2021, a return to travel is on the horizon and the industry is taking steps to win back customers.

“I think what you’re going to see, the theme generally within the travel industry is going to be, look we want you to book a trip. We want you to feel like you have something to look forward to. We’re not going to necessarily refund your trip, but we will give you the flexibility to make it work for you,” said Francesca Page, travel expert at misstravelguru.com.

Page spoke with us about some of the new trends within travel. One is sort of a new spin on timeshares, membership and subscription-based services like club Wyndham.

“You have to think here like multi-bedroom suites, full-service kitchens and relaxed living spaces, but with the flexibility to extend their stay by maximizing their membership travel points and obviously the comforts of home, coupled with feeling like you are taking some sort of travel experience that’s very appealing to people,” said Page.

Other 2021 travel trends are dateless departures, basically guaranteeing you a spot when the first tours start again to a specific destination. If the dates don’t line up, you can rebook without losing money.

A new safety option – travel bubbles. Those are smaller and private group tours designed to keep your group socially distant from other travelers.

Page predicts we will see a rise in travel bookings starting this week while people are taking time off and looking ahead to next year.

“People shouldn’t feel like, you know, what I just am going to forget about travel. I’m going to put it aside. We’re never going to take that honeymoon. We’re never going to take that vacation,” said Page. “There is nothing wrong with getting ready because this isn’t going to be here forever.”

Page anticipates more airlines will offer virus testing next year and resorts could soon as well. Some resorts are already doing it, like the spa at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, which is offering both PCR and antibody tests.

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