Airbnb decides to ban bookings in the U.K. after all

Airbnb has temporarily halted bookings on the platform in the U.K., except for key workers and those with "essential stays." The closure of bookings until at least April 18 has yet to be extended to other countries. The decision comes just days after the company said it would be relying on hosts to ensure guests were not contravening government guidance on non-essential travel. Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, says in a statement: "Hosts across the UK are playing a vital role in housing NHS and other medical staff as they continue their critical work. We’ve also heard from hosts who want to help others follow the rules and keep people safe during these unprecedented times.

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Business Travel, Airlines and Airports

interCaribbean Announces Upcoming Launch of Non-Stop Flights Between Bridgetown and Kingston

InterCaribbean Airways | January 08, 2024

In a significant development for Caribbean regional travel, interCaribbean Airways is excited to announce the upcoming launch of its new non-stop flight service connecting Bridgetown, Barbados, and Kingston, Jamaica. Scheduled to commence on February 6th, 2024, this service will mark a new chapter in the connectivity between these two major Caribbean destinations. Bridgetown, the Southern Caribbean hub for interCaribbean, will see flights to Kingston on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Operated by interCaribbean's CRJ700 Jet aircraft, this route will be the only non-stop service between Bridgetown and Kingston. "We are proud to introduce this non-stop service, which is a direct response to the growing need for improved travel connectivity in the Caribbean," said Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean. "This new route is set to enhance both business travel and tourism, bringing these two vibrant cities closer." This new service also introduces convenient one-stop connections for passengers traveling from southern destinations such as Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Georgetown, Antigua, and Dominica, further expanding the reach and impact of the route. These connections will significantly enhance the travel experience for passengers, providing more efficient and streamlined travel options within the Caribbean. With the introduction of the Bridgetown-Kingston service, interCaribbean continues to expand its network, reinforcing its role as a key player in Caribbean aviation and contributing to stronger connections within the region.

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Hospitality Trends, Cruise

Viking Launches New "Discover More" Sale

Viking | January 04, 2024

Viking® today announced the Discover More sale, providing North American travelers with a variety of new booking incentives across the company's collection of river, ocean and expedition voyages. From now through January 31, 2024, Viking is offering special fares, up to free airfare and a $25 deposit on all itineraries—as well as additional savings for both new and returning guests. "For more than 26 years, we have invited curious travelers to explore the world in comfort. We focus on the destination, and we design travel experiences for the thinking person. This approach has always allowed our guests to discover more history, science and culture when they travel with us," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As this new year begins, we look forward to welcoming returning guests back on board, as well as introducing new travelers to the Viking way of exploration." Viking now explores all seven continents, with river, ocean and expedition voyages calling in more than 500 ports in more than 85 countries. Highlights of the company's most popular itineraries include: Viking Homelands (15 days; Stockholm – Bergen) – Sail historic waters and discover more of Scandinavia with overnights in Stockholm, Oslo and scenic Bergen. See charming Ålborg and Gdańsk, and visit the grand cities of Berlin and Copenhagen. Witness breathtaking scenery from your ship as she glides through majestic Norwegian fjords in the legendary homelands of the Vikings. Empires of the Mediterranean (10 days; Venice – Athens) – Ten days. Nine magnificent destinations. One epic journey. Sail the Adriatic and Aegean, taking in all the riches of this fabled region. On an exploration bookended by iconic Venice and Athens, discover the ancient ruins of Olympia and the Acropolis. Explore the medieval warrens of Zadar and Dubrovnik, and admire the famed whitewashed villages of Santorini. Delight in the beauty of Corfu and be captivated by Koper, the gateway to picturesque Slovenia. Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam – Basel) – Explore one of Europe's best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region's renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne and Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture. Danube Waltz (8 days; Budapest – Passau) – Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley's beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily monastic life on an exclusive visit to Göttweig Abbey. This eight-day itinerary reveals the best of these places while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery. Great Lakes Collection (15 days; Ontario – Duluth) – Join Viking for a unique voyage across the historic waterways of all five of the majestic Great Lakes. Experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the awesome power of thundering Niagara Falls. Explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. Study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes as you journey and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Antarctic Explorer (13 days; Buenos Aries – Ushuaia) – This ultimate adventure takes you to the Antarctic peninsula, where you will witness towering glaciers, snow-covered landscapes, immense icebergs and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing. In the footsteps of explorers such as Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott, you will be one of the few to discover the world's last truly wild frontier. Each day brings new surprises and the opportunity to change plans to maximize wildlife sightings and adapt to ever-changing weather. Heart of the Delta (12 days; New Orleans - Memphis) – Immerse yourself in history and heritage on this journey bookended by New Orleans and Memphis. Attend a Privileged Access Mississippi Delta blues experience in Greenville and be inspired by the stories of famed musicians and iconic civil rights heroes. Savor delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as Memphis's famous barbecue. And stir your soul with the rhythms of Dixieland jazz, Delta blues and gospel.

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism, Commercial Travel

CheckMyBus and redBus partner in international markets to simplify Bus Travel experience

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

CheckMyBus, the world’s leading metasearch engine for intercity bus, and redBus, the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform, have announced their partnership for Southeast Asia and the LATAM markets. redBus offers online bus booking services in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the LATAM markets of Peru and Colombia. With this partnership, redBus will provide comprehensive inventory and ease of online bus booking options for both domestic and international travellers through the CheckMyBus platform. Travellers can discover best bus trips on CheckMyBus, the world’s most comprehensive long-distance bus content platform with millions of connections across more than 90 countries. After the rebound of the travel industry, there has been a surge in both domestic and international travel. However, as a result of these changes, flights and other modes of private transportation have become more expensive, leaving budget-conscious travellers in search of cost-effective alternatives. Buses have consistently remained an affordable and budget-friendly option. Through this collaboration, CheckMyBus and redBus are committed to providing the best and most affordable bus booking experience for their users. In addition to domestic users, it is now much easier for international travellers to find the right buses to exciting destinations in South America and Southeast Asia having access to the largest bus inventory in these regions. Marc Hofmann, CEO of CheckMyBus, said: “Our mission is to make bus travel simple. By providing access to the extensive redBus inventory to our global audience, we are taking a significant step toward promoting bus travel in Southeast Asia and LATAM, making it more accessible. We are excited to contribute to the growth of the travel industry by assisting both domestic and international travellers in the region in collaboration with a strong partner like redBus.” Krishnan Ramaswami, Chief Business Officer - International Businesses, redBus, said: “Through this one partnership, we can offer extensive bus ticketing options to the international traveller. Global travellers can book a ticket & discover a range of services in Southeast Asian and Latin American markets as conveniently as locals. We expect this will improve our discoverability in newer markets and provide better accessibility to a larger customer base. We look forward to working with CheckMyBus to improve the ease & convenience of bus bookings.”

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