Jamaica witnesses a record-breaking winter tourism season

Travel and Tour World | April 03, 2019

Jamaica witnessed a record-breaking winter tourism season, as per estimates from the country’s Ministry of Tourism.Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that the island is estimated to have welcomed around 900,000 stopover visitors this winter, which is supposed to be the highest figure ever for a winter season. That’s along with an additional 600,000 cruise passenger arrivals in the same period.The winter tourist season runs from December through April; March 2019 is being touted as the “biggest month ever in our history.”Bartlett said, “2019 is trending in a way that is going to break all records.”

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CRUISE

Consumers Optimistic About Cruise Travel in 2022

arrivia | March 01, 2022

Consumers are optimistic about their 2022 cruise travel plans. That's the overall sentiment from a recent survey conducted by arrivia, a leading travel loyalty and cruise booking technology platform that works with consumer-facing companies worldwide. The company surveyed 1,453 Americans between November 3, 2021, and January 10, 2022, all of whom are members of a travel club or travel benefits program, about their attitudes and preferences around cruise travel. Initial responses were collected just a few weeks before the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, with responses also being recorded into January 2022 as it became the dominant strain worldwide. The Ready to Board consumer cruise survey revealed that more than 80% of respondents have booked a cruise in the next two years or are planning or considering a cruise vacation. Of those consumers who have already booked a cruise, 37% aimed to travel in the spring, 22% in the summer and 31% in the fall. While there was a slight shift in the data based on when the survey responses were recorded relative to the spread of Omicron, the number of respondents who had already booked or were actively planning a cruise consistent outweighed those who "might" book one or aren't considering booking by nearly 2 to 1. Consumers, however, were very clear that they support cruise lines' efforts to make travel as safe as possible. Over 50% of respondents said they would want to see universal masking and vaccination on board and social distancing on cruise activities to feel comfortable cruising again. Value is still a major factor in decision-making Despite the pent-up travel demand accumulated over the past two years, 46% of consumers consider value for money the most important factor when booking a cruise — more than the double itineraries/destinations and COVID/safety protocols combined. Better pricing and deals were also the second top reason (tied with travel restrictions) that travelers haven't booked a cruise in the past twelve months. The focus on value is illustrated by the sizeable percentage (18%) of respondents using loyalty or travel rewards points to defray some or all of the cost of a cruise. "Points play an important role as travelers plan their journeys,Companies with loyalty or rewards programs should consider expanding their capabilities to include more of the travel booking and benefits options that consumers increasingly want, such as cruise travel." -Jeff Zotara, arrivia Chief Marketing Officer. Other findings from the survey: Sixty-six percent of consumers are choosing luxury cruise travel over mega cruises or niche river cruises. Travelers are choosing historically popular destinations with the desire for luxury cruise experiences. Almost half of the respondents who had booked or were planning to book a cruise had their eye on the Caribbean, with 17% zeroing in on the Bahamas as their next stop. And they're not just testing the waters with three-day excursions; 54% said they were considering a six-to-nine-day cruise, while 11% said that ten days or more is the perfect trip length. "It's no doubt that Omicron impacted some of the booking activity in the short-term," Zotara added. "But with the investment cruise lines have made in ensuring travelers' safety and in the new ships that promise to deliver even better experiences, more consumers will be setting sail over the next two years. We're excited to see the demand increasing and consumers' enthusiasm for cruise travel." The consumer cruise survey, Ready to Board, is available for download here. For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer of arrivia, please contact Vanessa Horwell at vhorwell@thinkinkpr.com. About arrivia Arrivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, booking and marketing solutions to consumer-facing companies that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company's Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacations Worldwide by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant and personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrivia helps companies drive growth, incentivize sales, boost affinity and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Trasava Lets Travelers Book 5-Star Hotels at 2-Star Prices

Trasava | February 02, 2022

As travel returns and the demand for hotel rooms increases, Trasava introduces a new way of booking rooms that keeps prices low and hoteliers happy. Through a combination of superior technology and its unique approach to inventory, Trasava has managed to bridge the gap between business and leisure travel, making discounted travel rates—similar to those of corporate travel discounts—accessible to individual travelers. The problem in the hospitality industry is clear: nearly every OTA, online travel agency, pulls from the same inventory pool, causing prices across dozens of sites to be more or less the same. Trasava flips this model on its head, leveraging exclusive agreements with its suppliers to offer travel rates not available to the general public. This allows Trasava to get deep discounts on hotels of all types—from basic to luxury—all over the world. While other OTAs compete to sell unwanted last-minute rooms, Trasava offers lower prices from the outset, whether you're booking one day or one year in advance. Led by a passionate team of nomadic entrepreneurs, Trasava's founders are scratching their own itch by building a better booking platform. They offer over 1 million listings in 70+ countries, plus a 110% guarantee. If travelers can find a cheaper price elsewhere online available to the public, they will refund 110% of the difference. With its focus on making both hotels and travelers happy, Trasava has created a booking experience that's a win-win. Here are some of the savings travelers can expect from Trasava: $400 saved over a long weekend in a 4-star hotel in Manhattan in July $650 saved over a 5-day stay at a 5-star hotel in central Berlin in September $900 saved on a weeklong vacation at a 5-star resort in Cancún in February Travelers interested in learning more can try out Trasava for themselves at Trasava.com. AboutTrasava: Trasava is a new travel tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Launched in 2022, Trasava is making travel more affordable by bringing corporate hotel pricing to the masses.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Manifest Announces Hospitality Partnerships, Expanding Trip Options for Members

Manifest | May 04, 2022

Manifest, the exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service, announced several new hospitality partners that will expand access and trip options for its members including Canyon Ranch, Rothschild Safaris, Luxury Gold, Belmond Hotels and Classic Journeys. Manifest has secured unique access and benefits for its members with these new partners, ultimately adding even more value to membership. "We strive to bring our community of like-minded travelers a variety of unique experiences and these new partnerships expand our offerings in the areas of wellness, exotic adventure, and iconic summer destinations,” -Manifest CEO Jeff Potter At Canyon Ranch, the luxury wellness lifestyle brand that operates two destination health spa resorts (Tucson, Ariz., and Lenox, Mass.) and one retreat property (Woodside, Calif.), Manifest members gain exclusive access and receive a VIP welcome gift upon arrival and a room upgrade (pending availability). “Canyon Ranch is excited to partner with a celebrated travel partner like Manifest to provide our guests with seamless, world-class service and exclusive benefits while they travel to our destination resorts,” -Naomi Rose, Director of Partnership Accounts at Canyon Ranch. Manifest members will be able to book once-in-a-lifetime safaris in conjunction with Manifest partner, Rothschild Safaris, who frequently appears as a top Safari Outfitter on Travel + Leisure’s “World Best” list. Rothschild has custom-curated three different African safaris for Manifest members, a Three Country Luxury Safari Adventure in Southern Africa; a Classic South Africa Safari Adventure and Cape Town Wine Country; and The Great Migration – an Epic East Africa Luxury Safari. We are very excited to partner with Manifest to create extraordinary, custom safaris throughout Africa,” said Leora Rothschild, Owner of Rothschild Safaris. “Luxury travel to Africa has incredible momentum, and we believe this partnership with be beneficial for both companies. Manifest members will also gain new access to in-destination tours. Through a Luxury Gold partnership, Manifest members will be able to book Luxury Gold tours, both domestically and internationally, through the Manifest website and will receive the “best rate guarantee.” Through a similar partnership with Classic Journeys, Manifest members will be able to book the company’s classic walking tours through the Manifest website. Classic Journeys is thrilled to forge a partnership with Manifest, said Edward Piegza, Founder of Classic Journeys. “Their personal touches and authentic experiences are in perfect step with the Classic Journeys approach. Finally, Manifest has partnered with luxury boutique hotelier, Belmond Hotels, to offer Manifest members access at their Anguilla and St. Martin properties, which includes high-touch experiences in-destination such as private sailing and snorkeling trips, as well as complimentary Manifest flight desk support. The Manifest experience is seamless for members – from private car transportation to/from the airport both at home and in-destination to the ease of private air travel; from high-touch service on the ground to pre-planned activities that reflect the soul of the destination, in addition to plenty of free time to explore members’ own interests. Manifest designs, curates and manages logistical components of planned activities for each experience, which range from three to seven days in length and range in price depending on the activity, location, and length of stay. About Manifest Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations in the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Frommer's Names the Best Hotel Booking Engines for Summer Travel in 2022

frommer | March 30, 2022

With travelers eager to hit the road again for summer vacation after the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Frommers—the trusted travel media company and guidebook publisher celebrating its 65th year in 2022—has released the latest edition of its Best and Worst Hotel Booking Sites. The ranking names the top online travel agencies and aggregators for finding lodgings on the road in 2022. The top 10 has been shaken up considerably since the previous ranking in 2020. Using a complex, weighted system involving 60 different room reservation scenarios, travel expert and analyst Reid Bramblett put booking engines through the wringer to determine which sites deliver the lowest rates, the most options, and the easiest user experience.For the first time, Google tops the list, but the search giant only narrowly edged out previous winner HotelsCombined, with both showing a keen ability to find the most affordable rooms. Other heavy hitters, including Tripadvisor and Kayak, only managed middling scores when put to the Frommer's test, ranking 5th and 7th respectively. After falling out of the top 10 five years ago, Hotels.com clawed its way to the 10th slot, displacing Hotwire from the list entirely. The complete top 10, along with detailed analysis, a rundown of each site's pros and cons, and money-saving warnings about sneaky tactics and outright rip-offs, can be found at Frommers.com/BestHotelSites. And coming soon: Frommer's latest ranking of the top sites for finding affordable airfare—fully updated for 2022. About Frommer's One of the most venerable brands in travel, Frommer's has been in continuous publication since the 1957 debut of Arthur Frommer's Europe on 5 Dollars a Day, which changed the way the world traveled. The Frommer's collection of travel products has expanded to include nearly 100 award-winning guidebooks, a popular podcast, and Frommers.com, winner of the 2021 silver medal for best travel journalism website in the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.

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Spotlight

Traveler safety has always been an integral part of corporate travel management, but the coronavirus global pandemic has taught HR, finance, operations, risk management, procurement, and travel program leaders just how critical it is to have a plan in place for when the unexpected happens. The TripActions Business Travel Continu

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