Brian King, president-Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about Marriott’s recent agreement with Sunwing Travel Group’s Blue Diamond Resorts to add 19 all-inclusive resorts totaling 7,000 rooms to its system, a deal that has suddenly turned the mega-hotel company into a power in the all-inclusive market. For more information, visit www.marriott.com.
James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report talks with the team at the Finch Bay Hotel, located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz in the Galapagos, about how guests can experience the islands in a different way. Featuring comfortable rooms, gourmet cuisine, a beach and a pool, this sustainable hotel, owned by Metropolitan Touring is perfect for those who want to relax post-cruise or who want a land-based way to explore the Galapagos islands, including its famed giant tortoises. For more information, visit www.finchbayhotel.com.
Maria del Carmen, expedition leader on Metropolitan Touring's Isabella II, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about one of the ship's four-day cruises in the Galapagos visiting Santa Cruz, Santiago, Rabida, Bartholome and Genovesa islands. In the course of the cruise, guests see many if not most of the exquisite wildlife in Galapagos, including sea lions, marine and land iguanas, Galapagos penguins, blue- and red-footed boobies and many other bird species. Plus they get to see the vastly different geology and plant life of these volcanic islands. This is the fourth of seven videos on a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos. For more information, visit www.metropolitan-touring.com.
Dominic Hamilton, director of communications for Metropolitan Touring in Ecuador, talks about the trip his company planned for Insider Travel Report, including a tour of Quito, a four-day Galapagos cruise on Isabella II, a stay at Finch Bay Lodge on Santa Cruz, a stay at Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest and more. For more information Metropolitan Touring, visit www.metropolitan-touring.com.
Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how company’s new loan program countering the COVID-19 crisis for travel agencies selling Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Silversea and Azamara. Freed details the interest-free loan, in which agencies can borrow as much as $250,000 depending on their Royal Caribbean sales, and how they can apply for the program. For more information and to sign up, visit www.cruisingpower.com.
Klaus Fielsch, product manager for Metropolitan Touring, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about the many travel products his Quito-based tour operation offers in Ecuador and the Galapagos. As the first company to offer Galapagos cruises, Metropolitan has a fleet of three ships and long experience in guiding visitors around the islands. But the company also offers a hotel in the Galapagos, a luxury hotel in Quito and an acclaimed lodge in the cloud forest near the city. This is the second in a series of seven videos on Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador and the Galapagos. For more information, visit www.metropolitan-touring.com.
John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his recent interview with Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, when cruise lines might restart operations as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the future of Alaska cruises this year, how cruise lines are adapting to the CDC’s framework for the resumption of cruising, what Travel Leaders bookings are looking like for cruises and other travel products, what destinations are booking well today, and how Travel Leaders is helping its agency members survive the pandemic. For more information on Travel Leaders, visit www.travelleaders.com.
Francisco Dousdebés, corporate social responsibility manager for Metropolitan Touring, talks with James Shillinglaw about how his tour company addresses social responsibility and sustainable tourism for each of its cruise, tour and hotel products. Quito, Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring is the pioneer in Galapagos cruises, but also offers tours throughout Ecuador and other South American countries. The company owns a luxury hotel in Quito, a hotel in the Galapagos and the Mashpi Lodge in the cloud forest near Quito—and reflect Metropolitan’s concern for sustainable tourism. This is the first of seven videos on Metropolitan Touring and its unique products in the Galapagos and Ecuador. For more information, visit www.metropolitan-touring.com.
Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor at Harper's Bazaar, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about her new travel TV show, Platinum Eye, where she takes viewers "backstage and behind the velvet rope" to learn about the finest destinations, designs and experiences in the world. The 10-part series will premiere Feb. 28, 2021 on A&E’s FYI Network. For more information and to see a preview, visit www.platinumeye.net/preview.
Fred Lounsberry, CEO of the Nassau-Paradise Island Promotion Board, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how the destination and the rest of the Bahamas is ready for vacationers, with nearly all major resorts reopened and a new property just months from opening. He also reviews the current entry requirements for the Bahamas, which include testing but no quarantine. For more information, visit www.nassauparadiseisland.com or www.bahamas.com.
Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about how to visit what she calls the safest islands in the Caribbean, including details on testing and the "Vacation in Place" program, which brings activities and culture to guests at sanctioned hotels, enriching them while they await approval to visit the islands on their own. For more information, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.
Sheila Folk, founder and owner of Travel Industry Solutions, talks with Angela Hughes, owner of Trips & Ships Luxury Travel and a correspondent for Insider Travel Report, about how her compliant contracts and ready-to-implement booking tools for travel agencies are a game changer in helping thousands of travel advisors and agency owners remain one step ahead through updated contracts and simple to use tools. For more information, visit www.travelindustrysolutions.com.
Dr. Susanna Etti, Intrepid Travel’s environmental impact specialist, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about what it means for Intrepid to be a B Corporation that has globally adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, what it means to the travel industry for President Joseph Biden to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, and how we can all decarbonize our businesses. For more information, visit www.intrepidtravel.com and www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/decarbonise-travel.
Dan Flannery, senior vice president and managing director of EDITION hotels, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about how Marriott International and boutique hotel impresario Ian Schrager came up with the EDITION hotels that would be classified as both lifestyle and luxury at the same time, about where the hotels set records when boarders were closed during the pandemic, and the expansion from 11 to 18 hotels as EDITION will open in Rome, Madrid, Dubai, Reykjavik, Tampa, Mexico’s Riviera Maya at Kanai and its second property in Tokyo. For more information, visit www.editionhotels.com.
Bernard Munyanziza, owner and operater of Nziza Hospitality, talks with Angela Hughes, owner of Trips & Ships Luxury Travel and a correspondent for Insider Travel Report, about how his destination management company based in East Africa, specializing in East and South Africa, is able to cut the fat to put together upper-midrange, premium and luxury market bespoke customized itineraries that challenge the big ticket companies. For more information, visit www.nzizahospitality.com.
Florence Li, director-international markets and sales for Songtsam Hotels & Resorts and Songtsam Tours, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about her company, which features exotic stays in Tibet. Begun more than 20 years ago by her father, Songtsam offers lodges, including a new one opening this month, and guided tour programs that provide guests with a serene and sustainable travel experience in the mountain paradise that is Tibet. For more information, visit www.songtsam.com.
Chris Allison, head of commercial partnerships-Americas for Tourism Australia, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the status of Australia as a tourism destination right now during the pandemic, what Tourism Australia has been doing to promote a destination currently closed off to foreign visitors, and six trends Australia has identified that will make the country an attractive destination for travelers as we emerge from the crisis. For more information, visit www.AussieSpecialist.com, www.tourism.australia.com or www.australia.com.
Luis Villasenor, director general of Puerto Vallarta, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how this top Mexican leisure destination has adapted to the new pandemic regime, new hotels and resorts in Puerto Vallarta, top activities for visitors and what’s to come for this historic tourist attraction. For more information, visit www.visitpuertovallarta.com.
Rudi Schreiner, president & CEO, founder and co-owner of AmaWaterways; Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner; and Gary Murphy, senior vice president and co-owner, talk with James Shillinglaw about the trends driving bookings in the river cruise market for their luxury cruise line, when river cruising might begin again, new and renovated ships and much more. For more information, visit www.amawaterways.com.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how the pandemic has hit the hotel industry hard, the prospects for recovery with more government relief, and a unique offer made by AHLA hotel members to serve as vaccination centers around the country. For more information, visit www.ahla.com.
Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his “State of the Travel Industry” speech last month, which he titled “Travel’s Next Great Chapter.” See this video for Dow’s encouraging message on the future of the travel industry. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.
Walt Disney World Ambassador Stephen Lim talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how Disney World has adapted to the new environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as what new attractions and events are set to debut in all of Disney World’s theme parks and water parks. For more information, visit www.disneytravelagents.com or www.disneyworld.com.