Kari Tarnowski, American Queen Steamboat Company’s new senior vice president of marketing, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report aboard the new American Countess, the newest riverboat to join the American Queen fleet on the Mississippi. Tarnowski, a veteran of ocean cruise lines, talks about her first impressions of the new riverboat, the main features of American Countess, and how it will be marketed to travel advisors and their clients. For more information, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.
Jay Stein, CEO of Dream Hotel Group, which includes Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, Unscripted Hotels and The Chatwal, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about his company's new hotel openings in Memphis, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Palm Springs, Doha and Guadalupe, as well as his current take on the recovery of the hotel industry. For more information, visit www.DreamHotelGroup.com.
John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his brand new American Countess, the newest paddlewheeler on the Missississppi, during the riverboat’s inaugural cruise. Waggoner details how the American Countess was built, its accommodations, dining, activities, excursions and COVID-19 protocols as one of the first vessels back in business as we emerge from the pandemic. For more information, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.
Ericka Nelson, general manager of the Kimpton Epic Hotel, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about her luxury high-rise property in the heart of Miami’s Brickell downtown district, which comes complete with large suites with spectacular views, a gourmet seafood restaurant, a large spa and a pool complex. It’s a very different kind of Kimpton catering to upscale business travelers and leisure guests interested in shopping, dining and nightlife. For more information, visit www.epichotel.com.
Mohan Koka, general manager of the Kimpton Surfcomber, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his newly renovated hotel, set in two classic Art Deco buildings on the beach. From new dining options (check out the empanadas) to a refurbished pool area, this hotel has been returned to its former glory and now caters to a wide variety of guests with its South Beach chic. For more information, visit www.surfcomber.com.
Manager Sai Jones and Executive Chef Oscar Noborikawa, formerly of Nobu for 10 years, talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about Ke-Uh, a new Asian fusion restaurant at Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., including its sushi and other exquisite dishes. Book this in advance for your clients staying at Acqualina.Book this in advance for your clients staying at Acqualina. For more information, click on Ke-Uh Restaurant or visit www.acqualina.com.
Manager Jason Rodriguez and Chef Claudio Sandri of Il Mulino New York at Acqualina Resort talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the fine Italian cuisine at this famed restaurant in Sunny Isles Beach in Florida. They tell you what to eat, where to eat and how to reserve in advance for this popular dining experience. For more information, visit www.ilmulino.com/miami or www.acqualina.com.
Mauro Pinho, director of sales and marketing for Acqualina Resort and Residences on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., talks with James Shillinglaw about this famed luxury property two years after Insider visited it. Pinho describes how Acqualina got through the pandemic, what's new (including a new pan-Asian restaurant), the dining, famously large suites, pristine beachfront and pools and spa. For more information, visit www.aqualina.com.
Steve Born, chief marketing officer for the Globus family of brands, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about Choice Touring by Globus, a revolution in escorted touring offering a selection of included excursions at key points during the tour program. Born details how this new form of touring works and why it may be such a popular product for you to sell to your clients. For more information, visit www.globusjourneys.com.
Jack Anderson, interim president and CEO of Crystal Cruises, talks with James Shillinglaw about what lies ahead for his luxury line, the launch of cruises this July in the Bahamas only, the challenges Crystal has faced during the pandemic, the issue travel advisors and customers had over refunds, Crystal’s parent Genting Hong Kong, plans for future deployments for oceangoing ships, river ships and expedition vessels. It’s everything you want to hear from the Crystal’s chief. For more information, visit www.crystalcruises.com.
Martin Oester, sales and marketing manager-North America for Swiss Travel System, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the new Excellence Program, which provides e-learning for travel advisors interested in getting their clients around Switzerland seamlessly, efficiently and on time. The course modules cover everything from passenger trains to famed mountain trains, from yellow postal buses to lake steamers and cable cars and more. It all makes a visit to Switzerland a highly comfortable, efficient and luxurious experience. For more information, visit www.mystsnet.com/elearning.
Paula Carroll, sales and marketing director of the famed Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report on International Women’s Day about her 33-year career selling one of the most luxurious properties in the world, the crown jewel of Red Carnation Hotel Collection. Carroll details how she got to the castle and why she fell in love with it and decided to spend her entire career at the property, as well as how attitudes toward women in executive positions have changed over the course of her career. For more information on Ashford Castle, visit www.ashfordcastle.com.
Andy Hogg, founder of The Bushcamp Company, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his unique lodges in a Zambia national park, what the requirements are for entering the country and just what kind of value experiences guests can have on a Bushcamp trip. For more information, visit www.bushcampcompany.com.
Angie Licea, president the Global Travel Collection, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what bookings her luxury travel agency group, owned by Internova Travel Group, is seeing; how it is emerging from the pandemic; how its new branding is working, and how the group is growing in independent advisors even during the downturn. For more information, visit www.globaltravelcollection.com.
Stephanie Turner, CTC, president and CEO of St. Louis-based Brentwood Travel and her daughter, Stacey Acree, executive vice president, CTA, talk with James Shillinglaw about how their agency has been passed down through three generations as it grew into one of the region’s most successful travel retailers. They reveal the secrets of how they have made the switch, including great training and education from The Travel Institute and how to keep a family business going for decades. For more information, visit www.brentwoodtravel.com.
Capt. Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how his small-ship cruise line will most likely be one of the only companies sailing in Alaska this summer, after Canada banned cruising until February 2022. Blanchard details UnCruise’s plans for fleet deployment and itineraries, what bookings are looking like so far, what COVID-19 protocols his line is following when it starts, and much more, For more information, visit www.uncruise.com.
David Zipkin, co-founder and vice president of Tradewind Aviation, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his small aircraft private charter and shuttle service operation to exclusive destinations like St. Barts, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and more. Even better, Tradewind works with travel advisors to serve their higher end clients with an affordable flight service—and commissions them as well. For more information, visit www.flytradewind.com.
Trey Byus, chief expedition officer for Lindblad Expeditions, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the upcoming Antarctica season starting this November, including the new ships Lindblad will deploy, the different itineraries, what guests should expect to experience on their cruise, and how to determine the right Antarctic cruise for your clients. For more information, visit www.expeditions.com.
Dana Young, president and CEO of Visit Florida, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about the virtual Florida Huddle 2021, its high attendance numbers, as well as Florida Huddle 2022, scheduled live in Tampa, Jan. 24-26, 2022. Young says her state is perfect for pandemic safety with its wide open spaces and venues that take advantage of it. Watch for upcoming live interviews from key hotels and attractions in Florida from Insider Travel Report. For more information, visit www.visitflorida.com.
Ira Bloom, CEO of ÀNI Private Resorts, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his unique collection of four small boutique properties suitable for family and group takeovers. These luxury resorts, located in Anguilla, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Sri Lanka, just might be the perfect accommodations for those seeking safe and isolated properties in the age of COVID. For more information, visit www.aniprivateresorts.
Pam Knudsen, senior director of compliance and an expert on lodging and travel with consulting firm Avalara's lodging tax division, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how the pandemic has affected hotels and resorts around the country, how it has changed their operation and the experience they offer to guests. Knudsen also details what Americans will now require in a hotel stay, as well as the effect on rates and occupancies, and what the “new normal” might be for lodging. For more information on Knudsen’s firm, visit www.avalara.com.
Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report talks with Heather Solish of Heather Solish Travel, Ania Wroblewska of Polished Traveler, Jennifer Anderson of Reserve Travel and Jackie Cittone Magid of Inviato Travel about how these four friends decided to pool their resources and knowledge to be more efficient and productive in preparation for a travel rebound by forming Worlds Away Travel, a New York-based independent luxury travel agency affiliated with host agency Travel Edge. For more information, visit www.worldsawaytravel.com.
Sir Patrick McLoughlin, chairman of VisitBritain, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about when Americans will be able to travel to the U.K., what the impact of the pandemic has been on tourism in Britain, how the U.K. hopes to recover, and how soon Britain can bring back tourism to 2019 levels in the future. For more information, visit www.visitbritain.com.
Mario Mathieu, senior vice president of business development, design and construction for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, and Dolores López Lira chairman of Grupo Lomas talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about their unique new family-focused Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya, set to debut in July in Mexico. They detail what the property will look like, its rooms and suites, dining options, pools, and immersive opportunities to engage with Nickelodeon characters. For more information, visit www.karismahotels.com.
Jon Grutzner, president of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold U.S.A., talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about a new just released survey of luxury travelers that offers encouraging news for the business. The survey shows luxury travelers are getting ready to travel, how they want to travel and where they want to go as we emerge from the pandemic. Grutzner also talks about the luxury tours and experiences that Luxury Gold has to meet their needs. For more information, visit www.luxurygold.com.
Fausto Cornejo, manager of Sacha Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what guests can experience at this exotic retreat located near the Napo River, a tributary to the Amazon. From comfortable cabins with full amenities to gourmet regional cuisine, from hikes in the tropical humid forest to canoe rides into the jungle, from wildlife viewing towers to a canopy walk, Sacha Lodge delivers the ultimate Amazon experience. For more information, visit www.sachalodge.com.
Naturalist guide Chris of the Sacha Lodge talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what guests can experience at this unique property in the tropical humid forest near the Napo River, a tributary to the Amazon. Chris describes the journey to the resort; the daily excursions to find exotic wildlife, birds, flora and fauna; and the canopy bridge and viewing towers where guests can see the jungle from above. For more information, visit www.sachalodge.com.