Andy Levine, president of DuVine Cycling & Adventure Co., now part of Lindblad Expeditions, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how his luxury biking tour company is in the right place at the right time for those clients seeking domestic vacations in off the beaten path places in style. For more information, visit www.duvine.com.
Jason van Esso, co-owner with Jonathan David of STFU & Party, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his new wave travel agency focused on group trips to such “party” destinations as Las Vegas, Miami, Bimini and beyond. Van Esso and his partner took an idea they had in college and transformed it into a business delivering nightlife, accommodations and transportation to some the hottest destinations for a new generation. For more information, visit www.stfuandparty.com.
Mark Snider co-owner and managing director of Little Gem Resorts, and Gwenn Snider, co-owner and create director of the company, talk with James Shillinglaw of insider Travel Report about Lovango Resort & Beach Club, their newest creation in the U.S.V.I, a private island luxury resort with a full-service beach club, restaurant, hilltop villa and more accommodations to come, including tents and treehouses. For more information, visit www.lovangovi.com or www.littlegemresorts.com.
Sabina Fluxà, vice chairman and CEO of Iberostar, and her sister Gloria Fluxà, vice chairman and chief sustainability officer, talk with James Shillinglaw about their hotel and resort company’s strong focus on their Waves of Change movement aimed at protecting the oceans and leading the way in sustainable travel. For more information, visit www.iberostar.com or www.iberostaragents.com.
Enrique Calderon, chief operating officer of Posadas, one of the largest hotel operators in Mexico, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about La Colección Resorts and its newest adults-only lifestyle resort, the first Live Aqua Beach Resort outside of Mexico in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, as well as upcoming projects and announcements for the brand. For more information, visit www.lacoleccionresorts.com.
Rocio Lancaster, Undersecretary of Tourism for the Mexican state of Jalisco, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the many tourism attractions of her destination, which includes such famed cities as Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Lancaster details new hotels, flights, major celebrations and events, how Jalisco has dealt with the pandemic, and a new campaign to show how it is LGBTQ+ friendly. For more information, visit https://visitjalisco.com.mx.
David Black, president of Sky-tours USA, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about his new tour operation selling through travel advisors. With a European parent, Sky-tours International, Sky-tours USA will leverage its relationships with top hotels and resorts to sell programs to the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond, offering lucrative incentives that travel advisors can take advantage of to satisfy their clients and profit from. For more information, visit www.sky-toursusa.com.
John Long, vice president of sales and marketing for Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report on location at Iberostar Bávaro in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This property features five different resorts in one—including the luxury Iberostar Grand Bávaro Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bávaro, Iberostar Selection Bávaro Suites, Iberostar Dominicana and Iberostar Punta Cana. Over the past year during the pandemic Iberostar also introduced entirely new resort concepts (Coral Level) and completely renovated other sections of the resort (Iberostar Selection) so you can find just the right resort experience for your clients. For more information, visit www.iberostaragents.com or www.iberostar.com.
Vanessa Famighetti, co-founder of Beyond the Nest with her partner Mary Fusillo, talks with James Shillinglaw about her start-up that creates guided retreats for empty nesters and empty nestees, combining wellness, learning seminars and unforgettable travel experiences—what could be the perfect formula for post-pandemic travel. For more information, visit www.beyondthenest.org.
Jon Makhmaltchi, founder of J. MAK Hospitality, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how he reacted to the pandemic crisis by taking his hospitality consulting business, where he helps hotels better connect with travel advisors, on the road in a customized van that he drives around the country. For more information, visit www.jmak.com.
Sven Lindblad, CEO and soon to be co-chair of Lindblad Expeditions, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his move to stop being CEO and take a more strategic role with the company and how Lindblad Expeditions is restarting cruises in Alaska and the Galapagos. Lindblad also reflects on the past, present and bright future for expedition cruising. For more information, visit www.expeditions.com.
Michelle Fee, founder and CEO of top cruise seller Cruise Planners, talks with James Shillinglaw about Florida’s lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control to get its conditional sail order preventing cruising out of U.S. ports overturned, Norwegian’s letter to the CDC asking it to reinstate cruising out of the U.S. by July 4, and even a White House meeting earlier this week to address the situation. The upshot: Fee says it looks promising that cruising will return this summer out of Florida and maybe later even in Alaska. For more information on Cruise Planners, visit www.cruiseplanners.com.
Jeff Miller, our Travel Law Insider columnist and a veteran travel attorney, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about whether big ship cruising will resume from U.S. ports this summer in the wake of Florida’s lawsuit against the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings letter to the CDC asking it to authorize cruise lines to resume sailing on July 4. Miller gives some no-holds-barred responses to what he sees as the futility of these efforts as well as when he sees cruising finally resuming again. You can reach him at email@example.com.
David Giersdorf, founder and president of Global Voyages Group, and a veteran cruise executive, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his new book “Hard Ships, Navigating Your Company, Career and Life Through the Fog of Disruption,” why he wrote it, and how his career in cruising led him to write about the lessons in business he’s learned during his career. Giersdorf is offering a free download of the Kindle version of the book to all travel advisors as an expression of gratitude for their support over the years and in hopes and confidence, that there are strategies in this “disruption playbook” that will prove helpful and valuable to them. The five-day window for the free downloads will be Tuesday, April 13 through Saturday, April 17. For the free download, visit www.amazon.com/dp/B08XYTLSS2.
Mina Agnos, founder and president of Travelive, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about her luxury destination management company, which offers programs Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Spain and Italy—and just introduced Croatia. Travelive also is extremely well positioned to serve luxury travelers this year because most of its destinations are now open to travelers from the U.S. For more information, visit www.travelive.com.
Experienced hoteliers Jennie Hoffman, president and CEO of Illusso, and Sandy Chun, chief revenue officer, talk to James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about their new luxury hotel consulting firm and what it offers that makes it different. They also discuss what they think hotels need to do to get business back as we emerge from the pandemic, what is different today about marketing hotels, how travel advisors should work with hotels and much more. For more information, visit www.illusso.com.
Bill Roberson, CEO of INCA and operator of Integrity, the luxury yacht in the Galapagos, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about a very different way to cruise the iconic expedition destination. Roberson details the experience the yacht delivers, the target customer and the itinerary options, including a signature nine-day Galapagos Adventure. For more information, call 510-420-1550, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.integritygalapagos.com.
Katina Athanasiou, chief sales officer for Norwegian Cruise Line, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about the company's attempt to find a shortcut through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Conditional Sailing Order to get cruising back by July, 4 plus new itineraries in Greece and the Caribbean starting late July, and new travel advisor incentive programs. For more information, visit www.ncl.com.
Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of Los Cabos Tourism Board, and Hermann Elger, executive vice president and general manager of travel, entertainment and health security at Sharecare talk with James Shillinglaw about Los Cabos’ decision to partner with Sharecare, the digital health company that works with destinations, hotels and other travel companies, to become the world’s first Verified travel destination. To achieve this designation, Los Cabos successfully led an effort to make Sharecare health security verification with Forbes Travel Guide a universal standard among the region’s hotels and resorts to ensure travelers have more confidence in visiting the destination amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.visitloscabos.travel, partner.forbestravelguide.com or www.sharecare.com.
Fernando Flores, vice president of Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how Universal Orlando is operating today under COVID-19 protocols. It turns out, based on our own visit, too, that guests are back enjoying the three parks, discovering new attractions and a new hotel, and adapting quite nicely to the “new” way of traveling in Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com, www.UniversalPartnerCommunity.com or click on Universal Travel Advisors.
Rodney Bailey, vice president of hotel operations for American Queen Steamboat Company, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what guests can expect to get onboard the brand new American Countess paddlewheeler on the Mississippi, including dining, accommodations, public areas, entertainment, excursions and a whole lot more. For more information, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.
Phil Whitney, vice president-sales and marketing at New York Cruise Lines, parent of Circle Line, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the April 1 return of day cruises around New York City, with three different itineraries to choose from and more on the way. For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.circleline.com.