Robin Tauck, new chairman of Tourism Cares, and Greg Takehara, CEO, talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about their non-profit sustainable travel organization’s new branding campaign and its new effort to get more members, including travel agencies, travel advisors and other travel professionals. The goal is to better support the evolving needs of travelers and the destinations they visit around the world. To become a Tourism Cares member, visit www.tourismcares.org/professional-membership. To find out more about Tourism Cares, visit www.tourismcares.org.
Quentin Desurmont, president of Traveller Made, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about his luxury consortia and its eighth annual Essence of Luxury conference, virtual for the second year in a row next week, May 31 through June 4 , set to explore every facet of emotion and how it affects luxury products, services and travel, and how travel "designers" can understand and support the emotions of the ultra-rich. Luxury travel advisors who aren't just booking expensive air and hotels and want to join can email email@example.com or visit www.travellermade.com.
Gavin Landry, VisitBritain’s executive vice president and director of the Americas, talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about Britain's pandemic emergence, of course, but then about what's new across the Pond, specifically screen tourism based on Bridgerton and the new James Bond film, as well as new hotels, experiences, and an overview of travel advisor support tools. For more information, visit, www.VisitBritain.com.
Jackie Friedman, president and CEO of Nexion Travel Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about what travel advisors, especially host agencies and independent contractors, need to survive the next eight months until their commission income is restored. For more information, visit www.nexion.com.
David Harris, president and CEO of Ensemble Travel Group, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report after ASTA Legislative Day about the state of his travel agency cooperative, how it is lobbying with ASTA for measures that would restore income to its travel agency members, how things are progressing both in the U.S. and Canada to get more relief for agencies and travel in general. For more information, visit www.ensembletravel.com.
Paula Twidale, senior vice president of travel for the American Automobile Association (AAA), talks with Alan Fine of Insider Travel Report about the organization's annual Memorial Day travel forecast, dark last year due to the pandemic, but back again and hopeful this year, with 37 million set to travel this weekend and 90 percent of those by car (34 million). Twidale's advice is to book early to avoid the possible scarcity caused by an explosion of demand against a slow ramp up, as well as a lack of semi-conductor chips needed for new rental car fleets. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.
Eben Peck, executive vice president-advocacy for the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report at last week's ASTA Legislative Day about what ASTA is seeking from Congress, including support for the SAVE Act, which would help agencies financially; the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act (which actually passed last week after this interview) restarting cruises to the state; and additional measure that would provide another round of Paycheck Protection Plan funds and unemployment benefits for independent contractors. For more information, visit www.asta.org.
Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report on ASTA Legislative Day about what the Society wants Congress to do to help travel agencies and travel advisors survive the next eight months until their income returns. Key to that recovery is the SAVE Act, which if passed would help agencies recover a high percentage of their income, but also such legislation as the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which would allow large cruise ships to sail directly to Alaska ports without stopping in a foreign port. ASTA received good news on that front yesterday when the U.S. House passed its version of the bill and the measure was sent to President Biden for his signature. For more information, visit www.asta.org.
Filippos Venetopoulos, the third generation CEO of Variety Cruises, talks to James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how his small ship cruise line is capitalizing on the opening of travel to Greece by offering new itineraries in the region and beyond. Venetopoulos also talks about how Variety has expanded beyond the Med to destinations like Seychelles, French Polynesia, the Suez Canal, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Dubai and the Rivers of West Africa. For more information, visit www.varietycruises.com.
Elizabeth Fettes, chief sales and marketing officer for Premier Worldwide Marketing (Karisma Hotels & Resorts) talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about Karisma’s new Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, set to make its debut this fall. This second all-inclusive Margaritaville resort, after the first one opened in Riviera Cancun in Mexico last summer, offers luxury villas, private pools and multiple upscale dining options, while reflecting the Jimmy Buffet relaxed luxury vibe. For more information, visit www.karismahotels.com.
Peter Yeung, managing director of the Walker Tribeca, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his almost brand new hotel located in one of New York City's trendiest and most happening neighborhoods. Veteran hotelier Yeung reveals that the hotel actually opened in late 2019 and remained open throughout the pandemic. But now it's getting ready for its real introduction to the New York scene with a new rooftop bar (the name revealed in this video) opening May 21, a new restaurant helmed by a James Beard award-winning chef and a basement speakeasy. For more information, visit www.walkerhotels.com.
Shady Ghoneem, managing partner-development, and Saeed Ali, managing partner-sales of marketing, for Genovic Boutiques talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about hotel development in the Arab states of the Gulf and the Maldives. Despite nearby regional unrest and the pandemic, the area continues to see a major influx of luxury hotels. And that growth will only continue as Saudi Arabia grows its tourism infrastructure and Dubai hosts the World Expo this fall. For more information on Genovic Boutiques, visit www.genovicboutiques.com.
Andrea Zito, CEO of Swan Hellenic Limited, talks with James Shillinglaw about his new expedition cruise line with a famed name. Zito details his line’s plans to launch a new ship, Swan Hellenic Minerva, later this year and two more nearly identical vessels in subsequent years, and why his company bought the Swan Hellenic name to focus on expedition cruising. For more information, visit www.swanhellenic.com.
Katina Athanasiou, chief sales officer for Norwegian Cruise Line, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about the many new features of Norwegian Prima, the first of a new class of ships that Norwegian is introducing next summer. Norwegian Prima will introduce several groundbreaking features in design, including more spacious public spaces, staterooms and suites; a larger redesigned Haven now in the ship’s stern; a upgraded dining and entertainment district now called Ocean Boulevard; and much more. For more information, visit www.ncl.com.
James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report talks with Brian Leibman, president and CEO of Frosch, Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel, Kimberly Wetty Wilson, co-president of Valerie Wilson Travel, and Lara Leibman, executive vice president of Frosch about the mega-travel agency deal that has quickly transformed the market. This next generation of travel leaders, following in the footsteps of the two agencies founders, Richard Leibman and Valerie Ann Wilson, are focused on building the best combined agency, operating under two brands, for high-end corporate travel and luxury leisure travel. For more information, visit www.frosch.com or www.valeriewilsontravel.com.
Jim St. John, president of Precise Hospitality and managing agent for Iconic Santorini, talks with James Shillinglaw about his truly “iconic” hotel set high on the mountain overlooking this classic Greek island. The property houses guests in luxury caves with private pools, provides great locally influenced Greek cuisine and connects them to essential island experiences. Designed for couples, this is the perfect place for honeymoons and romantic getaways. For more information, visit www.iconicsantorini.com.
Grecia Lopez, general manager, and Diego Velasquez, island ambassador, of Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun by Karisma, talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, and their nearly brand new luxury all-inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya. From great rooms and suites to fine dining and more casual fare, from quiet pools and a spa to hammocks and comfortable chairs to watch the sea, this resort exudes all the laid back qualities of a Jimmy Buffet-influenced property for singles, couples and families. For more information, click on Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun.
James Shillinglaw of insider Travel Report talks with veteran travel attorney Jeff Miller, who is also our Travel Law Insider columnist, about one of his favorite topics—the airlines. Miller talks about the financial health of airlines, well supported by the government; airline onboard protocols during the pandemic; fare rules and booking policies during the COVID-19 crisis; and the relationship between airlines and travel agencies. Miller is a travel industry attorney based in Maryland and a full-time faculty member in the College of Business, Hospitality Management Program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla. You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a talk with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, Mark Conroy, managing director of Silversea Cruises, talks about how his line is planning to restart cruising out of Greece with its new ship, Silver Moon. Conroy also details other restart plans in the Galapagos and Antarctica, and even the prospects for cruising out of U.S. ports and other Mediterranean ports. He talks about the steps required to get a cruise ship operating again, why World Cruises are booking so well and much more. For more information, visit www.silversea.com.
Robert-Jan Woltering, general manager of the Fairmont Mayakoba, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report, about plans to renovate his iconic luxury property, the first built in the four-resort Mayakoba complex. Many of those renovations will be complete by the time travel advisors stay at the resort for the annual ILTM-North America luxury travel show in September. For more information visit www.fairmont-mayakoba.com.
Stacy Small, owner of Elite Travel International in Maui, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about how she downsized her Virtuoso-affiliated luxury travel agency, rejoined her first host agency and began life again as an independent contractor selling Hawaii and luxury travel. She also details other business ventures she explored during the pandemic and how she worked to change her workstyle and her lifestyle to find happiness and contentment in the new age of travel. For more information, visit www.elitetravelinternational.com.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, talks with James Shillinglaw of Insider Travel Report about his company’s new “Have It All” packages featuring included shore excursions, specialty dining, drinks and Wi-Fi. Antorcha also details Holland America’s fleet today, the upcoming new Rotterdam, and the prospects for cruising out of U.S. ports this year, including the Alaska season. For more information, visit www.hollandamerica.com.