TRAVEL ROUND-UP: NTA, United Airlines, Texas Tourism, Lan Chile, and more…
A summary of the most exciting recent news in travel marketing and media in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you're trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.
In late 2015 Haybina Hao was announced as the new vice president of international development for the NATIONAL TOUR ASSOCIATION (NTA). After assuming her new position, Hao announced that she wants to support and grow the association’s presence in the Hispanic market. “NTA has been working with this major emerging market in the past four or five years. But we didn’t have a lot of resources and I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to it. From now on I think we will be able to put more effort into the Hispanic market.” According to Hao, the NTA has a very sizeable Latino membership , based either in the U.S. or Latin American countries. “We would love to support them. We have lots of members who have that expertise, and I have the responsibility to help support the growth of that market,” she added.
UNITED AIRLINES is considering an early retirement for their Boeing 747 aircraft. This means Aircraft manufacturers might have to speed up deliveries of the new more fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft to United Continental Holdings Inc. Airlines around the world are replacing old wide-body jets that consume more fuel and are costly to repair and maintain. United Airlines is not the only airline that has announced early retirement of Boeing’s 747; Delta Air Lines has also announced early retirement of its nine 747 by 2017. The airline has selected Airbus A350-900 as replacement aircraft, deliveries of which will start in 2017.
TEXAS TOURISM launched its new advertising campaign, which is currently present on national television, print and digital media. The new campaign continues to utilize the popular state tagline, "Texas. It's Like A Whole Other Country," and transitions the traveler from the big picture to a more in-depth focus on the unique individual experiences waiting to be discovered in the state. The new campaign includes three television ads focusing on family entertainment, cuisine, and traveling like a local.
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES has partnered with Amazon to offer a new in-flight payment service. The Dallas-based low-cost carrier’s Wi-Fi-equipped planes now allow passengers to make on-board purchases with Pay with Amazon. Fliers simply have to log into their Amazon account on their own device and approve whatever purchases they want to make. The feature can be used for buying Wi-Fi access or purchasing movies and TV shows.
ACCOR HOTELS keeps transforming its business. It announced that it is buying two home-rental platforms, Oasis Collections and Squarebreak. Miami-headquartered Oasis Collections sells itself as a "home-meets-hotel" accommodations provider. It offers approximately 1,500 properties in 18 cities in Latin America, Europe and the United States. Accor acquired a 30 percent stake in the company. Squarebreak, based in Paris, features approximately 220 private upscale homes mostly in France, Spain and Morocco.
EASTERN AIR LINES GROUP announced the integration of Raymond T. Odierno to the Eastern Board of Directors. "We are very pleased to have Ray Odierno join our board and provide us his unique global perspectives which will be invaluable to a growing international airline," said William Owens, Eastern's Chairman.
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CANCUN reached an all-time high in the city's average hotel occupancy rate of 82 percent in 2015, according to the Cancun and Puerto Morelos Hotel Association (AHC). This represents a one percent increase when compared to the same period in 2014, even after the addition of 700 new rooms to the destination. The association also reported that Cancun was the preferred destination for travelers in Mexico and that its average occupancy rate beat other resort cities like Los Cabos.
Projections for 2016 are looking bright, as online travel agency Expedia named it the top international destination for package bookings (which combine travel components like flights and hotel), beating cities such as Las Vegas and New York. Cancun was also named the most important beach destination for meetings and conventions, with business tourism representing almost 20 percent of all arriving visitors in 2015.
CRYSTAL CRUISES announced four new ports for its 22nd annual World Cruise in 2017. Crystal Serenity's "Southern Celebración" voyage (which will make 94 day round-trip from Miami on January 10) travels an intensive route through some of the most historically and culturally rich cities and ports in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, the Caribbean and even Antarctica.
LAN CHILE wants to fly to the Falklands with a bigger-capacity aircraft. The airline has been talking to the Falklands’ government about its interest to bring more tourists to the islands as a result of the big demand it has got in the past few months. The airplanes also transport fresh food to the islands, and when they are full of travelers, their capacity to transport food diminishes, which makes the idea of using a bigger plane that much more attractive.