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Monday, February 8, 2016
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WHAT TO DO

How can the industry handle Zika warnings
By JEN SAVEDRA
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08 FEB 2016: As concerns about the Zika virus, both real and exaggerated sweep the industry, Ontario travel agents and tour operators are concerned that they are the ones being made responsible for alerting customers to potential dangers even when none might exist. “The Caribbean, Mexico, South and Central America all are suddenly suspect,” one industry professional told us, likening the situation to past warnings advising passengers, “don’t go to Vancouver because there’s a SARS outbreak in Toronto”. MORE

WINTER STORM

Expect closures, travel changes in Atlantic Canada
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08 FEB 2016: Schools are announcing closures and airlines are asking passengers to reschedule their flights as Environment Canada warns a major storm is on its way to Atlantic Canada today. MORE

FOUR QUESTIONS FOR THE NEW DELTA CEO

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08 FEB 2016: On May 2, Ed Bastian takes over as the new CEO of Delta Air Lines, replacing the retiring Richard Anderson. Bastian has been Anderson's close deputy, helping to turn around the airline from bankrupt carrier to one of the world's leading airlines, one whose playbook is often copied by others. MORE

NO FLY DRONES

Florida Senator wants limits on drones around airports
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08 FEB 2016: US Sen. Bill Nelson is meeting with Florida's airport directors as part of a push to garner support for new technology that could protect airports and other sensitive areas from drones. MORE

ACTOR APPLIES FOR HAWAII MARIJUANA DISPENSARY

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08 FEB 2016: Actor and marijuana advocate Woody Harrelson was one of nearly 60 applicants to apply to open one of Hawaii's first medical marijuana dispensaries. Harrelson applied for a license in Honolulu County under his company, Simple Organic Living. MORE

ADULTS ONLY

Signature announces opening of Riu Republica
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08 FEB 2016: Signature Vacations has announced the newest addition to RIU Hotels and Resorts, the 5-star Riu Republica in Punta Cana. Scheduled to open in June 2016, the 24-hour all inclusive, adults only resort is located on the Macao beachfront in Punta Cana. MORE

SKAL TORONTO APPOINTS NEW BOARD

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08 FEB 2016: The Skal Toronto Club annual general meeting was held on January 25th at the Lambton Golf and Country Club, where the new board was announced. Brent Bowes holds the role of President of the club for the second year. MORE

THE HIDDEN POWER OF DOORS

Going beyond the threshold to promote the allure of travel
By STEVE GILLICK
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08 FEB 2016: Abbas Kiarostami, the renowned Iranian film director wandered through his exhibit Doors without Keys at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum as if he was venturing through the labyrinth alleyways of an old city. In fact the 50 doors in the exhibit, printed in full colour and detail, evoke not only the magic and mystique of exploring the historic core of cities in Iran, Italy, France and Morocco, but also engage visitors with the actual sounds elicited by the neighborhoods where those doors stood witness to time: knocking, creaking and shutting, with kids playing, birds chirping and people in conversation. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

EXPLOSIVE RESIDUE FOUND

Missing passenger presumed to have fallen from plane
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05 FEB 2016: The head of the Daallo Airlines whose jetliner was damaged in an explosion shortly after takeoff from Somalia on Tuesday, said that investigators have found what appears to be residue from explosives, though he cautioned that the findings were inconclusive. MORE

MEXICO MAKES IT CLEAR

Zika virus poses no risk to tourists
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06 FEB 2016: Officials from Mexico’s Ministry of Health met with tour operators from the US and Canada yesterday in Cancun, at a meeting organized by the Mexico Tourism Board. The meeting focused on a report of the latest Zika virus facts, the prevention and containment efforts by the Mexican government and tourism industry. MORE

VIRGIN SETTLES WITH VEITCH

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05 FEB 2016: Former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO, Colin Veitch partnered with The Virgin Group in 2011 on a plan to enter the lucrative luxury cruise market by building a pair of state-of-the-art ships capable of carrying 4,200 passengers each. MORE

BILLIONAIRE BOAT DESTROYS CORAL REEF

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05 FEB 2016: A five-deck luxury yacht destroyed most of a protected coral reef in the Cayman Islands last month. The 92 metre luxury vessel, owned by Microsoft co-owner Paul Allen caused the damage when its anchor chain scraped 1,300 square metres (14,000 square feet) of reef near two scuba diving sites in the West Bay. The Tatoosh is the 49th largest yacht in the world. MORE

TO CONSERVE AND PROTECT

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05 FEB 2016: Royal Caribbean has partnered with The World Wildlife Fund for Nature to develop programmes for ocean conservation and to share exposure of the WWF with five million cruise passengers annually. MORE

HIGH TECH ON THE HIGH SEAS

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05 FEB 2016: MSC Cruises has announced the commission of two new ships in the Meraviglia class due for completion in 2019 and 2020. Boasting an additional 200 staterooms and a maximum capacity of nearly 6,300 guests, the cruise line says the vessels will be “the largest ships at sea able to call at any port.” MORE

DANCING WITH THE STARS AT SEA

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05 FEB 2016: Holland America Line crowned guest Katrina Pedersen of Sunnyvale, California, the cruise line's final "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Champion. Pedersen, who represented ms Maasdam, triumphed over 14 other guest competitors to claim the title and take home Holland America Line's coveted "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea" Mirrorball Trophy. MORE

SEAWORTHY

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05 FEB 2016: Holland America’s Maasdam has been calling to Charlottetown longer than any other cruise ship. She will be replaced with calls from Veendam (a regular visitor) and the newly renovated Zuiderdam and Rotterdam. The ships that will be arriving in the PEI port will carry the same number of passengers or more. Corryn Morrissey, business development manager for the Charlottetown Harbour Authority said "We were sad to see the Maasdam go. She's called us longer than anyone. "I think we'll see her again in our future." MORE

MARK CONROY TO SILVERSEA CRUISES

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06 FEB 2016: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises announced yesterday the appointment of cruise industry veteran Mark Conroy as head of the company's Miami office, which has responsibility for the Americas. "I have known, appreciated and respected Mark for more than twenty years and cannot hide my satisfaction in having him join us," said Silversea's chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio. MORE

ALLISON RAMOS TO GLOBUS

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05 FEB 2016: Kim Clarke, director of sales for the Globus family of brands, has announced the appointment of Allison Ramos to the newly-created position of BDM for Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley. MORE

SIX COOL THINGS

Hong Kong’s Grande Dame Keeps Ahead of Her Time
By WALLACE IMMEN
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05 FEB 2016: Hong Kong’s certainly taken an unbelievable growth spurt since the Peninsula Hotel was the largest building on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbor in the days of the British Empire and slow boats to China. MORE
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