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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Jen Savedra (Editor)
Jen Savedra EDITOR
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BUT WHAT ABOUT US

Will new US policy with Cuba impact Canadians
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18 DEC 2014: US President Barack Obama’s not so surprising announcement that he plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, has some in this country wondering what it will mean for Canadians who have for decades made Cuba one of their top three holiday destinations. MORE

AMERICAN TOURISM TO CUBA

The industry is ready and waiting
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18 DEC 2014: The US Government's plans to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba doesn't mean that the Caribbean nation will suddenly open for tourism to Americans. It does, however, give hope to US airlines, hotel chains and cruise companies - all of which have been quietly eyeing a removal of the travel ban - that they soon will be able to bring tourists to Cuba. MORE

CLIA HEAD HEADS FOR CARNIVAL

Christine Duffy named new president
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18 DEC 2014: In a surprise move, Carnival Corporation announced yesterday that it has chosen Christine Duffy, head of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to lead its namesake brand. Duffy, who started out as a travel agent more than 30 years ago, will begin her job as president of Carnival Cruise Line on February 01. MORE

ANYTHING THAT HELPS

Dedicated screening lines at airports
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18 DEC 2014: The federal government has unveiled a new initiative aimed at making air travel to the US easier. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says NEXUS members and other low-risk trusted travellers who have already undergone extensive background checks will have access to dedicated screening lines. MORE

BERMUDA ROLLS THE DICE

Will casinos revive tourism
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18 DEC 2014: Bermuda's Senate has approved a heavily debated measure that would allow the tiny, wealthy British territory to build its first casinos. The bill caps the number of casinos at three, and it calls for all of them to be located inside hotels to help revive the island's sluggish tourism and construction industries. MORE

THIRD AIRPORT FOR BEIJING

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18 DEC 2014: China has green-lighted a third airport for the capital Beijing in a bid to reduce congestion and chronic delays, state media reported Wednesday. The massive new airport will be located 46 kilometres south of the city centre and will take five years to build. MORE

BC FIRST NATION STILL PLANS LUXURY HOSPITAL

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18 DEC 2014: Plans for a for-profit hospital on Westbank First Nation land in West Kelowna, B.C., are still alive despite years of apparent inactivity, says the band's leader.  Chief Robert Louie said members continue to be consulted to gain support for the project. MORE

SPICEJET GROUNDED

Indian low cost carrier financially strapped
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18 DEC 2014: Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet grounded all flights Wednesday after oil companies stopped supplies of jet fuel to the financially beleaguered carrier. MORE

NUTS AND DOGS BOLT

Pet peeves
By DAVID TAIT
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Two recent stories serve to demonstrate just how whacky the aviation world can be. As Air Canada introduced its long-anticipated nut-free zones to serve the interests of those unfortunate passengers who suffer from peanut allergies, we also had the specter of some yappy little canine charging around a US Airways flight snapping at passengers and eventually biting a crewmember. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

DESTINATIONS FOR ALL

World Summit on accessible tourism
By DAVID BELL
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17 DEC 2014: The first “Destinations for All” World Summit was held in Montreal at the Palais des Congres - Convention Centre. The focus and goal of the summit was improving access to travel and tourism for those with special needs and considerations (wheel chairs, limited mobility, sight, hearing, mute, assistive animals, etc.) There were 300 participants – from 30 countries – including the United Nations. MORE

BRAND USA IS GOOD TO GO

Congress authorizes six more years
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17 DEC 2014: Brand USA say their international marketing efforts to increase US visitations from abroad were responsible for an additional 1.1 million visitors in 2013. These visitors generated US $3.4 billion in spending. Little wonder the travel and tourism industry were relieved and delighted when a $1.1 trillion federal government spending bill passed by the US Senate last week, included reauthorization for Brand USA through 2020. MORE

WISH LIST

Canadian thoughts on holiday travel
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17 DEC 2014: Among the interesting findings of a recent global survey by Hotels.com regarding travel during the holiday season, was the fact that 95 percent of Canadians admitted they would give up their gifts for travel during the holidays. MORE

DONE DEAL

CanJet signs distribution deal with TravelBrands
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17 DEC 2014: CanJet Airlines has signed a distribution deal with TravelBrands Inc. to offer its vacation packages and flights through the TravelBrands network of retail and wholesale companies. MORE

BAGS AND BAGGAGE HANDLERS

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17 DEC 2014: Southwest Airlines is neglecting workers and its customers, say its baggage handlers who are bringing attention to the company's slide in on-time performance as they seek a new contract. MORE

IN THE KNOW

Virgin launches hotel programme
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17 DEC 2014: Virgin Hotels, the new hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has announced the launch of The Know a hotel preference programme. Members of the programme will receive personalized service and recognition, and be the first in "the know" about what is happening with Virgin Hotels and its partners. MORE

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING

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17 DEC 2014: A man has been accused of hurling racial slurs and swearing at a flight crew, created such a ruckus on a flight from Honolulu to the territory of American Samoa that the pilots nearly turned the plane around. This time however, the airline really has no one to blame but itself. MORE

JUST SAY I DO

By SAM ION
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17 DEC 2014: Fams can be wonderful, or not. Occidental recently hosted a Wedding Planner fam to Mexico which was not just wonderful, it was fabulous, one of the best I’ve ever been on. Our group included nine planners, four hosts and me. We liked each other, we really did. MORE
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