Trending Industry News

June 11, 2020

Maine has unveiled the Keep Maine Healthy plan, a multilayered strategy that offers an alternative to the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors. Maine’s tourism industry faces unique challenges in the face of COVID-19: nearly half of Maine’s summer tourists typically come from Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey where the prevalence of COVID-19, when adjusted for population, is eight to eleven times higher than Maine’s. The plan’s goal is to protect Maine people and visitors by reducing COVID-19 risks associated with travel while supporting the local economy. Maine Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson says, “We have come up with a plan that offers a unique solution to protect the health of Maine people and visitors while allowing opportunities for safe tourism and supporting businesses.”

June 11, 2020

California hotels will begin welcoming guests Friday, June 12th, as travel bans are lifted in some counties for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak in March. Under revised California Department of Public Health guidelines, all but seven of the state’s 58 counties are permitting hotels to reopen this Friday. To ensure the well-being of guests and employees, hotels have implemented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-backed health safety self-certifications programs, hotel-specific plans, and employee training. However, San Francisco and other Bay Area counties are not allowing hotels and other tourism industry mainstays to reopen and have not provided dates for when they will.

June 10, 2020

MGM has announced that it will reopen several of its Las Vegas properties in the coming weeks: Luxor and The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay Place will reopen on June 25 at 10 am PST, followed by ARIA at 10 am PST, and Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons Las Vegas at 11 am PST on July 1. Bellagio, MGM Grand, and New York-New York opened earlier this month. MGM Resorts has adopted a comprehensive “Seven-Point Safety Plan,” which is a multi-layered set of protocols and procedures designed to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases. Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President, says, “We are eager to get more of our employees back to work and enhance the Las Vegas experience with additional resorts.”

June 10, 2020

United Airlines is the first major U.S. airline to ask all passengers to complete a health self-assessment during their check-in process to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19-related symptoms in the 14 days prior to flying. In accordance with guidance set forth by Cleveland Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), the “Ready-to-Fly” checklist requires customers to click “Accept” to indicate they have reviewed the checklist during the digital check-in process on the United mobile app, United.com, on a United kiosk, or by reviewing and verbally confirming when checking-in with an agent at the airport to receive a boarding pass. The checklist also affirms customers are willing to abide by the airline’s other safety protocols, including wearing a face covering, which is now mandatory for all employees and customers on board a United aircraft. Customers that are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flight.

June 10, 2020

WestJet announced its travel hygiene program detailing what WestJet guests can expect when travelling to ensure their health and safety. WestJet’s Vice-President for Safety, Security and Quality Billy Nolen said, “Safety is at the forefront of every decision and initiative at WestJet and our efforts on health and hygiene are no exception. As the world continues to adapt to this new environment, we will continue to adjust our health measures to ensure the safest travel experience possible as more Canadians begin to fly once again.” WestJet has also implemented temperature taking before boarding across its 38 Canadian destinations, and all their aircraft are equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, similar to what is used in hospital environments.

June 10, 2020

VIA Rail has announced an operations update regarding their safety procedures for travelers, including limiting the number of bookable seats on their trains. They are recommending that all passengers wear a (non-medical) mask or face covering and say that passengers will be denied boarding if they are exhibiting symptoms similar to a cold or fever. In addition, no food or beverage service will be offered, and on-board employees will be deployed in order to sanitize the cars while in operation.

June 5, 2020

According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global culinary tourism market garnered $1,116.7 billion in 2019, and is estimated to reach $1,796.5 billion by 2027. Asia-Pacific accounted for the highest share based on revenue, holding for more than two-fifths of the global culinary tourism market in 2019, and is projected to maintain its dominant position throughout the forecast period. The North American market is also expected to grow at a significant pace between now and 2027. Pursuit of unique experiences and the rise in usage of social media drive the growth of the global culinary tourism market, and unique destinations and options for convenient and budget friendly accommodations are anticipated to offer new opportunities in the coming years.

June 5, 2020

According to a recent survey by ValuePenguin, more than 60% of Americans say that their first trip after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted will be to visit family or friends. Many consumers are already researching their next vacation with a focus on possible destinations and flight routes. Popular states include Florida, California, New York and Texas. One in five consumers say that they will spend at least part of their stimulus funds on travel.

June 5, 2020

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. has announced that beginning June 11th there will be a phased reopening (with capacity limitations) of SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Discovery Cove and Adventure Island. To help manage capacity and maintain physical distancing, all parks will require advance online reservations and reservations will be available starting at 10:00 a.m. ET on June 8th. The reopening of the parks will include enhanced protocols for health and safety, including protocols for cleaning and sanitizing, physical distancing, face covering requirements, and temperature screening. More information can be found on the Seaworld.com website.