Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

WTTC research projects sector's GDP contributions could reach $2 trillion, a 6.2% increase from 2019, with Easter and summer travel bookings helping bolster economic recovery

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism sector, announced its latest economic modelling projecting that U.S. Travel & Tourism could rebound strongly this year, reaching $2 trillion in U.S. GDP contribution and exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 6.2%.

Travel Counsellors reports that after the first week of February, bookings show no signs of slowing down, now at the same levels as 2019.  

January saw the company’s biggest booking month post-COVID and second ever most successful month in its 27-year history, with new group bookings of over £71.2m, beating the previous two months combined for both leisure and corporate travel. Furthermore, the business reported that 320 of its Travel Counsellor business owners celebrate their best ever sales month too.

This half term, motorists across the UK are set to drive a total of 1.7 billion miles on long car journeys, reveals new research from breakdown provider Green Flag. The average length people will travel on their journey is 252 miles (126 miles each way). One in six (16 per cent) plan to drive for 200 miles or more to reach their destination.

Half-term holidaymakers sharing highlights from their travels with friends and family on social media are putting themselves at risk – an expert from Birmingham cyber security firm CSS Assure has warned. After the government announced it would be scrapping testing and self-isolation rules for people arriving in England from 11 February, airline Jet2 reported a 30% surge in bookings for Spain, Italy and Portugal, while TUI also saw a spike.

United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said restoring intra-regional travel was an integral first step for restoring Caribbean tourism, and that Puerto Rico could be a key player in boosting tourism for the region and beyond.

Speaking in Washington, D.C. where he was attending the National Governors Association winter meeting, Governor Bryan concurred with Caribbean leaders on the importance of rebooting intra-Caribbean travel, while lamenting the inconvenience of needing to transit through Miami when traveling to a neighbouring island.

Yukoners are adventurous people. They live near the Arctic Circle in 80% pristine wilderness, in a land of extremes. During the summer the Yukon boasts more than 20 hours a day of sunshine under the magnificent Midnight Sun and in the winter, their home turns into a stunning snow-covered wonderland with temperatures sometimes reaching minus 30-degrees Celsius.

These extremes bring year-round outdoor experiences that are amplified to a grand scale.

India's national carrier, Air India, has been officially handed over to the Tata Group, which bought the debt-ridden airline in October last year. The Tatas paid nearly $2.4bn (£1.7bn) after the government made the terms of the debt less onerous for the buyer.

The salt-to-steel conglomerate founded the airline in 1932 before it was taken over by the government in 1953. The handover brings to an end a years-long attempt to sell Air India, which has racked up losses worth $9.5bn.

Travel Counsellors, the UK’s leading, independent travel company witnessed another record week, taking as many bookings last week (commencing 17 January) as it did for the whole of January 2021. 

With sales now back to at nearly 90 percent of 2019 levels, Travel Counsellors can report the highest new leisure booking week since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as UK government scraps all testing requirements for the fully vaccinated.

Hundreds of families across the Philippines in desperate need of help in the aftermath of Typhoon Rai will be receiving essential supplies thanks to a grant of £25,000 to Plan International from the Freemasons.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding with Plan International to support affected communities at this critical time.

Rail passengers are being advised of changes to journeys over nine days in February 2022 while essential engineering work takes place at Water Orton in North Warwickshire and Duddeston in Birmingham.

Major alterations to track and lineside drainage will take place between 19 and 27 February as part of long-term improvements to the network, including preparations for HS2 – Britain’s new zero carbon, high-speed railway.

The Outrigger Surin Beach Resort in Phuket opened at the end of December and is offering a special value added ‘sandbox’ offer, following changes which came into effect 11 January.
Destination Phuket is one of four - Phuket, Samui, Krabi and Phangnga - locations in Thailand where vaccinated guests can arrive and spend seven days at leisure exploring a beach destination under the Thai Government’s ‘sandbox’ promotion. After seven days and a negative test, guests can travel to other places in the country.

New for 2022, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has launched a collection of healthy recipes from across the island to inspire people who want some inspiration for healthy eating at the start of the year.

The dishes have been created by hotels and independent restaurants and are available around the island.

In response to Wednesday’s announcement (5 January) that the UK government is scrapping the pre-departure Covid 19 testing for anyone arriving into England (and Wales), from Friday 7 January and switching the day 2 PCR for a lateral flow, Alistair Rowland, Chief Executive for long-haul tour operator, Blue Bay Travel, and Chair of ABTA, said:

“The scrapping* of the restrictive travel testing measures imposed by the UK government in December, in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, is a relief for the travel industry and great news for holidaymakers.

Qatar Airways Cargo has long been committed to ensuring that all animals entrusted to the airline for transportation, receive the best care both on the ground and in the air. Now, following six months of intense process and product audits, Qatar Airways Cargo is proud to announce that its strict adherence to the highest standards and relevant regulations has been accredited CEIV Live Animals certification by IATA.

Doubly vaccinated passengers will no longer have to take pre-departure Covid tests in England from 04:00 GMT tomorrow (Friday), the government has said.

They will also not be required to self-isolate while awaiting test results after arriving in England. If they arrive after 04:00 GMT on Sunday, people without symptoms will not need a PCR test if a lateral flow test is positive on day two.