Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

new survey from The Vacationer shows 132 Million American adults (51%) plan to travel for the Fourth of July this year. Of those traveling, 32% (83 million adults) will spend $500 or more on flights, hotels, tickets, gas, and other travel expenses.

The Vacationer polled 531 American adults over the age of 18 between June 1 and June 2, 2021. Results were analysed by The Vacationer's Eric Jones, who is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Rowan College South Jersey.

With COVID-19 cases waning in the United States, more Americans feel comfortable traveling. In addition to the Fourth of July, participants were asked if they travelled on the following holidays.

Memorial Day 2021. — 27.17%

Easter 2021. — 15.09%

Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa 2020. — 23.40%

Thanksgiving 2020. — 22.26%

Fourth of July 2020. — 14.72%

The number of people that will travel for the Fourth of July this year (51%) is nearly double the amount that travelled for Memorial Day. More people will travel for the Fourth of July this year than Memorial Day and Easter combined. Additionally, the expected number of people traveling this year will be 3.5 times more than for the Fourth of July last year.

Of those who will travel on the Fourth of July, 11.26% will do it primarily by plane while 36.59% will do it primarily by car. The remaining 3.56% will do it by bus or train. Despite it only being 11.26%, nearly 29 million American adults will fly on a plane.

32.1% of American adults or nearly 83 million people will spend more than $500 for Fourth of July travel. Additionally, more than 17% of American adults or over 44 million people will spend more than $1,000. Almost 3 out of every 4 American adults or nearly 190 million people will attend a BBQ or cookout for the Fourth of July. 

Almost 2 out of every 3 American adults still rate COVID-19 as "Slightly a Concern" or "A Big Concern" when planning for the Fourth of July. Despite more than 50% of Americans having at least one vaccine shot, it's obvious many people are still very cautious about the ongoing pandemic.

The Mexican resort of Cozumel welcomed the first arrival of a cruise ship carrying passengers since the coronavirus pandemic essentially collapsed the industry.

Officials in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo welcomed Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas as it arrived from Nassau in the Bahamas at the arrival at the world's busiest stopover for cruise ships.

The cruise line requires all passengers 16 and over to be fully vaccinated. Those who don't have to get Covid-19 tests.

Gov. Carlos Joaquin said about 5% of passengers aboard the ship -- about 150 youths or those with chronic health conditions -- haven't been vaccinated and would be subject to special rules. State and federal health officials were on hand to oversee the arrival.

Mexico has not instituted any testing requirement for incoming passengers, and anecdotal evidence suggests tourists are attracted to Mexico's Caribbean resorts in part because there has been no lockdown and health precautions are largely voluntary. Many visitors shed their masks when they reach their hotels or beach clubs.

The state has seen a recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases, in part linked to increased travel around Easter week, and partial reductions at businesses like hotels and restaurants have been implemented to stem the upsurge.

The latest booking figures from leading independent travel agency, Travel Counsellors, indicate that Brits are looking well ahead when planning their next big holiday. 31% of all new holiday bookings made last week (w/c 7 June) were for winter 2021/22, and 23% were for summer 2022. The UK remains as this year’s most popular summer destination.

With the current uncertainty and changes to the destinations on the traffic light system, Britons are clearly postponing their big getaway. The USA, Maldives, UAE and Barbados are leading the bookings for winter 2021/22; while Greece, USA and Spain are most popular destinations for summer next year.

Last week, Travel Counsellors received over 500 customer enquiries for summer staycations, as the UK remains as the most popular destination for this summer (23% of new summer bookings made last week), followed by Greece (8%) and the US (8%).

Jim Eastwood, Global Sales Director at Travel Counsellors, says: “Because of the current travel insecurity and the government’s ambiguity on amber destinations, customers are planning well ahead and making bookings - or re-booking - for up to summer next year. By booking with one of our trusted travel advisors’ clients can receive the latest advice and know that there is someone on hand to amend arrangements should plans have to change, whilst being safe in the knowledge that their money is fully financial protected.

“Travel has of course become more complex than ever, with the traffic light system and latest FCDO advice to navigate. Placing travel plans in the hands of an experienced travel professional has never felt so important”, Jim concludes.

Travel Counsellors has almost 1,500 experts across the UK who offer support, local expertise and reassurance from ‘inspiration to destination’.

 

Heads of government across the Eastern Caribbean have thrown their support behind calls made last week by U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr. to encourage the state of Florida to allow cruise lines to enable vaccination checks for Caribbean-bound passengers.

In a letter to the USVI leader, Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), expressed the sub-regional group’s deep appreciation to Governor Bryan for writing to Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis seeking special consideration in the Florida legislation to aid the revitalization of the cruise industry in the Caribbean. As increasing numbers of Americans receive COVID-19 vaccinations, Governor Bryan argued that ensuring the cruise industry reopens with vaccinated passengers is essential to the tourism economies of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean.

“We are deeply concerned - as you are - with the grave inherent difficulties for our effort to safeguard lives and to reignite livelihoods as we are among the most tourism dependent economies of the world. While the new law is not specific to the cruise business, it will potentially have a huge deleterious effect on it because almost all cruise ships (especially to the Caribbean) originate from ports within the state of Florida,” stated Prime Minister Skerrit, who observed the new Florida state law (which goes into effect on July 1) appears to conflict with Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health and safety guidelines, which include the vaccination of 95% of passengers and crew members.

“For us as small island developing states whose economies are largely fueled by tourism, the vaccination status of industry players (both visitors and industry workers - whether cruise or land-based) is essential to our strategy in the OECS to safeguard the lives of both our people and visitors and restore our economies,” Prime Minister Skerrit asserted.

He disclosed that the OECS leaders propose to advance arguments in further support of the advocacy undertaken by Governor Bryan, “and will urge partners in the cruise as well as the land-based tourism industry to add their voices in appeal to Governor DeSantis.”

Governor Bryan thanked the OECS leaders for their support: “As Caribbean people it is important that we stand united on these important issues. Cruise ships don’t just sail to one destination. We are one Caribbean and our health care infrastructure is too vulnerable to handle widespread outbreaks of illness.”

Governor Bryan commended the Florida governor for his commitment to health, civil liberties and economic revitalization, while underscoring that there are millions of people in the Caribbean who are counting on him to work with his lawmakers to ensure that travellers are healthy and vaccinated before sailing to Caribbean destinations.

“Smart public health safety guidelines can coexist with the restart of the Caribbean’s economic engine,” he reiterated.

Prime Minister Skerrit’s correspondence was copied to heads of government in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the head of the OECS Secretariat.

Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed its plans to return to guest operations from Port of Galveston on July 3 with Carnival Vista, followed by the return of operations on Carnival Breeze on July 15. 

These cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, in accordance with current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"We appreciate the progress and support for our U.S. restart from the CDC and other key federal agencies; however, the current CDC requirements for cruising with a guest base that is unvaccinated will make it very difficult to deliver the experience our guests expect, especially given the large number of families with younger children who sail with us.  As a result, our alternative is to operate our ships from the U.S. during the month of July with vaccinated guests," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

The other ship and port identified for a July restart is Carnival Horizon from PortMiami.  Carnival continues to work with both the State of Florida and the CDC for Carnival Horizon sailings and plans to provide an update by Friday concerning protocols specific to these sailings to all booked guests. 

Duffy also acknowledged the strong support of both Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as other state officials, in making vaccinations available to cruise line personnel, which has expedited the restart process. She also said the support of local officials, especially Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown, and PortMiami and Port of Galveston leaders, has been instrumental in the restart efforts.

Carnival also said it will be advising guests and travel advisors about its plans for August sailings over the coming days.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is interested in collaborating with its Caribbean neighbours on tourism-enhancing initiatives as the region’s bread-and-butter sector rebounds from the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in the wake of a recent visit to Jamaica to meet with public and private sector stakeholders, Joseph Boschulte, U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism, reported successful talks with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and other private sector officials about the potential for regional economic revitalization with the unleashing of pent-up tourism demand.

Part and parcel of the recovery Commissioner Boschulte affirmed will be embracing “coopetition”, a concept Minister Bartlett supports. “The Caribbean is the most desirable warm weather destination, and we know how to deliver world-class experiences for our discerning guests,” said the Commissioner, who believes it is important to connect the best brains across the region to advance Caribbean brand marketing in the global marketplace.

Commissioner Boschulte and Minister Bartlett agreed about the need to leverage the strengths of regional destinations to overcome any weaknesses, and both observed trends that had emerged over the past 15 months, such as the loyalty and resilience of urban African American professionals who have been key to the travel recovery in both destinations.

“Regional collaboration is important to our success and we must continue to share best practices, especially as they relate to public health safety protocols even as the traveling community becomes vaccinated,” Commissioner Boschulte said.

The Commissioner added that “while we have made great strides curbing the spread of COVID-19, variant strains remain a cause for concern, and we must be vigilant on all fronts to keep our communities and travellers safe."

Although summer bookings to the USVI are robust, the Department of Tourism continues to push forward on its marketing and promotional initiatives. “Even with this strong demand, we need to go to market and make the case that we can compete with the rest of the world any day, any week, any month of the year,” said the Commissioner.

The tourism chief reported that the USVI is stepping up its marketing efforts this summer to remain top-of-mind among travellers, many of whom are already planning their fall and winter leisure and business trips.

Cignpost ExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Ltd) has opened a drive through Covid-19 screening service at Birmingham Airport. The new facility will be particularly useful for members of the public who are asymptomatic and so do not qualify for NHS emergency testing, but require a negative result either to visit family members, or to fly abroad to since international travel resumed on 17th May. 

The tests on offer are priced at £80 per person for travel passengers and £99 per person for the test-only service. ExpressTest is delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by trained Screening Practitioners. 

Since the resumption of international leisure travel on May 17, Birmingham Airport has seen an increase in passenger numbers with airlines restarting several new flights to Portugal, Madeira and Greece.

The drive through facility builds upon an existing partnership between Cignpost ExpressTest and Birmingham Airport, with a walk-in site being open since January. The facility will accommodate 8 drive-through lanes with a testing capacity of 8,064 tests per week. 

The Birmingham Airport facility is one of ten new Cignpost ExpressTest sites to open across the UK before the end of June. This expansion means that 80% of the population will be within a 60-minute drive of a Cignpost ExpressTest site. As well as being a selected provider of discounted COVID-19 testing to British Airways, the company also provides gold-standard PCR tests at Gatwick, Heathrow and Edinburgh Airports, as well as at Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Christian Corney, CEO of Cignpost ExpressTest said: “At Cignpost ExpressTest we are passionate about providing customers with very best testing experience as they prepare to travel. We have seen increasing desire for testing since international travel resumed in England and expect to see increased demand in the coming days and weeks. Our new drive through centre at Birmingham Airport builds upon a strong pre-existing partnership and will be a great addition to our nationwide services. We are proud to bring Covid-19 screening services to the local community, and whether for personal or business travel, we remain committed to delivering the best possible service at an affordable price.” 

Al Titterington, Terminal Operations Director of Birmingham Airport said: “We are pleased to have developed and expanded the fit to fly testing service here at the Airport.  Following the success of Cignpost, which opened in January within the terminal building, this new drive through service ensures our customers can book tests with even more ease and convenience.   

“Here at Birmingham we are continually putting our customers first by ensuring that as the travel restrictions change we have the right facilities in place to assist our customers and guarantee they are fully prepared for their trip.”  

The UK risks becoming increasingly isolated if it continues to keep the doors closed to significant international travel, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The warning from WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, comes as figures reveal that forward bookings for international flights are lagging far behind the increased capacity generated by extra flights scheduled.

Airlines have dramatically increased flights to popular holiday destinations - many of which are still on the government’s ‘amber list’ - in anticipation of increased demand.

According to travel data and analytics expert Cirium, in the two weeks following the start of the government's new traffic light system for travel on May 17, scheduled flights from the UK to Greece soared by over 2,000%, with a 435% rise in flights to Spain, compared to two weeks before.

However, while airlines have been ramping up capacity, analysis of recent ticket sales by WTTC’s knowledge partner ForwardKeys, shows this hasn’t been matched by bookings. 

On average during the week of 14 May, airline ticket sales from the UK to Greece and Spain fell 37 per cent and 44 per cent respectively week on week.

Data shows at the end of last month, there were more tickets being cancelled than new bookings being made, while British holidaymakers expressed disappointment over the UK government’s green list and expensive testing and quarantine requirements for travel to ‘amber’ list countries.

While ticket sales remain sluggish for the immediate future, indications are that there looks to be more positive news on the horizon with significantly more tickets recorded being sold for flights later this month and into July. 

But WTTC concerns over the lack of inbound travellers to the UK is causing as much damage to the UK’s Travel & Tourism sector as has the collapse of outbound tourism to holiday hotspots around Europe and beyond.

WTTC has argued the UK should switch to a more risk-based approach and include more of those countries with a similar low infection rate, and with advanced vaccination rollouts, on the controversial ‘green list’. This should include the US, a move that could unlock transatlantic travel, which is critical to both economies.

River cruise specialist, VIVA Cruises, has unveiled the 2022 programme of its first ever expedition ship, SEAVENTURE. From April to October 2022, the 164-guest vessel will offer new exciting ocean itineraries in Northern and Western Europe, as well as Arctic cruises - departing from Bremerhaven, Dublin, Edinburgh, Tromsø and Reykjavik. All of the new sailings can now be booked online.

SEAVENTURE’s ‘Coastal Magic’ will be a seven-night cruise from/to Dublin, departing on 16 April 2022. The expedition ship will take passengers along the Irish coast to Belfast and across northern Scotland to Edinburgh. This sailing will be followed by further stops in Nordic cities including Spitsbergen, Norway’s northernmost archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

One of the highlights of SEAVENTURE’s 2022 programme is ‘Eternal Ice of the Arctic’ – a 24-day voyage from/to Bremerhaven (Germany), with two departures in July and August. On this expedition cruise, SEAVENTURE will go through the Shetland Islands - the northern-most tip of Scotland – while making its way to Greenland. Passengers will have the chance to see impressive glaciers and icebergs in Disko Bay as well as spotting humpback, minke and fin whales in the summer months.

The ‘Beauty of Scandinavia’ cruise will set sail in September 2022, visiting some of the region’s most beautiful cities - including Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen – before heading to Western Europe in October. The 22-day cruise will take guests from Bremerhaven (Germany) along the French, Spanish and Portuguese coasts to the Canary Islands, where the cruise ends in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

As a small ship, SEAVENTURE has just 82 cabins and suites for 164 guests. It has been specially designed for its unique itineraries; its size will allow it to enter remote harbours, not to mention its maneuverability, enabling it to change course at short notice to observe animals and nature. A fleet of fourteen sturdy Zodiacs will enable guests to explore smaller ports and uncharted territories.

Prices for 2022 SEAVENTURE expedition cruises start from €2,205 (approximately £1,900) per person in an outside cabin. An early bird discount of 10% will apply to all bookings made by 31 July 2021.

All 2022 itineraries of SEAVENTURE will include VIVA Cruises’ signature VIVA All-Inclusive product, which includes snacks, full board, high-quality alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, minibar, beauty products from luxury cosmetic brand, Rituals, Wi-Fi and all tips and gratuities.

Qatar Airways marks a significant milestone in the rebound of international leisure travel with the resumption of four weekly flights to the famed holiday destination of Phuket, Thailand, starting July 1. In addition to its 12 weekly Bangkok flights, the airline will operate a total of 16 weekly flights to Thailand, providing seamless connectivity for its passengers travelling from Europe, the Middle East and United States.

As Thailand reopens to holidaymakers from around the world, fully vaccinated travellers will soon be able to visit once again whilst also enjoying the award-winning hospitality and service available on Qatar Airways and at its hub, Hamad International Airport, the first and only 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rated Airport in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker said: “With the resumption of flights to Phuket, Qatar Airways marks a significant milestone in the recovery of international tourism. We are proud to have led the industry, setting the benchmark for safety, innovation and customer service throughout the pandemic.

“We know many of our customers are eager to get back flying and return to some of their favourite holiday destinations, such as Phuket. Famed for its many exotic beaches, family friendly atmosphere, turquoise waters and delicious local cuisine, Phuket is an ideal destination for a summer getaway. We look forward to working with our partners in Thailand to support the recovery of their tourism sector.”

Launched in 2010, Phuket became Qatar Airways’ 93rd destination at the time. The resort destination is a magnet for holidaymakers, particularly from Europe, the Middle East and United States. The route will be served by the airline’s modern and sustainable Boeing 787 Dreamliner with seating for 22 passengers in Business Class and 232 in Economy Class.

As travellers return to the skies with Qatar Airways, they can take comfort knowing that they are travelling with the only airline in the world that has, together with its state-of-the-art global hub Hamad International Airport, achieved four 5-Star Skytrax ratings – including the prestigious 5-Star Airline Rating, 5-Star Airport Rating, 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating and 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

These achievements highlight Qatar Airways’ commitment to providing its passengers with an industry-leading experience at every point of their journey, including the highest possible level of health and safety standards that safeguard the wellbeing of its passengers both on the ground and in the air.

St. Kitts and Nevis has changed its entry guidelines for travellers: only fully vaccinated travellers can now enter, effective May 29, according to Timothy Harris, prime minister. There is no timeline as to how long this regulation will be in effect.

The country changed its entry regulations due to a cluster of 16 cases of Covid-19. The first case was reported on May 19 and involved a national with no travel history. A curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily took effect on May 25 for 14 days.

Fully vaccinated travellers must "vacation in place" at one of seven Travel Approved hotels for nine days. Those travellers staying beyond nine days must be tested on day nine; the cost of the test is $150.

Families traveling with unvaccinated children under 18 who are staying 10 days or more must vacation in place until day 14, when the child will be tested.

Vaccinated travellers must complete the Travel Authorization Form and submit a copy of their vaccination card. Travelers must also upload their negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to travel.

Starting on Tuesday 08 June 2021, social enterprise travel company Charitable Travel launches a series of free virtual events to inform and inspire travel to the marvellous Mediterranean. The events aim to enthuse and reassure British holidaymakers to book travel to the Mediterranean for when travel allows, with the clear message that travel is a force for good.

Charitable Travel, the first of its kind social enterprise travel company, provides travellers with the unique opportunity to donate 5% of the cost of their holiday to a charity of their choice through a partnership with JustGiving, at no extra cost to themselves.

Taking place at 6:55pm every Tuesday throughout June on Zoom, experts from various Mediterranean destinations will share insider tips, ideal times to visit, and the best sights to see in their beautiful countries. Starting on June 8, Visit Malta and Visit Croatia will be on hand to share inspiration on trips to suit every style and budget, from family holidays, culture trips and luxury experiences, all of which can be booked through Charitable Travel - helping to 'give back better' when travelling.

Situated in the heart of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and just a short three-hour flight away, the Maltese Islands are perfect for a beach holiday or city break. Natalie Swinburne, Trade Marketing Manager UK & Ireland, Malta Tourist Office commented “We are looking forward to reconnecting with holiday-makers at the Med Month virtual event – the winding honey-coloured streets, picturesque coves and tranquil waters have missed tourists over the last year and are ready to welcome visitors back from 1st June. It's wonderful that booking a holiday can in turn support a variety of charities and we champion Charitable Travel for enabling this innovation.”

From hopping from one pristine island to another, exploring ancient sites, trying the best local food and drink, or practising some sport, Croatia has plenty to offer both in the summer months and throughout the rest of the year. Darija Reic, Director, Croatian National Tourist Office said “We are delighted to be part of Charitable Travel's Mediterranean Month. We look forward to sharing the best tips on Croatia and telling more about all we do to keep our destinations safe. With further improvement of the epidemiological situation, prioritisation of vaccination of tourism workers and a series of safety measures in place, Croatia is excited to welcome Brits back, as soon as you are ready.”

Scenic has unveiled a range of new immersive Scenic Enrich Experiences with the release of its 2022 European River Cruises Collection. From exclusive after-hours access to Bordeaux’s Les Bassins de Lumières, to canapés and a guided tour of Motorworld in Cologne. These new experiences showcase why Scenic European cruising is more than just a five-star river cruise, it’s truly all-inclusive luxury in a class of its own.

New for 2022 is an onboard Enrichment Manager for all Europe river cruises, responsible for hosting cabaret nights, cooking lessons, wine tastings, informative lectures and ensuring guests fully enjoy their experience. Some of the new experiences offered will also include an onboard glassblower demonstration, painting classes for guests sailing the Rhône and a lecture from a tulip grower in the Netherlands.

Scenic is working closely with the relevant regulatory authorities, to ensure that all health and safety protocols will be met or exceeded, based on the latest requirements to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the guests and crew.

Guests can cruise with complete confidence knowing that Scenic’s dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee ensures all guests’ wellbeing and safety is taken care of to the highest standard. All guests must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before departure.

New included exclusive experiences include:

  • Exclusive access to Bordeaux’s immersive exhibition, Les Bassins de Lumières. Bordeaux’s cavernous former submarine base has been transformed into a vast centre of digital art. The largest of its kind in the world, the immersive exhibition features spectacular sensory light and sound displays. Scenic guests will enjoy exclusive after-hours access to enjoy the stunning displays without the crowds.
  • Motorworld, Cologne – exclusive event for Scenic guests. Experience the high-octane German motoring heritage and private collection of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher at Motorworld in Cologne. After a welcome drink with canapés, guests will enjoy an after-hours access guided tour of Motorworld. They can even put their pedal to the metal on one of the race simulators.

Scenic is currently offering savings of up to £1,500 per couple on 2022 Europe river cruises booked before 15 July 2021. Those opting to pay for their cruise in full 12 months prior to departure will save an additional 10 per cent with Super Earlybird offers when booking a balcony suite or above, plus guests can enjoy free private door-to-door chauffeur transfers. Guests can book with confidence with Scenic's Complimentary Deposit Protection Plan and Flexible Booking Policy, where guests can defer or cancel up to 60-days before departure.

According to a recent survey, as Jamaica continues to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the island’s tourism capital is leading all other major resorts in respect of the average occupancy level in the coming weeks.

The survey commissioned by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) indicated that Montego Bay, which is home to the largest number of hotel rooms on the island, is leading former cruise ship capital Ocho Rios and the ‘Capital of Casual’, Negril.

With the majority of the island’s smaller hoteliers being based in Negril, MoBay (Montego Bay) and Ocho Rios,

“The 8 p.m. curfew is affecting Negril, in terms of guests not being able to move from properties to restaurants and the absence of general nightlife,” said JHTA President Clifton Reader. He said the entertainment pull to Negril is no longer there and will take a while to return.

He noted that the reduction in rates by the large all-inclusives in the area was also affecting the smaller hotels in the town. Negril is home to the European market, which has not returned. They usually receive up to 30 per cent of their business from that region.

The south coast and Port Antonio were not part of the exercise. Neither was the capital city, Kingston.

Conducted May 17 and 25, 2021, the survey shows the average projected occupancy for June at 50.22 per cent, an increase of nearly 12 per cent over an April 18 survey; while the forecast shows a slight reduction to 49.81 per cent in July and 44 per cent in August.

Of note is the fact that the three summer months have moved up over 10 per cent of the projection that the study showed in April, bringing immense hope to the sector.

“The survey shows that we are confident going forward that we will see increasing numbers in our visitor arrivals to the island,” said Reader.

Despite the gains, the projected occupancy for the next six months is at an average of 43 per cent, which could signal short-term growth.

“We are literally doing 75 per cent of where we were in 2019, and that year was basically one of our best years in tourism,” Reader added.

Some 42 hotels were polled during the period. Forty per cent of the respondents were properties with less than 100 rooms, with only 10 of the ones polled being 300 rooms and above.

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, presented the Digital Green Certificate at FITUR, which was held May 19-23 in Madrid, Spain. 

Also present at the event, held at the Turespaña stand, were, among other authorities and industry representatives, Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism; Carolina Darias, Minister of Health; and José Vicente de los Mozos, President of IFEMA MADRID.

Sánchez explained that yesterday the European Union finally approved the Digital Green Certificate, which will be called "European Union COVID Digital Certificate", and showed his conviction that "the implementation of this certificate, as well as the relaxation of restrictions on non-essential travel from other countries will allow us to have a much better summer than 2020". 

And is that with the digital certificate, which will be launched on July 1, "Spain will resume all its activities safely, and we will achieve mobility within the European Union this summer".

Sánchez explained what the Digital Green Certificate consists of, on which the European Union has been working for several months with the aim of reactivating international tourism. This document, which will be issued by the Ministry of Health or by the Autonomous Communities, will allow safe travel in the European Union and will certify that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, or has a negative result of a diagnostic test or has overcome the disease.

The President of the Government also announced that "today the ministerial order has been published that allows the entry into Spain of travelers from safe non-EU countries, without restrictions and without health requirements, among which are the following: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, China, as well as the United Kingdom and Japan." 

In addition, "as of June 7, tourists from all countries with which there is not full freedom of movement, including the United States, will be able to enter Spain as long as they have a certificate of having received the complete vaccination regimen".

Qatar Airways’ resumption of four-weekly Atlanta flights on 1 June marks the full return of the airline’s pre-pandemic U.S. network increasing its gateways to 12, two more than it operated before COVID-19. The airline will also be increasing frequencies to Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle offering more flexible travel options for its passengers with more than 85 weekly flights across the United States. These increased services will provide enhanced connectivity to several of the airline’s global leisure destinations including Cape Town, Maldives, Seychelles and Zanzibar, along with other key traffic flows in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Qatar Airways has remained committed to its passengers and trade partners in the United States, maintaining continuous services while rebuilding its U.S. network and launching two new destinations - San Francisco and Seattle. We have also strengthened our presence in the U.S. through strategic partnerships with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue that have enabled us to connect to more points in the United States than any other airline, providing U.S. travellers the most convenient way to travel internationally this summer.

“As more of our passengers return to the skies, they can take comfort knowing that they are travelling with the only airline in the world that has, together with our state-of-the-art global hub Hamad International Airport, achieved four 5-Star Skytrax ratings – including the prestigious 5-Star Airline Rating, 5-Star Airport Rating, 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating and 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. We are proud to have lead the industry during this difficult period, setting the benchmark for innovation, safety and customer service, and look forward to welcoming our customers back on board as they plan their summer travels.”

Americas Network Enhancements:

 

·         Atlanta – Four weekly flights resuming 1 June

·         Boston – Increasing to four weekly flights from 3 July

·         Miami – Increasing to five weekly flights from 7 July

·         New York – Increasing to double daily flights from 21 July

·         Philadelphia – Increasing to five weekly flights from 2 July

·         Sao Paulo - Increasing to double daily flights from 6 August

·         San Francisco – Increasing to daily flights from 2 July

·         Seattle – Increasing to daily flights from 8 July

Qatar Airways operates one of the youngest, most fuel-efficient fleets in the sky, and is committed to delivering a sustainable and environmentally-responsible travel experience for its customers. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large, four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 40 destinations including Bangkok, Cape Town, Maldives, and Singapore.