—TUI Says Overseas Tourism Possible This Year: The UK’s largest tour operator last week made it official: “It will be possible this year” for Britons to take overseas holidays, despite the unofficial chatter which suggests that the government might be considering a move to make international travel before July illegal. In a company statement, TUI, which is also the largest tour operator in Europe, made it clear that it “remain(s) committed to working closely with the government on the Global Travel Taskforce and look forward to understanding more about when international travel can take place when it reports on 12 April,” adding that it believes “holidays this summer will be possible, taking into account our outstanding vaccination program and the use of testing where required.” For all of the UK, May 17th is a key day in the future of the country’s travel and tourism industry; it is possible that it might be permissible to travel abroad on that date.
According to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, any direction will rely on the report of the Global Travel Taskforce, which is to “set out stable, clear and sustainable conditions for the return to international leisure travel.” The task force will report on April 12, and non-essential international travel could resume starting May 17 at the earlier, even thought British Prime Minister has intimated that more details could resume within a week (by April 5th).
—New UK Tour Operator Division Sells Visit USA Product: Tour operator Canadian Affair has launched a tour operation selling holidays to destinations across the U.S., primarily through the travel trade. American Affair, which started sales on March 29, offering holidays across the U.S., including self-drive and coach tours, city breaks, cruises, rail tours, motorhome rental, ski and multi-center holidays. The company will offer a price-match guarantee against all other tour operators on its tailor-made packages, and deposits will start from £250 per person.
—10 U.S. Destinations That Are About to See a Spring/Summer Travel Boom. According to Airbnb:
Based on its search data, Airbnb has released its list of Top 10 spring-summer destinations that U.S.-based travelers are gravitating toward this year. They are: Southern Maine; Cape May, New Jersey; Round Top, Texas; Lake Powell, Arizona; Cape San Blas, Florida; Orderville, Utah; Mammoth Cave, Kentucky; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; and Whitefish, Montana. Click here for the complete Travel + Leisure article on this Top 10.
—Create Your own VFR Market of Millions? Italy says more than 30 million Brazilians can apply for citizenship: According to the Italian Constitution of 1948. Any descendant of an Italian citizen, regardless of degree perpetuity, is also considered Italian and can apply for citizenship. As reported by the Brazilian travel trade journal, Diário do Turismo, several years ago, the then-Italian-ambassador to Brazil, Antonio Bernardini, said that there are about 30 million Brazilians in the country who are descendants of Italians. This translated to 15percent of the Brazilian population is classified as ghost, or phantom, Italian.
Fabio Fasoli, managing partner of Dimensione Cidadania, a company specializing in Italian citizenship, clarifies what this term is about. “The phantom Italian citizen is basically that individual of another nationality who doesn’t even know he is Italian, but Italy’s constitutional rights guarantee it. This person carries in his direct ancestry, even if it was a tenth or greater generation, an Italian ancestor and, therefore, is able to apply for his Italian citizenship.”
in Brazil, the number of this population is three times greater than that of Portugal. Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) identified that São Paulo is the state with the highest volume of Italian descendants. There are about 16 million. all these people can have Italian citizenship recognized and join a group of other 530 thousand Brazilians who have already acquired it. However, this demand is extremely high. According to Istat (National Institute of Statistics), from Italy, there is a line of 112,000 Brazilians waiting to obtain Italian citizenship.
—For Those Selling to Germany, the Number 2 European Source of Visit USA Traffic … “Marketing plans in the drawer”—this according to the German Travel Trade Journal fvw/TravelTalk. In its coverage of the all virtual ITB trade show this year, it noted that USA tourism marketers were scarce and were “waiting for the start signal.”
In the meantime, the situation got worse, not better, in Germany as the German government extended the country’s lockdown until April 18 and called upon citizens to help check a third wave of the COVID-19 by staying at home on the upcoming five-day Easter holiday period.
With travel sales still at the depressingly low levels they were a year ago when they hit bottom, those in the industry were/are frustrated and angry. Last week, on March 22, hundreds of operators and agencies demonstrated in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The rally was organized by the alliance “We are all tourism – together we are strong!”
Rockefeller Center to have a rooftop park and skybridge. New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved plans for developer Tishman Speyer to construct a simple pedestrian bridge clad in statuary bronze that would connect the building at 1270 Avenue of the Americas to the planned roof garden atop the historic theater, which will be “amenity space” for Rockefeller Center tenants. The new attraction will join other storied attractions at the site: Radio City Music Hall, which is located within the Rockefeller Center complex, Radio City Music Hall and opened in 1932, attracts scores of thousands of visitors annually, as do NBC Studio tours and the Top of the Rock observatory.
Norwegian Air Version #2? The former head of Norwegian Air is looking to start a new airline to revive low-cost transatlantic routes. As part of its cost-cutting efforts in the midst of the global pandemic, the carrier shut down its transatlantic routes about two-and-a-half months ago, reducing service to short-haul routes. Bjorn Kjos, founder and former chief executive of Norwegian Air who left the company two years ago, holds a 15 percent stake in newcomer Norse Atlantic Airways. The company is majority owned by Bjorn Tore Larsen, a co-founder of staffing company OSM Aviation. If things proceed as hoped for, the new budget carrier plans to fly to U.S destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami from European cities including London, Paris and Oslo starting in December.