● Washington, D.C., the USA’s capital city, has appointed Finn Partners to handle its travel trade and consumer public relations as it looks to boost tourism following the easing of international travel restrictions. Finn Partners, which Washington, D.C. has appointed on a retained basis, said it would advise on “market strategies” to encourage tourists back to the U.S. Capital. Which has recently spent more than $10 billion on development.
The agency plans to highlight some of the tourist attractions available that are beyond the White House, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival and DC Jazz Fest. It will also expand the training program for travel agencies in the UK and Ireland devised by Destination DC, the marketing organization for Washington, D.C. Debbie Flynn, managing partner and global travel practice leader at Finn Partners, said the U.S. capital was a “historically rich, exciting and diverse city.”
“It’s just over three months since the borders to the U.S. reopened and our focus will be to position Washington, D.C. front and center.” NYC-based Finn Partners has more than quadrupled in size in eight years. It has offices across the U.S. and in London, Paris, Beijing and Singapore, among other locations globally.
● Major air tour operators in Germany increased their turnover in 2021 compared to the year before, reports the fvw|TravelTalk Dossier. However, the publication says that turnover is still far below the pre-pandemic level. The overall market even shrank significantly once again, we are told: “Compared to 2019/20, the 27 tour operators who provided their figures this time for the fvw|TravelTalk Dossier, which has been published for 50 years, reported an increase in turnover of 16.5 percent to 7.5 billion euros for business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Compared to 2018/19, however, this is still 58 percent less.” Read here for the complete article.
● ANA, Jobi Partner in Ride Sharing Venture in Japan: California-based Joby Aviation has announced that it is forming a partnership that will see Japan’s largest airline, ANA, join with Joby to bring aerial ridesharing services to Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation has also joined the partnership, with the intention of exploring opportunities such as ground-based transportation. Joby is developing an all-electric, five-seat aircraft that can take off and land vertically (eVTOL). With a maximum range of 150 miles (241 kilometers), a top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h) and a low noise profile to allow it to access built-up areas, Joby’s piloted aircraft is designed to make convenient, emissions-free air travel an everyday reality. For example, the 31-mile (50 km) journey from Osaka station to Kansai International Airport could take less than 15 minutes by air rather than one hour by car. Read here for more details.
● Thomas Cook, the OTA travel company that is a re-launch of the famous Thomas Cook brand that shut down in September 2019, has launched a business in the Netherlands, as the brand starts to expand into Europe. According to Travel Weekly UK, The Dutch company will operate on the same digital platform as the UK and will work with new and existing partners to offer consumers in the Netherlands holiday packages in a wide range of European destinations. Customers will be able to fly from all major airports and choose from airlines such as Transavia, Corendon and easyJet. Thomas Cook’s new Dutch company is a member of ANVR, the Dutch travel association, as well as SGR and Calamiteitenfonds, which together provide full consumer protection. Thomas Cook Netherlands will initially have a small local team with support from the current UK team. As the business develops, it aims to add more team members.
● Mapping Black Townships in the USA: Cymone Davis, former city manager of the oldest historically Black town in Oklahoma is developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool that will map all the Black townships in the U.S. Davis, who recently stepped down as city manager of Tullahassee, Oklahoma, in order to run Black Towns Municipal Management, has a goal of scaling and creating sustainability for the work done in Black townships. In an article in DailyYonder.com, she said: “I think that what I’m really excited about with the GIS mapping tool is for the public to identify, recognize, and completely go down their own rabbit hole of figuring out what Black townships are, where they used to be, and what they can be.” The tool was scheduled to launch any day now, preferably during Black History month. Davis said records indicate Black townships were around even before the American Revolution, and now roughly 30 historic communities and townships remain today. “The history of all these townships is so unique, and they’re so different,” she said. Read here for the complete article.
● British Columbia’s Government Announces Attraction to Honor Chinese Canadians: Expected to open in 2023, the historic Wing Sang Building, the oldest building in Vancouver Chinatown, will be the permanent site of the Chinese Canadian Museum. “The contributions of Chinese Canadians to this province have been invaluable,” Premier John Horgan said. “The Chinese Canadian Museum responds to the community’s long-standing desire for a place to share stories of achievement and shine a light on injustice. The museum will be an important place for all British Columbians, connecting the past to the present and future generations.”
The province is providing $27.5 million to the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia to support continued planning and operations of the society, as well as the purchase of the historic Wing Sang Building at 51 East Pender Street. “Museums connect us to the past and the present. For years, the Chinese Canadian communities in B.C. have been calling on government to share the rich history of Chinese Canadians – both the challenges and contributions,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This new museum is a light in Vancouver Chinatown and a response to a call to action from our fellow British Columbians who have historically endured poor treatment. It is an important legacy for British Columbians for generations to come.”
The building will be owned and operated by the Chinese Canadian Museum Society of British Columbia.
● City Experiences announced the launch of Venture Ashore, the largest independent cruise excursions provider in the world, delivering uniquely curated amazing experiences for cruise travelers led by professional guides in hundreds of ports worldwide. Venture Ashore cruising excursions are offered in 111 countries and counting with departures from over 500 ports of call worldwide featuring over 5,000 individual tours. Venture Ashore is the newest addition to the City Experiences portfolio of brands, and backed by Hornblower Group, supporting the company’s overall business strategy in becoming a global transportation and experiences leader. Venture Ashore offers a wide range of tour offerings to satisfy a variety of groups, interests and budgets. Parties of 12 or more can take advantage of a dedicated groups service, with a team of personal specialists to support a seamless experience from start to finish for a unique and tailor-made itinerary. Venture Ashore also offers extensive private tours and features small group tours, varying by destination and demand, accommodating up to 25 people or as few as 6. Read here for the complete article.
● Also from the Hornblower Group: It announced it has acquired Australian travel group Journey Beyond. Based in Adelaide, Journey Beyond owns 13 Australian travel and transport brands operating throughout Australia. It comprises trains, marine vessels, 4WD touring vehicles, luxury camps and lodges, and aircraft. It includes The Ghan cross-country rail service. “As two organisations with expertise in the experiential travel space, Journey Beyond aligns perfectly within our business strategy. We look forward to growing the business operations the Journey Beyond team has built as the premiere experiential travel company in Australia,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO, Hornblower Group.
● Alaska Airlines Launches Flight Subscription Service: A familiar business model has moved into new territory—the airlines business—as Alaska Airlines has launched Flight Pass, a subscription-based travel offering based on value and flexibility. Available now, members can fly up to 24 round-trip flights a year to the most popular routes within California, as well as non-stop service from California airports to Reno, Phoenix and Las Vegas, for a fixed monthly rate. With annual plans starting at $49 per month, this new way to fly allows travelers to lock in main cabin deals for a full year and rewards subscribers with lower-than-average fares on eligible flights. Read here for more information.