There is so much that happens in the travel industry every week, and only a portion of it makes it to TravelLatte or other travel blogs. We’ll capture some of the highlights with this recurring feature, Travel News This Week. Please let us know you like it with a comment!
Bringing the Blues to Havana
Jet Blue has announced their 100th network destination, adding service to Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, starting 28 November. It’s the airline’s fourth Cuban port, and will be served by daily service from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and New York JFK. To celebrate, introductory fares (if you can still find them) start at $54 from Florida, and $99 from New York.
Since taking off in 2000, Jet Blue has grown its route map to 100 destinations in 22 countries across the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.
The $7-Million Dollar Matthew
Though not as major as it could have been, Hurricane Matthew had an expensive impact on Port Canaveral in Florida. Officials estimated as much as $7-million in damage to the port, but acknowledge that damage could have been much worse.
The cruise terminal and port escaped a direct hit as the hurricane passed close to shore. As a result, the port was able to reopen quickly after the storm, which limited losses in cruise line revenues. Buildings at the port sustained $2- to $3-million in damage, which officials say could rise to as much as $7-million as repair work continues.
She Sells Seychelles
She being Qatar Airways, who will begin service through Doha to the island paradise in December.
The national airline of the State of Qatar is one of the world’s fastest growing. From Adelaide, Australia, to Windhoek, Namibia, they’ve added more than a dozen destinations to their route map this year. New stops have included Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta, Syndney, Pisa, Birmingham, Yemen, Marrakech, and Helsinki earlier this month. Next up: Krabi, Thailand, starting 6 December, and the Seychelles on the 12th.
Travelers roaming from one side of the globe to the other will most likely transfer planes at the airline’s state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport. It’s made to be a destination itself, since many travelers are in the air for 12 hours or longer by the time they get there. The airport has more than a hundred retail and dining outlets, along with a hotel, spa, and 25-metre swimming pool.
We priced a weeklong journey to Seychelles from Atlanta in early January. Roundtrip Economy Flex tickets started around $1800. An easy price to pay for access to some of the world most idyllic white sand beaches. Which you’ll appreciate even more after a total of 19 hours in flight. #ouch.
And more people than ever before answered the call. Tourism to the U.K. set a record in August, up 2% over last August, while spending by tourists from overseas was up 4% to £2.6-billion. Leading the way were 510,000 visitors from North America. That’s 14% more than last August.
Overall, 2016 has been a very good year for tourism in the United Kingdom as visitors seek out vacation bargains. From January to August, tourism is up about 3%, amounting to 25-million visitors. That’s a big economic boost for the nation. International travelers have spent £14.6-billion in the first eight months of the year.
But it’s not just foreigners exploring the British Isles. According to VisitEngland, Brits themselves took 151 million day trips across England in August. That’s up 14% over last year, and is the most trips taken in a single month since 2012. Along the way, the locals spent a record-breaking £5.5 billion on those day trips. That’s the highest single month record since the day-tripping survey began in 2011.
Coming Up: New Orleans
- Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival – 12 & 13 November
- Brass bands and Gumbo: Two hallmarks of New Orleans come together in the ninth annual Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival in Louis Armstrong Park on Rampart Street. The festival is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, and will feature traditional and contemporary New Orleans brass band jazz, with the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band headlining the event. You’ll find Louisiana’s signature dish, Gumbo, in a wide variety of styles, including vegan! Best of all, the event is free!
- Celebration in the Oaks – 25 November to 31 December with exceptions
- New Orleans City Park lights up with what is billed as the most spectacular holiday lights festival in the country! Running most nights from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, the Park’s famous oak groves are wrapped in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights. Across the Park’s 25 acres, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens, there are light displays, Christmas decorations, and a two mile train ride through the holiday scenes. With more than 165,000 visitors every year, officials recommend buying tickets in online in advance.
- Christmas New Orleans’ Style – 1 to 31 December
- Two things usually come to mind very quickly when you think about New Orleans: Food and parties. Two things that come together in a Creole tradition that dates back to the 1800s: Réveillon. Originally, a long dinner held on the evenings preceding Christmas and New Years, New Orleans celebrates Reveillon today with dozens of New Orleans’ finest restaurants serving decadent four-course holiday feasts with all the trimmings. It happens nightly throughout December. You can see participating restaurants, menus and prices online.
- Find more New Orleans holiday events at New Orleans Online.
The Weekly Win
Feeling like you could use a few nights in a treehouse on a tropical island? Us too. So we entered the Get Back on Island Time sweepstakes from Refinery 29, Condé Nast Traveler, Thrive Market, and Winc. The short story is this: You and a friend, three nights at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, dinner, and a massage. Plus $1500 in flight credits from Philippine Airlines. Good luck, amigos!