April 21, 2021
SmartBrief for the Travel Professional
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Travel advisors can now access the Travel Institute TRIPKIt training online. The platform includes 19 lessons with interactive exercises, quizzes and a syllabus.
Full Story: TravelPulse (4/19) 
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Travel Pro Survey
Question of the week
What precautions (vacation rentals vs. hotels, driving vs. flying, waiting for vaccination, etc.) are you advising clients to take regarding the pandemic? Email Katie Parks with your responses and we'll compile a selection of them in the April 22 brief.
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Pandemic's toll on US travel, tourism gauged at $766B
The US travel and tourism industry lost $766 billion in 2020, including one-third of its jobs, according to estimates in the World Travel & Tourism Council's annual Economic Impact Report. The industry's contribution to the nation's gross domestic product plunged by 41% from 2019's nearly $1.9 trillion, the council calculated.
Full Story: TravelPulse (4/19) 
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Remote workers now have a new option -- working from a ship. Princess Cruises is tapping into the remote working niche by promoting itself as "the ultimate remote workstation" with MedallionNet WiFi service and unique Zoom backdrops.
Full Story: Travel Weekly (4/20) 
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Cruise lines are reporting that bookings are on the rise as they shift operations from US ports, which are still on lockdown. Silversea is restarting cruises in June from Greece, while MSC Cruises is shifting to Europe.
Full Story: Travel Agent Central (4/19) 
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Travel Trends & Technology
Expedia has made modifications to its app and website in order to streamline the reservation and insurance process as travelers begin planning trips again. Users will be able to book all elements of a trip from one location on the site, have access to a larger array of pre-bundled packages and can more easily enroll in the company's loyalty program when setting up an account.
Full Story: TravelPulse (4/19) 
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American cuts South American routes
(American Airlines)
American Airlines is suspending or reducing service to six South American cities, citing "reduced customer demand related to COVID-19." The region is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Full Story: Reuters (4/19),  The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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Greece is cracking the door open for tourists, allowing travelers from the US, UK and Europe who have been vaccinated or test negative to visit. They must still abide by local rules, including takeout only for bars and restaurants.
Full Story: CNN (4/19) 
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Regulatory & Legislative
The State Department plans to issue "do not travel" advisories based on COVID-19 rates that will put about 80% of the world on that list, a move that "reflects an adjustment" to rely more on epidemiological assessments from the Centers for Disease Control. Earlier this month, the CDC said that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely travel within the US at low risk.
Full Story: Travel + Leisure online (4/20),  Reuters (4/19) 
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Travel Tips & Best Practices
To revive its tourism industry, Malta will pay international visitors up to $240 to stay at least two nights at a hotel. Twenty-seven percent of Malta's revenue comes from tourism, and it hopes the deal will attract 350,000 visitors.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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About the Editor
Katie Parks
I've had the pleasure of editing numerous travel-related newsletters at SmartBrief for nearly 10 years, including those covering hotels, casinos and amusement parks as well as spa industry news.

If you enjoy reading SmartBrief for the Travel Professional and have a story or poll idea, please send me an email.

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