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Today’s issue of Travel Markets Insider is filled with much more positive news than we have seen lately.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported today that it had screened more than 1.54 million U.S. air passengers on Sunday. This is the highest single day since March 13, 2020 and the 11th consecutive day that screening volume exceeded 1 million per day.
With a growing number of Americans getting vaccinated, travel demand has started to rise in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that more than 13% of the overall population has been fully vaccinated, including almost 40% of Americans age 65 and above, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA Today has just reported that that figure went up significantly over the weekend after more than 6 million coronavirus vaccine doses were reported administered Saturday-Sunday. As the pace of vaccinations continues to increase across the nation, almost one-third of the adult population has received at least one dose, according to the CDC.
This growing optimism is reflected in much of today’s TMI news. In two key stories DFS has re-opened two of its travel retail airport stores in Maui Kahului (Page 1) and the U.S. Virgin Islands issued a report showing its (comparatively) strong tourism during the pandemic (page 1).
Airports and airlines throughout the world are implementing new procedures to ensure passenger safety—trialing a variety of digital health passes that they say will pave the way to easing travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for the adoption of harmonized standards between nations.
See the programs now being in tested with the IATA Travel Pass – Singapore to London; the CommonPass trial by Cathay Pacific on flights from Hong Kong to LAX; the trial for the ICC AOKpass underway by Air France on flights between Paris and SFO and LAX; and JetBlue’s tests on flights between Boston Logan and Aruba. Report begins on page 2.
Back on the ground, Paradies Lagardère has become the first concessionaire to introduce MishiPay’s innovative Scan, Pay & Go technology in the U.S. airport market. The travel retailer has launched the entirely contactless shopping solution at two Paradies Lagardère’s airport locations in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Page 3.
But it is the cruise industry that is making the biggest waves this week, with several major lines relaunching despite the restrictions still in place in U.S. waters from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Following last week’s announcement by Crystal Cruises that it would launch Bahamas only cruises for vaccinated guests from a new homeport in Nassau, Celebrity unveiled its plans to launch summer cruises in the Caribbean from a homeport in St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean will visit other Bahamas islands and Cozumel, Mexico from Nassau. These new launches are expected to place added pressure on the CDC to open U.S. cruising again. Meanwhile, several cruise lines have announced that they will offer UK-only itineraries for the summer as well. Two cruise lines have even resorted to offering Alaska by land visits this summer, as Canadian ports remain closed to tourists.See more details on pages 3-5.
The SPARK Group of Companies – which provides staffing and recruitment to the luxury retail sector in Canada and the U.S. – is launching an innovative new Brand Partner Program designed to help lead a North American airport sales revival, says company president Heidi Van Roon. Page 5. TMI will also present an in-depth interview with Van Roon in our upcoming Summit of the Americas magazine out early April.
SUPPLIER IN THE SPOTLIGHT: THE HERSHEY COMPANY
Excitement and fun are coming back to the airport. The Hershey Company has brought a touch of New York City to Changi Singapore Airport with unique pop-up retail spaces based on the iconic Hershey’s Chocolate World located in NYC’s Times Square. Page 6.
SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS
Senior members from the Airport Restaurant & Retail Association (ARRA) are the latest high-profile speakers to confirm their participation at the Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience, taking pace April 5-9. To register, please click here.