Eye on Travel — WTTC in Cancun — May 1, 2021
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Jack Anderson, Interim President and CEO of Crystal Cruises, helps Peter open the show by giving us a situation report on the cruise industry with the latest CDC sailing guidelines plus regulations. He also dives into the different paths of approval needed to sail and courses of action. Anderson then shares some of his predictions for the next few months and what vaccination means for passengers under the age of 16. Will they be allowed to cruise?
Harry Theoharis, Minister of Tourism of Greece, speaks about reopening the country to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers — each with a separate set of rules. He discusses the immense amount of healing that needs to happen, particularly in the tourism sector, in a post-pandemic world. The Minister speaks of the country’s approach to reopening, the ports and incoming cruises, and acting with transparency. This year is going to be a recovery year, but it’s understood that we are not out of the “health” woods yet. He also shares some of his predictions for the near future.
Kevin McAleenan, Former Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security, discusses public health concerns as they relate to travel and how technology can create a better and safer passenger experience at airports. McAleenan speaks about the latest in biometric technology and improvements at the U.S. border that have made reentering the country much easier. McAleenan also reveals some of his frustrations, the problems that still need to be solved, and the collaboration needed among the different countries.
Victoria Walker, Travel Reporter at The Points Guy, expands on the hot topic at the moment: the US State Department’s travel advisories and the 137 countries with a Level Four designation. She explains the potential logic behind the designations and why she doesn’t think they’ll actually stop people from getting out and traveling. Then, she shares her predictions regarding travel this year and the challenges behind car rentals at the moment. She says people are renting U-Hauls because they’re cheaper than cars at the moment!
Sean Donohue, CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, speaks about the return of travel and how the airlines are pivoting in what is still a time of uncertainty. We know traveling is coming back, but what will be the airlines’ approach? Donohue addresses the incoming travel frenzy with the EU’s announcement to reopen the 27 countries to vaccinated Americans, the current state of business travel and facilitating airport security through biometric technology. He also talks about the future of mask-wearing and where we go from here.
Frank Rainieri, Founder of Grupo Puntacana, discusses the recent U.S. State Department advisories and the level the Dominican Republic has been designated. The country has had some of the lowest cases of COVID-19 in the world and its hospitals are not overfilled. So why did the State Department make this determination? Rainieri tries to get to the bottom of its logic and expands on what the nation does in the event that travelers test positive while visiting the Dominican Republic.
Andrew Levy, Chairman and CEO of Avelo Airlines, chats about starting the new airline, why being different is important and the significance of doing it right now on the verge of an explosion of domestic travel. He discusses underserved routes and the concentration on bigger, local markets and the opportunity this brings Avelo – even if the bigger airlines are taking note and gearing up. Then, Levy shares the 11 markets it’ll be serving, its intro fares and what we can expect from it in the near future.
Dr. Megan Morikawa, American Marine Biologist and Global Director of Sustainability for Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, describes the true definition of “sustainability” and how it relates to our oceans, solving climate change and carbon-neutrality. She says most people and businesses have no idea how much carbon they’re emitting. She speaks about waste management systems, implementing change in everyday decisions and some of the changes she’s helping to implement at the Iberostar facilities. She argues that the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action.