Tag Archives: politics

Senators call for reopening of international travel and lifting of CDC’s navigation ban | Instant News



People wait for their luggage in the terminal at Boston Logan International Airport in Boston.Erin Clark | Boston Globe | A new Senate travel and tourism subcommittee held its first hearing on Tuesday and called on the U.S. government to adopt specific measures to revive U.S. tourism after a devastating 2020. states like Florida, Nevada, and Washington would be lifted and pushed for a lane for cruise lines to resume shipping, among others. “There is a reluctance to create a roadmap to reopen international travel,” said Tori Barnes, executive vice president of the US Travel Association. She said the resumption of international travel would shorten the recovery time for the battered travel industry. Lawmakers have also argued that more travel representation at the cabinet level would help travel and tourism. “There is no cabinet-level position that focuses on tourism. We believe leadership is needed,” Barnes said. Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan has raised concerns about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conditional navigation order for cruise lines.The Republican Senator recently met with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and said: In America in mid-July it was this that she thought we could do… none of that turned out to be true. ”Earlier Tuesday, Sullivan, along with Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, announced a bill to quash the CDC. current framework for the release to sea of ​​cruise passengers. In this new legislation, called the CRUISE Act, or Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements, lawmakers are calling on U.S. health officials to change current guidelines. The proposal is only the last deny effort by Republican lawmakers in states heavily dependent on industry to urge the CDC to provide a clearer roadmap for cruise lines. Last year, several Democratic lawmakers took action to block financial aid to the cruise industry. “They are not American. (…) They do not pay taxes in the United States of America,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., In mid-March 2020. after more than d ‘one year without cruises. In the first six months of the pandemic, Florida lost $ 3.2 billion due to the shutdown of the cruise industry, including nearly 50,000 jobs paying $ 2.3 billion in salaries, according to a report of September 2020 from the Federal Maritime Commission. Meanwhile, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy estimated that the full impact of canceling 2020 and 2021 cruises would translate into a loss of more than $ 3.3 billion in domestic revenue. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last filed a lawsuit against the CDC, calling the agency’s existing guidelines “irrational.” Dunleavy was also critical. In a strong statement last week to Jeff Zients, the White House Covid-19 task force coordinator, Dunleavy wrote: “The recent CDC decision to extend the 2020 ‘conditional veil order’ effectively eliminates any potential. for a 2021 cruise ship sailing season, and jeopardizes the future of thousands of Alaskan family businesses. The CDC said the coronavirus spreads easily in a cruise ship environment and recommended caution. Its latest guidelines suggest it will require a daily Covid disease report, frequent testing and vaccination when departures are in effect. authorized to resume.



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U.S. climate envoy John Kerry to visit China for talks | Instant News



Kerry’s visit, less than a month after officials in the Biden administration spoke to Chinese officials for a tense meeting in Alaska, puts the climate crisis high on the list of foreign policy priorities in the United States. administration because they are also committed to competing with and challenging China. human rights. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon, and climate experts say the only way to tackle the environmental crisis is with China on board. Kerry’s meetings in Shanghai will be the first time a Biden administration official has visited China. The visit will take place ahead of a virtual climate summit hosted by the United States on Earth Day, April 22. President Joe Biden told reporters last month that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin “know they are invited” a la Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “had a brief informal conversation on the climate “while they were both in New Delhi last week, a State Department spokesperson told CNN. The spokesperson said the two “were both traveling to India on separate agendas and coincidentally staying at the same hotel,” where they had their brief conversation. Kerry’s visit to China, and America’s relations with the nation in general, are particularly noteworthy not only because of the geopolitical implications, but because a face-to-face meeting between US and Chinese officials in Anchorage, in Alaska last month resulted in a public exchange. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken angered China when he said the nation’s activities in places like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as its cyberattacks on the United States and coercion economic policy of the American allies, “threaten the rules. a well-founded order that maintains global stability.” Senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi pushed back, warning the United States against interfering in China’s “internal affairs”, challenging the United States’ right to speak for other countries, accusing the United States of being the “champion” of cyber attacks, poking fun at the internal stability of the United States and defying the United States. own human rights record. CNN’s Chandelis Duster, Jennifer Hansler and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report. .



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Russia suspends most air travel with Turkey until June 1 | Instant News


People shop on a busy market street in Istanbul on April 9. Photographer: Chris McGrath / Getty Images Photographer: Chris McGrath / Getty Images Russia has suspended most air travel with Turkey, citing rising coronavirus infections, cutting off a key source of tourism revenue for the country amid tensions over Ankara’s support for Ukraine. Most charter and scheduled flights will be suspended between April 15 and June 1, but two flights per week will continue to operate between Moscow and Istanbul, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said in a televised briefing on Monday. 80% of Covid-19 cases identified among Russians returning from abroad involved people coming from Turkey, public health chief Anna Popova said at the same briefing. on public holidays, RIA Novosti cited the Russian Association of Tour Operators. Borsa Istanbul’s tourism index fell 6.4% on Monday as rumors spread that flights could be suspended, closing at the lowest level since January 11. Russia was the biggest source of tourists to Turkey last year, with 2.13 million people visiting despite coronavirus restrictions. Daily cases in Turkey, the highest in Europe, hit a record 55,941 on April 8. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce stricter social distancing measures after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Erdogan hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the weekend amid growing tensions with Moscow over a massive build-up of Russian troops near its border with Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Erdogan about the Ukraine crisis and the Covid-19 situation the day before. Russia also suspended flights with Tanzania on Monday, citing the epidemic there. Before he’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg terminal. LEARN MORE .



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20 minutes with: Juan Fernandez from Elli Travel Group | Instant News



The pandemic has made 2020 the year of tranquility. As the vast majority of Americans were confined to their homes for long periods of time, few industries suffered as much as travel, with flights, hotels and vacations canceled. Last year, travel spending in the United States fell 42% to just $ 679 billion, according to a Tourism Economics study. International and business travel were particularly hard hit, with spending by the former falling 76% and spending by the latter 70%. But with millions of Americans now vaccinated, the future looks brighter for travelers and the industry as a whole. Penta spoke with Juan Fernandez, operational partner of the travel agency Elli Travel Group, based in Larchmont, New York, to find out what to expect for the industry as the pandemic subsides. slowly. PENTA: How did you feel when the pandemic hit? Juan Fernandez: It was a surreal experience. The first few months we were under overwhelming pressure as we navigated an ever-changing landscape and made sure all trips were reimbursed. Then frustration set in, as states, countries and cities implemented different restrictions. On a personal basis, the biggest frustration was not being able to see family in Puerto Rico. After 10 long months, we were grateful to land on the island and celebrate Christmas with my parents. What does the travel slowdown mean for small travel providers like you? The downside of the pandemic was that our revenue was down 64% from 2019. The upside is that our customers have become more loyal than ever. Small boutique agencies have never had the high fixed costs of large agencies, which struggle with many in-house staff responsible for booking air and hotel travel for leisure and corporate clients. Our cost structure has always been weak, but we were still able to reduce our costs by renegotiating contracts. What will the pandemic mean for the travel industry as a whole? I think the pandemic shock of 2020 is the complete opposite of the slowdown we saw during the economic crisis of 2009-2010. This period took several years to recover the lost ground. This time around, the devastating downturn will translate into increased demand for luxury travel. During the lockdown, people stayed home and spent less on dining, entertainment, or traveling. Do many clients now have more disposable income than ever before? Research by private equity firms shows credit card fees in 2020 are down 14%. Meanwhile, high-end luxury customers have seen their investments rise in value as stock markets hit all-time highs. The balance sheet of the traveler is in the best shape possible. So are people eager to hit the road? Our avid travelers call their current planning “revenge journey”. These clients send us an 18 month travel plan and have already booked their trips for 2021. Currently, our summer bookings are comparable to 2019. The big difference, however, is that 80% of trips are domestic, for example. compared to our typical summer where domestic travel would have been 25%. Bookings in Europe are still down 85% from 2019. What destinations are people looking to go to? In the short term, we will see moderate demand for urban destinations. Places like New York or London will experience more difficulties in the next few years. But destinations that focus on the outdoors will recover very quickly – we’ve seen this before, as spring trips to national beach destinations like Florida and South Carolina are extremely strong and the best luxury hotels are close to full capacity. For the summer, Hawaii is the perfect place for families and honeymooners. Demand has doubled from summer 2019. Yellowstone and Jackson Hole are another popular destination. Do you plan more vacation in the car? Driving vacations will again be in high demand in 2021. Federal testing guidelines make traveling abroad extremely risky, so we believe families who typically travel to Europe will explore domestic destinations. For example, we anticipate that New Yorkers will continue to head to luxury destinations on Cape Cod, Rhode Island and New England. How will traveling itself – from checking in on planes to hotels – be different in 2021? It will be a complex problem that will evolve slowly. Each country, city, state will have different ways of implementing policies. It’s impossible to put all travelers into one category when it comes to tests, passports, or policies that interfere with privacy and freedom. In the United States, attitudes differ regarding the new protocols. In general, everyone welcomes the new sanitation programs and intensified cleanings implemented by the airline industry. But many of our luxury customers would really like to see the plexiglass disappear. As one client who checked into a luxury hotel in Miami put it, “It felt like walking into a bodega.” What technologies are used by industry to keep people safe? Recently, during a visit to the Cliff House in Maine, management highlighted the sensors in the lobby measuring their guests’ temperature during check-in. On a recent visit to the Ocean House in Rhode Island, they highlighted the new HEPA air filters located in each of their rooms. Major hotel brands have also invested in new technologies to disinfect rooms with misters before customers arrive. What is the impact of the vaccine on travel? Since February 1 he has been extremely busy. We have customers calling and saying, “I have the vaccine! Where can I go tomorrow? And in a few days, they fly to Mexico or the Caribbean. We are already seeing the positive impact of vaccines on travel. It may be a bit early to find out if [vaccine] passports will belong in the future, but we are already seeing investments in this type of infrastructure. What type of person calls you to book a vacation? Most of our calls came from parents exhausted from work, homeschooling and lack of family activities like sports. These families book national beach destinations like Florida and South Carolina. Couples without children and with working flexibility extend their usual vacation and work remotely. For example, we had a couple at Belmond Cap Juluca in Anguilla who was originally planned for a seven night stay but eventually left after 15 days. Considering the adverse health consequences of the pandemic, both physical and mental, are you seeing an increased interest in wellness travel? The need for wellness travel has certainly increased, but local guidelines are hampering some of the services that customers need. To insist, most spas have had to limit class sizes or cancel some experiences due to local health guidelines. As these are lifted, we believe we will see a marked increase in trips to spa and fitness hotels. In the meantime, customers are on the lookout for great hiking and biking spots. Finally, what will “luxury” travel mean in a post-pandemic world? For some, this means being able to have the privacy that will help protect their families from Covid; but others crave the exact opposite. They want the freedom to appreciate and explore the human relationships that only travel can bring. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. .



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NRA CEO LaPierre reportedly told travel agent to hide certain stops on his private jet flights | Instant News



A travel consultant who testified in the National Rifle Association bankruptcy case said chief executive Wayne LaPierre asked her to omit certain flight stopovers from invoices she sent to the human rights group. firearms for Mr. LaPierre’s private jet trip, a disclosure that NRA lawyers are disputing. keep out of court record. The travel counselor testified, in a video filing released in bankruptcy court Thursday, that some invoices she sent to the NRA omitted stopovers in Nebraska and the Bahamas, at Mr. LaPierre’s request. Some of Mr. LaPierre’s relatives who frequently traveled on private jets paid for by the NRA live in Nebraska. The NRA chief previously said he travels frequently to the Bahamas to stay for free on a 108-foot yacht in the Bahamas with family members, provided by an NRA vendor, for safety reasons. Testimony that Mr LaPierre sought to hide some private jet stops from the NRA’s own accountants could be evidence that he knew what he was doing was wrong and that he was deliberately hiding it, legal experts have said . “If this is true, it appears to be a clear and documented example of misusing NRA assets and covering up this abuse,” said Elizabeth Kingsley, a Washington nonprofit lawyer. .



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