IN OTHER NEWS:
Baha Mar developer, contractor to negotiate 6
Puerto Rico is broke, but tourism is doing well 7
Tourico prepurchases record number of rooms 8
[ BUT FOR NOW, BOOKINGS ARE STALLING AS TRAVELERS GROW ANXIOUS ]
In or out of eurozone, Greece
likely to be a tourism bargain
By Michelle Baran
As Greek and European officials last
week grappled with the possibility
of a Greek exit from the eurozone,
interest in traveling to the popular
Mediterranean destination stalled
as travelers took a wait-and-see approach, even amid predictions that
the current crisis could ultimately
make Greece a travel bargain.
“The reality is that the strongest and most
stable economies always have the strongest
and most stable proportion of international and domestic tourism,” said William D.
Frye, associate professor at the College of
Hospitality and Tourism Management at
New York’s Niagara University. “Strong and
stable are not appropriate terms to describe
Greece’s situation currently.
For the time being, at least, ongoing media coverage of economic turmoil in Greece
is likely to have a negative impact on the tail
end of the destination’s high summer season.
Several data-collection agencies last week
were reporting that bookings to Greece had
slumped since news of the country’s referendum vote became known.
On July 5, the citizens of Greece voted
against the European Commission’s auster-ity-based bailout measures. In the lead-up to
and in the aftermath of that vote, a situation
that has Greece teetering on the verge of economic collapse, online searches for Greece
dropped by 23%, according to Internet travel
data provider Sojern.
As relations with Cuba thaw, Carnival,
MSC announce new cruise itineraries
By Tom Stieghorst
Talk about cruising to Cuba is beginning
to yield to action, with announcements last
week by two cruise companies of sailings to
the island starting as early as December.
The thaw in relations between the United
States and Cuba, initiated last December by
the Obama administration, immediately
revived dreams of serving Cuba, which has
been off limits to U.S. citizens for decades.
Now the dreams are starting to materialize.
Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise
company, has received approval from the
U.S. Treasury and Commerce Department to
bring U.S. citizens to Cuba under its Fathom
Weeklong cruises from Miami would begin in May 2016, pending approval from the
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises, another global
cruise giant, announced plans to deploy its
newly overhauled MSC Opera in Cuba for
the winter. The 2,120-passenger ship will
become the largest ever to be homeported
For the moment, the MSC cruises will not
be actively marketed in the U.S., but MSC
said packages will be offered for sale in Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina
Fathom, a brand begun by Carnival this
year, has been open for bookings for only
five weeks. On the day service to Cuba
See CUBA on Page 66
See GREECE on Page 67
THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY’S TRUSTED VOICE
WWW.TRAVELWEEKLY.COM JULY 13, 2015
The 1st military officer to head CLIA, Thomas
Ostebo, discusses his plans for the group. 4
Slideshow: A tour of Alaska’s national parks
Slideshow: TW’s Global Travel Marketplace
A new ruling offers a 4-part test for whether
consumers are bound by online terms. 10
With tourism booming, the world’s most popular
destinations are becoming victims
of their own success — bursting at the seams
and struggling to control crowds.
BY MICHELE BARAN