Fly While You Can - Prices Going Up...More China Tourism News...
A story in the Independent suggests the air travel bargains we've been seeing won't last long.
According to the paper, the ITB World Travel trends report suggests airlines will have to "significantly adjust their ticket prices" to regain profitability.
"The over-capacity of the world's airline industries has been reduced," said Dr. Martin Buck, vice president at Messe Berlin, the organization behind the research. "The currently unanswered question facing the world's airline industries is whether price-conscious consumers will continue to drive the downgrading trend we are seeing in bookings."
The findings are based on the assessments of 60 tourism experts from 30 countries.
Book while the deals are still good, folks. And don't forget Air Canada's Canadian destinations sale is supposed to end tonight. They're selling tickets for up to half-off, so the bargains are pretty solid.
CHINA BOOM ON THE WAY?
As we reported in this space yesterday, the news that China has granted "approved destination status" should do some serious good for the Canadian tourism biz.
The deal will allow Chinese group tours to come to Canada much more easily, and for Canada to market itself in China. With that in mind, Air Canada says it plans daily, non-stop service from Toronto and Vancouver to Beijing and Shanghai on a year-round basis.
Those routes currently operate only a few days each week outside the peak four-month summer travel season, according to a Reuters report.
"We've been waiting for this for 10 years," Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Duncan Dee said in an interview with Reuters. "The potential for this is really tremendous because of the size of the Chinese market."
SLEEPY IN ATLANTA
Here's a cool idea. Atlanta's Hartsfield airport has introduced sleeps rooms so you can catch some more comfortable winks without torturing yourself into a pretzel on a tiny chair in the waiting lounge, sitting next to the guy with the stinky onion and garlic sandwich and across from the screaming kid whose parents failed to bring a book or a toy to entertain them.
USA Today says the rooms are 7 by 8 feet and are operated by a group called Minute Suites. You get a daybed sofa, pillows with disposable covers and blankets. There's also some sort of noise reduction system and you get a phone, a desk, an office chair and a wi-fi connection, as well as an HDTV that can be converted into an Internet station or the airport's flight tracking monitor, which sounds like fun.
They cost $30 for the first hour and $7.50 for each additional 15 minutes and can be found at Gate 15 on Concourse B.
ROCK ANNEX WAVES BYE BYE
An Associated Press report says the New York City annex to Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will close its doors Jan. 3. No reason was given for the closing, but obviously they weren't getting enough business.
Backers had said they wanted to attract a half-million visitors a year but they haven't said what kind of attendance they'd actually been getting.
As noted in the Star last year, there's also the new Grammy museum in Los Angeles and a music-related exhibition in Seattle, so perhaps there's just not enough music stuff around to keep so many museums going.
The Rock Hall says some of the artefacts, potentially including Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevy, could become part of a travelling show. In that case, they should definitely make a stop in Toronto, the city that has the original Hard Rock Cafe and has been home to such great musicians as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, The Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and The Tragically Hip. Not to mention Blue Rodeo, my personal fave.
JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY