No Cathay smiles/Philippines tourism boom/Jaunt.ca cruise deal is deal of day
There's talk of a workers' strike on Dec. 20 at JFK International Airport in New York. Which would be rather traumatic for travelers around Christmas, for sure.
No, they're not going to strike (at least not yet). They're going to stop smiling! And maybe stop serving food. And perhaps, horror of horrors, stop selling booze on board!!
AP reports that "cabin staff at the airline, which has a reputation for top-notch service, voted at a union meeting this week in favor of industrial action that could also result in flight delays."
The union is demanding a 5 per cent pay increase but the airline, which is struggling to cut costs after posting a first-half loss of $120.5 million, has offered 2 percent and a 13th month bonus.
AP reports the union is considering a strike as a last resort, but not until the new year.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Here are the highlights:
- Transatlantic Crossing Cruise onboard the MSC Poesia with Post-Cruise Europe Stay
- Option 1: 18-day/17-night vacation including a 15-night Transatlantic Crossing Cruise, and 2-night post-cruise stay in London (UK)
- Departure flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, and return flight from London-Gatwick to Toronto
- Ports of call include: Fort Lauderdale, USA; New York, USA; Ponta Delgada-Azores, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; La Coruna, Spain; and London, UK
- Post-cruise stay in London, featuring 4-star hotel accommodations, city tour via deluxe motorcoach with English-speaking guide and dining as per itinerary
- Option 2: 27-day/26-night vacation inclouding a
17-Night Cruise, Post-Cruise Tour: 2-Nights In Berlin (Germany),
2-Nights In Prague (Czech Republic), 2-Nights in Vienna (Austria) &
3-Nights in Rome (Italy)
- Departure flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, and return flight from Rome to Toronto
- Ports of call include: Fort Lauderdale, USA; New York, USA; Ponta Delgada-Azores, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; La Coruna, Spain; London, UK; and Kiel-Lubeck, Germany
- Post-cruise stays in Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Rome, featuring 4-star accommodations, city tours via deluxe motorcoach with English-speaking guide and dining as per itinerary
- Includes accommodations, dining and entertainment aboard MSC Poesia. Accommodations available in Outside (Cat. 4/5), Standard Balcony Ocean View (Cat. 6/7/8), or Superior Balcony Ocean View (Cat. 9, 10, 11) staterooms
- All transfers between airport, hotels, and piers included
Jaunt.ca offers deals in Ontario and other parts of Canada as well as the Caribbean and other hot spots, so check them out at www.jaunt.ca.
PHILIPPINES ON THE RISE
There's a big boom coming in tourism to the Philippines.
Starwood Hotels this week announced plans to build a Westin and a Sheraton hotel in Manila, which follows news a couple days ago that Hilton has signed a deal with a local group to manage the Hilton Manila.
Starwood plans to open the Westin Manila Bayshore in mid-2016 as part of the Resorts World Bayshore in the Entertainment City development in Paranaque. Sheraton Manila is slated to open in the Resorts World Manila development in Newport City, Pasay in early 2017.
Starwood notes that the opening of the two hotels (well, announced plans to open) "fuels Starwood's remarkablle growth trajectory in Asia Pacific." The company currently operates more than 230 hotels in Asia Pacific, with plans to have 400 in operation by 2016.
Scheduled to open in 2014, the 350-room Hilton Manila is located on Newport Boulevard next to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and it marks Hilton's first property in the city.
Philippines Air Lines earlier this month announced plans to fly directly from Manila to Toronto.
I've never been, but I hear great things about Boracay for swimming and diving, and the island archipelago seems to have come a long way. It's certainly beautiful. And it appears to be growing in tourism terms by leaps and bounds...
HAITI MOVING UP
The opening of the posh Royal Oasis Hotel in Haiti this week seems to be a turning point for the troubled Caribbean nation. The island's sizable homeless situation still festers, but with any luck the new hotel will help provide a few jobs and a bit of hope.
The hotel will have restaurants, shops and a conference centre. A night in the Royal Club Presidential Suite will cost more than $1,000 and come with butler service.
Other hotels are said to be on the way, including a Marriott (groundbreaking is supposed to be next week) and a Best Western Premier that's supposed to open in January.
A couple days ago, Transat announced it will offer vacation packages to Haiti out of Montreal,
beginning Jan. 23, 2013. The packages will combine stays in the
Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and on the Côte des Arcadins, featuring
magnificent beaches, with an extensive program of guided excursions:
museums, historical and natural sites, theme routes, sports and seaside
"More and more travellers want to enjoy an enriching human experience when they take their Sun holiday,” said Annick Guérard, General Manager, Transat Tours Canada. "These new packages are designed for customers seeking vacations that combine discovery and relaxation.