Atlantic Canada Opens to Vaccinated American Travelers Beginning August 9: Here’s How to Visit

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Canada is reopening to vaccinated American travelers. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

ATLANTIC CANADA – Following Canada’s border reopening announcement, the four provinces of Atlantic Canada will open to fully vaccinated American travelers beginning August 9, 2021. 

Conveniently located just north of the U.S. border of Maine, Atlantic Canada is a crowd-free, coastal region made up of the four Canadian provinces New BrunswickNova ScotiaNewfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

The mid-August border opening allows U.S. travelers to enjoy the late summer season in Atlantic Canada, which offers temperate weather, warm coastal waters, and outdoor adventure. The fall boasts colorful foliage and several world-class food and cultural festivals.  Easily accessible from the Northeast, the region offers breathtaking coastlines, fresh seafood, wide-open outdoors spaces, land and water experiences, and so much more.  

All travelers must use ArriveCAN (app or web portal) to submit their travel information. In addition to adhering to Canada’s federal travel guidelines, each province within Canada has their own set of travel restrictions and requirements to protect residents from COVID-19.  As protocols vary by each province, here is what travelers need to know about entry to each province to plan their next Atlantic Canada adventure.  

New Brunswick

Once the Canadian federal border opens on August 9, New Brunswick will welcome American travelers who have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is accepted by the Government of Canada. Further details can be found here.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Starting August 9, fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are permitted to enter Newfoundland & Labrador and are required to submit a travel form within 72 hours of their expected travel date and follow public health guidelines during their stay. Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to self-isolate or be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival to the province. More information can be found here

Nova Scotia

Beginning August 9, American visitors who qualify as fully vaccinated travelers are required to apply for entry to Nova Scotia before arriving to the province. Fully vaccinated travelers are people who have gone two weeks (14 days) since a full course of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada. Travelers must also complete a Nova Scotia Safe Check-In Form, along with proof of vaccination status for each adult traveler ages 18 or older. Further detailed travel information is available here.  All travelers, vaccinated or not, must present a suitable quarantine plan in case quarantine is required.

Prince Edward Island

U.S. citizens and permanent residents in the United States, who are fully vaccinated with Canadian-authorized COVID-19 vaccines and are granted permission to enter Canada by the federal government on or after August 9, 2021, will also be eligible to apply for a PEI Pass, which verifies that they are fully vaccinated and can visit PEI without isolating. U.S. travelers will be tested upon entry to PEI. For more information, click here.

About Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT):

This project has been made possible through funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). ACAT is a nine-member pan-Atlantic initiative comprising the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the four Atlantic Canada Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Provincial Departments responsible for tourism.

For more information on the four provinces, visit these websites or follow on social media:

New Brunswick

Web: www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca

Instagram: @DestinationNB

Twitter: @SeeNewBrunswick

Facebook: @DestinationNB

Nova Scotia

Web: www.novascotia.com

Instagram: @VisitNovaScotia

Twitter: @VisitNovaScotia

Facebook: @NovaScotia

Newfoundland and Labrador

Web: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com

Instagram:  @newfoundlandlabrador

Twitter: @NLtweets

Facebook:  @NewfoundlandLabradorTourism

Prince Edward Island

Web: www.tourismpei.com

Instagram: @tourismpei

Twitter: @tourismpei

Facebook: @tourismpei

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Adventure Travel Rebound: 9 Trip Ideas for 2021

Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.

Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.

Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021. 
 
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/

2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry.  https://aquariustrail.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/

4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/

5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

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TD Five Boro Bike Tour is Back in NYC, Aug 22

Cyclists will again take over New York City’s roads and bridges, for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, taking place August 22, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is back! Bike New York and its city government partners announce that the popular ride will once again welcome bike lovers from across New York and around the country on its new date of Sunday, August 22, 2021.

“Preparations are underway for the 43rd edition of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “We’re thrilled and so grateful that we can once again host our celebrated car-free ride this year—and what better time to announce it than during Bike Month.”

The event, which typically has drawn up to 32,000 riders annually and opens 40 miles of NYC’s busiest roadways for cyclists, returns to a city energized by cycling thanks to the 2020 bike boom and an increased demand for Open Streets across the five boroughs.

“New York City is proud to celebrate the cycling boom—and the return of iconic events that highlight great neighborhoods in all five boroughs—by welcoming the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this summer,” said New York City Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “We look forward to welcoming locals and tourists alike to enjoy a safe, exciting event this year.”

“Given the pivotal role that bikes have played in protecting the health, wellness, and safety of New Yorkers through the pandemic—especially for essential workers commuting to their jobs—it feels right that bikes will also play a part in powering New York City’s economic revitalization,” Podziba remarked. “The Tour has been a landmark event for NYC for decades, and it’s a true highlight for international tourism. We hope our ride will continue to support the city we call home as we all strive to come back strong from these hardships.”

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a safe and welcoming space to reconnect, to celebrate,” he added. “Bike New York is hard at work making the 2021 Tour into the joyful and safe day of community fun that cycling enthusiasts have treasured for nearly half a century.”

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is a fundraising event for Bike New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Proceeds from the ride fund public classes that reach over 25,000 children and adults each year, with special focus given to improving cycling access and resources to residents of neighborhoods historically overlooked in infrastructure improvements. In addition to free classes held at Community Bike Education Centers located in all five boroughs, Bike New York has introduced bike safety education programs into area middle schools, co-developed a job training and placement program for bike mechanics with Brooklyn’s One Community, and helped pilot a free bike rental system in Shirley Chisholm State Park. 

Though the organization’s 2020 education and events calendar was suspended in response to the pandemic, Bike New York introduced virtual programming to inform new bike boom cyclists and keep seasoned members of the city’s cycling community engaged and connected. The 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour will support the return of Bike New York’s in-person classes while sustaining their online offerings, which reached more than 30,000 viewers worldwide in 2020.

Details about the August 22 event, including registration information, total number of participants, and changes to the event format, will be released in the coming weeks. “With the safety and well-being of participants being our highest priority, we will continue working with our government partners to monitor the changing Covid-19 climate and will adapt the Tour to satisfy all requirements that may be in place at any given time until ride day,” Podziba confirmed.

Riders are advised to subscribe to Bike New York’s newsletter and social media for the latest updates about the 2021 TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

For info: https://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/

See:

32,000 Cyclists Take Over NYC Streets for 41st TD Five Boro Bike Tour

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New York State Forms Partners with Tentrr for Glamping Sites in Four State Parks in Hudson Valley

Tentrr camping site at the Sebago area of Harriman State Park, New York. The tenting service has a partnership with New York State to provide 45 glamping sites at four state parks in the Hudson Valley.

New York State is partnering with a tent camping service to provide 45 glamping sites at four State Parks in the Hudson Valley. Tentrr’s fully outfitted campsites are available to reserve at the Sebago and Silver Mine areas of Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland Counties; Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County; and Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County.

The service provides tents, sleeping accommodations and an array of equipment needed for camping at each site. All items are set up and ready to use upon arrival for added convenience and sites are maintained by Tentrr staff.

All locations include a 10-foot by 12-foot, canvas-walled tent atop a raised platform. Each site is outfitted with a queen-sized bed and memory foam mattress, a propane heating source, a solar-powered “sun” shower, a camp toilet, water container, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, grill, and a picnic table with storage and benches.  

Guests have the option of single, double, and triple sites. Singles sleep up to six (two occupants in the main tent and four occupants in a provided pop-up tent). Double sites – or buddy sites – sleep up to 12 (two occupants in each of the two main tents and four occupants in each of the two provided pop-up tents) and triples can accommodate group camping. 

“Camping at a State Park is an ideal way to explore the great outdoors with friends and family,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This partnership continues our work to create diverse and exciting destinations to attract visitors to New York’s great outdoors, enhance our tourism economy, and help people experience all that the State has to offer.”

“The partnership with Tentrr is an opportunity to reach new visitors and encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and be active,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “We look forward to kicking off this summer and connecting people with the Hudson Valley’s many outdoor offerings. Not everyone has the equipment or the knowledge to enjoy camping in a state park, and this partnership is a great way to introduce this classic outdoor experience to more New Yorkers.” 

“As a New York City-based company, it is great to partner with our home state supporting its incredible park system across the region,” said Todd King, Vice President of Marketing at Tentrr. “Through Tentrr, we hope New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors alike will explore the incredible natural resources and parks the state has to offer. Tentrr makes it easy to find an amazing site to enjoy the state’s vast landscapes and inspiring scenery.”

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said,”Camping is a terrific way to experience New York State’s great outdoors, and this new service will make it easier than ever to enjoy New York’s unparalleled State Parks. I LOVE NY looks forward to promoting the availability of these extensively outfitted sites as part of the wide variety of camping offerings available across the state to residents and visitors alike.”

While Tentrr’s sites are naturally socially distanced, Tentrr adheres to state guidelines for maintaining and sanitizing the sites. Tentrr will continue to keep sites clean and wiped down with high-grade sanitizers and encourages guests to follow recommended COVID requirements and protocols. For more details on Tentrr’s COVID-19 protocols, visit here

The Tentrr partnership complements Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 100 initiative, which renews the historic commitment to investing and expanding the State Park system by committing at least $440 million over the next four years. This critical period of revitalization will culminate in the 2024 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the State Park Act, which first created our nation-leading State Park system in 1924 under Governor Al Smith. NY Parks 100 will continue crucial investments in park infrastructure while enhancing opportunities to reach the full range of New York State’s recreational and cultural offerings, including local parks and trails, regional flagship parks and historic sites, and vast wilderness parks. The initiative will focus on creating places to recreate locally, relieving overcrowded parks, welcoming new visitors, and protecting New York State’s environmental and historic legacy. This new plan will ensure people from all communities and across all ages and abilities can fully experience our outdoors, our culture, and our heritage. 

For more information, visit www.tentrr.com.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram Twitter or on the State Parks blog.

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ExploreBetter Online Guide Aids Summer Travel Planning to National Parks

National Park concessionaire Delaware North launches online guide to make extraordinary outdoor adventures in America’s most iconic natural destinations more accessible for all

Hiking the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park. With travelers flocking to national parks this summer, national park concessionaire Delaware North has launched ExploreBetter.com, an online guide to aid planning © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Americans are dusting off their bucket lists ahead of summer travel season, and iconic natural destinations such as Yosemite, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks are high on their lists. ExploreBetter.com is an online lifestyle platform that can simplify travel planning and make extraordinary outdoor adventures more accessible to first-time and even experienced National Park and other outdoor enthusiasts. 

Already, the national parks are among the most popular destinations being snapped up by travelers bursting to get out after a year of confinement. And just in time, the CDC has lifted masking and social distance requirements for those who are fully vaccinated; it is expected that the mask requirement will also been lifted for federal buildings and federal lands. At this writing, masks were still required on airplanes, trains, buses and at airports and ports.

ExploreBetter.com shares trip-planning destination insights, accommodations, activities and inspiration featuring Grand Canyon, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks as well as New York’s Niagara Falls State Park. In addition to crowd-pleasing activities such as guided tours and other sightseeing suggestions, ExploreBetter.com is also the place for inside tips on active adventures like rock climbingfishing and stargazing as well as romantic, wellness-oriented and even pet-friendly activities.

With content curated by site publisher and long-time National Park concessionaire Delaware North, ExploreBetter.com draws on insider knowledge of the parks and surrounding regions. The site plans to include contributions from members of the Bay Area Travel Writers, one of the country’s oldest regional professional travel journalist organizations, in the near future.

“First-time visits to National Parks can be overwhelming, and even seasoned visitors need fresh ideas. We’re simplifying travel planning so first-time visitors can plan with confidence and experienced visitors can always find new and exciting reasons to return,” explained Andy Grinsfelder, vice president of sales and marketing for Delaware North’s parks and resorts division. “As partners in the stewardship of many of these iconic destinations, we want visitors to experience unforgettable moments and forge deeper connections, not just with one another, but with their surroundings.”

With 2020 National Park visitation down by roughly 90 million visitors due to pandemic travel restrictions, ExploreBetter.com is intended to help encourage and restore responsible and sustainable visitation to National Parks and other iconic destinations. An upswing in National Park visitation was seen in data collected by U.S. Travel beginning in the spring of 2021, which fits with research that shows Americans continue to desire leisure trips to outdoor locations that are safe, socially distant and allow them to relax, disconnect, spend time with family and have new experiences. 

At the lodging properties it operates, Delaware North last year implemented its Rest Assured Commitment to Care comprehensive health and safety program, including re-engineered operating procedures to minimize contact risk and bolstered hygiene protocols aligned with guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Delaware North Parks and Resorts operates lodging, food, beverage and retail services, recreational activities, and educational programming at destinations in North America, Australia and New Zealand. This includes lodging in and near many iconic national and state parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Shenandoah, Sequoia & Kings Canyon and Olympic National Parks and Niagara Falls State Park, as well as at cultural attractions such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. To learn more about Delaware North’s hospitality management expertise, visit https://www.delawarenorth.com/divisions/parks

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Hotel Association Launches ‘Safe Stay’ with Event in Hawaii

HONOLULU– To highlight American Hotel & Lodging Association’s commitment to hosting guests in a safe and clean environment, the organization is partnering with states and elected officials to launch a series of “Safe Stay” events across the country to increase awareness among travelers about the industry’s health and safety protocols. An event in Hawaii on May 5 was the first in this series.

With projections showing Hawaii is expected to be in the top five states with the highest number of hotel job losses for 2021, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) president and CEO, Chip Rogers and Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green joined in the event on May 5 to underscore efforts to bring hotel employees back as hotels prepare for summer travel.

In Hawaii, the total projected job loss for the year amounts to an estimated 20,029 jobs. Industry analysts estimate that hotel employment is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023, and recovery for the industry is not projected until 2024.

When selecting a hotel, enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices continue to rank as a guests’ number two priority, just behind price. At the onset of the pandemic, the hotel industry launched “Safe Stay,” an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19. These industry-wide guidelines were designed to prepare America’s hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees. 

Further, nearly half of consumers view vaccine distribution as a key to travel. As more Americans are vaccinated, the hotel industry is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative.

With vaccinations and testing become more widespread, and infection and hospital rates declining, hotels are seeing an uptick in leisure travel, with 61% of Americans expected to travel for leisure this summer according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by AHLA.

But while leisure travel outlook continues to grow, the hotel industry is still hurting from this pandemic. Business travel is down 85% from pre-pandemic levels and is not expected to fully return until 2024. Unlike leisure travel, which can often be booked or changed at the last minute, meetings and events are scheduled months, if not years, in advance.

“Tourism is an important industry that brings thousands of jobs to Hawaii, supports the livelihood of many residents and provides resources for hospitals, schools and cultural and environmental stewardship,” saidLieutenant Governor Josh Green. “As we continue the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and maintain public health best practices, we are optimistic Hawaii can safely reopen for summer travel with the support of our hospitality industry.”

The event followed the introduction of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), which will provide targeted relief to the ailing hotel industry until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels. While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. In fact, hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid. 

“While leisure travel will start returning this year as more and more people are vaccinated, business and group travel will take significantly longer to recover and is a major source of employment for the hotel industry. We remain optimistic, but the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long and we need support, especially in states like Hawaii. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will help support the hotel industry with targeted relief in order to stem permanent losses and keep hotel workers employed,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “As we begin to welcome back travelers, Safe Stay’s rigorous health and safety protocols, which were designed in accordance with CDC guidelines and reviewed by the CDC, will continue to help create peace of mind.”

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the main national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality was the first industry impacted and it will be among the last to recover. That is why AHLA is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative. With an enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees, hotels across America are ready to welcome back travelers when they are ready to travel. Learn more at www.ahla.com.

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Hospitality Industry Calls on Congress to Pass Save Hotel Jobs Act

Citing a loss of 3.1 million leisure and hospitality jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic and with hotels expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs, the hotel industry is calling on to Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Download Fact Sheet on 2021 State Job Loss Here

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new data showcasing the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 on hotel industry employment, including projected hotel job loss through the end of 2021. Without targeted relief from Congress, nationwide, hotels are expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs. Hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid.

The top five states projected to end 2021 down the highest number of jobs include:

  1. California: 67,169 jobs lost
  2. Florida: 39,560 jobs lost
  3. New York: 38,028 jobs lost
  4. Nevada: 22,282 jobs lost
  5. Hawaii: 20,029 jobs lost

The release of this data follows the introduction of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, legislation to provide targeted federal relief to the ailing hotel industry workforce including up to three months of full payroll support. AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers union in North America, joined forces last week to call on Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act. The bill, introduced by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), provides a lifeline to hotel workers, providing the assistance they need to survive until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Unfortunately, the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long, the AHLA stated. The recent uptick in leisure travel for spring and summer is encouraging for hotels, however, business travel—the largest source of hotel revenue—is down 85% and is not expected to begin its slow return until the second half of this year. Full recovery is not expected until 2024. 

“While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will provide critical support to hotels and their workers during this crucial period,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “We need Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act to help hotels retain and rehire employees until travel demand, especially business travel, begins to come back.”

No industry has been more affected by the pandemic than hospitality, the AHLA stated. Leisure and hospitality has lost 3.1 million jobs during the pandemic that have yet to return, representing more than a third of all unemployed persons in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more stark, the unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 330% higher than the rest of the economy.

Empty or permanently closed hotels have also had a ripple effect on communities throughout the country, hurting a wide range of businesses that rely on the presence of hotel guests, such as restaurants and retail, hotel supply companies and construction. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies and construction, according to a study by Oxford Economics. With hotels expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs, based on the pre-pandemic ratio, an additional 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are in jeopardy this year without additional support from Congress.

This crisis has been especially devastating in urban areas, hurting minority communities, the AHLA stated. Urban hotels, which are more reliant on business and group travel and more likely to host larger events, ended January down 66% in room revenue compared to last year. According to recent reports, New York City has seen one-third of its hotel rooms—more than 42,000—wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 200 hotels closing permanently in the city.

Read more about the Save Hotel Jobs Act here.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the main national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry was the first industry impacted, and it will be among the last to recover. That is why AHLA is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative. With an enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees, hotels across America are ready to welcome back travelers when they are ready to travel.

Learn more at www.ahla.com.  

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National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 (May 2-8) Celebrates ‘the Power of Travel’

Discovering the delights of the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park. National Travel and Tourism Week 2021 reminds people of the importance of the $2.6 trillion travel industry that supports 17 million jobs and an infinite number of life-long memories and experiences © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) taking place May 2-8 is the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry. This year, it spotlights the critical role that travel will play in driving economic recovery efforts and building the path forward through the theme Power of Travel.

Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the U.S. This year, the 38th annual NTTW arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the U.S. economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery.

“NTTW takes on a special significance this year as the travel industry looks to rebound quickly from the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The past year was incredibly challenging, but we saw the full power of the travel industry on display in the way we united and supported one another through this crisis.”

“Before the pandemic, travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.—evidence of the outsized role the industry will play in America’s broader economic recovery,” said Dow.

However, this vital revenue source stemming from business and leisure travelers was severely diminished amid the pandemic.

In 2020, the entire U.S. travel industry lost half a trillion dollars in travel-related spending—10 times the economic impact of 9/11. Nationally, total travel-supported jobs accounted for a staggering 65% of all U.S. jobs lost amid the pandemic.

With such disparate losses, it is clear that a broader economic recovery hinges on a recovery within the travel industry.

“While the rapid pace of vaccinations has provided hope that a return to normal is on the horizon, a resurgence in travel demand is not inevitable,” the USTA said in a statement. “Without aggressive federal action to reopen the travel economy and spur demand, the travel industry’s recovery is expected to take as long as five years—far too long to wait for the workers whose livelihoods depend on this vital industry.

“But with the right measures in place, we can get people moving again in a safe and healthy way, restore our workforce and help power a broader economic recovery. The travel industry needs sustained relief to ensure businesses can maintain operation and workers can stay on payrolls until sustained demand can truly take hold.

“Importantly, policymakers must also identify the path to reopening our borders and safely restarting international inbound travel, as well as restarting professional meetings and events; these are crucial segments of our local economy, without which we cannot fully recover.

“The road ahead is challenging, but the travel industry is resilient and has an incredible ability to bounce back from hard times. We recovered after 9/11, after the 2008 financial meltdown, and after health scares such as Zika, Ebola and SARS. This is the toughest challenge the U.S. travel industry has ever faced, but we know  travel is one of the best-equipped industries to lead a revival.

“If lawmakers act now to jumpstart recovery efforts and get Americans moving, then all of us can get back to doing what we do best more quickly—providing quality job opportunities for Americans of all background, reconnecting family and friends, and showing the world what makes the U.S. the best place to visit.”

This week, TSA reported the highest number of travelers coming through airports, 1.6 million, while car rentals, hotels, AirBnBs and attractions, especially those around national parks, are booking up, a clear demonstration of pent-up demand being unleashed. Now the question is whether the industry will be able to accommodate it and how long it will be sustained. That will depend largely on the ability of the nation to vaccinate as many people as possible, so that travelers and workers feel safe and venues can increase capacity and operating hours.

National Travel and Tourism Week also reminds travelers of the pleasures and value of travel – of getting together, sharing the delight in exploring and learning and doing new things, meeting new people where they live, embracing other cultures and environments, and sharing memorable, even life-changing experiences.

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Reservations Being Accepted for Glamping on New York’s Champlain Canal

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

Glamping Sites May Be Reserved Here

Reservations are now being accepted for a glamping experience on the Champlain Canal that will attract visitors to the State’s historic upper Hudson Valley and boost the local economy that is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.

“This overnight destination combines an exceptional camping experience with opportunities to see and visit the vibrant and rich canalside landscape in entirely new ways, embodying the mission of the entire Reimagine the Canals program,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “By investing in long-overlooked sites along the State’s Canals, we will showcase the very best of our State to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, preserving the rich history of the Canal system while stimulating local economies at a time when they most need it.”

Individuals and families can rent safari style pre-pitched tents that are each furnished with a Queen-size bed featuring a memory foam mattress, side tables with solar lights, pillows, linens, extra blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies. Additional amenities that can be found at the campsite include fire pits, a picnic-and-grill area, hammocks, a supply store, cell phone charging station, bathroom and shower facilities, and games such as cornhole.

The glamping site, nestled along the banks of the Champlain Canal and Hudson River, is adjacent to Lock C-5 and the Empire State Trail and is within walking distance to neighboring Hudson Crossing Park and downtown Schuylerville. Campers will have easy access to a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and to many dining, shopping, and entertainment venues such as cruising aboard the Caldwell Belle or visiting the nearby Saratoga National Historical Park.

“Camp Rockway offers families, groups and couples an opportunity to enjoy the Champlain Canal, while still preserving and celebrating the Canal’s historic impact. New Yorkers can safely connect with nature, and each other, while also supporting the economies of canalside communities,” New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said. T”his is all thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision to Reimagine the Canals into a tourist and recreation destination, breathing new life into one of the State’s greatest assets while supporting a more resilient New York.”

“This new glamping site is proof positive of the tremendous impact of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals program, preserving the immense history of the Canal while showcasing how its infrastructure and properties can be made part of the foundation of the future of our State,” New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said. “Glampers will enjoy world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while remaining safe and socially distanced, as well as lift up local Schuylerville businesses with increased tourism.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation to bring glamping to Upstate New York, offering both residents and visitors alike a whole new way to experience the history and beauty of the Canals,” Camp Rockaway’s Kent Johnson said. “We look forward to helping New Yorkers get out of the house and into the outdoors in a safe and responsible way during this summer season, and for many years to come.”

This new glamping experience is the latest innovation from Governor Cuomo’s $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative that is revitalizing the Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and the resiliency of canalside communities.

Visit https://camprockaway.com/schuylerville/.

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New York Energy Zone Attraction Opens in Utica to Highlight NYS Role in Developing Electricity, Clean Energy Economy

Admission-Free Facility to Serve as Year-Round Tourist Destination, Offer STEM Education to Area Youth

The admission-free NY Energy Zone opening in Utica will introduce visitors to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future and New York State’s part in it with interactive exhibits.

New York State is opening a new admission-free attraction, John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, designed and financed by the New York Power Authority, in Utica, to tell the story of the state’s electric history, electric companies, and progress toward a clean, renewable energy future.

New York, with a nation-leading climate plan, is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality.

The 15,000-square-foot New York State museum of energy in Utica, located next to the Utica Zoo, is expected to open to the public May 10.

The NY Energy Zone will introduce you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn. Plus you will learn about NYS’s exciting electric history, its great electric companies and the important work at NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Control Center in nearby Marcy.

The facility features exhibits that simulate flying a drone to check on power transmission lines, controlling electricity on an energy grid, operating a power plant, and building a micro power grid along with many other interactive activities designed to teach visitors about the past, present and future of energy in New York State.

Exhibits throughout the museum reflect input and information from New York’s major private utilities; NYPA’s sister agency, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) as well as industry trade groups. Each entity shares its role in the energy and electricity story of New York State that is highlighted throughout the Energy Zone.

Are you ready? An electrifying experience awaits…

  • Activate and personalize your Power Pass with an avatar
  • Step into the zone with our 3-D immersive movie experience “Imagination!” in the Magi Theater
  • Travel back in time with Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
  • Build a bulb, a power plant, microgrid, solar and wind installation
  • Become a control room operator
  • Explore the ‘Future of the Grid’ room and watch the sparks fly
  • “Fly” a drone over power lines
  • Plus enjoy photo op moments and more 

“I visit the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Vista in Lewiston every chance I get and now I am thrilled that I’ll be able to learn even more about the New York energy story at the New York Energy Zone in Utica,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “NYPA’s first-class visitors centers attract visitors from around the world. This energy museum will help boost the local economy as more tourists visit the area. Educators from around the state and beyond will appreciate what the museum has to offer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programming, and we will all benefit by inspiring new leaders in these fields as we transform our energy system to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.”

Named for former NYPA Chairman John S. Dyson, the new facility is affiliated with NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Center — the hub of its statewide power transmission control center located in Marcy. The two-story facility features a 3D feature film about Nikola Tesla directed by Douglas Trumbull, known for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Blade Runner (1982). The film showcases the contributions of Tesla and other famous inventors from the past, returning Tesla to the present to introduce him to the amazing electrical achievements and opportunities of today that have been made possible by his work.

The facility also is home to a STEM Lab — a space dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and focused on student learning. The STEM Lab’s programming will be developed in partnership with local educational entities with an expertise in STEM and will host hands-on educational experiences and special events.

The museum is named for John S. Dyson, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Power Authority from 1979 to 1985, and vice chairman and member of the board of trustees from 2011 to 2012. Hallmarks of his leadership at NYPA include a legacy of strengthening the state’s power transmission system, energy conservation, and programs to promote energy efficiency and economic development, including initiatives allocating lower cost electricity to businesses in return for job commitments. As the state’s Commerce Commissioner in the late 1970s, he established the “I Love New York” program. A longtime New Yorker, Dyson grew up in Westchester and Dutchess counties and graduated from Cornell University. He lives in Millbrook, Dutchess County.

The museum is expected to complement the region’s tourism attractions and contribute to its economic development, in addition to showcasing New York State as being on the vanguard of a clean, renewable energy economy.

All visits to the new John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone will follow New York Forward COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information or to schedule a time to visit after May 10, visit NYPA’s New York Energy Zone webpage.

Anthony J. Picente Jr., NYPA trustee and Oneida County Executive, said,”Utica is a natural location for this museum of energy because it complements the work of our Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, NYPA’s system-wide energy transmission complex in Marcy. I am grateful to my colleagues at the Power Authority for their vision in conceiving and developing this magnificent facility in Oneida County that will inspire our next generation of energy leaders and benefit all New Yorkers for decades to come.”

NYPA has three other admission-free visitors centers near its major hydropower projects. The centers, which feature exhibits that demonstrate the production of electricity, also educate the public about clean energy and host community events. NYPA’s Niagara Power Vista, minutes from Niagara Falls; its Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center in the Catskills; and its Frank S. McCullough, Jr., Visitors Center and Boat Launch at Hawkins Point on the St. Lawrence River offer outdoor recreation opportunities on the grounds and nearby. For more information about COVID-19 prevention protocols and opening plans, visit NYPA’s Visitors Centers webpage.  

  • Housed in a 19th-century dairy barn Blenheim-Gilboa features exhibits describing the unique engineering of a pumped-storage power facility. On the grounds stands Lansing Manor, a 19th century home preserved for modern visitors. Hiking, boating and fishing are very popular.
  • The Hawkins Point Visitors Center nests on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Visitors will learn about the series of dams, walls, and canals that let the enormous river provide power to both Canada and New York.
  • At the renovated Niagara Power Vista, the power generation exhibits are on a par with those of the best science museums in the country—and it’s just five miles from Niagara Falls.
  • The NY Energy Zone introduces you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

NYPA is one of the largest state public power organizations in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.

John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, is located just outside the Utica Zoo, 35 Utica Zoo Way Utica, NY, 13501, 315-792-8720, https://www.nypa.gov/communities/visitors-centers/ny-energy-zone

For more travel features, visit:

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