Summer Travel to Rise, Despite Costs
Despite rising prices, Americans will be traveling in record
numbers this summer with Florida, California, Nevada and New York
the top preferred destinations, officials said.
“It’s going to be a record-breaking summer season, continuing
the travel recovery momentum that finally began last year,” said
Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the Travel
Industry Association of America. More than 328 million leisure
trips are predicted, up 2.3 percent from last year, Cook said, with
increases in nearly every sector of the industry.
“Planes will be full this summer as Americans return to the
skies,” Cook said, adding that air travel is expected to increase 4
percent this summer. RV travel will also rise, despite high gas
prices. The average nightly hotel room rate is also expected to
increase to a record high of $89.97, according to a report from
But higher travel prices won’t discourage travelers, officials
said. Instead Americans will be looking for ways to economize
without giving up their summer vacations.
Supreme Court: Ships Must Abide By ADA
The U.S. Supreme Court, settling conflicting opinions in the lower
courts, has ruled that foreign-flag cruise ships must abide by
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when in U.S.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that
modifications for disabled passengers can be made where barrier
removal is “readily achievable” and that Congress could not have
intended for barrier removal to conflict with international rules
such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at
The ruling involves a class-action suit filed against Norwegian
Cruise Line (NCL) in 2000 by Douglas Spector, et al.
Justice Antonin Scalia said that Title III “plainly affects the
internal order of foreign-flag cruise ships, subjecting them to the
possibility of conflicting international obligations,” adding there
is “no clear statement of coverage.”
The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL), a trade group
representing the major cruise lines, said it “welcomes the U.S.
Supreme Court’s decision” which “recognized the complexity of the
application of domestic U.S. laws to ships at sea.”
Meanwhile, Spector and his lawyer Sandra Thourot Krider of
Houston-based Edwards & George hailed the court’s decision.
“With this decision, the Supreme Court has told the cruise lines
that we are entitled to what every other passenger receives access
to emergency equipment and the full range of public facilities. The
cruise lines aggressively market themselves as American and
accessible, and maybe now, they will truly become just that,” they
said in a statement.
Ritz-Carlton to Open First Hotel in Russia
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. said it would open
its first property in Russia mid-year 2006.
The 332-room, 11-story Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, will be located
just off Red Square and within walking distance of the Kremlin, St.
Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Bolshoi Theater.
“With the Russian economy thriving, it is the ideal time to
establish our brand in the capital,” said Simon Cooper, the chain’s
president and chief operating officer.
NTA to Sponsor ASTA Show
The National Tour Association (NTA) has signed
on as the first strategic partner with ASTA’s
TRADE (Travel Retailing and Destination Expo) Show and will present
the event on Sept. 10-13, 2006, in Orlando, Fla.
The three-day show will feature travel suppliers from all over
the world, representing many segments of the industry. Starting in
2006, the event will take place the second week of September every
year and will be held in Orlando on even years and Las Vegas on odd
NTA represents 4,000 tourism professionals involved in the
growth of the package-travel industry.
Princess to Visit South America
Princess Cruises will send two ships the Golden
Princess and the Pacific Princess to South America late next year
for the 2006-2007 winter season.
The line said the ‘06-‘07 season will be its first two-ship
South America season.
The 2,600-passenger Golden Princess will sail around Cape Horn
and offer cruises on both sides of the continent, including a
16-day Santiago, Chile, to Acapulco, Mexico, voyage with a visit to
Machu Picchu, Peru; and a 16-day cruise from New Orleans to Rio de
The 670-passenger Pacific Princess, meanwhile, will sail the
Amazon River and offer two Andes cruises in Peru.
Apple Vacations Adds Europe
Apple Vacations will expand into the Old World
come June 1 with new first-ever city-stay packages to four European
capitals. Apple will offer both land-only and air-inclusive deals
to new destinations London, Madrid, Paris and Rome. Three-night,
hotel-only packages start at $141 per person in Madrid, $225 in
Paris, $235 in London and $252 in Rome. Air-inclusive vacations
with travel from major U.S. gateways start at $549, with three
nights’ hotel accommodations.