Travel News

Giraffe family

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico City breaks tourism records

During the first quarter of 2015, Mexico’s capital city welcomed more than 1 million tourists.

If the recent travel trends are any indication, Mexico’s beaches can wait. Instead, international travelers are flocking to the cultural mecca of Mexico City.

According to minister of tourism Miguel Torruco Marques, Mexico City is currently experiencing a record breaking eight-year streak in international arrivals—and the trend shows no signs of stopping. Last year more than 13 million people visited Mexico City and 39 percent of visitors came from the US.

“Mexico City has a lot to offer,” he said. “For example, we have 188 museums. Only London has more museums in the world.” In addition to a myriad of excellent museums, restaurants, and growing five-star hotel offerings, Mexico City is home to several important religious sites. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe welcomes more than 15 million visitors annually.

New non-stop flight New York-Guadalajara

Volaris, the low-cost airline based in Mexico, has begun flying the only non-stop flight from New York City to Guadalajara, Jalisco. The new flight will depart from New York’s JFK Airport at 2:30am in order to get business travelers into Guadalajara by 6:39am. The flight will depart Guadalajara at 6:36pm and will get into New York at 12:45am.

International News

First hotel staffed by robots

The Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan, opened this month and is the first hotel staffed almost completely by humanoid robots, which is expected to produce savings on labor costs. Human staffing will still be required for security and housekeeping because the robots “still can’t make beds,” says Hideo Sawada, the hotel’s operator.

JFK provides special terminal for pets only

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will soon be adding pools, massages, and spa treatments. But before readers get too excited, there’s a catch: those amenities are exclusively for pets.

The New York Post reports that JFK’s new US$48 million Ark terminal will be used exclusively for shipping animals and include many of the amenities of a five-star hotel. Dogs will be free to frolic in a 20,000-square-foot “resort” that will include bone-shaped pools, massage therapy, and “pedicures,” while cats can spend their pre-boarding hours lounging in a specially made jungle featuring climbing trees.

Canines that won’t be joining their owners on a flight can stay over at the US$100-per-night pet hotel complete with full-sized beds and flat-screen TVs. The Ark will also have designated spaces for horses, cows, and other animals. Horses will have special pens with soft, hoof-friendly flooring, for instance.

With the new terminal, expected to open in 2016, JFK is rapidly becoming one of the most pet-friendly airports in the world.

Ride and attend the Royal Dublin Horse Show

This summer, a weeklong equestrian program includes four days of riding in the Connemara countryside and two days of admission to the Royal Dublin Horse Show. Six nights shared room accommodations are in well-appointed hotels and on the farm. The tour includes horse and all tack, guiding services, entrance fees to tours and the Royal Dublin Horse Show, daily breakfast, four lunches and four dinners, transfers and luggage transfers during the week, and all local taxes. The dates are Aug 1-7, 2015, and the cost is US$2,225 per person.

Cruise News

First American woman cruise ship captain

An American woman soon will be in command of a mega-cruise ship—an industry first. In August, San Francisco native Kate McCue will take the helm of the Celebrity Summit, which sails to Bermuda from the East Coast. Celebrity Cruises says the 91,000-ton vessel carries 2,158 passengers and 952 crew. McCue is a graduate of California State University’s California Maritime Academy.

The appointment comes seven months after the 10-ship Celebrity brand was put under the charge of its first female president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

Deal of the Week

South Africa affordable luxury

Affordable luxury and remarkable extras are the signatures of this five-star safari vacation to Cape Town and a private game reserve. Spend four nights in Cape Town to see all that this cosmopolitan city has to offer, from Table Mountain and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to award-winning restaurants. Then enjoy a three-day safari in the renowned Thornybush Private Game Reserve. The tour includes both US domestic and international airfare and nine nights from US$3,999. Valid for select dates from September 2015 to December 2016.

 

Trip Highlights:

•Domestic flights from 38 major US Cities to New York (JFK) or Washington, D.C. (Dulles)

•Round-trip international economy airfare to South Africa on the award-winning South African Airways from JFK or Dulles

•Four nights at the five-star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, one of the Leading Hotels of the World

•Three nights in luxury accommodation at Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Private Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park

•Cape Winelands tour to La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek where you will enjoy wine tasting, olive oil tasting, and time to stroll in the town of Franschhoek

•High tea in the popular lounge at the Table Bay Hotel

•Two daily game drives in Thornybush Private Game Reserve for incredible wildlife viewing

•Meals: seven breakfasts, three lunches, and five dinners, including a bush breakfast and a multi-course traditional dinner at Cape Town’s Gold Restaurant, with an interactive drumming session

 

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys that specializes in crafting personalized cruise and land itineraries for couples, singles, families and small groups. She designs trips that are carefully tailored to suit client’s interests, ability and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email judynewell@perfectjourneys.net or view the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.

Sources: Travel Agent West, Travel Agent Central, The Associated Press, The Telegraph (London), Fortune, Active Travel, USA Today, Lion World Travel

 

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