Quick Points: Unlock a year of free Lyft Pink and Grubhub+ with the Chase Sapphire Reserve






Quick Points: Unlock a year of free Lyft Pink and Grubhub+ with the Chase Sapphire Reserve – The Points Guy





















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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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77% of travelers want to travel in the next year, with Europe reigning as top destination, according to new traveler research commissioned by Amadeus


LONDON–()–The survey of 9,074 consumers across France, Germany, India, Spain, Russia, Singapore, the UAE, the UK, and the US shows the appetite to travel is high. At the same time, it reveals that greater clarity on restrictions and guidelines will be key to unlocking increased traveler confidence. Over a third (35%) of travelers said the current international guidelines around where and how to travel are confusing, making them less likely to book business and/or leisure travel.

At the same time, travelers are exhibiting increased openness to embrace technology and a willingness to share health data so they can start traveling again.

When asked about the receptiveness to share personal health data, the survey results show:

  • 93% of travelers would be willing to provide personal data for the effective use of digital health passports or certificates, a slight increase from 91% in February 2021
  • Almost half (48%) of business travelers would be willing to provide their health data to visit a conference or event, while 36% of leisure travelers would be willing to for an excursion or activity at destination.

When asked which technology would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions continue to be the most popular, with the top technologies including:

  • Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (44%)
  • Self-service check-in (41%)
  • Contactless mobile payments (e.g., Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venmo) (41%)
  • Automated and flexible cancellation policies (40%)

Mobile applications and contactless technology have remained top technologies across all three studies, with the addition of automated and flexible cancellation policies in this final instalment.

The research is the third in a series of traveler sentiment surveys, where Amadeus takes a regular checkpoint on traveler sentiment and concerns to help the industry rebuild travel in the most effective way. Both the 2020 Rethink Travel survey (Sept 2020) and Rebuild Travel Digital Health (Feb 2021) survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveler confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveler confidence has changed since September 2020. 97% of travelers now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, up from 91% in February 2021 and 84% in September 2020, showing a growing sense of traveler confidence in technology.

When considering the future of travel and sustainability, the survey highlighted what solutions travelers believe might help the industry to become more sustainable long-term. The results showed:

  • Nearly half (46%) of travelers said greater availability of green modes of transport, e.g., electric planes or trains
  • A similar percentage (44%) believe making sustainable travel more cost effective would be beneficial
  • 41% say transparency around travel companies’ sustainability policies would help.

Although receptiveness to travel in the next year is high, the travel industry needs to consider how to respond to changing traveler concerns as the travel environment continues to adapt. The three main concerns travelers have, are:

  • Fears of catching COVID-19 while traveling (41%)
  • Self-isolation or quarantine before and after travel (41%)
  • Changing restrictions resulting in last minute cancellations (37%)

In comparison to the previous studies, fears of catching the virus maintain a top concern for travelers, alongside self-isolation, or quarantine.

Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus, says, “The travel industry still faces many challenges in light of COVID-19, but we are seeing positive steps taken as restrictions lift and developments in digital health certificates continue around the world. This research demonstrates the appetite to travel continues to grow, and that travelers are looking forward to advancements in areas such as touchless technology, digital health and sustainable travel. Now is the time to listen even more closely to travelers’ needs so we can rebuild our industry in a way that is more traveler focused, resilient and sustainable.”

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus, comments, “This three-part series of research has highlighted the essential role that both technology and data have to play in the recovery of our industry and increasing traveler confidence. In hospitality specifically we are seeing how our hotel customers are implementing solutions that complement and streamline experiences without losing the human touch while using data to better prepare for guest demands. At Amadeus we are committed to rebuilding a better industry and working closely with our customers to provide the tools to achieve this.”

To learn more about the results of the survey, read our global report here: https://amadeus.com/en/insights/themes/rebuild-travel



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5 things you need to do early this year for holiday travel






5 things you need to do early this year for holiday travel

































Advertiser Disclosure



Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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China’s Golden Week Travel Not Expected to Return to Pre-COVID Levels This Year | World News


By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Golden Week holiday this year is unlikely to see domestic travel rebound to pre-COVID levels, industry estimates show, hurt by uncertainty over pandemic curbs and consumer fears about the health of the economy.

The seven-day holiday from Oct. 1 to mark the founding of modern China is traditionally one of its busiest times for travel and is closely watched as a barometer of consumer demand in the world’s second-largest economy.

Chinese travel booking site LY.com said it is expecting some 650 million trips, about 80% of the number made for the same period in 2019 and the lowest level since 2017. That is only a tad higher than the 637 million trips made last year when the holiday was eight days long.

“The impact of COVID-19 is big and is long,” said Zhang Qidi, visiting researcher at the Center of International Finance Studies at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

“Citizens are heavily indebted because of their home and car loans and that has resulted in a decline in disposable income.”

While China’s economy has rebounded from last year’s coronavirus-led slump, momentum in that recovery has slowed over the past few months – in part due to COVID-19 curbs imposed in several provinces and more recently due to power shortages.

For those who are travelling, cheaper shorter trips are in vogue.

Online searches for “niche travel destination” have surged in the run-up to the holiday, according to Chinese lifestyle site Little Red Book, and domestic online travel company Trip.com Group said last week that more than half of the tourists using its platform were preferring to take shorter distance trips.

“Going to fifth-tier cities is the new choice for the long holiday,” Trip.com said in a report, referring to some of the country’s least-developed and rural areas.

China’s commerce ministry said this month it would strengthen efforts to boost consumer spending. At least 20 local governments have handed out coupons that can used at shopping malls, convenience stores and restaurants to encourage spending from late September’s Mid-Autumn Festival through to Golden Week, state media has said.

(Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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Halloween Is the Most Popular Check-in Day for Hotels This Year, According to Tripadvisor




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When It Comes to Business Travel, Hawaiʻi Is Projected to Lose $1.1B This Year


When it comes to business travel, Hawaiʻi is projected to lose $1.1 billion this year compared to 2019, according to a report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Hawaiʻi primarily draws leisure travelers — but nationally, business travel is a big revenue generator for cities.

But the lingering effects of COVID-19 are causing organizations and companies to reduce trips and events this year.

Locally, the meetings, conferences and incentives, or MCI, market accounts for a majority of business travel.

Kalani Kaʻanaʻana, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s chief brand officer, says prior to the pandemic it made up 5% to 7% of the overall visitor arrivals — which still has value.

“On the meeting side and the MCI side, those are really the travelers we’re going after. They tend to be more respectful, they’re happening in structured events where they’re occupied during the day — reducing their impact and traffic and other things,” Kaʻanaʻana said.

“They tend to have a higher spend compared to a leisure traveler. And so I think for us, they really form the kind of core market that we really like to see of respectful travelers who travel pono,” he told Hawaiʻi Public Radio. “Also, they have additional benefits because many of them will add days before and after the conference.”

Kaʻanaʻana says in order for tourism and business travel to recover — we have to better understand how to live with COVID.





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2022 Gay Games postponed for a year due to COVID pandemic


“With many parts of the world, including many across Asia, still struggling to contain the virus and facing uneven access to vaccines, we felt that delaying the Games until November 2023 will enhance the likelihood of delivering on our promise to have the Hong Kong Games serve as a beacon of hope for the wider community across the region,” he added.



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One year on: what you said about booking slots at Herefordshire’s tips


IT is a year since Herefordshire’s tips started operating a booking system in a bid to continue operating safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Herefordshire Council announced in September 2020 that the sites in Chapel Road, Hereford and Bridge Street, Leominster, which were at the time open as they were before the coronavirus pandemic, would be following a similar system to those in place at Bromyard, Ledbury, Kington and Ross-on-Wye tips, which were already using a booking system.

The news came after queues of over an hour were seen at the tips after months of closure during lockdown.

The system requires all visitors to pre-book a timeslot for their visit, either online or by phone.

And, 12 months on, we asked you what you thought of the system.

Of those who responded to our question on Facebook, the majority were in favour of keeping the booking system.

“Love it, never any queues now and can get a slot the same day usually,” said Catherine Strangwood.

Stacey Knill was among the many who agreed. “Booking is good for us and when it’s been full I’ve been happy to book and travel to other sites,” she said.

“I’d rather that than sit in a queue.”

And Donna Walker said she thought it was marvellous. “Much better than the old system,” she said.

But others were less convinced by the system.

“Would rather just turn up when I need to as you can never really ‘plan’ when you need to go to the tip sometimes and especially with weather etc,” said Emma Louise Riley.

“Just let it go back to normal and you won’t have queues,” said Alan Mills.

“When I want to I want to go, not when they tell me.”

Others voiced concerns that the system was encouraging flytipping, with some suggesting a hybrid system of pre-booked and walk-in slots.

“Booking has been so easy and simple, but if it stops fly tippers, time to go back to normal maybe,or just be able to book a slot on certain days,” said Andrew Leighton.

“Just turn up should be available, ” said Ann Lloyd.

“They could operate a system where you can book a slot so you don’t have to wait, but also allow so many slots for those who just want to turn up and take their chance.

“A good balance would be half can be pre-booked, the other half are for those who are prepared to just turn up and wait until they can get in.”

And John Walker said: “The booking system is fine for well-organised and conscientious people but just means everyone else fly tips in the countryside.

“It’s supposed to be a public services like bin collections. It should be easy to use as the alternative is social damaging and much more expensive to deal with.”

In July, Herefordshire Council said it had no plans to scrap the system.

The council said it the system would stay in place after “proving to be successful at reducing queues and crowding at peak times”.

Only residents of Herefordshire can book a slot, and people must provide their address and vehicle registration number.





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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 ‘highly commended’ images released


(CNN) — A number of stunning entries to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been released, including images of an Iberian lynx framed in a doorway, cheetahs swimming in a raging river and blood dripping from the muzzle of a lioness.

There were a record number of entries to the 57th edition of the competition, which is organized by the Natural History Museum in London, and a selection of “highly commended” images was released Tuesday evening.

“It was the overall quality of entries that took us by surprise,” said Roz Kidman Cox, chair of the judging panel, in a press release.

“With most travel plans cancelled over the past year, photographers seem to have spent extra time considering what gems to submit. The result is a collection of both thought-provoking images and ones that, in these dark times, remind us of the joy and wonder to be had from nature.”

Industry experts selected among 50,000 submissions from photographers in 95 countries, judging for “creativity, originality, and technical excellence,” according to the press release.

“These extraordinary images showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth and spark curiosity and wonder,” said Doug Gurr, director of the Natural History Museum, in the press release.

“Telling the story of a planet under pressure, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition illuminates the urgent challenges we face and the collective action we need to take.”

The category winners will be announced on October 12 and will feature in an exhibition set to open on October 15 and run until June 5 2022.



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Why Labor Day weekend travel is trickier this year


Unlike other national holidays, Labor Day traffic is more up in the air.

The day has become so unpredictable for travel that the American Automobile Association (AAA) has not created a formal travel forecast for it in “many years,” according to the motor club organization.

“The Labor Day holiday of years ago has changed, especially with so many schools starting earlier now,” a spokesperson for AAA told FOX News.

THE BEST US STATE PARKS TO BOOKMARK FOR TRAVEL

Travelers who wish to take a final road trip while they celebrate the unofficial end of summer would benefit from planning their driving schedules like a standard three-day weekend, according to AAA.

AAA told FOX News that Labor Day travel trends have changed in recent years due to schools opening earlier throughout the U.S.

AAA told FOX News that Labor Day travel trends have changed in recent years due to schools opening earlier throughout the U.S.
(iStock)

“In that case, we can say that Thursday and Friday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. will probably be the busiest times on the roads for most travelers, as holiday getaway traffic mingles with commuter traffic around many metropolitan areas,” AAA wrote, in a statement. “This summer has been a very robust one for travel, especially by car and we do not expect that to change very much.”

Returning home the day after Labor Day – Tuesday, Sept. 7 – could mean heavy traffic as well.

LABOR DAY GRILLING RECIPES

AAA also went on to suggest that Labor Day travelers research the location they’re driving to in order to learn the impact the coronavirus is having on their desired destination. Some cities or states might have restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization noted. 

“AAA urges all travelers to follow CDC guidelines and pack a mask and their patience,” the motor club shared.

AAA said Labor Day drivers should research their desired destination before they hit the road because the COVID-19 pandemic or inclement weather could play a part in their vacation. 

AAA said Labor Day drivers should research their desired destination before they hit the road because the COVID-19 pandemic or inclement weather could play a part in their vacation. 
(iStock)

Besides coronavirus concerns, AAA recommends Labor Day drivers to look into current weather forecasts before they hit the road, especially if their original plans involved visiting an area where recent hurricanes passed through.

MOM WARNS AGAINST FIREWORKS AFTER ONE EXPLODES AND ‘BLEW’ HER HAND IN HALF

“Regionally, travel around Louisiana and Mississippi may still be suffering the after-effects of Hurricane Ida. Still, we won’t know more until the damage can be fully assessed in a few days,” AAA wrote. “We will likely see some impact in terms of gas prices, but how much remains to be determined once the storm clears and floodwaters recede.”

AAA went on, “However, in past years, higher gasoline prices have not deterred folks from taking a vacation. Instead, they figure out a way to factor in higher prices by saving money elsewhere in their travel budget.”

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Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September each year. 



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