Acre Resort in Los Cabos offers future credits

Acre Resort, a boutique luxury hotel in Los Cabos, has partnered with Porter & Sail to sell future credits to deliver value to travelers and cash flow to hotel owners who are continuing to pay staff members. 

A $200 purchase buys a $300 credit to apply to a future booking against the cost of a stay at that point in time. Guests can buy in as many increments as they’d like. Pre-purchasing a $1,000 credit to Acre will net the buyer $1,500 to spend during their stay. The offer is valid for stays through 2022.

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Renovations in full swing at TI during shutdown

Visitors from regional, drive-in markets will be the first to arrive in Las Vegas when coronavirus concerns subside and resorts open their doors, said Don Voss, Treasure Island Hotel & Casino’s vice president of hotel sales and marketing. Voss has worked at TI (part of the Radisson portfolio of hotels) for more than two decades. Travel Weekly’s Las Vegas editor, Paul Szydelko, conducted a Q&A via email with Voss earlier this month:

Q: What should travelers know about Las Vegas right now?
A: Our sole focus is on the health and safety of our guests, staff, families and community not only for the present but the future, as well. We are making significant additional efforts to ensure a clean, comfortable and welcoming environment for our future guests and working with all our local, regional, national and international partners to come out stronger than ever after this crisis.

Q: What is TI doing during the closure?
A: We have doubled our efforts to finalize renovations for all 2,884 rooms and suites as well as other renovation projects. All guests will receive a newly renovated room or suite. Even before the pandemic, we planned to replace the buffet with a new dining and entertainment venue this year. We are securing new entertainment in the fall for Gilley’s Saloon and the Treasure Island Theatre. We are currently focused on deep cleaning and maintenance of all public and back-of-house areas as well as our free self-park garage.

Q:What else is on the to-do list?
A: TI is consistently reviewing market conditions and the needs of our guests. As a privately owned resort, we have the ability to make changes faster than most of our competitors but always look four to five years out to stay ahead of the curve. That hasn’t changed during this crisis with the exception that we understand short-term changes to operations will be required over the next several months.

Q:What are examples of those changes?
A: In the short term, we do anticipate some capacity restrictions that should be manageable simply due to reduced demand but otherwise do not expect any permanent changes in most of the public areas. On the other hand, we would anticipate more long-term changes to cleaning schedules and policies to ensure minimal risk to guests and staff.

Q: Can you share the results of research you’ve conducted?
A: Based on feedback from our own customers as well as research provided by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and industry organizations, we are seeing potential for pent-up demand to travel in a few months. Until then, we are seeing large events reschedule for later in the year, and we believe the shorter-term opportunities will primarily be with regional, drive-in markets once they have overcome most issues related to the pandemic.

Q: What has surprised you in the research data?
A: We have been relatively surprised by the continued demand to get back to traveling as soon as possible but are also seeing trends that most will [at first opt for] shorter-range trips to more familiar destinations where they have more confidence in a healthy environment.

Q: What will be the biggest concerns of guests and travel advsors when the crisis subsides?
A: In the short term, the biggest concern will be obtaining a healthy environment. TI is uniquely positioned in the Las Vegas market as we complete all room and suite renovations before being fully open. A year from now, we believe our core customers will continue to expect a high value for their vacation and entertainment budgets, which has always been the main mission at TI.

Q: Las Vegas has had a reputation for being “last in” during recession cycles and “first out.” This, of course, feels different. What’s your perspective?
A: Unlike other financial downturns, we don’t believe there are any large tourist destinations that will have a significantly different experience coming out of this crisis. Nearly all will be required to make operational changes over the next several months, rely on more regional consumers and count on loyalty members to help share positive experiences upon their return to regain confidence in the traveling public.

Q: What is the most positive thing you’ve seen in the hospitality industry during this time?
A: The compassion and understanding from the hospitality industry has been overwhelming. From donating to local food banks, sharing information with partners and volunteering to assist those in need, the community response gives us great confidence that Las Vegas will be more than ready to offer our future guests all the services that makes our city so unique.

Q: What will you remember most when looking back on this five years from now?
A: In contrast to the financial issues that we encountered after 9/11 and the Great Recession, we will always remember this time as a truly global crisis. Five years from now, we will all have a greater appreciation of the travel and hospitality industry impact not only on the economy but the importance of getting together, sharing ideas, providing services and celebrating life.

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Coral Princess docks in Fort Lauderdale

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Another cruise ship with
coronavirus victims onboard, including two fatalities, docked in Florida on
Saturday.

Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said in an email
that the Coral Princess was docking in Miami. The ship with 1,020 passengers
and 878 crew members had been in limbo for days awaiting permission to dock.

As of Thursday, Kamali said seven passengers and five crew
members had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Anyone in need of hospitalization would disembark first, the
cruise line said, although it wasn’t immediately clear when that would happen.
Those fit to fly were to begin leaving on Sunday, while others with symptoms of
respiratory illness would remain on board until cleared by ship doctors.

A day earlier, the cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam were
permitted to dock at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, with 14 critically ill
people taken immediately to hospitals. The remaining passengers were slowly
being allowed to board flights for home.

The Coral Princess had been on a South American cruise that
was due to end March 19 in Buenos Aires. Since then, the ship has encountered
obstacles to docking because of various port closures and cancellation of
airline flights, the cruise line said.

Passengers have self-isolated in their staterooms and meals
have been delivered by room service. Crew members also have remained in their
quarters when they are not working.

The Coast Guard said in a news release Saturday it has been
involved with processing about 120 vessels carrying some 250,000 passengers
over the past three weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Coast Guard statement said as of Saturday there are 114
cruise ships carrying 93,000 crew members either in or near U.S. ports and
waters. That includes 73 cruise ships with 52,000 crew members moored or
anchored in U.S. ports and anchorages. 

The cruise line industry announced a voluntarily suspension
of most ship operations from U.S. ports on March 13. The next day, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention announced a “no sail” order to all cruise
ships that had not suspended operations.

“We commend the decision by the cruise industry to cease
operations. However, pausing a global tourist industry does not happen
instantaneously or easily,” said Vice Admiral Dan Abel, Coast Guard deputy commandant
for operations. “The federal, state, local and industry cooperation to achieve
this feat truly represents the whole-of-nation approach directed by the
president and is essential to fighting the spread of this virus and working to
minimize the loss of life.”

Princess Cruises is a brand of Miami-based Carnival Corp.,
the world’s largest cruise company.

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Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as COVID-19 pandemic erupted


An ABC News investigation offers sobering insight into how COVID-19 has spread and penetrated so broadly, so deeply and so quickly in the United States. It also helps explain why Americans, no matter where they live, must continue to heed the warnings of health officials to self distance and why the virus likely was here far earlier than first realized.

a man standing in front of a building: A doctor wears a protective mask as he walks outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in New York, April 1, 2020.

With the advent of COVID-19, the world has officially entered a dangerous new phase where a surge in international travel in recent decades served as the springboard — jet fuel, really — for an infectious disease potentially to kill hundreds of thousands in the U.S. and infect the global economy at breathtaking speed.

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it, “I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than any of us know, and we have the virus more than any other state because travelers from other parts of the world come here first.” 

Travel data of passengers arriving in the United States from China during the critical period in December, January and February, when the disease took hold in that country, shows a stunning 759,493 people entered the U.S.

“This is an astonishing number in a short period of time, illustrating how globalized our world has become. Just as people can hop continents with amazing ease, the infections they carry can too,” said Dr. Vinayak Kumar, an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

Those travelers from China included more than 228,000 Americans returning home and hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals arriving for business, academics, tourism or to visit family.

“The numbers are clearly alarming,” Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health, told ABC News. “It shows that globalization is here, and we have to be better prepared to deal with the impact this will have on all our lives in so many ways.”

Added Wildes: “It is difficult to estimate the portion of travelers coming from China to the U.S. with COVID-19, but fair to speculate that a large number might have been infected at the time of travel.”

a person in a blue car parked in a parking lot: A worker checks a delivery of 64 hospital beds from Hillrom to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020.

While the majority of the travelers likely went to major population centers like New York, Seattle or Los Angeles, with so many arriving, any of the hundreds of thousands could have gone anywhere in the U.S.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University said the outbreak could have started as far back as November, and that there may have been hundreds of cases in Wuhan by early December. On Jan. 14, a different team of researchers from the University of Toronto warned that the outbreak could quickly jump from Wuhan to other major cities because of international travel. 

President Donald Trump restricted travel from China effective Feb. 2, which likely saved lives. But by the time the president acted, much of the damage had already been unleashed, and some 18,000 Americans returned home from China in February and March, after the restrictions were in place. It’s unclear how intensive, if at all, the screening was for the Americans coming home at that point.

“The United States banned travel to China 12 days after the world heard there was an outbreak of severe pneumonia in Wuhan. … The problem was, it was too late,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and an ABC News Consultant. “Even though there had only been 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. on the day President Trump announces the travel ban, the reality was there were many more unconfirmed cases.”

The data, gleaned from Commerce Department records and additional information compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the request of ABC News, represents the most detailed accounting yet of travelers coming into the U.S. from China and other countries where the virus quickly spread.

ABC News examined data from December, January and February on travelers entering the U.S. from eight of the hardest-hit countries: 343,402 arrived from Italy, 418,848 from Spain and about 1.9 million more came from Britain.

a bench in front of a building: Julian Fernandez Mascaraque, 59, attends the burial of his mother Rosalia Mascaraque, 86, during the coronavirus outbreak in Zarza de Tajo, central Spain, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Combined with those from China, that’s more than 3.4 million people from just four countries — nearly half, about 1.5 million, Americans returning home. Travel from Italy and Spain wasn’t shut down until March 13, with U.K. arrivals restricted a few days later.

The data shows how a highly communicable disease can quickly move throughout an interconnected global community, spreading across the globe in a matter of hours. The novel coronavirus was off to the races before the international community knew what had hit it.

“I think this was bound to eventually happen,” Kumar said. “The high volume of international travel, the lack of screening, the inconsistent hand-washing and cough control … these laid down the perfect conditions for a disease to spread. Add that to a virus that is both largely asymptomatic and has a prolonged infectious period, and you have got a perfect storm of factors for a pandemic.”

The world simply wasn’t ready, even though scientists and medical experts had long warned of such a possibility.

“This is not new,” said John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News Consultant. “We’ve seen this with H1N1, SARS, Zika. We should have had the infrastructure to prepare for this. And we didn’t.

“There was a lack of recognition that a coronavirus emerging in a market in Wuhan could be at our door in a matter of months. Now that it’s hitting the U.S., for the first time really, people are aware of the interconnection and risk.”

Medical experts who spoke to ABC News said it can’t be known exactly how many of these travelers were infected or contagious, but that it’s highly likely some portion carried the virus without exhibiting severe symptoms. Minor symptoms, including coughing, sneezing or a runny nose, may have been ignored, leading to people unknowingly spreading COVID-19.

The novel coronavirus “is extra complicated because of mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, which made it much more difficult to contain,” Brownstein said. “We were caught flat-footed.”

Among the millions of travelers likely were a number of biological ticking time bombs, passengers who’d later infect others at a rate at least double that of the typical flu carrier.

“SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the most disruptive infection the world has seen in the last 100 years, has some features that make it impossible to completely contain,” Ellerin said.

It’s time for governments to rethink how to mitigate the emergence of superbugs, experts told ABC News.

a person in a blue suitcase: Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment moves a body from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center to refrigerated containers parked outside, April 2, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York.

“We should recognize that any time there is an emergent event, there is a very good opportunity for global impact,” Brownstein said. “We need to be thinking about emergent diseases as a global concern rather than [something] happening in a particular part of the world.”

Additionally, there have been questions and criticisms about how quickly China alerted the international community, given the extraordinary scale of travel in and out of the country. Questions also have been raised about the Trump administration’s public stance and early response — was the U.S. aggressive enough early on, given the travel numbers? It’s unclear how closely policymakers and health experts weighed the data — or whether they had access to the data. 

Political, business and health leaders now working together to battle COVID-19 risk a repeat of the pandemic without newer, better measures implemented going forward, experts said. That could include more infrastructure, more medical equipment and doctors at airports, new methodologies never before considered necessary: routinely checking passengers’ temperatures, en masse or individually, using quarantine facilities at transportation hubs or storing gloves and masks on planes to be used by people feeling ill.


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    Two Holland America cruise ships with coronavirus patients aboard were finally allowed to dock at a port near Fort Lauderdale, resolving a days-long impasse that drew the attention of President Donald Trump. Jillian Kitchener has more.

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    A 60-second virtual vacation in the Bahamas
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5 best places to go in September and October – A Luxury Travel Blog

Although not the first one to say, I’ll reiterate—these are weird times. And while international (and sometimes even domestic) travel is basically out of the question at the moment. We and many other adventuresome folks are thinking ahead to when it’ll be safe for us to explore the world again. Nothing right now is guaranteed, but we are hopeful that travel will resume by the summer, if not sooner. That being said, fall trips are probably a safer bet. So, where can you start dreaming about?

Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in September

As one of the sunniest spots on the Mediterranean coast, Europeans (and others) flock to this Riviera during July and August. That makes for crowded streets, beaches, shops, restaurants, and just about everything else. September is the beginning of Croatia’s shoulder season and the intense summer crowds start to thin. It’s also when the temperatures are more moderate—warm enough to explore without jackets, but not so warm that you’re sweating and uncomfortable.

Spain in September or October

In the north, September is considered one of the best months to walk the Camino de Santiago because the weather is generally warm with blissfully cool evenings and mornings. Plus, the trails are not as busy as in July and August. In the south, October is the shoulder season, which like Croatia, means fewer crowds and more moderate temperatures. This is also the time of year when you might see olive or grape harvests going on depending on seasonal factors.

The Himalayas in September or October 

Fall in Bhutan and Nepal typically brings the driest weather, which means the clearest skies. And it’s important to have clear skies to enjoy views of the spectacular and humbling mountains. If you want to see Everest and other sky-high peaks on your hikes or through a plane window, this is the time to go. You’ll see farmers in their fields harvesting the season’s bounty, and temperatures can still reach into the 80s in some places!

Portugal and the Azores in September or October

Summertime in Portugal is hot and dry and the most popular time for visitors. But by autumn, the intense heat of the summer has passed, and there are fewer crowds, which is better for both your urban and rural exploration. Whether you choose to explore the mainland, the lush volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic, or both, you’ll find pleasant temperatures both on the ground and in the water (if you choose to take a dip).

New Zealand in October

October is one of the best months for spotting dolphins, whales, and penguins (who doesn’t love penguins?). Since it’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll also see adorable baby lambs grazing alongside their mothers and wildflowers blooming on the hillsides. There’s something lovely about seeing the landscape come to life again with color. Plus, you can often find better airfare prices!

Matt Holmes is the Founder & President of Boundless Journeys. Boundless Journeys is an award-winning tour operator that goes off the beaten path for immersive and authentic travel experiences.

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Following in the footsteps of William Wordsworth in the Lake District

Poetry in motion: The 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth promises to make the Lake District even more appealing – eventually

  • The Daily Mail’s Harriet Sime visited the Lake District with her fiance and puppy 
  • Her base was The Samling in Windermere, which has an outdoor hot tub
  • Poet William Wordsworth would regularly walk around the hotel’s 67 acres

A portrait of William Wordsworth 

Admittedly, it’s a muted kind of celebration given the circumstances in which the whole nation finds itself.

But, long term, the crowds will return (often far too many of them) and normal service will resume to mark the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth’s birth.

Of course, the great poet’s A Guide Through The District Of The Lakes In The North Of England, published in 1810, is partly responsible for the region’s worldwide popularity. Wordsworth had made little money out of his other writing, but his guide was an instant success and earned him enough to keep him comfortable.

Although Wordsworth wasn’t actually born in the Lake District, but just outside in the market town of Cockermouth, he spent much of his youth around the Lakes, gaining inspiration from the fells and valleys, and he later settled in the pretty village of Grasmere.

On my most recent visit with Dan, my fiance, and our puppy Pippin, we hiked up Gummer’s How, a hill on the eastern shore of Windermere.

Mist accompanied us up the lonely thickets as we navigated through marshy terrain, passing rotund cows scratching themselves on windswept trees, before scrambling on our hands and feet for the final ascent. At the top, we were rewarded with sweeping views of the sheep-flecked hills and lakes below. Sailing boats dotted the water, which shimmered like silver foil.

Of course, the Lake District has inspired writers and artists for many years. Alfred Wainwright devoted his life to mapping the area, and Beatrix Potter moved here after falling in love with the charming villages while holidaying as a child.

Hill Top, the wisteria-draped farmhouse that Potter owned for almost 40 years, has hardly changed since her death in 1943. The fireplace still roars and candles light up the myriad dark nooks and crannies. As Potter said herself: ‘I never saw such a place for hide and seek.’

Outside, Mr McGregor’s spade is firmly planted in the vegetable patch, and the rhubarb still grows where Jemima Puddle-Duck tried to hide her egg.

Luscious: Windermere, pictured, inspired Wordsworth

Drive along any road hugging Windermere and you’ll pass mansions with wooden jetties that look like they’ve come straight out of the pages of a Swallows And Amazons novel.

Our base for the weekend, The Samling, veered off the main road and up and onto a smart private drive.

Wordsworth would regularly walk around the hotel’s 67 acres to pay rent to his landlord, John Benson, who lived there (it was a large private home then).

The poet was so inspired by its views and the mix of deciduous woodland, vegetable gardens and hay meadows that it formed the basis of one of his poems, written following a romantic dalliance by the stream there.

Each evening, in the dwindling daylight, Dan and I massaged our aching legs in the bubbling outdoor hot tub overlooking boats which clanged against one of Windermere’s many tiny harbours.

The Lake District has inspired others writers, including Beatrix PotterBeatrix Potter – creator of Jemima Puddle-Duck

We swapped mountains for lakes on our last afternoon, and took turns captaining an electric boat from the thronging town of Ambleside. ‘Look back towards here as you get to the middle of the lake and you’ll see my favourite mountains,’ the local rental man shouted as he used his foot to push us off the harbour. Windermere’s gentle waves bobbed the boat up and down as we passed gulls perched on buoys and plucky children jumping off jetties. Sure enough, the mountain range slowly came into view, rearing up in the most dramatic display.

Back on land, we headed to The Yan, a former livestock shed recently converted into a cosy bistro, where we gorged on succulent lamb shoulder, chunky chips and sticky toffee pudding.

It felt like we’d entered a home; Pippin was warmly welcomed before grunting contentedly under our rustic wooden table close to a roaring fireplace.

The Yan is the sort of place where the charming waitresses — with Cumbrian accents — ask guests, ‘Are you happy?’ rather than the irritating and impersonal, ‘Everything OK with your meal?’

How sad that, for now, all this is off-limits. But its day will come again, and its beauty and wonderful people will shine once more. 

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Samling has B&B doubles from £280 (thesamlinghotel.co.uk). More information at theyan.co.uk, windermere-lakecruises.co.uk and cumbriatourism.org.

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