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July 27, 2021

In this edition of the Direct Travel News Brief… US extends Mexico, Canada border restrictions through August 21st, air travel outlook is positive, U.S. customs pre-clearance at more foreign airports, US passport backlog, China launches ride-hailing firm Didi, Amtrak invests in a new fleet of trains, hotel room rates hit an all-time high this month, Choice Hotels tightens cancellation policies, travel tips, and more!

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Scaling Your Business Globally with the Right Travel Partner

The phrase “post-pandemic” has begun to pop up in news articles and everyday conversations, but even with international borders starting to reopen, the ongoing effects of COVID-19 remain a concern for many businesses. Instead, a more appropriate term might be “post-pandemic mindset.” Read More

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US Extends Mexico, Canada Border Travel Restrictions through Aug. 21

USA Today — The United States has extended Mexico and Canada border restrictions on nonessential travel yet again into August. Read More

Canada to Allow Fully-Vaccinated Americans to Enter Country Starting Aug. 9

Travel Market Report — After more than a year of closures, Canada finally has a plan to reopen its borders. Read More

The Business Travel Sector Has Changed Dramatically

Travel Weekly — As road warriors slowly start to head out again, which trends are here to stay? Read More

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Delta Ready for 'Surge' as Corp. Travel Outlook Improves

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines executives now expect corporate travel demand by September will recover to more than half of pre-pandemic levels, and their optimism in long-term recovery prospects for the segment is increasing. Read More

Delta to Add Airbus, Boeing Aircraft to Fleet Amid Travel Demand Recovery

Wheels Up Network — Aircraft will provide a world-class customer experience, enhance cargo capacity, reduce unit costs and contribute to a more sustainable future. Read More

United Sees More Travel Rebound, Adds Flights to Warm Spots

Meetings & Conventions — The airline also said its winter schedule to places such as California and Florida will be larger than it was in 2019, before the pandemic…Read More

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U.S. Customs Is Bringing Preclearance to More Foreign Airports

Afar Magazine — A deal has been struck with Brussels Airport, and negotiations are under way to add Amsterdam and Bogota, Colombia, to the growing list of hubs where travelers can complete the customs process prior to boarding their flight to the U.S. Read More

US Faces Passport Backlog

Travel Pulse — State Department says Americans should submit applications six months in advance. Read More

U.S. State Department Will Add a Third Gender Option to Passport Applications

Afar Magazine /em> — Transgender applicants will also no longer need to provide medical certification when selecting their gender. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

U.S. Department of State — Information on current government issued travel warnings and alerts. Read More

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Could Didi Shake Up the U.S. Ride-Hailing Market?

Business Travel News — The $4.4 billion China-based ride-hailing firm Didi raised in its initial public offering on June 30 could help support its goal of growth in more foreign markets, possibly including the United States. Read More

Amtrak Will Spend $7.3 Billion on a New Fleet of Trains

Afar Magazine — Get ready for more comfortable seats, fewer delays, and a big decrease in air pollution. Read More

Amtrak's New Train Fleet Promises all the Bells, Whistles. Here's What Riders Can Expect

USA Today — Amtrak is betting big on a return of ridership…Read More

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Yes, Room Prices are Higher

USA Today — U.S. hotel room rates hit an all-time high this month – 5.4% higher than the comparable week in 2019. Read More

This is What Hotel Guests Want Post-Pandemic

Travel Market Report — Guests have made it clear they want breakfast and other hotel amenities. Read More

Tripbam: Corp. Hotel Rates Set to Hit 2019 Levels by Year-End

Business Travel News — Current business travel volume is about 30 percent of 2019 levels, and average daily hotel rates remain lower as well but are increasing, according to Tripbam's second-quarter market report. Read More

These Are the Highest Ranking Hotel Brands for Guest Satisfaction

Travel Pulse — J.D. Power has released its 2021 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction...Read More

Choice Tightens Cancellation Policies, Following Others

Business Travel News — The days of eased cancellation policies for hotels and extensions for loyalty status are coming to an end. Choice Hotels this month announced that, beginning July 14, guests who cancel new reservations will be required to do so at least 48 hours prior to their scheduled arrival. Read More

Hilton Converts First Signia Property

Business Travel News — Hilton Worldwide has renovated and converted the former Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek to become the first property in the upper-upscale meetings-focused Signia by Hilton brand. Read More

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Hawaii Issues New Rules for Vaccinated Travelers—What You Need to Know

Afar Magazine — Fully vaccinated out-of-state travelers do not need to take a pretravel COVID test and are not required to quarantine. Read More

5 Tips for Dealing With the Airport Staffing Shortage

Smarter Travel — Air travel is rebounding, but airports aren’t ready for it—so if you’re planning on flying any time soon, prepare for long waits at security and at airport shops/restaurants. Here are five ways you can prepare for understaffed airports. Read More

Challenging Airport Experiences Could Await Business Travelers

Business Travel News — It's been more than a year since many business travelers have passed through an airport, and enough has changed to surprise even the most experienced business traveler. Read More

DOT Proposes Airline Refunds for Delayed Bags

Travel Weekly — New proposals put forward by the DOT would require airlines to refund passengers for delayed baggage. Read More

7 Tips for Making Your Suitcase Lighter

Smarter Travel — Don’t worry, over-packers—we’ve got you covered. Bring everything you need and still stay under your baggage allowance with these helpful tips that will make your suitcase lighter. Read More

9 Surprising Passport Facts You Need to Know

Smarter Travel — Here are nine impressive, surprising, and vital facts about U.S. passports to know before your next international trip. Read More

3 Incredible Money-Saving Tips from a Flight Attendant

Smarter Travel — After spending over a decade working as a flight attendant at three different major airlines, I’ve picked up more than a few travel tips that the general public doesn’t know. Read More

Los Angeles Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate for All

CNBC — On June 15, California did away with the majority of its COVID restrictions. One month later, Los Angeles County has reinstated its mask mandate as cases begin to rise. Read More

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The Latest Updates on International Gathering and Travel Restrictions

North Star Meetings Group — Ireland has opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States, while Singapore has tightened its gathering restrictions. Read More

Safe, Creative, Healthy: Post-Pandemic F&B Trends

Prevue Meetings — In recent years, the importance of F&B to the success of meetings and incentives has skyrocketed. Read More

How to Promote an Event on a Budget

Successful Meetings — Four low-cost ways to market your meeting online. Read More

Don't Loosen COVID Precautions Yet

Prevue Meetings — As the Delta variant continues to spread across the globe, experts are cautioning planners against loosening COVID precautions too early. Read More

How to Choose the Right Venue for Your Next Hybrid Event

Successful Meetings — Six questions to ask when selecting a venue that can accommodate the needs of both your in-person and virtual attendees. Read More

Looking for guidance on planning your next convention, incentive, or group trip? Direct Travel will assist with all your meetings and event details!  Whatever your needs may be when it comes to your event, you can always depend on us to design streamlined travel arrangements, plan strategic meetings, and deliver real-time results. For details, please send a message to: