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June 15, 2021

In this edition of the Direct Travel News Brief… the CDC updated the International Travel Guidelines, business travel is rebounding, new flight routes, commercial supersonic air travel returns, airline safety protocols, REAL ID deadline extended, rideshare prices increase, the latest on hotel mask requirements, hotel news, tips on traveling to another state, avoiding long airport security lines, tips for creating a more engaging event and more!

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5 Trends to Watch as Corporate Travel Takes Off

Travel is back, and the question now weighing on the minds of travel managers and business leaders everywhere is: How will it be different? Read More

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The CDC Just Updated Its International Travel Guidelines

Smarter Travel — Breaking news from the CDC gives new advice to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers looking to travel outside the U.S. Could it impact your next trip? Here’s what you need to know. Read More

CDC Downgrades COVID Travel Advisory for More than 120 Countries

Travel Market Report — With the public health situation improving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week downgraded the travel advisory for more than 120 countries, a move that included moving 33 countries into the lowest risk category. Read More

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United Airlines Kicks-Off New Nonstop Between New York and Johannesburg

Travel Market Report — The addition gives United more service to South Africa from the U.S. than any other carrier. Read More

United Unveils First Boeing 737 MAX 8 Routes with New Cabins, In-seat TVs

The Points Guy — United’s got a shiny new plane coming to its fleet…Read More

Delta CEO Sees Business Travel Rebounding

Travel Pulse — Ed Bastian predicts a business travel boom by the fall. Read More

American Airlines, JetBlue Expand Loyalty Program Reciprocity

Business Travel News — American Airlines and JetBlue have expanded reciprocal loyalty program accrual to cover most flights between the two carriers. Read More

United Plans to Bring Back Supersonic Air Travel

CBS News — United Airlines said it wants to bring back commercial supersonic air travel, which would mark a first since British Airways retired its Concorde service in 2003. Read More

The Latest on Airline Safety Protocols

Northstar Meetings Group — Airlines are no longer blocking middle seats but other safety protocols remain, including temperature checks, face-mask requirements and health assessments…Read More

Emirates to Launch Four-Times Weekly Service from Miami to Dubai Next Month

Travel Market Report — Emirates is adding a second Florida city to its network. Read More

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REAL ID Deadline Pushed Back to May 2023

Travel Market Report — In a statement reacting to the news, U.S. Travel Association called the delay 'the right move.' Read More

State Department Will Honor Expired Passports for Americans Abroad

Travel + Leisure — Passports that expired on or after Jan. 1, 2021 will be honored for re-entry into the U.S. through Dec. 31, the State Department announced, citing delays in passport processing due to the pandemic. 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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Prepare to Pay More for Uber and Lyft Rides

New York Times — The companies say they are charging extra because they don’t have enough drivers to match rebounding customer demand…Read More

Could Self-Driving Electric Boats Be Part of Amsterdam's Future?

Travel Market Report — Amsterdam is continuing its post-COVID evolution…Read More

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Twelve of the Best Hilton Hotels That Make You Feel Like a Kid Again — From waterslides to ATVing to on-property ice cream shops, Hilton has a number of hotels that can help channel your inner child and make any summer trip feel like a break from reality. Read More

Hyatt CEO Says Demand for Travel Is 'Alive and Well'

USA Today — Hyatt Hotels Corp. CEO and president Mark Hoplamazian said he is happy to see operations at the hotel giant returning to normal…Read More

Hotels, States Adjust to Changing U.S. Mask Regulations

Business Travel News — One week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people vaccinated against Covid-19 could gather indoors without face masks, several—but not all—hotel chains have dropped masking requirements for vaccinated guests. Read More

Wyndham Unveils New Luxury Collection Brand

Business Travel News — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts on Wednesday announced a new brand, Registry Collection Hotels. The company's 21st brand will be a collection of independent luxury hotels, with the first member the all-suite Grand Residences Riviera Cancun. Read More

NH Hotels to Add 12 Properties in 2021

BTN Europe — NH Hotel Group has announced plans to open its first properties in the Middle East and Denmark. Read More

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California to Open June 15, Lift Face-Mask Requirement for Vaccinated People

Northstar Meetings Group — Conventions of up to 5,000 people will be permitted as well. Further details, and info for all 50 states, are available here. Read More

Travel Requirements: What You Need to Know About Traveling to Another State

The Ascent — International travel is slowly starting to reopen to Americans -- particularly for fully vaccinated travelers. And domestic travel is nearly free from quarantine restrictions (keyword: "nearly;" more below). Of course, it's not a total free-for-all…Read More

Hawaii Sets Plan to Lift All Travel Restrictions Based on Vaccine Rates

Travel + Leisure — When Hawaii reaches a 60% vaccination rate, the state will lift pre-arrival testing and quarantine requirements for domestic U.S. travelers who have been vaccinated. Read More

This Summer May be the Perfect Storm for Long Airport Security Lines — Here’s How to Avoid Them

The Points Guy — Security lines may be worse than usual this summer as compared to years past — so what does that mean for travelers? And how can you avoid — or at least minimize — waiting in long TSA airport queues? Let’s dive in. Read More

Watch Out for These Post-Pandemic Travel Scams

Travel Pulse — Be smart. Don’t get scammed. 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 vacation. Read More

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How to Take Your Hybrid Meeting to the Next Level

Successful Meetings  — Five tips for creating a more engaging event that is sure to have a lasting impact on both virtual and in-person attendees. Read More

Las Vegas Ramps Up for Large-Scale Meetings

Prevue — Las Vegas is set to host World of Concrete, the first large-scale, in-person trade show to return to the U.S. market since the pandemic. 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: