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March 24, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: take these steps to strengthen your travel program during a slowdown, COVID-19: the EU countries impacted by US travel suspension, travel and COVID-19, Trump: avoid “discretionary travel,' no restrictions on travel within the United States, how US airlines are responding to coronavirus, TSA just made some major changes to its rules due to coronavirus, crisis management during tough times, hotel and resorts continue to adjust cancellation and change policies, protecting the business traveler at home and abroad during coronavirus and more!

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Take these Steps to Strengthen Your Travel Program During a Slowdown

The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has rapidly reshaped the travel industry—temporarily grounding flights, quarantining cruise ships and restricting once open borders. While coronavirus updates continue to change almost daily, the future rebound of travel remains a time-tested certainty. Read More

COVID-19: The EU Countries Impacted by US Travel Suspension

Due to concerns surrounding the spread and containment of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the U.S. Government has announced restrictions on travel from certain European countries, effective March 13. Here’s what you need to know about the temporary travel suspension. Read More

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Travel and COVID-19

Direct Travel — Here at Direct Travel, travel is always on our minds -- whether business travel, leisure travel, or tied to meetings and events. These days, though, it’s impossible to think about travel without thinking about COVID-19. Please watch for a special News Brief message later this week, focused on COVID-19. In the meantime, now more than ever, travelers should monitor government travel advisories, restrictions, and updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , World Health Organization (WHO), and local authorities.

For more information, Direct Travel has created an online resource center with the most up-to-date information. Please bookmark this website, and feel free to add the link to your company intranet or online booking pages. Be safe! Coronavirus Resource Hub

Airlines Issue Additional Waivers as U.S. Ramps Up COVID-19 Response

Travel Market Report — As the U.S. continues to implement drastic measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19, airlines have issued additional waivers to help encourage travelers to book. Read More

As Governments Limit Non-Essential Travel, What Becomes Essential?

CNN — Freedom of movement at the world's longest land border diminished on Wednesday when President Donald Trump announced restrictions on travel between the United States and Canada. Read More

US Cities Put into Lockdown as Countries Across World Impose Border Controls

Sky News — Travel bans are brought in across the world as the infection total tops 169,000 with more than 6,500 deaths. Read More

Trump: Avoid “Discretionary Travel,' No Restrictions on Travel Within the United States

USA Today — White House officials have repeatedly said restrictions on travel within the United States are under consideration. When will they come? Read More

US Issues Level 4 Advisory Warning Citizens to Avoid International Travel

Travel Pulse — The travel ban is one of the most severe in history. Read More

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Delta Extending Expiring Tickets, Allowing for Rebooking Until End of Year

Travel Market Report — Delta Air Lines will now allow any ticket expiring in March or April to be rebooked for travel until Dec. 31, 2020. Read More

GBTA Survey: Sharp Increase in International Business Travel Suspensions

Business Travel News — Corporate suspensions or cancellations especially of international business travel in the past two weeks have increased sharply due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Global Business Travel Association membership survey released Tuesday. Read More

How Travelers Are Using Private Jets to Avoid Coronavirus Exposure

The Points Guy — Private jets are in high demand as passengers seek to reduce exposure to the coronavirus. Read More

How US Airlines Are Responding to Coronavirus

Travel Pulse — Airlines are being forced to scale back on capacity amid a rapid decline... Read More

Delta Air Lines Launching Nonstop Flight from Memphis to Boston

WMC5 News — According to a press release from the Memphis International Airport, Delta announced that they will launch a daily nonstop flight between the Memphis International Airport (MEM) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) beginning begin Oct. 4, 2020. Read More

$5 Billion Miami International Airport Upgrade Ready for Takeoff

Miami Today — Local officials are poised to issue $5 billion in bonds to support a long list of infrastructure projects at Miami International Airport. The plans include adding and modernizing gates, expanding passenger spaces and upgrading baggage handling and security areas. Read More

MSP Airport Moves Ahead with Baggage Claim, Ticket Lobby Remodel

Minneapolis Star Tribune — In a flurry of improvements, Delta Air Lines also is adding a third Sky Club at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Read More

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TSA Just Made Some Major Changes to Its Rules Due to Coronavirus

Afar — You’re allowed more hand sanitizer. Be sure to pack it. Read More

Crisis Management During Tough Times

Business Travel News — The Covid-19 pandemic has created a global panic and reaction which should be a wake-up call and reminder that crisis management advance planning and strategy creation is a must in today’s global economy. Read More

States Request Delay for Real IDs at Airports

Travel Pulse — As the COVID-19 continues to cause problems in the travel industry, there is a growing concern that Americans will not have proper identification to fly domestically by October 1, 2020. Read More

U.S. CBP Suspends Trusted Traveler Enrollment

Business Travel News — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has suspended enrollment for Trusted Traveler programs until at least May 1. Read More

TSA Urges Air Travel Regulation Review Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Las Vegas Review-Journal — The Transportation Security Administration has announced new guidelines and regulations for travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

Will Biometrics Replace Passports by 2021? — Both airline and airports are hard at work on projects that will bring facial scans to the mainstream. 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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Amtrak Reduces Service

Business Travel News — Amtrak has cut Northeast Corridor service between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., to about 40 percent of its normal weekday schedule, the rail operator announced. Café service also is suspended on some trains between New York and Washington. Read More

This European Country Just Made Its Public Transportation Free for Everyone

Afar — Even tourists can travel by bus, train, or tram free of charge in Luxembourg now. Read More

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Hotel and Resorts Continue to Adjust Cancellation and Change Policies

Travel Market Vacations  — As COVID-19 continues to disrupt travel, hotel companies and resorts have altered their cancellation and change policies to further accommodate guests. Read More

33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel

Smarter Travel — Rattling ice machines. Dinging elevators. You're going to need a good sleep strategy. Read More

Hilton Garden Inn Expands Global Reach in 2019

Travel Pulse — Hilton Garden Inn experienced a stellar year in 2019… Read More

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Healthcare Abroad: How to Find an English-Speaking Doctor or Clinic

Smarter Travel — Smarter Travel offers tips on how to purchase and navigate medical travel insurance, find a good doctor or clinic, and ensure you won't be stuck with the bill. Read More

Complete Guide to Airline Elite Status During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Points Guy — The Points Guy provides a quick roundup of what U.S. airlines and some popular international airlines are doing to extend elite status, upgrade certificates and other benefits for loyal members. Read More

Simple Tricks to Stop Touching Your Face and Stay Healthy

Smarter Travel — Whether you want to prevent COVID-19 or something else, these tips can help. Read More

What to Do If You're Ever Caught in an Emergency Situation Abroad

Smarter Travel — If you're in a destination when unexpected chaos ensues, here's the knowledge and resources you need to get out of danger. Read More

What Airlines Are Doing to Prove Their Planes Are (Extra) Clean

Afar — How clean is that airplane you’re flying in, really? Read More

6 Green Travel Tips to Lower Your Carbon Footprint — As the 50 Ways in 50 Days countdown to Earth Day continues (April 22, 2020 marks the holiday's 50th anniversary), here are six ways that you can travel sustainably. Read More

Protecting the Business Traveler at Home and Abroad During Coronavirus

Phocuswire — What can businesses do to provide sufficient health, safety and security for those employees that are traveling? Read More

6 Stay-Calm Strategies for Dealing With Anxiety Before a Trip

Afar — Have a calmer trip to the airport with these relaxation techniques vetted by psychologists and designed to help when you’re feeling anxious. Read More

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Creative Group’s Coronavirus Resource Center

Creative Group — Creative Group is committed to keeping our clients, partners, and colleagues apprised of relevant, pertinent, up-to-date information about COVID-19 related to meetings, events and group incentive travel. Read More

Creative Group Receives SITE Canada ICE Award for Destination Excellence

Creative Group — Our Canadian office was honored by the Canadian Chapter of Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) with an ICE Award. This award recognizes world-class travel incentive programs designed by a Canadian company. Winners excel in the design of unique, memorable experiences that deliver measurable benefits for their clients using unique group and individual incentive travel experiences. Read More

Janet Traphagen Helping Others

Creative Group — In Celebration of International Women’s Day, Janet Traphagen, President, Creative Group was profiled as to how she helps others in the industry. Read More

The CDC Recommends Organizers Cancel or Postpone Events with 50 People or More for 8 Weeks

CNN — The CDC urges cancellation of all events of 50 or more people for at least eight weeks to stop spread of coronavirus… Read More

What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting

Harvard Business Review — There's a distinct possibility that in-person meetings with teams, customers or suppliers might be canceled for days — or potentially weeks. Here's how to keep people collaborating… 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: