A handful of humans assist robot staff starting with an android at the front desk that speaks five languages at the new Henn-na Hotel in Ginza, Tokyo. Japan's H.I.S hospitality group opened the first robot hotel in 2015 and plans to have more than 100 within five years.
Carnival Cruise Line is now accepting bookings on its new vessel, the Carnival Panorama, for seven-day cruises out of Long Beach, Calif., to the Mexican Riviera beginning Dec. 14, 2019. "Carnival Panorama promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet and we're delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to be among the first to sail on our first new ship on the West Coast in two decades," says Carnival President Christine Duffy.
Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas Calio is hopeful about the progress of US-UK Open Skies talks as negotiators prepare to meet again. "The political will on the UK side and the US side is very significant to get something done," Calio said. "Hopefully, by the beginning of April you'll see something happen there."
Starbucks has pledged to achieve 100% parity in male and female employees' pay in locations around the world. "It is important, as a company of our scale, to help bring more attention to this critical issue," says Lucy Helm, the company's chief partner officer.
Norwegian Cruise Line is following the lead of Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises as it debuts a contemporary Texas smokehouse on the upcoming Norwegian Bliss Q. Celebrity Cruises will also feature barbecue offerings at the Rooftop Garden Grill on its new ship, the Celebrity Edge, which is scheduled to begin sailing this fall.
Panama's thriving culinary and music scenes, as well as its warm temperatures, are drawing more tourists to the country. Travelers can soak up the sun on the beaches, dine on fresh seafood at Mercado de Mariscos and enjoy the jazz, calypso and reggae overtones of the local music.
Travel agents should remember that all trips -- regardless of size -- are important and treat clients accordingly. The key is to respect clients and treat them the way you'd want an agent to treat your own family, says Cruise Planners agent Matthew Exline.
Leisure travel agencies are increasing focus on travel disruptions and maintaining client safety amid a run of terrorist attacks on popular destinations in recent years. Agents should subscribe to intelligence companies' reports, prioritize duty of care for their clients and embrace new technology for communicating with clients during a disruption.
After a decade of hotel growth dominated by the suburbs, Des Moines, Iowa's downtown area is targeted for 951 new rooms over the next few years in a record boom. "There were a lot of years where we didn't have a lot of activity, so this is our catch-up phase," said Ryan Moffatt, the city's economic development manager.
As they encourage public patronage of lobbies, bars and restaurants, hotels are adding exclusive spaces such as meeting rooms and libraries for guests who want quiet time away from the crowd. "It's similar to when hotels offer a 'club level' lounge, but in this case, the 'club' is open to all guests," travel analyst Henry Harteveldt said.
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