Dear Travel Industry: Here Are 3 Ways You Can Address Vaccine Equity Now

Eric Hunsperger  / Flickr

Vaccine equity continues to fragment the industry’s recovery, but tourism big stakeholders as well as organizations have ways to act now. Eric Hunsperger / Flickr

Skift Take: By remaining silent on vaccine equity, the travel industry’s big players are as accountable as vaccine-hoarding governments for a deepening tourism divide. Intrepid Travel is setting an example — will others follow?

— Lebawit Lily Girma

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Norwegian Air Sees Spike in July Travelers Amidst Uncertain Prospects

Alan Wilson  / WikiMedia

A Norwegian Air Boeing 737-8 flying in Norway. The airline saw its aircraft in operation more than double to 33. Alan Wilson / WikiMedia

Skift Take: The travel recovery is completely dependent on traveler confidence, vaccine availability and easing of travel restrictions. Will all this be enough to turn things around for Norwegian or will the pandemic and competition prove to be too much?

— Ruthy Muñoz

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MGM Resorts Aiming to Be Online Gaming Leader Using Real Estate Proceeds

Hermann Luyken  / Wikimedia

MGM Resorts International roared back to profitability thanks to leisure traveler flocking back to Las Vegas casinos. Hermann Luyken / Wikimedia

Skift Take: Don’t call it leaving Las Vegas so much as MGM Resorts taking advantage of inflated real estate prices to get into your pocket, by way of the increasingly lucrative online gaming business.

— Cameron Sperance

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U.S. Developing Plan to Mandate Foreign Visitors Be Fully Vaccinated

N i c o l a  / Flicrk

U.S. airports might soon welcome large numbers of international travelers. N i c o l a / Flicrk

Skift Take: The travel industry should be encouraged that the U.S. government is hammering out a plan to require full vaccination for foreign visitors. Not only will it set a good example, and encourage vaxx naysayers, but the easing of travel restrictions would then follow.

— Rashaad Jorden

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Best Alternative Honeymoon Destinations 

You’ve made it official, and now’s the moment to take a break and spend quality time together. Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime destination or you just want to relax on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the options are endless. Of course, you’ve seen the honeymoon brochures of couples holding hands at sunset in some of the most popular honeymoon locations around the world. But if you feel like something different is what you need, then look below for the best alternative honeymoon destinations.

When planning your honeymoon, it’s essential to consider the type of experience you’re looking for. For example, whether you’re after poolside lounging, visiting museums and galleries or some adventure activities, make sure to plan accordingly and look for the ideal destinations for your interests.

1. Martinique 

The Caribbean is a one-of-a-kind destination. The mix of French and Creole culture, lush green landscapes and white sand beaches is as appealing as it gets. And while it’s not the most popular island, Martinique offers all that you need for an unforgettable honeymoon experience – the beaches, mountains, water sports, nightlife and beautiful accommodations to suit every taste. It’s also quite reasonably priced compared to other Caribbean island vacation costs, so it will not put a major hole in your pocket. 

If you want to spend time somewhere surrounded by natural beauty, then Martinique is the place for you. With a coastline of beaches and crystal-clear water next to lush forests with rivers that flow through them as well as mountains made from volcanoes, it’s hard to beat this island paradise. And there are also secluded boutique hotels scattered among the mountains and right on the beaches that are absolutely perfect for a romantic getaway. 


2. Roatan

Leave your worries behind and spend a honeymoon on Roatan. This tropical island that is a part of Honduras is perfect for celebrating the most important day of your life with the one you love, while staying far away from outside distractions and stresses. With an accessible location only a short distance away by plane or boat from the mainland and nearby islands such as Utila (a great spot for diving), this Caribbean paradise will be nothing short of unforgettable.

Roatan is a Caribbean Island with unparalleled white sand beaches and perfect diving spots. In addition, you will find rainforest hillsides full of people that have preserved their unique culture, including the Garifunas, descendants of African slaves who settled on Roatan in centuries past. In addition, the wonderful variety of wildlife that inhabits this island and its surrounding waters will be an added bonus.


3. Cornwall

Escape to North Cornwall and get away from the chaos of everyday life while on a truly magical honeymoon. Begin your day with alfresco breakfast on the deck, and relish the stunning views of the Camel Estuary and rolling countryside as the sweet songs of the local birds fill the air around you. Then, head off on an excursion and explore nearby Cornish towns such as Rock, Polzeath and Port Isaac. Spend marvelous evenings cooking up a feast on a fire pit BBQ while watching the sunset from the comfort of your hot tub, all before laying down under the stars that sparkle like diamonds in the night sky.

Furthermore, if you and your spouse are foodies, we think St. Ives could be the place for you. First on the list is Alba, where you will get an artsy British seafood menu served in a former lifeboat along the coast, complete with a side of harbor views. For a more chilled-out feast, head to Porthminster Beach Café nestled below picturesque Porthminster Bay. It has everything from classic fish and chips to vegan pies. If you’re searching for a unique adventure, head over to Glaze Beach, a hidden cove with a tightrope walk and abseiling spots.

4. Moorea 

Moorea’s most breathtaking sights are scattered all over the island. Whether you’re after honeymoon adventures or want to escape and enjoy some tropical seclusion, it’s a place for romantic getaways. Just a short distance across the sea from Tahiti lies this tiny treasure trove at the heart of the French Polynesian Islands. Bora Bora’s little sister, it’s a land of pristine white sandy beaches, turquoise water, lush mango and banana trees, as well as natural pools that the gorgeous ocean has carved out. 

On this romantic island, super luxury Moorea accommodation such as over-water bungalows come at a more reasonable price than the more remote Bora Bora. As it’s only a 10-minute flight or 1-hour ferry ride from Papeete, the accessibility of beautiful Moorea makes it an attractive stop-over on your way to or from Bora Bora. Besides, you will have an unforgettable time on your overwater vacation. You can relax, watch the underwater life from a glass floor or even swim underwater yourself. This will be one island you will never want to leave.


5. Ishigaki

Who can resist the beauty of Japan’s Yaeyama Islands and their breathtaking coral reefs? You may have never heard about Ishigaki Island, but it’s an island worth exploring for a rewarding snorkeling adventure. Even more, Ishigaki is a small island, making it easy to explore it all. It’s also no secret that this place has some excellent food, with local, and yummy, Yaeyama soba noodles being one of the main options.

The location of this archipelago lies between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. On its south side, there is a volcano known as Mt. Takachiho, which you can climb in order to enjoy some spectacular views over the island and of other volcano craters, some of which have smoking peaks. Once back down at sea level, you can ride a glass-bottom boat to explore the nearby coral reefs, while surrounded by the blue sea and lush green mountains. And the best part is that this island is not usually very crowded, allowing you to enjoy a unique destination without much hassle at all.

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Top Alternative Destinations to Visit Across Europe

Home to hundreds of World Heritage Sites, Europe welcomes millions of tourists each year. Unsurprisingly, Europe has one of the most developed accommodation industries in the world. But there’s another sector in Europe’s hospitality industry that’s becoming very popular – alternative accommodations. 

Alternative accommodations refer to a type of accommodations that are different from the standard hotels. From bed and breakfasts to cabin lodges and treehouses, these accommodation options have long been popular across the continent and are now growing even more rapidly compared to traditional hotels. Staying at these accommodations will not only often save you some money but they will offer unique experiences that can make for a more unforgettable travel experience. Below, check out the top alternative destinations to stay across Europe.


1. Croatia

As one of the most visited countries in Europe, Croatia has no shortage of luxury hotels and resorts. But if you’re looking to stay at something that’s a little bit out of the ordinary, there are plenty of alternative accommodation options that might be suitable for you.

What about staying at a beautiful lighthouse that opens to stunning views of the sea? Croatia is famous for its coastline, which is lined with old lighthouses, some of which have been renovated and are available for tourists to rent. Staying at eco-lodges in the countryside has also become very popular in Croatia, as the country relies mainly on agriculture and tourism. 

For animal lovers, staying at animal sanctuaries might be a good idea. Some of Croatia’s animal sanctuaries offer travelers a chance to stay on-site while getting involved in the rehabilitation of the animals. One such sanctuary is the Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary, which allows visitors to stay from Easter until late Autumn. During your stay, you’ll have a chance to feed the rescued bears and nurse them back to health. 


2. Ireland

Ireland is a stunning country, and your visit will be more memorable if you stay at unique accommodations, such as a treehouse, farmhouse or even a real castle! Ireland’s impressive collection of alternative accommodations is a reflection of the country’s charming peculiarity.

If you want to live out your childhood fantasy of sleeping high up in a tree, Ireland is the perfect place for this. The country is home to so many amazing treehouses, each offering something unique. For instance, The Birdbox, a quirky treehouse in Donegal, is nestled among the branches of oak trees, a perfect escape for romantic couples who love nature.

Staying at an Irish farmhouse is also popular among tourists in Ireland. Most of these farmhouses are set in a sprawling land that overlooks the gorgeous Irish countryside. The Temple House, a family mansion set on 1,000 acres of land overlooks the lakeside ruins of the Knights Templar castle. And if you want to splurge and live like a king on your Irish holiday, then stay at a real castle. These castles date back to the 16th century and have been renovated and furnished with elegant rooms decorated with intricate ornaments fit for royalty.


3. Luxembourg

In Luxembourg, one can find many unique places to stay, but the most popular is glamping. Glamping refers to the style of camping holidays in Europe where guests can stay in luxury tents fitted with comforts and amenities. The tiny country of Luxembourg is known for its sprawling rural areas, so it’s not surprising to find lots of good campsites here. From the woodlands of the north to the Moselle Valley in the south, Luxembourg’s countryside certainly packs a punch when it comes to camping. 

Camping Kautenbach offers different types of luxury tents of varying sizes. For families and big groups, there’s a 2-bedroom tent equipped with a living and kitchen space and complete with bunk beds, sheets, pillows and blankets. The campsite is hidden in a beautiful green valley in the town of Kautenbach, by the banks of The Clerve river and surrounded by lush forest. 

Aside from glamping, Luxembourg is also home to several other unique accommodations, such as lodging houses set in historic buildings, romantic chalets and an 18th Century castle known for its gourmet French cuisines.

4. Formentera

Formentera is a beautiful Spanish island in the Mediterranean known for its crystal clear waters and long stretches of beach. As a popular holiday destination, the island has tons of hotels and resorts. But it’s also home to the trendiest alternative options. From agriturismos to guesthouses and boutique hotels, staying at these alternative accommodations will make your Formentera holiday even more unforgettable. 

In the charming village of Sant Ferran de ses Roques, there’s a beachfront residence known as Etosoto, which hosts cultural and agricultural experiences. Etosoto is an eco-friendly guesthouse with a minimalist design and decorated with bohemian furnishings. 

There are also spectacular apartments in Formentera that overlook the vast expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. Paraiso de Los Pinos, a luxury apartment complex in Formentera’s Es Migjorn, features a distinct, modern atmosphere, offering a perfect place to spend the holiday of your dreams.


5. Mallorca 

Mallorca, another popular holiday destination in Spain, is also home to some unique alternative accommodations. From historic buildings to beachside mansions and stunning luxury Mallorca villas, you’ll have plenty of options for a more exciting beach holiday in Spain. 

In Valldemossa, there’s a lovely boutique hotel called the Mirabó de Valldemossa. Set in the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains overlooking the gorgeous views of the island, this property is a 16th-century farmhouse that was converted into a guesthouse while preserving its unique and enticing character. 

Families seeking a luxurious escape in Mallorca should stay at one of the island’s luxury holiday villas. From modern designed villas to traditional stone fincas, most of these properties are conveniently located on the island, giving you easy access to the many attractions in Mallorca. These villas are fitted with pools and offer easy access to some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

Aside from the luxury properties, there are also affordable guesthouses and budget accommodations peppered across the island which caters to budget travelers and backpackers. While camping is strictly prohibited in Mallorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands, some private properties allow tourists to pitch their tents. Make sure you do your research and follow all the rules and regulations to avoid hefty penalties.

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