ccording to a report from the
National Park Service obtained by TC, the service
is looking into a "recovery plan" that would include major cutbacks
in the face of huge deficits.
The cuts, to be made over the next four years, would affect
law-enforcement patrols, river rangers, lifeguards, tours and
special events as well as waterfront safety programs, horse patrols
and school outings. In addition, there will be reductions in the
hours, days and seasons of public access and some park closings. A
spokeswoman for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service
said the report was "an exercise" based on a flat budget but, in
fact, the budget for 2004 increased 5%. Although there will be
"further belt-tightening," she said, "we're going to have to figure
out how to keep everything going on less."
• • •
Executives at two large, regional travel agencies voiced their
concerns to TC about Travelport, the
Cendant-owned self-booking tool for corporations
that is supported by many corporate agencies wired by
Galileo, the Cendant-owned GDS.
A server change rendered Travelport nearly unusable for much of
January, according to our sources. Although the functionality of
the tool has markedly improved since then, one of the executives
said his confidence in it is shaky at best. The other executive
said his Galileo-wired agency switched from Travelport last year
because TRX's technology was better.
• • •
Jean Holder, secretary general of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization, was surprised when he arrived in Havana Feb.
13 for tourism talks, only to find that, overnight, a new minister
of tourism had replaced Ibrahim
"I was the first person to meet Manuel Marrero
Cruz, the new minister," Holder said. "He was very cordial
but very busy." No word on what happened to Ferradaz-Garcia, just
that he's been "reassigned." Hmmm.
• • •
Of the two ships that reported gastrointestinal outbreaks, TC is
happy to report that neither vessel reported an unusual number of
sick guests on the subsequent cruise. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
Vessel Sanitation Program, Holland America Line's
Ryndam reported that three passengers came down with
gastrointestinal illness, compared with 73 on its Feb. 7 cruise.
And the Carnival Celebration counted 19 ill passengers on the
cruise following a five-day, Feb. 9 voyage during which 300 guests
reported GI symptoms.