News Briefs, Week of April 8, 2013

Supreme Court lets DOT rules stand

The Supreme Court declined to review the airline price-advertising and 24-hour refund provisions of the Transportation Department's 2011 consumer rule revisions. Without comment, the justices let stand a Court of Appeals decision, finding the rules to be reasonable. Allegiant, Spirit and Southwest had challenged the provisions as unduly restrictive and inconsistent with the mandate of deregulation.

JetBlue to serve Worcester, Mass.
JetBlue decided to make Worcester, Mass., the 80th point on its network, proposing to begin service Nov. 7 with daily flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with 100-seat Embraer E190 aircraft. Massport, which owns the Worcester airport, offered financial incentives including $150,000 for joint marketing and approximately $275,000 in rebates of landing fees and terminal rents. Worcester, about 40 miles west of Boston, hasn't had regularly scheduled service for several years. Separately, JetBlue opened the books on its latest new route, a Chicago-San Juan service that starts Dec. 3.

SuperClubs sells a fourth resort
SuperClubs sold the Breezes Grand Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica to Canada's Sunwing Travel Group. Sunwing's Blue Diamond Hotels & Resorts intends to rebrand the property as Memories Negril Resort & Spa on April 17. The resort is the fourth to be sold by SuperClubs in the last year and the second to be acquired by Sunwing, which is renovating the former Breezes Trelawny Resort in Jamaica for an October opening as the Royalton White Sands.

Arthur Frommer back in business
Guidebook pioneer Arthur Frommer reacquired rights to his travel guide brand from Google nine months after the search giant agreed to acquire the brand from John Wiley & Sons. Google has integrated some Frommer content into various online products and "returned the Frommer's brand to its founder," said a Google official. Frommer said that beginning in the fall, he will publish "40-some-odd titles, all containing the professional judgments and recommendations of some of the best travel writers in the world today."

Grand Turk reopens cruise complex
Grand Turk Cruise Center plans to reopen for ship calls this week. Ships stopped calling in mid-March at the dock and terminal complex developed by Carnival Corp. after an unexplained upswing in cases of gastroenteritis. In a statement, Grand Turk Cruise Center said the facility has been extensively cleaned and sanitized, noting that a task force of health experts found no direct link between the stomach illness and visits to the island. The center normally gets six to eight ship calls a week.

W brand opens first hotel in China
Starwood began a soft opening of the 317-room W Guangzhou, the first W Hotel in mainland China. Located in the city's Pearl River New Town District, the hotel offers several dining and nightlife venues and 21,500 square feet of meetings space. The property notes that because of ongoing interior work, some facilities and amenities won't be fully available until May 15.

Friends & Colleagues
Herve Bellaiche has joined Compagnie du Ponant as executive vice president of sales and as a member of the board of directors of the luxury small-ship operator. He will be responsible for business development worldwide, with a focus on U.S., Europe and Asia. Prior to his appointment, Bellaiche was head of business development for Europe at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, where he had been since 2006. • • • Ivan Walter has been appointed CEO of GTA, Kuoni Global Travel Services' business-to-business provider of ground products and services for fully independent travel. Walter was previously senior vice president for global sourcing and product development at GTA. He replaces Rolf Schafroth, who continues to serve as CEO of the Kuoni Global Travel Services Division, which comprises both the GTA and Kuoni Group Travel Experts brands. • • • Voyage by Pascale, a boutique wholesaler specializing in high-end hotels, named Angela Perou luxury travel consultant. Perou previously was with Viceroy Hotel Group in a number of positions, most recently as assistant luxury travel manager at Viceroy Anguilla. • • • El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma named Ana Gabriela Ramos director of e-commerce. Ramos formerly was e-commerce and marketing manager for Marriott International's Latin American division. Prior to that, she served as director of business travel sales and marketing for Desires Hotels/Tecton Hospitality and sales and marketing manger for Willow Hotels, both in New York. • • • Gavin Landry has joined Empire State Development as executive director of its tourism division. Landry will lead the "I Love N.Y." marketing campaign and develop and implement new initiatives to further New York state's tourism growth. He previously served as president of the Saratoga (N.Y.) Convention and Tourism Bureau.


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