Study: 12% decrease in agent jobs by 2024

Citing continued opportunities to research and book trips on the Internet as well as an increase in mobile bookings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the employment of travel agents to decline 12%, a loss of 8,700 jobs, between 2012 and 2024. The outlook said the best travel agent job prospects lie in specialization in specific destinations or types of travelers.

N.Y. governor plans to renovate Penn Station
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $3 billion plan to renovate and modernize Pennsylvania Station, the busiest transit station in North America, and combine it with an adjacent historic post office. He also proposed a $1 billion plan to expand and upgrade the nearby Javits Convention Center, giving it 1.2 million more feet of event space, including a 60,000-square-foot ballroom.

Xanterra to purchase Wisconsin tour firm
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has agreed to purchase Wisconsin-based Holiday Vacations, a provider of guided domestic and international tours. Xanterra operates concessions in national and state parks in the U.S. Its other holdings include Austin Adventures and Country Walkers. It also owns Windstar Cruises.

Genting to acquire the rest of Lloyd Werft
Genting Hong Kong will acquire the 30% of the German shipyard Lloyd Werft that it doesn't already own, for about $17.9 million. Lloyd Werft is building three 1,000-passenger ships for Genting-owned Crystal Cruises.

Windstar's Star Pride out through April 9
Windstar Cruises canceled all sailings on the Star Pride through April 9 in order to repair the damaged ship. The 212-passenger vessel went aground in Panama before Christmas, suffering hull damage. The Star Pride is anchored in Panama until an investigation is concluded and preliminary repairs are made. Passengers on canceled cruises can take a full refund or another trip on a Windstar ship.

Haneda tops OAG's efficient airports list
Tokyo Haneda is the most efficient major airport in the world, according to a report from aviation analysis company OAG, with an average on-time performance of 91.25%. The top U.S. airport was Minneapolis-St. Paul (No. 4 overall). AirBaltic was the world's most prompt airline with an on-time performance of 94.4%, while Hawaiian Airlines topped U.S. carriers with 89.1%, or No. 9 overall. It was the only U.S. carrier among the top 20.

Regent tours offer coveted reservations
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will offer a new series of tours that will include admission to restaurants with wait lists of up to nine months. Initially offered only on the Seven Seas Explorer, which debuts in July in the Mediterranean, one of the 22 tours includes a tasting at the La Croix winery followed by dinner at La Vague d'Or, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in the heart of St. Tropez.

United CEO Munoz gets heart transplant
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz underwent a heart transplant last week. Munoz has been on leave since suffering a heart attack in October, less than six weeks into his tenure atop the airline. United said it expects Munoz to return to United at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter. In his absence, United General Counsel Brett Hart is serving as acting CEO.

Friends & Colleagues
Fathom, Carnival Corp.'s social-impact cruise brand, has named Ron Fenska vice president of sales. Fenska will be responsible for leading Fathom's sales strategies and initiatives, including management and oversight of group and travel agent sales. He comes to Fathom from tour company Intrepid Group, where he had been vice president of sales since last February. Fenska had been director of sales for G Adventures prior to joining Intrepid, and before that he spent 18 years at Collette Vacations, managing North American and international markets. "Ron is a goal-driven leader who has a history of exceeding sales goals and objectives ... and a proven track record identifying and leveraging like-minded partnerships within the trade and affinity space," Fathom President Tara Russell said in a statement. • • • Club Med has a new vice president of sales: Michelle Lardizabal. Lardizabal has been in the travel industry for 15 years, most recently as vice president of sales for European guided tour company City Wonders. Before her time at Sales for City Wonders, Lardizabal was employed by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for over a decade, finishing her tenure there as the associate vice president of global sales and distribution. She replaces Camille Olivere, who was recently named senior vice president for partner brands at World Travel Holdings. • • • Airlines for America (A4A) named Penny Kozakos vice president, communications. Kozakos joins A4A from the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, where she has worked since 1999, most recently as managing director. • • • Hawaiian Airlines made Jon Snook its permanent COO; he has served as interim COO since October. Prior to joining Hawaiian, Snook served as senior vice president of customer service at American.

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