News briefs, week of Nov. 7, 2016

Carnival to homeport second ship in Tampa

Carnival Cruise Line will deploy a second ship year-round from Tampa, designating the Carnival Miracle for seven-night Caribbean cruises from the port starting in 2018. The 2,124-passenger Miracle will join the Carnival Paradise in Tampa and will do extended stays in Cozumel along with a broader array of excursions there. The Miracle is being repositioned from Long Beach, Calif., as Carnival puts a newer and bigger ship, the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor, in Long Beach for seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises.

High-tech bracelets at Universal waterpark
Universal Orlando said it will introduce high-tech bracelets at its Volcano Bay next summer, devices that will enable guests to avoid long lines at the new waterpark. The TapuTapu bracelet will be issued to Volcano Bay guests as part of admission. Guests will be able to put themselves on a virtual line for the attraction of their choice while enjoying other portions of the park and will be alerted when it's time to board the ride.

Changes in plans for Adventure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International is scaling back renovations to the Adventure of the Seas, citing extensive hurricane damage at the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in Freeport, where the work was scheduled to take place. The Adventure will still exit drydock Nov. 14 but without many of the planned improvements, some of which will be added on the first few sailings. The line said work will continue on the Dual Racer waterslides with a new opening date of Dec. 10, but it added that the premium steakhouse Chops Grille will not open until early next year and that plans to add the Japanese eatery Izumi have been scrapped.

Inntopia buys CRM firm Ryan Solutions
Inntopia acquired Ryan Solutions, a provider of a CRM platform for destinations and resorts. Inntopia, which provides reservation systems for destinations and resorts, is a subsidiary of Northstar Travel Group, Travel Weekly's parent company. Like Inntopia, Ryan Solutions is particularly strong in the ski industry.

Ensemble agents get discount to join ASTA
Ensemble Travel Group and ASTA have partnered to offer Ensemble agents a 20% discount on ASTA membership, which applies to both new members and renewals. New ASTA members who pay in full no later than Nov. 18 can realize an additional $50 off membership thanks to an offer from Marriott International.

Delta offering miles for Airbnb bookings
Delta SkyMiles members can now earn points on Airbnb bookings. Under the partnership, SkyMiles members will earn one mile for every dollar spent on Airbnb stays worldwide, excluding taxes and fees. To earn those miles, the accommodation must be booked through the website. Airbnb also has partnerships with Qantas and Virgin America.

Cambria opens first Chicago property
Cambria's first hotel in Chicago, and the brand's first property conversion, has opened. The former MileNorth Hotel is now the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile, located about a half-block east of Michigan Avenue and about seven blocks north of the Chicago River. The hotel has 215 guestrooms and a rooftop lounge.

Friends & Colleagues
Pamela C. Wright, Hertz Corp., senior vice president of sales strategy and operations, will retire, effective Jan. 31. Wright has been with the company since 1984. She has been in her current role since 2009 and before that was vice president of travel industry and partnership sales. Before Wright joined Hertz, she was ASTA's staff vice president of sales and membership services. • • • The Airline Tariff Publishing Co. (ATPCO), the airline-owned corporation that collects and distributes fare data, has promoted Rolf Purzer to president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. He replaces the retiring Bill Andres. Purzer has been with ATPCO since 1996 and currently serves as chief marketing officer. • • • Ricky Skerritt has been appointed chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority board of directors. Skerritt formerly served as minister of tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis between 2004 and 2015. He is a former chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Skerritt will also serve as an adviser to Asot Michael, Antigua and Barbuda's minister of tourism. • • • Hospitality company Benchmark named Brett Atkinson senior vice president of finance. Atkinson was previously CFO for Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a company that merged with Benchmark in July. Before joining the hospitality industry, he worked in the mortgage banking industry.


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