Travel News: September 16, 2019

Dominican Republic

Travel Agent Charged for Fraudulently Earning $1.75 Million Worth of Frequent-Flyer Miles
Travel Pulse

The managing director of a Chicago travel agency has been indicted for carrying out $1.75 million fraud on Delta Air Lines’ SkyBonus frequent-flyer program catering to businesses whose employees often travel.

According to a release published Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia, 43-year-old Gennady Podolsky—a dual Ukrainian and American citizen and managing partner of Vega International Travel Services, Inc.—earned and redeemed more than 42 million SkyBonus points.


Dominican Republic tourism minister blasts media coverage of tourist deaths
Travel Weekly

The Dominican Republic’s tourism minister decried a “bombardment” by the media in the wake of several tourist deaths this year in the Caribbean nation.

Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia, in New York for events coinciding with the 27th edition of Dominican Week in the U.S., was joined for a panel at the Four Seasons Hotel New York by Carlos Castillo, consul general of the Dominican Republic in New York; Robin Bernstein, U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic; Rafael Blanco of the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants;  Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group; Jeffrey Livingston of investment firm KKR; and Bruce Wardinski, chairman and CEO of Playa Resorts.


Airlines Slash Service And Prices To Hong Kong Amidst Protests

Ongoing tension between pro-democracy protesters and the Chinese-backed Hong Kong government are having an adverse affect on tourism to the region. According to The Wall Street Journal, arrivals into Hong Kong fell 40% from a year ago at this time. As a function of the drop off, hotel and air operators are slashing service and fares to the city.


Celebrity Cruises Removes Free In-Cabin Movies
Cruise Critic

Following intense discussion on Cruise Critic’s message boards, Celebrity Cruises has confirmed that it has pulled the plug on complimentary in-room movies.

A Celebrity spokesperson told Cruise Critic, “At this time, we’re no longer offering free in-stateroom movies. We will continue to offer a wide selection of the new releases and iconic films in our theaters, outdoor screens and in the guest staterooms using the on-demand TV system.”

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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