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Trump Hotels’ new hotel brand, a low-cost airline from India with a new child-free zone and a proposed cruise port expansion in New Orleans are the three travel industry headlines to follow today.
Trump Hotels Drops Trump Name on New Hotel Brand
Trump Hotels is launching a new hotel brand, but leaving behind the Trump name amid reports that the presidential election season has been driving down occupancy rates at Trump Hotels, according to Travel + Leisure. The company has announced the launch of a new lifestyle hotel brand geared toward Millennials, called Scion.
Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said in a statement that the name is meant to be a nod to the Trump family while still allowing for a distinction between the company’s luxury and lifestyle brands. At the same time, Travel + Leisure reports that there are indications that the presidential election has been driving down stays at existing Trump Hotels: nightly rates at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, have dropped below $500, while booking data from Hipmunk shows bookings at Trump Hotels down 59 percent during the first half of 2016. According to Foursquare, there has been a 17 decrease in foot traffic at Trump Hotels since June 2015, the start of Trump’s presidential bid.
Ivanka Trump, EVP of development and acquisitions for the brand, however, told Travel + Leisure that business at Trump Hotels is “stronger than ever,” calling the Hipmunk and Foursquare data “manipulated to appear meaningful.”
Child-Free Zone for IndiGo
In air travel news, India-based low-cost airline IndiGo has announced a new service that could be music to stressed-out travelers’ ears: new “quiet zones” on the airline’s domestic and international flights where seats are not sold to travelers 12 years old and younger, the Los Angeles Times reports. The zones, which are available in rows 1-4 and 11-14, cost an extra fee ranging from $6 to $20.
Loud children have long been one of the most often-talked about annoyances on airplanes. In Travel Leaders Group’s “What Would You Do?” travel etiquette survey released earlier this summer, the company polled travelers on what they would do if they witnessed a child behaving badly on an airplane, with most (54.8%) opting to call a flight attendant and let him or her handle the situation.
IndiGo spokesperson Sakshi Batra told the Los Angeles Times that the new zones are aimed at business travelers, who can use the quiet time to do work.
Potential Port Expansion in New Orleans
In cruise news, the Port of New Orleans is considering an expansion as the facility looks to pass last year’s record number of cruise ship passengers, Houmatoday.com reports. Plans call for the construction of another cruise ship terminal following repair work to the existing Poland Avenue wharf structure. The repair work could cost about $15 million and take about one year, with the finished terminal clocking in at around $50 million.
New Orleans hosted over 1 million cruise passengers in 2015, with the Carnival Triumph, Carnival Dream and Norwegian Dawn sailing regularly from the city. American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Co. also offer river cruises from New Orleans, with Viking River Cruises planning to make the city a home port for its first U.S. river cruises.
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