March 2023 E-Publication Recap

Ovation’s weekly shopper e-newsletter, the Knowledgeable Traveler, retains readers up to date on journey business information and traits.

Following is a recap of March’s high 5 (most clicked by Ovation shoppers) e-newsletter tales.


The US Division of State has introduced that passport processing instances proceed to be delayed amid ‘unprecedented demand,’ reviews Journey Market Report. In accordance with the State Division, routine functions at the moment are taking between 10 and 13 weeks, whereas expedited functions at the moment are taking between seven and 9 weeks. These timelines don’t embrace mailing instances, which can take as much as two weeks for functions to be mailed, and one other two weeks for them to be mailed again, probably extending the whole utility course of to 17 weeks, or greater than 4 months, from the time of mailing. The principle cause for the longer processing time is the upper demand for passports; 2023 is on monitor to set the file for the very best demand yr ever for passports. The State Division has been working to cut back processing instances in a variety of methods together with “aggressively recruiting and hiring,” providing extra time to its present staff, and opening satellite tv for pc places of work to assist course of the big variety of functions coming in. Moreover, the division encourages all vacationers to verify their passport expiration date earlier than making any plans for worldwide journey, and to take motion to resume their passport properly prematurely this yr. “We’re dedicated to transparency and can proceed to supply common updates about passport processing instances, and to encourage People to use for his or her passport properly prematurely of any deliberate worldwide journey to keep away from last-minute points,” the State Division stated in its newest replace.


China has reopened its borders to international vacationers for the primary time for the reason that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic by permitting all classes of visas to be issued, reviews Journey Market Report. As of March 15, vacationers can now apply for Chinese language journey visas and international places of work can course of stated functions. China has additionally said that it’s going to honor legitimate visas issued previous to the nation’s shutdown in March 2020. Moreover, China has reopened visa-free entry to some components of the nation, together with in Hainan Island and for cruise ship vacationers crusing into Shanghai. People touring to China should nonetheless bear a COVID-19 check inside 48 hours earlier than their departure and full customs well being declaration varieties upon arrival.


Amtrak has introduced that it’s partnering with the Southern Rail Fee (SRC) to use for federal funds to check a brand new service between New York Metropolis, Atlanta, and Dallas/Fort Price by extending a piece of the favored Amtrak Crescent practice from Meridian, Mississippi, to Texas. Amtrak has been exploring this concept for greater than 20 years, however final yr’s Congressional passage of the Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act now creates new alternatives to check potential expanded long-distance Amtrak service. “This has the potential to be the primary new Amtrak service of its type in additional than 25 years and it could are available an space that has lengthy been underserved by passenger rail,” stated SRC Chairman Knox Ross. “Now that we have now a means ahead for brand spanking new state-sponsored hall service between New Orleans and Cellular, the I-20 route has been recognized by the SRC as its subsequent precedence.” If the examine produces a ample enterprise case for a direct connection between the Northeast Hall and fast-growing areas within the South and West, Amtrak would companion with the SRC and others to hunt federal capital and working help to provoke the service.


Greater than 1,400 safety guards at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) will strike for 10 days over the Easter break, forcing British Airways to cancel roughly 32 flights a day to and from LHR in the course of the vacation interval, reviews BBC. The strike, which is anticipated to final from Friday, March 31, to Easter Sunday, April 9, consists of safety guards who work on the airport’s Terminal 5, which is used solely by British Airways, in addition to these answerable for checking all cargo that enters the airport. British Airways has been instructed by the airport to cut back its schedule on these days by 5 % and has stopped promoting tickets. The airline has begun to supply a variety of choices to affected vacationers. “We have apologized to prospects whose journey plans have been affected and have provided them a variety of choices, together with rebooking onto a brand new flight with us or one other airline, or requesting a full refund,” the airline stated in an announcement. LHR stated it was deploying 1,000 extra workers, along with its administration group, who shall be within the terminals offering help to vacationers over the Easter break. It stated it might take “slightly longer than regular to get by safety,” and suggested vacationers to assist guarantee a easy departure by checking their flight standing earlier than travelling to the airport, and by having their liquids and electronics prepared for safety.


The European Union (EU) has formally delayed the launch of the European Journey Info and Authorization System (ETIAS) till at the least 2024, reviews Journey Market Report. ETIAS has been delayed a number of instances over the previous few years, most lately in August 2022. The earlier postponement pushed the launch date from Might 2023 to November 2023. An up to date launch date has but to be decided, however the EU has confirmed that it’s going to not take impact in November 2023 as deliberate. “It’s anticipated that the ETIAS shall be operational in 2024,” stated the EU in its newest replace. The ETIAS, which has been within the works since 2016, would require all non-Europeans, together with these within the US, UK, and Canada, to acquire an digital journey allow forward of arrival to any of the 26 European international locations that make up the Schengen space. This requirement applies to all vacationers who don’t want a visa previous to journey.