By Kimberly Krol
Good news is welcome in these times of uncertainty, and at least two Florida resorts, Naples Grande Beach Resort and Cheeca Lodge & Spa, are finding most travelers are opting to reschedule upcoming events and stays rather than cancel — a bright outlook for the travel industry to bounce back quickly once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Naples Grande Beach Resort offers the most meeting and event space in Naples. With 83,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, 40 percent of the resort’s business comes from groups and events. More than 85 percent of the resort’s group and event reservations for spring have been rescheduled rather than canceled.
“This is a testament to the strength of the travel industry community,” said Melinda Hutchins, director of sales and marketing, Naples Grande Beach Resort. “We’re being extremely flexible with all travel plans and circumstances right now. From planners to agents and hotels to future guests, we all need to work together during these unprecedented times and inspire hope that we’ll get through this and travel more than ever when this passes.”
Cheeca Lodge & Spa, with 6,300 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, has seen more than 90 percent of its group reservations and events for the spring reschedule to a later date.
Updated April 3, 2020
More hotels around the country also see a trend of re-bookings, rather than cancellations, representing a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to the COVID-19 crisis. Seven of eight groups that canceled at Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort rescheduled for late 2020/early 2021. In Asheville, North Carolina, The Foundry Hotel saw about 80 percent of its April and May corporate bookings confirm rescheduled dates from quarter 3 of 2020 through Q1 of 2021. Almost the same percentage, 75 percent, of group reservations at The Bristol Hotel in Virginia canceled, yet rebooked for fall 2020 or early 2021. Opened in late 2019, Lexington Marriott City Center saw more than 15 rebookings for late 2020 and early 2021.
If your family travel brings you to the greater New York City region, opt for a taste of nostalgia (or the grown-ups and fun and imagination for the kids at American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe. Since I don’t have children, I recruited my best friend and her 6-year-old twins, Declan and Delaney, to help me check out the Nickelodeon-themed theme park and all the ways it brings to life favorite characters from cartoons both past and present, like Rugrats!, which I watched as a child, and Spongebob Square Pants, which is more Declan’s speed.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
There was a time when traveling by private jet was reserved for the ultra-rich and celebrities looking for luxury and privacy, but, in recent years, a new model of private jet travel opened the door for all of us, including family travelers, to experience this mode of luxury travel.
Family travelers, there’s a new attraction coming to Saudi Arabia, as it prepares to welcome the country’s first and the region’s largest water theme park, currently under development at Qiddiya, the future Capital of Entertainment, Sports and Culture. Qiddiya will sit outside the capital of Riyadh. Falcon’s Creative Group is behind the park’s master plan.