Travel News: June 19, 2018

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New Zealand to tax tourists to fund infrastructure amid tourism boom
The Business Times

New Zealand announced plans on Friday to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom.

Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in the year to April.

“This rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure,” said tourism minister Kelvin Davis.

“Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to carparks.”


United Airlines Is Rolling Out Its International Premium Economy Cabins

In January, United Airlines quietly announced plans to launch an international premium economy cabin product on international flights. Now, the airline has revealed that its first aircraft equipped with the cabin will roll off the line later this month – ahead of the schedule that many expected.

United’s international premium economy product, called Premium Plus, will live comfortably between the economy and business class cabins on international flights. And unlike the traditional domestic economy plus product that simply adds a bit more leg room and slightly better service, Premium Plus will be a distinct product. A handful of teaser product shots leaked to the web suggest that the seats will feature a hard shell construct, wider seats, generous recline and built-in leg rests.


Royal Caribbean makes a $1 billion bet on luxury and expedition cruises

The deal by Royal Caribbean Cruises to take a majority stake in Silversea Cruises allows the company to enter the luxury and expedition space, Royal Caribbean’s chairman and CEO, Richard Fain, told CNBC.

“It’s really a growth opportunity. It’s a part of the market that we haven’t really been addressing,” Fain said Thursday on “Power Lunch.”

“We had this one gap in the ultra-luxury and expedition area,” he said. “We really needed to fill in that space.”

On Thursday, Royal Caribbean announced it was purchasing a controlling stake — nearly 67 percent — in Silversea Cruises, a private company, for $1 billion. Silversea sails to all seven continents, including locales such as the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and Russia’s Far East. The cost of a cruise on Silversea can be well over $10,000.


Fort Lauderdale Opens LGBT+ Visitor Center
Travel Pulse

The Greater Fort Lauderdale area opened its first-ever LGBT+ visitor center dedicated to showcasing attractions of interest to the community on Thursday.

The new center, a joint venture between the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce, is located in Wilton Manors, which is home to the region’s largest concentration of gay residents and businesses. It will share space with the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

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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. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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