Eye on Travel – JW Marriott Washington DC – July 3, 2021
This week’s show of Eye on the journey comes from JW Marriott in Washington DC this July 4th weekend. Peter has a full update on world travel. And as travel returns, scams travel too. At least $ 74 million was lost due to travel-related scams during the pandemic. And that’s an 80% increase from 2019. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who joins Peter this week, talks about his new bill, the Consumer Protection Against Travel Fraud Act. Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post, on life in Washington DC after the pandemic. And pilot Greg Morris insists you wear at least SPF30 sunscreen before boarding your next flight. And he will explain why. There’s all of this – and your travel questions answered too – like this week Eye on the journey JW Marriott shows in Washington DC.
Tune in at 10 a.m. ET on July 3. You can also stream it by pressing play on the bar that appears above.
A question about travel? Then ask Peter. Email him at [email protected], or tweet your questions at @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).
Amy Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, opens the program by discussing her new bill, Protecting Consumers from Travel Fraud Act, which has just been passed by the Trade Committee. Senator Klobuchar and Senator Steve Daines of Montana drafted this bill after consumers lost $ 74 million to travel-related scams during the pandemic, an 80% increase from the ‘last year. The scams ranged from people acting as bogus travel agents to promises of free travel and often targeted new internet users and the elderly. If passed, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to report these scams to Congress and provide the information to the general public to increase education on the issue. She says that as crooks get more sophisticated, so must security guards. Senator Klobuchar advises people not to engage or respond to these scams, and if you receive an offer that looks legitimate, ask the person for their number so you can call and determine if it is. a real offer. She also cautions people not to believe that they can get free travel and hotel rooms.
Roxanne roberts, journalist at The Washington Post, argues that after the pandemic, people have a new and fresh perspective on how they want to live and approach their daily activities. She associates that with traveling and knowing who we want to do it with. It’s not just where do we want to go or what do we want to do, it’s who do we want to do it with? Roberts describes life in Washington DC after the pandemic, what socializing looks like now, current mandates around masks, the ban on dancing, and why it’s a good time to visit the city (even if it’s hot) . Then, she shares her hopes for the city’s near future.
Gunther T. Bright, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Global and U.S. Corporations at American Express, talks about the slow return of business travel amid an explosion in leisure travel in recent months. Through conversations with many of the key decision makers driving the business travel upturn, Bright believes business travel is on the horizon and will make a comeback. American Express recently conducted a survey that found many business travelers are excited to be back in safe travel. A lot of this is due to the power of being in person in terms of building leadership skills and building strong connections. He also says that employees and their well-being are a high priority for companies when they decide to travel again. Several factors, including vaccination rates, will be taken into account to ensure the safety of employees when traveling.
Greg Morris, commercial airline pilot, talks about the importance of focusing on well-being when traveling. One of the dangers of air travel that people don’t always think about is the risk of skin cancer from increased exposure to ionizing radiation and other harmful rays. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, commercial airline pilots are exposed to between two and six times more ionizing radiation than the general public. And that hour at 30,000 feet exposes pilots to as much UV radiation as 20 minutes in a tanning bed. Morris encourages passengers to apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before take-off and to wear protective clothing and sunglasses with UV protection when traveling. If you take these precautions Morris says you’ll still be able to enjoy the view from your seat by the window.
Robert Wood, Senior Economist and Country Risk Management Services Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at The Economist, discusses the results of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2021 Global Sustainability Index. The index reviews 140 cities according to five categories, including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure, as well as 30 key indicators. The cities that top this year’s list are those that have been successful in managing the pandemic and slowing the spread of COVID-19. More specifically, the cities of Australia, New Zealand and Japan which have eight cities in the top ten. The U.S. cities of Houston and Honolulu also scored higher than usual due to Houston’s economic success and Honolulu’s high vaccination rates. Western Europe is one region of the world that has seen its rankings drop due to the second wave of cases and subsequent lockdowns many cities have endured. Vienna, for example, fell to twelfth place from its usual first place. Wood believes cities in Western Europe could see their scores increase as they get better at dealing with the pandemic. Damascus, Syria remains in last place due to key structural issues.
Nycci nellis, founder of “The List Are You On It” and co-host of Gourmand and the Beast radio show, talks about the resilience of the food and restaurant industry and the silver lining to it all. But owning a restaurant is like having a house of cards. It might all look pretty and beautiful on the outside, but it’s a tough business. Nellis discusses the situation in Washington DC, the staff crisis (pre-COVID-19 pandemic), the rising cost of food, and the extra portion of business that members of the hospitality industry are facing : reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor, etc. al, where everyone becomes critical.
Holly budge, co-founder of World Women’s Ranger Day and founder of How Many Elephants, joins the program from England to discuss the double-edged impact of the pandemic on conservation. On the one hand, the pandemic has given endangered animal populations time to recover, but on the other hand, many rangers have lost their jobs, which has reduced eyes and ears to the ground to monitor poachers and increase poaching. Lack of tourism income has also resulted in reduced funding for conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Budge also talks about his charity, How Many Elephants, which is a visual, non-partisan campaign that shows the rapid loss of elephants and also supports the work of female anti-poaching rangers in Africa and around the world. The number of female rangers is increasing with more than 3,500 in 18 countries. These women often help ease tensions and provide education to local communities. But female rangers still represent only 11% of all rangers.
JoAnn Hill, Author of Secret Washington DC: A Guide to the Weird, the Wonderful and the Obscure, talks about some of the unique and hidden gems and where to find them in DC. There is a large chair at Anacostia on Martin Luther King Boulevard which is actually a replica of the original chair, to which was attached a cube in which a model agreed to live for over a month as part of an advertising campaign for a furniture store. . Hill notes that you can’t sit on the chair, but you can still go and admire it. DC has a rich history, and Hill shares a little-known history about the Carousel on the National Mall and Apartheid. She also tells visitors to keep an eye out for stone markers known as landmarks all over town. They mark the original boundaries of DC, but as the boundaries have changed and moved over the years, many of them are now located in random locations throughout the region. And what is the place that brings him the most joy? It’s Barbie Pond on Q street, an art installation by anonymous artists featuring Barbie dolls that change for special occasions.
Tony hull, executive chef of JW Marriott Washington DC, joins the program to discuss how he and his team survived the pandemic and the changes they have made going forward. Hull talks about closing all restaurants except room dining during the pandemic and how they have consistently provided their staff with a smaller, made-to-order menu. He also explains how the hotel was able to continue to provide business travelers while meeting health and social distancing guidelines. As they prepare to start hosting events again, he talks about the revamped menu, which now caters to leisure travelers with more family-friendly options including healthy flatbreads and small plates to share. He adds that the number one lesson he learned over the past year is the importance of teamwork, something he saw firsthand as people stepped up to do chores. that they normally wouldn’t do, from cleaning staff who check in guests to the utility team helping with deliveries.
Tushaar Agrawal, General Manager of JW Marriott Washington DC, talks about reopening Washington DC, surviving the pandemic, and his enthusiasm for welcoming more guests again. He explains how the hotel got creative in accommodating the growing number of leisure travelers when they once focused primarily on business travelers. Some new programs include creating better packages and offers for families when they come to stay. He notes that he believes business travel will return, but will be different when it does. He also says he is comfortable welcoming people to the hotel as he believes the necessary changes have been made to do so safely.
By Amanda Morris For PeterGreenberg.com