JULY 14, 2021

At Ovation, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety information, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings, and more regarding COVID-19.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has said she is pressing the US government to ease COVID-19 restrictions that bar much of the world from traveling to the United States, reports Reuters. Dozens of US business groups, lawmakers, and officials from foreign governments have already been asking President Joe Biden to relax the travel restrictions put in place under the former administration. The White House says it is continuing discussions with the European Union, Britain, Canada, and Mexico on how to eventually lift restrictions, but US officials say they still have no timetable on a decision. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has joined Raimondo in pushing for lifting restrictions, according to sources familiar with the discussions, but others in the administration remain hesitant.

Hilton Hotels has announced that it has made daily housekeeping optional across most of its brands in the US, reports Travel Weekly. Effective immediately, daily housekeeping will be performed only upon request. The policy is in place for most US hotels, with exceptions to luxury brands Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR. Housekeeping services will also be done automatically on the fifth day of any extended stay at a US hotel. "Our guests have told us that they have varying levels of comfort with someone entering their rooms after they have checked in," said Hilton in a statement. "We encourage our guests to call the front desk to request room cleaning, and our team members stand ready to assist with extra towels or amenities." Meanwhile, Hilton properties in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are currently "operating housekeeping as requested," while hotels in the Asia-Pacific region are still providing daily housekeeping. Though on-demand housekeeping services have become commonplace during the pandemic, Hilton is one of the first major hospitality groups to make it companywide policy.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that it screened over 10 million travelers at airport checkpoints during the holiday period from July 1-5, reports Travel + Leisure. Not only did the holiday weekend set a new record during the COVID-19 pandemic, but travel numbers also rose well above even pre-pandemic levels. "@TSA screened 2,147,090 people at airport security checkpoints nationwide [on] Thursday, July 1," TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein announced on Twitter. "Ready for this? It surpassed the 2019 checkpoint volume for the same day, which was 2,088,760." The busiest travel day was July 2, when 2,196,411 people passed through TSA. July 4 recorded the lowest number in weeks when only 1.6 million people were counted at TSA checkpoints; however, daily TSA numbers have not dipped below 1.6 million since late May. Travel numbers have increased steadily throughout the year. The previous pandemic travel record was set over Memorial Day Weekend, when more than 7.1 million people were screened over the five-day holiday period.

United Airlines has announced that it plans to increase service to cities in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America this winter, as demand for travel continues to rise. The airline will add nearly 150 flights to warm-weather destinations across the US and is increasing service to Latin beach and leisure markets by 30% compared to 2019. This will include 12 new routes from its hubs in Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The airline will fly 137 more flights than it did in 2019 to destinations such as Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada, starting this November through next March. "Celebrating the holidays with family and loved ones in 2020 was a challenge, and we know our customers are already eager to plan winter vacations and gatherings in person this year to make up for time that they lost," said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning at United. "As pandemic restrictions ease, people are becoming more confident in planning travel further in advance, so we want to make sure to offer our customers as much choice as possible."

Delta Air Lines has announced that it plans on adding 29 used Boeing 737-900ERs and leasing seven used Airbus A350-900s, as it continues to streamline and modernize its fleet. The 36 additional aircraft will improve fuel efficiency and enhance the customer experience. “These aircraft are an investment in Delta’s future,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “As we look past the pandemic, Delta’s disciplined, innovative approach to fleet renewal positions us for growth as travel demand returns, while enhancing the customer experience and supporting our sustainability commitments.”
Guests can enjoy their 3rd night free at Boston Harbor Hotel through September 2nd (bookings must be made by August 29th).

All 232 accommodations offer striking views of either the Boston skyline or the sparkling waterfront. Modern comforts such as complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room tablets, Smart TVs, and spacious work desks offer a measure of tech-savvy convenience in each guest room or suite. Luxuries throughout the hotel include a private health club with spa and fitness center, award-winning dining at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille and a full-service 34-slip marina.
The Claremont Club and Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, has been a Bay Area icon, providing rich history and elegance since 1915. Each of the 276 classically contemporary guest rooms and suites provide the perfect setting to make the most of the resort's exceptional location. Many showcase unrivaled views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline. Claremont Club and Spa allows guests to experience luxuries and wellness at their award-winning resort, combined with the renowned, exceptional service the Fairmont is recognized for. Valued guests, colleagues and members will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care, and comfort.
Voted the #1 Best New Hotel in the US by USA Today, the Grand Hyatt Nashville is redefining what it means to be a downtown urban resort. Featuring seven culinary experiences including The Nashville Grange, a Tennessee to table restaurant offering locally sourced dishes as well as Lou/Na, Nashville's highest hotel rooftop bar, and The Continental, an innovative restaurant concept led by a James Beard award-winning chef. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of all the hotel's amenities which include a fifth-floor pool deck, the world-class spa of R+R Wellness, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel offers more than 84,000 square feet of state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor event space. Located off of famed Broadway within walking distance to all of the best that Music City has to offer and only 15 minutes from the Nashville International Airport.
Ideally located on Manhattan’s famed Upper East Side, guests can experience the allure of Park Avenue by staying in one of the hotel’s six signature suites. For those who prefer glitz and glam, opt for the Glamour Residence inspired by Marilyn Monroe, complete with a shimmery pink tufted headboard and Central Park views. Guests can opt for a more artsy eclectic style residence with the Uptown Bohemian Residence inspired by a SOHO loft with more calming neutral tones. Other suites include the Bespoke Suite, Classic 1970s Apartment Two-Bedroom Suite, Pop Art Suite, and the premiere Nate Berkus suite – inspired by the ultimate New York City apartment. Guests will love the feeling of their own Pied-à-terre on Park Avenue complete with spacious living areas, kitchenettes, and bedrooms.
Park Hyatt Chicago, the founding Park Hyatt hotel, boasts sophisticated design, an impressive private art collection and award-winning cuisine just steps from the Magnificent Mile.

Park Hyatt Chicago offers 198 luxurious rooms, including thirteen elegant suites, each appointed with deep soaking tubs and sleek window benches with views of the Water Tower, Lake Michigan, or Chicago’s Gold Coast. Suites offer apartment-style layouts with separate living areas and a range of residential features such as a kitchenette and powder room, so travelers can feel at home in downtown Chicago.
Located in midtown Manhattan, the heart of New York City, The Kimberly Hotel radiates a refined elegance with traditional flair and provides guests easy access to Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, the theatre district, as well as the world’s most outstanding museums, popular restaurants, and attractions. Comfort is assured in the hotel’s spacious, exceptionally appointed guest rooms as well as luxury one and two-bedroom suites. Accommodations are filled with luxurious amenities, including Frette linens, L’Occitane products and a lush down feather bed offering the most relaxing and peaceful night’s sleep. The hotel’s suites offer the extra space of a living room and dining area and most offer a balcony, a rarity in New York City hotels. Attentive staff welcomes guests home from a long day, while valet parking and access to public transportation make traveling to and from the hotel convenient and accessible.
The hotel’s heritage building sits six blocks from the Washington Convention Center and less than a mile from the White House, Smithsonian Museums, and the National Mall. Farragut North and West metro stations are within three blocks. The hotel offers a complimentary modern fitness center with state-of-the-art Life Fitness equipment for guests as well as grab-and-go lunch options and Starbucks® coffee in the Marketplace. Ovation travelers will receive an additional 5000 Hilton Honors points for stays until September 7, 2021.
Stewart Hotel is located at 371 Seventh Avenue (between 30th and 31st Streets) in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Opened in 1929 as the Governor Clinton Hotel, the Stewart Hotel boasts the best New York inspired lobby, stunning ballroom, designer event space and spacious suites. The hotel’s Midtown location is directly across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, and only steps from Hudson Square, Times Square, Chelsea, the Empire State Building, and New York City’s best attractions. Macy’s in Herald Square, plus all of Fifth Avenue’s famous retail offerings are within walking distance.
Ovation Travel Group is wholly owned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express", and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license. “American Express Meetings & Events” is a division of GBT.