Save On National Park Lodging, Cycling Tours, And More With This Christmas In July Sale

If you like to plan ahead, and save money, travel company Xanterra Travel Collection has a deal for you. Actually, it has a number of deals.

Xanterra Travel Collection’s origins were as the largest national and state park concessioner in the United States. Then, it acquired the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel and Windstar Cruises before expanding into adventure travel by also acquiring VBT Bicycling Vacations, Country Walkers, and Holiday Vacations. The company also owns hotel properties near national parks. Consequently, Xanterra Travel Collection now offers upscale biking, walking, railway, cruising, sailing, and touring itineraries on six continents.

“Our tagline is ‘A World of Unforgettable Experiences’ and we specialize in bucket list experiences, at sea and by foot, rail, and by bike — or as we like to say, on rails, trails, and sails,” Xanterra explains.

From July 19–27, for its Christmas in July sale, Xanterra is offering deals on trips that include national parks, luxury cruises, “exotic and legendary” beach and mountain resorts, walking and cycling treks, and even historic working passenger trains.

“We’re kicking off our Christmas in July sale with a giveaway you won’t want to miss!” Xanterra explains. “Online explorers can enter for a chance to win a $500 gift card that’s redeemable across all Xanterra properties and brands for shopping, dining, and as final payment on lodging, activities, and more.”

Here’s a look at some of the Christmas in July Deals:

National Parks

During its Christmas in July sale, Xanterra’s The Oasis at Death Valley is offering 30 percent off hotel stays at its AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley and the family-friendly and adventure-focused Ranch at Death Valley. The sale is good on select overnight stays between September 15, 2022, and January 19, 2023.

Near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, in-park lodging

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New national parks res system causes headaches for tour operators: Travel Weekly

A well-intended measure to promote sustainability at U.S. national parks is backfiring for the tour operators that offer those destinations. 

The reservation system, introduced at some of the most popular national parks earlier this year, often only allows bookings to be made within a few days or even hours of a park visit. It was designed to limit high visitor volume and better preserve natural resources. 

But it is causing tour operators, who book months in advance, to lose bookings due to the short reservation window, especially for international travelers, who book anywhere from six months to a year ahead. 

“If a family has long dreamed of visiting the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone and has planned, saved and scheduled their trip well in advance, they want to know their reservations to the park are booked and secure,” said Simon Russell, CEO of Authentic Vacations. “When we work with local national park suppliers and day tour operators and they cannot guarantee us a booked reservation within one of the parks, then we can’t give them the business and everyone loses — the traveler, us and the local supplier.”

In addition, most reservations must be made for parks that require them through Recreation.gov, a platform that National Tour Association (NTA) president Catherine Prather says is better suited for individual or family travelers and is “not designed for groups or tour operators.”

“Seventy-six percent of our tour operators package the parks,” Prather said. “The national parks are an important component or stand-alone feature of many NTA tour operators’ tours and packages.”

Foreign and domestic travel industry leaders are openly calling on the U.S. Interior Department to reform the reservation system and work with tour operators to find solutions that benefit visitors and also preserve the parks.

A letter drafted by the U.S.

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