Travel News | eTurboNews https://www.eturbonews.com breaking travel & tourism news, research and advisories Tue, 20 Nov 2018 03:05:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 /wp-content/uploads/2018/08/cropped-eTNTravelNewslogo-32x32.jpg Travel News | eTurboNews https://www.eturbonews.com 32 32 UNHCR Thailand congratulates Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi on his appointment as “UNHCR Patron for Peace and Compassion” /238360/unhcr-thailand-congratulates-venerable-vudhijaya-vajiramedhi-on-his-appointment-as-unhcr-patron-for-peace-and-compassion /238360/unhcr-thailand-congratulates-venerable-vudhijaya-vajiramedhi-on-his-appointment-as-unhcr-patron-for-peace-and-compassion#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 03:05:07 +0000 /238360

UNHCR Thailand held a special event to celebrate Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi on the occasion of his appointment as “UNHCR Patron for Peace and Compassion” at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok among honorable guests and diplomatic community. Since 2016, Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi has been working in partnership with UNHCR to raise awareness and funds […]

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UNHCR Thailand held a special event to celebrate Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi on the occasion of his appointment as “UNHCR Patron for Peace and Compassion” at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok among honorable guests and diplomatic community.

Since 2016, Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi has been working in partnership with UNHCR to raise awareness and funds on behalf of refugees, as well as to advocate for peaceful co-existence between refugees and host communities. In recognition of his advocacy and awareness-raising work on behalf of millions of refugees, UNHCR has officially appointed Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi as a Patron for Peace and Compassion at a special ceremony in Geneva on 15 November 2018.

A Patron is a prestigious honorary title given to those who support UNHCR and refugees by dedicating valuable time to disseminate information and knowledge about refugees. The role is to influence public opinion and change negative attitudes towards refugees and engage others to support the work of UNHCR.

The Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi is known for his innovative approach for Buddhist teaching and his strong advocacy for peace and compassion towards fellow human beings through the concept of “We are One, We are World”, particularly in interfaith dialogues to support refugees. He has supported UNHCR’s Nobody Left Outside shelter campaign by hosting awareness and fundraising events to contribute to the campaign goal of raising funds to shelter two million refugees in 12 countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Rwanda and Chad.

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Goa Tourism returns to Italy /238352/goa-tourism-returns-to-italy /238352/goa-tourism-returns-to-italy#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 02:10:38 +0000 /238352

Two years after its first presence in Milan and Rome, Goa Tourism has returned to Italy to present the latest developments in its territory to Milan tour operators and the press. The delegation of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) was led by Sheo Pratap Singh, IAS Secretary of PWD, Transport & Tourism for the […]

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Two years after its first presence in Milan and Rome, Goa Tourism has returned to Italy to present the latest developments in its territory to Milan tour operators and the press.

The delegation of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) was led by Sheo Pratap Singh, IAS Secretary of PWD, Transport & Tourism for the Government of Goa; Gavin Dias, General Manager of Hotels, Marketing & Cruises for GTDC; and promoter Lloyd Monteiro, Managing Director of Purplive, a property of Alica Purple Avenues.

Goa, the name given by the Portuguese who dominated the region for 450 years, is the smallest state of India in terms of area and the fourth in terms of population. It is located on the west coast of India in the region known as Konkan. It borders Maharashtra to the north and whose capital is Mumbai, and to Karnataka to the east and south.

The capital of the state is Panaji, and Vasco da Gama, commonly known as Vasco, is the most populous city. The economic capital is Margao, an ancient city that has numerous traces of Portuguese colonization.

With these data, Gavin Dias begins to explain the characteristics of the small state that is hardly noticed on the map of the sub-continent custodian of man-made architectural treasures – mainly churches, including that of St. Francis, the holy icon of Goa and a legacy of the long Portuguese domination. Here, the Goans live in harmony with the religions and creeds of the Indian territory.

The attractions in Goa are plentiful, and tourists can count on renowned beaches, diving areas, nature reserves with turtles and crocodiles, circuits for visiting temples, spice forests, mini cruises, and for the time-free wonder of exploring the numerous markets even at night and attending the many festivals.

For fans of gambling, there are the casinos. Goa is the only Indian state where gambling is legal. This corner of “Incredible India” ranks 50th among the destinations in Asia.

Here are a few more exclusive words from the head of the delegation:

Mr. Sheo, Goa Tourism’s plans intend to develop its image among the Italians to improve their presence in Goa. What other cities do you intend to visit after Milan?

On this occasion, only Milan. A starting point to announce our interest in the Italian market. We plan to return to Italy in 2019 with a more extensive program of visits.

What sectors of the market do you intend to promote besides leisure tourism, for example, business travel, congress and conventions, the wedding market, etc.?

Tourism as a recreational activity and the beaches are our main objectives, [along with] business tourism, the congress tourism extended to all MICE activities, and the one concerning specific events such as religious tourism.

How many congress and convention structures are available in GOA and what are the hosting capacity of the major ones?

Right now, we have convention centers only within 5-star hotels, but large capacity convention centers at the international level are planned for the near future and will soon be available.

Do you have in store specific promotional activities aimed at tour operators to stimulate their interest to be passed on to customers towards their destination?

In this regard, we have commissioned our PR agency in Goa to develop projects and collaborate with representatives in Italy and in Europe.

Is your agency aware of the Italian television program on tourism at the Falde del Kilimangiaro?

I’m not sure, but I’m personally interested in receiving in-depth information on this initiative from the organizers, and after its screening, propose it to our PR agent for their evaluation.

How many Italians have visited Goa to date?

I do not have the statistics with me, but I think they are around 2,000.

Any survey conducted to know the level of appreciation or negativity of Italian tourists in Goa?

No survey so far. But our observers have noted the high appreciation of our beaches, the territory, the variety of cuisine that includes the European/Portuguese style, and night-time entertainment, a legacy of GOA’s long Portuguese domination.

Are Italian tourists attracted to your offshore casinos?

Yes, many of them go on board out of curiosity; others try their luck.

Which other cities in Italy do you plan to visit to promote the GOA destination?

On this occasion, we are not going to other cities in Italy. This is just an opportunity to announce our interest in the Italian market. We may plan to return for a more extended tour of other Italian cities, perhaps in 2019.

Any specific plans to be directed to the travel trade to stimulate their interest, too, and highlight the destination to the Italian tourist?

At present, our plans are confined to roadshows. We have appointed a PR agency in Goa who will interact with counterparts in Italy and Europe.

Perhaps you would be interested in a promotional activity regarding the presence of Goa on an Italian state TV special program called Alle falde del Kilimangiaro, focused solely on tourism and scheduled each Sunday which attracts a few million viewers.

Yes, we would like to look at this option. You can ask the organization to contact us with such a proposal.

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IATA-associated travel agencies are at the breaking point /238349/iata-associated-travel-agencies-are-at-the-breaking-point /238349/iata-associated-travel-agencies-are-at-the-breaking-point#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 01:35:37 +0000 /238349

ECTAA (The European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association) and WTAAA (World Travel Agents Associations Alliance) joined forces against IATA, accused it of having unilaterally changed the dynamics of bargaining between airlines and travel agencies. The joint note of the two organizations, in fact, lashes out against the 41st Passenger Agency Conference (held in Geneva […]

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ECTAA (The European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association) and WTAAA (World Travel Agents Associations Alliance) joined forces against IATA, accused it of having unilaterally changed the dynamics of bargaining between airlines and travel agencies.

The joint note of the two organizations, in fact, lashes out against the 41st Passenger Agency Conference (held in Geneva on October 30 and 31) that would have given the green light to the process of dismantling agents’ consultations on financial criteria and the role of mediators between the distributors and the vendors.

Among the ECTAA subjects, involved in the debate, is Alfredo Pezzani of the air transport committee of the association, as well as a member of FTO.

In fact, despite the strong opposition of travel agents, it seems that IATA has approved a mechanism, that allows it to review the financial criteria, that the agents must meet to be accredited (Local Financial Criteria), without going through the bilateral agreements contained in the Agency Program Joint Council.

Moreover, IATA is overhauling the figure of the Travel Agency Commissioner (TAC), which has an independent mediation role when an agent wants to question an IATA decision that could damage his business.

According to ECTAA and WTAAA, in fact, every change to the figure of the TAC must be discussed and approved by the so-called Passenger Agency Program Global Joint Council (PAPGJC).

The agents, however, accuse IATA of having made changes, during the last Geneva conference, without even considering the counterpart in a “closed-door” meeting.

«This is a slap in the face to all IATA-associated agents and to the community of agencies all over the world – comments Michel de Blust, general secretary of the ECTAA – This is not a collaborative approach and, above all, highlights the distortions of the IATA regulations. If a cooperative approach is not possible, we will have to continue in other ways.»

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FAA: Pack safely this holiday season /238337/faa-pack-safely-this-holiday-season /238337/faa-pack-safely-this-holiday-season#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 01:25:05 +0000 /238337

Millions of travelers will take to the skies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to help you make it to your destination safely. You can help with that by paying close attention to what’s in your bag. Some common toiletries that passengers pack could be hazardous. Check your […]

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Millions of travelers will take to the skies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to help you make it to your destination safely. You can help with that by paying close attention to what’s in your bag.

Some common toiletries that passengers pack could be hazardous. Check your bags for the following items: aerosol cans that may contain hair spray, deodorant, tanning spray or animal repellant, nail polish, artist paints and glues.
Wondering what to do with those e-cigarettes? Passengers should know that e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and spare lithium batteries are not authorized to be packed in checked luggage. Spare lithium batteries – the kind that are found in personal electronic devices and back-up charging devices – can only travel in carry-on baggage.

Electronic devices powered by lithium batteries can catch fire if they are damaged or have exposed electrical terminals. If devices start to smoke or catch fire, they are much easier to extinguish if they are in the cabin area rather than the cargo hold. The FAA recommends that passengers keep cell phones and other devices nearby in the cabin to quickly access them if necessary.

Spare lithium batteries must be placed in carry-on baggage and protected from damage or short-circuiting. Batteries should be packed so that they are not touching or bumping something that could potentially cause them to spark. If batteries are not sealed in manufacturer packaging, the battery terminals should be protected by covering them with tape and placing them in separate bags to prevent short circuits.

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UK: A boost in visits from the US during Thanksgiving week /238340/uk-a-boost-in-visits-from-the-us-during-thanksgiving-week /238340/uk-a-boost-in-visits-from-the-us-during-thanksgiving-week#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:35:03 +0000 /238340

The UK could expect a rise in visitors from the United States (US) during Thanksgiving week, with flight bookings showing a rise of 20% compared to the same period in 2017. Data shows flight bookings from the US to the UK are up 20% from Sunday November 18th to Saturday November 24th for 2018 compared […]

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The UK could expect a rise in visitors from the United States (US) during Thanksgiving week, with flight bookings showing a rise of 20% compared to the same period in 2017.

Data shows flight bookings from the US to the UK are up 20% from Sunday November 18th to Saturday November 24th for 2018 compared to the week when Thanksgiving fell last year. Thanksgiving Day this year is on Thursday, November 22nd.

The increase echoes a longer-term trend with forward bookings from the US to the UK tracking up 27% from November 2018 to April 2019 compared to the same period previously.

The US is the UK’s most valuable inbound visitor market for tourism spend. Visitors from the US spent a record £3.6 billion (around $4.7 billion USD) across the UK last year, up 9% on the previous year. Visits from the US grew 13% to 3.9 million in 2017, the highest since 2000.

VisitBritain Executive Vice President, Americas, Gavin Landry said:

“There has never been a better time to book a trip to Britain, with our attractions and accommodation offering great value. US visitors can enjoy classic Thanksgiving traditions, from eating a Thanksgiving feast to watching the NFL games, ice skating and holiday light festivals and displays.

“Working with partners including American Airlines, British Airways, Norwegian Air and Virgin Atlantic, we continue to boost route connectivity and seat capacity, making it easier for US visitors to travel and explore further through regional gateways such as Manchester, driving growth from tourism across our nations and regions. The UK is the number one destination in Europe for US travelers, and it is great to see forward bookings looking strong in the coming weeks and months from our most valuable visitor market.”

VisitBritain is also working with content partners in the US including Refinery29, Matador Network, Food52 and Men in Blazers to promote Britain’s food and drink, culture and countryside and Premier League-related visitor experiences, telling the stories of destinations inspiring visitors to discover more, travel further and stay longer.

VisitBritain’s global campaign “I Travel For…” launched earlier this year in the US and is also shining the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less explored destinations across the UK alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions to drive tourism across the nations and regions.

US perceptions of the UK as a visitor destination are strong. The US ranked the UK second overall out of 50 nations for its overall brand in the 2018 Anholt Nation Brands Index, up one place on 2017 and equalling its highest ranking ever. The US also rated the UK highly for its vibrant cities and urban attractions and historic buildings and monuments.

Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day:

Thanksgiving Meals & Drinks In London

Balthazar’s famous pecan pie returns for another year. Visitors can pick one up from their boulangerie or sit down to the classic Thanksgiving menu with gingerbread fizz, roasted butternut squash soup, and roast turkey with all the trimmings.

Neptune’s Thanksgiving menu includes clam and smoked bacon chowder, turkey with chestnut and sausage stuffing, creamed kale, corn and cheddar biscuits and pumpkin custard tart.

Ace Hotel have teamed up with The POP to host Breaking Bread: A Modern Thanksgiving Event, starting with pumpkin martinis on the 7th floor rooftop, followed by freshly baked cornbread, corn on the cob, roast turkey and pie.

Enjoy complimentary drinks for two hours amidst breathtaking views and a DJ playing until close at London’s highest bar, The View from The Shard. Their “Drinks on us” party nights take place every Thursday and Friday from November 22nd through December 13th, 2018, from 6:00 pm. – 8:00 pm.

Vegetarians can enjoy a plant-based meal at Farmacy’s first ever supper club, including three courses and a cocktail – expect seasonal mezze with chestnut hummus, Farmacy’s classic winter bowl with braised red cabbage, whipped squash and celeriac remoulade, and a twist on the classic American pie.

St Pauls Cathedral, London
Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

The annual Thanksgiving Day service will take place at St Pauls from 11am until 12pm. No tickets are needed to attend the traditional service but visitors are recommended to arrive early as doors close at 10.30am.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
November 22nd, 2018 – January 6th, 2019

Winter Wonderland opens for the Christmas season this year on Thanksgiving Day from 4pm. The annual attraction is free-to-enter and features a family-fun activities including ice-skating on the UK’s largest outdoor rink, fairground attractions, Christmas markets and plenty of cozy restaurants to indulge in hot drinks and festive treats.

Illuminate Light Festival, Plymouth
November 22nd – November 25th, 2018

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day at the city’s free-to-enter light festival, held at the historic Royal William Yard. The festival sees visual light projections take place with a theme of linking music to light, and visitors can get involved with their own light projects in a series of interactive workshops taking place during the four days. This year also sees artists experiment with light projections onto the sea.

Christmas at Kew Gardens, Richmond, London
November 22nd, 2018 – January 5th, 2019

Now in its sixth year, Christmas at Kew returns on Thanksgiving Day with a winter trail of twinkling lights to explore. Visitors can also enjoy the sculptural fire garden and a new Laser Garden to watch lights bouncing across the branches. End the evening with warm treats of roasted chestnuts and a hot chocolate under the starry skies.

Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum, London
Through January 20th, 2019

To celebrate Thanksgiving Day with history, visitors can head to the Natural History Museum and skate against the backdrop of the grand attraction either day or night. Although it is recommended to book tickets to guarantee a place, visitors can buy a ticket at the box office, and warm up with a meal and drink at the Café Bar.

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Playa Hotels & Resorts appoints new Chief Development Officer /238345/playa-hotels-resorts-appoints-new-chief-development-officer /238345/playa-hotels-resorts-appoints-new-chief-development-officer#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:18:37 +0000 /238345

Playa Hotels & Resorts, N.V. today announced the appointment of Fernando Mulet as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Mr. Mulet will report to Playa’s Chairman and CEO Bruce Wardinski and will continue to serve as a member of the company’s executive team. Mr. Mulet is a founding member of the Playa management team, […]

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Playa Hotels & Resorts, N.V. today announced the appointment of Fernando Mulet as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Mr. Mulet will report to Playa’s Chairman and CEO Bruce Wardinski and will continue to serve as a member of the company’s executive team. Mr. Mulet is a founding member of the Playa management team, beginning with the company at its inception in 2006.

“Fernando has been instrumental in Playa’s growth from a pure asset owner to one of the most respected all-inclusive owners, managers and brand partners in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Bruce Wardinski, Playa’s Chairman and CEO.

“His impact to the organization is clear and he has facilitated each of our key strategic alliances; most recently with Hilton in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and in La Romana, Dominican Republic and with Sagicor in Jamaica. Prior, Fernando helped established our partnership with global lifestyle brand Panama Jack and was instrumental in spearheading Playa’s alliance with Hyatt – the first of its kind in the all-inclusive hospitality sector. We now own or manage assets in many of Mexico’s and the Caribbean’s best beach front locations, and Fernando has championed or contributed to each of these accomplishments.” continued Bruce Wardinski.

Before joining Playa, Mr. Mulet was the Director of International Investments & Asset Management with Highland Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: HIH). A native of Spain, he began his career in the hospitality industry at Barceló Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Mulet earned his BA at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE) in Madrid, Spain and earned a certification in Real Estate, Development and Hotels Investment from The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

“Our goal is to create long-term stakeholder value through the ownership, management, development and repositioning of both adult-only and family-friendly all-inclusive resorts. Our business model of developing and operating global brands in the all-inclusive sector clearly resonates with consumers and hotel owners alike and we see tremendous growth opportunities through additional acquisitions, partnerships and management contract.“ commented Mr. Mulet.

As part of Mr. Mulet’s expanded role, he will oversee the company’s new development office in Cancun, Mexico as well as the growth of a development team including the appointment of Mr. Nicolas Valle who joins Playa as the Director of Development and Feasibility.

Mr. Valle will focus almost exclusively on the pursuit of additional management contracts and other asset-light transactions. He will be based in Playa’s Cancun office, which also serves as the company’s hub for sales, marketing and development in Mexico, as well as Central and South America. Mr. Valle graduated from Spain’s CSHG Hotel Business School with a degree in hotel management and is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute where he is a 2019 Level III candidate.

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New Cuban Tourism Advisor for Italy /238333/new-cuban-tourism-advisor-for-italy /238333/new-cuban-tourism-advisor-for-italy#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 23:17:26 +0000 /238333

Cuban Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, presented the new councilor for Cuban Tourism in Italy – Madelen Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez, defined as a senior professional. To her credit, she has important international duties and a profound knowledge of the world of tourism. From Rome, Ms Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez will be activated to carry out meetings and agreements […]

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Cuban Tourism Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, presented the new councilor for Cuban Tourism in Italy – Madelen Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez, defined as a senior professional. To her credit, she has important international duties and a profound knowledge of the world of tourism.

From Rome, Ms Gonzalez-Pardo Sanchez will be activated to carry out meetings and agreements with tour operators, airlines, and travel agencies, as well as planning co-marketing initiatives and advertising investments.

The Minister’s strategy is to overcome, in part, the difficulties deriving from the adverse decisions regulating the economic and financial block imposed by the United States and focuses on the increase of a tourist presence in Cuba which is on the upswing since the beginning of 2018. The strategy foresees the passing of 4 million visitors by the end of this year.

Italian tourists have had a historical presence on the island, and until 2017 with 228,000 visitors, is showing new interest in Cuba after a period of decline.

In the first 10 months of 2018, 147,900 Italians were present on the Isla Grande. “We are counting on this potential, whose flows are distributed during the various seasons of the year,” the minister said.

In the marketing plan of Manuel Marrero, short-term investments are envisaged involving hotel facilities in various categories.

Some have been completed in Cayo Largo at Villa Coral-Soledad, in Isla del Sur, and at Villa Linda Mar. The 1st International of Varadero will be inaugurated shortly. This highlights the relaunch in all areas of hospitality, including the quality of service offered by staff.

Investments are planned to raise the quality of the Cuba destination also in air transport and at airports. Blu Panorama will commission two Boeing 737s, and for city transport, 8,000 new cars will be in service for hire.

Investments are also extended in the field of digital information – the site “Cuba offers” starting from the official portal cuba.travel for marketing and e-commerce and cubamaps.com providing over 15,000 places of tourist interest, which will become 25,000 shortly. Lastly, there will be a strong presence on the main social networks, facilitated by the increase in Wi-Fi coverage.

All this, said the minister, has been implemented to modernize the island starting from the services that tourists expect. The guests of the Cuba Tourism Fair, which will take place in the capital in 2019, will enjoy the privilege of attending the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana.

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St. Thomas to be positioned as premier tourist destination /238330/st-thomas-to-be-positioned-as-premier-tourist-destination /238330/st-thomas-to-be-positioned-as-premier-tourist-destination#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 22:52:51 +0000 /238330

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says plans are now underway by his Ministry to develop the parish of St. Thomas as Jamaica’s newest tourism destination. Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday for Lyssons Beach, in the parish, Minister Bartlett said, “We are currently developing the newest destination in Jamaica – St Thomas. Already we […]

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Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says plans are now underway by his Ministry to develop the parish of St. Thomas as Jamaica’s newest tourism destination.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday for Lyssons Beach, in the parish, Minister Bartlett said, “We are currently developing the newest destination in Jamaica – St Thomas. Already we have commissioned a tourism development assessment and spent over $30 million, bringing technical and key skilled planners, designers and tourism destination aficionados – people who understand how to build a destination.”

He further noted: “Tourism development is a means by which we can diversify a local economy, minimize the rural urban drift and drive inclusive and sustainable development.  We can agree that the parish of St Thomas needs this at this time. In fact, the Government of Jamaica has targeted the parish for special developmental focus and tourism has been selected as a key driver for that development.

“The tourism destination assessment of the parish was done over the past six months to better understand: the current state of tourism in the parish and options the parish has in respect to the development of its tourism sector. They also assessed methods to best focus its product development and marketing strategies to sustainably develop the destination, while also bringing the greatest benefits to the greatest number of residents.

“They are at the verge of delivering the document to us and I want to make it known that the idea of developing this South Eastern Corridor of the country is that of our Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Michael Holness.

“The developments relate also to an infrastructure development plan, which is to see the alignment and creation of the new highway arrangement that will connect Kingston to Port Antonio along this corridor. This will open up new areas for development. The responsibility I have as Minister of Tourism, however is to make St Thomas a top-class pristine tourism destination,” said the Minister.

The consultations have been widespread among several related government agencies, the private sector and NGOs, taking into account the views of the citizens and even first time visitors to the parish.

The research is detailed and ongoing and as the consultants move into the next phase of preparing a Tourism Destination Development and Management plan, it is the Ministry’s hope that it will position St Thomas as a premier tourist destination within Jamaica’s broader structure of tourism as well as upgrade the readiness of St Thomas to ensure a competitive product.

“While the consultants are still in the field, there are recommendations for several themed catalyst projects in St. Thomas that represent tourism business development opportunities that could be attractive to tourism investors and stimulate inclusive social and economic developments in the parish to the benefit of residents,” said the Minister.

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CITE 2018 welcomes inaugural partner for EU-China Tourism Year /238327/cite-2018-welcomes-inaugural-partner-for-eu-china-tourism-year /238327/cite-2018-welcomes-inaugural-partner-for-eu-china-tourism-year#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 22:29:57 +0000 /238327

Chengdu International Tourism Expo 2018 (CITE 2018) – the leading travel show in Chengdu for professionals in the tourism industry, strides into its 6th year by welcoming its inaugural partner, the European Tourism Association (ETOA) as one of the main exhibitors.  Participating in CITE 2018 is part of ETOA’s initiatives during EU-China Tourism Year to […]

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Chengdu International Tourism Expo 2018 (CITE 2018) – the leading travel show in Chengdu for professionals in the tourism industry, strides into its 6th year by welcoming its inaugural partner, the European Tourism Association (ETOA) as one of the main exhibitors.  Participating in CITE 2018 is part of ETOA’s initiatives during EU-China Tourism Year to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe.

One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the launch of “The Lure of Romantic Europe for Chinese Visitors” by ETOA to woo China’s booming outbound tourism marketing. In less than two decades, China has taken the lead to become the world’s most powerful outbound market with a staggering 122 million per annum! To further cement the importance of attracting Chinese tourists to Europe’s tourism sector, ETOA has brought along its huge contingent of global tourism suppliers to form strategic partnerships with China’s travel agencies to offer enchanting romantic experiences for the Chinese travellers.

Enthusiastic trade visitors can look forward to a choke-full of engaging activities spread over 3 days. Held over 29 November till 1 December at the Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center in Chengdu, boasting a gross area of 8,000 square metres, CITE 2018 will feature 200 local and international exhibitors from over 30 countries.

In addition, the event is expected to draw some 400 local buyers and is projected to attract 3,000 trade and public visitors from the MICE, OTAs, travel agents, corporates and trade associations. CITE 2018 will also host a business networking luncheon for both the exhibitors and the buyers. This new initiative of the show will include luncheons on the first two days of the event. The first two days of CITE 2018 would be for trade only (pre-scheduled B2B meetings), whilst the third day would be open to the public which allows exhibitors to reach out directly to the consumers to promote their destinations and products. One of the main benefits for all exhibitors would be the opportunity to meet with at least 20 – 30 qualified Chinese travel operators on a face-to-face basis as well as meeting with some 200 hosted buyers over two networking luncheons.

The European Spas Association (ESPA) will be launching a seminar, “Why should Chinese travellers go to European Spas?” on Day 2, 30 November, to focus on restoring peace to the psyche by opting for romantic and health-curing travel destinations in Europe.

Key topics for the seminar are as follows:

  • “Why European SPAs?

An overview of a unique, romantic and health-curing travel destination” presented by Csilla Mezosi, Secretary General of ESPA

  • SPA Heritage in Europe
  • How to pitch European SPAs to Chinese consumers

CITE 2018 is jointly organised by Conference & Exhibition Management Services Pte Ltd (Singapore) and CEMS (Beijing) Conference & Exhibition Co., Ltd (China) and supported by Chengdu Municipal of Exposition, Chengdu Municipal Tourism Administration and Tourism Development Commission of Sichuan Province, China.

Interested trade visitors, please register for complimentary passes.

eTN is a media partner for CITE.

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Avianca launches nonstop service from Munich to Bogotá /238312/avianca-launches-nonstop-service-from-munich-to-bogota /238312/avianca-launches-nonstop-service-from-munich-to-bogota#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 21:20:03 +0000 /238312

South America is now a little closer to Munich. Celebrating a big occasion in grand style, Munich Airport marked the launch of Avianca’s new service to Bogotá with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Munich is now the only German destination served non-stop by the Colombian carrier. In attendance at the event were Hernán Rincón, the CEO […]

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South America is now a little closer to Munich. Celebrating a big occasion in grand style, Munich Airport marked the launch of Avianca’s new service to Bogotá with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Munich is now the only German destination served non-stop by the Colombian carrier. In attendance at the event were Hernán Rincón, the CEO of Avianca, and Dr. Michael Kerkloh, the President and CEO of Munich Airport.

“We’re delighted that Avianca has chosen Munich. The airline honored as the best carrier in South America will now be landing at the best airport in Europe,” said Dr. Kerkloh.

Hernán Rincón, the CEO of Avianca and the President of Avianca Holdings S.A. added: “We’re proud to offer this service to our passengers and to expand our route network. With the addition of Munich, we now fly to 110 destinations in 27 countries.”

Avianca will depart from Munich to the Colombian capital five times a week. Passengers flying to Bogotá will benefit from the wide range of connecting flights to attractive Latin American destinations offered by the Star Alliance member Avianca at its home hub. Along with 20 Colombian cities, Avianca flies to 60 other destinations in Latin America, including many in Mexico, the Caribbean and across the South American continent.

Avianca is the world’s second-oldest airline. It will serve the Munich route with the modern, widebody Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner.

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United Airlines expands spring schedule /238309/united-airlines-expands-spring-schedule /238309/united-airlines-expands-spring-schedule#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2018 21:05:36 +0000 /238309

Just in time for Thanksgiving, United Airlines is giving families across the country a topic of conversation everyone can agree on at the dinner table – spring break vacation planning. The airline is adding nearly 150 additional flights between its hubs and popular spring break destinations including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and select […]

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, United Airlines is giving families across the country a topic of conversation everyone can agree on at the dinner table – spring break vacation planning. The airline is adding nearly 150 additional flights between its hubs and popular spring break destinations including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean and select ski destinations.

“We want our customers to know that, no matter where they want to go for spring break, United Airlines can get them there,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of Domestic Network Planning. “This is the time of year when our customers start thinking about and planning the perfect getaway, and with our expanded spring schedule, we are offering more flights and more destinations than ever before.”

This spring, United is adding more flights to attractive leisure destinations including: 31 flights to 12 islands in the Caribbean; 28 additional flights to seven cities in Mexico; 27 flights to seven destinations in Central America including 16 flights to Costa Rica; three flights to Guatemala; and three flights to Belize.

United also announced the extension of its new seasonal nonstop service between Chicago and Brownsville/South Padre Island through the end of the spring travel season in April. Across the United States, United is adding seven additional flights to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; 15 additional flights to 10 cities in Florida; eight more flights to four islands in Hawaii, and 10 more flights to four of Colorado’s top ski destinations, including Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs and Telluride.

Adding five new nonstop flights from Denver

United’s spring network expansion also includes brand-new nonstop service to beach destinations in Florida and Texas. The airline announced it will begin service between Denver and Destin, Palm Beach, Pensacola and Sarasota, Florida, and between Denver and Brownsville/South Padre Island in Texas. With this new service, United offers more nonstop service between Denver and Florida than any other airline.

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Airbnb says no to Israeli settlements in the West Bank /238322/airbnb-says-no-to-israeli-settlements-in-the-west-bank /238322/airbnb-says-no-to-israeli-settlements-in-the-west-bank#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:18:46 +0000 /238322

“Airbnb’s decision today to remove listings from illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank is proof that support for Israel’s separate-and-unequal apartheid regime is becoming more and more untenable,” siad Ramah Kudaimi, Director of Grassroots Organizing, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Earlier today, AXIOS reported that after years of controversy, Airbnb will remove all home-sharing […]

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“Airbnb’s decision today to remove listings from illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank is proof that support for Israel’s separate-and-unequal apartheid regime is becoming more and more untenable,” siad Ramah Kudaimi, Director of Grassroots Organizing, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

Earlier today, AXIOS reported that after years of controversy, Airbnb will remove all home-sharing lists – roughly 200 – in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. According to a blog post, Airbnb said they have developed a five-part checklist to evaluate how it handles listing in occupied territories and based off that checklist, they “concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The announcement comes after years of aggressive advocacy from a coalition of groups known as the StolenHomes Coalition – which included organizations  like SumOfUs, CODEPINK, American Muslims for Palestine, the US Palestinian Community Network, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Friends of Sabeel North America, Up Lift and Jewish Voice for Peace. More than 150,000 people from around the world joined onto a petition urging Airbnb to stop listing vacation rentals in Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land and deemed illegal under international law. Thousands of people also left reviews on a microsite parodying Airbnb rental listings and calling attention to the the fact that the vacation rental company continues to list Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Coalition members held a protest at Airbnb’s European HQ’s in Ireland, and in other cities around the world. Coalition members also called on Fidelity Investments, on of Airbnb’s largest owners, to push the company to stop the illegal rentals and released a video campaign called We Can’t Live There. So Don’t Go There, featuring Palestinians speaking directly to Airbnb’s new marketing campaign Don’t Go There. Live There, and urging potential travelers not to rent vacation homes in settlements, which are often not clearly identified as such in the website’s listings.

“There’s no delicate way to say this: for years, Airbnb’s profited from rental suites built on top of the ruins of Palestinian lives and livelihoods.” explained Angus Wong , Campaign Manager from SumOfUs.org. “While it is good that Airbnb finally recognized the illegal nature of these listings and pulled them from their website – this decision took way too long. By listing these stolen homes for years, Airbnb directly helped Israeli settlers legitimize their occupation of stolen land, contributing to the Israeli government’s decades-long policies of occupation, discrimination, and dispossession. We will be monitoring Airbnb to make sure that no more illegal rental properties built on Palestinian land are listed on the site – and urge Airbnb to take steps to make amends to the Palestinian people by donating profits from these illegal listings to Palestinian organizations working to provide services to people amidst the Israeli occupation.”

“This is an incredible victory! We’ve been working to pressure Airbnb with a coalition of human rights groups and to see this corporation delist properties from Israeli settlements is huge,” says Granate Kim, Communications Director from Jewish Voice for Peace.

“It is thanks to the hard work of activists in this coalition and around the world that Airbnb will no longer be profiting from Israeli apartheid in the West Bank. We took to the streets, used social and traditional media, and disrupted Airbnb events – all to have our voices heard that Palestinians deserve to live with freedom, dignity, and equality,” says Ariel Gold National co-ordinator, from CODEPINK.  “We thank Airbnb for getting on the right side of history on this issue and pledge to continue our work for Palestinian rights.”

“The U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) celebrates the decision by Airbnb to finally act on its stated values of inclusiveness and anti-discrimination,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, National Coordinating Committee member of USPCN,”especially since Israeli settlement listings are the exact opposite of these principles. “They represent exclusive, militarized ethnic enclaves, illegal under international law, that Airbnb helped normalize as tourist destinations. For visitors to Palestine, we hope Airbnb rentals continue to be an important avenue for our people in Occupied Palestine to showcase their hospitality and history. We are happy now that they can do so without the shadow of colonialism as competition.”

“Airbnb’s decision today to remove listings from illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank is proof that support for Israel’s separate-and-unequal apartheid regime is becoming more and more untenable. Airbnb’s decision to stand on the right side of history is a direct result of a sustained grassroots campaign led by those working in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. Once again, in the spirit of the campaigns to end apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the South, people power leads to social justice!” added Ramah Kudaimi. “We will be looking to Airbnb to demonstrate its commitment to following through on their statement. This moment underscores the importance of continuing to push boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns that hold Israel and all institutions profiting from its oppression of the Palestinian people accountable until freedom, justice, and equality is achieved.”

According to international law and official US policy, Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal. The Israeli settlement enterprise is part of a decades-old military occupation that has confiscated 42% of Palestinian land in the West Bank for settlement construction, resulting in the loss of freedom of movement and other severe human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

In 2016, the Associated Press reported that Airbnb had been allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to list their homes as “in Israel” with no mention that they are on occupied Palestinian land. In addition to misleading potential renters and aiding the Israeli government in laying permanent claim to all the land under its control, some of the proprietors have explicitly discriminated against people with Arab or Palestinian names, in direct violation of Airbnb’s stated policies.

A Human Rights Watch report published in January of 2016 stated that businesses should withdraw from the settlements to end their complicity in “an inherently unlawful and abusive system that violates the rights of Palestinians.” That same month, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, sent a letter to Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky warning that Airbnb is “effectively promoting the illegal Israeli colonization of occupied land.”

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Vietjet wins “Asia’s Best Flight Attendant Wardrobe” 2018 award /238286/vietjet-wins-asias-best-flight-attendant-wardrobe-2018-award /238286/vietjet-wins-asias-best-flight-attendant-wardrobe-2018-award#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:10:20 +0000 /238286

Vietjet was honored with the ” Asia’s Best Flight Attendant Wardrobe” at the Gala Ceremony hosted by NOW Travel Asia Awards, in Chengdu, China. The result was announced based on actual votes by readers’ and the judges. Vietjet uniforms were designed by European designers based on the ideas of the youth army cadet uniforms. For […]

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Vietjet was honored with the ” Asia’s Best Flight Attendant Wardrobe” at the Gala Ceremony hosted by NOW Travel Asia Awards, in Chengdu, China. The result was announced based on actual votes by readers’ and the judges.

Vietjet uniforms were designed by European designers based on the ideas of the youth army cadet uniforms. For female flight attendants, stylized red T-shirts, bow ties, shorts with a plaid hat and accessories such as flying wings, badges, brown belts and the prominent pretty red shoes. In winter, the vest matches with shorts to bring the youthfulness, freshness. The male attire is not only smart but also dynamic with black trousers, business shoes and stylish red t-shirt.

Vietjet uniform harmonizes the modern and traditional styles, which creates a break-through outfit, beyond the framework of normal uniforms. It brings the uniqueness and new look, demonstrating Vietjet’s youthful, innovative, and inspirational spirit to conquer and connect the sky.

Last year, Vietjet was also honored in the top five airlines with the most charming cabin crew, in line with Singapore Airlines, Air France and Emirates. The results were publicly voted on Canada’s vivalifestyleandtravel.com, a lifestyle and travel website.

Since 2012, NOW Travel Asia Awards have annually honored outstanding tourism service providers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This year, NOW Travel Asia Awards continues its awards to the high-end tourism sector including luxury hotels and resorts … This year’s highlights were not only the exceeded number of voting participants, but also the significant impact of the nominations and awards. These will help improving products and services in the industry.

Aiming to be a Consumer Airline, Vietjet has continually opened many new routes, added more aircraft, invested in modern technology, while offering more add-on products and services to serve all demands of customers.

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Soneva Resorts to unveil new private seaplane /238283/soneva-resorts-to-unveil-new-private-seaplane-in-the-maldives /238283/soneva-resorts-to-unveil-new-private-seaplane-in-the-maldives#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:09:47 +0000 /238283

A DHC-6 Twin Otter, which normally seats 19, has been completely overhauled by the IKHANA Group in Canada, custom-painted with Soneva’s branding in a rich purple on the exterior, and outfitted with new chrome and purple leather interiors. Luxury resort operator Soneva has announced that it will soon be unveiling its new 10-seater Twin Otter […]

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A DHC-6 Twin Otter, which normally seats 19, has been completely overhauled by the IKHANA Group in Canada, custom-painted with Soneva’s branding in a rich purple on the exterior, and outfitted with new chrome and purple leather interiors.

Luxury resort operator Soneva has announced that it will soon be unveiling its new 10-seater Twin Otter seaplane in the Maldives. The new plane, which will be in operation by mid-December, will transport Soneva guests roundtrip from Malé International Airport to Soneva Fushi in Baa Atoll and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll of the Maldives.

Twin Otter planes are the best performing aircraft for operation in the Maldives due to their short take-off and landing (STOL) abilities, which makes them ideal float planes as they lift off the water faster. DHC-6 Twin Otters have an average range of 886 miles, a top speed of 184 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 173 miles per hour and a wingspan of 66 feet.

This model of aircraft’s fixed tricycle undercarriage, exceptional safety record, twin turboprop engines and high climb rate have made it a successful commuter passenger airliner as well as a cargo and medevac aircraft. The Twin Otter has been popular with commercial skydiving operations, and is used by the United States Army Parachute Team and the United States Air Force’s 98th Flying Training Squadron.

Soneva’s plane is currently en route from Canada across Greenland to Iceland in one hop, then through Europe and the Middle East, before landing in the Maldives.

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Boeing announces nearly a quarter-billion dollars in 2018 corporate giving /238295/boeing-announces-nearly-a-quarter-billion-dollars-in-2018-corporate-giving /238295/boeing-announces-nearly-a-quarter-billion-dollars-in-2018-corporate-giving#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 19:35:51 +0000 /238295

Boeing corporate giving will exceed $230 million in 2018, driven by $55 million in new charitable grants, as well as increases in business and employee contributions. The new $55 million charitable grants package will support 443 nonprofit organizations in 47 countries, funding programs through 2019 and beyond. Included in the package is $13 million for […]

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Boeing corporate giving will exceed $230 million in 2018, driven by $55 million in new charitable grants, as well as increases in business and employee contributions.

The new $55 million charitable grants package will support 443 nonprofit organizations in 47 countries, funding programs through 2019 and beyond. Included in the package is $13 million for veterans’ recovery and rehabilitation programs and workforce transition services — representing an increase in charitable giving of more than 70 percent over 2017.

Also included is a $1.1 million investment in the National Archives Foundation to underwrite the annual display of the Emancipation Proclamation. The ten year commitment will also fund education programs related to the history of the Proclamation and efforts to preserve the important historical document for future generations.

Boeing’s corporate giving is amplified by its employee gift match programs. Earlier this year, the company increased gift match levels following the enactment of U.S. tax reform. Over the past five years, employee gifts matched by the company have increased 30 percent.

“Our people have unique skills and an unwavering passion for making a difference in the world, both through our products and services and the ways we give back to our communities,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer. “When that’s combined with our professional networks, partnerships and financial resources, we have the potential to drive positive, lasting change across the globe in important areas such as STEM learning and veterans’ support.”

Anchored by local and regional employee engagement activities, Boeing corporate giving is focused on increasing access to globally competitive STEM learning in underserved and underrepresented communities; improving technical workforce skills; and supporting military families and veterans. Boeing investments also address unique local challenges critical to communities where the company operates.

U.S. grants will support a range of nonprofits, including FUSE, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math learning programs for Chicago-area K-12 students; Homes for Our Troops, which provides housing and support for severely injured, post-9/11 veterans and their families; and FamilyForward, which works to improve the health, development and overall well-being of youth living in St. Louis.

Boeing also will support several international nonprofits, including the Nettur Technical Training Foundation, which encourages disadvantaged youth and young adults to pursue aviation maintenance careers in India; The Air League, which provides aviation and flight school scholarships for wounded veterans in the United Kingdom; and OISCA International, which assists with coastal forest restoration efforts in the Tohoku region of Japan.

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Investments in wind and solar power to boost Australia’s renewable energy production /238318/investments-in-wind-and-solar-power-to-boost-australias-renewable-energy-production /238318/investments-in-wind-and-solar-power-to-boost-australias-renewable-energy-production#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 19:25:32 +0000 /238318

Renewable energy currently makes up 17% of Australia’s electricity generation as the country is highly investing in wind and solar power to reduce its reliance on coal to produce electricity. Solar photovoltaic and wine power are in fact rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient and are on track to entirely supplant fossil fuels worldwide within […]

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Renewable energy currently makes up 17% of Australia’s electricity generation as the country is highly investing in wind and solar power to reduce its reliance on coal to produce electricity. Solar photovoltaic and wine power are in fact rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient and are on track to entirely supplant fossil fuels worldwide within two decades. Australia is largely investing in renewable energy, as about 80% of its current greenhouse gas emissions are due to the use of coal, oil and gas, typical of industrialized countries. In order to curtail global warming, these large industrialized countries need to be the first to set an example and replace fossil fuel use entirely with energy sources that produce low or zero greenhouse gas emissions, minimal security concerns in respect of welfare, terrorism and work accidents and are already available in mass production.

As Australia’s economy has long avoided a technical recession since 1991 and has seen an unusually long period of growth, the country has been impacted by an incredible population boom, up to 50% during nearly the same period. As a result of these two phenomena the country has been suffering from an abundant consumption of water, a precious resource in a country where droughts are a common occurrence. Deemed a water-stressed country, Australia can no longer afford to use coal as its main source of energy as fuel consumes too much water to produce electricity and is therefore moving towards the use of wind and solar power as viable alternatives. As these renewable sources do not consume water to produce electricity they meet the country’s increased demand for electricity without adding carbon emissions or consuming water. Australia is already making way for large-scale renewable projects and as of 2018 there are more than a dozen wind farm projects underway and 21 big solar projects under construction.

A lot of renewable energy is already directly being produced from homes in Australia through rooftop solar energy. While this source of renewable energy is already a step in the right direction, larger-scale projects are crucial to increase the amount of diversification of renewable energy production. Thanks to its large-scale territories and geographic positioning Australia can easily use wind and solar energy to reduce the stress the country has imposed on its water supply. With its abundance of sunshine and vast coast lines, Australia receives enough wind power to build many more panels and turbines than have already been installed. In order to carry out these plans, the Australian government is offering financial incentives to encourage the installment of renewable energy plants and households and small businesses are also being incentivized to install solar water heaters, heat pumps, solar panels and other similar structures.

Australia has the capacity to produce virtually unlimited energy from solar and wind power alone and this will feed not only its inter-connected electricity grids but also its decentralized micro-grids while also creating alternative sources of emission free energy such as hydrogen. Although the cost of generating power in Australia from existing coal stations is currently cheaper than developing new renewable energy, the cost to build new coal-fired plants exceeds the cost of renewable energy in the long run. Therefore, on top of presenting a more affordable and sustainable option, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are also benefitting the economy by producing more available jobs in the sector than ever before.

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Airbus ACJ320neo takes to the skies for the first time /238292/airbus-acj320neo-takes-to-the-skies-for-the-first-time /238292/airbus-acj320neo-takes-to-the-skies-for-the-first-time#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 19:10:52 +0000 /238292

The first ACJ320neo successfully completed a two hour and 40 minute first flight from Hamburg on 16th November, getting its short test-program off to a good start. Derived from the popular A320neo airliner family, some 500 of which are in airline service, the corporate jet version includes features such as extra fuel-tanks in the cargo-hold […]

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The first ACJ320neo successfully completed a two hour and 40 minute first flight from Hamburg on 16th November, getting its short test-program off to a good start.

Derived from the popular A320neo airliner family, some 500 of which are in airline service, the corporate jet version includes features such as extra fuel-tanks in the cargo-hold that will deliver even more intercontinental range, plus greater cabin-pressure for better passenger comfort.

These features are being tested before delivery of the aircraft to Acropolis Aviation in the coming months. The aircraft will then undergo cabin outfitting by AMAC in Basle, Switzerland, and be repainted in customer colors.

“The ACJ320neo first flight heralds a new Airbus corporate jet era, delivering a range improvement that enables nonstop travel between even more cities, in what is widely recognized as the best cabin of any business jet,” said ACJ President Benoit Defforge. “The ACJ320neo Family’s improved fuel-efficiency also means that it compares even more favorably in operating costs with traditional business-jets,” he added.

Continuous improvements mean that the ACJ320 Family now comprises the ACJ319neo, flying eight passengers 6,750 nm/12,500 km or more than 15 hours, and the ACJ320neo, flying 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or more than 13 hours.

Both aircraft feature fuel-saving new-generation engines and Sharklets, and deliver more comfort and space than traditional business jets with similar operating costs.

Airbus also offers a complete family of VIP widebodies that can carry even more passengers nonstop to the world – including the new ACJ330neo and ACJ350 XWB.

Today, the customers of more than 190 ACJs benefit from the robust reliability and worldwide support that comes from their airliner heritage, plus services tailored to corporate jet needs.

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New hotel brand targets adventure-seeking Millennials /238301/new-hotel-brand-to-target-adventure-seeking-millennials /238301/new-hotel-brand-to-target-adventure-seeking-millennials#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:40:00 +0000 /238301

Fujita Kanko Inc., a Japanese hospitality company headquartered in Tokyo, announced the launch of “Tavinos,” a new hotel brand aimed at adventure-seeking millennials and like-minded travelers from around the world. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of international visitors to Japan has increased in recent years, hitting a record high in […]

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Fujita Kanko Inc., a Japanese hospitality company headquartered in Tokyo, announced the launch of “Tavinos,” a new hotel brand aimed at adventure-seeking millennials and like-minded travelers from around the world.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of international visitors to Japan has increased in recent years, hitting a record high in 2017. Fujita Kanko is adding this brand to their portfolio of 70+ well-established properties to target international visitors and millennials, a fast-growing, yet relatively untapped segment for the company.

With a state-of-the-art blending of design, space, and technology, the company is positioning Tavinos as a sleek hub for international visitors to meet fellow travelers, gather local information, and have fun during their travels.
By implementing technologies such as an AI concierge and automated check-in/check-out as well as minimal staffing, Tavinos can offer average room rates of 10,000 yen/night for a twin/double room at premier urban locations.

“There are already affordable accommodations throughout Japan, but travelling millennials are hungry for the community of a hostel and the professionalism and expertise of an experienced hotelier,” says Akira Segawa, President & CEO of Fujita Kanko. “Tavinos will offer what outgoing and adventurous travelers want: the opportunity to meet interesting people, plan activities together, and explore.”

Tavinos’ design concept is based on Japanese pop culture, with eye-popping Manga (animation), covering the hotel. The stylish guest rooms, 12 square meters/129 square feet on average, are minimally furnished with smart storage to maximize space. Continental breakfast will be available in the spacious lobby lounge, also serving as a communal area for guests to meet and mingle. An AI concierge will provide local information and matching for guests interested in similar activities.

Fujita Kanko will open the first 188-room Tavinos in Hamamatsu-cho, Tokyo, in August 2019, followed by the second 278-room Tavinos in Asakusa, Tokyo, in May, 2020.

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Billund Airport greets first of four new European capital links /238289/billund-airport-greets-first-of-four-new-european-capital-links /238289/billund-airport-greets-first-of-four-new-european-capital-links#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:28:06 +0000 /238289

Already connected to 15 European capital cities, Billund Airport has greeted the first of four new routes to capitals on the continent. On Sunday 18 November, Wizz Air commenced a twice-weekly service from Vienna which will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays, growing to a four times weekly schedule for the start of next year’s summer […]

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Already connected to 15 European capital cities, Billund Airport has greeted the first of four new routes to capitals on the continent. On Sunday 18 November, Wizz Air commenced a twice-weekly service from Vienna which will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays, growing to a four times weekly schedule for the start of next year’s summer season. The carrier will also begin services to Kiev in March, meaning that it will offer a total of nine routes from the airport in 2019. Along with Wizz Air’s commitment to Billund, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier (LCC), Ryanair, will add flights to Prague and Edinburgh in April next year, taking its route count from Billund to 15.

“It’s great for Billund, and indeed our catchment of Central and West Denmark, to have direct flights to the capitals of Austria, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Scotland, proving that Billund Airport is going from strength-to-strength in establishing a well-developed network for its passengers,” comments Jan Hessellund, CEO, Billund Airport. “Collectively these destinations see 55,000 annual passengers having to take an indirect flight from Billund, so it is great that Wizz Air and Ryanair have added these routes to support the growing need for more direct services from the region.”

The latest route developments for Billund top off what has been a successful year for the airport. It has attracted services from two new airlines, with Widerøe having begun flights from Bergen, while LOT Polish Airlines became the Danish airport’s 11th hub operator, joining airBaltic (Riga), Air France (Paris CDG), British Airways (London Heathrow), Brussels Airlines (Brussels), Finnair (Helsinki), Icelandair (Reykjavik/Keflavik), KLM (Amsterdam), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), SAS (Copenhagen, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda) and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul Atatürk). “For an airport which handles over three million passengers a year, to have these services highlights that Billund has one of the most varied airline customer portfolios of Europe’s leading regional gateways.”

The airport was also rewarded this year for its hard work in marketing to airlines, winning the Routes Europe marketing award in the ‘under 4 million’ passenger category at the annual event. “2018 has been another successful, award-winning year for Billund Airport, and I am confident that 2019 will prove to be just as successful,” adds Hessellund. “We look forward to continue working with Wizz Air, Ryanair, other existing and new carriers about further expanding Billund’s range of destinations and giving our passengers the best flight opportunities possible.”

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Travel industry should see boost in 2019 /238298/travel-industry-should-see-boost-in-2019 /238298/travel-industry-should-see-boost-in-2019#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:30:28 +0000 /238298

When asked about travel plans for 2019, 20 percent of respondents plan on traveling more for business than in 2018 and 24 percent said they would be traveling more for leisure. More than 290 people participated in the survey conducted by The GO Group, LLC. These results were slightly lower than those from the same […]

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When asked about travel plans for 2019, 20 percent of respondents plan on traveling more for business than in 2018 and 24 percent said they would be traveling more for leisure.

More than 290 people participated in the survey conducted by The GO Group, LLC.

These results were slightly lower than those from the same survey conducted last year in which 27 percent of respondents stated they planned on traveling more frequently for business and 33 percent more for leisure in 2018 over 2017.

Just seven percent of this year’s survey participants said they planned on traveling less in 2019 for business and five percent less for leisure; these results are identical to those of 2018. Thirty-eight and 40 percent noted they will travel the same amount for business and leisure, respectively, while 35 percent are unsure of business travel plans and 31 percent for leisure.

“As the economy continues to improve and the unemployment rate remains low, people will have the means to travel more frequently both for leisure and business,” says John McCarthy, president of The GO Group. “This will have a significant, positive impact on airlines, hotels and the overall hospitality industry and other related businesses.”

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London Gatwick Airport eyes larger slice of parking market /238277/london-gatwick-airport-wyes-larger-slice-of-parking-market /238277/london-gatwick-airport-wyes-larger-slice-of-parking-market#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:10:33 +0000 /238277

European online parking reservation leader, ParkCloud, has entered into a collaboration with the UK’s second largest airport, London Gatwick (LGW). A significant addition to its UK airport portfolio, ParkCloud is pleased to announce that passengers flying from Gatwick’s North and South terminals will now be able to reserve their parking through its extensive online network […]

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European online parking reservation leader, ParkCloud, has entered into a collaboration with the UK’s second largest airport, London Gatwick (LGW).

A significant addition to its UK airport portfolio, ParkCloud is pleased to announce that passengers flying from Gatwick’s North and South terminals will now be able to reserve their parking through its extensive online network across a number of the airport’s parking products.

The car parks available to ParkCloud’s 3.3 million users include Premium Parking North, Long Stay North, Valet Parking North, Short Stay North, Summer Special North, Long Stay South, Short Stay South and Valet Parking South.

All car parks are fully secure with 24-hour CCTV in operation across all sites. Short stay and premium car parks are closely situated near to the terminal buildings, with long stay options a short transfer via shuttle.

Additionally, customers will be able to bolster their travel experience by pre-booking security FastTrack and lounge passes for No1 Lounges, to complement their parking reservation.

London Gatwick passengers flying from the South terminal with British Airways, Wizz Air or Vueling will also be able to reserve parking via ParkCloud’s airline partnerships, allowing fluidity for the customer at every point of the booking journey.

Denzil Dolan, Senior Product Manager (Commercial Car Parks and Ancillaries) at Gatwick Airport, said: “As passenger numbers continue to rise, it is more pertinent than ever that we consolidate our efforts and extend our parking network for our growing customer base.

“As an established market leader in its field, we’re confident the collaboration with ParkCloud will yield positive results for both companies and of course, our shared customers.”

The initial collaboration between Gatwick and ParkCloud dates back to summer 2017, when an agreement to facilitate sales of parking in and around Gatwick Airport through easyJet’s white label was established.

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​Hurtigruten to power cruise ships with dead fish /238280/%e2%80%8bhurtigruten-to-power-cruise-ships-with-dead-fish /238280/%e2%80%8bhurtigruten-to-power-cruise-ships-with-dead-fish#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:30:04 +0000 /238280

Cutaways from fisheries and other organic waste will soon be used to power Hurtigruten’s fleet of green cruise ships. With a growing fleet of 17 ships, Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line. The company has invested heavily in green technology and such as battery solutions – and is considered the world’s greenest cruise […]

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Cutaways from fisheries and other organic waste will soon be used to power Hurtigruten’s fleet of green cruise ships.
With a growing fleet of 17 ships, Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line. The company has invested heavily in green technology and such as battery solutions – and is considered the world’s greenest cruise company.

The next step: Powering cruise ships with liquified biogas (LBG) – fossil-free, renewable gas produced from dead fish and other organic waste.

– What other see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution. By introducing biogas as fuel for cruise ships, Hurtigruten will be the first cruise company to power ships with fossile-free fuel, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Renewable biogas is a clean source of energy, considered the most eco-friendly fuel currently available. Biogas is already used as fuel in small parts of the transport sector, especially in buses. Northern Europe and Norway, which has large fishery and forestry sectors that produces a steady volume of organic waste, has a unique opportunity to become world leader in biogas production.

By 2021, Hurtigruten plans to operate at least 6 of its ships on a combination of biogas, LNG and large battery packs.

– While competitors are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping, and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow, Skjeldam says.
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Cutting plastic – building hybrid

After celebrating the 125-year anniversary by being the first cruise line to ban single-use plastic, 2019 will mark two green milestones for Hurtigruten:

• Introduction of the world’s first battery-hybrid powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, custom built for sustainable operations in some of the world’s most pristine waters such as Antarctica.

• The start of a large-scale green upgrade project, replacing traditional diesel propulsion with battery packs and gas engines on several Hurtigruten ships.

In addition to liquified natural gas (LNG), these ships will also be the first cruise ships in the world to run on liquified biogas (LBG).

– Hurtigruten’s decision to use biogas/LBG from organic waste is the kind of operational solutions we aim for. The waste is refined into fossil free energy. This solution also eliminates the emissions of sulphur, NOx and particles, Frederic Hauge, founder and general manager of the NGO Bellona Foundation says.

There are more than 300 cruise ships in the world, many of them running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO). The daily emissions from one single mega cruise ship can according to NGOs be equivalent to one million cars.

– Hurtigruten has become a symbol of how to put responsibility into action. They have taken several important steps to improve their climate and environmental performance. Now they introduce the use of renewables in the cruise industry and that gives us hope for a change of pace in finding sustainable solutions, Hauge says.

Investing 850 million USD in innovation and green tech

Hurtigruten is currently building three hybrid powered expedition cruise ships at Norway’s Kleven Yard. MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and the third, unnamed sister, will be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Hurtigruten expects to invest more than 850 million USD in building the world’s greenest cruise line.

– This is just the beginning. Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line, that comes with a responsibility. Sustainability will be a key driver for the new era of shipping and the travel industry. Hurtigruten’s unmatched investments in green technology and innovation sets a new standard for the whole industry to follow. Our ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emission free, Skjeldam says.

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world’s largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet – from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Fridtjof Nansen. A third hybrid powered expedition vessel will be added to the fleet in 2021.

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Air Partner’s Baines Simmons appoints new Senior Consultant /238274/air-partners-baines-simmons-appoints-new-senior-consultant /238274/air-partners-baines-simmons-appoints-new-senior-consultant#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:05:49 +0000 /238274

Baines Simmons, part of the Consulting & Training division of global aviation services group Air Partner, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Creber as Senior Consultant. Jim reports directly to Mike Wallace, Head of Training & Consulting Operations, and is based at Baines Simmons’ headquarters at Fairoaks airport. Jim has over 25 years […]

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Baines Simmons, part of the Consulting & Training division of global aviation services group Air Partner, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Creber as Senior Consultant. Jim reports directly to Mike Wallace, Head of Training & Consulting Operations, and is based at Baines Simmons’ headquarters at Fairoaks airport.

Jim has over 25 years of systems engineering experience gained across a wide range of industries, including 18 years as an engineer in the Royal Air Force. For the past 10 years, he has applied his significant expertise to the Aviation Safety domain, developing and delivering a number of strategic safety initiatives. Notably, he was responsible for establishing the first Human Factors and Error Management System in the UK military.

Jim has also delivered cultural change initiatives, providing support and guidance to senior operators and engineers. As a Continuing Airworthiness Manager, Jim gained a deep knowledge of the Continuing Airworthiness Management Regulatory domain and, consequently, is able to provide clients with a fully rounded view of this Aviation Safety requirement.

Jim has a Doctorate in Systems Engineering and a Defence MBA. He is also a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Mike Wallace, Head of Training & Consulting Operations at Baines Simmons, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Jim to Baines Simmons. His knowledge base complements the key areas of our service offering and his skillset will contribute to our Regulatory Compliance, Airworthiness Management, and Human Factors and Error Management portfolios”.

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New Montego Bay welcome sign to be ready by December /238271/new-montego-bay-welcome-sign-to-be-ready-by-december /238271/new-montego-bay-welcome-sign-to-be-ready-by-december#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:24:04 +0000 /238271

Minister of Tourism Hon Edmund Bartlett, Ministry officials and Montego Bay city leaders laid blocks on November 17 to symbolize the commencement of a project to create a new welcome sign at the round a bout in the vicinity of the Sangster International airport. The aim is to have the new sign completed in December. […]

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Minister of Tourism Hon Edmund Bartlett, Ministry officials and Montego Bay city leaders laid blocks on November 17 to symbolize the commencement of a project to create a new welcome sign at the round a bout in the vicinity of the Sangster International airport. The aim is to have the new sign completed in December. The previous sign was destroyed through a motor vehicle accident.

In explaining the importance of the sign, Minster Bartlett in his remarks said, “It is timely and essential as it will speak to the emotions we want to conjure up in our locals and the thousands of visitors that must traverse this area.

We want all our visitors to have that warm welcome and for us to continue to work even harder that they will feel this welcome through our Jamaican hospitality for which we are known worldwide. The sign will be the first monument they see when entering from the Sangster International Airport and the last when leaving.”

The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo) will execute the project and the Tourism Enhancement Fund will sponsor the project to the tune of Seventeen Million Dollars ($17 M). This development falls within the extension of the Eastern Gateway Project, which is a series of beautification works running west along the Elegant Corridor from Greenwood, to the MBJ Sangster International Airport roundabout.

In closing, Minister Bartlett added that, “In order to attain our 5x5x5 growth targets, and in keeping with one of the aims of the Spruce Up Jamaica programme we must ensure that our resort areas are aesthetically pleasing and that Montego Bay, dubbed the complete resort, has this showpiece.

We will, through this sign, make our visitors feel welcome in every way as we will provide for them a reference point where a great impact can be had. We are truly excited about what this final output will look like and I believe it will be a beacon to be emulated by the rest of the Caribbean.”

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Clipping the Wings of the Seychelles Tourism Sector? /238263/clipping-the-wings-of-the-seychelles-tourism-sector /238263/clipping-the-wings-of-the-seychelles-tourism-sector#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 08:26:30 +0000 /238263

The Seychelles Government has revived an old policy called Vertical Integration that had been shelved and are imposing limitations on the growth possibility of local businesses. The tourism trade is calling this exercise as 'clipping the wings' of the tourism sector.

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is Seychelles Tourism in trouble? The Seychelles Government has revived an old policy called Vertical Integration that had been shelved and are imposing limitations on the growth possibility of local businesses. The tourism trade is calling this exercise as ‘clipping the wings’ of the tourism sector.

Tourism remains the pillar of the Seychelles economy and only the tourism trade are targeted by this new regulation. One affected party has already lodged a challenge to the regulation in front of the Courts of Seychelles. Seychelles desperately needs its tourism industry to perform as it provides employment over and above ensuring that the economy stands solid.

The Seychelles Tourism Board will need to find extra marketing budget if the larger DMCs curtail their marketing expenses and diminish their presence at Tourism Trade Fairs because of their ‘wings being clipped’ by the new regulations.

The time for the Seychelles Government to have a ‘bottom up’ series of meetings on this matter is now. Anger and expectations are building and Government may well see themselves unable to deliver to demands aired and risk shrinking the island’s tourism industry at the same time.

One post on Social Media during the last couple of days said something to that:

“We hear a lot of noise from those responsible on the number of Cruise Ships visiting Seychelles. I just ask how many of us Seychellois are benefiting? Those tourists are not even buying a banana, nor a red coconut for drinking, nor do they eat in a restaurant, do not hire a taxi or a bicycle, nor a boat to get to Coco or Curieuse Island. They land at the port and board the white man’s bus to do their tour and eat at his hotel, take another boat to La Digue and do the same thing”.

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