Πέμπτη, 19 Απριλίου 2018

UNWTO joins Tourism Ministers in calling upon G20 Leaders to prioritize tourism





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για UNWTO joins Tourism Ministers in calling upon G20 Leaders to prioritize tourism


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) joined the Ministers of Tourism of the G20 economies meeting in Buenos Aires in calling upon the G20 leaders to consider including tourism in their Agenda for its capacity to create more and better jobs.

In his meeting with the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and current G20 Chair, UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, stressed the capacity of tourism to create jobs and the need to advance the adaptation of the sector to the digital transformation.

The 8th Meeting of the Tourism Ministers of the G20 economies was held in Buenos Aires on 17 April under Argentine’s Presidency of the G20 with a focus on the Future of Work – Tourism’s leading role in sustainable development: a driver for employment.

In line with the priorities of Argentine’s G20 Presidency, which include the ‘Future of Work’, the meeting focused on how tourism can embrace innovation and technology, foster new skills development to create new decent jobs.

“We need to promote the role that tourism has in shaping the future of our world as the sector that will create more jobs in the coming decade” said the Minister of Tourism of Argentina, Gustavo Santos, opening the Meeting.

Ambassador Daniel Raimondi, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina stressed the future of work as one of Argentine’s G20 priorities and it’s link to tourism, a sector which is key to create jobs, develop infrastructure and exports.

“Let us embrace the technological revolution and unleash its potential to create more and better jobs in our sector, making tourism a true pillar of the G20 objectives of inclusive and sustained growth” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, in his opening remarks to the Meeting.

Ministers of Tourism of the G20 economies agreed on considering the following:

– Encouraging policies that promote full and productive employment and facilitate the progress of innovation in tourism and foster the creation of decent jobs, sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurship, in particular among women and the youth;

– Establishing favourable frameworks to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and connect ecosystems linking start-ups, main companies, investors and governments along the tourism value chain;

– Creating cooperation mechanisms between educational institutions at all levels, the private sector, governments and technology partners to review educational programmes and skills development policies

– Considering the importance of SMEs in the tourism, heritage and cultural sectors due to their contribution to job creation as well as their role in preserving and promoting cultural resources;

– Promoting the use of digital technology to facilitate travel as well as involving technology stakeholders in national tourism policies

In 2016, G20 countries received 904 million international tourist arrivals, which generated over US$ 1 trillion or 6.3% of all G20 exports.

The Government of Japan will host the 9th Meeting of the Tourism Ministers of the G20 economies in Kutchan Town, Hokkaido in 2019.
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Travelers Save a Little, Live a Lot on Croatia Cruises




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Travelers Save a Little, Live a Lot on Croatia Cruises


Croatia’s award-winning DMC and small ship cruise company, Katarina Line, is launching its 2018 season with a wide range of special offers that include up to $250 off per person for last-minute bookings on the April 28 seven-dayAdriatic Explorerroute on the Fantazija, a Deluxe category vessel cruising the Opatija to Dubrovnik route.  With the special, rates start at just $1,569 versus regular rates of $1,819 per person.

Katarina Line is also offering numerous summer specials that include over $90 off on its six-dayNorthern Gemscruises aboard theRiva, a brand new, Deluxe Superior vessel for 2018, applicable to its July 14, August 4 and August 11, 2018 departures.  Cruises start as low as $1,617 per person with the discounts. All prices are based on double occupancy and include free airport pick-up on select departures.

A World to Explore
One of the company’s most popular cruises, Katarina Line’s seven-dayAdriatic Explorersails between the fashionable resort town of Opatija in the northern-most coast of Croatia and Dubrovnik, on the country’s southern tip.  In between, theAdriatic Explorer’s ports-of-call include the islands of Rab and Korčula, and the historic coastal towns of  Zadar, Šibenik, Split, and Metković. Among the excursions is a tour of Krka National Park, known for its series of breathtaking waterfalls.  Guests will also visit the Zadar Sea Organs, an architectural masterpiece that uses sea waves to make music through tubes located underneath a set of marble steps. Excursions also include wine tasting and light tapas lunch at the Bibich Winery, as well as maraschino liquor tasting in Zadar, and Rab cake tasting in Rab.


Prices for theAdriatic Explorerinclude a deluxe cabin withen suitebathroom, daily buffet breakfast, nine meals (lunch or dinner, depending on itinerary), as well as a captain’s dinner with live entertainment.  They also include guided walking tours, visitors’ taxes and port fees.

‘Gem’ Dandy
Katarina Line’sNorthern Gemscruises feature seven-day round-trip departures from Split, Croatia’s second-largest city, located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea.  The cruise hops from one island to another, with opportunities to swim in secluded coves and explore some of Croatia’s most popular attractions. It calls upon the towns of Trogir, Rogoznica, Šibenik, Sali, and Zadar. It also visits the “nautical paradise” of the Kornati archipelago, as well as the island of Zlarin, often called the “golden island” for its unspoiled beauty.

Excursions on theNorthern Gemsinclude a tour of Krka National Park, where visitors can swim under the falls and enjoy the clear fresh water. 

 There are also guided walking tours of Split, Šibenik, Zadar, and Trogir, and wine tasting at the Bibich Winery.  Rates include daily buffet breakfast, nine 4-course meals (lunch or dinner, depending on itinerary), a captain’s dinner with live entertainment, as well as all visitors’ taxes and port taxes.

“The beautiful islands and crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea are just the start of a visit to Croatia,” said Daniel Hauptfeld, marketing director for Katarina Line.  “Croatia also offers a rich cultural and historical legacy dating back to medieval and Roman influence.  Its museums, picturesque towns and national parks are modern treasures that have captivated visitors for generations.”
Katarina Line features a larger fleet for 2018 and guaranteed weekly departures from mid-April through mid-October, with convenient and seamless transfers to all of its customizable land tours.  Its fleet ranges from luxury Deluxe Superior cruisers with a capacity of up to 38 passengers to intimate gulets that cater to as few as seven passengers.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announces construction of first-of-its-kind undersea residence






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announces construction of first-of-its-kind undersea residence


NEW YORK - Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announced the submersion of what is believed to be the world's first undersea residence, which will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018. The result of a significant $15 million USD investment, this revolutionary concept will transform the Maldives experience for travelers who want to be truly immersed within the natural beauty of the Indian Ocean. As the first international hotel brand to enter the Maldivian market 20 years ago and home to the world's first undersea restaurant, Ithaa, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island continues to pioneer and innovate with the groundbreaking introduction of the undersea residence.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announces construction of first-of-its-kind undersea residence
Aptly named THE MURAKA or coral in Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives, the undersea residence gives guests an intimate and immersive experience of one of the Earth's most breathtaking marine environments. Muraka is designed to blend into its environment, giving guests' unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean at every turn. With vibrant colors and a diverse array of marine life all around, Muraka's residents will be able to sleep alongside the wonders of the abundant and colorful marine life that inhabit the sea.
"Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travelers, the world's first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea," said Ahmed Saleem, a Director at Crown Company and chief architect and designer of the undersea residence. "THE MURAKA marks our second venture in underwater architecture and technology, next to Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month. Through our rich history of being a trailblazer in innovative luxury hospitality, we are proud to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge design, technology and architecture."
Envisioned by Crown Company Director Ahmed Saleem, and realized by Mike Murphy, leading engineer at M J Murphy Ltd., a New Zealand-based company that specializes in aquarium technology, the undersea residence is a two-level structure comprised of space above the sea level and an undersea suite designed for sleeping under the ocean's surface. The undersea suite features a king size bedroom, living area, bathroom and spiral staircase that leads to the upper level living room. The undersea bedroom floor level sits five meters (16.4 feet) below sea level, providing uninterrupted views of the surrounding marine environment. With the adoption of state-of-the-art technology, Muraka's distinct design is akin to Ithaa's with the curved acrylic dome, which boasts 180-degree panoramic views of the wonders of the Indian Ocean's intricate marine life.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Conrad Maldives Rangali Island announces construction of first-of-its-kind undersea residence
Muraka's upper level features a twin-size bedroom, bathroom, powder room, gym, butler's quarters, private security quarters, integrated living room, kitchen, bar and dining, which features a deck that purposely faces the direction of the sunset for optimal viewing pleasure. On the opposite side of the villa sits the relaxation deck that faces the direction of sunrise and is complete with an infinity swimming pool. The upper level also contains an additional king size bedroom and bathroom, which boasts a masterfully appointed ocean-facing bathtub, ideal for soaking in views of the endless horizon. In total, Muraka can accommodate up to nine guests.
"Through our development of the world's first undersea residence, we continue to shine a light on the Maldives as a luxury destination as well as a cultural and natural wonder for global travelers," said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. "We are excited to present Muraka's unique sleeping under the sea experience to our future guests, providing them with an extraordinary seascape of the Maldives from an entirely new perspective."
"We are excited to see THE MURAKA bring to life the contemporary design, leading innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that serve as the foundation for the Conrad brand", said Martin Rinck, Global Head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton. "With the development of the world's first undersea residence, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will offer visitors the opportunity to experience the Maldives like never before."
Located in the Maldives' best diving and snorkeling spots, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has created a space that invites and inspires with a distinctive design that flows harmoniously with the natural environment. The resort features purposefully designed villas and suites, 12 award-winning restaurants and bars, two spas and a selection of culturally inspired experiences set against the awe-inspiring Maldivian surroundings. With the introduction of the world's first undersea residence, Conrad Maldives continues to evolve the diversity of experiences offered to guests.

ICAO Council President: African airport capacity critical to continent-wide sustainable prosperity





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ICAO Council President: African airport capacity critical to continent-wide sustainable prosperity


MONTREAL and LAGOS – Addressing African aviation and government leaders at the Airports Council International’s (ACI’s) 2018 Africa Regional Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu highlighted that the continent’s rapidly-expanding air traffic can only be sustained and optimized through the continued development and modernization of local aviation infrastructure, particularly at airports.
“The industry here generates very positive impacts on tourism and trade, directly and indirectly supporting 6.8 million jobs and generating 72.5 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” President Aliu said. “But due to the more recent and effective focus on air transport liberalization, many African hub airports are now expected to exceed their capacity by 2020.”
The ACI Conference was declared open by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha, in the presence of over 280 participants from 47 Countries and numerous international organizations. Also present were CEOs from the aviation industry (airports, airlines, air navigation service providers, manufacturers, etc.) and members of the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives and other senior government officials.
In delivering his keynote address at the opening of the Conference, the ICAO Council President also noted that airport modernization and capacity “is a key reason why ICAO’s Global Plans are designed to establish globally-harmonized aviation objectives and requirements in support of the worldwide modernization which is now underway.” He stressed that ICAO’s goal in this respect “is to ensure there are no constraints of infrastructure capacity, technology and financial resources for aviation development,” and noted that ICAO’s World Aviation Forum events are specifically designed to address these concerns and bring project planners and financers together.
Another key development priority stressed by President Aliu was that related enhancements in human capacity development, through improved education and training, should be seen as “directly supportive of the sustainability of any new infrastructure project or new capacity being considered.”
From a more operational standpoint, he drew attention to the fact that airport facilities are much more than just impressive new terminal buildings, and that ICAO remains concerned that many African airports are seeking to attract international flights without the requisite certifications.
“More attention must continue to be paid to the airside safety priorities at Africa’s airports,” he said, “including international airport perimeter fencing, taxiway and runway safety, effective fire services, and better wildlife management,” he remarked.
The President concluded by focusing upon the important aviation security role of airports today, and the many new innovations which are helping them to operate with less noise and emissions than in the past.
During his mission in Lagos, President Aliu met with Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, the Honourable Hadi Sirika, to discuss the State’s progress on the development of aviation infrastructure and related partnerships subsequent to ICAO’s World Aviation Forum event which was conducted in Abuja, Nigeria, last November. Minister Sirika briefed President Aliu on recent investments made in upgrading the Nigerian aviation training school in Zaria, an ICAO-endorsed Regional Training Centre of Excellence, and the need and means to promote the facility to greater regional benefit was also discussed.
He also spoke to CEOs of local aviation agencies regarding safety, security, passenger facilitation, and environmental performance priorities, and in discussions with ACI’s Director General, Ms. Angela Gittens, he applauded her organization’s successful APEX-in-Security programme while noting further collaborative opportunities for the two Organizations. He also expressed his deep appreciation to DG Gittens for ACI’s determined support to-date of ICAO’s ‘No Country Left Behind’ assistance and capacity-building priorities.

Destino Xcaret announced 2nd hotel after opening Hotel Xcaret Mexico





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Destino Xcaret announced 2nd hotel after opening Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Destino Xcaret announced that only four months after the opening of Hotel Xcaret Mexico, the property reached occupancy rates surpassing 90 percent in the first quarter of 2018. The brand announced plans for a second hotel project, “La Casa de la Playa.”
Hotel Xcaret Mexico Aerea
Hotel Xcaret MexicoThe announcement was made during the 43rd edition of Tianguis Turistico in Mazatlán, Mexico by Francisco Gutierrez, CEO of the Hotels Division of Destino Xcaret.
“Hotel Xcaret Mexico in an unprecedented project within the hotel industry. We created a new concept – All-Fun Inclusive®- that has allowed us to offer a comprehensive product, with unlimited access to all of Experiencias Xcaret’s parks and tours, including transportation services and meal plans,” said Gutierrez. “With the success of our offering we have transformed the hospitality landscape in Mexico, by combining traditional art and culture with innovation and sophistication. As we look to the future, we are confident that we are on the right path.”
The second hotel project: La Casa de la Playawill be an ecologically inclined boutique hotel that will meet the industry’s highest standards and feature 63 spacious suites with private plunge pools, categorized in three concepts: Nature, Fun and Wellness. The extraordinary property will also house four restaurants, two pools, a spa, mezcaleria, chocolate confectionary shop, wine cellar and a library. “La Casa de la Playa” is set to open in the summer of 2019 and aims at being the best boutique hotel in Mexico, consolidating the outstanding hotel offering of Experiencias Xcaret Group.
Hotel Xcaret Mexico spa
Destino Xcaret is an unparalleled tourism development in Mexico that encompasses 915 acres and a two-billion-dollar investment of funds 100 percent Mexican. In the next eight years there will be 6,000 hotel rooms, 10,000 direct jobs, a multipurpose stadium with capacity for a 12,000 audience, a 800,000 square feet convention center and an entertainment and commercial center with promenades along the river called “Pueblo del Rio”, that will stretch for 1.2 miles and will set a new standard in the industry.

Emirates Kicks Off The Summer Season With Special Fares





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Emirates Kicks Off The Summer Season With Special Fares


Emirates is offering special early bird fares for UAE travellers to destinations within its global network. Travellers who book in advance can enjoy special fares starting today until 30 April 2018 and applies to select travel periods.

Economy Class passengers can enjoy fares to the Middle East starting from AED 795, to Europe starting at AED 2,135, to West Asia & Indian Ocean starting at AED 945, and to the Far East and Australasia starting at AED 2,035.

Business Class passengers can enjoy fares to the Middle East starting from AED 3,155, to Europe starting at AED 9,395, to West Asia & Indian Ocean starting at AED 2835, and to the Far East and Australasia starting at AED 8,895.

Emirates passengers travelling in all classes will benefit from a generous baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class and 40kg in Business Class. Passengers on the Emirates flight will enjoy the airline’s award winning in-flight entertainment system with up to 3,500 channels and up to 20MB complimentary on-board Wi-Fi, as well as regionally inspired meals on-board prepared by award-winning chefs.

The offer applies for outbound travel between 19 April and 13 December 2018.

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The U.S. had the highest number of most wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

DALLAS - Nearly 1,500 hotels in the U.S. have battled it out all year to be crowned the 'Most Wanted' properties worldwide in the Hotels.com  Loved by Guests Awards 2018, where the judges are the guests themselves.
Hotels.com believes that the way to find the 'Most Wanted' properties is to ask the customers themselves… so they did just that. Knowing that reviews are becoming even more influential than the official star ratings, Hotels.com looked at over 25 million Hotels.com guest reviews on the website to pick the winners.
New York, Chicago and Houston topped the list of award-winning cities in the U.S., continuing their reign from last year. Additionally, travelers can check into award-winning properties in more than 500 towns and cities across the country.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018
For travelers visiting the Big Apple, there are many Most Wanted properties to choose from with 20 properties receiving an average guest rating of 9.4 or higher. The Mark and The Library Hotel both received a 9.6 average guest rating, with Conrad New York and Hotel 50 Bowery not far behind with a 9.4.
Chicago also boats properties that guests loved, with The Sono Chicago, The Peninsula Chicago and The Langham all receiving a 9.8 average guest rating.
In Houston, travelers had some exciting options with the Hotel Granduca Houston and The Lancaster Hotel both receiving a 9.6 average guest rating. The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, which received a 9.4, was another highly rated option.
Top 5 Cities in the U.S. winning Loved by Guest Most Wanted Awards:
  • New York - 20 hotels
  • Chicago - 17 hotels
  • Houston - 16 hotels
  • Washington, D.C. - 11 hotels
  • Austin, Texas - 11 hotels
The competition was tough, with an astonishing 3,400 properties across 91 countries being identified as truly outstanding. The winning hotels had to receive a rating of 9.4 (out of 10) or above to be categorized as one of the world's 'Most Wanted' properties. Globally, the U.S. stormed ahead with 1,498 properties snapping up a 'Most Wanted' award, running away from the competition, with Italy (232), the UK (192), Canada (126) and Spain (101) making up the top five countries to scoop awards.
While the U.S. had the most 'Most Wanted' hotels total by far, the awarded properties were widely spread across several cities in the states. The cities around the globe where travelers are most likely to check into a Most Wanted award-winning hotel are: Rome (39), Florence (38), London (36), Hanoi (36) and Venice (32) - with the Italians speeding away with three out of the top five cities. To bag the best deals on hotels in these top destinations, download the Hotels.com mobile app for access to Secret Prices.
The Most Wanted  
More than 20 properties around the world received an outstanding '10 out of 10' in their reviews throughout the whole of 2017, an impressive golden record. The UK stole the show with six hotels receiving top marks, followed by five in the U.S. and two in the Czech Republic. Korea, New Zealand, Vietnam, Iceland, Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, Canada and Bali all had one hotel each with a perfect report.
Best in Class
Whether it's a pampering session, a sun lounger staycation or even a dollop of luxury you are looking for, Hotels.com Loved by Guests 'Top100' winners will have it all. With 1,000 properties across 10 categories, including - Luxury, Business, Boutique, LGBT, Beach, Ski, Family, Spa, New and All Inclusive, there will be no shortage of options when planning your next trip. These awards celebrate the best 100 in each group, so you can tailor any vacation to your every need.
For all of your family travel needs, Paniolo Greens at Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, Hawaii received an average guest rating of  9. The Maven at Dairy Block in Denver received a 9.2 average guest rating for its newness. For the perfect beach getaway, COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida received a 9.2. A few popular LGBT hotels include Fifteen Beacon in Boston and Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California, both received a 9.4 average guest rating.
"The Loved by Guests awards are all about Hotels.com guest reviews, the good the great and the awesome! We know that people value fellow guest opinions even more than star ratings these days, so we're giving everyone super clear access to just that and highlighting the properties that truly stand out,"said Johan Svanstrom, president for Hotels.com. "When you're scrolling through your smartphone, it is really easy to skim through reviews about the insanely huge bed, the 'out of this world' avocado on toast, the life-altering spa treatment or the fantastic hotel staff who took great care of you. There are 25 million verified guest reviews that can offer inspiration for your next trip as well as help you pick a great hotel for your needs."
All the award-winning properties are bookable through the award-winning Hotels.com mobile app, available on iOS and Android.
Countries with 20 or More Most Wanted Award Winners
United States
1498
Italy
232
Great Britain
192
Canada
126
Spain
101
Mexico
76
Germany
69
Vietnam
65
Japan
65
Portugal
62
France
60
Australia
51
Greece
40
Thailand
39
Poland
37
Brazil
37
Croatia
36
Taiwan
30
New Zealand
30
Czech Republic
29
Middle East
27
Netherlands
27
Indonesia
26
Ireland
25
Austria
24
South Korea
21
Turkey
20
Iceland
20
Most Wanted Award Winners by City
Top EMEA Cities
Rome
39
Florence
37
London
35
Venice
31
Barcelona
30
Paris
29
Prague
28
Amsterdam
24
Lisbon
22
Berlin
21
*To receive a Most Wanted award, properties must have received an average customer review score of 9.4 or higher, based on a minimum of 50 reviews and based on reviews from December 2016 – November 2017.
**To receive a 'Top 100' award, the 1,000 hotels with a rating of 9+ review score in each category were chosen, based reviews from December 2016 – November 2017.