Σάββατο, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Chavana Spa to operate a spa in Moscow

The Chavana Spa brand will operate a spa facility at the new DoubleTree by Hilton, Moscow Leningradsky-Riverside hotel, located in Moscow, Russia. 

The hotel will be managed by Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The hotel and spa are anticipated to commence operations in the second quarter of 2014.

This spa will feature unique signature treatments by Chavana Spa, with a variety of both local and Balinese offerings. The spa design includes a dedicated reception and retail area, six treatment rooms, including rain showers, and one double treatment room with a Jacuzzi tub and steam shower. The spa will also offer changing rooms, an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam, Jacuzzi and a relaxation area.

DoubleTree by Hilton, Moscow Leningradsky-Riverside offers 270 guest rooms, located in the northwest of Moscow on the Leningradskoe Shosse between the city center and the airport. A yacht club and marina is located next to the hotel site, providing visitors the option to travel by water to reach downtown Moscow, as well as the Black and Baltic seas. The hotel will feature a full-service restaurant and bar, as well as a dedicated fitness center, complete with an indoor swimming pool. A total of 1,200-square meters of meeting space and ballroom is complemented by a state-of-the-art business center and wireless internet access throughout the hotel. DoubleTree by Hilton, Moscow Leningradsky-Riverside will be operated under a franchise agreement with Autoconcept Co LLC.

Jeff Matthews, co-President of Steiner Spa Consulting, said, "We are looking forward to opening our first Chavana Spa in Moscow, Russia with the Hilton group and the opportunity to synergise both our brands to bring exceptional services to our guests.”

Cunard Speaker Programme Celebrates 40 Years with Exciting Line-up for Early 2014

Cunard was the first cruise company to introduce speakers as a key part of its entertainment schedule on board and in the four decades since 1974, its award-winning speaker programme has featured eminent names with expertise ranging from gardening to astronomy. 

Such diverse personalities as Nelson Mandela, John Cleese, Baz Luhrmann and President Jimmy Carter have been just a few among the many luminaries featured in Question and Answer sessions on board. Captains of Concorde have discussed the marvels of supersonic flight while Captains of Industry have offered tips on how to make your first million.

The first four months in the 40th anniversary year of Cunard’s speaker programme – Cunard Insights - will see a number of leading lights join Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria as the Cunard fleet tours the world: celebrated authors Bill Bryson and Sir Max Hastings, award-winning TV writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, eminent Professor of Science and Society Lord Winston, broadcaster and Royal commentator Jennie Bond, and Falklands and Counter-Terrorism expert Admiral Lord West.

Bill Bryson: Queen Elizabeth: 18 January – 5 February

New York – Fort Lauderdale – Aruba – Limon (Costa Rica) – Panama Canal – Puntarenas (Costa Rica) – San Francisco

Internationally renowned as a writer and broadcaster, Bill Bryson is the best-selling author of books such as “Notes from a Small Island” and “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a science volume that won the Descartes prize. His latest work is “One Summer – America 1927.” His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

Although American, Bryson is an honorary OBE and a noted anglophile who is President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Chancellor of Durham University and a former commissioner of English Heritage.

Sir Max Hastings: Queen Mary 2: 28 January – 19 February

Cape Town – Durban – Mauritius – Fremantle – Melbourne – Sydney

Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He now writes regularly for the Daily Mail and Financial Times, of which he is a contributing editor, and reviews for the Sunday Times and New York Review of Books. 

He has written twenty-two books and his latest, “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War,” has just been published to wide acclaim. He has received awards both for his books and journalism.

He was editor, then editor-in-chief, of The Daily Telegraph from 1986-1995, and of the Evening Standard 1996-2002.     

Lord Robert Winston: Queen Mary 2: 2 – 29 March

Bali – Fremantle – Adelaide - Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Cairns – Kota Kinabalu – Shanghai

Robert Winston first achieved prominence as an expert in human fertility. Now the first Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies there, he runs a research programme with a long-term aim of improving human transplantation. He is also Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Chairman of the Royal College of Music and was voted “Peer of the Year” in 2008 by his fellow Parliamentarians for his expertise and work on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.                             

Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais: Queen Mary 2: 10 – 27 January 

Southampton – Madeira –Tenerife – Walvis Bay, Namibia – Cape Town

Together, this comedy-writing duo have enjoyed a unique creative partnership spanning more than four decades. From “The Likely Lads” in the 1960’s, to the award-winning follow-up series, “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”, the team went on to create “Porridge,” starring Ronnie Barker. They wrote “The Prisoner of Zenda,” with Peter Sellers playing twin roles and worked extensively on “Never Say Never Again,” with Sean Connery in the role of James Bond. They scored another hit in the eighties with “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet,” and Ian also created the long-running series “Lovejoy,” starring Ian McShane.

In recent few years they have been as busy as ever, including adapting “The Rotters’ Club” and “Archangel,” starring Daniel Craig, for the BBC.

Jennie Bond: Queen Victoria: 12 – 28 January

Fort Lauderdale – Barbados – Fortaleza (Brazil) – Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) – Montevideo (Uruguay) – Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Jennie Bond has been broadcasting about Britain’s Royal Family for 25 years, through some of the most turbulent times the monarchy has known. For 14 years she was the BBC’s Royal Correspondent. She’s also well-known on British television as a presenter of the antiques show “Cash in the Attic” – along with a rich variety of other programmes such as “Rip Off Britain,” “Great British Menu” and numerous game shows. But it was probably her time in “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,” when she was buried in a coffin full of rats in the Australian jungle, that made her a household name

Admiral Lord West: Queen Victoria: 28 January – 9 February

Buenos Aires – Puerto Madryn (Argentina)– Cape Horn – Ushuaia (Agentina)– Punta Arenas (Chile) – cruise by Amalia Glacier – cruise by PIO X Glacier – Puerto Montt (Chile) – Valparaiso (Chile)

Admiral The Right Honourable Baron West of Spithead, GCB, DSC, PC, ADC, DUniv, is a former First Sea Lord and Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He spent the majority of his naval career at sea. He took command of the frigate HMS Ardent, taking her south to the Falkland Islands in 1982. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the action and led the Victory Parade through the City of London.

He became First Sea Lord in 2002. He led the Navy during its successful role in the initial invasion of Iraq. He has advised both Conservatives and Labour on defense and foreign policy and joined the government team responsible for national security and counter-terrorism as well as cyber and Olympic security.

He is currently Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, Naval Trustee of the Imperial War Museum plus a number of other appointments

Sharjah’s Luxury Cruise Season Opens with the Arrival of MSC Lirica

Sharjah’s new cruise season began on a high note with the arrival of luxury cruise-liner MSC Lirica in the Khorfakkan port on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. 

More than 2000 people are on board MSC Lirica and majority of passengers are European tourists including German, Spanish, Italian and British.

MSC Lirica is set to visit the East Coast every Tuesday at 8 am. Between November 26 and April 1, a total number of 19 calls will be made to the Emirate’s picturesque East Coast. A total number of 43,000 luxury cruise passengers are scheduled to visit the Emirate during the 2013-14 cruise season.

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that with some of the world’s most popular luxury cruise-liners visiting Sharjah’s East Coast with thousands of international passengers on board, the attention is once again focused on the picturesque region which has in recent months and years seen major strides on the tourism and development front.

The SCTDA Director General urged the tourism and hospitality industry to make the most of international luxury cruise operators’ increasing interest in Sharjah and the region as there is a huge demand for new hotels and other infrastructure along the East Coast.

IHG opened 2 New Properties

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the newest addition to its Latin America portfolio with the opening of the 196-room Holiday Inn Express® Panama Distrito Financiero hotel located in Panama City, Panama and a Holiday Inn Resort® hotel in West Bay Beach in Northern Michigan. 

The Holiday Inn Express Panama Distrito Financiero hotel is located within walking distance from a variety of restaurants, international companies and the Punta Pacifica Hospital – the first hospital in Latin America affiliated with the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medicine International. Costa del Este Business Park and shopping malls, such as Multiplaza Pacific and Multicentro are also close by. 

The new hotel features complimentary high-speed Internet access, an outdoor swimming pool and sundeck, business center, fitness center and more than 2,500 sq ft of meeting space, equipped with the latest technology and audiovisual equipment. The new hotel offers guests a comfortable, yet affordable, stay to ensure a pleasurable experience. All guestrooms offer a spacious, modern and well equipped interior, work desk with ergonomic chair, 37-inch flat screen TV, iPhone® and iPod® dock alarm clock, free local calls, in-room complimentary coffee, safe deposit facilities and choice of soft or firm pillows. 

On the other hand, the new Holiday Inn Resort hotel in Northern Michigan is located on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. The property re-opened this month as a Holiday Inn Resort brand hotel following a $6 million renovation. The Holiday Inn Resort brand now boasts nearly 40 locations across the globe. 

Located in Traverse City, Mich., the four-story, 140,000 sq. foot property has 179 rooms including some KidSuites® rooms that feature bunk beds and a kids TV area with a gaming console. Within walking distance to downtown Traverse City, the hotel offers 500 feet of prime beachfront access to West Grand Traverse Bay as well as an on-site marina equipped with boat and personal watercraft rentals, bicycle rentals and the largest catamaran – the Nauticat – on the Great Lakes, which leaves the hotel dock three times a day for cruises on West Bay. The resort location offers access to the TART trail system, enabling visitors to enjoy outdoor hiking on one of Northern Michigan’s popular trails.

The Holiday Inn Resort brand transitioned from the Holiday Inn SunSpree® Resorts brand in 2007 as a part of the Holiday Inn global brand relaunch. The Holiday Inn® brand family’s $1 billion global brand relaunch, the largest project of its kind in hospitality history, continues to drive increased quality and consistency across the global portfolio. The hotel will feature a contemporary image with emphasis on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort and a redesigned logo and signage. 

Guests staying at West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort hotel can enjoy on-site dining including Shimmers on The Bay – with a beautiful waterfront patio offering seasonal live entertainment, seven nights a week. Additional guest amenities include a whirlpool, sauna, fitness center, a kids’ game room, Kids Club with activities, two heated pools, an outdoor pool deck offering cabana style seating and beverage service and approximately 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space that can accommodate up to 600 people.

GHANA GOVERNMENT APPROVES CONTRACT FOR BUILDING OF TAMALE INTERNATIONAL

The government of Ghana has approved a $100 million deal to build Tamale International Airport.
Parliament has approved a contract agreement with Construtora Queitoz Galvao S.A of Brazil, who will design and construct the new facility.

The first phase will see the rehabilitation and extension of the existing runway from 2438 metres to 4000 metres.

And other works will see rehabilitation of the existing taxiway, taxi-links and apron expansion and other airfield facilities enhanced and built.

Chairman of the committee on roads and transport, Michael Coffie Boampong, says the upgrade will support programmes of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and serve the domestic and sahalien regions.

He added the project is scheduled to be completed over a period of 18 months after the design approval.

Boampong says the development will support domestic air travel, improve airport revenue, rectify deficiencies in aviation infrastructure, eco-tourism and cultural tourism as well as support the agricultural sector by leveraging exports of fresh produce and agro-based industries.

The government of Ghana lauded the project and say the upgrade would enable pilgrims from the Sahelian region to use the airport during pilgrimage.

The airport is in northern Ghana, two miles west of Tamale and was previously used as an airbase, but was upgraded to an international airports in 2008.
Written by   for airport-world.com

Eye witness report: PATA Foundation in the Philippines

Recently Mario Hardy, chairman of the PATA Foundation and Andrew Jones, PATA executive board member, set out in a road convoy for a medical mission with the MSY Foundation to the north of Cebu - read what they have experienced so far in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
We encountered heavy traffic on the way and had a flat tire half way down and the journey that took nearly four hours. Our convoy was composed of several vehicles and trucks filled with care packages, food, water and medicine purchased with funds donated by the PATA Foundation and the MSY Foundation. 

Mario 

In Cebu and the outskirts of the city there were barely any signs of the disaster ahead. As we got closer to the affected areas, we started to see fallen trees, electrical poles hanging over the road by a thread and roofs completely ripped from the houses. About three hours drive from Cebu we started to sense the real force of the typhoon: houses completely flattened, brick walls fallen, schools, churches and clinics without any roofs and their walls caved in.  

Families along the side of the road had signs and were asking for help, mostly food and water. Hundreds of children were on the side of the road trying to get the attention of passing cars, hoping one would stop. 

MArio2

After hours of driving, we started to move all the care packages into the boats that would take us to Malapascua Island. Once there, we were met by the captain (or chief) of the village.

The island had about 10,000 residents and no medical clinics. The situation there is bad: houses, resorts and schools have been heavily damaged and many people were injured during the typhoon.

We set up our day camp in the town centre next to the church, which has been badly damaged. Within minutes of setting up, hundreds of people gathered and started to line up. They were seeking medical attention, water and food. The village captain was well organised and had a list of residents to ensure that everyone received the assistance in a fair manner. It was heartening to see people who had lost everything days before were still smiling and thankful. 

Mario3
This mission was one of many taken by the MSY Foundation in the past week in various parts of the north of Cebu. Several more are planned in the coming weeks. The scale of the help needed is almost beyond imagination. Basic help like this will be required for some time before rebuilding and long-term recovery starts. 

We would like to stress that this situation affects only certain parts of the Philippines. People who have holidays and business trips planned in the coming weeks to unaffected areas should carry on with their plans. 

You can help by continuing to donate generously to the PATA Foundation. All donations between now and December 25 will go towards the Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund for the Philippines. 

JetBlue expands South America network

Peru has been added to the JetBlue network after the LCC launched flights to Lima from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.
This is the airline’s fourth destination in South America.

"Lima is one of South America's main business capitals and also one of the continent's most exciting tourist destinations,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue's chief commercial officer.

"Latin America is a strong, growing market for us, and we're excited to extend our presence in South America by adding Peru to the JetBlue network. Customers in South Florida now have more options on JetBlue for a great experience at a lower price point.”

"On the fifteenth year anniversary of the signing of an Open Skies agreement between Peru and the U.S., we are happy to see another U.S. carrier offer their services to the people of Peru," added Michael Fitzpatrick, chargé d'affaires, US Embassy, Lima, Peru.

The new service allows connections to other US and Caribbean destinations including Boston; New York; San Juan; and Washington, DC.

Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront Debuts LEED-Certified Tower


MIAMI BEACH, FL—Following the completion of a $25-million restoration, the Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront’s new LEED-certified 93-guestroom oceanfront tower will be completed in December 2013.

The hotel will now offer a total of 356 guestrooms, including 19 suites, as well as a new oceanfront saltwater pool, a gym, updated lobby, indoor/outdoor meeting space, the renovated Carrabba’s Surfside Tiki Bar and new poolside cabanas.

The lobby features a new 32-ft. lobby bar, Lounge DeVille, while the main pool area has been completely redesigned with cabanas and a deck that fuses the outdoor space with the lounge through large operational glass panels. Overall, the concept for the renovation was to employ the motifs of the original Art Deco style reflecting the vibrancy of Miami by incorporating elements of the local beach culture with infused bright colors and rich harmonious textures, according to the company.

The hotel will offer 5,803 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting areas including a new meeting space entitled the Golden Vee Ballroom located in the new tower, which is slated to accommodate up to 120 guests, featuring high ceilings, and 2,278 sq. ft. of sustainable meeting space that opens up to the newly constructed outdoor space called The Lawn totaling 3000 sq. ft. It is equipped with an infinity pool and nine full sized cabanas, which can each fit up to a party of eight guests each.

The European Hotel Design Awards Reveals the 2013 Winners

LONDON—Europe’s longest-running architecture and design awards for the hospitality sector, the European Hotel Design Award announced its 2013 winners at a gala reception located here that drew 900 guests.
The winners are:

  • Architecture of the Year—Conversion and/or Extension of an Existing Hotel Building: Ushuaia Beach Hotel, Ibiza, designed by Estudio Vila 13

  • Architecture of the Year—Conversion of an Existing Non-Hotel Building to Hotel Use: Speicher 7 in Mannheim, designed by Schmucker und Partner

  • Architecture of the Year—New-build Hotel:
Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London designed by Antonio Citterio, Patricia Veil & Partners and Squire & Partners

  • Interior Design of the Year—Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas: The Alpina Gstaad; designer – The Gallery HBA London

  • Interior Design of the Year—Café or All-Day Dining:
25hours Hotel, Zurich West; designer – Alfredo Häberli Design Development

  • Interior Design of the Year—Restaurant:
Plum and Spilt Milk, the Great Northern Hotel

  • Interior Design of the Year—Bar:
Cuckoo’s Nest at Radisson Blu Riverside, Gothenburg; designer – Stylt Trampoli AB London; designed by Archer Humphryes Architects

IHG Honors Pickard Design Studio

NEW ORLEANS—IHG awarded Pickard Design Studio with the 2013 Renovation of the Year Award Winner for its participation, alongside RLJ Lodging Trust, in the $23.3 million renovation of the Hotel Indigo New Orleans Garden District located in The Garden District of central New Orleans.

The reinvention of the Hotel Indigo includes a modern design that captures New Orleans' character. Pickard was inspired by the juxtaposition of the new and the old of New Orleans and carried this theme throughout the hotel.
The hotel's oversized guestrooms and spacious bathrooms are coupled with stylish public spaces designed to highlight New Orleans’ historic Garden District. The hotel's design includes locally inspired murals, decorative ironwork and reclaimed wood ceilings that resonate with New Orleans and its local culture and flavor.

“I was so thrilled to be a part of this project and honored to be recognized by IHG,” stated Sarah Pickard, president of Pickard Design Studio. “The Hotel Indigo New Orleans is surrounded by such history and character of The Garden District, and we wanted the interior and exterior of the hotel to reflect that as much as possible. It is garden culture collision meets sophistication.”

The NoMad Hotel Achieves LEED Gold Status


NEW YORK—The NoMad Hotel earned a LEED Gold status, making it one of the city’s three hotel properties with top LEED credentials.
The NoMad, which was created by The Sydell Group, opened late Spring 2012, following a renovation of the landmark Johnson building on the corner of 28th and Broadway. The building most recently housed offices before being converted to The NoMad Hotel.
Stonehill & Taylor was in charge of the architecture and historic preservation. “We held The NoMad at the highest standard for the environment and the comfort of the luxury guest,” stated Paul Taylor, president of Stonehill & Taylor. “It is our mission to continue to lead in the creation of sustainable luxury destinations.”
The hotel’s standout green features that counted toward the awarding of LEED Gold were:

  • Occupancy sensors for lighting and HVAC in hotel rooms to reduce energy when rooms are unoccupied.

  • Sustainable reuse of the existing building’s exterior walls and floors;

  • Reclaimed wood flooring in the guestrooms;

  • High efficiency windows and HVAC equipment;

  • Water loop heat pumps that condition the rooms;

  • Dual flush toilets in guest bathrooms;

  • A green roof and outdoor space that contribute to a high ratio of open space to development footprint;

  • Implementation of a Green Operations and Maintenance Plan to reduce toxins and chemicals introduced into the building after completion

Διοργάνωση συνεδρίου στο Ρέθυμνο για τον ρωσικό τουρισμό, τον Απρίλιο του 2014

Η διοργάνωση συνεδρίου στο Ρέθυμνο με θέμα τον ρωσικό τουρισμό, τον ερχόμενο Απρίλιο μετά από πρόσκληση της Ο. Κεφαλογιάννη, συζητήθηκε και συμφωνήθηκε στην 29η Διεθνή Έκθεση Τουρισμού Philoxenia, στη Θεσσαλονίκη.
Η συνάντηση της αντιδήμαρχου Τουρισμού – Πολιτισμού του Δήμου Ρεθύμνης κ. Πέπης Μπιρλιράκη-Μαμαλάκη και του προέδρου  της Ένωσης Ξενοδόχων κ. Μανώλη Τσακαλάκη με την Ο. Κεφαλογιάννη έγινε παρουσία του γενικού γραμματέα του ΕΟΤ κ. Πάνου Λειβαδά, του αναπληρωτή επικεφαλής της Ομοσπονδιακής Υπηρεσίας Τουρισμού της Ρωσίας κ. Evgeniy Pisarevskiy και του γενικού διευθυντή του Τουριστικού Οργανισμού Mouzenidis Travel κ. Αλέξανδρου Τσαντεκίδη. 
Σημαντικές επαφές με φορείς, tour operators και δημοσιογράφους του τουρισμού είχε η αντιδήμαρχος Τουρισμού – Πολιτισμού του Δήμου Ρεθύμνης κα Πέπη Μπιρλιράκη-Μαμαλάκη και ο πρόεδρος της Ένωσης Ξενοδόχων κ. Μανώλης Τσακαλάκης, κατά την επίσκεψή τους στην 29η Διεθνή Έκθεση Τουρισμού Philoxenia, στη Θεσσαλονίκη.
Σύμφωνα με τις δηλώσεις του κ. Pisarevskiy το 2013 ο αριθμός των Ρώσων τουριστών που επισκέπτονται την Ελλάδα θα “κλείσει” αυξημένος κατά 50%-60% σε σχέση με το 2012, ενώ η χώρα μας θα μπορούσε να προσελκύει μέχρι και 3,6 εκατ. Ρώσους τουρίστες ετησίως.
Η διοργάνωση ενός μεγάλου συνεδρίου στο Ρέθυμνο, θα λειτουργήσει ενισχυτικά στο ήδη μεγάλο, ανοδικό ρεύμα τουριστών προς το νομό. Σημειώνεται ότι το 2013, οι Ρώσοι τουρίστες επέλεξαν το Ρέθυμνο ως τον πιο αγαπημένο τους προορισμό στην Ελλάδα.
Στο καθιερωμένο Συμβούλιο Προέδρων Ενώσεων Ξενοδόχων της Πανελλήνιας Ομοσπονδίας Ξενοδόχων, ο κ. Τσακαλάκης στην ομιλία του τοποθετήθηκε επί βασικών θεμάτων τόσο για τον τουρισμό όσο και για τον ξενοδοχειακό κλάδο συγκεκριμένα. Χαρακτηριστικά, παρατήρησε την παραχώρηση απλής χρήσης αιγιαλού, αισιοδοξώντας στην αποφυγή επανάληψης προβλημάτων που προκύπτουν ως προς την οργάνωση και παροχή υπηρεσιών στις παραλίες. Επί τάπητος τέθηκε και το ζήτημα του καθεστώτος υπολογισμού και καταβολής των Πνευματικών- Συγγενικών Δικαιωμάτων, κάνοντας νύξη για ύπαρξη νομοθετικής πρωτοβουλίας από το υπουργείο Πολιτισμού, ενώ ακόμα επισημάνθηκε η μείωση εργοδοτικών εισφορών και απουσία ολοκλήρωσης του κόμβου Αμαρίου (ΒΟΑΚ).

Η κ. Μπιρλιράκη είχε επίσης την ευκαιρία να συναντηθεί με δημοσιογράφους του τουριστικού ρεπορτάζ από τα μεγαλύτερα ελληνικά Μέσα Ενημέρωσης της Αθήνας και της Θεσσαλονίκης που επισκέφτηκαν την έκθεση. Τους παρουσίασε σε δημοσιογράφους που βρέθηκαν στη Philoxenia  τα ιδιαίτερα θετικά αποτελέσματα της φετινής τουριστικής περιόδου, ενώ τους ενημέρωσε για τις ενδείξεις και τις εκτιμήσεις για τη σεζόν του 2014 που δείχνουν περαιτέρω αύξηση του τουρισμού στο Ρέθυμνο. Επιπλέον, παρουσίασε όλα τα μεγάλα έργα υποδομών που πραγματοποιούνται και σχεδιάζονται στο Δήμο Ρεθύμνης, όπως οι αναπλάσεις του θαλάσσιου μετώπου, οι ύφαλοι μόλοι,  και οι προοπτικές της κρουαζιέρας που ενδυναμώνονται με τη δημιουργία των εγκαταστάσεων και της αποβάθρας για μεγάλα κρουαζιερόπλοια προ των πυλών.
Ιδιαίτερη αναφορά έγινε στις προσπάθειες για την επιμήκυνση της τουριστικής περιόδου μέσω της ανάπτυξης των θεματικών μορφών τουρισμού, με τομείς αιχμής τον Αθλητικό τουρισμό, την Γαστρονομία, τον Θρησκευτικό τουρισμό και τον τουρισμό Τρίτης ηλικίας. Επίσης παρουσίασε την ατζέντα του Πολιτιστικού τουρισμού με έναρξη της χρονιάς το θεσμό του Ρεθεμνιώτικου Καρναβαλιού και τη σημασία του στην προσέλκυση Ελλήνων και ξένων επισκεπτών εκτός της υψηλής τουριστικής περιόδου. Το 2014 αποτελεί ορόσημο για το Ρεθεμνιώτικο Καρναβάλι, το Καρναβάλι της Κρήτης , που γιορτάζει την επέτειο των 100 χρόνων από την έναρξή του και καλεί όλους να μοιραστούν τις εμπνευσμένες εορταστικές εκδηλώσεις του.


Επίσης, αναφέρθηκε στο σχέδιο προσέλκυσης Κινέζων τουριστών που επιθυμούν να πραγματοποιήσουν τους γάμους τους στην Κρήτη και στο Ρέθυμνο και στη συνεργασία με την περιφέρεια της Σαγκάης. “Ο γαμήλιος τουρισμός είναι ένα πελώριο και προσοδοφόρο κεφάλαιο και χρειάζεται και αυτό τη δέουσα φροντίδα για να αποφεύγονται οι σκόπελοι  της γραφειοκρατίας”, τόνισε η  Μπιρλιράκη

ΚΥΑ για ιατρικό τουρισμό

Ο υπουργός Υγείας Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης και η  υπουργός Τουρισμού  Όλγα Κεφαλογιάννη υπέγραψαν στο υπουργείο Τουρισμού, Κοινή Υπουργική Απόφαση, για τον καθορισμό των προϋποθέσεων άσκησης του ιατρικού τουρισμού.

Σύμφωνα με την ΚΥΑ, όλοι οι φορείς, δημόσιοι και ιδιωτικοί (Πρωτοβάθμιας-Δευτεροβάθμιας- Τριτοβάθμιας Φροντίδας Υγείας), θα μπορούν να εγγράφονται σε ειδικό μητρώο ιατρικού τουρισμού, που θα τηρείται στον ΕΟΤ.

Με αυτό τον τρόπο θα επιτυγχάνεται , με τον καλύτερο δυνατό τρόπο, η προβολή των παρόχων ιατρικού τουρισμού. Παράλληλα σε αυτούς τους παρόχους θα χορηγείται και ειδικό σήμα από τον ΕΟΤ.

Οι νόμιμα λειτουργούντες ιατρικοί πάροχοι θα πρέπει να πιστοποιούνται από διεθνή φορέα, εξειδικευμένο στην πιστοποίηση υπηρεσιών ιατρικού τουρισμού. Επιπλέον οι ιατροί και οι μονάδες, θα πρέπει να  έχουν ασφαλιστική κάλυψη για ζητήματα αστικής ευθύνης. Σημειώνεται ότι αυτό δεν θα ισχύει για τους δημόσιους ιατρικούς παρόχους.
Τέλος, το υπουργείο Τουρισμού, σε συνεργασία με τον ΕΟΤ, διενεργεί ήδη έρευνα αγοράς στο εξωτερικό προκειμένου να συνδράμει τους φορείς στην προσπάθεια τους να προσελκύσουν διεθνείς επισκέπτες για ιατρικό τουρισμό.

Παράλληλα προετοιμάζονται δράσεις για την ενημέρωση όλων των εμπλεκόμενων φορέων, με στόχο τη δημιουργία συνεργειών μεταξύ τους, ώστε η Ελλάδα να γίνει προορισμός, που θα συνδυάζονται οι ιατρικές υπηρεσίες με τα ταξίδια αναψυχής.


Προβολή της ελληνικής γαστρονομίας και city break στην Τουρκία

Με αφορμή την εκδήλωση, που πραγματοποιήθηκε, με επιτυχία στο Προξενείο Κωνσταντινούπολης για την προβολή του ελληνικού τουρισμού, με έμφαση σε γαστρονομία και city break, η υπουργός Τουρισμού Όλγα Κεφαλογιάννη αναφέρθηκε  για  νέα αφετηρία στις σχέσεις Ελλάδας-Τουρκίας στον τουριστικό τομέα.
Στην εκδήλωση από ελληνικής πλευράς παρόντες ήταν ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος, ο περιφερειάρχης Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας κ. Απόστολος Τζιτζικώστας, εκπρόσωποι άλλων περιφερειών, εκπρόσωποι του ΣΕΤΕ, του ΞΕΕ, της ΗΑΤΤΑ και πολλοί Έλληνες επιχειρηματίες.

Παρόντες από την Τουρκία ήταν  ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Πολιτισμού και Τουρισμού κ. Abdurrahman Arici, ο υπουργός Επικρατείας και Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων κ. Egemen Bagis και πολλοί Τούρκοι επιχειρηματίες, που δραστηριοποιούνται στον τουριστικό τομέα.

Η κ. Κεφαλογιάννη επισήμανε την εποικοδομητική συνεργασία που έχει αναπτυχθεί, μεταξύ του υπουργείου Τουρισμού και των αρμοδίων τουρκικών αρχών τους τελευταίους μήνες. Και πρόσθεσε ότι το 2013, ήταν μια από τις καλύτερες από πλευράς αφίξεων Τούρκων επισκεπτών στην Ελλάδα.
Τόνισε ότι στόχος της Ελλάδας είναι η Αθήνα, η Θεσσαλονίκη και οι άλλες πόλεις να προωθηθούν ως κύριοι προορισμοί city break. Ο στόχος αυτός – είπε- είναι ρεαλιστικός, καθώς υπάρχει εγγύτητα μεταξύ των δυο χωρών, δυνατότητα συχνών πτήσεων χαμηλού κόστους αλλά και εναλλακτικοί τρόποι μετάβασης (οδικώς ακτοπλοϊκώς).

Επίσης τόνισε  τη σημασία που δίνει η Ελλάδα στην αγορά της Τουρκίας, και επισήμανε ότι εδώ και ένα μήνα έχει αποσταλεί ειδικός εντεταλμένος, ώστε σε συνεργασία με τις προξενικές αρχές, να γίνουν οι κατάλληλες προετοιμασίες για την πληροφόρηση και υποδοχή των Τούρκων επιχειρηματιών του τουρισμού και των επισκεπτών από την νέα χρονιά.

Καταλήγοντας, η υπουργός Τουρισμού ανέφερε ότι οι τουριστικές ανταλλαγές των δυο χωρών αποτελούν ιδανικό τρόπο προσέγγισης των δυο λαών και ενίσχυση των ήδη δυνατών δεσμών φιλίας.

Στην εκδήλωση για την προβολή της ελληνικής γαστρονομίας παραβρέθηκαν οι γνωστοί σεφ κ.κ Λευτέρης Λαζάρου και Στέλιος Παρλιάρος, οι οποίοι εκτέλεσαν συνταγές μαγειρικής.

Συνεργασία Gulf Air και ΚΟΤ για τη διοργάνωση roadshow στην Ινδία

Συνεργασία με τον Κυπριακό Οργανισμό Τουρισμού (ΚΟΤ) εγκαινίασε πρόσφατα η Gulf Air, ο εθνικός αερομεταφορέας του Βασιλείου του Μπαχρέιν,  για τη διοργάνωση ενός roadshow στο Δελχί και τη Βομβάη της Ινδίας. Κατά τη διάρκεια των δύο μονοήμερων εκδηλώσεων, η Gulf Air και οι εκπρόσωποι της τουριστικής βιομηχανίας της Κύπρου είχαν την ευκαιρία να επιδείξουν τις τουριστικές παροχές της χώρας τους καθώς και τις πιο εξυπηρετικές επιλογές μετακίνησης από την Ινδία στην Κύπρο.

Στο roadshow παρέστη ο εθνικός αντιπρόσωπος της Gulf Air στην Ινδία, κ. A. Hussain A. Rahman, και ο πρόεδρος του Κυπριακού Οργανισμού, κ. Βασίλης Θεοχαρίδης. Η Smart Events, η Amathus Destinations και η Sea Hat Travel & Tours ήταν μερικοί από τους παρόχους τουριστικών υπηρεσιών που συμμετείχαν στο roadshow.

O εθνικός αντιπρόσωπος της Gulf Air στην Ινδία σχολίασε: “Είμαστε ιδιαίτερα ικανοποιημένοι που συνεργαζόμαστε με τον ΚΟΤ για τη διοργάνωση του roadshow στο Δελχί και στη Βομβάη της Ινδίας, μέσω του οποίου προωθείται η Κύπρος ως ο ιδανικός προορισμός διακοπών. Η Gulf Air προσφέρει άνετα δρομολόγια πτήσεων και εξαιρετικές δυνατότητες ανταπόκρισης, εντός 3 ωρών, προς το αεροδρόμιο της Λάρνακας μέσω της έδρας της στο Μπαχρέιν.

Η Κύπρος αποτελεί δημοφιλή προορισμό διακοπών στην αγορά της Ινδίας με ποικίλες προσφορές για οικογένειες και εκδρομείς. Από τις παραλίες μέχρι τα μουσεία και τους αρχαιολογικούς χώρους, η Κύπρος είναι ο ιδανικός προορισμός διακοπών για όλο το χρόνο.” 

“Εκτιμούμε ιδιαίτερα την υποστήριξη της Gulf Air ως χορηγού του roadshow μας και ανυπομονούμε να συνεργαστούμε ξανά μαζί της στο άμεσο μέλλον, με στόχο την προώθηση της Κύπρου”, σχολίασε ο κ. Θεοχαρίδης.

Αυτή τη στιγμή, η Gulf Air πετά προς την Κύπρο μέσω της έδρας της στο Μπαχρέιν από τέσσερις προορισμούς της Ινδίας: Τσενάι, Δελχί, Βομβάη και Κότσι. Η αεροπορική εταιρεία πρόκειται να προσθέσει έναν ακόμη προορισμό, το Θιρουβανανθαπούραμ της Ινδίας, ξεκινώντας με 5 πτήσεις προς την πρωτεύουσα Κεράλα στις 15 Δεκεμβρίου.

Aegean Airlines: Αποτελέσματα Εννεαμήνου 2013 &Αύξηση κύκλου εργασιών & επιβατικής κίνησης

Ο κύκλος εργασιών της ΑEGEAN το εννεάμηνο του 2013 ανήλθε σε ?532,4 εκ., παρουσιάζοντας αύξηση 21% σε σύγκριση με το 2012. Κατά την ίδια περίοδο, τα καθαρά κέρδη μετά από φόρους ανήλθαν σε ?59,2 εκ., σε σύγκριση με ζημίες ?8,7 εκ. το 2012.

Η βελτίωση του κύκλου εργασιών και του αποτελέσματος προέρχεται εξολοκλήρου από την επένδυση στην ανάπτυξη και την απόδοση του δικτύου εξωτερικού, που ενισχύθηκε περαιτέρω λόγω και των ευνοϊκών συνθηκών που επεκράτησαν στη χώρα κατά τη θερινή περίοδο, αλλά και της ωρίμανσης της παρουσίας της εταιρείας σε νέες αγορές.

Η AEGEAN μετέφερε 3,2 εκ. επιβάτες στο δίκτυο εξωτερικού την περίοδο Ιανουαρίου-Σεπτεμβρίου 2013, παρουσιάζοντας αύξηση 15% σε σχέση με το 2012. Η μέση πληρότητα των τακτικών πτήσεων στο δίκτυο εξωτερικού ενισχύθηκε κατά 6 ποσοστιαίες μονάδες στο 80%, γεγονός που συνέβαλε σημαντικά στη βελτίωση του αποτελέσματος. Η AEGEAN μετέφερε 9% περισσότερους επιβάτες στο δίκτυο εξωτερικού της Αθήνας, ενώ σημαντική αύξηση 22% επιτεύχθηκε στην κίνηση εξωτερικού από και προς τις άλλες 6 βάσεις της εταιρείας σε περιφερειακά αεροδρόμια της χώρας.
Η επιβατική κίνηση εσωτερικού παρέμεινε στα ίδια περίπου επίπεδα με το 2012 με την AEGEAN να μεταφέρει 2,1 εκ. επιβάτες. Συνολικά η AEGEAN μετέφερε 5,3 εκ. επιβάτες στο δίκτυο εσωτερικού και εξωτερικού, παρουσιάζοντας αύξηση 9% στη συνολική επιβατική κίνηση σε σχέση με το 2012.

Ο κ. Δημήτρης Γερογιάννης, Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος, ανέφερε σχετικά: «Επενδύουμε με συνέπεια στην εξωστρέφεια και την στήριξη του τουρισμού με αποτέλεσμα να ωφεληθούμε σημαντικά από την άνοδο του ρεύματος προς την χώρα. Η είσοδος σε νέες αγορές, η ωρίμανση των προσπαθειών διείσδυσης σε συνδυασμό με τις πρωτοβουλίες διαχείρισης του κόστους των προηγούμενων ετών, οδήγησαν την AEGEAN να καταγράψει σημαντική κερδοφορία το εννεάμηνο του 2013, ύστερα από μία τριετή περίοδο ζημιών.

Τα αποτελέσματα της Olympic Air, που θα είναι ζημιογόνα για το σύνολο του έτους, δεν συμπεριλαμβάνονται στα αποτελέσματα εννεαμήνου διότι η εξαγορά πραγματοποιήθηκε την 23η Οκτωβρίου 2013. Θα συμπεριληφθούν όμως και θα επιβαρύνουν τα συνολικά ετήσια αποτελέσματα. Είμαστε αισιόδοξοι για την συνέχεια καθώς τώρα, μαζί, έχουμε την ευκαιρία να δημιουργήσουμε τις βάσεις για μια νέα αναπτυξιακή δυναμική. Είναι ιδιαίτερα ενθαρρυντικό ότι ήδη με την προσφορά χαμηλότερων ναύλων και τις άμεσες παρεμβάσεις στο εσωτερικό δίκτυο, για πρώτη φορά τον Νοέμβριο του 2013, μετά από 4 χρόνια κάμψης, εμφανίζεται μικρή αύξηση της κίνησης σε αρκετούς προορισμούς εσωτερικού ».

H AEGEAN και η MARFIN υπέγραψαν την 22η Οκτωβρίου 2012 προσύμφωνο για την πώληση του 100% της OLYMPIC AIR στην AEGEAN. Η ολοκλήρωση της συναλλαγής τελούσε υπό την αίρεση της λήψης της απαιτούμενης έγκρισης από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, η οποία και εδόθη την 9η Οκτωβρίου 2013. Η υπογραφή της οριστικής συμβάσεως και η μεταβίβαση των μετοχών πραγματοποιήθηκε την 23η Οκτωβρίου 2013. Με την ολοκλήρωση της συναλλαγής η OLYMPIC AIR αποτελεί θυγατρική της εισηγμένης AEGEAN και θα ξεκινήσει άμεσα η ενοποίηση των διοικητικών υπηρεσιών, στοχεύοντας στην εκμετάλλευση των απαραίτητων συνεργειών και στην αποδοτικότερη αξιοποίηση στόλου και δικτύου των δύο εταιρειών. Οι δύο αεροπορικές εταιρείες θα διατηρήσουν η κάθε μια το όνομα και το σήμα της καθώς και διακριτό πτητικό έργο και στόλο.

Διευκρινίσεις ΟΛΠ σχετικά με την πρόσκρουση του “MSC Magnifica”

Σχετικά με δημοσιεύματα ορισμένων blogs, ότι μετά την πρόσκρουση του πλοίου “MSC Magnifica” στο κόκκινο φανάρι της εισόδου του Κεντρικού Λιμένα Πειραιά, “το λιμάνι έχει μείνει χωρίς φάρο”, από τον ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. γίνονται γνωστά τα εξής:
1.      Από την πρώτη μέρα σε συνεννόηση με την αρμόδια Υπηρεσία Φάρων του Υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας, τοποθετήθηκε κόκκινος ηλεκτρικός φανός εισόδου επί σιδερένιου τριπόδου.
2.      Ο ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. έλαβε αυθημερόν από το P&I Club της εταιρίας το εγγυημένο ποσό για την αποκατάσταση του μώλου και του μόνιμου φάρου.
3.      Η Τεχνική Υπηρεσία του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. προωθεί το έργο της διαμόρφωσης του μώλου και της ανέγερσης του φάρου μέσα από τις προβλεπόμενες διαδικασίες.

4. Όσα γράφτηκαν για γεγονότα κινδύνους ή πρόσωπα, κινούνται στη σφαίρα της φαντασίας κάποιων, που αν και Πειραιώτες, συκοφαντούν τον Πειραιά και το Λιμάνι του.

Παρασκευή, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2013

ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΟΙ TOUR OPERATORS ΣΕ INSPECTION TRIP ΣΤΗΝ ΑΘΗΝΑ

Το HellenicAmericanChamberofTourism (HACT), θα φιλοξενήσει το 3ο FAM TRIP/Networking Event, που θα πραγματοποιηθεί στην Αθήνα, 3 – 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2014.

Οι συμμετέχοντες οι οποίοι έχουν επιλεχθεί να πλαισιώσουν την διοργάνωσή του, αποτελούνται από Αμερικανούς TourOperators υψηλής ειδίκευσης, οι οποίοι δραστηριοποιούνται σε διαφορετικούς τομείς του τουρισμού, όπως Leisure και MICE,  οι οποίοι έχουν μεγάλη αγοραστική δύναμη, από έγκριτους δημοσιογράφους του Αμερικανικού Τύπου,  και από VIP ομιλητές.

Η εκδήλωση δικτύωσης, περιλαμβάνει B2B συναντήσεις,  συναντήσεις προ των προκαθορισμένων Β2Β συναντήσεων, Σεμινάρια, Networking cocktail, Conferences  με Αμερικανούς και Έλληνες VIP ομιλητές.

Περιορισμένος αριθμός συμμετεχόντων. Εγγραφές έως 15 Δεκεμβρίου ή έως ότου συμπληρωθεί ο αριθμός.

Για ευκαιρίες συμμετοχής και χορηγίας επικοινωνήστε με το HACT.

Πέμπτη, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Sofitel brings French elegance and local charm to Bali, Indonesia

Sofitel Luxury Hotels continues to expand its luxury network across Asia, with its first Indonesian property scheduled to open in Nusa Dua, Bali on 20 December 2013. 

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort offers luxurious facilities and quality service offerings that reflect the brand’s combination of French elegance and flair with warm Balinese hospitality, rich culture and fine arts. Designed by internationally acclaimed design firm, Wilson Associates, the hotel comprises 415 rooms and suites including 17 Private Villas, 22 Prestige Suites and 376 Luxury Rooms featuring Sofitel's signature MyBed, plush amenities and high tech fittings including complimentary broadband internet access.

“Sofitel is renowned for French luxury and sophistication. With the opening of Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, we’re introducing our signature French elegance and "cousu-main" tailor-made service to Indonesia. This spectacular resort is created as a unique holiday sanctuary retreat for business travellers, couples and families, offering all guests the height of resort living with world-class facilities,” said Goran Aleks, General Manager of Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Resort. 

Delectable Culinary Offerings 

Conceptualized by Blue Plates in Singapore, the resort presents an eclectic set of dining options with three restaurants, two bars and a club lounge. Inspired by a “food market” dining concept, KWEE ZEEN serves Pan Asian menu in a relaxed dining atmosphere with each atelier highlighting a different cuisine from dumplings to hot grills. CCC (Cut Catch Cucina) features multi offerings with a steakhouse, Italian Osteria and Sea Grill while Artisan highlights classic Indonesian favourites including satay grills. From LE BAR (lobby bar), to L’OH Pool Bar, and the CLUB N5 Beach Club lounge, guests can also choose from one of the three different bars offering distinctive views and settings ideal for drinks and entertainment.

Relaxing Wellness and Fitness Amenities 

Discover an oasis of well-being with the hotel’s wellness and fitness offerings allowing guests to rejuvenate in style. Guests will be able to relax in the resort’s gorgeous beachfront pool, get active at So FIT, the state-of-the-art fitness centre, or revitalize at So SPA, Sofitel’s spa concept where ancient traditions from around the world meet the refinement and skill of the latest in French cosmetology.

InspiredMeetings with a Balinese Touch 

Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort also features Sofitel’s hallmark InspiredMeetings concept that combines the latest conference technology with a passion for excellence. The resort offers an array of innovative meeting and event facilities comprising a Grand Ballroom, a Retreat Grand Room, four meeting rooms, and one boardroom, featuring state-of-the-art technology and dedicated concierges, with names taken from traditional Balinese dances and musical instruments that invoke imagination and inspiration. The hotel offers some of the largest meetings and function facilities in Bali, with the Grand Ballroom able to accommodate up to 600 guests theatre style.

A World of Fun for Kids

Fun for children and peace of mind for adults, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort offers a Kids Club packed with fun facilities and adventures. The resort’s kid’s club concept of learning, exploring, and fun is brought to life through extensive facilities comprising an outdoor kids’ pool, reading room, nap room, video game consoles and a host of activities from cooking classes, yoga for kids and various beach games.

Surrounded by swaying palms, white sand beaches and inviting turquoise waters, the much-anticipated Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort Bali brings all the key elements of a premium international beachfront hotel to one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.

Mexico City Attracts Millions in December to Celebrate La Virgen de Guadalupe

On Thursday, December 12, millions will gather at the sacred Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located in northern area of Mexico City, for an annual Mexican tradition that symbolizes sacrifice, appreciation and miracles. 

The massive event is an annual pilgrimage for Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day where the Basilica serves as the culmination point for millions who travel from all over the country and world. Along the way, devotees serve penance or make sacrifices, while gathering and celebrating together. One of the most visited Roman Catholic attractions in the world, the beautifully designed venue welcomes more than five million people on this day and over 20 million throughout the year. 

Located on the foot of Tepeyac Hill, the legend of the Basilica states that the Virgin of Guadeloupe (Virgin Mary) appeared to an indigenous farmer Juan Diego in 1531, when she asked him to build a shrine for her. When Juan Diego told the bishop about the apparition and he didn’t believe him, Juan Diego gathered flowers in his cloak at the top of the hill, which the Virgin had asked him to, and showed them to the priest. When the flowers fell out of his cloak, the Virgin Mary’s image remained imprinted as evidence. That day was December 12th. With this, her memorial was built and today, that same cloak is displayed at the altar at the Basilica as a reminder of the miracle that took place years ago. In 1990, Juan Diego was beatified and in 2002, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II. 



The Virgin of Guadalupe is an important symbol in Mexico as well as the country’s patron saint and December 12 is a national holiday. With nearly 90% of the population being Catholic, many are devoted to the Virgin Mary and her image is proudly displayed throughout the city – in markets, homes, museums and more. The Virgin of Guadalupe has been a symbol throughout Mexico’s history, including during the battle for the country’s independence as well as the Revolution. 

The Basilica that currently stands was built in 1976 and was designed by famed Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez. This modern structure replaced the previous Basilica that was built in 18th century at the same location. The building is best known for its unique circular shape that allows for views of the Virgin from any vantage point. 

Providing an expansive landscape for religious attractions, Mexico City is often ranked among the top religious destinations in the world, surpassing even the Vatican in Rome.

Digital Devices Shape Holiday Season Travel Intentions

Four in ten (38 percent) American adults intend to take at least one overnight trip between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day according to the quarterly travelhorizonsTM survey conducted by MMGY Global, the world’s largest integrated travel marketing firm. 

And this holiday travel season is increasingly defined by travelers’ growing use of smartphones and tablets. Among American leisure travelers vacationing during this period, six in ten (63 percent) will use these devices. The most popular applications are GPS functions for directions (43 percent) and finding restaurants along the way (36 percent). One quarter will use these devices to find stores for shopping (26 percent) and post comments, photos, and/or videos on social media (25 percent). And fully one in ten (11 percent) will track Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve.

“Travel service suppliers are increasingly dependent on their internet presence to capture demand during the holiday season,” said Steve Cohen, Vice President, Insights, MMGY Global. “With seven in ten American leisure travelers (72 percent) preferring to drive to their vacation destination during this period, it is essential for hotels, restaurants and attractions to be as digitally accessible as possible to attract this road trip traffic.”

Other forthcoming holiday season travel trends include:

•           Tires Over Tarmacs. Seven in ten travelers during the holiday season (72 percent) will drive their personal automobile on vacation this holiday season. Two in ten (19 percent) will fly, and one in ten (9 percent) will take a cruise.

•           Destination Preferences. While 59 percent of travelers are planning to vacation someplace warm, 41 percent are going someplace cold. Less than two in ten will take a shopping vacation (14 percent) or go to a casino (13 percent).

•           Kids Rule When It Comes To Vacations. A full 60 percent of travelers are planning a trip to visit friends and family over the holidays. However, for the 38 percent of travelers with children, four in ten picked their destination and chose what to activities to do based on their kids’ preferences. And 22 percent are planning to do something special with their children while on the trip. Pets, however, are not as lucky - less than two in 10 (17 percent) travelers intend to include them as part of the holiday entourage!

For more information about these insights or to order the full travelhorizons™ report, visithttp://www.mmgyglobal.com/research.

PATA Appoints Regional Director for China

Kate Chang and Bo Wu, in the PATA office, Beijing
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Mr Bo Wu as Regional Director-China, effective December 30, 2013. 

He replaces Ms Kate Chang, who served in the position for eight years and who has been invited to assume the position of Chairperson of the PATA China Chapter next year.

Prior to joining PATA, Mr Wu served as Executive Director of the State of Hawaii Office in Beijing. His extensive knowledge of China’s travel industry helped build successful two-way tourism, aviation, business and educational exchanges between Hawaii and China. Before his Hawaii State Office role, Mr Wu spent 10 years in the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), most notably as Deputy Director of the America and Europe Division of CNTA. 

Mr Wu is known within the travel industry in Northeast Asia for his effective relations with China’s government institutions at national and regional levels. He is acclaimed for his consummate networking and low key but proactive approach that serves both China and client partners well.

The PATA CEO, Martin Craigs, said that the new appointment demonstrates PATA’s ever-stronger relations with the China travel industry and CNTA. “Our engagement of Bo shows PATA consolidating its close relations and building on its successful track record in China, the world’s largest visitor economy. Bo’s intimate understanding of the tourism industry in China gives PATA many exciting new opportunities to build business for members.”

Mr Craigs saluted the work of outgoing China Regional Director, Kate Chang. “Kate opened the door for PATA in China and served the Association with distinction. I am very pleased that Kate will remain in the PATA family via the PATA China Chapter.”

Mr Wu will be based in PATA’s Beijing office, and looks forward to welcoming members who visit China.

Global Travel Buyers Show Support for WTM Africa

The inaugural World Travel Market Africa is attracting interest from senior buyers from around the globe, with a number of travel businesses confirming that they will attend and are looking to sign deals with African and international exhibitors. 

World Travel Market Africa will take place in Cape Town from 2-3 May 2014.

The event is on track to sign up its target of 700 exhibitors, which is prompting many buyers to attend the event. Senior Contract Manager, Thomas Cook Northern Europe (Sweden) Goran Cosic was typical of many buyers, saying: “We are looking for new contacts and knowledge about opportunities for incoming tourism. Africa is a large continent and WTM Africa provides an accessible platform to meet with the right people.”

Elsewhere Senior Director of Market Management, Eastern Med, Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean, Expedia Travel (Spain) Diego Lofeudo, noted that "Reed Exhibitions has mastered the art of putting buyers and sellers together".

He added: "WTM Africa gives us the opportunity to meet everyone at the same time under the same roof. It is extremely cost effective and scalable.”

Acacia Adventure Holidays is a UK-based Africa specialist with seventeen years experience in the region. Director Vivian McCarthy, said: “Being based in Cape Town, WTM Africa has an advantage over other more traditional exhibitions because the city has such strong visitor appeal. It gives it a big head start over anywhere I can think of.”

WTM's global reach means that buyers from further afield are also planning to attend. Canadian specialist UNIKTOUR offers bespoke upmarket holidays around the globe, with Africa already part of its product. Director Steve Corriveau said: “The opportunity to meet in person existing and potential suppliers is a must for us in order to help us provide our clients the very best service but also the most competitive prices. Having the opportunity to talk in person allows us better chance to tie down long term business relationships."

WTM Africa will be one of three co-located travel industry events at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) that form Africa Travel Week 2014.

The others will include IBTM Africa (Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings) and ILTM Africa (International Luxury Travel Market) which will take place from 28 - 30 April.

Africa Travel Week events are:

•           ILTM Africa 28 – 30 April 2014

•           IBTM Africa 28 – 30 April 2014

•           WTM Africa: 02 – 03 May 2014

Africa Travel Week will be run by the newly formed Thebe Reed Exhibitions, the new joint venture between Reed Exhibitions and leading South African exhibitions organiser Thebe Tourism Group.