Κυριακή, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Εν Συντομία

Απαγόρευση θαλάσσιας κυκλοφορίας και αγκυροβολίας πλοίων και θαλασσίων μέσων αναψυχής


Από το Γραφείο Γενικής Αστυνομίας του Λιμεναρχείου Σαρωνικού, ανακοινώνεται η απαγόρευση την 25-09-2014, κατά το χρονικό διάστημα από ώρα 16:30 έως 20:00, της κυκλοφορίας και αγκυροβολίας πλοίων και θαλασσίων μέσων αναψυχής, καθώς και κάθε άλλη δραστηριότητα στη θαλάσσια περιοχή που περικλείεται από τα στίγματα:

(Α) φ = 37ο 56,020' Β, λ = 023ο 40,62' Α
(Β) φ = 37ο 55,67' Β, λ = 023ο 39,98' Α
(Γ) φ = 37ο 54,36΄ Β, λ = 023ο 41,50' Α
(Δ) φ = 37ο 54,69΄ Β, λ = 023ο 41,85' Α

καθώς και στο θαλάσσιο χώρο ΒΑ της ως άνω οριζόμενης περιοχής από τη Μαρίνα Φλοίσβου έως τη Μαρίνα Αλίμου.

Χάρτης της ανωτέρω θαλάσσιας περιοχής έχει αναρτηθεί στο www.hcg.gr

EasyJet: Capital Markets Day & Μερισματική Απόδοση
Η easyJet αυξάνει το ποσοστό διανεμομένων κερδών στο 40%
H easyJet φιλοξένησε στις 18/9 το Capital Markets Day στο Λονδίνο. Η εκδήλωση αναμεταδόθηκες στο διαδίκτυο και η παρουσίαση είναι διαθέσιμη στην εταιρική ιστοσελίδα της. Δεν υπήρξε ενημέρωση σχετικά με τις τρέχουσες συναλλαγές κατά τη διάρκεια της παρουσίασης και η εταιρία θα εκδώσει το pre-close statement στις 3 Οκτωβρίου του 2014, όπως πάντα.
Υπό το πρίσμα της συνεχιζόμενων ισχυρών οικονομικών επιδόσεων της easyJet και την εμπιστοσύνη ότι θα συνεχιστεί και στο μέλλον, το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο αποφάσισε να αυξήσει την αναλογία κερδών του σύνηθους μερίσματος από το ένα τρίτο των κερδών, μετά από φόρους, στο 40% των κερδών μετά από φόρους από το οικονομικό έτος που λήγει στις 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014.
Περαιτέρω λεπτομέρειες σχετικά με τα τακτικά μερίσματα σε σχέση με το έτος που λήγει 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014, θα ανακοινωθούν με τα πλήρη αποτελέσματα έτους στις 18 Νοεμβρίου 2014. Το μέρισμα θα υπόκειται στην έγκριση των μετόχων στην Ετήσια Γενική Συνέλευση της Εταιρείας στις 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2015, και θα πρέπει να καταβληθεί στους μετόχους στις αρχές του ημερολογιακού έτους 2015.

Ενεργή η συμμετοχή του ΟΛΠ στο Seatrade Med

Οι εκπρόσωποι των Ενώσεων Κρουαζιέρας με την ηγεσία της ESPO

Στο Seatrade Med, το οποίο διεξήχθη στη Βαρκελώνη από 15-18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014 συμμετείχε ενεργά ο ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. με δικό του περίπτερο και συνομιλίες σε όλα τα επίπεδα αποφάσεων για την κρουαζιέρα.
 Το Seatrade Med αποτελεί μετά το Seatrade Miami το μεγαλύτερο παγκόσμιο γεγονός κρουαζιέρας, με συμμετοχή όλων των εταιρειών κρουαζιέρας, των μεγάλων λιμανιών και των εθνικών αρχών λιμένων (port authorities), των διεθνών ομίλων (CLIA, ESPO, MedCruise) και εκατοντάδων εκπροσώπων επιχειρήσεων από το χώρο της λιμενικής βιομηχανίας.

Στο διήμερο του Συνεδρίου υπήρξαν επαφές, διαπραγματεύσεις και συμφωνίες μεταξύ ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. και κορυφαίων στελεχών των εταιρειών κρουαζιέρας, καθώς και εθνικών αντιπροσωπειών και λιμανιών.
Ιδιαίτερη εντύπωση προκάλεσε και σημαντικές συμφωνίες ολοκληρώθηκαν με αφορμή το νέο λιμάνι κρουαζιέρας του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε., το οποίο καθιστά από το 2017 τον Πειραιά κύριο κόμβο  (hub) της Αν. Μεσογείου.
Ο πρόεδρος του Λιμένα Βαρκελώνης Sixte Cambra, η νέα πρόεδρος της ΜedCruise Carla Salvado και οι κ.κ. Γιώργος Ανωμερίτης και Στ. Χατζάκος.

Κατά τη διάρκεια του Συνεδρίου οι Ενώσεις λιμένων κρουαζιέρας Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway και MedCruise, υπέγραψαν σε συνεργασία με την ESPO μνημόνιο στρατηγικής συνεργασίας, δημιουργώντας έτσι το Ευρωπαϊκό Δίκτυο Ενώσεων Λιμένων Κρουαζιέρας και Επιβατηγών Λιμένων. Όπως τόνισε η Γενική Γραμματέας της ESPO κ. Isabelle Rykbost και ο Γενικός Γραμματέας της MedCruise κ. Θάνος Πάλλης, το Δίκτυο φιλοδοξεί να ενδυναμώσει τη φωνή των λιμανιών κρουαζιέρας και ακτοπλοΐας στα θεσμικά ευρωπαϊκά όργανα, μιας και μέχρι σήμερα σ’ αυτά την κυρίαρχη θέση είχαν τα εμπορευματικά terminals. Έτσι, η ESPO για πρώτη φορά προωθεί θεσμικά μέσω του Δικτύου την κρουαζιέρα, για την οποία και θα παρουσιάσει σύντομα έναν Κώδικα Καλής Πρακτικής για τα λιμάνια κρουαζιέρας και ακτοπλοΐας. Είναι αυτονόητο ότι οι αποφάσεις αυτές ευνοούν σημαντικά τον Πειραιά, αφού στα γενικά του πλέον μεγέθη και επιρροή, θα υπολογίζονται πέραν των containers και του car-terminal η κρουαζιέρα και η ακτοπλοΐα, οι οποίες αποτελούν κυρίαρχα μεγέθη για τον ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. και το λιμάνι του Πειραιά.

   Τέλος, στα πλαίσια της ενίσχυσης του Πειραιά ως home-porting υπήρχαν περαιτέρω συζητήσεις συνεργασιών με τους μεγάλους ομίλους κρουαζιερόπλοιων, οι οποίες εκτιμάται ότι θα οριστικοποιηθούν εντός του Οκτωβρίου 2014.


Παρασκευή, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Norwegian Escape keel laying held at Meyer Werft


Wiesbaden, September 19, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft today celebrated the keel laying of Norwegian Escape at Meyer Werft’s state of the art facility in Papenburg, Germany. During the ceremony, block 35/41, the first of 86 blocks that will comprise the 164.600 gross ton vessel, was lifted into the covered building dock, officially marking the start of the ship’s construction. Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian’s largest ship to date, carrying 4.200 passengers, set for delivery in October 2015.
Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Executive Officer, was on hand in the dock and laid the traditional “lucky coin”, before the first block, weighing 400 tons, was placed by a massive crane. A special commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities.
“Norwegian Escape will be our largest and most innovative ship to date, building on the phenomenal success of Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway”, said Sheehan. “We are looking forward to seeing this ship take shape over the next year and welcoming her to our fleet in October 2015.”
Norwegian Escape is the first ship in her class, and is being built by Meyer Werft through a highly efficient construction process that will deliver the ship of 164.600 gross tons in just over 19 months from steel cutting to delivery.
“We are proud to begin the construction of Norwegian Cruise Line’s first Breakaway Plus vessel and continue our long-standing partnership,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. “Norwegian Escape will be a spectacular ship and it is our honour to bring the dreams and innovations of the Norwegian team to life.”
Norwegian Escape will begin weekly 7-night cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on November 14, 2015. The ship will be the largest to homeport year-round in Miami, carrying 4.200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 325 metres in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly. Norwegian Escape will boast all of the exciting and innovative features found on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, plus a number of new spaces and interactive experiences that are yet to be announced. Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship-within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travellers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.
Photo caption:From left to right: Stephan Schmees (Project Manager Meyer Werft), Kevin Sheehan (President and Chief Executive Officer Norwegian Cruise Line), Christer Karlsson (Senior Vice President of New Build Norwegian Cruise Line), Bernard Meyer (Managing Partner of Meyer Werft)

The Most Immersive 4-D Virtual Travel Experience Arrives, Taking Guests to Parts Known and Unknown as Marriott Hotels Imagines the Future of Travel with Oculus Rift Technology


In its journey to explore the future of travel, Marriott Hotels is taking an unprecedented leap into virtual reality by teleporting travelers to the beaches of Hawaii and downtown London. The brand partnered with Academy Award-winning Framestore to create Marriott Hotel’s virtual travel experience, giving consumers a fully immersive, 4-D sensory experience based in Oculus Rift technology. An industry pioneer, Marriott Hotels is embracing innovative technologies to redefine the future of travel for generations to come. And now, travel enthusiasts can see, hear and feel what it’s like to be in destinations halfway across the globe and at Marriott Hotels of the future – all within its traveling teleporter coming to eight cities across the U.S. beginning today in New York.
 
The groundbreaking program is anchored by the Marriott Hotels virtual travel experience Teleporter – a phone booth-like structure that takes cues from iconic science fiction books and movies. The Teleporter features the Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset, wireless headphones and suite of onboard 4-D sensory elements.


To create a virtual travel experience that truly feels like “being there,” Marriott Hotels turned to its partners, video effects and creative content studio Framestore and experiential marketing agency Relevent, to pioneer several new virtual reality innovations. This included developing a new, unparalleled technique for capturing 3-D, 360 degree live-action video, and then mixing that video with photo real CGI (computer-generated imagery) and 4-D elements such as heat, wind and mist. The result is an unprecedented depth of immersion, a virtual reality experience that delivers the feeling of actually traveling to Hawaii’s Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach in Maui and London, seen from the dizzying heights of Tower 42. To learn more and see a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the virtual reality travel experience, go to TravelBrilliantly.com/our-innovations/oculus-get-teleported.

“Marriott Hotels is pioneering the use of innovative technologies that will transform the guest experience to heights unseen in the current reality experience in unprecedented ways, “said Michael Dail, vice president, Marriott Hotels Brand Marketing. “Marriott seized on virtual reality and teleportation to give the next generation of travelers the clear cut notion that more amazing travel experiences are coming and to encourage them to co-create the future of travel with us on TravelBrilliantly.com, where their best ideas enter Marriott’s innovation pipeline. Together, we are pushing the limits of what is possible.”

During the Marriott Virtual Travel Experience, guests enter the Teleporter, where they will put on virtual reality headsets and headphones to be completely immersed in a virtual world. From there, they will visit a virtual version of a new Marriott Greatroom lobby, and then virtually travel to a black sand beach in Maui, Hawaii and to the top of a skyscraper in downtown London, England. While “traveling,” 4-D elements kick in – the feeling of the warm sun on your skin, breeze in your hair, rumble of waves under foot and ocean spray in your face – to make the experience feel extremely lifelike.

The Teleporter is touring eight select Marriott properties from September to November, offering hotel guests and the public the chance to teleport themselves at Marriott Hotels in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco.

  • September 19-23: New York Marriott Marquis
  • September 26-29: Boston Marriott Cambridge
  • October 2-5: Marriott Marquis Washington DC
  • October 9-12: Atlanta Marriott Marquis
  • October 17-20: Dallas Marriott City Center
  • October 24-27: San Diego Marriott Marquis
  • November 6-9: San Jose Marriott
  • November 13-16: San Francisco Marriott Marquis

Since the launch of Marriott Hotels’ transformational journey with its Travel Brilliantly campaign in June 2013 – Marriott Hotels has been engaging guests, experts and influencers to join with the brand in co-creating the future state of travel by asking “How can we make travel more brilliant?” The results are tangible with innovations including the brand’s new stylish, modern Greatroom lobbies, mobile check-in and checkout from anywhere, a mobile app for chatting between guests and property hosts, a healthy vending machine with fresh food on demand and digital power sources to juice up devices. Marriott is also co-creating with unexpected partners like the MIT Mobile Experience Lab. Marriott and MIT students – future travelers – co-created Six Degrees to reinvent the hotel lobby as a social hub, using a mobile app to connect people with similar backgrounds and interests.

Courtyard by Marriott and USA Football Hit The Road in Search for Inspiration


Courtyard by Marriott teams up with independent nonprofit USA Football to pay tribute to individuals who contribute to youth success in its “Inspiring Greatness” recognition program. Launched last year, Inspiring Greatness will honor 28 of the most deserving youth coaches and volunteers in the country with $1,000 grants for new equipment to improve player safety – more than double the number of recipients in 2013. At the end of this season, USA Football and Courtyard, will select four finalists for a chance to win a grand prize of an additional $4,000 in grants. Marriott is the Official Hotel Partner of USA Football, and this program is an ideal extension of that partnership.

“Courtyard has a long tradition of giving back to the community and the “Inspiring Greatness” program enables us to show our appreciation and support for coaches and volunteers who help develop and mentor children,” said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott. “We are excited to partner with USA Football in this nationwide search and look forward to celebrating these dedicated leaders who inspire us all.”

Thirteen of the winners from select markets will be invited to attend Courtyard’s tailgate events as special guests, where they will have the chance to meet a local NFL legend. In addition to grants, the winners will also receive a commemorative helmet.

“Youth and high school football coaches do so much more than teach a game to our kids,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “They’re role models whose positive words and actions can make a significant difference in the life of a young person. We’re proud to join Courtyard to salute these women and men who personify the sport’s inherent values in extraordinary ways.”

American Airlines Group Announces Proposed Offering Of Unsecured Senior Notes


American Airlines Group Inc. (the “Company”) today announced a proposed private offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes due 2019.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

The notes will be offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and to certain non-U.S. persons in transactions outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes will not be registered under the Securities Act or any other securities laws of any jurisdiction and will not have the benefit of any exchange offer or other registration rights. The notes may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the notes nor shall there be any sale of the notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This news release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.

GBTA Announces Emirates President, Sir Tim Clark as Featured Speaker During GBTA Conference 2014 | Berlin


The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry and German business travel association VDR – today announced that Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, will be a featured speaker at Centre Stage at the GBTA Conference 12-14 November in Berlin, which this year incorporates VDR’s autumn symposium.

Sir Tim will talk to delegates about Emirates’ strategy in the context of the developing business travel market and most topically his views on airline safety in the wake of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 disaster.
“Sir Tim Clark’s analytical and route planning skills have been instrumental in transforming Emirates from a two craft carrier to a leading international carrier,” said Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s Regional Director for EMEA. “I am honoured to welcome him as a featured speaker at the conference this year and am delighted that he will share the stage with fellow pioneer and aviation alchemist Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary. Both airlines were set up in 1985, prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and have thrived despite incredibly difficult trading conditions. I think the contrast of these two very different yet highly successful airlines will provide delegates with a unique insight to the future of aviation.”

Sir Tim Clark commented: “As facilitators of international travel we have to respond to the dynamic global economic landscape, technological advances, and consumer expectations. It is not only about the products and services offered by airlines to meet changing demand, but also about industry-wide protocols for operations and safety. I look forward to an interesting discussion at GBTA on the future of aviation and business travel management.”
Sir Tim joined Emirates in 1985 and became President of the airline in 2003.

The event brings together GBTA’s annual conference in Europe with German partner association VDR’s autumn symposium to create Europe’s foremost business travel conference, expected to attract more than 700 delegates from over 20 countries.

A320 Family delivers the best operating costs and passenger comfort


easyJet has placed an order for 27 additional current engine option A320s, taking its combined total order for the type to 315 aircraft. With an all Airbus fleet, easyJet selected the A320 Family aircraft as it delivers the best operating economics and the roomiest cabin for unequalled passenger comfort in the single aisle category.
 
“We are bringing new aircraft into the fleet as we continue to see a significant number of new profitable opportunities in our core markets in the near term and in order to maintain our cost advantage,” said Carolyn McCall, easyJet Chief Executive.“easyJet is a demanding customer and this repeat order is as solid an endorsement as you can get for the A320’s proven productivity, reliability and comfort. The A320 Family has the widest cabin which also helps with faster airport turnaround times,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

 
The A320 Family aircraft already offer the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft and the Sharklet wing tip devices help to reduce fuel burn by a further four per cent and to increase range by 100nm. Currently easyJet operates a fleet of some 225 A320 Family aircraft. In June 2013, EasyJet became a customer for the A320neo, with an order for 100 aircraft. Altogether, with this latest order, easyJet’s combined total order for all members of the A320 Family rises to 415 aircraft.

 
easyJet is the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe and operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks. The airline is the UK’s largest by numbers of passengers carried. The A320 Family is the world’s most successful with nearly 11,000 ordered and over 6,200 delivered to over 400 customers and operators.

Travel Advisory for Customers in Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos


Southwest Airlines/AirTran Airways continues to cooperate with Mexican Officials in SJD to transport U.S. Citizens to the United States. Customers should remember to bring U.S. passports and travel itineraries to the airport.

Customers holding a reservation for travel to/from SJD beginning Sunday, September 14 through Tuesday, September 30 may request a refund of unused air fare or reschedule their flights in accordance with our accommodation procedures.

Hotel industry in U.S. showed enterprising results for the week ending on Sept.13

The U.S. hotel industry recorded positive results in the three key performance measurements during the week of 7-13 September 2014, according to data from STR.

In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rate rose 4.5 percent to 68.0 percent. Average daily rate increased 6.9 percent to finish the week at US$117.73. Revenue per available room for the week was up 11.8 percent to finish at US$80.04.




Of the Top 25 Markets, 17 reported double-digit RevPAR increases. Seven markets reported RevPAR growth of more than 20.0 percent: Chicago, Illinois (+36.2 percent to US$154.88); Seattle, Washington (+31.2 percent to US$143.22); Detroit, Michigan (+29.2 percent to US$74.53); Denver, Colorado (+28.1 percent to US$115.14); Washington, D.C. (+26.7 percent to US$127.73); Atlanta, Georgia (+23.1 percent to US$64.58); and New Orleans, Louisiana (+22.1 percent to US$75.73). St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois, reported the only RevPAR decrease, falling 2.3 percent to US$68.35.


Detroit rose 16.4 percent to 78.2 percent in occupancy, reporting the largest increase in that metric, followed by Washington, D.C. (+14.0 percent to 77.0 percent), and Atlanta (+12.4 percent to 67.5 percent). St. Louis fell 4.6 percent to 68.3 percent in occupancy, posting the largest decrease in that metric.


Chicago (+21.3 percent to US$175.37) and Seattle (+19.1 percent to US$157.21) achieved the largest ADR growth for the week. None of the top markets posted a decrease in ADR.
Source: STR.

Western markets driving continued growth


Visitor growth from the western markets has pushed up international visitor arrivals for the year-ending August 2014 to 2.8 million, up 5.3 per cent year-on-year.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager Corporate Affairs Deborah Gray, says while the month of August was flat, year-on-year holiday arrivals are up 7.2 per cent and the increases seen out of the Western markets is particularly positive
For the year ending August, holiday arrivals out of the US are up 14.2 per cent and Germany up 21.6 per cent. Even France is showing growth with holiday arrivals up 19.2 per cent for the same period.


“As we approach the final instalment of The Hobbit Trilogy, our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign activity is stepping up a gear. With some exciting opportunities to leverage the event on the horizon, we expect to see this trend continue.”

Last week Air New Zealand announced they will increase capacity on their Auckland-Los Angeles route by 20 per cent over the northern summer (March – October) in 2015, providing an additional 56,000 seats for the period.

“This great news is a further reflection of the growing demand between North America and New Zealand,” says Deborah.

Year-on-year growth has been further bolstered by holiday arrivals out of Tourism New Zealand’s target Asian markets with China (up 7.0 per cent), Korea (up 3.1 per cent), Singapore (up 19.9 per cent) and Malaysia (up 18.2 per cent), all in growth.

“This month New Zealand played host to China’s biggest reality TV show, Dad, where are we going? The resulting 200 minutes of footage will be viewed across China to millions of viewers, with the first of two episodes set to go live next week.
“As a result we anticipate even more interest and conversation about New Zealand in this important market.”
Tourism New Zealand’s priority emerging markets are performing well overall with India up an impressive 16.3 per cent and Brazil up 14.9 year-on-year.
“Our number one source market Australia has maintained year-on-year growth with holiday arrivals up 4.7 per cent for the year ending August.
“Earlier this month we launched the North Island touring campaign ‘Every day a different journey’ – one of our largest and most successful campaigns in Australia, which will see the wonders of the North Island promoted across the ditch,” says Deborah.
The campaign will be further leveraged through Tourism New Zealand’s #NZdronie activity which will see a drone (remote controlled flying camera) tour the North Island allowing visitors to take their own unique eight second video to share with their social media followers.

Port Everglades Celebrates 2014-2015 Cruise Season


Port Everglades will kick off its 2014-2015 winter cruise season with several new events.
The new events includes hosting the traditional naming ceremony for Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess, welcoming Resorts Worlds' Bimini SuperFast day cruise, and celebrating the grand opening of its completely renovated Cruise Terminal 4.
Princess Cruises’ Ocean Princess and Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Conquest will also make their first-time calls at Port Everglades this winter, with Carnival Conquest continuing to sail year-round through the summer. A total of five ships will embark on world and grand cruises from Port Everglades this year, allowing guests to enjoy Greater Fort Lauderdale as a sunny vacation destination.
In total, Port Everglades anticipates 3.9 million cruise passenger moves (embark, debark and in-transit) aboard 42 different cruise ships during the 2014-2015 season.

Construction of $500-Million Terminal Modernization starts at LAX T1


Construction of the $508-million Terminal 1 Modernization Program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) kicked off on Tuesday.
A groundbreaking ceremony featuring Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mike Bonin, City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Los Angeles Airport Commission President Sean O. Burton, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey, and Southwest Airlines Vice President of Airport Affairs Bob Montgomery took place at LAX
The modernization of the aging terminal, built in the early 1980s, is expected to transform the entire Passenger experience from the curb to the gate, and will include a new 12-lane security screening checkpoint; a fully automated checked-baggage inspection and sortation system; a new and expanded dining and retail collection featuring activated gate hold rooms with lounge-style seating; refurbished arrival/baggage claim area; replacement of the passenger boarding bridges; renovations to airline support office space; modernized aircraft parking/apron pavement and hydrant fueling system; improvements to the building facade; and relocation of the main terminal entrances to the west end of the building to ease traffic congestion.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be phased to minimize inconvenience to Customers, Employees, and guests.
"The Terminal 1 improvement project will bring a better passenger experience and 1,500 construction jobs to LAX," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "As part of our $7 billion investment in LAX, we're remodeling every terminal and creating 40,000 jobs. Because Los Angeles deserves a world-class airport."
"The partnership we have with Southwest Airlines will create the world-class experience we want for all LAX passengers," LAWA Executive Director Lindsey said. "As our passenger base continues to grow and change, we are working hard to increase efficiency and accommodate their needs today and in the future."
When completed, the Passenger's journey from curb to aircraft boarding bridge will be transformed and designed to provide a more efficient and exciting travel experience. By reorganizing the interior uses of the building and shifting the ticketing lobby and main entrances to the west, passenger drop off and pick up areas are anticipated to improve, as well as congestion in front of Terminal 1 reduced.
Once inside the terminal, Passengers will enjoy a brightened Southwest Airlines ticketing lobby with sleek design features and additional windows for more natural light. New, more-efficient security screening systems and added lanes are anticipated to shorten federal passenger security screening lines.

The Luxury Collection Celebrates the 140th Anniversary of Hotel Imperial in Vienna


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide unveiled the restored public spaces at Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna.
The one-year, $14M restoration of the hotel’s ground floor, which includes the landmark lobby, a signature restaurant, destination bar, Imperial Cafe and Imperial Torte shop, and private event venues, was led by esteemed British interior designer Alex Kravetz, in close collaboration with the Bundesdenkmalamt (Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments).
Hotel Imperial, with its palatial splendour and Italian neo-Renaissance facade, has been the residence of choice for royalty and high society visiting Vienna for the past 140 years. Originally built in 1863 as a private residence for Prince Philipp of Württemberg, the palace was converted into Hotel Imperial in time for the 1873 Universal Exhibition. Situated on the iconic Ringstrasse (Ring Boulevard), neighbouring the legendary Musikverein, Hotel Imperial is within a short walk of major attractions such as the Vienna State Opera, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Secession Building.
The original passage connecting the hotel to the Musikverein has been completely re-modelled and enlarged during the restoration. Newly re-opened, the historic Composers Entrance provides guests with a stately departure experience while en route to a performance at the world-renowned concert hall, home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
At the heart of the hotel is 1873 – HalleNsalon, an elegant lobby bar reminiscent of a private library. The magnificent high-ceilinged bar features sparkling crystal chandeliers and restored angel friezes, beneath which guests can enjoy intimate conversations and performances by emerging Viennese musical talents.
Cafe Imperial Wien – known as the place in the heart of Vienna where philosophers, literati, artists and businessmen met for decades – provides the perfect setting to experience the iconic Viennese coffee house culture. Here, guests can taste or purchase the hotel’s famous Imperial Torte. Kravetz commented, “We wanted to create a brighter and more open ambiance while retaining the legendary atmosphere of Café Imperial Wien.” To recreate the cafe’s historic setting, the distinctive chairs and narrow window tables fashioned by Oswald Haerdtl for the cafe in 1936 have been restored while the new parquet floor and light fixtures reflect the original interiors by the Austrian architect and designer. Cafe Imperial Wien has also been expanded and features rare, book-match marble floors, integrating the new space with a show kitchen and Imperial Torte display.
The new OPUS Restaurant combines architect Josef Hoffmann’s distinctive Viennese style from the 1930s with modern aesthetics. Passing through the restored entrance, guests enter an exquisite environment featuring original burr walnut paneling, crystal chandeliers and red candle wall lights. An inspired addition to the Viennese gourmet scene, OPUS reinterprets Austrian classics using contemporary techniques and lighter flavours. The menu features premium regional produce such as wild trout, Alpine beef and heirloom vegetables.

Starwood’s Aloft Brand to Debut in El Paso, Texas


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc announced plans for its leading-edge Aloft brand to debut in El Paso, Texas.
Aloft El Paso Downtown is scheduled to open in July 2016, featuring 100 spacious, loft-like rooms, forward-thinking technology and a vibrant, social atmosphere.
Aloft El Paso Downtown will be centrally located near numerous restaurants, bars and shops, and the University of Texas at El Paso. Less than 15 minutes from El Paso International Airport (ELP), the hotel will provide easy access to leading attractions such as El Paso museum of Art, El Paso Performing Arts Center, Western Playland Amusement Park and Plaza Theatre. Hotel amenities will include an indoor pool, W XYZ bar, 24-hour fitness center and 3,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for both business meetings and social gatherings.
The Aloft brand’s innovative and exclusive initiatives set it apart. Aloft Hotels, the tech-forward, innovation hub for millennial-minded travelers, recently announced the appointment of A.L.O. as the hotel brand’s first Botlr (robotic butler) at its Cupertino property. This forward thinking innovation makes Aloft the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both front and back of house duties. Additionally, every Aloft Hotel around the world offers live, free access to local emerging artists as well as some of the hottest bands with Live at Aloft Hotels programming at the W XYZ® bars.

Aeroflot partners with Carlson Rezidor


Russia’s largest international hotel operator and leading airline company join hands to reward loyalty of their international guests.
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the leading international hotel operator in Russia, CIS and Baltics, and Aeroflot, the leading Russian air carrier, are proud to announce a partnership for the Aeroflot Bonus frequent flyer programme. Members of Aeroflot Bonus can now earn bonus miles at Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels around the globe.
The new partnership is a valuable addition to Carlson Rezidor’s strong portfolio of partners rewarding the loyalty of its guests. Aeroflot Bonus programme registered members will be able to earn 500 miles for their stay at Radisson Blu and 250 bonus miles for their stay at Park Inn by Radisson. Accumulated bonus miles can be used to book premium flights or upgrade to a higher class on Aeroflot flights.
Tom Flanagan, Area Vice President for Eastern Europe at Carlson Rezidor: “We are happy to welcome Aeroflot, the major Russian airline, as a Carlson Rezidor global partner. We are always looking for new opportunities to expand the list of additional services for our guests. Both our companies’ leading positions on the Russian market, a wide network of destinations that overlap by 50% and the recent expansion of Carlson Rezidor’s presence to Russia’s two biggest airports – all of this will definitely bring new benefits to our guests and make their trips even more convenient and efficient.”

Deloitte survey: Where there is reward for travel, there is risk


NEW YORK - Three-quarters (75%) of frequent travelers expect their loyalty program data to be secured to at least the same standard as a financial institution – but only 33% feel their accounts are secure enough, according to a new Deloitte study, "Loyalty data security: Are hospitality and travel companies managing the risks of their rewards programs?"

Few frequent travelers appear fully aware of the wider risks involved when loyalty data – including travel schedules and other personal data – is lost or stolen. Roughly one in seven (15%) are simply concerned that a breach would result in a loss of loyalty points, while the majority of travelers (76%) worry about the loss of credit card numbers.

"Our study indicates a disconnect between travelers' expectations and perceptions about the security of their personal data," said Charles Carrington, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP in the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure practice and author of the study. "Travelers consider protection of their physical security a basic expectation when they're in a hotel or in the air. This responsibility now extends into the cyber world. Travel companies increasingly request that customers share a detailed level of personal information. These same companies need to roll up their sleeves and move beyond mere policy compliance to ensure that customer data is truly secure. Failure to do so could not only frustrate, even endanger, travelers, but also cause serious reputational damage and revenue loss."

Personal Preferences: Drawing the Line
While rewards programs are often a critical way for airlines and hotels to build customer loyalty, simply offering frequent traveler points is no longer enough. As a result, airlines and hotels are continuously looking for ways to personalize programs and tailor travel experiences. However, the study reveals the low level of trust in these companies' security standards is restricting the amount and type of information travelers are willing to share.

Most consumers (93%) are willing to share travel preferences such as seating choices, and nearly three- quarters (74%) are comfortable sharing their food and drink preferences. However, many draw the line at sharing more personal information, such as hobbies (32%), geolocation (28%), and health and fitness records (7%).

Despite millennials typically being more receptive to sharing personal data with companies, the study revealed only a slight increase in the level of trust with loyalty programs – 37% will share hobbies, little more than one-third (34%) will share geolocation, and just 14% are comfortable sharing health and fitness records with loyalty programs. Overall, only 40% of millennials believe their personal information is secure.

This reluctance to provide more personal details could limit the degree to which airlines and hotels will be able to customize experiences to engage their most valuable patrons and drive repeat business.

A Breach of Data is a Breach of Brand Loyalty and Trust
The study showed that any breach of loyalty data would have a significant impact on the brand involved. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of survey respondents said that should such a breach occur, they would be less likely to use the company responsible, and 15% said they would be a lot less likely to do so.

"Frequent travelers are often the most valuable customer segment for hotels and airlines," continued Carrington. "Companies that can persuade these customers to share detailed information about their interests, hobbies and preferences will create a highly valuable and continuous cycle: the more information they gather, the more they will be able to personalize the travel experience, and the tighter their bond with customers. But if they fail to live up to their custodial responsibility to secure customer information, that bond can be shattered in an instant."

Educating and Engaging the Customer
The study revealed that the lack of confidence consumers have in the security of their frequent traveler accounts is not leading them to be more vigilant in their security practices. Only 21% of survey respondents change their passwords at least once per quarter, and more than half (53%) use the same password for other accounts.

Additionally, 41%of consumers indicated that they had little or no knowledge at all about travel companies' privacy and security policies of their frequent traveler programs.

These findings present an opportunity for travel companies to educate and engage their customers, communicating with them more openly, making them aware of enhancements to privacy and security measures, and explaining how their data will be used and how it will benefit them. Ideas to improve traveler trust may include rewarding points to customers who regularly change their passwords, offering cyber security monitoring services, or offering reminders or links to change passwords.

Πέμπτη, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Carrentals.co.uk Increases Car Hire Search Capabilities


Online car hire price comparator www.Carrentals.co.uk has increased the number of car hire locations that it searches from 15,000 to 2.5 million – resulting in a consumer offering of what is believed to be the largest database of any global online comparison or car hire supplier website.
The travel website is taking aim at its major competitors, including Expedia and Travel Supermarket, with the new update, which has significantly increased their reach and ability to get customers the best deal on car hire anywhere in the world.
Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of www.Carrentals.co.uk said: “We are making some exciting updates to our website in the coming months, with this being one of the first to be implemented. The extended database will benefit both consumers and our suppliers. Our aim is to remain one step ahead of all other comparison sites so we can truly say that consumers will not find car hire cheaper than the quotes available on our website.”
Alongside the new database, the website has introduced a new radial search function to its system. This will search within a 20 mile radius for the next available car hire location if a user enters a destination where there is no availability. As well as automatically extending the search radius to offer customers an alternative location, it states how many miles away the alternative pick-up location is, displaying the results in order of proximity.
The capability to search 2.5 million locations is thought to be the most of any global car hire comparison site.

Infinite Luxury Partners with Bulgari

bulgari luxary hoteln in Sanghai

Infinite Luxury, Asia’s sales, marketing and public relations specialist for the most prestigious hotels and resorts worldwide, announced its partnership with Bulgari Hotel & Residences for its property in London.
bulgari-hotels-logoFollowing Giorgio Armani, Lungarno Collection (Ferragamo Salvatore) and Moschino, Bulgari will be the fourth high-profile designer hotel brand Infinite Luxury takes on to increase market share and brand awareness in Asia for.
“The designer hotel trend has evolved in recent years from luxury hotels taking collaborations with designers to premier lifestyle brands opening their own branded hotels”, says Joanne Tang, Managing Director of Infinite Luxury. “This allows brands to create a 360 degree experience for their clientele. In addition to life, eat and breath everything related to their loved labels, guests can expect the same finesse and attention to detail that is associated with a certain luxury brand throughout their stay.
Infinite Luxury has set up the sales and marketing distribution channels throughout Asia, from its offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, positioning over 70 hospitality projects since its establishment in 2010. The Company will represent Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London, as its sales and marketing partner in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Holland America Line has revealed the name of its new cruise ship


Holland America Line has revealed the name of its new 99,500-ton cruise ship slated for delivery in February 2016.
Its name will be ms Koningsdam. While the name pays homage to the company’s rich heritage and deep roots in the Netherlands, it also reflects a new era with a bold name that is an original in Holland America Line’s 141-year history. The 2,650-passenger ship is an evolution in design for the line — a new Pinnacle Class — and is being built at Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard.
Since 1883 every Holland America passenger vessel has borne the “dam” suffix, and ms Koningsdam carries on that tradition. The word koning means “king” in Dutch, and the name celebrates the majestic new ship. The name also pays honor to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, the first king of the Netherlands in over a century.
Holland America Line has a long, proud history with the Netherlands. All 15 premium cruise ships fly the Dutch flag as they sail throughout the world, to more than 400 ports of call. The historic greatness of the line’s Dutch heritage is shared with nearly one million guests each year. And the line has many Dutch employees, including most of the fleet’s captains and officers.
Many of Holland America Line’s ships have been christened by members of the Dutch Royal Family over the past 75 years. Most recently, ms Nieuw Amsterdam was christened by Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima in 2010. And in 2008 ms Eurodam was christened by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
“In choosing the name Koningsdam, we are honoring our rich Dutch heritage while reflecting that we’re entering a new era as a company,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of the Holland America Group. “This new Pinnacle Class ship will be our largest, most contemporary vessel, and it was only fitting to give it a name that embodies great achievement for the future, while embracing timeless tradition.”
Holland America Line was founded in the Netherlands in 1873 as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company headquartered in Rotterdam. The original headquarters building still stands today as the Hotel New York on the Wilhelmina Pier, with the company’s European headquarters located nearby.
New design for a new class of ship
When it debuts in February 2016, ms Koningsdam will be a new type of ship for Holland America Line. At 99,500 gross tons and carrying 2,650 guests and 1,025 crew members, the vessel is the largest ever built for the company. The increased size provides more opportunities to add new public spaces and venues, and several innovative features will debut on ms Koningsdam. Familiar spaces and amenities currently featured across the Holland America Line fleet will also be found on the new ship.
To bring a fresh vision to ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line tapped Adam D. Tihany, one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. Tihany joins distinguished maritime designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten who worked with Holland America Line on ms Nieuw Amsterdam and ms Eurodam. The two firms will create a modern and contemporary ambiance while incorporating Holland America Line’s classic hallmarks.

World Tourism Organization says International tourism up in First Half of 2014


International tourist arrivals grew by 4.6% in the first half of 2014 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
unwtoDestinations worldwide received some 517 million international tourists between January and June 2014, 22 million more than in the same period of 2013.
Growth was strongest in the Americas (+6%) followed by Asia and the Pacific and Europe (both at +5%). By subregion, South Asia and Northern Europe (both +8%) were the best performers, together with North-East Asia and Southern Mediterranean Europe (both +7%).
“These results show that tourism is consolidating the positive performance of recent years, providing development and economic opportunities worldwide”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Indeed, despite geopolitical and economic challenges, the number of international tourist arrivals has grown by 5% a year on average since 2010, a trend that has translated into more economic growth, more exports and more jobs”, he added.
So far, results are in line with the UNWTO forecast issued at the beginning of 2014. For the full year 2014, international tourist arrivals are expected to increase by 4% to 4.5% worldwide, above UNWTO’s long-term forecast of 3.8% per year for the period 2010 to 2020.
The Americas leads growth
Growth picked up significantly in the Americas (+6%). All four subregions benefited, with North America, boosted by Mexico, Central and South America all increasing by 6%, and the Caribbean by 5%. In South America (+6%), the hosting of the Football World Cup in Brazil contributed to the positive results in the subregion – receipts from international tourism in Brazil grew by 10% in the first seven months of the year with a 60% increase in June and July.
Asia and the Pacific (+5%) consolidated the trend of recent years, with South Asia (+8%) and North-East Asia (+7%) in the lead and major destinations such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia posting double-digit growth rates. The region has been benefiting from ongoing economic growth, continuous investment in infrastructure and visa facilitation measures.
Europe (+5%), the most visited region in the world, continued the strong pace of growth of 2013, driven so far this year by Northern Europe (+8%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (+7%). These results reflect improved consumer confidence in Europe and the rebound of important traditional European source markets.
Africa’s international tourist numbers grew by 3% as the recovery consolidated in North Africa (+4%). Yet the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak might affect tourism to the region due to misperceptions about the transmission of the virus. “The main focus at the moment is on taking and supporting action to contain the virus. But we must also ensure that misperceptions do not unnecessarily harm the African economy, in particular its travel and tourism sector, which is a central activity in many countries. We would like to stress that the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any ban on international travel. Putting a halt on flights or imposing unnecessary travel restrictions will not help contain the virus. On the contrary, these measures will surely dampen the economy of the region, especially its travel and tourism sector, and jeopardize millions of livelihoods”, said Mr Rifai.
International tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to be down by 4%, though this figure should be taken with caution as it is based on limited available data for the region.
Source markets: advanced economies consolidate rebound
In terms of source markets, data for the first half of 2014 shows a consolidation of the rebound in spending in travel abroad registered in 2013 in some advanced economies. Expenditure out of the Italian and Australian markets was up 8% and 7%, respectively, while the US market was up by 5%. Data for France and Canada indicates a 3% increase.
Demand generated by emerging markets also continues to be strong, though decelerating as compared to 2013. Chinese outbound expenditure was up 16% in the first half of the year as compared to 26% in the whole of 2013, while expenditure out of the Russian Federation was up by 4% as compared to 25% last year.

ESPO meets with cruise port organisations in view of strengthening the voice of the European Cruise and Ferry port sector in Brussels


Barcelona, 17 September - Today, the European Sea Ports Organisation gathered with the relevant European cruise port organisations in Barcelona and decided to enhance the cooperation between the different organisations representing Cruise Ports.

Following the strategic cooperation agreement signed by ESPO, Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway and MedCruise today, the organisations decided that: 

  • ESPO will intensify its efforts as the official voice of the European Cruise and Ferry Port sector towards the European institutions.
  • A Cruise and Passenger port network would be set up within ESPO that would bring together Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway and MedCruise and representatives of Cruise and Ferry port authorities. The network is to be seen as the continuation of the ESPO passenger committee.  This network will meet regularly to discuss the latest developments at EU policy level relevant to the Cruise and Ferry Port sector and will define which interests should be defended.
  • ESPO will engage when needed in a constructive debate with the associations representing cruise lines and other stakeholders involved in the cruise or ferry sector and investigate potential collaborative synergies.
  • ESPO will  develop a Code of Good Practice for EU cruise and ferry ports together with Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway and MedCruise. The network will build on the  work  of the ESPO passenger committee towards this direction and will bring this a step further using the expertise of the participating cruise associations.

Winners announced for the 2014 Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards


Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2014 winners presented at Seatrade Med in Barcelona

Singapore Tourism Board (Destination of the Year), Copenhagen Malmo Port (Port of the Year), Bolidt Synthetic Products & Systems (Supplier of the Year), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (Environmental Initiative), and Excursions Ltd (Innovative Shorex) were all honoured last night (September 17) as winners in the eighth Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards, principal sponsor Fidelio Cruise, presented at the Seatrade Med 2014 Party held at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre Del Liceu.

In addition, Jacques Truau, president of Marseille-Provence Cruise Club, received the Seatrade Lifetime Achievement Award for Services to Cruising in the Mediterranean. Seatrade Insider editor Mary Bond said ‘Jacques Truau has devoted over 20 years of steadfast personal commitment to growing cruising in the Mediterranean.

As a pioneer he started the long and methodical process of persuading local stakeholders to come together to create a Cruise Club. Around this time last year, the milestone annual figure of one million cruise passengers was achieved.

Always ready to react, our recipient tonight has been involved in all major cruise infrastructure projects in Marseille, including the construction of a new cruise terminal, to the widening of the harbour entrance and the resumption of major shiprepairing in the very near future.’

Jacques Truau said ‘I am very surprised and honoured to receive this award, and in my opinion it should be dedicated to the Marseille Provence Cruise Club team for their daily efforts in promoting cruising to our region.’

On Tuesday morning, at the Opening Conference session of Seatrade Med, Adam Goldstein was announced as the Seatrade Mediterranean Personality of the Year 2014, an award sponsored by V. Ships Leisure and selected by Seatrade and V. Ships Leisure from nominations received.