Παρασκευή, 31 Ιουλίου 2015

UNWTO launches World Tourism Day Campaign

27 september world tourism day
UNWTO launches this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) campaign, highlighting the transformative potential of one billion tourists. Ahead of 27 September 2015, UNWTO invites you to speak with a common voice on what matters most to us: tourism’s ability to drive inclusive development, create millions of jobs and build the sustainable societies we want for our future.
Against this backdrop, this year’s WTD theme, ‘One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities’ aims to raise awareness amongst decision makers and the general public of tourism’s global socio-economic impact and its capability to drive positive change in countries, communities, and ultimately people’s lives across the world.
UNWTO invites you to join them in spreading this message and showcase the power of our sector in a global conversation by using the hashtags #1billiontourists and #WTD2015 in social media.
For more information visit http://wtd.unwto.org/

Mandarin Oriental, Milan is Now Open



mandarin oriental milan
Mandarin Oriental brings the art of oriental hospitality to the heart of Italian city, with the opening of Mandarin Oriental, Milan. The hotel with 104 elegant rooms and suites offers the most stylish and spacious accommodation in the city. Situated on the central Via Andegari, just a few steps away from the fashionable Via Manzoni and Montenapoleone, the hotel is perfectly located, with easy access to the city’s most important commercial, fashion and cultural centers.
Mandarin Oriental, Milan is an intimate and contemporary hotel housed within four elegantly redeveloped 18th century buildings, with a distinctly residential feel.
Executive chef Antonio Guida, formerly of the two Michelin starred restaurant Il Pellicano, in Tuscany, presides over the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Seta, which has a menu of sophisticated, contemporary dishes combining French, Asian and Tuscan influences. The restaurant offers al fresco dining in its beautiful courtyard as well as year-round seating indoors.
The more casual Mandarin Bar which also has courtyard seating, offers a ‘bistro style’ menu of Italian dishes and hotel classics. Its vibrant atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for enjoying a typical Milanese aperitivo or evening drink created by expert mixologists.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Milan is a relaxing, holistic retreat, with six treatment rooms, two couple’s suites and a dedicated Thai massage room. In addition, there is a world-class hair salon headed by celebrity stylist, Massimo Serini, a manicure and pedicure studio, a beauty studio, an indoor heated swimming pool and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.
“We are delighted to introduce Mandarin Oriental’s renowned hospitality to Italy, and are confident that Mandarin Oriental, Milan will become a new luxury landmark for guests seeking the finest address in the city,” said Luca Finardi, General Manager.
To celebrate the opening, the property is offering guests a tantalizing Experience Milan offer, which provides luxury accommodation and includes a dining or spa credit of up to EUR 300 per stay. Mandarin Oriental, Milan is also offering guests exclusive access to EXPO MILANO 2015, the Universal exhibition, with a Taste of Expo package which provides two nights luxurious accommodation together with fast pass tickets, return transfers to the event and a complimentary “Aperitivo Gourmet” at the Mandarin Bar.
For more information and reservations, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com. Reservations can also be made by contacting the Group’s worldwide sales and reservation offices, or by calling Mandarin Oriental, Milan directly on + +39 02 8731 8888. Offers are subject to availability and advance reservations are required. Terms and conditions apply.

OpenTable unveils the 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide

restaurant table setup
Check out the 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide before hitting the road this summer season. OpenTable, the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group unveils the guide which highlights culinary destinations along some of the most popular U.S. road trip routes.
The OpenTable 2015 Summer Road Trip Restaurant Guide includes more than 100 restaurants in sleepy towns and bustling metros popular with road trippers, from Grace in Portland, Maine, to Meriwether's Restaurant & Skyline Farm in Portland, Oregon. OpenTable's regional teams around the United States with a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the cities in which they live, work, and dine curated the guide.
PacNW RoadTrip FINAL
Midwest RoadTrip FINAL
California RoadTrip FINAL
SW RoadTrip FINAL
South RoadTrip FINAL2
NE RoadTrip FINAL
Travelers are invited to share and celebrate their summer road trip dining experiences with OpenTable on social media using the hashtag #SavortheRoad for a chance to win one of ten $100 OpenTable Gifts. Learn more by visiting the OpenTable blog.

Marriott hotels to host NBA legends and players

ritzcarlton chicago basketball
Marriott International, Inc. and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a partnership that makes the global lodging company the Official Hotel of several marquee NBA events around the world, including NBA GlobalGames 2015-16, NBA Africa Game 2015, and NBA Canada Series 2015. Marriott is the first company to partner with the NBA across international games on five different continents.
The partnership tips off in Johannesburg, South Africa during NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game in Africa, and includes NBA events in 11 other cities across Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the UK. Together, Marriott International and the NBA will give Marriott Rewards members exclusive access to NBA gamesand events in these markets. The partnership will showcase Marriott's award-winning Marriott Rewards program by bringing the excitement of the NBA directly to its 50 million strong member community.
Spanning Marriott's global portfolio of 19 brands, including The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Protea Hotels and AC Hotels, Marriott Rewards will host a series of private meet-and-greets with NBA legends and players for its Elite members and invite fans to take a virtual trip in the #AroundTheWorld photo and social sharing experience. The first Marriott Rewards NBA legends meet-and-greet will be co-hosted by The Protea African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel in Johannesburg.
Additionally, Marriott Rewards members in the U.S. can look for the opportunity to enter in an upcoming sweepstakes for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a trip and tickets to an upcoming NBA global event.
"Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, and our partnership with the NBA gives us an opportunity to tap into a passionate fan base and communicate the breadth and depth of our portfolio," said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International. "Similar to what we are doing with music and entertainment, our NBA partnership helps us create memorable experiences for our Rewards members and amplify the benefits of the program for both new and loyal guests."
NBA Global Games 2015-16, a series of preseason and regular-season NBA games around the world, includes a total of six NBA teams playing seven games in seven international cities. Additionally, NBA Africa Game 2015 will take place Aug. 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the NBA Canada Series 2015 will feature a record five teams playing an all-time-high four preseason games in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
NBA Global Event Schedule:
NBA Africa Game 2015:
Aug. 1 – Johannesburg, South Africa
NBA Canada Series 2015:
Oct. 4 – Vancouver, Canada
Oct. 10 – Winnipeg, Canada
Oct. 14 – Ottawa, Canada
Oct. 23 – Montreal, Canada
NBA Global Games 2015-16:
Oct. 6 – Milan, Italy
Oct. 8 – Madrid, Spain
Oct. 11 – Shenzhen, China
Oct. 14 – Shanghai, China
Oct. 17 – Rio, Brazil
Dec. 3 – Mexico City, Mexico
Jan. 14 – London, United Kingdom

Atlasglobal Ukraine starts flights to Istanbul

atlasGlobal UA
Atlasglobal Ukraine Airlines, a subsidiary of Istanbul based Atlasglobal, starts scheduled flights between Istanbul and Ukraine as of August 31, 2015. The carrier will fly between 3 cities of Ukraine and Istanbul. The three cities are Lviv, Kharkiv and Zaporizhia. One way flight in the EkonomiPlus class starts from US$84.
Atlasglobal Ukraine will fly to and from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST). Turkey’s low cost carrier Pegasus also flies to Lviv (LWO) and Kharkiv (HRK) but from Istanbul’s second airport Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on the Asian side of the city.
Atlasglobal Ukraine starts flights between Lviv and Istanbul from August 31. The Lviv - Istanbul flights will be 4 times in a week and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The carrier will depart at 06.35 from Istanbul and return from Lviv at 12.45 on Mon., Wed., and Friday. Flight on Sunday departs Istanbul at 23.10 and departs from Lviv next day 02.15.
kharkiv
Flights between Kharkiv and Istanbul start from September 2nd. Flights depart Istanbul on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 23.00 and return to Istanbul following days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 02.00.
Flights between Zaporizhia and Istanbul starts from September 1st. Flights will be on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday; depart from Istanbul at 06.35 and return from Zaporizhia at 12.55.
Passengers of Atlasglobal Ukraine will also enjoy same privileges of Atlasglobal’s Turkey departure flights at EkonomiPlus class which include:
  • Check in and choose your seat online, all free of charge
  • Baggage allowance with EkonomiPlus is a generous 30 kg, with a further 8 kg permitted as hand baggage.
  • Comfy leather seats have a spacious 77cm seat pitch
  • Tasty cakes and warm sandwiches are on offer with EkonomiPlus, free of charge and accompanied by a choice of 14 different beverages
Business Class privileges
Atlasglobal Ukraine passengers can also fly in Business Class. Passengers will enjoy comfy seats with 100cm seat pitch, a wide choice of menu options, baggage priority, baggage allowance of 40kg, VIP transfer from Istanbul Atatürk Terminal to the aircraft.
You can book your seat at www.atlasglb.com

IATA Disappointed by Aéroports de Paris 2016-2020 Airport Charges Agreement


Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) criticized the decision by the French Government to allow the operator of Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly (ORY) airports to continue increasing airport charges for each year of the 2016-2020 period.

The French government’s decision ignores the recommendation of the independent Airport Consultative Commission. The Commission concluded that the public interest would be best served by using terminal retail activities of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) to implement annual decreases in charges to airlines over the 2016-2020 period.

"Connectivity is critical to modern economies. France is no exception. And making it more expensive at a time when improving competitiveness is a fundamental concern just does not add up. With this decision air travelers will have to reach deeper into their wallets to travel to, from and within France. In parallel, every business that in any way relies on global markets takes a hit as well. I urge the government to reconsider," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA and other stakeholders demonstrated during the consultation process that a yearly decrease in airport charges would improve the attractiveness of France’s major hubs and that this would serve the interests of all involved—air travelers, ADP, and airport users. The Airport Consultative Commission, whose role is to advise the French Government on the economic regulation of airports, shared that view.

"With a sound development plan and the reintegration of the income from retail activities at the airports, user charges could be substantially decreasing every year. France’s airport infrastructure is a national asset that should be nurtured for the broad economic benefits that it catalyzes. It is deeply disappointing that the government chose to ignore this golden opportunity for a winning solution in favor of a decision that will make travel more expensive for French business and tourism," said Tyler.

More comfort at Frankfurt Airport: “Check-In to Gate Service”


Passengers at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) can get to their plane even faster and more comfortably thanks to Fraport’s new Check-In to Gate Service now being offered at Frankfurt Airport. With this service, passengers at Germany’s largest aviation hub are picked up at a pre-agreed meeting place in the terminal by a trained service assistant who takes care of their bags and the check-in process for them. Next, the service assistant escorts the passengers through a separate security checkpoint and, if necessary, through passport control. To provide an exclusive transfer service a chauffeured luxury limousine is available to bring the passengers across the apron directly to the departure gate.

The service costs 85 euros for up to four persons traveling on the same flight. Passengers can take advantage of FRA’s Check-In to Gate Service, regardless of their airline and booking class. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours before departing from FRA. Bookings at shorter notice may be possible upon request. Cancellations are only free of charge up to 24 hours prior to the arranged time and date. The new service can be conveniently booked online via FRA’s portal.

The Check-In to Gate Service at Frankfurt Airport is part of the “Great to have you here!” service quality program launched by Fraport AG (the owner and manager of FRA) with the goal of continually enhancing the travel experience at Germany’s largest aviation hub. Other services under this program include the Frankfurt Airport App 2.0 and free 24-hour Wi-Fi Internet access offered in the passenger terminals.  More details about Frankfurt Airport’s wide range of services and facilities are available via FRA’s travel website and social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

Historic hotel to re-open as a Courtyard by Marriott at Convention Center

Home theater/ library in lobby (PRNewsFoto/Courtyard by Marriott) 

ST. LOUIS - After being shuttered since 2011, the original Hotel Lennox will re-open Sept. 2, the same day that the hotel originally opened in 1929, as The Courtyard by Marriott St. Louis Downtown/Convention Center Hotel. The newly revitalized hotel will be one of the most unique and historically significant Courtyard-branded hotels in the country. The hotel has undergone a major renovation, with an investment of $22m. into the property and will operate as a Courtyard franchise, owned and managed Maritz Wolff & Co. whose principals are St. Louis natives and previously owned The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.

This National Register of Historic Places property was originally designed by Preston Bradshaw, one of the most significant St. Louis architects in the 1920s. The hotel was built in the Renaissance Revival style and the most notable (and fully restored) interior features of the original building include green marble wainscoting, wood paneling and ornamental brass elevator lobby doors. The renovations blend the building's historical elements with modern day amenities offering:

  • 165 suites converted to extra large guest rooms with new furnishings designed by St. Louis' Lawrence Group
  • Wet bars, security safes, oversized refrigerators and 55" HD SMART TVs with the most current industry entertainment package
  • Mid-century modern furnishings throughout including pieces inspired by Eames and Saarinen
  • Commissioned artwork from well-known local artists
  • Comfortable guest bathrooms featuring modern back lit mirrors and updated Spiekman shower heads
  • State-of-the-art business center, 24/7 Market, Bistro and Starbucks coffee
  • Fitness center featuring Life Fitness equipment
  • 1,100 square feet of meeting space
  • Home theater and library in open lobby
  • Reward points to Marriott Rewards

Located within walking distance to numerous St. Louis' leading business, 40+ restaurants, and major sports and entertainment venues, the hotel is the only one physically connected to the Convention Center.

"The Hotel Lennox had some amazing architectural elements and a rich history that make the building truly unique and original; today it will offer downtown visitors an intimate boutique hotel option, with only eight rooms per floor – a dramatically different experience than one would find at most massive convention hotels. We are thrilled to be a part of revitalizing downtown St. Louis and strengthening its position in the business and tourism arenas," says Patrick Lowery, Principal, Maritz Wolff & Co. 

Transat launches winter service between Toronto and Paris via Montreal


MONTREAL - Transat is pleased to announce that travellers will be able to fly from Toronto to Paris this winter thanks to the addition of new connecting flights to Montreal. Air Transat will also be offering a new Montreal-Toronto route allowing passengers to leave from Montreal and board Toronto flights for London, Manchester or Glasgow as well as a new Calgary-Vancouver route allowing passengers to leave from Calgary and board a Vancouver-London flight.

"Based on the success of our connecting program for this summer, we are pleased to provide travellers with access to more of our European destinations this winter," says Annick Guerard, General Manager for Transat Tours Canada. "Adding new connecting flights allows us to take advantage of our narrow-body fleet and further develop the transatlantic market. For Canadians, this translates into a world of new options when it comes time to planning their vacations," adds Guerard.

The new flights between Toronto and Paris and Montreal and the United Kingdom (London, Manchester and Glasgow) will operate from Sunday to Thursday inclusively effective November 2015.

Connecting flights will also be offered for Malaga, Spain for passengers travelling from Toronto to Montreal effective January 2016 and for three destinations in Portugal (Lisbon and Porto as of November 2015 and Faro as of January 2016) for passengers travelling from Montreal to Toronto, all destinations renowned for vacations under the sun.

Air Transat will also be offering a new Calgary-Vancouver route this winter effective December 2015 allowing passengers to leave from Calgary and board a Vancouver-London flight on Mondays.

Travellers who want to enjoy the Air Transat experience when flying domestically will also be able to take advantage of the new flights between Toronto and Montreal and Calgary and Vancouver which run during peak business travel hours. 

Three tourism marketing insights to increase visitation


Today we go retro to go forward. The tourism marketing landscape has changed. But did you know that old school marketing is still going to give your money and time the best ROI? Here are three reasons why.

1. Email Marketing
Yes, as retro as it sounds, email is still, by far, the most effective marketing channel we have available to us today? Ninety-one per cent of people check their emails at least once a day. That is no stat to scoff at. It is pure opportunity. And what's more groovy, is if you've been operating an opt-in database, all those people on your list actually chose to hear from you. They WANT to hear from you. They WANT to know about your destination, tour, accommodation or tour. As sales opportunity and relationship building goes, it just does not get better than that.

2. Branding
Your branding now affects how you are 'ranked' in the search engines or your SEO. Poor and inconsistent branding means poor web presence. It means that you are less likely to be presented in a search – no matter how big or small you are.

David Amerland tells us that authenticity and consistency in branding is more important than ever:

"You can't talk about what you do and why you do it (which is where marketing and branding come in) without also taking into account the impact all this has on search," says David Amerland, author of the book Semantic Search.

So what's branding got to do with it? One of the golden rules of branding is to provide a consistency in messaging at all touch points. This is vintage marketing. Google's algorithms are now specifically looking for sites that are trustworthy, of good reputation and can stand for some authority on a given topic – beach holidays, family vacations, holidays with pets or short spa retreats for stressed executives.

When you are consistent about who you are, your messaging and your target markets, the search engines gain a further understanding on what you are all about. A strong brand, that is consistent in what it stands for, who it markets to, and has clear competitive positioning will stand out not only in the eyes of the customer, but also Google and the search engines.

3. Social Media
Your end goal is to create social media engagement as a stepping stone on the path to purchase. Engagement is not likes, follows or +1's. Those engaged in your brand on social media are your true audience. Engagement is a result of conversations that extend beyond your social media page. So those operators with 5000 followers that 'post and run' will lose out compared to the engaged brand with 100 followers conducting ongoing conversations where your content is interacted with, commented on, and you are being a proactive part of the conversation. It's even better if your followers come back into the conversation on a regular basis.

Engagement is difficult to achieve, but you can do it. The key is to engage through relevant and compelling content that appeals to your target market.

Back in February Twitter and Google joined forces. What this means is that Twitter feeds will show up in real time Google search. They seem to be still working this out. But when it happens, you'll need to be ready. So we are all being advised to 'step on the gas' when it comes to Twitter.

Content marketing, branding, social media go inextricably hand in hand with semantic search. So go back to key marketing basics to step confidently into the future 

Jetstar Wellington-Dunedin services to begin in late October


Jetstar will bring low fares to an additional domestic jet route from October this year with the introduction of a new service between Wellington and Dunedin.

The airline today announced it will fly between the capital and Otago’s biggest city three times a week from 28 October. It will be Jetstar’s sixth domestic jet route in New Zealand.

Jetstar Head of New Zealand, Grant Kerr, said customers had regularly requested the airline add a Wellington-Dunedin service to bring more competitive fares to the route.
To celebrate the launch Jetstar is offering special one-way launch fares today midday-4pm from $29* for travel 3 February to 16 March 2016 and from $49* for travel 28 October to 9 December this year. Regular one-way lead-in fares Wellington-Dunedin start from $79*.

The new jet services will depart Wellington on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11.10am with the return service departing Dunedin at 12.55pm.

Jetstar also announced today it will be adding its wide body Boeing 787 aircraft to its trans-Tasman schedule^ over the upcoming Christmas holiday season along with extra summer flying to Queenstown and Christchurch from Australia.

The Boeing 787 has been scheduled to fly Monday services Melbourne-Auckland and Auckland-Sydney for seven weeks from the middle of December to the end of January.

Additional Airbus A320 capacity from Australia to Queenstown has been added for the busy holiday season with more than 10,000 extra seats between December and January compared with last year.

“Queenstown is truly a year-round holiday destination and we’re recognising that by adding a significant number of extra seats this summer,” said Grant Kerr.

“This complements the additional flying we added during the ski season this year.”

More than 5,000 extra seats will also be added over summer between Christchurch and Melbourne.

Mr Kerr said today’s announcements support Jetstar’s continued commitment to growing its New Zealand business. In June this year Jetstar revealed it would be starting services to four regional destinations in December, using QantasLink Q300 turbo-prop aircraft.

“We’ve now visited all the regions under consideration and we’ve had a very positive response from everyone we’ve spoken to about our new services,” Mr Kerr said.

“We can’t wait to bring Jetstar’s low fares to more Kiwis than ever before.”

^ 787 flights subject to government and regulatory approval.

* Checked baggage not included. Sale fares not available on all flights or days and conditions apply. Prices are based on payment by direct deposit/POLi, or voucher for bookings through jetstar.com. For all other bookings, a Booking and Service Fee of $5.00 per passenger per domestic flight applies.

Jazeera Airways Group announces H1 2015 financial results, reports 27% increase in net profit for the period


Jazeera Airways Group today announced its second quarter earnings for the year. The company registered a net profit of KD3.2 million, an increase of 14.2% from the same quarter last year, which brings its half-year net profit to KD6.2 million, a 27.1% increase from the same period last year. The continued strong growth was driven by an increase in demand and higher load factor, which was up 4.1% compared to the same period last year.

Q2 Group Financial Highlights:
? Operating revenue: KD13.8 million, less 1.5% from Q2 2014
? Operating profit: KD2.2 million, up 7.3% from Q2 2014
? Net profit: KD3.2 million, up 14.2% from Q2 2014

H1 Group Financial Highlights:
? Operating revenue: KD26.6 million, up 0.8% from H1 2014
? Operating expenses: KD21.9 million, less 5.8% from H1 2014
? Operating profit: KD4.7 million, up 51.0% from H1 2014
? Net profit: KD6.2 million, up 27.1% from H1 2014

Jazeera Airways Group Chairman, Marwan Boodai, said: “Our continued double-digit growth despite all the challenges proves that we have the right strategy in place for our market with the right product for our customers, to whom we are very thankful for making Jazeera Airways one of the most successful airlines in the Middle East.

CWT Solutions Group drives industry innovation with new method to streamline airline RFP process


MINNEAPOLIS – CWT Solutions Group, the global consulting arm of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), in partnership with Delta Air Lines has created and implemented a new method to automatically receive Request for Proposal (RFP) pricing data from airlines. In an effort to solve an industry-wide issue, this automation will improve and streamline the RFP process for companies looking to buy air travel.

“We developed this new automated process to increase efficiencies and consistencies in data interpretation for our clients, which will ultimately save them time and impact their bottom line,” said Yon Abad, senior director, CWT Solutions Group Americas. “Our goal is to simplify a complex but critical process to help our clients more easily buy for a managed travel program.”

For most companies, an RFP process can take between six and nine months on average to complete. This new automation could shorten the timeline across all contracted airlines.

Airlines are required to complete a pricing grid in response to a company’s RFP. This is the most critical piece in the RFP process because it houses airline prices and rates side-by-side, helping companies make critical buying decisions. CWT’s new automated process receives all airline pricing data into one feed and automatically uploads into contract modeling tools. The result can mean additional time and cost savings for CWT Solutions Group clients.

In a pilot test completed with partner Delta Air Lines, the algorithm enabled complete contract assessment, fare mapping, value calculation and expedited negotiations. Following the pilot with Delta, CWT found the algorithm will save 85-90 percent of manual work for contract loading and interpretation within CWT Solutions Group.

CWT Solutions Group is in the process of broadening the application of this tool across other airlines to further streamline the RFP process for all of its clients. 

Almyra presents Elite Training Camps


BERLIN – Set amidst eight acres of lush garden within earshot of the crashing Mediterranean waves, Almyra is a 189-room family-run resort located on the idyllic Cypriot coast of Paphos. Far from being a destination for sun worshippers only, the Design Hotels member hotel is also attracting fitness fanatics. Striking a perfect balance between boutique hotel and fitness boot camp, the property plays host to a year-round series of Triathlon Camps and Swimming Clinics. Each of the elite training sessions is led by world-class coaches and athletes. 

Swim, Bike, Run
Whether looking to escape the monotony of the gym or simply to improve personal fitness, Almyra’s Triathlon Camps are the perfect way of combining a luxurious holiday with an ass-kicking training program. Hosted by long-distance triathlete and sports journalist Sean McFarlane, pro-coach Simon Brierley, and ex-champion triathlete and sports physiologist Kypros Nicolaou, the camps have been designed to build upon and refine technique with personalized training sessions. Taking place from November 2015 – April 2016, the daily activities at the camp include open water swims, extensive road cycle routes and running sessions on Cyprus’ breathtaking coastal paths and trails. Providing essential fuel for the daily exertions, Almyra’s chefs are on hand with nutritional advice and a Mediterranean menu, offering the correct balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein for optimum training.

Just Keep Swimming
For those looking to stretch their sea legs, year-round Swimming Clinics overseen by Kypros Nicolaou provide the perfect platform. Typically comprising four sessions, guests can brush up on their strokes in the sleek elegance of Almyra’s marble-tiled Italian slate pool before discovering the key elements of open-water swimming off Paphos' coast. Through the use of video analysis and one-to-one coaching, participants are encouraged to identify flaws and improve technique under Nicolaou’s watchful eye.

Situated amidst eight acres of gardens in the coastal city of Paphos, Almyra's enviable location is only the beginning of its story. Under the direction of Thanos Michaelides, the hotel has been family-run and operated since 1974. The focus here is on what Michaelides refers to as "modern hospitality," with equal consideration paid to the needs of those traveling with young families and those without. Almyra’s generous guestrooms and suites provide ample space for groups and families – who will most certainly also appreciate the Almyra’s two freshwater pools, both built with Italian slate. Views of Paphos Castle from the Helios Lounge Bar compete with the beachfront Ouzeri, one of four restaurants, where diners are served traditional Greek cuisine under Cyprus’ setting sun. Surrounded by the ocean and stunning trails and paths, Almyra is the perfect training base – offering year-round golf packages, sailing classes, and biking camps, alongside the swimming clinics and seasonal triathlon coaching.

Triathlon Training Camps Schedule 2015/2016

  • 1st - 8th November 2015 - Kinetic Revolution Run Camp 2015 with Simon Brierley
  • 13th -15th November 2015 - Triathlon Training Camp – Fam trip with Kypros Nicolaou
  • 20th - 27th February 2016 - Triathlon Training Camp with Sean McFarlane
  • 25th March -3rd April 2016 - Paradise Triathlon Camp 2016 with Simon Brierley.


Korea’s KBCSD partners with EarthCheck to grow sustainable tourism


The Korea Business Council for Sustainable Development (KBCSD) has extended its agreement with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, to further develop world-leading sustainable tourism practices in the region.

Hyun Jong Hong, the Secretary General of KBCSD, said that KBCSD has a mission to put the Korean industry on track to sustainable economic development. The organisation is formed of Chief Executive Officers of forward-thinking companies and is a global network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Mr. Hong said, “We look forward to continuing our work with EarthCheck to guide the sustainability and corporate and social responsibility initiatives of the Korean tourism industry.”

Mr. Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck and Executive Director of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism, said the partnership was an exciting opportunity to continue the organisations work in the region and support KBCSD’s vision of sustainable development.

“KBCSD is spearheading sustainable initiatives in Asia, particularly in the areas of improving the energy intensity of the Tourism sector, achieving a resource-efficient society at the local level, promoting sustainable development and fostering inter-regional cooperation.”

“This partnership provides opportunities to work with leading companies in Korea to help lower environmental impact and operational costs while supporting local communities.”

Mr. Moore added, “We welcome the opportunity to work with leading enterprises like GS Caltex, POSCO, Samsung Electronics etc to tackle sustainability challenges. The next step in world class destination area management is in risk management preparedness and action. The EarthCheck Risk App has the ability to gain greater community engagement in risk management with the overall goal of improving societal resilience.

Amadeus continues growth track record with strong first half


Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, reports year-on-year financial and operating results for the first half of 2015 (six months ended June 30, 2015). Adjusted profit for the period grew 10.3% to €419.6 million. This was driven by an increase in revenue of 14.2%, to €1,976.8 million, and EBITDA growth of 10.8%, to €778.8 million.


Luis Maroto, President & CEO of Amadeus, commented:
“Amadeus has maintained its track record for growth in both revenues and profitability through a combination of market share expansion and growth in its businesses.”

“Distribution delivered strong revenue growth of 11.3% through a 1.9p.p. increase in global market share of air travel agency bookings. IT Solutions continued its track record for double-digit growth with a revenue increase of 22.3%, with Asia-Pacific remaining the driving force.”

“Our solid business model and our strong cash-flow generation have allowed us to make strategic acquisitions. Early in July we announced an agreement to acquire Navitaire, subject to approval by regulators, that once completed will give Amadeus a strong position in IT solutions for the low-cost carriers market. Following that, we also announced plans to acquire Netherlands-based Itesso BV, a provider of cloud-native property management systems (PMS) for hotels. Whilst earlier in the year we accelerated our growth in the Airport IT space with the acquisition of Air-Transport IT Services Inc. (AirIT), a leading company in the segment, with a portfolio of solutions used by 30 of the busiest 50 airports in the US.”
“We look forward with confidence to the remainder of the year.”

Financial highlights for the first half
Consolidated net financial debt stood at €1,645.5 million at June 30, 2015, representing 1.19x the ratio of covenant net debt to the last twelve months’ covenant EBITDA.


An appreciation of the US dollar versus the Euro relative to 2014 contributed a positive foreign exchange impact on the revenue and EBITDA of Amadeus during the first half of 2015; conversely, the same impact reduced the EBITDA margin.


On May 12 we completed our share buy-back programme announced in December 2014, in total investing €320m (including fees) and repurchasing 8,759,444 shares (representing 1.957% of share capital). Following this, at the General Shareholders Meeting on June 25, shareholders approved the reduction in share capital through the amortisation of the repurchased shares.


Also at the General Shareholders Meeting on June 25, shareholders approved a gross dividend of €0.70 per share for the results from the 2014 financial year. This represented a 50% pay-out ratio and amounted to a total dividend of €313.3 million, which was 12% higher than the dividend for the 2013 financial year.


Business highlights during the first half
Distribution
_ Revenue increased 11.3%, to €1,415.1 million.
_ Air travel agency bookings rose 10.0%, to 265.9 million.
_ Market share expanded by 1.9 percentage points, reaching 42.2%.


Amadeus strongly outperformed the industry during the first half, increasing global air travel agency bookings by 10.0% against an industry increase of 4.9%. This was mostly due to a market share gain of 1.9 p.p. in global air travel agency bookings. This in turn was due in large part to the migration of the travel agencies previously connected to Topas in South Korea, but also supported by continued market share gains in North America.
 
Airlines with which Amadeus has a content agreement represent over 80% of the airline bookings made through the Amadeus system worldwide. During the first half, renewals or new signings of such content agreements were reached with 17 full-service carriers, including Czech Airlines. Contracts were also signed with two Low-cost Carriers (LCCs), including Interjet, and bookings through travel agencies using Amadeus increased 16% for this growth area year-on-year during the first half. Already many low-cost carriers, including Ryanair, have become Amadeus distribution partners.



Merchandising solutions attracted further customers and currently a total of 124 airlines have agreements in place for Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, which is supporting airlines to deploy ancillary services in 105 markets worldwide. Meanwhile Amadeus Fare Family Solution, which allows airlines to distribute branded fares, has now attracted 20 airline customers to sign-up and already 13 of those have been implemented.


Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national airline of Switzerland that carries over 16 million passengers a year, became the first airline to launch Lufthansa Group’s branded fares across the direct and indirect channels. The airline uses the Amadeus Fare Families solution to increase multichannel merchandising opportunities and maximise exposure of its Light, Classic and Flex fares.


Further extending its partnership with Amadeus, Southwest Airlines signed a multi-year global agreement to allow users of Amadeus’ e-Travel Management and i:FAO’s cytric corporate booking tools access to Southwest´s fares and inventory. More than 8,000 corporations worldwide use Amadeus e-Travel Management and 3,600 corporations use i:FAO’s cytric, offered by i:FAO Group (which Amadeus acquired in 2014).


Leading hybrid (online/traditional) travel agency CheapOair.com became the first online distribution partner using Amadeus’ technology to enable users to book paid airline seats using graphical seat map displays with prices.


IT Solutions
_ Revenue grew 22.3%, to €561.7 million.
_ Passengers Boarded rose 7.8% to total 354.2 million.
_ Higher revenue driven by all lines (including both transactional and non-transactional): Altéa migrations and organic growth, Airline IT upselling activity including e-commerce and standalone revenue lines, plus implementation fees; growing contribution from Airport IT and Payments; and contributions from the recently acquired Newmarket, UFIS and Air-Transport IT Services Inc. (AirIT).
_ Growth in PBs largely came from the impact of airlines migrated during 2014, particularly Korean Air, as well as All Nippon Airways (the international passengers business) during the second quarter of 2015 – plus organic growth of 1.9%.
_ Proportion of PBs from Asia-Pacific increased by 3.9pp vs. the first half of 2014, taking the total to 27.4%.



Airline IT:
On July 1 Amadeus announced an agreement to acquire Navitaire, the provider of technology and business solutions to the airline industry, from Accenture for US$830 million. Navitaire focuses on the low-cost and hybrid-carrier segments of the airline industry and has a global customer base of more than 50 operators; it provides revenue-generation and cost-streamlining solutions in the areas of reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue management, revenue accounting and business intelligence. The addition of Navitaire’s portfolio of products and solutions for the low-cost segment will complement Amadeus’ Altéa suite of offerings for its largely full-service carrier customer base, giving the company the ability to serve a wider group of airlines. Amadeus intends to market and sell the two product portfolios separately and will continue to invest in both platforms, enhancing the services and functionality availability to all types of carriers.


China Airlines, the largest airline and flag carrier of the Republic of China (Taiwan), along with its subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines, will adopt the full Amadeus Altéa suite of solutions. The deal is the first Amadeus offering of a Chinese language airline IT service and will make Altéa Taiwan´s leading passenger service system.


Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) migrated to Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite, laying the foundation for the most accurate and intelligent pricing of airline packages and offers. This followed a strategic partnership established in 2013 that saw SAS’ highly experienced revenue management experts join Amadeus to create a groundbreaking ‘Centre of Competence’. The Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite is specifically designed to counter the ‘buy-down effect’ generated by traditional revenue management practices, whereby systems cannot adequately understand travellers that buy low price flight tickets.


As of the close of the first half, 132 airlines globally were contracted for both Altéa Reservation and Altéa Inventory, 119 of which were contracted to use the full Altéa Suite. Of the 132 airlines contracted, 123 were already migrated to both Altéa Reservation and Altéa Inventory, and 100 of those were using the full Altéa Suite. The service facilitates closer integration between partner airlines that need to share availability, fares, customer and booking information, thus enabling a seamless customer experience across alliance members.


Lufthansa became the first airline to select Altéa Corporate Recognition, which allows airlines to identify corporate bookings at the moment of reservation. By providing tailor-made offers across all stages of the journey and enhancing both total spend and improved travel experience, airlines can actively focus on the needs of corporates and offer services such as additional baggage and preferential seat options. This service is complemented by Amadeus’ existing loyalty and personalisation solutions, Loyalty Management Suite and Altéa Awards Suite.
 
IT Solutions

_ Revenue grew 22.3%, to €561.7 million.
_ Passengers Boarded rose 7.8% to total 354.2 million.

_ Higher revenue driven by all lines (including both transactional and non-transactional):

Altéa migrations and organic growth, Airline IT upselling activity including e-commerce and standalone revenue lines, plus implementation fees; growing contribution from Airport IT and Payments; and contributions from the recently acquired Newmarket, UFIS and Air-Transport IT Services Inc. (AirIT).
 
_ Growth in PBs largely came from the impact of airlines migrated during 2014, particularly Korean Air, as well as All Nippon Airways (the international passengers business) during the second quarter of 2015 – plus organic growth of 1.9%.
_ Proportion of PBs from Asia-Pacific increased by 3.9pp vs. the first half of 2014, taking the total to 27.4%.



Airline IT:
On July 1 Amadeus announced an agreement to acquire Navitaire, the provider of technology and business solutions to the airline industry, from Accenture for US$830 million. Navitaire focuses on the low-cost and hybrid-carrier segments of the airline industry and has a global customer base of more than 50 operators; it provides revenue-generation and cost-streamlining solutions in the areas of reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue management, revenue accounting and business intelligence. The addition of Navitaire’s portfolio of products and solutions for the low-cost segment will complement Amadeus’ Altéa suite of offerings for its largely full-service carrier customer base, giving the company the ability to serve a wider group of airlines. Amadeus intends to market and sell the two product portfolios separately and will continue to invest in both platforms, enhancing the services and functionality availability to all types of carriers.


China Airlines, the largest airline and flag carrier of the Republic of China (Taiwan), along with its subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines, will adopt the full Amadeus Altéa suite of solutions. The deal is the first Amadeus offering of a Chinese language airline IT service and will make Altéa Taiwan´s leading passenger service system.


Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) migrated to Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite, laying the foundation for the most accurate and intelligent pricing of airline packages and offers. This followed a strategic partnership established in 2013 that saw SAS’ highly experienced revenue management experts join Amadeus to create a groundbreaking ‘Centre of Competence’. The Amadeus Altéa Revenue Management Suite is specifically designed to counter the ‘buy-down effect’ generated by traditional revenue management practices, whereby systems cannot adequately understand travellers that buy low price flight tickets.


As of the close of the first half, 132 airlines globally were contracted for both Altéa Reservation and Altéa Inventory, 119 of which were contracted to use the full Altéa Suite. Of the 132 airlines contracted, 123 were already migrated to both Altéa Reservation and Altéa Inventory, and 100 of those were using the full Altéa Suite. The service facilitates closer integration between partner airlines that need to share availability, fares, customer and booking information, thus enabling a seamless customer experience across alliance members.

Lufthansa became the first airline to select Altéa Corporate Recognition, which allows airlines to identify corporate bookings at the moment of reservation. By providing tailor-made offers across all stages of the journey and enhancing both total spend and improved travel experience, airlines can actively focus on the needs of corporates and offer services such as additional baggage and preferential seat options. This service is complemented by Amadeus’ existing loyalty and personalisation solutions, Loyalty Management Suite and Altéa Awards Suite.

New Businesses
Airport IT:
In the Airport IT business, Amadeus accelerated its expansion in the largest airport IT market globally, North America, through the acquisition of Florida-based Air-Transport IT Services Inc. (AirIT). Currently 30 of the top 50 busiest airports in the US use AirIT ´s solutions, along with a strong customer base of more than 115 airlines and 120 airports in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. Outside of North America, Amadeus will be able to complement its existing offering with the AirIT PROPworks portfolio, which is already used by four of the five busiest airports in the United States.


The Avinor Group, which operates 46 airports in Norway with over 50 million travellers, has signed an agreement with Amadeus to adopt its cloud-based Airport Common Use Service (ACUS) platform, a next-generation common use solution which enables passenger processing systems to be accessed and deployed anywhere on demand. The solution will offer cost-effective, customised and flexible passenger processing to Avinor’s airports nationwide, initially in eight airports and leading up to a total of 46 – offering both Avinor and its airline partners a significant cost reduction for common use IT services.


Amadeus contributed to Munich Airport reducing runway waiting time by 50% and inbound delays by 24%, whilst improving flight slot adherence by 22%, through the adoption of Amadeus Airport Sequence Manager. The solution is part of the Amadeus cloud-based Airport-Collaborative Decision Making Portal (A-CDM) launched last year; it improves flight departure planning and runway capacity to reduce environmental impact and bring benefits to the whole airport ecosystem.


An agreement with Innsbruck Airport sees the first complete cloud-based common use environment in an airport. Amadeus will deliver a range of new airport solutions, including Airport Common Use Service (ACUS), Airport Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS), and Airport Passenger Verification (PV). Thanks to the launch of ACUS last year, Innsbruck is now pioneering the implementation of new technology in the airport ecosystem, moving towards the next generation of Common Use platforms.


Hotel IT:
In the Hotel IT sector, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) and Amadeus announced a partnership to develop a next-generation Guest Reservation System (GRS) that will revolutionise the technological foundations of the global hospitality industry. Working on a new cloud-based ‘Community Model’ similar to the model Amadeus developed for the global airline industry, the system will be a first in the hotel sector.


On July 21 Amadeus announced the acquisition of Netherlands-based Itesso BV, a provider of cloud-native property management systems (PMS) for hotels. This deal brings Amadeus closer to its vision of bringing together systems known today as Central Reservation Systems (CRS), Property Management Systems (PMS), Revenue Management Systems (RMS), Sales & Catering and others, into a cloud-based community model platform which is fully centered around the guest experience.


Payments:
Elavon, a leading global payments provider that works with more than 50 of the world’s leading airlines and the top global acquirer for the global travel industry, will integrate its payment processing solutions into the Amadeus Payments Platform (APP), which is used by more than 300 airlines and ensures a fast and easy authorization process integrated into ticketing and selling.


Rail:
Deutsche Bahn (DB), one of the leading transportation and logistics companies worldwide that carried 4.3 billion passengers in 2014, renewed its existing agreement with Amadeus for another three years. With this new agreement online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide can now access DB’s full range of routes and fares via Amadeus Rail Web Services, whilst corporate and traditional travel agencies continue to do so via Amadeus Rail Display and Amadeus eTravel Management. Amadeus’ rail platform provides OTAs with a one-stop-shop to market-leading rail content with over 10 providers including DB.


Other news from the first half:
At the Shareholders´ General Meeting held in June shareholders approved the reduction in share capital through the redemption of the 8,759,444 shares purchased by the company during the share buyback period, which began in December of last year and ended in May.


In April Future Traveller Tribes 2030: understanding tomorrow’s traveller – a report commissioned by Amadeus and written by global consumer trends consultancy The Future Foundation – identified the six different traveller personalities and segments the industry can expect to emerge and become prominent over the next fifteen years. This was used as the basis for a follow-up paper, launched in June, called Future Traveller Tribes 2030: Building a more rewarding journey – commissioned by Amadeus and written by Frost & Sullivan – offering practical advice for airlines and other travel providers seeking to develop strategies to create a more rewarding journey for emerging traveller segments.


Norwegian, UNICEF, and Amadeus extended their long-term cooperation through the launch of an Amadeus donation engine, provided free of charge, that allows travellers to donate funds to UNICEF’s work for children when purchasing tickets on the airline´s website.