Παρασκευή, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Travel Apps vs. Travel Agents in 2016


travel agent vs travel app
A new survey of 6,000 of its Asian, European and North American members tried to determine how consumers in different markets research and book holidays. What the research shows is the significant difference of opinion across various nations regarding the most trustworthy and reliable ways of both researching and booking travel.
The survey conducted by Global travel deals publisher Travelzoo reveals that while travel apps have been adopted by a vast majority of Chinese respondents – with over 85% of Chinese Travelzoo® members saying the use of travel apps as the easiest way to book a holiday, and over 70% saying they plan to book flights, cruises, package holidays and hotels via apps – among European respondents there is resistance to book travel on mobile.
Richard Singer, Travelzoo's European President, said, “It's important for travel brands to recognise that these cultural nuances are the difference between success and failure in today's competitive travel environment. Having a top-notch app in China is critical, while in markets like Germany and Canada the role of the travel agent remains significant. As a business, Travelzoo is constantly adapting the way our deals are presented to our members across the globe – we have to stay on top of cultural trends and shifts in order to appeal to the many markets we now operate in."
Travelzoo's survey also explores which sources its members trust the most at the start of their search for a holiday when they are finding inspiration on what and where to book. Respondents from all markets place more trust in travel-deal websites (69%) than any other source, including guidebooks, travel agents, review sites and feedback from friends and family.
Canadians and Germans value travel agents more than any other nation polled, with 40% of Germans and 37% of Canadians using agent websites for inspiration. 10% of Germans and Canadians also say their final decision on what to book would be most influenced by travel agent or operator websites – for the UK and Spain this number drops to 2%.
A shift occurs in most markets when it comes to the final decision on booking. Review sites and advice from family and friends surpass travel-deal websites for all markets apart from France and Spain, where deal websites retain their position as the most influential. Respondents in Canada, China, the UK and the US say review sites have the most influence on their final decision. In Germany, the final decision is most strongly based on advice from friends and family, with travel-deal websites the second-most influential. German members are the least influenced by review sites, with just 11% saying they would base their final decision to book decision on what they see on such websites.
China's enthusiastic adoption of travel apps is confirmed by Vivian Hong, Travelzoo's President of Asia Pacific, who said, "The Chinese population has a very close relationship with digital technology, and we are always keen to be the first adopters. For example, platforms such as WeChat are becoming more influential than emails. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, there are over 245 million email users in China, and the email usage rate dropped by 36.7% last year. By contrast, WeChat has a total of 697 million active users in China. The market here is much more trusting of technology."
While the other nations polled are a long way behind China in their willingness to book holidays via apps, there is growing interest in booking some forms of travel via mobile websites on smartphones. Spanish and American respondents are second to China in their openness to mobile bookings, with 62% of Spanish and 54% of US respondents saying they would book or have booked accommodation this way. However, the numbers booking via mobile are significantly lower in Canada (37%), the UK (35%), Germany (31%) and France (29%).
Difficulty viewing the holiday information via smartphone is the top concern for respondents from Canada (79%), the US and France (both 77%), the UK (69%) and Germany and Spain (both 64%). Again, the response from Chinese members is vastly different: the top concern in China is payment security (36%), and problems viewing websites or apps via smartphone are an issue for just 9% of Chinese respondents.
With so much competition in the market, travel companies are always trying to find ways to keep their existing customers loyal and encourage new customers to book with them. 85% of members from France, 60% from Spain and 69% from China book with a specific company because they have the best price or the best deals. In comparison, having a positive reputation and brand perception is the biggest driver for respondents from Canada (69%), the US (67%), the UK (60%) and Germany (57%).
This research was conducted using an online questionnaire, which was completed by 6,091 Travelzoo members across Canada, China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US in September 2016.

Spa services market to reach $154.6 billion, globally, by 2022


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Spa services market t
PORTLAND, Oregon - A new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, Spa Services Market - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014 - 2022, projects that the global spa services market would reach $154.6 billion by 2022. Medical spa is expected to register the fastest growth, during 2016-2022, owing to massive developments in medical field. Europe accounted for the largest market share of about 39.1%, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America, in 2015. LAMEA region is expected to witness the highest growth, owing to rising investments into tourism industry in countries such as Brazil and UAE.
Growth of the market is fostered by factors such as increasingly hectic lifestyles, rising wellness tourism, rising demand from teenagers and improving standards of living. Moreover, increase in population of working women and rising popularity of spa among male customers is also supplementing the growth of world spa services market. However, scarce availability of skilled labor and lesser penetration in underdeveloped regions limit the market growth to a certain extent. Furthermore, the cost of employing skilled labor in the world spa services market is high, thereby adding to the operation costs incurred by the firms.
Medical spas with a motive to provide medical treatments within a relaxing environment would witness increase in demand across the world. Increasing popularity of the medical spa is attributed to rising wellness tourism in countries such as US, Germany, Japan and others.
The salon spa segment accounted for the largest market share of around 41.8% in 2015. Increase in disposable income among the middle-income class, affordable services, and innovative marketing strategies used by salons contribute to the growth of this segment. However, the highest CAGR of 10.7% is expected to be witnessed by the medical spa segment during the forecast period. Technological advancement in medical treatments such as laser technology, dermal fillers, cellfina, ultratherapy and others are driving the demand for medical spa. Hotel spa and destination spa would also witness notable growth during the forecast period, owed to massive investments in tourism infrastructure in Asia and Middle East.
The world spa services market was dominated by Europe in 2015, owed to higher demand in Western European countries such as Germany, France, UK and others. In addition, extensive demand arising from Eastern Europe countries due to rising income of middle class customer groups has also contributed significantly to the market growth. Asia-Pacific is the second largest region in the world spa services market owed to huge contribution by countries such as Japan and China, which are highly concentrated with mineral spa. Growth in Asia-Pacific market would also be fostered by booming hospitality industry and the rising popularity of traditional spas such as Ayurvedic and Thai massage in the region.
LAMEA region is expected to witness the fastest growth, with a CAGR of 10.0% during the forecast period, owing to rising investments in tourism industry in countries such as Brazil and UAE. The tourism sector in Brazil is attaining more proficiency and professionalism posing huge avenues for the world spa services market to expand in future.
Key Findings of Spa Services Market Study:
- Europe was the highest revenue-generating region in the world spa services market in 2015.
- LAMEA is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
- Salon spa was the largest revenue-generating segment in 2015.
- Medical spa is anticipated be the fastest growing spa segment due to rapid advancements in medical field.
- The report provides actual historical figures for 2014 and 2015 and provides Y o-Y forecasts for 2016 to 2022, considering 2015 as base year.
Key companies profiled in this report include Four Seasons Hotel LimitedEmirates PalaceTrailhead SpaJade Mountain ResortMassage Envy Franchise LLCSix Senses Hotels Resorts SpasClarins Day SpaBelmond Maroma Resort & SpaLanserhof Tegernsee Spa, and Gaia Retreat & Spa.
Summary of the Spa Services Market Report can be accessed on this website.

APG announces the launch of APG Airlines

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για APG announces the launch of APG Airlines
APG announced the launch of APG Airlines and the reactivation of its APG IET interline e-ticketing product.
APG AIRLINES, code GP 275, is based in France and operates a single Beechcraft 200 aircraft. The airline will start its initial scheduled route between Nice and Bergamo airport on 28 October 2016 with two weekly flights.
With the launch of APG AIRLINES, APG is also able to reactivate its APG IET product in which over 100 airlines participate, and which going forward will operate using the code GP of APG AIRLINES. APG IET acts as an interline hub for airlines allowing APG IET airline clients to interline with any of the other 100+ airlines in the programme without direct interline agreements or links. APG IET was obliged to suspend sales in February this year when Heli Air Monaco, whose code, YO, was previously used for APG IET, became a charter-only operator and was no longer able to participate in the IATA BSP system.
With the launch of APG AIRLINES, APG is now able to use its own code for its APG IET product offering a stronger proposition to airlines in the future. Testing has already started with the first APG IET customers to re-open sales on APG IET and testing with all remaining airlines will be carried out as soon as possible. APG IET is also expected to add new airline customers by the end of the year which have been awaiting the launch of the product with the new code. APG has also taken the opportunity to switch its PSS host system at the same time to Crane PAX, a solution offered by Hitit, a well-known airline systems provider with a reputation for innovation. The new system will allow APG to develop improved links to other sales channels which were not possible previously.

Puerto Rico anticipates record-breaking cruise season

 Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Puerto Rico anticipates record-breaking cruise season


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico is on its way to break cruise passenger records for the second time in three years. The island is the number one home port for cruise ships in the Caribbean and continues to be one of the most popular cruise destinations, attracting the world's largest vessels. Additionally, based on demand, new Puerto Rico shore excursions and day tours for cruisers have been developed to respond to passenger's eagerness to explore the Island.

Puerto Rico's leading port, the port of San Juan, posted record passenger numbers in 2015 with the arrival of 1.5 million passengers. The port is now poised to break that record in the 2017-18 season with an expected 1.6 million visitors, with increased calls from Oasis-class ships plus the maiden season of MSC's Seaside. Homeport passengers are also expected to grow, as Norwegian Cruise Line returns to homeport in San Juan, joined by other industry leaders such as Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises, plus several luxury cruise lines.

The high level of cruise passenger volume is a testament to Puerto Rico's appeal to some of the largest cruise lines in the world. Docking in Puerto Rico this year, include Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival and MSC Cruises. Puerto Rico is welcoming the arrival of Quantum-class vessels and will be a port of call for the 2016 winter season for several new ships such as the Carnival Vista and the world's largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas (6780 passengers) which is scheduled to arrive in San Juan on December 28. San Juan will also be the first Caribbean home port for the Viking Cruises, with Viking Star sailing from October to April. 

Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company says the cruise industry has steadily continued its growth: "The cruise business, a vibrant industry sector for us, has posted 22% growth over the previous four fiscal years." She also says that the expansion of Pier 3 in Old San Juan was a key factor in luring "mega cruise ships" to Puerto Rico including the Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and soon to arrive the Harmony of the Seas.

The island is hosting the 23rd Annual Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCAA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show in San Juan. One hundred executives representing nineteen cruise lines will be engaging in business discussions with attendees for the four-day event, plus over seven hundred and fifty delegates from tour operators and fellow Caribbean destinations.

MedCruise destinations in the centre of attention at Seatrade Cruise Med 2016

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για at Seatrade Cruise Med 2016

 Hosted by the MedCruise member Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Seatrade Cruise Med 2016 took place from 21 to 23 September at the International Trade Fair and Congress Centre in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
In aggregate, more than 130 MedCruise member representatives travelled to Tenerife to participate at this major biennial cruise event, representing more than 70 MedCruise members, 34 of which also joined the MedCruise Pavilion as exhibitors.
Τhe 740 square meter MedCruise Pavilion turned into a hive of activity with various press conferences, presentations and receptions drawing dozens of attendees, including cruise line executives attending the three-day event.
MedCruise President Kristijan Pavic was among the key note speakers in the opening session of the conference that was running alongside the exhibition, setting the shape of cruise activities in the Med.
Amongst MedCruise speakers were also Carla Salvado (Honorary President), Airam Diaz Pastor (Director & Ports of Tenerife), Anne-Sophie Peyran (Director & French Riviera), Thanos Pallis (Secretary General), Andre Velho Cabral (Azores), Luis de Carvalho (B&A Europe), Mark Robinson (Intercruises), and Andreas Stylianopoulos (Navigator).
Ιmmediately after the conclusion of the Seatrade event, MedCruise members gathered once again to celebrate the 49th General Assembly of the Association.
During the first session of this half day event that was followed by discussion of internal matters, MedCruise members were joined by David Pino (Port of Barcelona & Chairman of the PIANC International WG) enjoying an exclusive presentation of the latest PIANC study on cruise terminals investment, planning & design.

Air Canada adds Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille flights

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Air Canada adds Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille flights
Air Canada announced the addition of two new seasonal destinations to its international network from Montreal. The new services, Montreal-Algiers and Montreal-Marseille will launch in June 2017, with the Montreal-Algiers route subject to government approvals.
"Air Canada is excited to introduce non-stop service from Montreal to two new enticing destinations,Marseille and Algiers. In addition to our recently announced Montreal-Shanghai service, these new destinations further expand our global reach from Montreal, reinforcing Montreal-Trudeau as a strategic hub for all of Eastern Canada and the North Eastern U.S.," said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.
"Building on Air Canada's success in Casablanca with flights returning on a year-round basis in April 2017, the service to Algiers will be the only non-stop flight by a Canadian carrier between Montreal and the North African city, establishing Air Canada as an important player in the large and growing market between Canada and Algeria. It will be our second destination in Africa, which makes Air Canada one of only a small number of global carriers flying to all six inhabited continents. The Marseille service will be the only non-stop flight operated by a network carrier between Marseille and North America further expanding Air Canada's reach in France by complementing existing services to Paris, Lyon and Nice, and strengthening our presence in Provence-Côte d'Azur, a popular summer destination for Quebecers."
"I am delighted by these new routes to Marseille and Algiers. Access to an even greater number of directs flights is a tangible benefit for Montreal and for our businesses—it saves time and money for travelers and provides easy access to new markets. They are also an asset in terms of attracting international businesses and creating new jobs here. Once again, we can confirm Montreal's status as a major urban center and international hub," stated Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal.
Both new seasonal routes will be operated by Air Canada Rouge with a 282-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, featuring a choice of three customer comfort options: Economy; Preferred seating offering additional legroom; and Premium Rouge with additional personal space and enhanced service. Seats on the Montreal-Marseille route are now available for purchase, and tickets on the Montreal-Algiers route will be available in the near future.  
Flights are timed to optimize connectivity to and from Air Canada's Montreal hub. All flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits.
RouteDatesFrequency
Montreal-MarseilleJune 9 to October 13, 2017Three times weekly
Montreal-AlgiersJune 26 to October 27, 2017*Four times weekly
*Subject to government approvals.
Casablanca service returns on April 19, 2017 on a year-round basis with three flights a week, increasing to daily service in June 2017 and continuing with three flights a week during the winter season. Flights are operated by Air Canada Rouge with a 282-seat Boeing 767-300ER, featuring a choice of three customer comfort options: Economy; Preferred seating offering additional legroom; and Premium Rouge with additional personal space and enhanced service.

Dramatic renovation of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Dramatic renovation of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club

NAPLES, FL - Set on 125 lush acres, complemented by seven miles of pristine white sandy beach, the 319-room The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is Southwest Florida’s only resort directly on the beach with an on-site championship golf course, a world-class spa, and an award-winning tennis center. The resort will complete the dramatic renovation – almost reinvention – of its championship golf course this November. The resort’s course is being redesigned with input from golf icon and acclaimed course designer Jack Nicklaus, who has a historical tie to the resort. 

  The Jack Nicklaus redesign is being done in collaboration with noted course architect John Sanford of Sanford Golf Design. This major $9 million project follows $50 million in impressive renovations and enhancements at the resort over the last few years. The total redesign of the resort’s course began in April, and the entire project will be complete this November, with the course fully operational and reopening on November 17, 2016, according to the beachfront resort’s General Manager Jason Parsons. According to Parsons, this is almost a month ahead of schedule. 

  Jack Nicklaus is helping to celebrate his past and that of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club by reshaping the future of this iconic golf course. It was in 1951, on a family vacation to Naples, Florida, and a friendly round of golf alongside his father, that the Ohio native accomplished the very impressive feat of first breaking 40 over nine holes on the resort’s course, shooting a 37. At just 11 years old, he came within a shot of shooting par, and just one year after he picked up golf clubs for the first time. This round, in particular, is what drew Nicklaus to the project–the scorecard is even archived in the Jack Nicklaus Museum, the 24,000-square-foot facility on the campus of The Ohio State University. 
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Dramatic renovation of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club 

 “Being back at The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” Nicklaus said. “Returning to the same course where I broke 40, with my father by my side, brings back a lot of very special and very fond memories. At the same time, I am enjoying the opportunity to work with John (Sanford) on this rebirth, if you will, of a wonderful layout. I think we have some great ideas and people will be excited about the end product.”   

The resort’s golf course brings together two of the world’s finest designers, who celebrated the grand opening of their collaboration on Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, New York, in 2015. Sanford served as project manager for the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, and among the many honors bestowed on the design, it was named to Golf Digest’s Best New Courses 2015 and recognized by Golf Magazine as the Best New Course You Can Play. It was also a top-three global selection by Golf Inc. as Development of the Year. 

  “We are very proud and excited about the completion of the dramatic renovation and redesign of our 18-hole championship golf course,” Parsons said. “The redesign is a unique collaboration between the greatest player of all time Jack Nicklaus, who also is one of the world’s most celebrated golf course designers, and the very talented John Sanford. It truly has been a pleasure to see them collaborate on this totally new, par-71 course, which features five tees, ranging from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards. Our guests, groups, and golfers of every skill level will absolutely love the truly beautiful new course. The new course will be a terrific addition to the experience for our guests.”   Golf Course Architect John Sanford said, “The course has been redesigned to challenge the best players but also be enjoyable for all golfers.

 The redesign takes advantage of the sandy soils so the course will play ‘firm and fast.’ The ball will roll out so tee shots will be longer and approaches are open to accept running shots to the greens. The greens are gently contoured to allow for multiple hole locations but have continuous movement that will challenge all skill levels. Many of the large trees were cleared to ‘open up’ the course and various types of palm trees have been planted to extend the beachfront character of the resort. We are very excited about the reopening of the course in November.” 

  Sanford added, “We have a number of great new holes at the resort course, which includes the ‘signature hole’ #16. It is a medium length ‘Redan’ par 3. The green is a peninsula with water in front, on the right and behind the green. It’s not long but will require accuracy to hit the green.”   In addition to the new course, the resort has added a 300-yard practice and teaching range, and will have new golf carts with GPS tracking systems to aid golfers with yardages on each hole, thus helping pace of play.   

“The completion of this renovation will bring our golf course in line with the rest of our AAA Four-Diamond resort and enhance the overall guest and group experience,” said Henry B. Watkins, co-owner of the resort. “The added bonus of having Mr. Nicklaus collaborate on the redesign of the course where he first broke 40 for nine holes is wonderful, and further enriches the deep history of our property.”   Rich in hospitality and tradition, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has been part of the Naples community since 1946. Owned and operated by the Watkins family for three generations, the resort also features: 1,000 feet of soft white-sand beach; the world-class spa; a fitness center; the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center with six Har-Tru courts; Beach Kids Club, a complimentary daily recreational program for children ages 5 to 12; retail shops; beach rentals; 34,000 square feet of meeting space; and a variety of picturesque outdoor venues for receptions and events.   In addition, the resort features multiple restaurants and lounges. 


The selection includes: the signature beachfront restaurant HB’s on the Gulf; Broadwell’s, serving breakfast daily and providing panoramic views of the golf course; and the Seminole Store, which serves deli sandwiches, ice cream, gourmet coffees and a variety of freshly baked pizza, pastries and desserts in a café atmosphere. The Sunset Beach Bar & Grill has been recognized as the “Best Place To View A Southwest Florida Sunset,” and was named “Naples’ Best Beach Bar” by Travel Channel.   Guest rooms and suites feature cool tropical-colored linens, fabrics and carpeting; flat-panel televisions; patios or balconies (with a view of the Gulf, the golf course or the lush resort interior); coffee makers; and refrigerators. 

  Among the recent enhancements was the November 2015 replacement of the brick balconies in the main Tower Building with beautiful glass balconies to showcase the gorgeous Gulf views.   Situated just blocks from Naples’ renowned shopping districts of fashionable 5th Avenue South and historic 3rd Street South, the resort is also within minutes of shopping at Venetian Village, Waterside Shops, Bayfront and Tin City.   Guests can further experience the area by taking tours of the Everglades, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Corkscrew Swamp, The Botanical Gardens, or the Conservancy Nature Center. Boat and fishing trips can also be arranged at the hotel. Other leisure-time activities can include Naples’ outstanding museums, theatres, and art galleries. 

  Providing a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, the resort is an exceptional tropical getaway. Guests always benefit from no resort fees, complimentary self-parking and valet parking, and complimentary access to the resort’s fitness center. The resort is located at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North in Naples, Florida.

Collaboration needed to stem unruly passenger incidents


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Collaboration needed to stem unruly passenger incidents
GENEVA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released figures showing that reports of unruly passenger incidents onboard aircraft increased in 2015. Some 10,854 unruly passenger incidents were reported to IATA by airlines worldwide last year. This equates to one incident for every 1,205 flights, an increase from the 9,316 incidents reported in 2014 (or one incident for every 1,282 flights).
The majority of incidents involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and other forms of anti-social behavior. A significant proportion (11%) of reports indicated physical aggression towards passengers or crew or damage to the aircraft. Alcohol or drug intoxication was identified as a factor in 23% of cases, though in the vast majority of instances these were consumed prior to boarding or from personal supply without knowledge of the crew.
"Unruly and disruptive behavior is simply not acceptable. The anti-social behavior of a tiny minority of customers can have unpleasant consequences for the safety and comfort of all on board. The increase in reported incidents tells us that more effective deterrents are needed. Airlines and airports are guided by core principles developed in 2014 to help prevent and manage such incidents. Be we cannot do it alone. That’s why we are encouraging more governments to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The Tokyo Convention was modernized with the Montreal Protocol 2014, closing gaps in the international legal framework dealing with unruly passengers. To date, six states have ratified the Protocol. "More are needed in order to have a consistent global approach to this issue," said de Juniac.
Also in 2014 the airline industry set out core principles for a balanced, multi-stakeholder strategy for tackling unruly behavior, based around enhancing the international deterrent and more effective prevention and management of incidents.
In some countries there has been a focus on the role of alcohol as a trigger for disruptive behavior. Airlines already have strong guidelines and crew training on the responsible provision of alcohol. IATA is supporting initiatives, such as the code of practice pioneered in the UK, which includes a focus on prevention of intoxication and excessive drinking prior to boarding.
Staff in airport bars and duty-free shops must be trained to serve alcohol responsibly and there is a need to avoid offers that encourage so-called ‘binge drinking’. Evidence from an initiative by Monarch Airlines at London’s Gatwick Airport has shown instances of disruptive behavior can be cut 50% with this pro-active approach before passengers’ board. The industry believes that adopting this cooperative voluntary approach is preferable to heavy-handed regulation and licensing.
"There is no easy answer to stem the rise in reported unruly behavior. We need a balanced solution in which all stakeholders can collaborate. The industry’s core principles can help to manage the small percentage of passengers who abuse alcohol. And it must be balanced with efforts by governments taking advantage of all their deterrence mechanisms, including those provided through the Montreal Protocol 14," said de Juniac.


More Than Half of Europe's Hospital Physicians would not Recommend Their Organization to Provide Care


healthcare europe
Europe’s healthcare industry has started down the path of consolidating and professionalizing its care organizations, but it still has a long way to go. A new survey finds out that more than half of hospital physicians surveyed would not recommend their organizations to their family or friends as a place to get treatment.
Bain & Company’s new multi-national survey of nearly 1,200 physicians and almost 170 hospital procurement administrators in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy found that a large percentage of European physicians consider their organizations and themselves to be ill prepared to address changes on the horizon. These and other findings from the research underscore an urgent call to action for European healthcare organizations to move faster in renewing systems and processes to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care.
Bain’s report, 2016 Front Line of Healthcare: The Shifting European Healthcare Landscape By the Numbers, highlights the daunting challenges that Europe’s healthcare systems face. In addition to being one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world, they are also strained by the increase in chronic diseases and aging populations. According to the survey, more than 80 percent of respondents across Europe said they believe aging populations will have a major impact on the delivery of care going forward; 42 percent of those said this trend would have a negative impact on their ability to deliver quality care.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για More Than Half of Europe's Hospital Physicians would not Recommend Their Organization to Provide Care
“European governments agree they must find a way to lower costs while improving the care and treatment options that are available to patients,” said Michael Kunst, who leads Bain’s Healthcare Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and co-authored the report. “As industry pressures continue to mount, we can expect to see healthcare systems across continental Europe become increasingly systematized, which threatens to limit physicians’ prescribing freedom and impose greater controls on how they choose to treat patients.”
Bain found that physicians’ perceptions of their responsibility for costs are changing, and new payment models are putting providers at risk for outcomes. Compared to the U.S., physicians in Europe are more negative towards the impact of new payment models and cost control measures: 21 percent and 36 percent, respectively, say that these new processes and policies will have a negative effect on the quality care in the future. Yet, despite greater controls imposed on physicians’ work, systemization does give providers improved means to measure performance and link a higher share of their earnings to physicians’ performance. Interestingly, physicians said they are willing to tie their incomes to performance, except in the UK, where a pay-for-performance model already exists.
Compounding these pressures, physicians do not believe their organizations have the capability to meet future challenges. Only 30 percent of public hospital physicians said their organizations have the right structures in place and even fewer (29 percent) said their organization is making the necessary investments to address potential issues. This is in light of the fact that hospitals know they need to control costs. As a result, only one-quarter of physicians said they are inspired by their hospital’s mission.
The systematization of healthcare in Europe will also have a direct impact on pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers as changes cascade down the value chain. Purchasing decisions in Europe increasingly are becoming more focused on outcomes and economics. Bain’s research shows:
  • The percentage of surgeons reporting that their procurement departments set direction or even lead the decision-making for the purchase of tools and devices has risen to 35 percent, up from 23 percent three years ago.
  • Across the European countries surveyed, 55 percent of surgeons report that they have stopped using a device because it was no longer supplied by their hospitals.
  • As in the U.S., competition will become fierce as hospitals switch to preferred vendor programs, giving category leaders a strong advantage. In Germany, 91 percent of surveyed procurement officers use 10 or fewer vendors for devices today, compared with 60 percent three years ago.
  • The importance of price as prescription criterion differs across Europe. More than 60 percent of UK physicians report that price matters, on par with the U.S. Despite Germany’s regulatory efforts to control reimbursement pricing, 57 percent still view price as important prescribing criteria. Physicians in France and Italy give it considerably less weight.
Amid the growing systematized healthcare landscape in Europe, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers also have an opportunity to support physicians and providers in delivering superior value generation through their products. European physicians confirm new treatment innovation as a key driver of change and also rank it as the driver with the most positive impact on care delivery – an unmatched 85 percent of physicians associate innovation with a positive impact on their ability to deliver high quality care.
Those companies that can go one step further, aggregating data to prove the efficiency and efficacy of their innovative products will have a clear advantage. The winners will build customer knowledge and the commercial clout to reshape one or two categories, introducing new value-added services and alternative pricing models.
“Physicians are sworn to uphold an oath to ‘do no harm,’ but nowhere is it written that they have to consider the economic cost of that,” said Kunst. “Pharmaceutical and medical technology companies that can help providers manage both care and cost are in the best position to reap the real benefits of systemization.”

August highest month recorded for tourism spend on day trips across England

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για August highest month recorded for tourism spend on day trips across England


New figures from VisitEngland show that Brits spent a record-breaking £5.5 billion on day trips across England in August, the highest spend recorded for a single month since the day-tripping survey began in 2011.

August also saw the highest number of day trips taken in any month since 2012, with 151 million day trips across England, up 14% on August 2015.

The figures bring overall domestic tourism day trips in England from January to August to 988 million, up 14% on the same period last year with spend up 9% to £32.2 billion, both records for a first eight months of the year.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “It is fantastic to see that more of us are getting out and experiencing the huge range of quality destinations and tourism products on offer right across the country. England is packed full of incredible experiences that you can only get here and we look forward to continuing to work with the tourism industry to develop England’s competitive tourism offer, get more people out exploring the country and drive growth across all the regions.”

The North East of England saw the largest percentage increase in the number of day trips from January to August compared to the same period last year with 52.8 million trips, up 34%, followed by the West Midlands with 95.1 million trips, up 30%.

On spend from day trips, the East Midlands saw the largest percentage increase, with day trippers spending £3 billion from January to August, up 31%, followed by the South East, up 29% to £5.6 billion. London had the largest spend on day trips with £7.3 billion. 

The top journey purposes for day trips were to ‘go out for a meal’ followed by ‘taking part in leisure activities’ including walking, cycling and golf, and ‘visiting friends and family.’

Last month UK Prime Minister Theresa May launched a ‘Tourism Action Plan,’ underlining the Government’s commitment to the continued success of the tourism industry which last year generated £22.1 billion in spending from inbound tourism to Britain and £19.6 billion from domestic overnight tourism spend in England, both record results. The plan also reiterated the Government’s commitment to improving England’s competitive tourism offer through the launch of a three year fund to build world-class ‘bookable’ tourism products that showcase the best of England to international and domestic visitors.

New CEO of South African Tourism


Sisa NtshonaSouth Africa Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom has welcomed the appointment of Mr Sisa Ntshona as the Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.
The appointment has been approved by the Cabinet and was announced today by the Chairperson of the SA Tourism Board, Dr Tanya Abrahamse.
Mr Ntshona has previously worked as Executive Manager for Africa and the Middle East at South African Airways, and was more recently responsible for enterprise development across 12 countries in Africa at a major bank.
He is the chairperson and president of the Enterprise Development Council of South Africa, a non - profit association that coordinates the enterprise and supplier development elements of the BBBEE Codes.
“The work of SA Tourism in marketing our country to international and domestic travelers is critical to the future of the tourism sector, which is making a growing contribution to the overall national economy,” said Minister Hanekom. “We are delighted that Sisa will lead SA Tourism as we work together with our partners in industry to sustain our recent growth.”
“He has an impressive track record in leadership, business and stakeholder management, and a sound understanding of diversity and transformation. These are key attributes as we strive towards transforming the entire tourism sector to be more inclusive of all our people.
“Sisa’s experience in the banking and aviation industries will be valuable to SA Tourism, and to the wider tourism sector. We look forward to working with him and his team to grow international tourist arrivals even further and develop a vibrant domestic tourism market.”
Minister Hanekom thanked the Chief Operating Officer of SA Tourism, Ms Sthembiso Dlamini, for acting as CEO and keeping the organisation on track to meet its objectives during the appointment process.

CLIA: October is Plan a Cruise Month in the United States and Canada


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για CLIA: October is Plan a Cruise Month in the United States and Canada
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community, has announced October is Plan a Cruise Month. The multi-faceted campaign will unite the cruise industry to help travelers discover there is a cruise vacation for every travel style and budget as well as offer tools, offers and advice to plan and book a cruise.
“Plan a Cruise Month is an opportunity for travelers to plan and book an incredible cruise vacation and showcases the unlimited choices our industry offers for every type of traveler,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “With more cruise vacation options than ever before, CLIA and the cruise community are excited to engage with new and seasoned cruisers to help them explore all that cruise travel offers.”
Plan a Cruise Month, celebrated during October, is designed as a point of cruise discovery and a way to inspire travelers to plan and book cruise vacations. Through Plan a Cruise Month, CLIA is providing cruise information, insider travel tips and ways to connect with expert cruise travel agents, as well as a chance to win a cruise of choice through the #CruiseSmile sweepstakes.
Plan a Cruise Month Cruise Deals and Promotions
Travel agents continue to be the most popular and best way to book a cruise and CLIA Travel Agencies and Agents will have access to exclusive cruise deals and promotions to offer clients. During Plan a Cruise Month, several cruise lines have announced amazing offers to entice vacation planners to book a cruise. To take advantage of the Plan a Cruise Month cruise line deals and promotions as well as the expertise from travel agents, consumers can find a CLIA Certified Cruise Specialist at cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/plan-a-cruise/clia-agent-finder.
#CruiseSmile – A Weekly Chance to Win a Cruise Vacation of Choice
During Plan a Cruise Month, the cruise industry is once again launching #CruiseSmile, a simple and exciting digital and social promotion offering the chance to win a cruise vacation each week during the month of October. A wide variety of cruises will be showcased at www.CruiseSmile.org under the themes family-friendly, cultural exploration, fun in the sun and exploring nature. With 31 unique cruise vacations, participants have the chance to win a cruise experience to appeal to individual travel styles and preferences.
For a chance to win, participants must post a photo featuring a great “Cruise Smile” on Twitter, Instagram or the campaign landing page www.CruiseSmile.org, using #CruiseSmile and #sweepstakes from October 1 through 31, 2016. Participants are encouraged to come back each day to enter and discover new, amazing cruise vacations corresponding with the weekly themes. At the end of each theme period, a sweepstakes winner will be chosen and winners may select one of the featured cruises to best fit vacation travel preferences. A total of four cruises will be awarded over the 31-day sweepstakes period. For more information, visit www.CruiseSmile.org.

Singapore Airlines to Increase Indonesia and Australia Services

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Singapore Airlines to Increase Indonesia and Australia Services
Singapore Airlines is to launch a new route linking Jakarta with Sydney while also boosting Singapore-Jakarta flight frequency, in an increase of its operations to both Indonesia and Australia.
The new services, which are subject to regulatory approvals, will be introduced from 23 November 2016 and will be operated with Boeing 777 aircraft. Flights will be made available for sale on a progressive basis through the various distribution channels.
The new Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney route will be served three times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flights will depart Singapore at 20:15 and arrive in Jakarta at 21:00. Onward flights from Jakarta will depart at 22:25 and arrive in Sydney at 09:30 the next day. Return flights from Sydney will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They will depart Sydney at 11:00 and arrive in Jakarta at 14:35. Flights will then depart Jakarta at 15:35 and arrive in Singapore at 18:10. (All times stated are local).
Eight new weekly flights are also being added between Singapore and Jakarta. Four will depart Singapore at 13:50 and arrive in Jakarta at 14:35, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with return flights departing Jakarta at 15:35 and arriving in Singapore at 18:10. The four other flights will depart Singapore at 20:15 and arrive in Jakarta at 21:00, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with return flights departing Jakarta at 22:25 and arriving in Singapore at 01:10 the following day. (All times stated are local).
Singapore-Jakarta is already the busiest route in Singapore Airlines’ network in terms of flight frequency, with 63 weekly round-trip services, or nine flights per day. With the additional services, Singapore Airlines will operate 71 round-trip flights per week between Singapore and Jakarta. Together with the three flights that will operate on a Singapore-Jakarta-Sydney routing, Jakarta will be served with 74 weekly flights.
Sydney is also a major destination in Singapore Airlines’ route network, with 31 weekly flights to and from Singapore. The new services via Jakarta will increase the number of weekly Sydney flights to 34.
“Indonesia and Australia are already among the most popular destinations in our route network. As a result of healthy demand, we are pleased to be able to offer even more travelling choices with these new Jakarta and Sydney flights,” said Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Mr Tan Kai Ping.

7 Cruise Websites You Should Know About

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για 7 Cruise Websites You Should Know About

Our goal here at Cruise Fever is simple, to help you have the best cruise vacation possible.  Even though we are the #1 most socially shared cruise blog on the planet, we can’t offer everything. There are a few other websites that offer great cruise tools that can be a real benefit.
Since educated cruisers make the best cruisers, here are seven cruise websites that you should know about (if you don’t already).
CruiseLine.com – While there are several different cruise sites that offer the opportunity for passengers to submit cruise reviews, CruiseLine.com stands above the rest as they offer verified cruise reviews by people who actually cruised on the ship.  Yes, the internet is plagued with fake reviews that are paid by companies attempting to boost their image.  CruiseLine.com uses five different cruise agency partners to guarantee the authenticity of thousands of reviews.  When you see the “Verified Review” badge on their site, you know it’s a review that you can trust.
CruiseTT.com – Ever wonder how crowded Cozumel will be when you visit on your next cruise? Cruise TT has daily schedules so you can see not only which cruise ships will be in port the same day you will be, but also how many passengers (based on total capacity of the ships). While the info on their site is not 100% accurate (it’s pretty close), it is close enough to give you an idea of how crowded a port will be.
Cruise TT also comes in handy if you wish to stop at a port on a specific day.  Want to spend your birthday or anniversary in St. Thomas?  Just check the daily calendar under St. Thomas and you can quickly see which ships will be in port that day.  A second similar site worth checking out is CruiseTimeTables.com.
CruiseLawNews.com – Written by Miami attorney Jim Walker, his motto of “Everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know” is exactly that. While I often disagree with the slant that he puts against cruise industry, he offers valuable information that is always backed up by credible sources.  Since he sues cruise lines for a living, you won’t find tips on his blog to help you on your next cruise.  However, you also won’t find TMZ style rumors and wild allegations. If you are interested in reading everything about the cruise industry, his website is worth checking out. Just be prepared to read a lot of negativity towards the cruise industry.
ShipMateApp.com – If there is one cruise app that you should have on your phone, it is Ship Mate from Cruiseline.com.  This free download offers cruise countdowns, itineraries, deck plans, shore excursions, and access Roll Calls.  With over 1 million downloads, you can download it for free at ShipMateApp.com.  It is available on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and Apple’s App Store.
OurCruisePhotos.com – This is a site that I have recently discovered and will try out on my next cruise. (stay tuned for a review) Ever gotten home from a cruise and wish you had purchased some of the photos you had taken on the ship?  This website will let you do that.  However, they have currently only partnered with three cruise lines (Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Disney). Although they don’t guarantee that your photos will be available, it’s the start of a service that many cruisers have asked for. This is one website that I really hope takes off.
Source:cruisefever.net/

Meliá Hotels Signs Meliá Ho Tram in Vietnam


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Meliá Ho Tram in Vietnam

PALMA, MALLORCA, SPAIN—Meliá Hotels International has signed the Meliá Ho Tram, marking the group’s fourth property under operation in Vietnam following the Meliá Hanoi, Meliá Danang and Sol Beach House Phu Quoc.

Managed under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand and owned by Tanzanite International, the property is located within The Hamptons Ho Tram complex. Once completed in the second half of 2018, the resort will feature a total of 156 hotel suites and 98 villas.

“The expansion of our Vietnam portfolio in one of the most dynamic regions in the world is strong indication our growth strategy is paying off,” said Bernardo Cabot Estarellas, SVP, Asia Pacific of Meliá Hotels International. “Our company has an impeccable track record and has been an established leader in the resort segment for decades; coupled with our extensive hotel management expertise, we’ve always been the top pick for demanding hotel owners. Today, we join with Tanzanite International and are excited to offer travellers to the Asia-Pacific region an unparalleled luxury resort and beachfront living experience.”

Meliá Hotels & Resorts has 126 properties worldwide and more than 30 years of presence in Asia; Meliá Ho Tram is yet another reaffirmation of the group’s commitment to the region, according to the brand.

IHG, NOVUM to Develop 20 Hotels Across Europe

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για IHG, NOVUM to Develop 20 Hotels Across Europe

LONDON—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and NOVUM Hotel Group, (NOVUM Group) have signed a multiple development agreement (MDA) spanning 20 hotels across Europe in markets such as Germany, Austria and Netherlands. The MDA is the first venture together between both companies. 

IHG currently has more than 650 hotels in Europe, including 64 hotels in Germany. Hamburg-based NOVUM Hotel Group currently has 99 hotels across Germany, including its own brand hotels, and those developed in partnership with IHG will be franchised.

Rob Shepherd, chief development officer, IHG, Europe, said, “Europe is growing at pace and we are well-positioned to take advantage of the appetite for branded growth. We cannot wait to kick off the beginning of this long-term partnership with NOVUM Group.”

David Etmenan, CEO and owner, NOVUM Group, adds, “Franchise partnerships are of particular importance to our international expansion and we see IHG and its winning portfolio of brands as the optimal way to gain ground and advance our European expansion strategy.”

Morgans Hotel Group Shareholders Approve Acquisition by sbe

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Morgans Hotel Group Shareholders Approve Acquisition by sbe
The Delano South Beach is part of the Morgans Hotel Group portfolio

LOS ANGELES—sbe, a lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates hospitality venues, has secured shareholder approval for the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group.

Assuming the acquisition is completed, sbe will have a portfolio of 20 lifestyle hotel properties in nine gateway markets, more than 90 entertainment and food & beverage outlets, as well as an extensive pipeline of hotels scheduled to open by 2019.

The proposed merger with sbe received the approval of approximately 71% of the outstanding shares of common stock of Morgans and out of the 25,170,480 votes cast, 24,715,378 shares, or 98%, voted in favor of the sbe merger, according to the company.

"We appreciate the overwhelming support of the Morgans shareholders to approve this transaction," said Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO, sbe. "This shareholder approval is an important step in completing the merger and we continue to make progress to close this transaction as soon as practicable. We expect that this acquisition will further drive sbe to be the preeminent global lifestyle hospitality brand."

The merger is subject to the assumption of the Morgans mortgage debt by sbe, as well as other customary closing conditions. 

Curio - A Collection by Hilton Opens Historic Ames Boston Hotel



BOSTON and MCLEAN, Va. - Today, one of the most historic and distinctive hotels in Boston joins Curio - A Collection by HiltonTM offering independent-minded travelers and Hilton HHonors members another unique, upscale hotel option from the global set of more than 20 open properties. Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton is the first Boston hotel to operate as part of the hand-picked collection of distinctive properties.

Ames Boston Hotel opens in the iconic Ames Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still widely referred to as Boston's "original skyscraper." Constructed in 1893, the 114-room boutique hotel - which has undergone a multimillion dollar renovation - is conveniently situated near Boston's busy Financial District, the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the innovative Seaport District, and many public transit access points, including "T" stations at Haymarket, State Street, and Government Center. Additionally, Ames Boston Hotel abuts many of the city's beloved landmarks and old-world neighborhoods, including the Old State House, Faneuil Hall and Beacon Hill.

"Ames Boston Hotel is an iconic landmark in one of the world's most dynamic cities, and perfectly represents Curio's focus on offering travelers distinctive hotels that are imbued with local character and personality," said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio - A Collection by Hilton. "With our first property in Boston, we look forward to providing leisure and business guests the unique experience they seek from Curio when visiting spectacular destinations around the globe."

The 15-story Ames Boston Hotel merges the past, present and future, offering a blend of modern style and old-world sophistication. The renovation preserved many original features, such as the lobby's tiled mosaic arched ceiling and a marble staircase that runs from the first floor to the roof. Upon arrival, guests will enter into a renovated lobby space featuring sleek new check-in stations and a casual seating area accented by warmly-toned wood shelving and trim pieces. Adjacent to the revamped entryway is a brand new Library Room boasting the same eye-catching, mid-century design scheme that begins in the lobby, which serves as communal workspace for guests and features a variety of comfortable seating arrangements that are ideally suited for solo travelers looking to unwind and small groups seeking informal meeting space.

"Ames Boston Hotel blends modern style and old-world sophistication, a unique style enhanced by joining Hilton's Curio collection," said Trish Berry, general manager, Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. "We are delighted to offer guests this perfect combination of age-old Boston charm with globally-recognized service and amenities."

Guest Rooms and Suites: Stylish Luxury
Each of its 114 modern guest rooms, including one-bedroom suites, bears an elegant, sleek and luxurious design that pays homage to the original 19th century appearance of the building.
  • The suites are accented by dramatic, Romanesque arched windows and decorative fireplaces complemented by inventive design interpretations.
  • Grand windows usher in ambient natural light, while high ceilings, light oak hardwood floors and modern décor balance sophistication and comfort.
  • Other features include oversized closets and ergonomic workspace and an elegantly designed bathroom with white marble rain shower, stainless steel fixtures and illuminated vanity mirrors.
On-Site Dining: Breakfast Served in New Library Room, Cultivar by Acclaimed Chef Mary Dumont to Open
Ames Boston Hotel offers guests a delicious American Continental Breakfast served buffet-style in the property's new Library Room located on the lobby level, consisting of freshly prepared hot items like assorted breakfast sandwiches and meats, as well an assortment of seasonal fruits, pastries, cereals, coffees, teas and fresh juices. Later this year, acclaimed Boston Chef Mary Dumont will open the doors to Cultivar, a highly-anticipated, unique dining concept that will serve modern American garden cuisine to local Bostonians and guests alike.
Fitness and Events
Ames Boston Hotel seeks to cater to every guest need, with popular amenities including a 24-hour fitness center and complimentary bicycles (seasonally) to ride through Boston's bucolic parks in style. Also set to open in December is the hotel's meeting and event space, which will accommodate gatherings of up to 75 people.  
Just two miles from Boston's Logan International Airport, the hotel is situated on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile brick path around iconic Boston sites. Its idyllic location also offers panoramic views over the city's downtown and nearby attractions, including Boston Common, the Seaport District, North End, Hines Convention Center, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
Hilton HHonors and Location
Ames Boston Hotel is part of Hilton HHonors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 13 distinct hotel brands. Guests are encouraged to participate in Hilton HHonors, Hilton's free-to-join loyalty program. Hilton HHonors members who book directly with Hilton save time and money and gain instant access to the benefits they care about most, including:
  • An additional 1,000 bonus points on eligible rates starting November 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017 to celebrate the hotel's addition to the Curio collection. Gold and Diamond HHonors members staying at Ames Boston Hotel will enjoy complimentary breakfast for up to two registered guests per room and space-available room upgrades.
  • An exclusive member rate at more than 4,500 hotels worldwide.
  • Instant benefits, such as free Wi-Fi, the ability to earn and redeem Points for free nights as well as access to digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key.
  • Unforgettable, exclusive experiences, available via Points atHHonors.com/auctions, such as access to private concerts or sought-after events.
Ames Boston Hotel is owned by a joint venture doing business as Ames Investor, LLC and managed by Benchmark, a global hospitality company. The property will be part of Benchmark's Gemstone Collection, which features unique personal luxury hotels around the globe.  Ames Boston Hotel is located at 1 Court Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108.