Τρίτη, 27 Ιουνίου 2017

Medical tourism growth in Singapore slows down due to stiff competition from Malaysian market

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Medical tourism growth in Singapore

Medical tourism growth in Singapore is expected to slow down in the middle of stiffer regional competition, especially from the Malaysian healthcare market. This is projected in a decline in growth of foreign patient numbers. This, in turn, is expected to take a toll on growth in revenue.
Foreigners made up 40 per cent of healthcare provider IHH Healthcare’s business in Singapore in 2013, but this fell to 30 per cent last year. Its quarterly revenue growth in the same period has also declined from an average of 5 per cent year on year between 2013 and 2014, to between 1 per cent and 2 per cent year on year from 2015 to last year.

Patients are flocking to Malaysia due to factors such as improvements in infrastructure and service quality, as well as the relatively lower hospital bills.

A report earlier this month said that Singapore is the second-priciest medical tourism destination in the world, and the most expensive in Asia.

RewardExpert releases its 2017 Independence Day Air Travel Forecast

NEW YORK, N.Y. - RewardExpert, a free service that helps travelers redeem flights using miles and points, released its 2017 Independence Day Air Travel Forecast analyzing major U.S. airports and airlines to determine how travelers can best avoid potential delays surrounding the Fourth of July holiday. Findings show regional carrier Hawaiian Airlines ranked at the top for on-time performance, while Delta had the best track record out of the major domestic airlines. Additionally, the Fourth of July itself is the day with the least reported air travel delays.
“Travelers who choose to fly instead of drive over the Independence Day travel period are looking to travel somewhere far or get to their destination quickly” says RewardExpert CEO and co-founder Roman Shteyn. “If timing is important to you, be mindful of the carrier you’re flying with and the dates you choose to travel.”
Key findings of the 2017 Independence Day Air Travel Forecast are:
  • There’s a silver lining for last-minute travelers. Historical data shows there are far fewer delays, cancellations, or disruptions on the Fourth of July than the days before it. Travelers who fly out the morning of the Fourth can still get to their destination in time for the fireworks.
  • Hawaii truly is paradise. Not only is regional carrier Hawaiian Airlines at the top with 94.7% of flights reporting on-time performance, so is Honolulu International Airport with 88.5% of flights arriving on-time.
  • Delta leads the pack among major carriers while United ranks dead last. With 82.1% of flights on-time, Delta secures third place overall and stands head and shoulders above United’s last place score of 72.7%.
  • Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport is the busiest during the travel period. Travelers flying through Atlanta’s airport can anticipate heavy crowds. An average of 20,967 departures and arrivals go through the airport during the holiday period per year. Yet despite the crowds, travelers are still likely to have a positive travel experience due to its decent marks for on-time performance.
  • D.C. area travelers are likely to experience delays. According to our findings, only 71.2% of flights arrive and depart on-time. Dulles airport is also experiencing a reduction in the number of flights it has each year. In 2011 the airport had 4,218 flights during the Independence Day period. In 2015, this number dropped to 2,105; a whopping decline of 13.0% per year on average.
 Nobody wants to get stuck in the airport when traveling for the holiday,” says Shteyn, “which is why RewardExpert is crunching data to inform travelers of where the most delays have been reported and which airlines were responsible.”

Singapore tourist arrival increases but sees decrease in spending

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Singapore tourist arrival increases but sees decrease in spending

Singapore’s tourism sector is growing in terms of visitor arrivals and overall spending, but when it comes to “sightseeing, entertainment, and gaming”, receipts were down in 2016.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international visitor arrivals totaled 16.4 million last year, which is an eight percent increase from 2015’s numbers. The island city-state off southern Malaysia is home to two casino resorts, Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa, and Las Vegas Sands’ Marina Bay Sands.

The reason for Singapore’s gaming slide, however, can be attributed to a declining VIP base.
That’s largely due to China seemingly relaxing its crackdown on VIP junket operators in Macau. In 2016, Indonesia accounted for the most international arrivals to Singapore with 2.89 million travelers. China followed closely with 2.86 million, and Malaysia a distant third at 1.15 million.

Japan is currently in the process of planning its Integrated Resorts bill to authorize at least two commercial casino destinations. In Singapore, locals must pay $71 to walk into Resorts World or Marina Bay Sands. That keeps most citizens out, and restricts their gambling to the state-run lottery and sports pools and casino cruises that offer lower table minimums and slot wagers. Singapore taxes gross gaming revenue on premium players at 12 percent, and 22 percent on all others.

The Farmington Hotel of Liberia boosts tourism

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The Farmington Hotel of Liberia

The Farmington Hotel is gradually bringing a new aspect to the tourism of Liberia, as confirmed by its General Manager, Mr. Ronald Stilting. Located at the Roberts International Airport in Harbel, Margibi County, Mr. Stilting said that while addressing reporters on Friday, June 23rd.
The Farmington Hotel effectively organized the recent ECOWAS conference & Heads of State Summit. It served as a major game-changer for Liberia. He further explains that it’s the largest hotel-facility based in Liberia with 164 rooms and suites along with three Presidential Suites of 300 M², and will be extended with 10 villas in the second phase.

Mr. Stilting also adds by saying that the Farmington Hotel strongly aims and prioritizes on leisure and guests. It’s all geared up to make the guests relax in beautiful large gardens along the Farmington River. They can and cool down or workout in one of its three huge swimming pools which has an infinity riverside pool as well. As the resort strongly targets on tourism, it is all prepared to provide land-tours to different interesting sites and help with additional service providers to improve the tourism of Liberia. A botanical garden, showing typical and seasonal fruits and crops about which most visitors are unaware of will be integrated in the large grounds to show the diversity of Liberia’s nature.

Tallest Building in the West Opens to Great Fanfare

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Tallest Building in the West Opens to Great Fanfare

The billion-dollar Wilshire Grand Center in downtown Los Angeles celebrated its grand opening last Friday, ushering in a new age and downtown skyline for the city.

Valued at over $1 billion, the Wilshire Grand Center celebrated its grand opening on 23 June, 2017, at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown L.A. The day of celebrations included a ribbon cutting and cornerstone signing ceremony featuring featured comments from city and state elected officials as well as Yang Ho Cho, Chairman of Hanjin Group.  Also commenting were Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of the center’s designers and developers, A.C. Martin; Elie Maalouf, CEO of The Americas InterContinental Hotels Group, and Peter Davoren, Turner Construction President and CEO.

The celebration concluded with a nighttime light show — accompanied by music — presenting a dazzling spectacle of the building’s signature 73-story-high LED lighting as it illuminated the skyline of downtown Los Angeles.
The grand opening is a significant occasion for the city and for the project that began construction with a record-breaking concrete mat pour in February 2014. Over the past five years, 11,500 workers spent 5,433,012 hours constructing the skyscraper that features Los Angeles’s first sky lobby, a sky deck, innovative outdoor spaces, exterior plazas and light features that will redefine the skyline and living experience of downtown Los Angeles for generations to come.  

“This is the culmination of a dream and the completion of a promise. I have long dreamed of reinvesting in Los Angeles, my second home. We promised a world-class project and we delivered the crown jewel of Figueroa Street. This is a proud moment,” said Chairman Cho.

“The Wilshire Grand is designed as a tribute to, and for, the city of Los Angeles,” said Chris Martin, CEO and President of A.C. Martin, the firm responsible for the building’s design. “Seeing this project come to fruition is a momentous occasion and symbol of pride for the entire city, and for all those who work, live and stay in Los Angeles.”
The Wilshire Grand Center is an eco-friendly building that is built with state-of-the-art construction methods. It’s designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake by using the Bucking Restrained Braces (BRB) method that is especially important in a region affected by Pacific Rim earthquakes. It also was designed as an environmentally-friendly building to meet the “Green California” guidelines set forth by the state government. As a result, the building reflects the philosophy of an environmentally-conscious hotel and was acknowledged for its efforts by receiving a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the American Green Building Council, a private environmental organization in the United States.

The new hotel also provides a different experience that cannot be found in other hotels in the region. The lobby of the hotel is located on the 70th floor, allowing guests the unique experience of checking in while enjoying the skyline and spectacular views of downtown L.A.  The glass doors in the hotel’s ballrooms provide views onto the gardens and add a special touch that isn’t found in other hotels. In addition, guest rooms are equipped with retractable windows, so guests can enjoy the beautiful Los Angeles weather.

Between the top floor and the lower office levels, the hotel will have 900 luxury rooms. On the building’s lower floors, there are offices, convention space and commercial uses. The Hanjin Group expects the Wilshire Grand Center to become a source of pride for L.A.’s Korean community as well as a new landmark in the city.

The Wilshire Grand Center is also expected to support Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Accommodations are a key element for hosting the Olympics and it is anticipated that the opening of Wilshire Grand Center will help differentiate L.A. from its competition.

“The InterContinental® Los Angeles Downtown hotel is a flagship property for the world’s largest luxury hotel brand,” said Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer of The Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group, which will operate the hotel. “The Wilshire Grand, home of the new hotel, is a remarkable building and an iconic landmark for the city, and we are proud to work with Korean Air and Hanjin International Corporation to open this new marquee property.”
“The Wilshire Grand embodies the transformation of Downtown L.A. — it has created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and is bringing new energy and opportunity to a growing neighborhood,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I stood with Chairman Cho and this incredible project team when we laid the foundation for this building three years ago, and I’m proud to see it open for business today.” 

“The Wilshire Grand is not just the tallest building West of the Mississippi, but an entertainment destination that is a true testament to downtown Los Angeles’s bright future and vibrant culture,” said City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents the downtown area. “I am pleased to join the project team and the entire DTLA community in celebrating the grand opening of a building that shines beautiful light — literally and figuratively — on our entire City.”

Source:- Korean Air

The global airlines industry will see accelerated growth by 2021, says MarketLine

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The global airlines industry will see accelerated growth by 2021, says MarketLine
The global airlines industry is set to rise from $569.5 billion in 2016 to $828.3 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%, and surpassing the peak growth rate of 7.4% seen in the period between 2012 and 2016, according to research firm MarketLine.
The company’s latest report states that the emerging dynamic of the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 33.9% of the global industry, combined with signs of reduced rivalry in the European airline industry, are driving accelerated growth in global terms.
The Chinese and Indian industries are expected to boost their value in 2021 by 81.8% and 164% respectively, compared with 2016, and are anticipated to account for a combined 41% of the Asia-Pacific industry. The European industry will also witness an accelerating trend, with a projected 30.6% increase over the same five-year period.
Theodoros Delimaris, Analyst for MarketLine, explains: “The relaxing of regulation in India and China, along with rising incomes, will stimulate demand for flights in these countries. Specifically, India has recently made a great stride to relax restrictions on foreign investment in its industry, which will expand its already booming demand for domestic flights to include the international segment. China's industry is at a more advanced stage of development, with demand for international flights surging. In fact, the growth of the international flights segment seems to be a focal point of the Chinese government, demonstrated by the new open skies agreements.
“Another factor is that European airlines have already demonstrated intentions to refrain from intensive competition, which has suppressed prices in recent years. Particularly, improving efficiency has been the target of European carriers over the last two years, meaning competition for capacity is not a trend we expect to see in future. Indeed, this type of supply competition has been a bad experience for the European industry, which saw its growth rates decelerate noticeably a few years ago.”
The CAGR of the European industry in the 2016-2021 period is expected to be greater in terms of value (5.5%) than in terms of volume (3.6%), showing that downward price pressure is alleviating.
Delimaris concludes: “The entry of low-cost carriers into the long-haul flight market, a major concern for legacy carriers in the future, may not be realized. Firstly, this trend has been facilitated by lower oil prices in the last two years, which are not predicted to hold over the coming years. Secondly, legacy carriers are still expected to adopt this model in future as the experience of air travel has been undermined anyway, presenting a new opportunity to increase international traffic.”

Air Canada Named one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for Second Consecutive Year

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Air Canada Named one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for Second Consecutive Year

Air Canada has been ranked among the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in North America for the second year in a row for its commitment to employee engagement by Achievers, an employee social recognition company.

“Having an engaged workforce that delivers excellent service to our customers is a top priority for Air Canada and we are very pleased our success in creating such a culture has now been recognized for two years running. Air Canada is deeply committed to further evolving its culture, which is only possible because our 30,000 dedicated employees have responded enthusiastically to the opportunity to act as entrepreneurs, take responsibility and embrace the values that make our airline a leading global carrier. Their engagement is a key reason why Air Canada was recently rated the Best Airline in North America by the widely-respected Skytrax World Airline Awards,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Senior Vice President, People and Culture, at Air Canada.

The Achievers award is the most recent recognition Air Canada has received in relation to Human Resources, corporate culture and employee engagement. Other commendations include:

  • One of “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” and One of “Montreal’s Top Employers” for 2017, both for the fourth consecutive year, by MediaCorp Canada;
  • One of Canada’s top two “Most Attractive Employers”, in April, 2017 by Randstad Canada;
  • One of “Canada’s Best Diversity Employers” and one of Canada’s “Top Employers for Canadians Over 40″, both for the second consecutive year by MediaCorp Canada.
  • One of Canada’s 10 most admired corporate cultures for 2016 by Waterstone Human Capital.

Companies selected by Achievers are evaluated on eight elements of employee engagement: communication; leadership; culture; rewards and recognition; professional and personal growth; accountability and performance; vision and values; and corporate social responsibility. The top 50 companies were selected for their work in setting the benchmark for standards in employee engagement.

Blount Small Ship Adventures launches 2018 programs

WARREN, RI – Blount Small Ship Adventures has released its 2018 brochure and included in it 6 new itineraries as well as the return of an old favorite - Belize.
  • Cuba: Experience Cuba by land and by sea as you spend 4 days docked in Havana, using the comfort of a Blount ship as your base to explore the city and countryside. Then, sail for 4 days to places like Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad.
  • West Palm to Savannah: Travel from vibrant West Palm Beach through historic St. Augustine and into the pristine Sea Islands before continuing north into antebellum Savannah, GA.
  • Savannah to Baltimore: The southern charms of Savannah and Charleston combine with coastal cruising and the historic cities of - Annapolis and Baltimore to create an unforgettable small ship adventure.
  • Maine & New Brunswick: Cruise the gorgeous Northern Atlantic coast from historic Boston, MA through the quaint ports of Maine and into scenic New Brunswick Canada.
  • New England Islands Escape: The charms of Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island and Newport come alive on this 4-day cruise getaway.
  • Historic Massachusetts Sampler: Sailing in and out of Boston, visit mystical Salem; historic Newburyport and Plymouth; and the quintessential New England islands of Provincetown and Martha’s Vineyard.
  • Belize: Back by popular demand, see undisturbed and remote areas of Belize and Guatemala. All departures include kayaking and snorkeling among stunning reefs and cayes and a visit to see Mayan ruins. Throughout the trip an onboard naturalist introduces you to marine and land wildlife.
Aside from the new programs, BSSA will continue to offer perennial favorites such as: The Saguenay; Locks, Legends and Canals of the Northeast; Islands of New England; Magical Lake Michigan; and Great American Waterways.
According to Nancy Blount, the small ship company’s President and CEO, small ship cruising is experiencing strong growth. “We have had double digit sales growth in 2017 and all indications are for 2018 to be even stronger. There has definitely been a surge of interest in small ships and in particular small ship cruising in the Americas. Plus, travelers are booking much further out than they have in the past 8 years.”     
BSSA has been in business since 1966 and remains family owned and operated. 
Cruises include:
  • A comfortable cabin with individual climate controlled air conditioning and a private bath
  • 3 chef prepared meals a day featuring locally inspired cuisine
  • Complimentary beer and wine with lunch & dinner on most itineraries
  • A BYOB policy on most itineraries
  • Snorkeling equipment, kayaks and bikes are available
  • Onboard lecturers, naturalists and entertainment depending on the cruise
  • Complimentary soft drinks, coffee, juice, and snacks
  • A casual cruising experience
  • Fewer than 84 passengers

Tour Europa – Leads the way in European Destination Management

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Zurich, Switzerland

Tour Europa is a Destination Management Company. It’s headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s a pioneer in the European tourism ever since 2008. The company is known for its exceptional hospitality and a wide array of travel services. Tour Europe is well-adept in handling quite a few thousands of guests worldwide which comprises from small / big Leisure or MICE segment or for a couple travelling anywhere in Europe.

The company promises to provide a fulfilling enjoyment and pleasure on every mile of the proposed journey. One gets the best comfort while traveling as the company has wide range of self owned comfortable fleets, multilingual tour guides, coach drivers with widespread European experience and knowledge. One gets to explore the exotic routes, famous tourist destinations of Europe in a comfortable way taking care of your Food, Boarding and Lodging at the same time.
Services Offered:
Tour Europa offer wide range of travel solutions which starts from scratch. They also provide wide options as a guiding tool for the clients to map and making it a memorable vacation. Their services include:

European Tour Packages: Enjoy your vacation anywhere in Europe, taking you to different corners of Europe with improved hospitality. Their predesigned Tour packages will nicely direct for most of European Destinations.

Air Ticketing: TicketDesi.com is their ticketing division. This portal provides Air tickets at the best affordable rates for your journey with specialization in Group fares across the globe. Other services include hotel bookings, shooting spot packages, car/bus/van rental in Europe and travel insurances.

Celebrating 25 years of the EU's internal market for aviation

Since the EU's Internal Market for Aviation took off in 1992, air travel has been revolutionised. Today, air travel is cheaper, safer and open to more people than ever before with aviation supporting nearly 9 million jobs in the EU, and contributing over 621 billion euros to EU GDP (2014).
“With more than 900 million passengers annually Europe is one of world’s strongest aviation power houses. Travellers benefit from low fares and vast choices also generated by the EU's Internal Market for Aviation. Beyond the economic contribution of air transport there is its social and cultural value for Europe. Let us continue to jointly work together to provide the best connectivity to the benefit of all Europeans and a continuous positive development of Europe’s tourism sector,” said Thomas ReynaertA4E’s Managing Director.
"We are celebrating a major milestone as the Aviation Internal Market celebrates its 25th birthday. In that time, air travel has been revolutionised. Healthy competition between airlines has led to more destinations and lower prices than ever before. At the same time, Europe has a proud safety record – one that passengers can have full confidence in when they travel,'' said Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport.
A4E member CEOs join the European Commission in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the creation or the EU’s Internal Market for Aviation.
“easyJet was born from the opening of Europe’s skies by the EU which democratised air travel for all. Since then fares have plummeted and the range of destinations has soared, enabling people to more easily live, work and holiday across Europe,” said Carolyn McCall, CEO easyJet.
“The Single Market in aviation is the stand-out achievement of the EU over the last 25 years. It has lowered airfares and enabled citizens to travel freely all over Europe. However, we need to tackle long-standing challenges such as the scandal of repeated ATC strikes, which disrupt the travel plans of millions, and remove ruinous aviation taxes and overpriced airport monopolies,” said Michael O’Leary, CEO Ryanair.
“It is a true privilege to connect Europe with the world and Europeans with each other. We stand for an open and tolerant continent without nationalism. Travelling is more than just visiting places – it is about appreciating diversity. I am proud to say: Our roots are in Germany, but Europe is our home,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO Lufthansa Group.

Global Standards the Key for Sustainable Russian Aviation Growth

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Global Standards the Key for Sustainable Russian Aviation Growth

Moscow - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the Russian Federation to implement global standards and best practices, in order to maximize the economic and social benefits generated by its growing air transport sector.
Strong demand for connectivity is evident in over 12% growth this year for passenger services and robust growth in air freight. The latest estimates show that aviation and aviation-enabled tourism supports 1.1 million jobs and 1.6% of Russian GDP.
The positive impact of global safety standards, including the IATA Operational Safety Audit, and investments in new aircraft are reflected in improved safety performance. There have been no fatal jet aircraft accidents by Russian carriers over the last three years. When looking at the all- accident data for 2016, however, there is still a gap between Russian performance (one accident per 400,000 flights) and the global average (one accident per 620,000 flights).
Further strengthening of aviation’s economic and social benefits could be achieved with an even greater implementation of three key global standards.
IATA calls on Russia to:
  • Ratify Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14), an important global treaty to give greater powers to states to prosecute unruly passenger behavior
  • Volunteer for the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), a global agreement for a market-based measure to help achieve carbon-neutral growth for aviation by 2020. Seventy nations have already volunteered to implement CORSIA from 2021.
  • Ensure that the benefits of the recently-ratified Montreal Convention 99 treaty are felt, by ensuring customs and border authorities are ready to accept paperless cargo shipments.
"Russian aviation is on an upward curve. The new optimism can be seen in everything from the preparations to receive millions of visitors for the 2018 World Cup, to the desire to create a new generation of passenger jets. To write the next chapter in the successful development of Russian aviation, the country must continue to align with global standards and best practices. Ratification of MP14 and volunteering to join the CORSIA carbon offsetting agreement would send a powerful signal that Russia is taking a leadership position in global aviation affairs," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. De Juniac is in Russia meeting with government and business officials.

What will be the knock-on effect of Brexit on the cruise industry?

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για What will be the knock-on effect of Brexit on the cruise industry?
LONDON / HAMBURG - Top of the cruise industry’s agenda is how Brexit will impact the industry in light of last week’s negotiations with the European Commission (which started on June 19).
The Seatrade Cruise team talked to some of the industry’s key cruise lines and associations to gather their thoughts about what the future might mean - ahead of a full Brexit discussion which will take place later this year at Seatrade Europe.
Tim Reardon, Policy Director – Taxation, Ferry and Cruise, UK Chamber of Shipping, said: “Despite endless punditry about how everything is caught up in uncertainty, the travel business is very much working on the assumption that life will continue much as it is now.”
However, he did continue to say that “Such an approach is based in part on the fact that Brexit will make no difference to where ships may go or to the services they may offer. The regulatory frameworks of the UN and the OECD, which bind both the UK and the countries of the EU, ensure that there will be no dislocation to itineraries. British cruise ships will be free to continue sailing to EU ports, and European ships will be free to continue sailing to British ports, just as American and other ships are currently free to sail to both.”
Giving a cruise line perspective, Stuart Leven, Chairman, CLIA UK & Ireland, Vice President, EMEA and Managing Director, RCL Cruises Ltd, feels that “the industry enjoys global frameworks which mitigate any risk to ongoing marine operations. However, the freedom of movement of our guests and the customs union are two areas which will be determined during the Brexit negotiations.  As negotiations start ministers have been made aware of the potential impacts. It is critical that they listen to the industry, and that we collectively continue to lobby both sides of the debate through the full negotiation process”.
From a legal perspective, Maria Pittordis, Partner, Head of Marine Trade & Energy for Hill Dickinson, says that “consumers should have confidence and continue to book their cruises as CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) is working closely together with DfT and the UK Chamber of Shipping to address legal issues that are relevant to cruises, ports and commercial shipping and must be resolved for 2019. The industry is addressing these in the appropriate manner including lobbying so as to ensure legal and regulatory provisions are addressed during the Brexit negotiations.”
The impact of Brexit on the European cruise industry will be discussed in full at Seatrade Europe 2017, which is being held at Hamburg Messe und Congress in Hamburg, Germany. This session will take place on Thursday 7 September from 0930-1015 hrs. Tim Reardon will lead the discussions and joining him on the panel will be Stuart Leven and Maria Pittordis.

Tourism and future energy: committed to curb emissions

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Tourism and future energy: committed to curb emissions

Under the title ‘Tourism and Future Energy: Unlocking low-carbon growth opportunities’, industry leaders and policy makers have convened in the Kazakh capital city of Astana to discuss the contribution of the tourism sector to reducing carbon emissions. The Conference is a joint initiative of Astana EXPO 2017 and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan.

The event is held in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 and aims to advance the commitment of the tourism sector to the global climate change agenda.

Discussions were focused on how to implement mitigation and adaptation measures in transport, accommodation and destinations in the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals – especially Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and Goal 13 (Climate Action).

“One of the fastest-growing economic sectors nowadays, tourism represents 10% of the world’s GDP, 7% of global exports and 1 in every 10 jobs. But with growth comes responsibility as we work towards building a better future for a people and planet of prosperity and peace,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

“Tourism is estimated to account for 5% of global atmospheric CO2 emissions. We need to move towards a truly green tourism economy where growth is decoupled from environmental or cultural degradation”, he added.

“Tourism is a priority for Kazakhstan. Tourism is a driver of socio-economic development and we plan to increase the share of GDP from 1% to 8% by 2025,” said Askar Mamin, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, who requested UNWTO’s support to construct a sustainable tourism sector.

“The Prime Minister defined tourism as one of the pillars for the modernization of the national economy,” said Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly.

The Chairman of the Board of EXPO 2017, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, said: “The Expo is a unique opportunity to introduce Kazakhstan to the world and provide an impetus for comprehensive development of tourism”.

Curbing emissions, energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and sustainable practices were underlined as key to ensure tourism’s contribution to the Paris Agreement.

Disneyland theme park’s first map sells for $708,000 at auction

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Disneyland theme park’s first map sells for $708,000 at auction

The very first drawing of the map of Disneyland’s theme park that had been sketched in the year 1953 has been sold at an auction for $708,000.

This was the epic drawing that used to persuade investors to pool their funds for the theme park. Though it is quite a respectable sum, it has fallen short of the $750,000 to $1 million that Van Eaton galleries, the Los Angeles-based auction house had initially estimated.

An anonymous American collector had placed the winning bid on 25th June 2017 for the 3 and a half foot by 5 and a half foot plan for Disneyland that would come to fruition in 1955.

The map was a brainchild of Walt Disney himself.

And, Disney had himself created the map along with Herb Ryman, his fellow illustrator in just a single weekend. In combination with interesting features including Main Street and of course the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle, it portrays areas that have never been realized, for instance the Lilliputian Land.

This is the second time the Disneyland map is sold.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Disneyland theme park’s first map sells for $708,000 at auction

Following the construction of this theme park, the map was hanging in the office of Disney until Grenade Curran, a production assistant had inquired if he could take it home.

He told the news media that he was quite keen to keep it with him for the sake of historical charm intrinsically associated with it. Curran was present at the opening of Disneyland. Ron Clark, the map’s previous owner who is a Disney memorabilia collector had purchased it from Curran about 40 years ago.

Hand-drawn maps currently are no longer in use.

Even then, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts continues to create artistic renderings for its theme parks.

Long haul travellers propelled international arrivals in Europe on first quarter of 2017

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Long haul travellers propelled international arrivals in Europe on first quarter of 2017

The latest results from the Air Travellers' Traffic Barometer produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys highlight the persistence of recovery for International arrivals in Europe on Q1 2017, marked by the return of positive performance by all subcontinents and very good progression by long haul travellers.
Number of long haul travellers increased by 8.3% in Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016
Total International arrivals in Europe grew by 3.5%. This is especially due to the healthy North American market increasing its number of passengers by 6.7% when comparing the same period in 2016. The US market is taking advantage of the USD vs Euro and GBP exchange rate. Asia & Oceania increased their number of passengers, pushed by Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets. Central & South America showed a considerable improvement thanks to Brazil, Argentina and Colombia markets which represents almost 70% of the region.
Meanwhile, Intra European flows (which account for 60% of the total arrivals in Europe) remained at the same level as the previous year. But signs of a growth recovery have been observed. North America shows itself as the healthiest and steadiest market. Africa and Asia & Oceania confirm their improvement, after the drop observed during Q4 2015 and Q1 2016 that affected all of Europe because of the fear of terrorist attacks.
High increase of bookings for Q2 2017 compared to Q2 2016
The booking situation shows a significant increase in the number of arrivals in Europe for Q2 2017, most likely due to the shift in Easter holidays occurring in April in 2017 instead of March in 2016. That event is reflected in the bigger share of North America going from 16% in the Q1 2017 to 26% in the bookings for Q2. Central & South America keep on picking up strongly. Meanwhile Middle East went up, reaching 14.7% when compared with same period last year.
Top 10 destinations regarding bookings for Q2 2017 are increasing steadily
Every European city in the Top 10 destination for long haul travellers in volume, except Istanbul, is expected to rise with double digit growth for Q2 2017, as result of the shift in Easter holidays and the troublesome Q2 2016 where terrorism dramatically affected the most important destinations in Europe. German destinations fell in the ranking, with Munich disappearing from the top 10 in favour of Lisbon.
Southern destinations such as Lisbon and Madrid confirm their good performances. London, besides being the preferred European destination, shows fantastic growth for Q2 2017. This is probably due to a better currency exchange ratio.

Summit Hotel Properties Completes $163M, 5-Hotel Portfolio Acquisition

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Summit Hotel Properties Completes $163M, 5-Hotel Portfolio Acquisition

AUSTIN, TX—Summit Hotel Properties Inc. has completed the 812-guestroom, five-hotel portfolio acquisition from Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc. for a total purchase price of $163 million, or approximately $201,000 per key.

The portfolio includes the 203-guestroom Courtyard Fort Worth Downtown/Blackstone; the 123-guestroom Courtyard Kansas City Country Club Plaza; the 182-guestroom Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown; the 116-guestroom Hampton Inn & Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor; and the 188-guestroom Residence Inn Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor.

The agreement to acquire the portfolio was previously announced on June 5.