Τετάρτη, 18 Οκτωβρίου 2017

OAG’s on-time performance Star Ratings highlight North America’s most on-time airlines and airports

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για OAG on-time performance Star Ratings highlight North America’s most on-time airlines and airports

CHICAGO - OAG, the global leader in flight information, has released its On-time Performance (OTP) Star Ratings, accrediting the top airlines and airports around the world for superior performance. Delta Air Lines once again demonstrated on-time excellence, finishing as the only legacy carrier to achieve 4 stars. Among North American airlines, Delta trailed only Hawaiian Airlines – the only U.S. carrier to achieve 5 stars.
OAG’s biannual rating system is a global accreditation program that recognizes exceptional OTP across all airports and airlines regardless of size, geographic location or aviation peer group. The awards showcase the industry’s premier performers, with the top ten percent of airlines and airports receiving 5 stars. The awards are then distributed based on performance across all airlines and airports, with the poorest performers receiving 1 star.
Delta’s performance stands out, as it not only topped its mainline competition, but finished ahead of smaller airlines such as Alaska Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. In a U.S. air travel ecosystem that relies on major hubs, it’s easy for a single delay or cancellation to knock an entire day of flights off schedule. Despite managing one of the largest fleets in the world, Delta has remained a cut above its competitors. Southwest (78.9 OTP), American (78.8 OTP) and United (78.5 OTP) all performed admirably, earning 3 stars respectively.
Some of North America’s largest airport hubs also earned high marks in OTP Star Rating, with Salt Lake City International Airport earning an impressive 5 stars for an 85.2 percent on-time performance. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (82.9 percent), Detroit Metropolitan Airport (83.1 percent), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (82.2 percent) and Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (85.1 percent) all performed strongly for airports of their size. In fact, Minneapolis narrowly missed out on becoming the largest North American airport to earn 5 stars.
“Today’s travelers are evaluating their air travel options through a variety of considerations, and punctuality is increasingly becoming a deciding factor,” said John Grant, senior analyst at OAG. “On-time performance is viewed as an indicator to judge the quality of an airline or airport. As a result, many airlines and airports continue to track this critical metric and invest to optimize operations and improve their performance.”
The OTP Star Ratings are measured on a rolling 12-month period, and awarded twice a year in April and October. To achieve an OTP star rating, the world’s airlines and airports must meet two simple criteria: all airlines and airports must have a minimum of 600 operations a month and OAG must receive flight status information for no less than 80 percent of scheduled flights within the 12-month period.

Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda

Viking Sea Cruise is a small cruise ship company makes its inaugural visit to Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Minister of Transport & Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban led a delegation aboard the MS Viking Sea at the invitation of the Founder, Chairman and Owner of Viking Cruises Torstein Hagen.

There were some more than 40 stakeholders, who were invited for lunch and a tour of the Star Class vessel, docked in Hamilton, on its inaugural visit to the island.

It is the first time a Viking Cruises ship has ever sailed to Bermuda, although Viking Cruise has been registered in Bermuda for two decades.

During a grand ceremony involving an exchange of plaques, the Deputy Premier of Bermuda had welcome remarks for Mr. Hagen, Viking Sea Captain Bent-Ivar Gangdal and crew.
 Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Viking Sea Cruise marks its opening visit to Bermuda
In 2013, Viking Cruise added to their leading reputation for river cruises, by branching out into ocean cruises and launching their first ocean liner in 2015.

Following the inaugural visit of the MS Viking Sea, Bermuda will also host two more Viking inaugural calls with the MS Viking Sky on October 31 and the MS Viking Sun on November 14.

The Viking model involves the medium size, five-star design cruise vessels, together with excellent performance and comfort levels on ships holding less than a thousand passengers.

Minister Roban said that it was a great pleasure to be here with them to commemorate the inaugural visit to Bermuda of the MS Viking Sea. This superb vessel is not just a Bermuda flagged ship, but it is owned by a Bermuda company, Viking Cruises Ltd., which was incorporated here nearly 20 years ago.

They are delighted to finally welcome one of great ships to the Caribbean island.

The Bermudians admire how the most established brand with the world’s finest river cruises and how, in recent years, you entered, and quickly excelled at, the ocean cruises market.

Viking Cruise has been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line in the Caribbean cruise world.

Delta to rollout pre-select flight meals for premier guests

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Delta to rollout pre-select flight meals for premier guests

Passengers boarding Delta Air Lines will relish an elevated in flight dining experience with the introduction of new services.

Customers travelling to selected European destination from the New York-JKF and Atlanta will be able to pre-select their meals, this will be followed by upgraded meals and serviceware in the main cabin from the start of mid 2018.

After the initial launch of the pre-select meals, the services will first be available to Delta One customers on all international routes both outbound and inbound in the United States. The passengers in the Delta Premium Select cabin will be able to avail by the end of next year.

An email communication will be sent to customers six days prior to their flight asking them to choose their meals, Delta will roll out pre-select through additional channels in 2018.

Lisa Bauers said that by selecting their meals the customers will have more control over the inflight experience. It will be just like providing the customers a culinary experience similar to that of their favourite local restaurant.

There will be newly designed trays and upgraded serviceware that will complement investments in meal quality. The first changes will be seen next month when the customers will receive menu cards which will have information on timing for each meal service and details on the in-flight food and beverage offerings.

In December, the airline will introduce new upgraded cutlery in the Main Cabin before the meals are served next year.

Bauer further added that this will be Delta’s biggest investment in the main cabin dining experience till date, the main motive is to recreate the customer’s experience, what they would prefer at 30,000 feet taking into account what items naturally complement them, the service behind the offerings and the overall presentation.

Oxfam Canada highlights exploitation of women hotel housekeepers

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για f women hotel housekeepers

OTTAWA - Profits in the global hotel industry are based on the systematic exploitation of housekeepers, the majority of whom are poor women living in fear of losing their jobs, says a new report by Oxfam Canada entitled Tourism's Dirty Secret: The Exploitation of Hotel Housekeepers.
In interviews with current and former hotel housekeepers in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Thailand, Oxfam heard hotels often don't pay housekeepers enough to survive, make them work long hours with no overtime pay, and turn a blind eye to high rates of injury and sexual harassment on the job.
"You cannot say anything because if you say something, you don't know if you're there tomorrow. If you report it, they don't even believe it," said Toronto housekeeper Luz Flores.
One housekeeper in Punta Cana was hospitalized with severe vomiting, despite repeatedly complaining to her supervisor about exposure to toxic chemicals. In Toronto, housekeeper Lei Eigo was asked to deliver a pillow to a guest, only to be greeted by a naked man at the door.
"With the busy holiday travel season approaching, Canadians need to understand the daily reality for the women who ensure their rooms are clean and comfortable. A housekeeper's job can be dangerous, dirty and demanding," said Diana Sarosi, Women's Rights Policy & Advocacy Specialist at Oxfam Canada. "The hotel industry is just one example of how our global economy relies on exploiting women's cheap labour to maximize profits. It illustrates the vast and growing inequality of today's world."
Oxfam has warned the gap between the super-rich and everyone else is increasing at an unprecedented rate, disproportionately affecting women who make up the majority of the world's poor. Consider it would take a housekeeper in Phuket, Thailand nearly 14 years to earn as much as the highest paid hotel CEOs make in a single day.
"The working lives of hotel housekeepers and those of hotel CEOs graphically depict the unacceptable inequality that plagues today's world. This growing wealth gap is bad for us all. It makes it harder to end poverty, and it has particularly adverse consequences for women," Sarosi said.
Such systematic exploitation is not inevitable. Oxfam's report found when women have the ability to unionize, they earn decent wages and benefits, have greater job security, and experience less stress and fewer injuries. However, employer resistance and a climate of fear created by management make organizing in the hotel sector extremely difficult, particularly in developing countries.
"Governments around the world must hold corporations accountable for violations of labour rights, and take action on pay equity," said Sarosi. "Politicians, companies and everyday people all have a role to play in putting an end to the exploitation of women at work. We need to build a movement where everyone does their part to ensure women's work is fairly paid and equally valued."

Windstar Applauds the Spontaneous Celebration with a Group Rate for Real People – Book 7, Get 1 Free

Seattle, WA, — “If you wait until retirement to go see the Parthenon, you might not make it up the steps.” Wise words from an anonymous traveler. Windstar Cruises – with small ships visiting 170 ports from Asia to Alaska, Canada, New England, the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Europe – is applauding a growing trend among its guests: celebrating milestone moments as they define them. We’re talking taking that cruise to Alaska because you crave one more child-free adventure with your friends before baby is born, or you just got divorced and want to enjoy your new happiness with those BFFs who truly support you. People are living more and more in the moment with their friends and family, celebrating these decisions and markers that go far beyond the typical and expected times to commemorate life milestones.

“We have been seeing this trend and decided to do something to support it,” said Steven Kona Simao, vice president of sales for Windstar. “Why just have corporate incentives for groups? Why not let people define their own friends and family group and reward it?”

So they did. So many people are traveling in groups that Windstar, on select dates, will give a free cruise to the eighth cruiser for every seven people booked.
“That’s a major value,” said Simao. “Some people keep the free cruise for themselves, while others divvy up the savings with the rest of the group.” 
On higher-demand cruises, it’s one free cruise for every nine people that are booked.

In addition, groups also get a discount off of standard guest fares, as well as a $100 per person shipboard credit to use on things like massages, shore excursions, or a bottle of bubbly. 
However guests choose to celebrate or share the savings, Windstar is also able to help elevate the festivities with a variety of intimate celebration options on board their vessels, which carry no more than 310 guests on itineraries around the globe. From vow renewals performed by the captain with a personalized cake baked by the culinary crew (gluten-free if need be), to private cocktail parties in one of the larger public spaces on board or a guest suite, there are plenty of ways to make moments special together. Windstar may also arrange for memorable shore excursions and other activities exclusively for the group. And of course, there’s also the option of gathering a group to join one of Windstar’s incredible themed cruises, or a delicious foodie-focused sailing on Windstar’s James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection

This is the beauty of small ship cruising with Windstar: flexibility and completely tailor-made revelries, no matter what milestone you’re celebrating or just because.

For additional information on private yacht-style cruising and organizing a group with Windstar, contact your travel agent or Windstar Cruises at 877-958-7718, or visit www.windstarcruises.com.

Judge restricts Trump’s latest travel ban hours before it is ready to take effect

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Judge restricts Trump’s latest travel ban hours before it is ready to take effect

A federal judge has blocked yet another of the travel bans proposed by US President Donald Trump that is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the immigration agenda of the president.

In September, Trump had unveiled a brand new executive order that is his third on the matter so far curtailing travel from countries like Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea.

On Tuesday Derrick Watson, the U.S. District Court Judge has nullified the implementation of a part of that order just a few hours prior to the ban set to take effect. He had written that it had suffered from the same legal weaknesses as the previous versions.
Judge Watson had been repeatedly ruled against the Trump administration in legal clashes over travel bans.
The judge had wrote stating the travel order discriminates based on the nationality of people and therefore is completely unethical to the basic principles of this nation.

The White House responded by slamming the order of Judge Watson and promising to press along with a court battle, arguing that the order would be standing up to legal scrutiny. A White House statement however stated that the dangerous flawed court order slams the efforts of the US President to ensure the safety of Americans by enforcing minimum security standards for entry into the United States.

Eventually, the Supreme Court permitted certain aspects of the earlier travel ban to stand, handing over the Trump administration a partial victory.
It has allowed for a temporary halt on travellers from Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Syria and Yemen. Moreover it has also suspended refugee admissions in cases wherein people were unable to prove ‘bona fide’ ties to the United States like immediate relatives or job offers. Last month the high court has cancelled arguments on the restrictions as it had anticipated the indefinite ban that might be taking effect.

LiveRez launches technology that enables vacation rental managers to get bookings on more than 1,000 websites

EAGLE, IDAHO - LiveRez.com, the most widely used cloud-based software for professional vacation rental managers, released multiple pieces of new technology last week at its annual user conference.
New products included a next-generation mobile work order app and a channel management system powered by NextPax that allows companies using LiveRez to seamlessly integrate with more than 300 major booking portals worldwide.
Chief among the announcements, however, was a new technology called the LiveStay Network (LSN) that empowers LiveRez users (called partners) to work together on a massive scale by listing each other's inventory, referring bookings and earning commissions.
With the announcement of a channel manager and its LSN technology, LiveRez will give its partners the ability to potentially list and get bookings through well over 1,000 different websites.
"To this point, we've kept our heads down and focused on building out our core management software, while educating our partners about building their own brands and protecting their data," said Tracy Lotz, LiveRez founder and CEO. "But last year, we committed to build a channel manager. And, with this announcement, we've gone from the software with the fewest amount of integrated booking portals to the one with the most – and by a wide margin."
Since launching in 2008, LiveRez has evolved into the fastest-growing and single largest software in the industry. And Lotz is confident that the timing behind the launch of this new technology will not only help the network grow faster but also stronger.
"The size of our network and the efficiencies of all our partners using the same technology is what has made the LiveStay Network possible," Lotz said. "While others in the industry could attempt to duplicate this technology, it's the size and strength of our network that will really drive the success of this initiative."
The LSN technology, while still in beta, has already generated promising results with only a small network of testers using it. Once expanded to a larger base, the company expects it to grow into a major source of bookings for its partners and a way for many of them to generate revenue year-round, even in their slow seasons.
The technology works by allowing professional managers, through a digital handshake, to agree to list one or more of each other's properties. A shared guest review system that has ratings for both managers and individual properties allows partners to decide which managers and properties to work with. 
When guests book, property-specific branding will indicate that they are booking with a partner company. The bookings will flow directly into the reservation system of the partner that manages the property, keeping them merchant of record. Both partners will have access to the guest information, as well as reports that indicate which bookings were generated through LSN, by which partners, and how much commission they have earned.
The concept of the LiveStay Network will translate into the company's guest app, which currently allows travelers to download one app and use it to manage their stays with any partner in the network.
Down the road, Lotz said he envisions LiveStay growing into a recognizable affiliation standing for consistent standards of excellence.
"As a network, we have an opportunity to define what it means to offer exceptional guest experiences,"Lotz said. "We can set a consistent standard that travelers will recognize and that enhances each participant's individual brand." 

Global Wellness Summit announces winners of Global Wellness Awards

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Global Wellness Summit announces winners of Global Wellness Awards

MIAMI, FL – The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) announced winners of its prestigious Global Wellness Awards, which honor outstanding industry leaders in seven categories. Dr. Richard Carmona, M.D., the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and Chief of Health Innovation, Canyon Ranch, received the Summit’s first Leader in Social Impact award for his commitment to expand access to health and wellness to all people around the world.
In a surprise announcement, Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Summit, introduced Jane Iredale, founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd, who presented spa and wellness visionary Deborah Szekely with the first GWS Wellness Award for Living a Well Life. Szekely–who recently celebrated her 95th birthday–co-founded Rancho La Puerta in 1940 and the Golden Door in 1958. Recognized for embodying wellness principles and practices throughout her life, she received a standing ovation from delegates who gathered to honor her renowned contributions to the industry.
“I’d like to congratulate this year’s Global Wellness Award winners and thank the sponsors and the Global Wellness Summit Advisory Board for making these important honors possible,” said Ellis. “These outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to the industry–and their dedication and creativity furthers our goal to bring health and wellness to people around the globe.”
Members of the GWS Advisory Board selected all winners and along with award sponsors presented honorees with their awards at the annual Summit held at The Breakers Palm Beach.   
GWS Social Impact Award
The Social Impact Award, which honors a leader who has worked to make it possible for more people and societal groups to live healthier, happier lives, was presented to Dr. Richard Carmona by Dilip Barot, founder of Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences in Riviera Beach, Florida.  
The Social Impact Award is close to my heart,” said Barot. “Giving and sharing what we have with others, especially those in need, has been instilled in me from my childhood.”
In his emotional acceptance, Dr. Carmona–who also received a standing ovation from delegates– said, “I have been inspired to help others by being hungry and homeless as a child. I am humbled, flattered and undeserving of this award, and being part of this team is the best honor I could have received.”
Raised in Harlem, of Puerto Rican descent, Dr. Carmona is a nurse, physician, police officer, public health official, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, and the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. He has used his position on the world stage to advocate for disease prevention, and for access to health services for the underserved. He is also a member of the board of the Global Wellness Institute, and is working to achieve the recently announced Wellness Moonshot and a world free of preventable disease.
GWS Living a Well Life Award
Jane Iredale, who presented the Living A Well Life award to Deborah Szekely said, “When we think about who was the first person to receive this award, we will say, how appropriate, how deserving, how inspiring that it was given to Deborah” Szekely remarked, “The award will be on my desk to remind me to deserve it.”
Szekely is recognized for her lifelong commitment to wellbeing and for inspiring others to learn from her example.
All 2017 Global Wellness Award Winners
The complete list of Global Wellness Award winners includes these wellness leaders who received their awards from the presenting sponsors, accompanied by members of the Global Wellness Summit Advisory Board.
Leader in Innovation: Steve Nygren, Co-founder of Serenbe
Presenting Sponsor: Sammy Gharieni, founder and CEO of the Gharieni Group 
GWS Advisory Board: Tony deLeede, Founder, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia
The award is presented to a global innovator from any wellness sector. Nygren created one of the first wellness communities in the world to protect the rural land just outside of Atlanta known as Chattahoochee Hill Country.
Leader in Sustainability: Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Presenting Sponsor: Donald Mayer, Global Business Development Manager, UL Environment
GWS Advisory Board: Mary Tabacchi, PhD, RD, Professor Emerita, Cornell University, U.S.
This award honors a leader or innovator in, or advocate for, sustainability in all its diverse forms. Jacobs has combined his creative vision of global hospitality and his passion for sustainability, impacting how people view their destination experiences.
Leading Woman in Wellness: Julie Bach, Founder of Wellness for Cancer
Presenting Sponsor: Miriam Senft, President & CEO, Motivity Partnerships, Inc., U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Yoriko Soma, President & CEO, Conceptasia Inc, Japan
This award honors a woman who is making a contribution in any of the wellness sectors – whether as an entrepreneur or as a health and wellness champion.
Through her organization, Wellness for Cancer, Bach works to bring wellness to those who have experienced or are living with cancer by connecting them with spa and wellness providers who seek to serve them.
Leader in Workplace Wellness: Renee Moorefield, PhD, CEO and Founder of Wisdom Works 
Presenting Sponsor: Josh McCarter, CEO, Booker Software, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Mia Kyricos, President & CEO, Kyricos & Associates LLC
This award recognizes a leader in the field of workplace wellness and health promotion. Moorefield was honored for helping forward-thinking clients embed wellbeing strategies in the workplace and produce results that matter.
Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness: Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg

Presenting Sponsor: Lauren Wright, President, Debra Simon Family Foundation & Daughter of Debra Simon, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Gina Diez Barroso de Franklin, President & CEO, Grupo Diarq, Mexico
This award honors an individual who has achieved excellence in the field of mental health and wellness and has been a leader, advocate or innovator in wellness programs and pathways that help people thrive mentally. Schwartzberg’s inspiring films are used in hospitals and wellness centers to help people deal with stresses and anxieties, and he is a leading voice for emotional and mental wellness.
Leader in Social Impact: Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States and Chief of Health Innovation, Canyon Ranch 
Presenting Sponsor: Dilip Barot, Founder, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Omer K. Isvan, President, Servotel Corporation, Turkey
This award honors a leader who has worked to make it possible for more people and societal groups to live healthier, happier lives–and whose work in the field of wellness has made a meaningful social impact. (See more about Dr. Carmona above.)
Living a Well Life Award: Deborah Szekely
Presenting Sponsor: Jane Iredale, Founder, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd
GWS Advisory Board: GWS Chairman & CEO: Susie Ellis
The Living a Well Life Award is given to someone who embodies, with fierce devotion, wellness principles and practices throughout his or her life. They lead by example, and their choices regarding mind, body and spirit serve as an example to us all. (See more about Deborah Szekely above.)
The GWS is considered the world’s most prestigious gathering of leaders from every sector of the wellness industry:  tourism, spa, education, beauty, fitness, nutrition, finance, environment, medicine, architecture, workplace wellness, wellness communities and technology. This year, a record 600-plus delegates from over 40 countries participated in the three-day Summit.

New tourism route in north Wales to attract Japanese tourists

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για New tourism route in north Wales to attract Japanese tourists

North Wales tourism has launched a new tourism route in order to attract the Japanese tourists.

North Wales Tourism said the region had seen an 84% rise in visitors from Japan in the last two years. And, in this new route, the Roads of Castles in Wonderland initiative will circle around the World Heritage sites and other attractions in the area.

Its director Jim Jones said: “Japanese tourists used to by-pass north Wales but not anymore.”

With the new route opened, it will start in Newtown and will come up through Chirk, Wrexham and Ruthin, before heading to Conwy and Llandudno. It will then tour down to the Conwy Valley to the Llyn Peninsula before looping to Caernarfon and Anglesey.

North Wales Tourism has worked closely with the Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA) before launching the initiative as Mr. Jones said.

He said, “We have worked hard to promote the region and as a result we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese tourists visiting north Wales.”

He rightly pointed out the reason why North Wales is now growing as a major tourism destination. It is the epicenter of the growing adventure holiday’s market and has earned recognition as a world leader owing to the developments such as Zip World and Surf Snowdonia.

Airports respond to A4E’s hollow ‘revelations’

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Airports respond to A4E’s hollow ‘revelations’

BRUSSELS  - At an event in Brussels yesterday organised by the airline association A4E, the findings of a new study on airport charges were revealed… but not the actual study. The findings announced were media-friendly, highly selective and simplistic, but these ‘revelations’ are not about benefitting consumers.
Asked directly by the moderator at their own event, whether lower airport charges would genuinely result in lower air fares – none of the airline CEOs on the airport charges panel would confirm. A4E’s campaign on airport charges is all about boosting the bottom line of the major European airlines – which A4E represents. This, at a time when these airlines are actually posting record profits – on the back of improving pricing power and contained oil prices (which they do not pass onto consumers).
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe commented “Calling airports “connectivity disruptors” as A4E did today, is not just insulting - it is a massive lie. Developing diverse air connectivity is at the very core of airports’ social and business mandates. We aim to provide air travellers with more choice. This is precisely why airports in Europe are perpetually chasing airlines, offering incentives such as rebates on airport charges and marketing support to entice them to develop new routes¹ and add more frequencies from their own location.”
ACI Europe has extensively worked on measuring airport connectivity – providing its members with a set of industry indexes² allowing them to track their own connectivity performance over time.
Jankovec added “The figures speak for themselves. Europe’s airports already subsidise airlines to the tune of 10.4 billion euros every year. This is because of the gap between airport revenues from charges paid by airlines/passengers and airports’ total costs. In fact, airlines and passengers only finance airports’ costs of operating. The totality of the cost of maintaining and expanding airport infrastructure comes from other sources – essentially from the margins on airports’ commercial activities. This is a model that benefits all airlines and that some of A4E’s members have abused extensively.”
ACI Europe also noted that A4E is also basing their allegations on EBIDTA margins. For a capital intensive sector like airports, EBDITA is a rather selective and not necessarily appropriate way of measuring financial performance.
The global airline association IATA has acknowledged this*, stating, “airports are relatively capital intensive, with the level of capital invested (e.g. land) higher than the level of annual revenues. As such, operating profit margins will need to be relatively higher than other sectors in order to generate an equivalent return on capital.”
A more appropriate indicator for capital intensive industry is ROIC (Return On Invested Capital). ROIC for Europe’s airports currently stands at 7.2%, broadly in line with their cost of capital. It should be noted that EU airports are actually underperforming other European airports based on this indicator – not to mention airports in other emerging markets where the ROIC is routinely well above 10%.  
Jankovec concluded “The shallow nature of this latest attack is typical of how some European airlines have decided to lobby for a revision EU airport charges directive. But a closer look only reveals that there is no systemic market nor regulatory failure that justifies such a revision. In the end, it comes down to realising that there is a clear distinction between the interest of the passenger and the wider economy on the one hand – and the interest of airlines on the other. Just consider the fact that most airlines do not even effectively refund airport charges** and other ticket taxes to passengers who do not take their flight. Airport charges should be about airport investment and connectivity – not about boosting airlines’ bottom line”.
European Airline CEOs concerned about “supernormal” returns at the majority of Europe’s largest airports
During the second annual “A4E CEO Forum”, Europe’s largest airline association presented the final results of a York Aviation study on “The Cost and Profitability of European Airports”, which shows that European passengers are paying excessive airport charges, particularly at monopoly airports and airports which operate under a Dual-Till regime.
“The European Commission's (EC) current regulatory evaluation process is an important step in addressing the abuse of market power by some European Airports. We look forward to concrete outcomes from this process, proceeding to the formulation of the new legislation necessary to tackle the supernormal returns by airports, which are bad for consumers, bad for tourism, bad for national economies. We call on the EC to accelerate its evaluation. We must proceed now from analysis to action,” said Thomas Reynaert, A4E’s Managing Director. 
The average EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) margin of York Aviation’s sample of airports was 46%, which is significantly higher than the 23% margin of the top 100 airports referred to by the EC in its 2015 Aviation Strategy, indicating the extraordinary levels of profitability of Europe’s largest airports. 
The study has also looked at returns to an airport business relative to its cost of capital. If returns are substantially in excess of the cost of capital, this is evidence of a situation in which airports enjoy significant market power and are using this to price excessively. The analysis identifies such returns in excess of cost of capital as ”economic profit” or ”supernormal” profit. More than 85% of the entire sample of airports generate what could be called ”supernormal” returns.
“The existence and proliferation of Dual-Till airports demonstrates that airports don’t operate in a competitive market and that they abuse their market power. We are strongly convinced that Single Till is the model which benefits European passengers most and should be introduced across the continent,”added Reynaert.
The study also reveals that neither airlines nor the relevant regulators in each EU member state are provided with sufficient transparency on the level of airport charges. There is little regulatory scrutiny, despite the fact that this is one of the key requirements of the ACD. A4E believes that it is essential that national regulators and competition authorities are equipped with adequate resources and competencies to create a level playing field.

¹ Every year, European airports of all sizes attend route development conferences to pitch to airlines, to try to attract them to set up new air services from their airport. Airport pay to attend these conferences. Airlines do not. This year’s WORLD ROUTES in Barcelona has attracted 700 airports from across the world – a large percentage of which are from Europe.
For more info, go to http://www.routesonline.com/events/189/world-routes-2017/
² Download the ACI Europe Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2017 https://www.aci-europe.org/component/downloads/downloads/5115.html
* IATA Economics Briefing No 4: Value Chain Profitability, June 06, page 13. Available online at http://www.iata.org/publications/economics/market-issues/Pages/profitability.aspx
** Getting such refunds usually involves unnecessarily cumbersome administrative requirements and “processing fees” that all serve to ensure that passengers rarely see those refunds. These passengers’ fees thus retained by airlines are estimated to reach up to 3.5 billion euros a year (source:www.airtaxback.com).

IDEATTACK to design China’s two ‘Fairytale Theme Parks’ for Evergrande

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για IDEATTACK to design China’s two ‘Fairytale Theme Parks’ for Evergrande

IDEATTACK Inc. that is the designer of world-class attractions all across the globe is ready to create two new Fairytale Theme Parks for Evergrande Group that is a Chinese developer.

These parks would be the first to be commissioned under the recently announced brand of ‘Fairytale Theme Park’.

Chinese culture, stories and history would comprise the backbone of the all-season theme parks targeting families with children aged between 2 and 15. Evergrande is placing its brand as a series of leading top-quality entertainment destinations portraying 33 cutting-edge attractions.

The top manufacturers of the world would be engaged to offer everything from immersive multimedia rides to sophisticated edge theatres and experiences.

According to IDEATTACK it is the storytelling that would make these attractions uniquely the best.

Each of these theme parks would be featuring at least six different themed zones including Magical Europe Zone, Splendid China Zone, Mysterious Kingdom, Adventure South America Zone, Space Travel Zone and Surfing Sea Zone.

The attractions in each lands would be interwoven together with interesting tales reflecting the theming.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για IDEATTACK to design China’s two ‘Fairytale Theme Parks’ for Evergrande

The parks would also remain fully open throughout the year irrespective of the season or climatic conditions. With its specialized architecture, ride and show experiences and dining and retail offering, Evergrande Theme Park is being planned as a game-changer in the theme park industry of China.

WTM London Puts Social Media and Artificial Intelligence Under The Spotlight

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για WTM London Puts Social Media and Artificial Intelligence Under The Spotlight

How destinations market themselves as social media grows in importance will be a key topic at WTM London 2017, the leading global event for the travel industry.
The issue will come under the spotlight for two days of the event on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 November, when panel discussions and a keynote speaker will feature during the Social Media programme at WTM London, organised by Travel Perspective.

Marketing professionals will not want to miss a key session on the WTM Global Stage, when a panel will discuss the question ‘Is influencer marketing the way forward for destinations?’ Social media expert and former Times journalist Steve Keenan will chair the discussion. Among those on the panel will be key figures from social media marketing specialists WhalarQubist and Dash Hudson. The discussion takes place on Wednesday November 8 and runs from 14.05 to 15.00.

This will be followed immediately by another session that looks at the topic from a different angle. ‘Why destinations have to change how they sell themselves’will examine how Airbnb and Visit Sweden have worked together to promote the country. Additionally, Visit Jersey will describe how video content is now used to accompany and illustrate accommodation and package tour offers.

The panel will also show how Airbnb has launched Trips, which encourages accommodation owners to turn tour guide. The session will ask if this new collaborative model is the way forward.

The discussion will be moderated by author, journalist and social media consultant Mark Frary and will include speakers from Visit Sweden, Visit Jersey, Airbnb and Cape Town Tourism.

A keynote session the day before, on Monday November 6, will see a face-to-face interview with Travelocity founder Terry Jones. Jones will talk on how Artificial Intelligence will become more important for the industry and how to use it to innovate. Jones, who will be interviewed by Mark Frary, was also involved in the launch of Kayak and is currently chairman of Wayblazer, a company already using Artificial Intelligence to disrupt the traditional travel market.
Face to face with Terry Jones takes place on the WTM Global Stage, 14.00 to 14.50.

WTM London, Conference & Seminar Manager, Charlotte Alderslade, said: “Social media has already impacted travel in an enormous way and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasingly large impact in the years to come, so these sessions are a must for any marketeer.”

The programme also includes sessions on how social media can help World Heritage sites manage tourism sustainably and how to grow a personal brand as a vlogger; plus Facebook comes under scrutiny in a live interview.
The two days culminate in the Best of Social Media 2017 awards, with five finalists, a judging panel and an audience vote to find the Awesome Winner 2017.

World Travel Market 2016, ExCeL, London – Travelperspective Presentations. Content in Crisis: Independent Blog or Undisclosed Advertising. Alastair McKenzie, Guild of travel Writers (& Blogger)