Τρίτη, 31 Ιανουαρίου 2017

Occupancy at the U.S. hotels expected to decrease in 2017

hotel reception
According to STR and Tourism Economics’ first forecast of 2017, the U.S. hotel industry is predicted to report a 0.3% decrease in occupancy to 65.3%, a 2.8% rise in average daily rate (ADR) to US$127.34 and a 2.5% increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to US$83.20 in 2017.
RevPAR grew more than 3.0% for each year from 2010 to 2016.
Among Chain Scales, the Midscale segment is expected to see the only year-over-year increase in occupancy (+0.1%). The Independent segment is projected to report the largest increases in ADR (+3.0%) and RevPAR (+2.7%). The lowest rate of overall performance growth is expected in the Upscale segment (RevPAR +1.3%).
For 2018, STR and Tourism Economics project the U.S. hotel industry to report a 0.2% decrease in occupancy to 65.2% but increases in ADR (+2.8% to US$130.95) and RevPAR (+2.6% to US$85.36). All seven Chain Scale segments are expected to see a decrease in occupancy. The Luxury segment is projected to report the largest increases in ADR (+3.0%) and RevPAR (+2.8%).

Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel opens in Saraland, Alabama

SARALAND, AL – The 98-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Saraland, Alabama is scheduled to open today, January 31, 2017 with its smart, inventive public space and guest room design, and its bright and inviting decor. Located at 2950 Township Boulevard, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Mobile Saraland will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Ascent Hospitality Management of Buford, Georgia. This is the newest Fairfield Inn & Suites in the area to feature the brand’s new design and decor, which enhance the guest experience through flexible features, and a warm and welcoming environment.
Located 14 miles from Mobile Regional Airport and ten minutes from downtown, the hotel offers guests convenient access to Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile Convention Center and Mobile Botanical Gardens.
“Delivering both function and comfort, our new design and decor elevate the Fairfield brand, setting a new standard in the moderate tier category,” said Shruti Buckley, vice president and global brand manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites. “At Fairfield Inn & Suites, we provide an easy, positive and productive travel experience, as well as the promise of consistent and reliable service at an exceptional value. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Mobile Saraland is a truly stunning example of the brand’s contemporary new look and feel, and we are pleased with the continued growth of Fairfield Inn & Suites hotels in the Saraland area.”
From the moment they arrive, guests are welcomed by the hotel’s modern, bright new design features, including an updated exterior with a signature tower, a curved porte-cochere and an inviting glass entrance that ushers them into the hotel. Once inside, guests experience the hotel’s open public space featuring natural light and views throughout the lobby to connect the indoors with the outdoors. Consistent with the Fairfield brand’s heritage of great service and a warm welcome, guests are greeted by associates who can easily move from behind the angled front desk to interact and answer questions.
In the lobby area, guests can choose to be productive, relax or enjoy breakfast or a snack in a modern and flexible environment featuring a vibrant, natural color palette of greens, blues and oranges. The spacious lobby gives guests ample connectivity options, as well as a “connect and print” area that offers both standing and seated Internet stations. Guests can also unwind in the lobby’s inviting living area - whose focal points include a natural stone hearth, organic-shaped sofa and lounge chair, and unique local features - or they can grab a drink or snack item from the 24/7 Corner Market.
The breakfast area’s signature farm table provides a central gathering place where guests can watch television, meet up with colleagues or get work done. In the morning, guests can enjoy complimentary hot breakfast, choosing from oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, make-your-own waffles and other healthy items, such as fruit, yogurt, and whole grain cereals and breads.
The signature “smart” room decor warmly welcomes guests into a comfortable, productive and restful environment. Flexible and functional, the guest room includes a well-designed work area, an ergonomic chair, task lighting and electrical outlets where guests need them. A curved, mobile desk enables guests to create their own work space, while also optimizing their television viewing.
Inspired by nature, the hotel’s thoughtfully designed rooms and suites place the living and working area near the window to allow for more natural light and views. Building on this natural design, the room decor features organic patterns and fresh colors, blending wood tones with bright pops of color. The new design also places the sleeping area toward the middle of the room, helping to give guests a better night’s sleep on plush mattresses, as well as easier access to the bathroom and wardrobe. The bright, spacious living area also offers a comfortable couch, refrigerator, coffeemaker and microwave.
Additional hotel amenities include a beautiful outdoor courtyard area complete with a swimming pool, a fireplace and a grill area. Other features are, an exercise room, valet laundry service, complimentary Wi-Fi, as well as fax and copy services. The hotel also offers 1,500 square feet of flexible space to accommodate functions of up to 160 people as well as a conference room.

Virgin Atlantic becomes first U.K. carrier to participate in TSA Precheck

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Virgin Atlantic becomes first U.K. carrier to participate in TSA Precheck
Virgin Atlantic is the first U.K. airline to participate in the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Precheck programme. Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner Delta Air Lines already offers this option for customers flying on Delta but with the expansion of this programme to Virgin Atlantic flights too, this is another customer benefit for travelling with the Delta/Virgin Atlantic joint venture between the U.S. and the U.K.
The new programme marks a step change in the experience customers will have at U.S. airports, and is simple to access. Qualifying customers who enter a valid Known Traveller Number or Customs and Border Protection-issued PASSID in their Virgin Atlantic or Delta reservations and are pre-approved will then see the TSA Precheck
From Jan. 26, Virgin customers will now join Delta customers in enjoying the benefits of TSA Precheck meaning that customers can skip the slower security queues and enjoy a faster, easier security screening process when departing from U.S. airports, so that they have more time to relax in Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse or explore the shops and restaurants in the terminal. The average customer with TSA Precheck spends less than five minutes when travelling through security at U.S. airports such as New York-JFK. With TSA Precheck, there’s no need to remove shoes, light jackets, or belts. Laptops and compliant liquids can also remain in hand luggage, making the trip through security at the airport a breeze.
indicator on their mobile or printed boarding passes. Eligible customers will then be led to TSA Precheck lanes within an airport’s security screen area to proceed through an accelerated screening process.
Virgin Atlantic and Delta customers who are eligible for TSA Precheck include:
  • TSA Precheck members (open to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents)
  • Global Entry members (open to U.K. and U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and eligible citizens in certain other countries.) 
  • NEXUS members (open to citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada)
  • SENTRI members (open to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents)
  • U.S. Armed Forces service members, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard.
Customers can find out when and where TSA Precheck lanes are available here.

Avis Budget Group Expands Loyalty Program for Travel Professionals

Avis budget mercedesbenz
Avis Budget Group announced the expansion of Unlimited Rewards®, the Company's loyalty program for travel professionals, to enable agents to earn valuable rewards on Avis business and leisure car rental transactions in Europe. Until now, travel professionals earned rewards for Avis car rental transactions in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
"Europe is a popular destination among travelers who seek services from travel professionals," said Stephen Wright, senior vice president, global travel, partnerships and associations, Avis Budget Group. "We're excited to expand Unlimited Rewards and provide agents with a way to earn more when they book their clients with Avis."
Unlimited Rewards members can earn dollar rewards for rentals in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Unlimited Rewards members also earn valuable rewards on Budget business and leisure car rental transactions in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. Members also earn rewards for completed bookings through the Carey International portfolio of transportation services, including Carey and Embarque, as well as Hilton hotel brands and properties around the globe. These include Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio — A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. On a monthly basis, dollar rewards are loaded onto a Unlimited Rewards prepaid debit card that agents can use to make purchases anywhere the card is accepted.
Enrollment in Unlimited Rewards is free and is open to travel professionals who are residents of the United States and Canada, age 18 and over. For more information on Unlimited Rewards, visit www.unlimited-rewards.com.

Highest November on record for inbound tourism to Britain

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Highest November on record for inbound tourism to Britain
There were 3.1 million inbound visits to the UK in November 2016, up 17% on the same month in 2015. Overseas visitors spent £1.7 billion, up 14%. 
Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show that from January to November 2016 the UK saw 34.5 million visits, up 3% on the same period in 2015 with visitors spending £20.4 billion, up 1%. 
Strong growth was seen in November last year from North America (Canada and the US - the latter Britain’s most valuable tourism source market) with 300,000 visits, up 28% compared to November 2015. It brings total visits from North America for January to November 2016 to 4 million, up 6% on 2015.
There were 23.3 million visits from the EU for January to November 2016, up 4% on the same period in 2015. 
Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Our tourism industry is booming as Britain cements its reputation as one of the world's must-visit destinations. I am particularly pleased that there are an increasing number of visits from important markets like the US, with tourism making a significant contribution to our economy. We are committed to helping the sector grow even further, so the benefits are spread far and wide across the country." 
VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “These figures demonstrate our tourism industry’s crucial role in showing that our nation is welcoming and open for business, and its increasing importance as a driver of economic growth. 
“We are seeing success in growing tourism from our high value markets including the US and we are competing strongly in Europe. We are seizing the opportunity to build on this, promoting a message of value, welcome and showcasing the amazing experiences that visitors can only get here.”
Inbound tourism forecast for 2017
VisitBritain’s forecast for 2017 shows that overall inbound tourism growth is set to continue with 38.1 million visits, up 4% on 2016 which is likely to see about 36.7 million visits by year end. 
Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £24.1 billion in 2017, an 8% increase on spending last year which is expected to top out at £22.3 billion. 
Latest flight booking data shows that flight bookings to the UK are up 10% for January to March compared to the same period last year. 
Tourism is Britain's seventh largest export industry and third largest service sector. It is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.

Fincantieri delivers “Viking Sky”

viking sky
“Viking Sky”, the third of six cruise ships Viking Ocean Cruises has ordered from Fincantieri, has been delivered yesterday at the shipyard in Ancona.
“Viking Sky”, as its sister ships, is placed in the small cruise ship segment. In fact, with a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, it has 465 cabins with accommodation for 930 passengers, with a total capacity of over 1,400 people, including the crew.
The ship has been designed by experienced naval architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios, who transferred on “Viking Sky” a modern design of Scandinavian inspiration, featuring sophisticated elegance but functional, at the mean time. In addition to the all-veranda staterooms, the ship also has spacious suites with sweeping views, two pools, of which one Infinity Pool off the stern, and a Spa designed according to the wellness philosophy of the Scandinavian tradition, with a sauna and a snow grotto.
The Viking Ocean Cruises units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. Furthermore, they feature the most advanced technologies for energy saving and for meeting the strictest environmental regulations with energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.
The first of the series, “Viking Star”, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in spring 2015, the second, “Viking Sea”, took the sea from the shipyard in Ancona at the beginning of 2016, while “Viking Sun”, the fourth unit launched in the same yard a month ago, will enter into service in autumn 2017. The last two units will instead be delivered respectively in 2018 and 2019.
Fincantieri has built 76 cruise ships from 1990 to today, while other 27 are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

JAL Upgrades Free Inflight Internet Campaign

jal free inflight internet
Japan Airlines (JAL) decided to upgrade the current 15 minutes free inflight internet campaign, to a completely free internet service on all domestic flights, which are operated by aircraft equipped with inflight Wi-Fi system. The new campaign will be available from February 1 through August 31, 2017.
During flights, our customers will be able to use inflight Wi-Fi for free and without time limitation on select JAL’s domestic routes. JAL’s 77 domestic aircraft have been equipped with Inflight Wi-Fi system.
Inflight video programs such as sports, gourmet, music and animation etc. are also provided on Wi-Fi equipped aircraft on domestic routes. Customers can enjoy those free programs by using their own Wi-Fi devices.
Details of new free inflight internet campaign as below:
Effective Period: February 1 ~ August 31, 2017
Applicable Flights: All domestic flights operated by JAL SKY NEXT aircraft (*1)
(equipped with inflight Wi-Fi system)
(*1) For more information about JAL SKY NEXT and its operating routes, please visit: www.jal.co.jp/en/skynext/
Details: Customers on applicable flights will be able to enjoy free in-flight internet access. “FREE FLIGHT PASS” button will appear on the portal top page after connecting to inflight Wi-Fi on applicable flights. The internet service will be available from 5 minutes after take-off until 5 minutes before landing.
Note: This campaign will not be available for international aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi system, which are operated on domestic routes.

Hotels upset with London ‘bed tax’

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hotels upset with London ‘bed tax’

The hoteliers have reacted negatively to London’s plans of introducing a ‘bed tax’ for the 2,100 hotels that are based in the capital. It is estimated that this would actually add £3.40 to the cost of a night inside a budget hotel here.

A GLA or Greater London Assembly report asserted that the tourism sector imposes costs on London’s economy in the form of additional demand on public services including the health services, street cleaning, transport network and policing. The report also said that a Berlin-style tax of 5% of the room rate per night can generate about £240 million every year.

This tax would add £3.40 to the price of the average £68 budget hotel room in the capital.

Also, it would add £32 to the cheapest room at the five-star Lanesborough.

Other options like taxing the five-star and also the four-star hotels would not be able to raise much revenue.

The report also said that money would be directed to various cultural attractions offering free entry, London government that promotes the tourism offer or different borough councils that maintain the public realm. However, it adds that the levy might also potentially bring about a reduction in other taxes.

The chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, Ufi Ibrahim said that the proposal was absolutely a mark of ‘folly’.

He feels that the London bed tax would dissuade guests from staying in the hotels overnight. Moreover, it would also reduce the amount they spend in the wider London economy.

Expanded eTravel World sets its sights on the future

The eTravel World at ITB Berlin is booked up. For the first time it will occupy two halls, with more than 70 exhibitors displaying their innovative products and services. In Halls 6.1 and 7.1c visitors can find established companies as well as newcomers, which include Aldebaran, Betterspace, Conichi, Dayuse, eNett, Igola, Paymentwall, Traveltripper and Wanup. For the first time startups will be able to take part in an international pitching event powered by Phocuswright. On 10 March at 11.30 a.m. startups from Europe, Asia and the US will present their ideas to a panel of leading experts and can also introduce themselves to an audience of international professionals. The winner can take part in Phocuswright Europe, a leading conference event in Amsterdam.
Hall 6.1 features the new eTravel Showroom, where on Wednesday, 8 and Thursday, 9 March 2017 trade visitors can find out about exhibitors’ latest product innovations at some 20 sessions.
Trade visitors in search of innovative ideas and the latest developments in chatbots, virtual reality and digital marketing can find out more at various discussions and lectures. Thus on 8 March at 3 p.m., together with experts from Skyscanner, KAYAK and Icelandair, Timothy O`Neill-Dunne, co-founder of Expedia, Tnooz, Airblackbox, will explore the future of customer communications using chatbots. Afterwards, at the Vacation Rental Panel on the Travel Stage, senior vice president Pete Comeau of Phocuswright and representatives of Rentals UnitedHomeAway and Tripping.com will discuss the latest developments in the European vacation rental market. In his keynote speech on 9 March at 10.30 a.m. the entrepreneur Uwe Frers will tell startups “You don’t have a chance, so make the most of it!”. He will explain successful concepts to date, which ideas could succeed in the future and what conditions startups and the travel industry must satisfy in order to be successful.
Millennials, a much talked about target group, will be discussed at several events. As conventional marketing and media channels can barely reach this group the tourism industry must employ other methods. On 8 March at theTravel Lab Dr. Irfan Ahmed, managing director and founder of Irhal.com, will explain how to reach the market for halal tourism dominated by millennials, which is worth 140 billion dollars. On 9 March at the eTravel Lab Clement Wong, managing director of BeMyGuest, will present a case study on interdisciplinary influencer marketing in Asia as part of a “conversion funnel“ for tours and activities which specifically targets the millennial tourism market.
Arnaud Masson, COO Europe of the rail tour operator Voyages-sncf.com, will explain clever ways of incorporating virtual reality and voice command technology into tourism products. On 10 March at 1 p.m. on the eTravel Stage, under the heading of smart tourism, he will talk about possibilities for predicting consumer demand and behaviour and for recognising trends.
The support of the Platinum Sponsor eNett has made it possible to expand the eTravel World. In addition to the Traffics Lounge in Hall 6.1 it now features an eTravel Lounge sponsored by eNett in Hall 7.1c where visitors can meet and network. Other sponsors and partners include Airhelp, berner + becker Revenue Management, Criteo, Deutscher ReiseVerband (DRV), Faktor3, iAmbassador, Leonardo.com, mylike, Nexpics, Phocuswright, Rateboard, Reputize, Transperfect, Traffics, Traveldudes, Travelmassive, Travelpaq and Vamoos.

The InterContinental Montreal inaugurates its A. & S. Nordheimer ballroom

 Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The InterContinental Montreal inaugurates its A. & S. Nordheimer ballroom

MONTREAL - The InterContinental Montreal hotel is officially opening its all new ballroom in the Nordheimer Conference Center. For this occasion, nearly 200 guests will gather here for a sumptuous cocktail. As part of this magnificent evening event, customers, tourism industry partners, as well as event and wedding planners will experience a journey through history - from 1888 to 2017. They will be introduced to this grand project - the new ballroom - and all the opportunities it offers.
In fact, the entire team is very proud of the final result. Covering an area of 3,365 square feet, the space is bathed in brilliant natural light that streams through its impressive fenestration, and is reflected up onto the 17-ft high ceilings. The room expresses the very marked interest the hotel has in innovation and the latest trends.
In addition, the hotel has turned this project into an opportunity to revisit its entire offer. The rich history of the Nordheimer Conference Center, which now houses all the banquet rooms, can now take centre stage as never before. A new concept, highly sought-after, gives the building a totally different atmosphere. The theme at the heart of this concept is legends, where the delight of a great reception and the wonderful history of the site converge. Each room represents a different character, either historical or fictional. Each presents their own story, and carries their name. Next, in line with this concept, each floor has its own theme. Thus when they have a few free moments during the evening, guests can join in the adventure and learn about the history of the hotel with the Discovery guide.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The InterContinental Montreal inaugurates its A. & S. Nordheimer ballroom
This interesting theme is also apparent in the new ballroom on the fifth floor, named A. & S. Nordheimer in honour of the two brothers who gave the building their name. Showcasing the cultural and commercial past of this neo-Victorian building, its decor follows a piano theme, particularly by the use of black and white, with contemporary accents. Here sits a magnificent piano, in the same location where pianos were built in the 19th century. This completes the experience, confirming the hotel's mission to meet the most current expectations of event planners and business people.  
This hall also offers a pre-function space and a hall. It can seat 300 people for a banquet, and host 400 people for a cocktail party. It offers the most up-to-date technological, audio-visual, sound and lighting equipment, and has all the qualities needed to accommodate a grand, experiential event.

Tanzania Tourism Trade stands with St.Ange of Seychelles for the UNWTO elections

alain st ange seychelles
Corina Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (TASOTA) has written to the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to confirm their endorsement of Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Candidate for the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO.
The support letter which has been copied to Moustafa Khataw, the Chairman of TASOTA speaks of the suitability of St.Ange for the United Nations position, as one who could continue with the good work done by Taleb Rifai, the outgoing Secretary General.
In their letter TASOTA states that it is the turn for Africa to lead the tourism world body when they write:- "We believe that in fairness it is the turn of Africa to take this leadership role of world tourism, but we also know that we in Africa cannot win that seat just by ourselves which is why we are supporting a candidate we know has the chance to make Africa proud. Promoting and defending global tourism is a challenge we believe Alain St.Ange can do as he continues the work you have yourself started.
Mr Secretary General, today the world is but one and we need the new Secretary General of the UNWTO to be able to rise to this challenge. You came from Jordan, and was one the world across all borders welcomed, and we believe that Seychelles would be a suitable successor to your era.
Alain St.Ange has worked diligently for the tourism industry of his country and he never stopped tying in the African mainland with the Indian Ocean Islands in joint marketing for twin centre packages. We always followed his approach for a successful tourism development program which is why we are today coming forward to endorse his candidature. We hope Alain St.Ange will win the day" said Corina Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (TASOTA)
Alain St.Ange has welcomed this letter of endorsement by the tourism private sector trade of Tanzania. "I worked with so many tourism bodies during my long career in tourism. My years in the private sector brought me close to the trade from different parts of the world, and the more recent years in the public sector as a Minister only brought me closer to the front line tourism team of so many countries as we worked on joint approaches and strategies together" said Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles

Carnival Ecstasy undergoes multi-million-dollar makeover, emerges with exciting new dining and beverage concepts

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Carnival Ecstasy
MIAMI - The Charleston, S.C.-based Carnival Ecstasy has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation that has added a variety of new dining and beverage innovations.
The features were incorporated during a two-week dry dock that took place from Jan. 10-24, 2017, in Freeport, The Bahamas.  
Following the renovation, the ship returned to Charleston yesterday to resume its year-round schedule of four- to 10-day departures from that port.   
Here's a look at the exciting options that have been added to Carnival Ecstasy:
  • Guy's Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a decor that celebrates the chef's California roots and love of car culture
  • BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar
  • Alchemy Bar, a "cocktail pharmacy"-themed lounge with mixologists who "prescribe" concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil Drop
  • Cherry On Top, the "sweetest spot on board" which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more
  • The new spaces complement Carnival Ecstasy's wide range of on-board features, including the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and - BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a luxurious Spa Carnival health and wellness facility.
Carnival Ecstasy's schedule from Charleston encompasses year-round four- to seven-day cruises visiting popular destinations throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean. The ship will also operate a 10-day Carnival Journeys Caribbean voyage round-trip from Charleston Nov. 5-15, 2017.

Anacaona Boutique Hotel reopens as a Bed & Breakfast, offering same great service and exceptional value

THE VALLEY, ANGUILLA - The Anacaona Boutique Hotel, one of Anguilla's most popular and beloved establishments, is now offering an exceptional Bed & Breakfast experience, building on the property's legendary reputation for personal service and warm Anguillian hospitality.
Starting January 23rd, 2017, Anacaona Boutique Hotel's guests will enjoy a complimentary Full Breakfast included in their room rate. The transition to a B&B presents their guests with myriad opportunities to discover the island's many and varied culinary experiences beyond the resort.
Nestled just off Meads Bay, Anacaona is located in the heart of West End, just a stone's throw from some of Anguilla's finest restaurants and popular beach bars. The property boasts a friendly and knowledgeable concierge who is happy to recommend and arrange meals, excursions, attractions and other experiences to guests vacationing at the resort.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Anacaona Boutique Hotel
"At the Anacaona Boutique Hotel, we believe in adding value to our guests' stay, and the inclusion of our complimentary full breakfast achieves this objective," said General Manager Delroy Lake"Anguilla is often perceived as an expensive destination, and we pride ourselves on offering an affordable vacation option, with outstanding service and great amenities, representing excellent value for our guests."
Anacaona Boutique Hotel is privately owned and caters to singles, couples and multi-generational families. Built in a Mediterranean style and situated in a lush garden setting with pathway to the beach, the property is comprised of twenty (20) standard/superior rooms, four (4) Junior Suites, two (2) Two bedroom Villa suites and one (1) Three Bedroom Villa Suite many with ocean views. 
All the rooms and suites have ceiling fans and air conditioning, private balconies),free Wi-Fi and Internet access, I-Pod docking stations, laptop-size safes, direct-dial telephones, mini-safes, small refrigerators, Melita-Java pod coffee/tea makers, cable TV with 71 channels, radio/alarm clocks, and bathrooms with showers, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers and locally crafted bathroom amenities.

UNWTO applouds 5-day visa-free policy by Belarus, visa free travel for 80 countries

Minsk victory square
UNWTO has expressed its full support to the decision of the Government of Belarus to launch the 5-day visa-free policy that will be applicable to travelers from 80 countries. The measure aims at advancing seamless travel and attracting visitors, particularly those on business trips.
The Government of Belarus has recently decided to advance visa facilitation as a means to stimulate tourism development. The decision introduces visa-free entry at the Minsk National Airport and visa-free stay in Belarus for up to five days for the citizens of 80 states. Among those, there are 39 countries of Europe, including the entire European Union, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA and Japan.
“Visa facilitation is among the most effective strategies to induce tourism development in a region or in a country, so we are sure that the tourism sector will experience a positive shift in Belarus,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai.
The promotion of seamless travel is one of UNWTO’s priorities, considering the proven capacity of visa facilitation to stimulate economic growth and job creation through tourism.
Belarus started policies to simplify the visa process in April 2016. 
The five-day visa-free regime will enter into force in Belarus on 12 February 2017.
List of countries whose citizens are exempt from visa requirements for five-day visits to Belarus
1. Albania
2. Andorra
3. Antigua and Barbuda
4. Argentina
5. Australia
6. Austria
7. Bahrain
8. Barbados
9. Belgium
10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
11. Brazil
12. Bulgaria
13. Canada
14. Chile
15. Croatia
16. Cyprus
17. Czech Republic
18. Denmark
19. Dominica
20. El Salvador
21. Estonia****
22. Federated States of Micronesia
23. Finland
24. France
25. Gambia*
26. Germany
27. Greece
28. Haiti*
29. Honduras*
30. Hong Kong - Special Administrative Region of China**
31. Hungary
32. Iceland
33. India*
34. Indonesia
35. Ireland
36. Italy
37. Japan
38. Korea (Republic)
39. Kuwait
40. Latvia***
41. Lebanon*
42. Liechtenstein
43. Lithuania
44. Luxembourg
45. Macao (Macau) - Special Administrative Region of China**
46. Macedonia
47. Malaysia
48. Malta
49. Monaco
50. Namibia*
51. Netherlands
52. New Zealand
53. Nicaragua
54. Norway
55. Oman
56. Order of Malta**
57. Panama
58. People's Republic of China*
59. Peru
60. Poland
61. Portugal
62. Romania
63. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
64. Samoa*
65. San Marino
66. Saudi Arabia
67. Seychelles
68. Singapore
69. Slovakia
70. Slovenia
71. Spain
72. Sweden
73. Switzerland
74. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
75. United Mexican States
76. United States of America
77. Uruguay
78. Vanuatu
79. Vatican
80. Vietnam*
* A traveler must have a valid document for traveling abroad with a valid multiple-entry visa of one of the European Union member states or the Schengen Area member states bearing a European Union or Schengen Area entry stamp, and also tickets with a return date from Minsk National Airport.
*** Including persons who have "non-citizen" status in the Republic of Latvia.
**** Including stateless persons permanently residing in the Republic of Estonia.

Wirecard signs with RwandAir for online payment processing services

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Wirecard signs with RwandAir for online payment processing services
MUNICH - RwandAir has partnered with Wirecard AG for its online card payment processing services.
As one of the leading specialist for payment processing and issuing services, Wirecard will enable customers that wish to book their flights online to pay with Visa, MasterCard, Diners/Discover, JCB, China UnionPay or Maestro cards. 
John Mirenge, the Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir stated that, "Our values commit us to continuously pursue excellence in everything we do. Wirecard's first-class global coverage and optimum technical structure ensures that our passengers will have a smooth online booking and ticketing experience".
Eckart Reiche, Head of Sales Airlines at Wirecard, added: "The collaboration with RwandAir confirms our commitment to Africa as well as our readiness to support the rapidly growing African airline market with our efficient payment platform. RwandAir is an innovative partner that uses state of the art technology and services to optimize processes, costs and profits. In our role as technology provider, Wirecard identifies great potential in this partnership."
The Wirecard Group supports all sales channels with credit card acceptance. Wirecard is a principal member of Visa and MasterCard, as well as having acquiring license agreements with JCB, American Express, Discover/Diners, UnionPay and UATP.

Residence Inn hotel to open in Jersey City, New Jersey

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Residence Inn hotel to open in Jersey City, New Jersey
JERSEY CITY, NJ – The 152-suite Residence Inn by Marriott in Jersey City, New Jersey is scheduled to open on March 1, 2017. Located at 80 Christopher Columbus Drive, the all-suite Residence Inn Jersey City will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Columbus Hotel Urban Renewal of Hoboken, NJ and managed by True North Hotel Group of Overland Park, Kansas.
Located in the heart of downtown Jersey City, just ten miles from Newark International Airport and 15 miles from LaGuardia Airport, the Residence Inn Jersey City offers its guests easy access to Liberty State Park, Liberty Science Center, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and Times Square. The hotel is conveniently located next to the Grove Street PATH Station for trouble-free access to New York City. Rates vary depending on length of stay.
“We are pleased to introduce Residence Inn hotels in the Jersey City area,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn. “When on the road for an extended period, our guests need space to spread out, maintain their life’s pace and restore their energy to help them maintain a healthy balance and routine while traveling. This new hotel offers them a seamless blend of modern style and functionality that allows them to settle in and thrive.”
The Residence Inn Jersey City is an all-suite hotel that offers studio and one-bedroom suites. Guests looking for a revitalizing sleep experience will enjoy the hotel’s plush mattresses and crisp linens, while guests focused on being productive will value their suite’s large, well-lit work desk, ergonomic chair and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Designed for stays of five nights or more, each suite also has a fully-equipped kitchen with a coffeemaker, microwave oven and residential-sized appliances.
The Residence Inn Jersey City rotates a wide selection of healthy choices at our free hot breakfast every day. Start with favorites like bacon and eggs, Greek yogurt, cut fruit or waffles and make it yours with our extensive toppings, ranging from fresh spinach and cheese to sliced almonds and strawberries. Enjoy all the options you need to start your morning with endless possibilities.
Extending the feeling of comfortable living on the road, the Residence Inn Jersey City offers guests inviting and functional public spaces to relax or collaborate. Road warriors and families alike enjoy the hotel’s grocery delivery service, 24-hour onsite food and beverage market, dry cleaning services, and onsite guest laundry room. Additional amenities include a state-of-the-art oversized fitness center, 360 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 12 people, complimentary Wi-Fi and fax and copy services. The hotel will also feature a full-service bar and a rooftop patio offering breathtaking views as well as a barbecue grill and fire pit.

Almost 85 percent growth in travel from Riga to Berlin

riga airport planes
The leading airport in the Baltic countries, Riga International Airport reached a new passenger traffic record in 2016, servicing nearly half of the total number of passengers of the Baltic airports. Also in 2016, Riga Airport achieved a record growth in passenger traffic. Compared to 2015, last year the most significant growth was recorded in routes from Riga to Berlin (+84.7%), St. Petersburg (+42.8%), Kiev (+20.7%), Moscow (+18.5%), Stockholm (+10.3%), Amsterdam (+9.8%), Tallinn (+ 9.3%), Milan (+8.8%) and London (+8.3%).
London, Moscow, Oslo, Frankfurt and Helsinki are still the most popular destinations for passengers travelling from Riga Airport.
In 2016, the number of transfer/transit passengers rose by 15.3% and accounted for 27.3% of the total number of passengers handled last year, thus demonstrating the important role of Riga Airport as a regional transit hub in the Baltics. Tallinn, Vilnius, Moscow, Helsinki and St. Petersburg were the most popular transit destinations travelling via Riga Airport.
Last year, Riga Airport handled 5.4 million passengers, which is almost 5% more than in 2015. In a monthly breakdown, the greatest number of passengers was handled in August, when more than half a million passengers chose Riga Airport for their trip. Of the total number of passengers, more than 50% were carried by the national airline airBaltic, 18.3% - by Ryanair, and 8.5% - by WizzAir.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is preparing fleet-wide Silver Jubilee for 25th anniversary

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Regent Seven Seas Cruises is preparing fleet-wide Silver Jubilee for 25th anniversary
SOUTHAMPTON - Regent Seven Seas Cruises is preparing a fleet-wide celebration to mark the company’s 25th anniversary this year. For this milestone anniversary, the luxury line has selected 25 special voyages that will feature a variety of exclusive activities and events developed specifically for its silver jubilee.
“It was 26 May 1992 when the twin-hull, 19,000-ton, 354-passenger Radisson Diamond was christened officially launching what would become Regent Seven Seas Cruises,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Every day since that day 25-years ago, we have listened to the needs of our guests, evolved and enriched the experience on board our ships, invested in new ships and luxurious enhancements to our existing ships and transformed Regent Seven Seas Cruises into the preeminent choice when it comes to luxury cruising.” 
Guests sailing on the 25 special anniversary voyages will have the opportunity to partake in a brand-new dining concept being launched exclusively for the anniversary celebration. During select days at sea, guests will be invited into the Compass Rose galley for a special lunch buffet. Travelling down a red carpet that extends from the restaurant into the galley, guests will see the kitchen come to life and interact with the world-class chefs onboard. Inside the galley a magnificent buffet filled with delectable treats will be set-up, featuring freshly baked bread, a turkey carving station, made-to-order pasta and other hot dishes such as local fresh fish, salmon, lamb curry and Zurich-style veal. After a savoury meal, guests can indulge in an elaborate array of desserts that will be presented inside the restaurant on a large decorative display table.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is also introducing special Silver Anniversary Tastings for these 25 voyages. In addition to the complimentary free inclusive fine wines and spirits, guests will have the opportunity to participate in special wine, whiskey and cocktail tasting seminars featuring some exclusive vintages and premier spirits. Additionally, guests sailing on one of the anniversary cruises will receive a Commemorative Pin.
The 25 celebratory cruises take place across all four ships, on a diverse array of itineraries and a varied number of lengths. Guests can journey across Europe on the line’s newest ship, Seven Seas Explorer, or venture across Asia on the newly renovated Seven Seas Voyager; explore the natural wonders in Alaska aboard Seven Seas Mariner or traverse one of the man-made wonders of the world, the Panama Canal, aboard Seven Seas Navigator. The featured voyages include:
Seven Seas Mariner
  • Amazon Voyage - 17 November 2017
  • Alaskan Cruises - 13 May, 12 July and 23 August 2017
  • Fall Foliage Cruise - 27 October 2017
Seven Seas Navigator
  • Caribbean Voyage – 13 May 2017
  • Panama Canal Sailing – 17 June 2017
  • East Coast Cruise – 7 August 2017
  • Atlantic Crossing – 17 October 2017
  • Hawaii Cruise – 11 December 2017
Seven Seas Voyager
  • Asian Voyages – 8 April and 5 Dec 2017
  • Mediterranean Voyages – 11 June, 28 June, 8 July, 20 Aug, 19 September, 28 September and 27 October 2017
Seven Seas Explorer
  • Mediterranean Voyages – 9 April, 26 April and 4 Oct 2017
  • Northern Europe Sailings – 3 July and 21 August 2017
  • Atlantic Crossing – 24 November 2017
Along with the additional guest experiences, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is also doubling their Ambassador Offer on these 25 voyages. Past guests that refer a guest sailing for the first time with Regent Seven Seas Cruises will receive a $400 per suite shipboard credit, as will their friends.

Best Western’s ‘White Label’ franchise to surge in 2017

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Best Western ‘White Label’ franchise to surge in 2017
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - Best Western Hotels & Resorts is advancing its position as an innovative leader in the hospitality industry, as its revolutionary new ‘white label’ franchise model – SureStay Hotel Group – gains significant momentum only a few months after being introduced into the marketplace. The brand has approved 30 hotels in North America and one in Bangkok, Thailand and is projecting to open 100 hotels by the end of 2017. With significant interest in the brand in North America and around the world, particularly in Europe, SureStay Hotel Group is among the fastest growing hotel brands in the industry.
Announced in late 2016, SureStay Hotel Group operates as a separate subsidiary while plugging hotel owners into Best Western’s comprehensive infrastructure and distribution channels. The white label approach allows Best Western to leverage its existing framework to create a new revenue stream and tap into the vast opportunities in the economy space without compromising the company’s established position in its current markets.
“We are thrilled with the enthusiastic response we are receiving from hoteliers interested in opening a SureStay hotel,” said David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “The introduction of SureStay has not only brought an innovative solution to franchisees in the economy and midscale segments, but with Best Western as its backbone and driving force, SureStay will play an integral role in shaping the future of hospitality.”
Powered by Best Western Hotels & Resorts, SureStay Hotel Group has brought many firsts for the brand – as it was the first time Best Western entered into a franchise structure; the first time Best Western tapped into the economy segment; and most notably, it was the first ever white label hotel brand introduced into the marketplace.
Under the SureStay umbrella, there are three distinctive brands – SureStay, SureStay Plus, and SureStay Signature Collection. With the support of Best Western and access to award-winning resources, SureStay enables its franchisees to optimize their return on investment (ROI). With a commitment to quality customer service, guests are assured of a comfortable and pleasant stay at any of the SureStay branded hotels across the country.

Airlines and airports are prepared for Trump's travel ban

donald trump sign
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to block all refugees from coming to the United States for 120 days and suspended the entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Airlines and airports are prepared according to the new travel ban.
Emirates has amended pilot and cabin crew rosters for services to the US , while Etihad had offered refunds or re-bookings to affected passengers. To date, no Emirates crew has been affected by the change. We have made the necessary adjustments to our staffing to comply with the latest requirements. Emirates continues to operate flights to the US, as scheduled," a Emirates’ spokesman reported to Khaleej Times.
trump smilesOther airlines also had to make changes in accordance with the new order. The Qatar Airways, the EgyptAir and Dutch airline KLM turned away immigrants from boarding US-bound flights, according to media reports.
Major Australian airline Qantas announced that it would offer refunds or a change of destination to their passengers in case they were affected by Trump's order.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Saturday and Sunday turned away seven people with valid visas, and Cairo denies boarding to migrants accompanied by United Nations officials.
Turkey wasn't on Trump's list of banned countries, but is a major hub for travel in and out of the Middle East. As a result, on Sunday at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, dozens of people were stopped from flying to the United States. One 32-year-old Syrian man, Nail Zain, told Reuters he arrived at the airport expecting to fly to Los Angeles, but officials prevented him from boarding, saying his visa was canceled.
Throughout the U.S., security officials detained 109 people arriving from the seven countries, including some legal U.S. residents, until judges in Brooklyn, New York; Alexandria, Virginia; and Boston intervened. The Boston ruling, issued Sunday, requires U.S. officials to let passengers from all seven countries who have valid visas deplane and go on their way, though the ruling applies only in Boston.

European river cruises rebound with luxury travelers according to Travel Leaders Group's new survey

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για European river cruises rebound with luxury travelers according to Travel Leaders Group's new survey

PLYMOUTH, MINN. - Travel Leaders Group released its top luxury travel trends for 2017 in which European river cruises rank as the top international luxury "destination" outside North America that is being booked among its most affluent travelers. Italy, Mediterranean cruises, Australia and France are also among the top five luxury destinations, while Cuba is now among the top 15 overall. The Luxury Travel Trends also reveal that more than eight out of 10 luxury-focused travel agents say their bookings are higher than or equal to last year for high-end hotels, luxury cruises and escorted tours, suites on cruise ships, and Premium Air (First and Business Class). Conducted November 17-December 9, 2016, these trends are based on responses from 1,240 Travel Leaders Group luxury travel experts. 
"As we take a closer look at what the majority of our affluent travelers are planning for this year, it's hardly a surprise that European vacation options – be they land, river or deep water cruises – are as popular as ever.  In fact, it is quite gratifying to see these destinations regain momentum after a challenging year," stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.
"Further buoyed by a stronger dollar, our clients are seeking out destinations like Italy, France and European river cruises with the added expertise our luxury agents provide in designing unique travel experiences. That is certainly one reason why our bookings for various segments of the luxury travel industry are higher than or on par with last year for more than 80% of our survey participants."
Here are the top luxury travel destinations and latest luxury travel findings from Travel Leaders Group's recent survey:
Top Luxury Travel Destinations (Outside) North America
  
1
Cruise – Europe (River)
2
Italy
3
Cruise – Europe (Mediterranean)
4
Australia
5
France
6
England
7
Cruise – Europe (Baltic)
8
Ireland
9
Bora Bora
10
Cruise – Australia/New Zealand
11
United Arab Emirates
12
Spain
13 (tie)
Iceland
13 (tie)
South Africa
15 (tie)
Cuba
15 (tie)
Turks & Caicos

Top Luxury Travel Destinations within North America
  
1
Cruise – Caribbean
2
Mexico
3
Dominican Republic
4
Jamaica
5
Costa Rica
Booking Insights for Top Dream Destinations
"We know that Australia, Italy, Ireland, and New Zealand are among Americans' top dream destinations, according to our proprietary surveys of the traveling public over the years," stated Gail Grimmett, President of Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group, both renowned for their best-in-class luxury travel agent advisors. "High-end travelers don't just dream, they go – with the assistance of our experienced travel agents. For Italy, agents from both Protravel and Tzell report their luxury travelers continue to return to Rome, Florence and Venice, but they are also seeking out itineraries that include the Amalfi Coast, the Lake District, and Portofino or Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera."
Italy: When asked, "Which of the following Italian itineraries are you booking the most for your affluent clientele in 2017?" it is clear that the major Italian cities continue to mesmerize. The top responses were:
1 Rome, Florence (Tuscany) and Venice
2 Amalfi Coast - Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello
3 Rome and Vatican City
4 Tuscany - Florence, Chianti, Siena
5 Venice
The Italian Riviera, Italy's Lake District, Milan, the Dolomites and Sicily round out the Top 10 among most-booked Italian itineraries.
Australia: When asked to identify the most popular Australian cities and regions being booked by their affluent travelers, Travel Leaders Group's luxury travel agents identified: (1) Sydney, (2) Great Barrier Reef, (3) Melbourne, (4) Cairns and (5) Brisbane.  Those were followed by the Australian Outback, the Gold Coast, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Queensland and the Blue Mountains to round out the Top 10.
New Zealand: Luxury agents also stated that their clients booking New Zealand most often visit: (1) Auckland, (2) Queenstown, (3) Milford Sound, (4) South Island, and (5) Rotorua. The rest of the Top 10 is rounded out by: the North Island, Bay of Islands, Marlborough wine region, Hawke's Bay wine region and Napier.
Ireland: Ireland is also considered a dream destination for many Americans.  Travel Leaders Group's affluent clients most often visit: (1) Dublin, (2) Killarney, (3) Ring of Kerry, (4) Cliffs of Moher and (5) Cork.
Luxury Travel Bookings in 2017
When Travel Leaders Group luxury travel agents were asked to compare their overall 2017 luxury travel bookings so far to their luxury travel bookings at this time last year, over 81% of those surveyed say bookings are higher than or on par with 2016.