Δευτέρα, 31 Ιουλίου 2017

Marriott International expanding its business in Middle East and Africa



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Marriott International expanding its business in Middle East and Africa

Leading global hotel tycoon, Marriott International today announced that they are expanding and strengthening its business by driving the Sales and Marketing Leadership team for Middle East and Africa.

This initiative will wheel up the expansion of its business on the successful merge between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

This collaboration will be profitable for both the hoteliers with the service of the highly experienced hospitality professionals. This dynamic and refurbished Brand, Marketing, Sales and Consumer Services (BMSC) Leadership Team comprises of best people with proficient and wide knowledge in hotel business which is bringing together the exceptional talents and expertise from both the companies, making a strong commitment for the aggressive growth in Middle east and African market.

Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Middle East and Africa, Marriott International is leading the expert team which will provide the dedicated support in driving company’s will and also responsible for driving top line revenue for Marriott International brands, by developing the regional Sales and Marketing strategy.

Marriott International has over 240 hotels with 54,000 rooms in 30 countries. It is working towards targeting a projected growth of 150,000 rooms operational and pipeline in 38 countries by 2022 across Middle East and Africa.

Neal Jones commented that the leadership changes would bring the dynamism in work with greater synergies, teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making critical to lay a strong foundation that will support the ambitious growth plans in the region. He also said that it is matter of great excitement to work together with talented and diverse group of leaders who bring with them exceptional domain expertise as well as regional insights that would make more vibrant.

Paul Dalgleish, Vice President of Sales & Distribution will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Sales Organisations as well as the Global Sales Organisation.

Sarah Allen, Vice President of Revenue Strategy & Analysis will be responsible for Property, Market and Area Revenue Management, Remote Revenue Management Solutions and Revenue Management Analysis.

Jitendra Jain, Vice President of Digital, Loyalty and Portfolio Marketing will be responsible for the company’s award-winning Loyalty Programs, Partnerships, cross-brand marketing of Marriott International’s regional portfolio and will lead all Digital Marketing, Platforms and Products. He is employed with Starwood and previously led the Marketing function for the former Starwood portfolio in the Middle East.

Sandra Schulze-Potgieter, Vice President of Premium and Select Brands will be responsible for Brand Marketing and Management for Marriott International’s compelling portfolio of Premium and Select Brands. He will also oversee Restaurants & Bars Marketing as well as Area Field Marketing.

Sarah Walker Kerr, Vice President of Communications Middle East and Africa will be responsible for devising and implementing the overall Communications Strategy for Marriott International in the region, driving visibility, enhancing the perception of the company and its brands and increasing its share of voice in the media.

Raheel Baggia, Senior Director, BMSC Planning and Services will be responsible for Integration and Change Management, Program Execution and Training.

How to make holidays ‘Wheelie’ fun: APH compares airline policies for travelling with bikes





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για How to make holidays ‘Wheelie’ fun: APH compares airline policies for travelling with bikes

For holidaymakers feeling inspired by the exhilarating 3,540km race that was the 104th Tour de France, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has put together a guide comparing airline policies for travelling with bicycles.
The research compares policies of 19 airlines and whether bikes can be included as part of a passenger’s standard baggage allowance, the maximum bike weight and measurements, any additional charges incurred, and airline booking stipulations and specifications on how the bike should be packaged for travel.
All airlines researched do permit non-motorised pedal-bikes to be carried in the hold of an aircraft, with half, including Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic, including a bike as part of a passenger’s standard baggage allowance. The maximum weight for bicycles carried in the hold varies from 23kg with nine airlines, such as British Airways, to 50kg when travelling on selected routes in First Class with Etihad. Ten airlines also limit the dimensions of bikes carried on aircrafts and this varies from 158cm combined length, height and width with Etihad to 320cm with American Airlines.
Nine of the airlines do not include bikes as part of the provided baggage allowance and so travellers are charged an extra fee that ranges from £25 for selected routes with Monarch Airlines, to £271 for bikes that exceed Emirates’ standard baggage allowance. Cyclists should keep in mind that although Air Canada does permit bikes to be carried as part of the allocated baggage allowance, the airline charges a £29 handling fee, and similarly Thomas Cook Airlines levies a 50% surcharge on tandem bikes. Conversely, Business Class passengers with Aer Lingus are entitled to travel with their bike for free, even if the bike surpasses the provided baggage allowance.
In terms of the booking process for flying with bikes, travellers are encouraged by most airlines to declare their bike as soon as possible after or during booking, with Thomson Airways requesting that bikes are booked for travel at least two months prior to departure. The aircraft size and type may also limit the physical space available for bikes in the hold and easyJet limits the carriage of sports equipment, including bikes, to one piece per passenger and a maximum of six per online group booking.
To prevent damage to the bicycle in the aircraft hold, many of the airlines researched provide specific instructions on how the vehicle must be packed, such as packing in a bike box or bag, lowering and fixing the handlebars sideways, removing or inverting the pedals and deflating the tyres.

Happy kids, happy vacation




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Happy kids, happy vacation

NEW YORK - Going on vacation should be an exciting and stress-free time, but sometimes when you have kids with you, it can be the opposite. Especially until everyone has settled down and acclimated to their new surroundings.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting people with the most incredible places to stay, conducted research across over 18,000 people from 25 countries worldwide, to find out how they cope in those make-or-break first 24 hours of a trip.
When asked how they prepare for the first day of a vacation, parents said that the two most important things to avoid disaster were to bring travel games and books to occupy their little ones as well as having a first aid kit handy (both 43%).
This was followed by:
  • Packing emergency snacks (42%)
  • Covering kids in bug spray/sunscreen (41%)
  • Making sure that they brought familiar comforts, so the space feels like a home away from home (33%)
  • Packing key items (e.g. swimsuit/ski gear) separately or at the top of the suitcase (31%)
  • Checking out the fastest way to the beach/ski slopes (28%)
  • Packing travel adapters and chargers at the top of the suitcase (25%)
  • Enrolling kids into a club prior to arrival (12%)
  • Renting a stroller (8%)
Even so, two in five parents (41%) believe that the first 24 hours of a trip can be memorable - it's sometimes the trials, tribulations, excitement and drama that are the things which can really make a vacation special.

Monsoon tourism is booming in Goa



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Monsoon tourism is booming in Goa


Goa is now becoming a hot destination for the beach lovers for the arrival of monsoon. Here, the monsoon tourism is flourishing for the scenic charms in and around Goa.


During the rain times, Goa turned into a place of booming in tourism and hospitality industry. Monsoons are traditionally drooping season for hotels and restaurants. But ground level check reveals that for most stakeholders it is business as usual during the ongoing rainy months.


When the weather was inclement in early July several hotels in city and beach areas witnessed the surge in occupancy.


The tourists from the neighbouring states like Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra visit most. They visit the churches, beaches, Old Goa, Panjim and the regular holiday spots with enthusiasm and were not a bit put off by the damp weather. A snapshot of arrivals showed that the families and honeymooners were the main visitors during the monsoon times.


The gamesters also arrived in robust numbers for rainy holidays, covering most of the dormitories and the den. The off-shore casinos received their regular customers which show that rains did not discourage casino tourism.


This year, monsoon tourism is making a stable and steady development. Though it is a off season, this time, the accumulation of tourists received the higher number than the peak season.

In coming years, it is expected that Goa will see itself as a 365 holiday destination in India. The efforts of the tourism department to market Goa as a 365-day holiday destination is bearing fruit.


Tapas De, the General Manager of the Fidalgo Hotel of Panjim, says that, the perception of tourism is changing. He adds that, Goa is now becoming a preferable place of all times of the year.


The hotel owners said that there is a massive improvement in monsoon tourism. The monsoon packages are customised with free buffet meals, spa and meal credits thrown in for the visitors.


According to hotels owners, the prospect of monsoon tourism over the years has improved. And to keep the enthusiasm going they are offering sizable discounts.

Monsoon packages are customized with free buffet meals, spa and meal credits thrown in. Some hotels offer free pick-up and drop to and from the airport.

The entertainment programmes near the faded due to heavy rains. So that, there is an ebb in the night life of Goa.


The tourism department of Goa is also giving the strength on the exploration of the hinterland locations, wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls, spice plantations, festivals, adventure and yoga, ayurveda and spa. The endeavour of the State Government is to budge the focus from coastal areas to activities such as treks, local festivals and the exploration of the local cuisines.


The charms of monsoon are considerable. From rain soaked fields, rivers and gushing waterfalls- all make Goa an extremely beautiful to the outsider.


The tourist arrivals during the rainy months of June-August are steadily increasing. In 2012, there are about 2.8 lakhs tourists visited during the three months of rains months compared to 9.4 lakhs tourists in 2016.


The arrivals in monsoons are currently comprised to 15 per cent of the annual arrivals. There is a development over 2012, when they comprised 10 per cent of the year’s tourists. The monsoon tourism lures only the domestic tourist, but the winter months are mostly concentrated with the foreigners.

Southwest Airlines extends flight schedule through April 6, 2018




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Southwest Airlines extends flight schedule through April 6, 2018

DALLAS - Southwest Airlines Co. announced it will begin international service for Indianapolis travelers with new weekly service to Cancun, Mexico as the carrier extends its schedule through April 6, 2018. The new flights between Cancun and Indianapolis will operate seasonally on Saturdays beginning March 10, 2018.
"Our Customers' passion for Southwest keeps us going strong in Indianapolis, and our addition of nonstop service to Cancun is another example of providing the service Customers are asking for," said Katherine Findlay, a Southwest Airlines Vice President and executive sponsor of Indianapolis, during a news conference at Indianapolis International Airport. "The opening of our 17th international gateway comes just in time for spring break, giving travelers a quicker route to a much-needed vacation."
As part of today's flight schedule extension, the carrier is also offering new international service beginning March 8, 2018 between Ft. Lauderdale and Aruba. Additionally, new nonstop service offered daily between Milwaukee and Houston (Hobby) will allow connections to destinations such as Belize, Cancun and Mexico City.
Southwest begins seasonal weekly service on Saturdays between Detroit and Tampa as well as Omaha and Tampa.

Hotel Henry in Buffalo- an asylum converted into a luxury hotel




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hotel Henry in Buffalo- an asylum converted into a luxury hotel

Buffalo, known as the Queen City in the western New York is popular for the skyline, now globally attracting the tourists for the architecture tourism.


Buffalo is a city of commercial, residential and institutional buildings by the most revered trio of architects — H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. They all built during the Gilded Age.


The tourism in Buffalo is echoed for architectural tourism with the opening of Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, which is an upscale hotel located about 3 miles north of downtown.  This historic urban resort has a bulky monolith, built in the 1870s, as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, now converted into a resort.


This hotel has the monolith exterior almost look like an excellent scene of any horror movie, now is the domain for wedding events or conference.


The local preservationists took this dilapidated asylum property from the Government and partnered with an hotelier and formed this architectural excellence. This also has navigated the restrictions of the National Historic Landmark, after that launched a stylish “urban resort and a conference center.”

 
The high-ceiling rooms are fully wired and dressed in cutting-edge modern. Two or three former patient lodgings have been combined to form each new guest room. The wide and spruced-up corridors lead to small common areas and then to larger open areas in the towers. The inn occupies a third of the asylum, which at peak capacity housed about 2,000 patients and staffers.


The old asylum had a progressive in its design. For fire-safety reasons, the wings were separated into “pavilions” and the light was thought to be therapeutic for patients, so windows are enormous. The windows are so tall in high-ceiling guest rooms that pull-down blinds are formed with remote-control. There is also an acre of green space abound outside the window.


Buffalo has the best park system. This city has 20 parks accessible from any part of the city. The Olmsted Park and Parkway System is the landmark of the green space of the city. It was constructed in 1868 by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux for making this space affordable for the patients their family. Now, after the conversion of the hotel, it will be the best spot for the tourists.  It was also first attempt in America to lay out a coordinated system of public parks and parkways.



Cambria Hotels debuts in California with grand opening celebration in Los Angeles - LAX




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cambria Hotels debuts in California with grand opening celebration in Los Angeles - LAX


ROCKVILLE, MD. - Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world's leading hotel companies, joined Fillmore Capital Partners and Fillmore Hospitality to celebrate the grand opening of the Cambria Hotel Los Angeles - LAX.
The property, which opened on May 2, leads the Cambria brand's expansion in California, and is the first of several projects in the LA area. The upscale hotel brand has plans to open five additional hotels, including LA Live in the downtown area, LA Spring Street, Anaheim, Glendale and Calabasas. Further, the brand has agreements to develop future hotel properties in Napa and Sonoma.
To commemorate the opening, brand representatives and guests celebrated with a ribbon cutting, local craft wine, and a taste of California cuisine. Featured speakers and dignitaries included officials from the Mayor's Office of Manhattan Beach and Hawthorne as well as the El Segundo Police Department; Choice Hotels Senior Vice President of Upscale Brands Janis Cannon; and Fillmore Capital Partners President and CEO Ron Silva, who discussed the impact of this new hotel and its appeal to business and leisure travelers.
"With the opening of the Cambria Hotel Los Angeles – LAX, the brand now reaches coast-to-coast in the United States' top markets. Soon our presence will expand tremendously on the west coast, with a particular focus in the LA area," said Janis Cannon"This Los Angeles-LAX property offers convenience to local businesses and attractions, an aesthetic matching the stylish landscape of the city, and indulgences that allow guests to treat themselves on the road. This hotel is designed for the needs of today's modern traveler and truly represents the best of the Cambria brand, which is such a key component at Choice Hotels. More importantly, Fillmore has been an outstanding collaborator in helping bring this property to fruition."   
Choice worked with Fillmore Hospitality on this project, a management company that provides a full spectrum of development, investment and property management services to owners of hotels and resorts throughout North America.  
"We're elated to open another great Cambria property and be a part of this milestone as the brand expands to the west coast. This is the perfect illustration of how far our relationship has come," said Ron Silva. "We are eager to help Cambria continue to expand in key markets, such as New Orleans and Nashville, following our recent openings in Southlake, Texas and Chicago's Magnificent Mile."

Dubai Tourism now focuses on mid-price family market




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Dubai Tourism now focuses on mid-price family market

Dubai, the emirate city has successfully recognized itself as a tourism destination of global standing!
 
Every year, millions of tourists and guests from Western Europe, the CIS, GCC, and northern Africa visit the city.

 
Majority of them visit Dubai to enjoy the luxury hotels, first-class shopping experiences, beaches and eye-catching attractions.

 
However, this elite class crisscrossing in flights worldwide is always keen to get surprised by ‘what is next’ in Dubai; Dubai is also interested to branch out its offering to the travelers.

 
Though the wealthy people around the world are always welcomed to visit the air-conditioned shopping malls and eye-popping hotels and attractions, the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing is energetically trying to expand the mid-price, family market as well.

 
To quote Issam Kazim in his brief stop in London, Dubai Tourism chief executive says: “There is a Dubai that has proved remarkably popular, featuring the Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah. But there is a lot more to the destination. Tradition is something we will be focusing on moving forward, the spice markets, the textile markets, things people can go and explore. We have small, family-run restaurants that are still owned by the same people as 40 years ago, these are the genuine attractions we are keen to show. We are stepping into the past as we move toward the future in Dubai; our culture and authenticity will come to the fore. On the heritage side of things, we are looking at the art of falconry and the stories behind that; how that traditional skill has evolved, where we can now have children able to bond with these birds, and then train them with drones.”

Demand for sharing economy sees a growing curve amongst summer tourists






Allianz Global Assistance, USA’s third annual Travel Insurance Sharing Economy Index, showed that 50 percent of Americans are either somewhat or very likely to use sharing economy services for the travel booking during this summer season. This was just 17 percent in 2015 and 36 percent last year and the rise in the popularity of sharing economy services such as Lyft, Uber and Airbnb is certainly a new trend to follow.


Ipsos Public Affairs conducted this first-of-its-kind year-on-year study and discovered that the rise in utilization correlates with a spike in familiarity. Nearly eight out of 10 travellers (78 percent) are familiar with sharing economy services in 2017, compared to just 66 percent last year and 47 percent in 2015.


While Uber is one of the most recognisable service, Airbnb and Lyft had to work really hard to make their mark amongst the domestic as well as international tourists.


Some lesser-known services such as HomeAway and Getaround also saw rise in their demand by up to 20 and 11 per cent respectively.

Allianz Global Assistance USA’s director of communications Daniel Durazo said in a statement that, “in the years that we’ve conducted the Sharing Economy Index, it has been incredible to see the significant growth in familiarity and use of sharing economy services for summer travel.”

Although there is a rise in the sharing economy demand, majority (48 percent) of travellers admit to being “somewhat trustworthy” and 13 percent are “not very trustworthy.” This is why, when it comes to delivering the best customer support, travellers favour traditional services.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott to open in Columbia, Missouri





towneplace suites by marriott columbia missouri

COLUMBIA, MO – Marriott International’s TownePlace Suites by Marriott Columbia, Missouri is scheduled to open for business this Tuesday, August 1, 2017. On average, a TownePlace Suites opens every six days. Built for travelers looking for a simple and friendly place where they can settle-in, keep their routine, and easily connect to the Columbia area. The new TownePlace Suites Columbia located at 4400 Nocona Parkway, continues to exemplify the brand's rapid growth. The new hotel will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by Discovery Hotels, LLC and managed by InterMountain Management of Monroe, Louisiana.
“We are excited to introduce the TownePlace Suites brand to the Columbia area,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, TownePlace Suites. “At TownePlace Suites, we get it. We want to go above and beyond to do everything we can to make our guests feel comfortable. We encourage our guests to be real, and help them to do so by providing a seamless residential atmosphere with a friendly staff who genuinely care about our guests. That is what our brand is all about, and this property is a great example of that.”
The new hotel allows guests to keep their routine and settle into the Columbia neighborhood. All service team members are thoroughly trained on local knowledge and look forward to connecting guests to the local area. Our floor-to-ceiling TowneMap also helps guests instantly acclimate themselves to Columbia by featuring great places to eat, play and live (explore). The TownePlace Suites Columbia is located just six miles from Columbia International Airport and six minutes from downtown. The new hotel offers guests convenient access to the University of Missouri, IBM, Quaker Oats, Gates Corporation, ABC Labs, Gans Park, and Rock Bridge State Park.
Ideal for travelers who need accommodations for longer stays, this new property offers studio king, studio double queen and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas. Guests can work and relax on their own terms in modern suites that feature full kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, adjustable work spaces with built-in shelves and lighting, a large flat screen television, as well as luxurious new bedding. Most rooms also feature the Home Office™ Suite, designed to provide guests with plenty of storage and flexible space to spread out and make it their own.
The TownePlace Suites Columbia allows guests to maintain a healthy lifestyle with an array of food options. While on property guests can create their own complimentary hot breakfast every morning in the lobby area, and can fire up their stay by grilling up dinner on our outdoor Weber grills. The 24-hour In a Pinch market and On Us coffee service offer guests the chance to get their snack and caffeine on whenever they feel the need. The full kitchen and refrigerator allow guests to cook their own food, or save their leftovers after eating at a local Columbia hotspot.
TownePlace Suites helps its guests stay organized on the road with the help of our partners the Container Store. While staying at the TownePlace Suites Columbia, travelers can unpack their suitcase in a custom elfa closet. From drawers to shelves to smart hanging space, you'll find everything you need to make you feel right at home. Located within walking distance of Phillips Lake, the hotel offers bike rentals and fishing equipment for guest use. Other hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, an exercise room open 24 hours per day, laundry facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and on-site business services, including copying, faxing and printing and offers 290 square feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 12 people. As a brand TownePlace Suites recognizes that your family may include more than just humans, that is why the TownePlace Suites Columbia is pet-friendly (fees may apply)

UK lifted Laptop Ban from Istanbul’s two airlines



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για UK lifted Laptop Ban from Istanbul’s two airlines

Passengers travelling from two Turkish and Pegasus planes from Istanbul to the UK are permitted to carry their electronic devices on board. The government has considered it as a “tough additional security measures” and stated that the remaining restrictions will be lifted after the government is completely satisfied that it is safe and proportionate to do so.

Laptops, tablets, accessories will be allowed into the UK cabin for passengers flying either from Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen or from Izmir from the two Istanbul airports.

It was in March that the rule of carrying anything bigger than phone from the cabin of direct flights to the UK was introduced in March. Six countries -Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey were the six countries the ban was imposed on. Turkey is considered to be most important in terms of aviation link.


The prohibition on personal electronic devices (PEDs) was imposed following closely the US bans. However, earlier this month the Americans removed the restrictions.


There will be new checks that will include the explosive trace detection tests on portable electronic devices and enhanced surveillance.


Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling mentioned that after examining the changes introduced in March, and working closely with international partners and the industry on tough additional security measures, the ban can now be lifted.


Turkish airports, including Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman, are still not relieved from the ban. UK airlines rules are still stringent, including the ones from  British Airways flights from Istanbul.

A Bristish Airways spokesperson mentioned that they were working with the UK Government and the local airport authorities to assess the security requirements in each of the countries where the UK Government restrictions currently apply.

The security policies will be under constant review and the customers will be made aware of the what other items can be permitted into the cabin.

Easyjet, the UK’s biggest budget airline expected the ban to be removed and the implementation of new policies by next week. On receiving the dates the customers will be informed.

The Department for Transport stated that the restrictions will happen on a case basis once the additional security measures are verified.

Two Roads Hospitality announces North American expansion of Alila Hotels & Resorts









DENVER - International lifestyle company Two Roads Hospitality announced the expansion of Alila Hotels & Resorts into North America. Singapore-based Alila, which became part of the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio in June 2015 and was recently voted the No. 4 Hotel Brand in the 2017 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards, will open its first North American resort property in California's fabled Big Sur in fall 2017. The launch brings the brand's commitment to innovative design and luxury, crafted artisanship and personalized hospitality to the U.S. market.
"The introduction of Alila Hotels & Resorts to the North American market is a significant milestone in Two Roads' international growth strategy," said Jamie Sabatier, Chief Executive Officer of Two Roads Hospitality. "As a brand that is long synonymous with opening resorts in spectacular, bucket-list destinations, it couldn't be more fitting that Alila's U.S. debut will be along the iconic Big Sur coastline. This opening will strengthen the global footprint of Alila and further cement its position as a luxury leader in the boutique and lifestyle sector."
The fall 2017 opening of Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, marks the debut of a re-imagined luxury resort experience. Boasting a multimillion-dollar comprehensive revitalization, Ventana Big Sur will provide an intimate, immersive experience with features including 59 refreshed guest rooms, suites and villas, a full-service Spa Alila, two enhanced outdoor pools with a new infinity-edge hot tub and outdoor Japanese hot baths. Additionally, The Sur House restaurant, with a new concept and expanded ocean-view patio, will offer majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.
"Since the Post family settled in Big Sur at the end of the 19th century, Big Sur has represented the confluence of ocean, forest, mindfulness and artistry un-paralleled anywhere else in the world. I couldn't be more excited for the opening of Ventana Big Sur to once again bring travelers back to this special part of the world," said John Pritzker, co-chairman of Two Roads Hospitality and founding partner and director of Geolo Capital. "We look forward to shining a bright light on the new Ventana Big Sur experience that celebrates the mystic beauty of Big Sur."
Ventana's resort-wide enhancements also will include a new Social House with three unique lifestyle spaces for relaxing and connecting; the new 7,000-square-foot Ocean Meadow Lawn for events and celebrations; a new Glass House Gallery; a new Alila Experience Program featuring discovery-based guest activities; and the debut of a luxury camping experience — Redwood Canyon Glampsites — in the resort's 20-acre redwood-canopied forest. 
Alila Hospitalities include daily guided walks through the serene landscape, yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates classes, and nightly wine tastings and cheese pairings. An on-site experience coordinator is available to arrange further adventures.
"At Alila, we strive to deliver holistic experiences that go beyond the typical and traditional, combining transformative programming with world-class service and amenities," said Frederic Flageat-Simon, Chief Executive Officer, Two Roads Hospitality Asia. "Unveiling the brand in the U.S. is an exciting step for our company, and we look forward to introducing Alila's innovative hospitality approach to our North American guests."

ASTA releases 2017 "How America Travels" study


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ASTA releases 2017 "How America Travels" study

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) released a groundbreaking studythat tracks perceptions of American travelers. This year's wide-ranging study includes reaction to prominent issues like airline regulation and travel bans, collected to help ASTA better advocate for travelers as well as support travel agents as they advise their clients.
"We've approached this year's study with greater focus on the changing landscape for travel and the issues shaping that change," said Zane Kerby, President and CEO of ASTA. "This is part of our commitment to be an advocate for travelers, as well as for our travel agency members."
The study comes at a time of turmoil for American travelers, a time of highly-publicized airline incidents, travel bans and tightened regulations and restrictions concerning carry-on items. ASTA collected the opinions of more than 1,500 travelers on a wide range of travel topics, including public policy issues such as travel bans and restrictions, airline regulation and a proposed Mexican border wall. Key findings include:
  • Americans are evenly split on overall opinion of the Trump Administration's "travel ban," along political party lines
  • Most Americans (55 percent) believe a travel ban will make U.S. tourists feel less welcome abroad
  • More than one in six Millennials have cancelled or called off a foreign trip due to the travel ban
  • A large majority (71 percent) say the travel ban has not influenced their likelihood to travel abroad
  • Most Americans (54 percent) support travel to Cuba without U.S. government restriction
  • Americans are seven times more likely to believe the government favors airlines over passengers
  • Eight in 10 Americans support requiring airlines to disclose all fees upfront
  • Most Americans (55 percent) say a wall on the Mexican border will make US tourists feel less welcome in Mexico
ASTA presented the study results to its members during the ASTA Capitol Summit event in June in Washington, D.C., which featured compelling educational content as well as the Society's annual "Legislative Day" where over 100 travel agency executives took to Capitol Hill to speak to lawmakers about the critical issues that face the travel industry and the traveler. ASTA plans further explore the project's results with its members during the ASTA Global Convention, August 27-29 in San Diego, CA.
"We are committed to protecting the interests of the traveling public on both domestic and international issues, including ease of booking, process transparency, and – above all else – safety while away from home," said Kerby. "Our research shows Americans' passion to travel is stronger than ever and we believe travelers deserve complete transparency from all vendors involved in the booking process, including from the government itself. America's travel advisors are dedicated to serving the needs of the public, and ASTA plans to build on this data to amplify our voice in support of travelers and the travel agents who serve them."
Kerby said the good news for the travel industry is that study respondents, despite concerns about bans and restrictions, remain zealous in their intention to travel. "The good news for travel agents is that Americans are an intrepid group and are always looking for new ways to discover the world and spend quality time with their families and friends," he said.
Both the quantitative and qualitative parts of the study provided ASTA and its members with insight into travelers' perceptions and expectations of travel advisors. They learned, for example, that many travelers are driven to find highly-authentic travel experiences, especially ones that will take them off the beaten path. These travelers want to know their agent has expertise and experience about a desired destination and can understand and adapt to the client's own travel preferences. ASTA travel agencies are well-positioned to help in this regard, with the average member having been to over 56 countries.

Norovirus Report Is Good News For Cruisers



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Norovirus Report Is Good News For Cruisers


For many people, the words norovirus and cruise ship go hand in hand. Thanks to relentless media coverage whenever an outbreak hits a ship, there are actually some who (wrongly) believe that the virus can only be caught on a ship. But of course, that was proven false when this week, news broke that Chipotle has yet again been struck by an outbreak of the virus. But more important to cruisers is a report from the Center for Disease Control that got very little attention earlier this year.

Norovirus Cruise Outbreaks Are On The Decline

norovirus
Although media outlets are quick to make a big deal whenever norovirus hits a ship, they haven’t exactly jumped on the CDC report which showed that over the past 12 months, only four ships — P&O’s Adonis, Princess’ Coral Princess, Oceania’s Regattaand Holland America’s Oosterdam — have seen outbreaks which required reporting.
LaKia Bryant, a spokesperson for the CDC, told Travel Weekly that the rate of cruise ship norovirus infections has decreased over time, “as has the number and severity of outbreaks by year, except 2012, when a new strain… emerged.” That is very good news for cruisers… but it’s also not the entire story.

Norovirus Is Very Popular On Land

norovirus
As we explained in a special report last year, norovirus is far more prevalent on land than it is at sea, but there’s a significant difference in the way outbreaks of the virus are reported. Essentially, health officials track illnesses aboard ships, which means that once several passengers have fallen ill, it is reported as an outbreak. Once you’ve come into contact with the virus, the incubation period is generally between 12 and 48 hours. This, of course, means that if you come in contact with the virus at the beginning of a cruise, you’re not only going to still be on the ship when you fall ill, but likely pass it on to at least a few other people. The cruise line is required to report the outbreak to the CDC and the next thing you know, there’s yet another headline about an outbreak on a cruise ship.
If, however, you come down with the virus while on a plane, at an amusement park or — as cited above — at your local fast food restaurant — you will fall just as ill and are likely to infect just as many people. You will, however, have done it long after leaving the point of initial infection. And because it does not happen within the closed and monitored environment of a cruise ship, it is never reported. As the CDC site explains, “Currently, state, local and territorial health departments are not required to report individual cases of norovirus illness to a national surveillance system.” As a result, “the virus is usually diagnosed only when an outbreak happens.” And of course, outbreaks are far easier to track in an enclosed environment such as a cruise ship, where the virus has time to not only spread but be documented during the course of the voya

Vail Resorts makes an epic promise - Commits to zero net operating footprint by 2030





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Vail Resorts makes an epic promise - Commits to zero net operating footprint by 2030

BROOMFIELD, COLO. - Vail Resorts, Inc. announced that the Company will aggressively pursue a comprehensive sustainability commitment, called "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint". This ambitious undertaking, announced to employees at a companywide event recently, commits to zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
 
"Everything we do at Vail Resorts is driven by the spectacular natural surroundings where our employees, guests and communities live, work and play. The environment is our business, and we have a special obligation to protect it," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts."As a growing global company so deeply connected to the outdoors, we are making a commitment to address our most pressing global environmental challenge and protect our local communities and natural resources. Through improved business practices, capital investment and continued innovation and environmental stewardship, we are setting a goal of achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030. With our 'Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint', Vail Resorts is both doing the right thing for the environment and for our business."
 
"It's the leadership of companies like Vail Resorts that recognize that this is good business and good for the environment that will truly make a difference in the world," said Carl Pope, co-author of Climate of Hope and former head of the Sierra Club. "We will combat climate change through commitments such as this and others from cities, municipalities and companies across the country."
 
Inspired by Whistler Blackcomb's environmental commitment, the company intends to go beyond setting a partial emissions reduction target by executing on a more expansive and ambitious plan. "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint" comprises three pillars: emissions, waste, and forests and habitats, with a thoughtful approach to each that was developed in consultation with leading sustainability experts in the industry.
 
Zero net emissions by 2030 
Vail Resorts will achieve net zero emissions in its operations by 2030 through the following initiatives:
- Reducing the Company's electricity and natural gas use by another 15 percent – in addition to the 19 percent already achieved – by improving operating practices and investing $25 million in innovative, energy-saving projects, such as low-energy snowmaking equipment, green building design and construction, and more efficient grooming practices and equipment.
  • Since 2008, Vail Resorts has implemented an aggressive plan to reduce its electricity and natural gas use and has already achieved a 19 percent reduction, after adjusting for acquisitions and new business locations. 
- Purchasing 100 percent renewable energy equivalent to Vail Resorts' total electrical energy use and working with utilities and local, regional and national governments to bring more renewable energy to the grids where the Company operates its resorts.
  • The company is already a member of Ceres Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy as well as RE100, a global collaborative initiative of influential companies committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity.
- Investing in programs such as tree planting to offset the use of other types of energy (e.g., gasoline and diesel).
- Engaging with the Company's vendors and suppliers to identify and collaborate on opportunities for them to reduce their emissions and environmental impact.
- Providing resort guests with information and opportunities for them to reduce or offset their carbon footprint.
- Sharing the Company's progress in achieving its "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint" goals in an annual sustainability report following the fiscal year ending July 2018, which will follow the Global Reporting Initiative's standard.
  • Vail Resorts intends to achieve a 50 percent reduction in its net emissions by 2025, based on 2016 levels.
 
Zero waste to landfill by 2030
Vail Resorts plans to achieve its 2030 goal of "zero waste to landfill" by diverting 100 percent of the waste from its operations to more sustainable pathways. Currently at a 40 percent waste diversion rate across its entire operations, the Company has set its sights on an interim target of diverting 50 percent of its waste by 2020. Vail Resorts plans to achieve this goal by:
- Improving its recycling and composting program.
- Engaging with vendors to reduce packaging and to source recyclable and compostable products.
- Working with local resort communities to increase options for reuse and diversion.
- Increasing awareness and engagement with employees and guests through signage, labeling and training.
 
Zero net operating impact to forests and wildlife habitat
To protect the spectacular mountain landscapes in which Vail Resorts operates, the Company commits to the following initiatives:
- Minimizing or eliminating the impact of any future resort development.
- Planting or restoring an acre of forest for every acre of forest displaced by the Company's operations, with the goal of achieving improved species and age diversity, resulting in healthier, more resilient forests.
- Continuing and expanding Vail Resorts' existing commitments to partner with and fund local organizations focused on the health of forests, habitat and wildlife. In 2016, for example, the Company contributed more than $1 million to 50 environmental tewardship projects through direct grants, the Company's $1 guest donation initiative, and the 1% for the Forest commitment, made in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.
 
Vail Resorts' "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint" will enable resort guests – visiting Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt.
 
Brighton in Michigan – and its more than 30,000 employees the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment and resources without leaving an impact.