Lufthansa has replaced the Rolls Royce engine in one of its A380s after inspections found a problem with it. Lufthansa spokesperson Thomas Jachnow said the problem detected earlier this week was minor and was not related to the oil leak issues that grounded the A380s in the Qantas and Singapore Airlines fleet, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Mr Jachnow said the aircraft was returned to Rolls-Royce immediately after the fault was found and the aircraft has since returned to service. The German airline is the latest airline to find fault in its A380s following the explosion of a Rolls-Royce engine on a Qantas A380 from Singapore to Sydney earlier this month. Despite a safe landing, Qantas has since grounded its entire A380 fleet while it investigates the cause behind the explosion.Singapore Airlines has also grounded three of its A380s this week, to carry out “precautionary engine checks”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Virgin Atlantic could be the next airline to sign into carrier alliances, with Sir Richard Branson stating that a partnership decision could be announced in the next quarter.Mr Branson said he is in discussions with potential alliance partners for his carrier Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd and the alliance announcement may be released in the coming months, Bloomberg reported.“Discussions with two or three parties are progressing,” Mr Branson told media. “Within the next two or three months we should be clear on whether there’s an alliance we’re happy with or not.” Mr Branson added that while he is discussing alliances, he will continue to stay involved with the carrier and has not yet decided whether he will sell off his 51 percent stake in the company.“I’ve always made clear that I would still be very much involved,” he said. “My principal interest is in the alliance. “If it means selling shares, we’ll consider that.” Mr Branson also said he was unsure if Singapore Airlines, 49 percent share holder of Virgin Atlantic will sell off its stake, and added that their decision likely rests in the alliance. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = Trakka Close to four decades in the RV industry has earned Trakka some enviable accolades. Now, in 2012, the Australian owned company can celebrate having their Trakkaway 770 awarded the overall winner of the Caravan World Motorhome Legends Series.Against solid competition from some of the RV industry’s leading motorhome brands, the Trakkaway 770 won on 10 criteria including value for money, driveability, setting up on site, suitability for intended touring, layout liveability, quality of finish, build quality, creature comforts, innovation and The X-Factor.The Legends Series motorhome roundup was evaluated by four expert journalists with decades of combined experience in RV testing. The reputable names on the RV test panel included Max Taylor, Editor of Caravan World magazine; Malcolm Street, seasoned RV journalist with a wealth of experience; Paul Hayes, Editor of Camper Trailer Australia magazine; and the highly regarded RV journalist, Philip Lord.The highly sought after title of ‘winner’ in the Legends Series motorhome roundup is reserved for only select motorhomes that exceed in the stringent quality and luxury standards of the test.As the overall winner, the Trakkaway 770 received a score of four and a half stars out of five with the judges commenting on the versatility and the ‘X-Factor’ appeal of the motorhome. “Whether you’re cruising the highways and van parks or heading for some free camping, this luxury motorhome has everything you could ask for,” the judges reported.“During our week in the Hunter Valley, we all noticed that whoever was to spend the night in the Trakka was also likely to receive envious looks from the other judges.”“As cosy as all the other vehicles were, the comforts offered by the Trakka – without having to use a slide-out – were envied by all,” noted the judges.Martin Poate, General Manager at Trakka, says that the win is a reflection of the company’s hallmark style, quality, craftsmanship and years of expertise in the RV industry.“All of our motorhomes are proudly manufactured in Australia by our dedicated and passionate team of designers, engineers and builders,” Mr Poate said.“We are delighted to have the effort and detail in the Trakkaway 770 recognised with such a prestigious title.”“The comfort and ride of the Trakkaway 770 is also a tribute to the spacious Fiat Ducato base with AL-KO chassis that provides a low centre of gravity for increased road holding and ride comfort,” Mr Poate explained.The build and construction of the Trakkaway 770 also received high praise from theteam of RV experts.“This is a typical Trakka build – lightweight but strong… the polish and core engineering of the Trakka are outstanding,” noted the judges.“As is the case throughout the rest of the rig, the lockers and wardrobes are covered with Trakka’s signature rolling doors, which perform their function well and look cool, too.”The Legends Series motorhome roundup also covered ways in which the Trakkaway 770 considers the environment while adding to greater traveller independence. “…the rear features Trakka’s patented Rainwater Retrieval System which uses clever mouldings to capture rainwater and store it in one of the tanks,” the judges commented.The Trakkaway 770 innovatively packs a range of features into a convenient and space efficient, compact motorhome.“Starting at the rear, the bedroom is a highlight. The large north-south bed… was comfortably large enough for my 6ft 1in frame. Large double-glazed acrylic windows and an overhead Dometic hatch make for a light and airy space, and there is plenty of room on each side.”“Storage is also good, with deep drawers and hanging wardrobes on either side, and a couple of lockers overhead.”“Like any good motorhome design, the Trakkaway cab’s swivel seats have been integrated, along with two fixed sideways-facing seats, into the dinette layout.”Over the years, Trakka has received many awards including numerous ‘Business Most Committed to Training’ titles, ‘Best Manufacturer’ as well as ‘Best of The Best Business’ from the Caravan and Camping Industry Association Awards of Excellence and now, the overall motorhome winner (Trakkaway 770) in the Caravan World Legends Series.
British Airways moves on from Qantas with Cathay. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. British Airways has announced a new codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific, designed to replace Qantas on flights between Australia and Europe.The new codeshare will kick off from 31 March 2013, just as British Airways’ 17-year joint business agreement with Qantas comes to an end and will mean British Airways customers travelling to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Cairns can fly on Cathay Pacific services with a BA flight number when connecting onto one of British Airways’ 14 weekly services between Hong Kong and London.The Cathay Pacific code share flights are an addition to British Airways’ daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Sydney via Singapore.Prior to the expanded codeshare, British Airways placed its BA code on Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Auckland, Denpasar, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Seoul and Surabaya – all of which will remain in place. Cathay Pacific has placed its CX code on numerous BA services between London Heathrow and key business and leisure destinations in Europe.Pending Australian regulatory approval, the agreement, British Airways South West Pacific regional commercial manager Nicole Backo said the codeshare will allow the carrier to serve all major Australian cities and provide customers with “increased schedule options and flexibility”.“In addition, customers travelling via Hong Kong will arrive at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and have access to British Airways’ extensive European network, whilst providing a single itinerary and through-checked bags,” Ms Backo added.Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific will continue to offer its own connecting services between Australia and London and expects to introduce a fifth daily service between Hong Kong and Europe’s financial capital on 27 June 2013.Sale on tickets for codeshare routes (below) kicked off on 25 February 2013, for travel from 31 March 2013.
Local winners on the night included JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, named ‘World’s Leading New Hotel’, the Burj Al Arab as ‘World’s Leading Hotel’ and Dubai’s Jumeirah Zabeel Saray won ‘World’s Leading Spa Resort’. Doha, Qatar was the setting for the extravagant 20th anniversary of the World Travel Awards, recognising and rewarding the industry’s foremost travel companies, brands and organisations. Click here to see the complete list of World Travel Award 2013 winners. Dubai took home the trophy for ‘World’s Leading Destination’, which was a welcome addition to its recent achievement, being the first Middle Eastern city to be selected to host the World Expo 2020. Etihad Airways has been named ‘World’s Leading Airline’, while Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts was voted ‘World’s Leading Hotel Brand’ at the 2013 World Travel Awards in Qatar. AirAsia was voted ‘World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline’, Kenya triumphed with ‘World’s Leading Safari Destination’ and ‘World’s Leading Culinary Destination’ was awarded to Peru, South America. Source = ETB News: P.T.
“Brisbane is a New World City with an enviable climate, lively al-fresco dining scene, green spaces, world-class art galleries and premier events, who’s reputation will further skyrocket as it hosts the G20 later this year,” Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said. Source = ETB News: L.B. “Brisbane is a patchwork of urban villages, each with a distinct style and topography: bohemian, low-lying West End; hip, hilltop Paddington; exclusive, peninsular New Farm and prim, pointy Kangaroo Point,” Lonely Planet authors Charles Rawlings-Way and Meg Worby said. It seems the long standing rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne on who’s “hippest” has seen a new competitor enter the race, with Lonely Planet naming Brisbane ‘Australia’s hippest city’, much to the surprise of its larger counterparts. With the Group of 20 Nations Summit (G20) being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in November, Brisbane will continue to enjoy the limelight in 2014. Despite being identified as one of the world’s most expensive cities and experiencing a thrashing from storms and fires, Queensland’s capital is “arguably Australia’s hippest city”, according to Lonely Planet. Describing “booming Brisbane” as a “diverse, eccentric, happening capital”, the traveller’s bible advises visitors to move from village to village to fully experience the city’s edgy arts scene, burgeoning nightlife, quirky bookshops, great coffee and interesting restaurants.
Destination Port Stephens has a new chief executive officer, a new board and has won a grant from the NSW government to expand the promotion of the seaside destination.Janelle Gardner was recently announced as the chief executive officer, and at the annual board meeting last week. Also, a new board was elected for 2014-15, comprising Michael Aylmer as chair, David Nye as deputy chair, Andrew Macdonald as treasurer and Kim Latham, Mike McIntosh, Dom Grundy, Janene Rees, Sharon Aldrich and newcomer to the board, Malcolm Anderson, as fellow board members.The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, has given Destination Port Stephens a $92,500 grant to boost its marketing program under the Government’s dollar-for-dollar Regional Visitor Economy Fund. Destination Port Stephens chief executive officer Janelle Gardner, said she was excited to head the new-look organisation and would use the new funds to market the region as the leading regional destination in NSW.“I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead our revitalised organisation forward and to strengthen the role Port Stephens’ $400 million-a-year tourism industry plays as the economic driver of the region,” Ms Gardner said.“Access to funding is incredibly competitive at the moment so we are very excited that we were successful in our application. We will use the grant for marketing activities aimed at increasing mid week, low season visitation.”Destination Port Stephens has also developed a new membership model which is $110 per annum providing an opportunity for all business in the region to get involved and support the development of a sustainable and successful visitor economy. Source = ETB Travel News: Megan Tran
Air Serbia www.airserbia.comAir Serbia and Air Europa unveil codeshare partnershipAir Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, and Air Europa have signed a codeshare agreement to provide guests with enhanced travel options between northern and southern Europe.The agreement will see Air Serbia place its “JU” flight code on Air Europa’s daily services between Madrid and Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan and Rome, as well as on flights between Málaga, Valencia and Paris.Air Europa will, in return, codeshare on an average of 60 flights per week operated by Air Serbia between Belgrade and six European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Rome.Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer of Air Serbia, said: “We are pleased to sign this codeshare agreement with Air Europa, which provides our guests with convenient, one-stop connections to three important Spanish cities that have a population catchment area of more than ten million people.“The agreement has special significance as Serbia and Spain will next year celebrate the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established in 1916, and we are confident that this friendship, and our growing economic ties, will continue to strengthen through these air links.“We consider Air Europa to be a valued partner and look forward to building on this agreement in subsequent phases through additional connecting points, bringing our guests more choice and travel flexibility.”Air Europa’s Chief Executive Officer, María José Hidalgo, expressed her “immense satisfaction regarding the agreement with Air Serbia, as it enables us to extend and consolidate our European routes, offering our passengers a choice of even more destinations, such as, in this case, the marvellous city of Belgrade.“Air Europa is continuing with its sustained growth, positioning itself on European routes in order to offer our customers a wide and varied choice of connections, with all the advantages and convenience of codeshare flights,” María José Hidalgo concluded.Codeshare flights with Air Serbia and Air Europa can be booked by visiting www.airserbia.com or www.aireuropa.com. Air Serbiabook and fly here Air Europabook and fly here Source = Air Serbia and Air Europe
From left, Thorsten Kirschke, president, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Mr Hannes Romauch, General Director of Eurowindow Nha TrangRadisson Blu Cam Ranh BayCarlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, announced the signing of a management contract with Eurowindow Nha Trang Investment and Tourism Joint Stock Company to develop the Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay. Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, the beachfront property is one of the most anticipated new developments along the coast of this stunning Vietnamese resort destination.“As we grow across Asia Pacific, we are pleased to expand our footprint into Vietnam and into a segment that is currently underserved in the region,” said Thorsten Kirschke, president, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “This latest Radisson Blu flagship will provide international and domestic travelers with a full range of innovative design-led products and services, delivering genuine and relevant guest experiences with Radisson Blu’s distinctive Yes I Can!SM service philosophy.”Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay marks the beginning of the company’s Vietnam growth story, which will focus on Tier 1 cities and resort destinations, as well as second tier cities. Carlson Rezidor is currently pursuing development opportunities in top destinations including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, while also exploring upcoming destinations such as Phu Quoc, Hue, Dalat, Quy Nhon, Mui Ne, Sapa, and Hai Phong.With the government’s push to accelerate infrastructural projects, the setting aside of a USD 100 million fund to promote tourism, the relaxation of visa regulations, as well as a growing number of domestic flights, the outlook for the hospitality market in Vietnam is strong. According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the number of international visitors to Vietnam in 2014 was 7,874,312, which represents a 4 percent increase over the previous year. And the number of international visitors arriving in Hanoi in the first half of 2015 was 8.8 percent higher than the same period last year, while Ho Chi Minh City saw a 3 percent rise in international arrivals over the same timeframe.Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay is a 290-key, new build, beachfront resort situated four kilometers from Cam Ranh International Airport, which is one of Vietnam’s busiest and expected to handle 8 million passengers annually by 2030. Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay offers guests direct access to an 800-meter stretch of unspoiled sandy white beach, as well as 40 high-end villas. The hotel’s meetings facilities will include a grand ballroom and multiple meeting rooms suitable for both business events and social gatherings. The resort will offer guests the choice of two restaurants, a lounge bar and a pool bar.Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay is close to tourist attractions including Ba Ho Waterfalls, Fairy Spring Waterfalls and Thap Ba Hot Springs. The Long Son Pagoda, Po Nagar Temple, Buu Phuoc Pagoda and An Ton Church are also within easy reach, and given the deep waters off the bay, diving, sailing and surfing are just some of the activities that guests can enjoy. Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay will offer a range of sea sports facilities, as well as a pool, a fitness center and full spa facilities.“We are honored to partner with a globally recognized hotel group to deliver world class hospitality in Vietnam. We are confident in Carlson Rezidor’s management capabilities and in their Radisson Blu brand, which positions our hotel for solid performance,” said Nguyen Canh Son, Chairman, Eurowindow Nha Trang Investment and Tourism Joint Stock Company. Source = Carlson Rezidor – Radisson Blu Cam Ranh Bay Carlson Rezidorlearn more here Radisson Blubook and stay here
New Conference and Incentives Sales Manager Linda LohmeijerDream job at Southern DiscoveriesThe latest staff member for South Island tourism operator, Southern Discoveries, is loving her ‘dream job’ based in the resort town of Queenstown.Linda Lohmeijer, 25, had always wanted to come to New Zealand from her home country, the Netherlands.“While working in the hotel industry in the Netherlands, I met some really lovely Kiwis and heard so much about the country, so I really wanted to come to New Zealand,” she says.After working in the meetings, conference and events sector of five-star hotels in the Netherlands and at Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa, Linda has now joined Southern Discoveries as its conference and incentive sales manager.Her new role sees her working with the meetings, incentive, conference and events (MICE) sector, primarily creating unique events on Southern Discoveries’ catamaran Spirit of Queenstown and at Mt Nicholas High Country Farm.Smaller groups of up to 30 guests can be catered for on the company’s Queenstown Discovery vessel which runs scenic cruises around Lake Wakatipu and into Frankton Arm, and Linda’s role also extends to offering client experiences in stunning Milford Sound.“These are all absolutely amazing products which almost sell themselves making it a delight to promote them to the MICE market,” she says.“The very best way to experience Queenstown or Milford Sound is from the water because whichever way you look, the backdrops are stunning, simply incredible.“I’ve absolutely fallen in love with New Zealand and Queenstown and can appreciate what it means for our visitors to come here and have the best experiences possible.”Linda’s passion for Queenstown and her enthusiasm for her new role has been welcomed by Southern Discoveries director of sales and marketing Julia Savill.“Linda has an outstanding background, working with one of the biggest and best properties overseas, and in Queenstown, all at a five-star level,” she says.“When it comes to creativity, customer service and delivery of memorable events for conference organisers and their clients, Linda has both the skills and experience to excel.“The conference and incentive market continues to grow for us and the future is looking positive. The challenge is to continue to think outside the box to deliver events with innovation and flair in the exclusive, unique and stand-out locations we have to offer.”Spirit of Queenstown has operated exclusive cruises to Mt Nicholas on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu since late 2013. The 26m high-speed catamaran is a bespoke, purpose-built venue for gatherings of up to 130 people.The woolshed at Mt Nicholas is an inspiring and versatile venue for corporate events, exclusive dinners and weddings as well as team building exercises – from orienteering to claybird shooting and helicopter adventures.About Southern DiscoveriesSouthern Discoveries operates four vessels at Milford Sound ranging in capacity from 35 to 400 passengers, and offers the widest range of trips and experiences in the fiord.The company operates Scenic Cruises, Encounter Nature Cruises, Nature Cruises, Cruise and Kayak Milford Sound and the Discover More Cruise which incorporates a visit to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.It owns and operates Discover Milford Sound Information Centre and Café in Milford, three information centres in Te Anau and Queenstown, and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford Day Trip.The company operates Queenstown Lake Cruise which provides day and charter cruises on Lake Wakatipu for up to 35 people and owns 50% of KJet, Queenstown’s original Jet boat operator.Southern Discoveries’ newest addition, Spirit of Queenstown, operates exclusive cruises to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. Visitors can choose from a range of excursions including a Scenic Cruise on Spirit of Queenstown, or an authentic Farm Experience at Mt Nicholas to meet to the working farm animals, get up close to merino sheep and get off the beaten track by 4WD into the landscape to spectacular vantage points. Newly introduced is the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail, a half day cycling trip between Mt Nicholas and Walter Peak. Carrying up to 130 passengers, Spirit of Queenstown is also available for private hire and charters.Southern Discoveries’ ongoing commitment to conservation is through the Sinbad Sanctuary Project in conjunction with the Fiordland Conservation Trust and Department of Conservation. The company received the 2015 New Zealand Tourism Export Council Operator of the Year, Trip Advisor ‘Hall of Fame’ Certificate of Excellence for Milford Sound Cruises and is Qualmark endorsed. Source = Southern Discoveries
The impact of Brexit on the British travel industryThe impact of Brexit on the British travel industryThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) released preliminary analysis of the financial and economic impact of the Brexit decision on the air transport industry.“The Brexit vote has triggered much uncertainty—financial and otherwise. As leaders in the UK and the EU work to establish a new framework for their relationship, one certainty to guide them is the need and desire of people on both sides of that relationship to travel and trade. Air transport plays a major role in making that possible. There were 117 million air passenger journeys between the UK and the EU in 2015. Air links facilitate business, support jobs and build prosperity. It is critical that whatever form the new UK-EU relationship takes, it must continue to ensure the common interests of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable air connectivity,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.Preliminary estimates suggest that the number of UK air passengers could be 3-5% lower by 2020, driven by the expected downturn in economic activity and the fall in the sterling exchange rate. The near-term impact on the UK air freight market is less certain, but freight will be affected by lower international trade in the longer term.A big issue is with aviation regulation. The UK faces a trade-off between accessing the European Single Aviation Market and having the policy freedom to set its own regulations.Simon McNamara, Director General of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), says “time will tell what this vote will mean for the UK and wider European aviation sector. Aviation is a global industry that works best in a borderless environment where the free movement of people allows airlines to move passengers seamlessly and without complication.”As a European association, ERA represents both EU and non-EU member airlines and has associate and affiliate members from across the globe. “ERA represents its 53 member airlines at the highest levels in Europe,” says McNamara. “Our airlines face similar challenges and ERA protects and safeguards their interests whether they are members of the EU, European Common Aviation Area, or have chosen to negotiate a bilateral aviation agreement with the EU or another European country. Through our extensive experience ERA will continue to support our members flying to, from and within the UK as it becomes clearer what the implications of the vote are for the aviation industry.”The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) emphasises that travel to, from and within the EU and UK will not be affected in the short term. The process set out by the Lisbon Treaty allows for a two year period of negotiation once the UK formally states its intention to leave the EU, and this period could even be extended by agreement of all the parties. During this period the legislation around Travel & Tourism will remain unchanged.David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “We are entering a period of market uncertainty which will undoubtedly put pressure on Travel & Tourism businesses, however we know that our sector is resilient and we expect business and leisure travel to hold up in the face of these challenges.”Source = IATA – International Air Transport Association
Mayor of London Sadiq KhanThe Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has this week launched a major campaign to show that London is united and open for business and to the world following the EU referendum.#LondonIsOpen will show the world that London remains entrepreneurial, international, and full of creativity and possibility, while reassuring the more than one million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome, and that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated.The Mayor is urging all Londoners, organisations and businesses to show their support for the #LondonIsOpen message via social media, through other creative ways. The starting idea for the campaign is built around London opening its doors to welcome people in, and will encourage people to use this as a platform for their own contributions. A film of famous locations opening their doors has been produced (watch below).#LondonIsOpen kicked off with a film first broadcast last week at Stevie Wonder’s London Hyde Park concert to a 65,000-strong crowd. A line-up of creative and musical stars feature in this film, one of a series, declaring #LondonIsOpen, including Jude Law, Jarvis Cocker, Corrine Bailey Rae and Olly Murs, Konnie Huq and Chris Moyles as well as Niall Horan, Baaba Maal, Ella Eyre, Lianne La Havas, and The Mystery Jets. Watch the videos here.From the business world, top names backing #LondonIsOpen include Richard Branson, City of London Policy Chairman Mark Boleat, Chief Executive of London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet, Google, Hilton, Merlin Entertainments, Freuds, Chief Executive of Patisserie Valerie Paul May, Pavegen, Central Working, Swiftkey, Seedrs and Unruly.Others endorsing the campaign include Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts, Prof Julia Black, Interim Director designate and Pro Director for Research, London School of Economics, Professor Edward Byrne AC, President & Principal, King’s College London and Professor Pat Bailey, Deputy Vice Chancellor, London South Bank University.#LondonIsOpen will be promoted at major events and leading visitor attractions across the capital this summer, including at the world’s first ever International Busking Day in Trafalgar Square (Saturday 23 July), which will see London joining with more than 50 locations across the UK, and 40 other major world cities, for the most ambitious celebration of street performance ever staged.Sadiq Khan said: “London is the best city in the world. It is creative, international, entrepreneurial and full of opportunities. I’m incredibly proud to be Mayor of a city that’s so comfortable with its diversity and so optimistic about its future. “We don’t simply tolerate each other’s differences, we celebrate them. Many people from all over the globe live and work here, contributing to every aspect of life in our city. We now need to make sure that people across London, and the globe, hear that #LondonIsOpen. I urge everyone to get involved with this simple but powerful campaign to send a positive message to the world.”Sadiq has made a call out to creatives to join the #LondonIsOpen movement, spreading the message that London is open for business, for people, for ideas. This is an ‘open source’ invitation for designs to be shared across social platforms and different media.The Mayor is inviting leading international artists from all nationalities to interpret #LondonIsOpen. Working with TfL’s art commissioning programme, Art on the Underground, this series of artworks will appear all across the transport network. Confirmed artists include Sol Calero, Alexandre da Cunha, Gillian Wearing, Bedwyr Williams, Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge studio, Hew Locke, David Shrigley, Tania Bruguera and Mark Titchner. London & PartnersSource = London & Partners
New hotel for Adelaide AirportPremier entertainment, hospitality and leisure company, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Ltd (Event), has today announced it has reached agreement with Adelaide Airport Ltd (AAL) to develop and operate a new seven-storey, 165-room design-driven hotel within the Adelaide Airport precinct.The hotel is being developed under Event’s multi award-winning Atura brand and will feature a restaurant and bar, a business centre, flexible function and meeting spaces plus a port-cochere for patron drop off and collect.Launched in late 2013 with the opening of Atura Blacktown in Sydney, the brand delivers a fresh take on the hotel experience fusing edgy design, high-energy public areas and the latest technology.Urban, industrial and design-inspired, Atura’s signature free-flowing communal spaces will be a key design feature at the Adelaide Airport Hotel; the restaurant, bar, lobby and general public spaces will integrate seamlessly with the broader airport terminal and can be accessible by all travellers, not just hotel guests. A walkway will directly link the hotel with the airport’s Level 2 domestic and international check-in area.The force behind some of Australia’s most iconic event and hospitality brands, Event’s enviable portfolio includes luxury QT Hotels and Resorts, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, Art Series Hotels, Thredbo Resort and Event cinema group.“We’re delighted to be working with Adelaide Airport Ltd to deliver our dynamic, Atura brand to South Australia,” said David Seargeant, Group Managing Director of Event Hospitality and Entertainment Limited.“Packed with personality and with a focus on great design and quality food and drink offerings, Atura Hotels offer design-savvy travellers a fresh travel experience; one we believe will hold great appeal for all airport precinct visitors and not just hotel guests.” Mr Seargeant said. “The unique design for our Adelaide Airport property will seamlessly connect the terminal and hotel with the plaza space.”Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mark Young, said “Today’s announcement really kicks off our long term vision to create an easy, seamless connection between our aeronautical activities and our planned Airport Business District.”“Atura Hotels offers contemporary and functional hospitality spaces with an exceptional food and beverage offering that we believe will offer a real point of difference to the airport precinct. We’re delighted to be selected as the first airport in Australia to welcome the brand.“Adelaide Airport has grown substantially in recent years, and many of our passengers have indicated they would welcome the convenience of a close hotel to enable catching early morning flights after meetings or conferences.“More than 8,700 people are directly employed on the airport and many business people fly to Adelaide to conduct business solely at the airport.“We expect demand to grow as passenger numbers continue to increase and we develop our Airport Business District infrastructure.”South Australian Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome the award-winning Atura brand to Adelaide and to see this significant investment into our tourism infrastructure. I congratulate Adelaide Airport on its investment. The hotel development will make one of the world’s best airports even better.“Visitors are flocking to Adelaide in record numbers to experience our vibrant city, much-loved food and wine regions, accessible natural experiences and our exciting line up of world-class events. Now, they will have a fantastic new accommodation option at the heart of our world-class airport.“International airline seats have grown by 66 per cent in the past five years and will only grow further when we welcome new direct flights from mainland China to Adelaide in mid-December through China Southern Airlines. This follows the introduction of Qatar Airlines to Adelaide in May – opening up connections to more than 140 destinations around the globe.“The South Australian visitor economy is currently at a record $5.95 billion and we are working hard to achieve our goal of an $8 billion tourism industry by 2020.”Construction is expected to start in April 2017 with an anticipated opening in the December 2018 quarter.About Atura Hotels:Urban, industrial and art-inspired, Atura Hotels are where modern business and leisure travellers escape the predictable to embrace a new style of travel. This fresh take on the travel experience fuses dynamic communal spaces, hip styling and the latest technology ensuring guests feel connected and energised. Expect free Wi Fi and a host of other benefits.Conceptualised by renowned hotelier and Event Hospitality and Entertainment Managing Director David Seargeant, the Atura Hotels concept was curated by the same collaborators behind the company’s multi-award winning designer QT Hotels and Resorts brand.Atura Hotels are part of a growing trend towards design-driven hotels which offer guests more than the traditional could-be-anywhere accommodation experience; Atura does this with even more value.Less than a year after launching, the first Atura property won several prestigious industry awards and this success has continued unabated; the brand has been named Best Mid-Range Hotel of the Year at the Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) Awards for Excellence for three years running.The multi-award winning hotel brand boasts three properties in its current portfolio including Atura Blacktown, Atura Albury which officially opened in January 2015 and Atura Dandenong which opened in April 2015. Atura Hotelsfor more information, visitSource = Atura Hotels
Courtyard by Marriott announces signing of second hotel in The PhilippinesCourtyard by Marriott announces signing of second hotelHotel will debut the brand in Cebu, The Philippines’ second-largest city, in 2021Courtyard by Marriott today announced the signing of a new 251-room property in Cebu City, underscoring the brand’s growing momentum in The Philippines. Construction is expected to begin in late 2018, with a projected opening of Spring 2021. Intercontinental Resort and Lifestyle Inc., a subsidiary of Cebu’s Tanchan Corporate Group, will own the new Courtyard by Marriott Cebu.“We are delighted to partner with Intercontinental Resort and Lifestyle to debut the Courtyard by Marriott brand to Cebu City,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “The signing of Courtyard by Marriott Cebu marks an exciting new chapter for us in expanding Marriott International’s presence in The Philippines – especially in this exciting corporate and tourism city.”The Cebu City signing coincides with the opening of the first Courtyard by Marriott in The Philippines – the Courtyard by Marriott Iloilo City, expected to open later this month.The Courtyard by Marriott Cebu will rise about 14 kilometers from Mactan-Cebu International Airport within a new, 31-story mixed-use development that will feature upscale shopping, dining options and residences. Hotel guests will have convenient access to the major business hub where business process outsourcing (BPO) services, banks and other companies are located.Founded as a Spanish colony in 1565, Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines and the second largest after Manila. Rich with history, Cebu City is home to landmarks such as the Basilica del Santo Niño de Cebú and the 1730 Jesuit House museum. Located in the island province of Cebu at the center of the Philippine archipelago, Cebu City is a significant trade, education and commercial center as well as the Philippines’ main domestic shipping port.“We are thrilled to be able to bring the Courtyard by Marriott brand to Cebu City,” said Vincent Ong, CEO of Intercontinental resort and lifestyle Inc. “With this project, we are combining our decades of experience in the Philippine market with the prestige and global brand recognition of Courtyard by Marriott to offer business travelers to Cebu a hotel like no other.”The Courtyard by Marriott Cebu will showcase the brand’s signature modern-classic interior design, with spaces and amenities that allow for interaction, collaboration and exploration. Guests will enjoy spacious, well-appointed guestrooms and suites, a 24/7 fitness center and seamless, intuitive technology throughout the hotel, complemented by an elevated level of service that reflects the legendary Courtyard by Marriott service philosophy.An array of food and beverage outlets will offer guests dining options from morning to night: the 100-seat all-day dining restaurant features a semi-open kitchen with live stations and a display buffet, The Market will offer guests the convenience of grab-and-go facilities, and The Courtyard will offer traditional dining options. In addition, a Pool Bar will offer guests refreshments at the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool and sun deck area.The new Courtyard by Marriott Cebu will feature a 400-square-meter ballroom, as well as two multi-purpose meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for casual and formal events, functions and business meetings.For more information, please visit www.marriott.com. Source = Courtyard by Marriott
Alcuin Capital Partners LLP invests in On the Go ToursOn the Go Tours, the multi award-winning Global tour operator, has received a substantial investment from growth capital firm Alcuin Capital Partners LLP (“Alcuin”) for an undisclosed sum.After 20 years of successful growth, the deal sees majority ownership of On The Go Tours move to Alcuin and management.Original founders Jay Lakshman and Scott Braidwood remain as shareholders. Banking was provided by CYBG.“Our team and partnerships have always been central to OTG’s success and our new partnership with Alcuin is absolutely the right fit for OTG. Both Jay and myself will remain on the board and look forward to helping steer OTG onwards in this exciting new chapter in our journey” Mr Braidwood said.Commenting on this exciting opportunity for On The Go Tours, MD Carl Cross said: “After having grown the business significantly over the past three years, this new investment is the start of a new phase in the life On The Go Tours. It will allow us to take important steps to elevate the business to the next level. My senior leadership team and I are invested in the business and incredibly excited about our future path.”“Over the past few months we have worked closely with Alcuin and feel extremely fortunate to have found partners who not only share our vision for further growth, but our commitment to all distribution channels and quality of the customer experience that On The Go Tours is known for.”“It will be business as usual for On The Go Tours. In fact, the new investment will allow us to further develop our product, grow our existing trade and retail partnerships, and invest in agency development, distribution tools, technology and our committed On The Go team members. We look forward to taking our partners on this very exciting journey of growth.””On The Go Tours’ successful growth is testament to its excellent team, product, partners and service” commented Adrian Lurie, Partner at Alcuin. “We are delighted to be joining Jay and Scott as fellow shareholders and we are excited to have the opportunity to work with Carl and his team to continue to expand the business in the coming years.”The shareholders and management of On The Go Tours were advised by Alex Patey, Tom Urquhart, Harry Stoakes and team at BDO LLP.Alcuin was advised by Taylor Wessing (legal), Armstrong (commercial), KPMG (financial), BDO (tax).Source = On the Go Tours
The TTF season started with two houseful shows in Kolkata and Hyderabad. Over 500 participants took part with colourful pavilions and stalls at Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium and the adjacent Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, and at HITEX in Hyderabad, for the three-day events, part of India’s oldest and largest network of travel trade shows, which are now organised annually in nine other cities as well.Participants from 15 countries and 26 Indian States & Union Territories came to sell at these TTFs. These included state tourism boards, national tourist offices, hoteliers, airlines, tour operators and travel agents, online travel companies, railways, cruises and other travel marketers.“Considering TTF Kolkata and Hyderabad grew by over 25%, compared to last year, we are expecting buoyant markets ahead, with TTF Pre-Diwali Series lined up in Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, and Pune, in September-October, extending into Guwahati in November,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media, the organiser of TTF. “The TTF series with 12 shows annually across India provides an important tourism marketing impetus, to make investments in tourism more viable,” he added.Fairfest Media, organiser of the TTF & OTM shows has strengthened its unparalleled lead as India’s No. 1 travel trade show organiser, with about half the market share. It organises every year TTF branded shows started in Kolkata (in 1989), in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Pune, and Guwahati (July-November) followed by Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi (January-February), in addition to the grand finale OTM Mumbai in February.There were colourful displays of various places one could visit, with a hint of their various attractions. Eye-catching displays were put up by Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and of course the two Host States Telangana and West Bengal to cater to the local tourists.Among the countries represented were Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Germany, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE and Uzbekistan.India Tourism also participated at both the locations.To enhance and showcase their respective offerings, aside from attractive and elegant stalls, participating states and countries presented daily cultural events and marketing presentations to trade visitors and the media.West Bengal Tourism’s new promotional branding Experience Bengal was seen for the first time on display at TTF Kolkata 2015.TTF Hyderabad 2015 took place at a strategic time when the newly born Telangana state has just completed its one year. Telangana’s maiden campaign ‘It’s all in it’ attracted a lot of attention from the travel trade as well as media.Apart from marketing presentation, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism organised a Kashmir Food Festival at TTF Kolkata to give visitors a taste of their culinary delights.The TTF series has important value additions like pre-registration for trade visitors, more travel trade engagements, focus on B2B, etc. The specially branded section, Outbound Village @ TTF helps expand the outbound presence.The TTF Award for Contribution in Tourism was instituted by Fairfest Media to recognise leading travel producers and buyers. Awardees received the recognition and walked the show on the inaugural days of TTF Kolkata and Hyderabad. In addition, an equal number of sellers participating in the show were awarded, on the concluding days of both the events.
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, has launched the ‘Thomas Cook One Currency Card’, a prepaid travel card with zero cross currency conversion fees, in collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide, in contrast to prepaid cards with high cross currency conversion charges that creates a strong deterrent.Thomas Cooks’ card offers embedded chip and PIN security, locking of funds (to avoid cross currency fluctuations), instant loading, emergency cash disbursement, encashment of the residual balance or use for future travel, free replacement card in case stolen or lost and 24×7 global emergency assistance available via toll free access in over 80 countries global access via 2.2 million ATM’s and 35.2 million merchant establishments in over 275 countries.Mahesh Iyer, COO – Foreign Exchange and Head – Visas, Thomas Cook India said, “With exponential growth in multi-national travel, the need of the hour was clearly a single currency card, sans the downside of cross currency charges. As pioneers in the foreign exchange business, our innovative the Thomas Cook One Currency Card, the first of its kind in India, brings Indian travellers a strong value proposition: zero currency conversion charges in a digital currency ecosystem.”The Thomas Cook One Currency Card can be bought or recharged via thomascook.in and across Thomas Cook’s foreign exchange network across 136 locations.Additionally, Thomas Cook India has revealed the progress of its so-called ‘clicks and bricks’ distribution strategy, which aims to serve the needs of India’s second and third tier cities with technology enabled travel stores.The clicks and bricks model provides customers with a range of travel-related products and services, including foreign exchange, visas and insurance, combining human travel agents with in-store technology such as tablet devices. The company has set up 33 new stores across the country, including locations in Amritsar, Ahmednagar, Bareily, Nellore, Ranchi, Palarivattam, Ludhiana and Valachery.“At Thomas Cook India, we foresee significant growth emerging from ‘Middle India’ and hence were quick to transition to online and online-assisted selling via our focused hybrid omnichannel ‘brick and click’ model,” said Madhavan Menon, Managing Director of Thomas Cook India. “Our technology assisted outlets will operate via tablets and mobile apps that enable transactions across the Thomas Cook range of products and services, including domestic and international holidays, flights, hotels, insurance and foreign exchange,” he added.
Miami, at Florida’s south eastern tip, is a vibrant city whose Cuban influence is reflected in the cafes and cigar shops that line Calle Ocho in Little Havana. The city is famous for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs.Source: Expedia
in Data, Origination, Servicing Share September 7, 2012 438 Views Home prices ticked up by 0.9 percent year-over-year, according to “”Lender Processing Services””:http://www.lpsvcs.com/Pages/default.aspx.[IMAGE]The Florida-based analytics and technology provider revealed that prices also rose by 0.7 percent month-over-month. Home values climbed by $203,000 on average, reflecting a 0.7-percent uptick from $202,000 last year.[COLUMN_BREAK]By state, California saw home prices ratchet up by 0.7 percent, with Texas dipping by 0.1 percent. Florida, New York, and New Jersey all saw increases by 1.3 percent, 1.7 percent, and 1.2 percent, respectively.By metro area, New York prices rose by 1.3 percent. Los Angeles, Washington, and Chicago followed in short order at 0.5 percent, 0.7 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively, while Dallas wallowed at a decline of 0.1 percent.Nick Timiraos, a reporter for “”_The Wall Street Journal_””:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444301704577631252266351074.html, wrote in a recent op-ed that “”[t]oday’s rising prices have less to do with surging demand ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô though hard-hit markets in Arizona, California, and Florida have seen significant investor appetite for distressed homes ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô than with declines in the number of properties for sale.””Here’s why prices are rising: There are more buyers chasing fewer homes, and-critically-fewer distressed homes, such as foreclosures,”” he added. “”Low inventory is one sign that housing markets may have reached a turning point because many want to buy at the bottom but few want to sell.””*Why do you think home prices are rising?* Sound off by shooting an email to email@example.com. Home Prices Climb 0.9% Year-Over-Year: LPS Agents & Brokers Home Prices Investors Lender Processing Services Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-09-07 Ryan Schuette
Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Billy Bob Thornton’s Beverly Hills Abode Lists for $9.95M Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-10-12 Abby Gregory Listing his estate in Beverly Hills for just under $10 million, Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton is moving on. The 11,012-square-foot mansion, a Spanish-style home built in the 1920s, is currently on the market for $9.995 million.””According to RealEstalker””:http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2012/10/billy-bob-thornton-wants-to-unload-in.html, Thornton’s beautiful abode boasts nine-bedrooms, eight-bathrooms, a library, fitness room and gym, recording studio, swimming pool and spa, and an illuminated court for paddle tennis. The property also comes with covetable Hollywood history, because Thornton, who purchased the home in 2000 with then-wife Angelina Jolie, bought the estate from famed Guns ‘n Roses guitarist, Slash. [COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] October 12, 2012 444 Views