Παρασκευή, 22 Ιουνίου 2018

School's out, summer is here; Agoda shares where independent travelers are heading

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για School's out, summer is here; Agoda shares where independent travelers are heading

SINGAPORE - Agoda, one of the fastest growing online travel agents (OTA), revealed the top trending summer travel spots, globally, for independent travelers in 2018. 
The allure of Japan with its combination of unique culture, temples, mountains and beaches, proves too much to resist as Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa and Kyoto all feature in the top ten Asia Pacific destinations this summer.
In Europe, independent travelers are seeking out the historical and contemporary sights and sounds of the region's great cities with cosmopolitan London (England), Paris (France), and Rome (Italy) taking the top three spots. Italy's fashion favorite Milan and romantic Venice also feature in the top ten, after Barcelona (Spain) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). Moscow (Russia) comes in as the 9th top destination for the summer of 2018, most likely boosted by the football matches in this spectacular city. 
American cities Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles are the top three picks for North American travel this summer, with beach destinations Oahu and Orlando sitting in the top ten among other great destinations such as Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto (Canada). Agoda's top Central and South American hotspots are Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Cusco (Peru), Lima (Peru), Nassau, (Bahamas) and Buenos Aires, (Argentina).
"Worldwide, we are seeing that the diversity and vibrancy offered by cities holds real appeal for independent travelers this summer. These travelers are looking to explore more than just the usual tourist sights, instead they like to immerse themselves in local neighborhoods to really experience the city, off-the-beaten-track.  Through Agoda they get to choose from a great range of hotels, apartments or villas at any budget, and the Agoda app highlights great things to do and places to see in their neighborhood," explained John Brown, CEO, Agoda. 
Summer travel facts:
  • Bali is the top Asia Pacific destination for UK travelers
  • Australians are the biggest international travelers to Bali, followed by South Koreans, Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian travelers
  • Top summer destinations for Taiwanese independent travelers are Tokyo, Okinawa, Osaka, Kyoto and Seoul, and they are the top travelers by origin to each of these destinations
  • American travelers' top three Asia Pacific destinations are Tokyo, Kyoto and Bangkok
  • Most popular African destinations are the Seychelles, Johannesburg (South Africa), Durban (South Africa), Mauritius and Cape Town (South Africa)
  • Dubai tops Middle East travel followed by Medina and Mecca, which receive huge numbers of pilgrims for Hajj (19-24 August 2018)
  • Despite being the Southern Hemisphere winter, Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast are in the top five Pacific Ocean destinations and still receive their fair share of tourists during the June to August period. Guam and Saipan also feature.
Top Destinations by Region
Asia Pacific
North America
Las Vegas
New York
Los Angeles
Okinawa Main Island
San Francisco
Hong Kong SAR

Designs for new Terminal 25 of Celebrity Cruises

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Designs for new Terminal 25 of Celebrity Cruises

Terminal 25, located at Port Everglades in Hollywood, Florida is Celebrity Cruises first ever brand-designed cruise terminal.

It is designed to complement the upcoming Celebrity Edge and T25 features cutting-edge technology and a sleek design that will create the ultimate guest experience.

T25 melds a warm design with new technology and is made in collaboration with Broward County’s Port Everglades.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president, Celebrity Cruises stated that while designing the revolutionary Celebrity Edge,they  knew they wished to design a terminal that perfectly complemented the ship. T25 will be perfect with the new cutting-edge technology.

T25 is Celebrity Cruises’ first ever brand-designed cruise terminal which has set high standards in design creating the perfect guest experience.

There will be a 1,463 sq.ft GKD Mediamesh wrapping the terminal’s exteriors with more than 18,000 sq. ft. of outward facing glass and the first purpose-built crew lounge.

There will be complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity, TV access, optimised storage, quiet places for employees and more in the crew lounge.

It will be completed in October 2018 and will be the new home to many Celebrity ships during their winter deployment like Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Reflection and Celebrity Silhouette.

Original Travel is coming to America

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Original Travel is coming to America

NEW YORK - Americans have ramped up their desire for transformative travel experiences (Skift). To meet this need, Original Travel, the London-based, private travel company that curates life-changing journeys for British celebrities and notables, announced its expansion into the U.S. market and the launch of its first U.S. website, 15 years after its launch.
In addition, Original Travel founders Nick Newbury (favorite travel moment: hiking the glaciers around jagged Mt FitzRoy on the Argentina-Chile border), Tom Barber (favorite travel memory: exploring Botswana's Okavango Delta by mokoro dugout canoe) and Neill Ghosh (favorite travel moment: snorkeling with killer whales in a Norwegian fjord) have created hundreds of new itineraries.
Original Travel's new itineraries include tracking jaguars through the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil; a guided trek between a string of remote monasteries in India's beautiful Ladakh region to experience authentic Tibetan Buddhist rituals; or exploring Indonesia's remote Raja Ampat region, home to the best diving and snorkeling in the world, while bunking on a luxury liveaboard sailing boat.
U.S. clients also have access to Original Travel's unique global network of Concierges, a service no other travel company in the U.S. offers. The Concierges, who live in the destinations featured in the itineraries, take care of travelers while they are in their area, arranging activities, making last-minute changes, recommending restaurants (including securing the best seats), providing insider tips including places and things unbeknownst to most travelers.
Also unique to Original Travel is its specialist team of marine biologists, dive masters and instructors who have completed 3,800 dives in over 100 countries as Original Diving, the world's only luxury dive travel outfit.
The 60-strong Original Travel team have extensive, personal experience of their regions and work with clients throughout the trip cycle from the discovery call for a deep understanding of vacation desires, to mapping out the itinerary, to on-the-ground support with local expert guides, VIP services and 24/7 support, to the welcome home.
"With our expansion into the U.S. market we are redefining luxury travel as a high-touch, life-enhancing experience," said Nick, a reformed City financial executive. "We believe that Life Is In The Detail. It's the small details that make a vacation; whether it is knowing the spot for sleeping under the stars in the Namibian desert or the Greek Islands' hidden coves."
"Twenty-two percent of our business is already made up of American travelers," added Tom, a travel-writer-turned-curator.  "Our U.S. business has grown 10 times in the last five years through referrals and word of mouth. Our goal is to increase this significantly by expanding our U.S. presence and offerings, by curating a specific range of itineraries, being open during U.S. hours and by accepting payment in USD."
Following 15 years of uninterrupted growth in the U.K., Original Travel caught the eye of Paris-based Voyageurs du Monde, the leading specialist in bespoke, high-end travel in France. Voyageurs du Monde, established in 1979, acquired a strategic stake in Original Travel in early 2017. Original Travel's already excellent customer service has been further enhanced by accessing Voyageurs du Monde's range of high-touch client services.
Since its founding, Original Travel has created more than 50,000 bespoke itineraries and conducted fact-finding missions in more than 160 countries.  Today it offers personalized vacations to 95 countries with numerous areas of specialization, including bold honeymoons, family getaways, winter sports, diving, opulent road trips, adventurous sabbaticals, cultural city breaks and more.

Canadian golf travel professionals to ‘putt’ Causeway Coast on the map

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Canadian golf travel professionals to ‘putt’ Causeway Coast on the map

A group of top Canadian tour operators – all specialists in golf tours – has been visiting the Causeway Coast this week. They were here as guests of Tourism Ireland, Air Canada and Tourism NI.
During their time here, the group had the opportunity to test their golfing skills at Royal Portrush and at Portstewart Golf Club. They also enjoyed some sightseeing along the Causeway Coast, with stops at the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery.
Promoting golf in Northern Ireland is a focus for Tourism Ireland in Canada and in other golf markets around the world. Tourism Ireland is taking every opportunity to highlight the fact that Royal Portrush will host The Open in 2019, which will provide a fantastic platform to place Northern Ireland golf in the global spotlight once again.
Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s Manager Canada, said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite these golf tour operators to visit Northern Ireland, to experience two of our top courses for themselves and to have the chance to hear all about the plans for The Open in 2019 at Royal Portrush.
“Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way throughout 2018, which includes highlighting our world-class golf and encouraging more people to consider a golfing holiday in Northern Ireland. Golf is the world’s largest sports-related travel market and we are working hard to drive home the message that a golfing holiday in Northern Ireland is about much more than a round of 18 holes – the combination of our world-class courses and our unique brand of hospitality plays a key role in attracting golfers.”
Tourism Ireland is rolling out an extensive programme of promotions in Canada this year – which includes co-operative promotions with key airline and tour operator partners, email marketing and social media promotions, as well as online advertising on popular websites.

Cambria Continues Momentum With Signings, Openings

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cambria Continues Momentum With Signings, Openings

ROCKVILLE, MD—Cambria is continuing its momentum with the opening of a new property in Philadelphia and signing of two development agreements for properties in South Carolina.
The brand has opened Cambria Hotel Philadelphia Downtown—Center City. The 223-room, 15-story property will soon include a rooftop bar and restaurant with 3,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space with city views.
Cambria has also signed two agreements with Four Raines LLC to develop Cambria hotels in Greenville and Summerville, SC. Cambria Hotel Greenville and Cambria Hotel Summerville are both slated to open in October 2019.
Cambria Hotel Greenville will have 125 rooms and is located in an upscale mixed-use retail area with access to Whole Foods, Total Wine and Ann Taylor Loft. The property is within walking distance to the headquarters of TD Bank and BMW North American Technology, Hubbell Lighting, ICAR, and facilities operated by 3M, Honeywell and General Electric.
The 95-room Cambria Hotel Summerville will be located in Nexton Town Center, a mixed-use development with retail and office space, music and event venues, and a walking and biking trail system. Hotel guests can enjoy dining experiences at nearby Halls Chophouse, Fuji Sushi and Taco Boy. Summerville is home to Volvo, SCRA, Summerville Hospital and Medical Center, and Palmetto Care.

Aeroflot Group passenger traffic up 8.2% in May 2018

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Aeroflot Group passenger traffic up 8.2% in May 2018

AeroflotAeroflot PJSC (Moscow Exchange ticker: AFLT) today announces operating
results for Aeroflot Group (“the Group”) and Aeroflot – Russian Airlines (“the Company”) for May and 5M 2018 1 .

January – May 2018 Operating Highlights
In 5M 2018, Aeroflot Group carried 19.6 million passengers, up 7.4% year-on-year. Aeroflot airline carried 13.0 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 5.7%. Group and Company RPKs increased by 7.3% and 4.4% year-on-year, respectively. ASKs rose by 8.2% year-on-year for the Group and by 8.0% year-on- year for the Company. The passenger load factor decreased by 0.7 p.p. year-on-year to 78.7% for Aeroflot
Group and by 2.6 p.p. to 76.7% for Aeroflot airline.
May 2018 Operating Highlights
In May 2018, Aeroflot Group carried 4.4 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 8.2%, underlining the continuation of the trend of accelerating traffic growth. Aeroflot airline carried 2.8 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 4.6%.

Group and Company RPKs were up 7.8% and 2.9% year-on-year, respectively. ASKs rose by 11.3% for Aeroflot Group and by 9.5% for Aeroflot airline.

On domestic routes, Group passengers carried and RPKs grew by 9.5% and 11.2% year-on-year, respectively. ASKs grew by 11.1% year-on-year. Company passengers carried and RPKs increased by 8.6% and 6.3% year-on-year, respectively. ASKs grew by 10.9%.

In May 2018, the number of passengers carried on the Group’s international routes increased by 6.5% year- on-year. RPKs grew by 5.4%, while capacity grew by 11.4%. The number of passengers carried by Aeroflot airline on international routes increased by 0.8%. RPKs grew by 1.1%, ASKs by 8.8%.

Aeroflot Group’s passenger load factor was 77.3%, representing a 2.5 percentage point decrease versus the same period a year earlier. The passenger load factor at Aeroflot – Russian Airlines declined by 4.8 percentage points year-on-year to 74.8%. This was the result of a significant difference in Russia’s May holidays in 2018 versus 2017: unlike in 2018, there were two long weekends in May 2017, which resulted in passengers electing to travel on both of those weekends as well as for the entirety of the holiday period.
Fleet update

In May 2018, Aeroflot Group added three aircraft: two Boeing 737-800 and one Airbus A320. One Airbus A320 was phased out. As of 31 May 2018, the Group fleet had 342 aircraft.

Aeroflot airline added one Airbus A320. As of 31 May 2018, the Company fleet had 236 aircraft.

Air Traffic Control strikes are destroying air traffic and economies across Europe

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Air Traffic Control strikes are destroying air traffic and economies across Europe

An alarming increase in Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes across Europe has wreaked havoc on airlines, their passengers and business. 2018 is shaping up to be one of the worst years ever for ATC strikes in Europe. Year-to-date, A4E member airlines have been forced to cancel nearly 5,000 flights as a result of the strikes, directly impacting around 784,000 passengers across Europe. In addition, millions of travellers have been affected by flight delays caused by airspace diversions and residual backups.
According to Eurocontrol, 39,000 flights – around 30 per cent of the total en-route delays in May- were delayed due to ATC strikes. In addition, Eurocontrol projects total delay minutes for 2018 will be up by 53 per cent compared to 2017 as a result of strikes and capacity shortages (14.3 million in 2018 versus 9.3 million minutes in 2017).
ATC strikes have a costly impact on customers, European economies and the environment. They breach the principle of allowing people and goods to move freely across Europe, because: 
1. Customers’ journeys and supply chains are severely disrupted.
2. Diversions to avoid closed air space result in much longer flights and burn more fuel, resulting in higher CO2 emissions.
3. Tourism is most affected   due to cancelled flights to prime holiday destinations, putting small and medium size businesses at risk.
4. Airlines have to pay passengers compensation for the delays and rebook them on other flights, significantly disrupting customers’ travel plans and the airlines’ operations. Airlines don’t have the right to recover these costs from the ATC providers who have caused them.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that the economic cost of ATC strikes in the EU between 2010-2017 was 13.4 billion euros*. Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 air traffic control strikes in the EU, 254 of which have occurred in France**.
Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “IAG and Ryanair are planning to submit a complaint to the European Commission as ATC strikes represent the biggest challenge for our industry. They are destroying European air traffic and having a huge impact on consumers. It’s a really frustrating cause of disruption that affects all airlines but in particular has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy. Continuous strikes by ATC staff in Marseille have a disproportionate impact on those airlines flying from Barcelona because they control flights over most of the Mediterranean airspace. For Vueling this means that 50 per cent of its flights are affected. The EU must act now to protect the rights of the consumers and prevent long term damage to European economies”.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on the Governments, and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.
“Europe’s ATC providers are approaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff. The situation is particularly acute at weekends where British and German ATC providers are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough ATC staff to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate.
“Urgent action must now be taken by the UK and German Governments, and the EU Commission, otherwise thousands more flights and millions of passengers will be disrupted, particularly in the peak months of July and August, unless this ATC staffing crisis is addressed”.
In response to the continued ATC strike disruptions, A4E has proposed a mandatory 72-hour individual notification period for employees wishing to strike, protection of overflights while ensuring it does not come to the detriment of local services, and a guarantee on minimum services to be provided.
IAG and Ryanair’s complaint will argue that by not adequately protecting flights over France, EU law is infringed.
“We have been working constructively and quite intensively over the last several months with French government officials and Parliamentarians to establish a stable and long-term solution to these disruptions. In this context, we urge the French government to take decisive action to resolve this issue on behalf of all our passengers, ahead of this summer’s busy travel season”, said Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, A4E.
Consumers can also demand swifter action by EU politicians by signing A4E’s online petition. The petition will be presented to the relevant authorities in Brussels and EU capitals by the end of 2018.

* PriceWaterhouseCoopers Study on the Economic Impact of ATC Strikes in the EU: https://a4e.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/A4E-Economic-Impact-ATC-Strikes-Final-Report_160929-vf.pdf
** Link to commission des finances du Sénat’s report, http://www.senat.fr/rap/r17-568/r17-5681.pdf.