Τετάρτη, 21 Αυγούστου 2019

Making It Easy for Anyone to Be a Responsible Tourist in Asia




Responsible Tourists in Asia

Student travel company GROUND Asia has created responsible traveller training modules and made them free for anyone interested in travelling responsibly.

The move means that not just students, teachers and faculty, but everyone, can learn how to do the right thing on sensitive issues such as single-use plastics, responsible photography, child safety, and giving donations when visiting Asia and beyond.

The initiative follows GROUND Asia’s transformative responsible training workshop for its staff in Mai Chau, Vietnam in March. The workshop was created to address challenges that kept arising during student trips to Asia.

“Following the workshop, best practices from four years of leading student groups in Asia were distilled into new practical guidelines, policies and procedures for all GROUND Asia trips,” says Lauren Groves, the GROUND Asia general manager.

The training manual that GROUND Asia now adheres to means that the company’s field operations are closely aligned to the values and aims of the UN’s 
Sustainable Development Goals.

There’s no limit on who can use the new responsible traveller modules. The guidelines are being made available to everyone – students, teachers, faculty, host communities, education sector suppliers and tour operators. Even competitors to GROUND Asia can use them to train their own staff, guides and host communities.

“The aim is to provide thoughtful, practical and responsible guidelines that benefit everyone in travel, education and related fields,” says Groves.

The training is “concise, factual and informative,” she says. “We want to lead the conversation about issues, rather than simply dictate behaviour.”

Groves adds that responsible traveller values learned at an early age will give young people and the public at large the skills and perspectives to help them be responsible travellers for the rest of their lives.

GROUND Asia has made its new responsible tourist training guidelines available publicly in a series of presentations 
here.

Further information: 
GROUNDAsia.com.



Tags: GROUND Asia



SkyWest flight crew refuse ‘seat change’, force all passengers to deplane





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για SkyWest flight crew refuse ‘seat change’, force all passengers to deplane

SkyWest and Delta Airlines came under fire after a passenger said a flight crew refused to accommodate a seat change for his brother on the spectrum and chose instead to force the entire plane to wait three hours for a new crew before taking off.

Ayo Isola shared a post on Facebook Sunday describing the experience he and his family had on the final leg of their journey while returning from Europe. Isola said he, his mother, sister and brother, who is on the spectrum and nonverbal, were assigned separate seats on a Delta Airlines connecting flight operated by SkyWest Airlines from Detroit to Houston.

According to Isola’s Facebook post, however, the onboard crew took issue with a simple seat change to accommodate the needs of his autistic brother.

“For [my brother’s] safety and the safety of those around him, it is important that he sit with a family member on flights,” Isola wrote, adding:

We boarded the plane and easily found a nice woman sitting one row away who was willing to switch seats. Problem solved. The flight attendant became upset and demanded my brother move back to his original seat. We explained to her that he has special needs and that this small accommodation would be necessary, however she continued to raise hell about passengers switching seats.

After delaying the flight 20 minutes, Isola said the flight attendant contacted a supervisor who saw no issue with the seat change for Isola’s family. He said the supervisor “explains to the flight attendant that this happens often on flights.” Still, Isola said the flight attendant wasn’t satisfied and she delayed the plane’s departure again by talking with the pilot, saying Isola’s brother was a “safety hazard.”

Instead of supporting Isola’s family, as many passengers on board were doing, Isola said the pilot forced all 75 passengers to deplane. When airport security at the gate told the pilot and flight crew there was no safety risk and to continue the flight, they refused, Isola said, and left the terminal. Passengers waited an additional three hours until SkyWest brought in a new crew to complete the flight.

Isola demanded an answer and action from Delta in his Facebook post and said he is filing a formal complaint with the airline. According to media reports, the crew and pilots on Isola’s flight are grounded while the airline conducts an investigation.

“Delta apologizes to customers on flight 3596, operated by Delta Connection partner SkyWest, for any inconvenience following an onboard event,” a Delta statement said. “We are currently reviewing the details have reached out to better understand what happened.”

“We are investigating reports regarding SkyWest flight 3596, operating as Delta Connection from Detroit to Houston, Texas, which experienced a delay in boarding as a result of an issue regarding customer seat assignments,” a separate SkyWest statement read. “We are committed to providing exceptional onboard service to all our customers and are working with our partner Delta to reach out to the customers.”


Strong first half of year for German incoming tourism





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Strong first half of year for German incoming tourism


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – With an increase of 3.3 percent in June, German incoming tourism is continuing its steady growth. According to provisional figures from the Federal Statistical Office, 39.8 million international overnights were registered across hotels and accommodation establishments with more than ten beds between January and June – a three percent (1.2 million) rise on the equivalent period of the previous year.
“Destination Germany is positioning itself well within the increasingly competitive market", says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). “According to the latest trend analysis by IPK International to develop international travel in line with the World Travel Monitor, Germany’s incoming tourism is performing better than the worldwide average (plus 3.5 percent) with an increase of 3.7 percent. Germany is even generating a growth of four percent from European source markets, according to IPK, placing it well ahead of the European average (plus 2.5 percent)."
There was a 4.7 percent increase on comparative figures of the previous year in flight bookings made by overseas visitors throughout the first half of 2019, according to analyses by market research company Forward Keys. The segment of advance bookings (at least 120 days prior to departure) grew far above average by 11 percent.
Destination Germany’s partners confirm positive development
Gabriela Ahrens, Senior Director of Leisure Sales Home Markets (DACH) at Lufthansa Group, explains: “As our home market, Lufthansa’s focus is on Destination Germany. We have recognised the importance and potential of Germany’s incoming tourism, and are increasingly targeting the segment with various target group-orientated activities with the German National Tourist Board.” Andreas von Puttkamer, Head of Aviation at Munich Airport, adds: „In the first half of 2019, Munich Airport registered a new record of 22.7 million air passengers, with an increase just short of five percent (more than one million additional passengers). Once again, the intercontinental segment proved to be the driver of growth, seeing a rise of over ten percent within this period.” And there is a further record year in sight for Germany’s hotels, according to Markus Luthe, Managing Director of the German Hotel Association (IHA): “Holidays in Germany are back in trend in Germany in particular. In addition, bookings made by international guests are continuing to rise. With an increase of four percent, the average return per room (RevPAR) is even above the European average of 3.3 percent.”
With its “German Summer Cities” campaign, the German National Tourist Board has already been able to strengthen the popularity of Destination Germany this year. Visitor attractions are enjoying an especially dynamic increase in demand. Dr.-Ing. h.c. Roland Mack, Managing Partner of Europa-Park GmbH & Co Mack KG, explains: “Europa-Park kicked off the 2019 season with many new, exciting attractions. “Krønasår – The Museum-Hotel” was completed in May and is welcoming its first guests. In addition, we have recently celebrated the reopening of the Scandinavian themed area. These highlights have played a role in increasing our overnights from France, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates within the first half of the year already."
Evelina Hederer, Director of Business Development at Expedia Group Media Solutions, comments: “The demand from Germany’s TOP 5 incoming markets – the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Canada and Australia – increased by more than five percent in comparison to the previous year within the first half of 2019. Berlin and Hamburg were particularly popular with steady growth throughout the first six months, as were Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Black Forest, which even registered double-digit growth.”
Cautiously optimistic outlook for second half of year
Early indications for the second half of 2019 suggest ongoing stable development. According to Forward Keys, the advance bookings for flights from overseas markets to Germany were 2.1 percent above the comparative figures of the previous year at the end of July.
Petra Hedorfer adds: “These latest analyses should not let us forget that we still have major challenges such as weaker economic growth in the eurozone, climate discussions, trade conflicts and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit to overcome.”



International Hospitality Awards is putting up new stars of the hotel industry!




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για International Hospitality Awards is putting up new stars of the hotel industry!


The international competition for hotels from Central and Eastern Europe has started its search of uniqueness and exclusive service all-around world of hospitality by launching a new registration period for the 9th edition of the project – International Hospitality Awards 2019.
The Award carries out the noble mission - recognizing the best hotels according to their performance results. Meanwhile, a variety of nominations provides hotels with a possibility to be privileged to hold the title of the best representative in a category, which ideally reflects the properties’ concept over the following year.
In comparison to other world-known competitions of the similar concept, hotels’ are guaranteed not to be charged for their participation at International Hospitality Awards, since it does not require any financial contribution at all stages of the event.
The nominees are proportionally assessed on the basis of the professional opinion of the Jury Members (50%) and consumers’ rating in the international online Booking systems: Booking.com (25%) and TrustYou.com (25%).
IHA Kyiv2018 ceremony
Thus, not only the opinion of the Jury Members will influence results but also the guests` impression.
Take your chance to show the entire world your property is a particular one!
Registration closes on October 30th
Awarding Gala Ceremony will take place on March 1th 2020 at InterContinental Kiev, Ukraine
Register your hotel now - https://hospitalityawards.international/


VP Plaza España Design sets new benchmark for luxury




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για VP Plaza España Design sets new benchmark for luxury



MIAMI, FLA. - VP Plaza España Design, a five-star luxury hotel located on Plaza de España on Gran Via, introduces a new concept of design and exclusivity for luxury corporate and incentive events in the Spanish capital. Opened in March 2018, the family owned property features more than 15,000 square feet of flexibable meeting space distributed throughout the new building including its art inspired interiors, roof-top restaurants with stunning city views, and earth layered themed parking garage.
Spaces
Boasting prime Madrid views, ample natural light throughout and impressive high ceilings, the 214-VP Plaza España Design offers numerous space options for memorable occasions. On the first floor there is nearly 3,800 square feet of multidisciplinary space that can be partitioned and converted into five different areas. Here lies the pièce de résistance - a 25 meter metallic waterfall sculpture by Catalan artist Pere Gifre, which can be seen from the glass-bottom pool on the 12th floor splashing down to the atrium below. The waterfall can be illuminated in any corporate color to seamlessly integrated into any event. The second floor is wholly dedicated for the meetings, with more than 6,400 square feet of fully partitionable halls and 13-feet high ceilings allowing companies a flexible approach with plenty of break-out areas and multiple meeting formats.
Another fantastic space is the panoramic 360º Ginkgo Restaurant & Sky Bar located on the 12th floor that offers picturesque views of the Royal Palace, the Debod Temple and the surrounding Madrid mountain-ranges. An ideal space for a VIP business event, gala dinner or special private function, Ginkgo Restaurant & Sky Bar can be divided into nine different areas both indoor and outdoor, with features such as a DJ booth, an outdoor seasonal swimming pool, and bar. Other F&B options include the ground floor lobby bar, the spacious buffet restaurant, or Botania restaurant offering a beautiful Andalucían-style patio and stunning interiors, bringing a new gastronomic hot-spot to Madrid and catering for all tastes and dietary requirements.
Among its most unique spaces is its four-level parking garage, where each floor has been painted as a layer of the earth. VP Plaza España Design has hosted fantastic events in this space, especially for automible brands.
Service & Accommodations
Offering personalized and attentive service, VP Plaza España Design has the capability to offer innovative events adaptable to any vision.
The hotel offers nine categories of well-appointed guestrooms to choose from ranging from a standard room to the Presidential suite that boasts several perks including its own fitness area and meeting table. All of the rooms feature fully automated technology with sound proof and thermal break windows, air adjustable heating, 55-inch plasma TV, work desk, free high-speed Wi-Fi, adjustable lighting, USB chargers on the bed headboard, automatic blinds control that offer 100% blackout, interactive “do not disturb”, opening door sensor full bathrooms with high-end amenities, and more.
Experiences
VP Plaza España Design offers personalized luxury experiences for groups visiting the hotel. Some of these include, luxury car rental including Aston Martins, Ferraris, Audis, Lamborghinis, Hummers, Maserati’s, Mercedes, Chevrolets, Porsches, Range Rovers and Nissans. The hotel also offers guests who are in love with the world of fashion a private personal shopper service who will curate a shopping route around the city of Madrid. Options include a tour of the so called, “Golden Mile” in the Salamanca neighborhood, getting to visit the most exclusive shops of the neuralgic center of the Spanish Chic. Visitors to VP Plaza España design can enjoy experiences focused on traveler’s health and well-being. Options include Bultaco electric motorcycle guided tours around Madrid and Scott Mountain Bike tours to experience Madrid’s hidden corners on the Scott Mountain Bike of choice.
Location
Just 20 minutes away from the Madrid-Barajas Adolofo Suarez Airport, VP Plaza España Design is ideally situated in the heart of it all. The hotel is in walking distance of some of the city’s main attractions such as Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, El Retiro, and more. The hotel is also a mere 30 minutes by metro or 20 by car from IFEMA, Madrid’s largest convention and exhibition center.



Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines brings taste of Suffolk to the high seas with introduction of new products local to company headquarters



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines brings taste of Suffolk to the high seas with introduction of new products local to company headquarters


Guests aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet of smaller, friendlier ships are to enjoy a ‘taste of Suffolk’ while on their holidays, as the company introduces a number of products produced locally to its headquarters.

Stokes Sauces, based in Rendlesham, is the latest Suffolk company to have their products rolled-out onboard Fred. Olsen’s four-strong ocean fleet. The luxury condiment maker follows on from St. Peter’s Brewery, based near Bungay, and an increased offering of Southwold-based Adnams’ products in recent months.

To mark the occasion, Fred. Olsen hosted the three brands at its Ipswich headquarters, Fred. Olsen House, to offer staff a tasting session with each of the new products. These included St. Peter’s Brewery’s ‘G-Free’ gluten-free beer; Adnams’ ‘Ghost Ship 4.5%’ and low alcohol ‘Ghost Ship 0.5%’ and Stokes Sauces’ new ‘squeezy’ range of Tomato Ketchup, Brown Sauce and Real Mayonnaise, as well as their Fig Relish, Red Onion Marmalade, and Cider and Horseradish Mustard, among others.

Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We are proud to be based here in Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town, where we celebrated our 30th anniversary last year. Suffolk is known for its proud agricultural heritage, which means that we have a fantastic array of high-quality products produced locally to us. Working together with local producers, such as Stokes Sauces, Adnams and St. Peter’s Brewery, all of whom are major employers across the county, like us, helps us to build strong relationships within the communities within which we all live and work, allowing us to support businesses right on our doorstep, local to our headquarters, whilst not compromising on quality.

“Being able to offer a tasting session like this is testament to how well these local partnerships are forming, and is an important part of ensuring that all our colleagues here at Fred. Olsen House feel engaged in the process and are able to sample the quality of the goods for themselves.

“We know that our guests will love these products as much as we do, and it is great that we can offer them a ‘taste of Suffolk’ whilst cruising all around the world with Fred. Olsen.”

Founded in 2004, and based in Rendlesham, less than 20 miles from Fred. Olsen House, award-winning Stokes Sauces employs more than 60 people and produces over 50 different lines, including sauces, dressings, condiments and jams.

Rick Sheepshanks, owner of Stokes Sauces, said: “I started making our award-winning sauces with one thing firmly in mind – they needed to taste amazing and with no compromise on quality. That philosophy and focus on great food makes us the perfect fit on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet, where holidaymakers want and deserve the best. We are delighted that Stokes will be enjoyed around the world.”

Adnams has been crafting delicious beers and spirits from its historic sites in Southwold since 1890. The introduction of ‘Ghost Ship’ and ‘Ghost Ship 0.5%’ on board Fred. Olsen’ ships adds to existing products already available, including Southwold Bitter and Copper House Gin.

Andy Wood, Chief Executive of Adnams, said:

“As a Suffolk-based company, we are delighted to be working alongside and supplying Fred. Olsen with a range of our internationally award winning beers and spirits produced with grains grown in the fields of East Anglia and enjoyed by customers across the globe, including those holidaying on Fred. Olsen cruises.”

St. Peter’s Brewery was founded in 1996, and is based in a number of former agricultural buildings in St. Peter, South Elmham, a small village near Bungay. The Brewery produces a number of traditional and specialty beers, including ‘G-Free’, made with no malted barley and certified by Coeliac UK as an approved gluten-free product.

John Hadingham, Managing Director at St. Peter’s Brewery, said:

“We are incredibly pleased to be one of the fantastic Suffolk food brands that Fred. Olsen has chosen to work with. This is a fantastic opportunity to introduce their guests, from all across the world, to our range of hand-crafted beers.”

Fred. Olsen will be working closely with all three companies to gauge feedback from guests sampling the various products across its ocean fleet – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – and will be enhancing product lines as the partnerships develop.



Thai Hospitality Company to Open Two More Hotels in Doha, Qatar


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Thai Hospitality Company to Open Two More Hotels in Doha, Qatar


Thailand’s leading hospitality group, signed a hotel management agreement for two new hotels owned by Al Bandary Hotel Management LLC.

The agreement between Centara Hotels & Resorts and Al Bandary represents the third and fourth Doha properties Centara will manage on behalf of Al Bandary, which also owns Centara West Bay Residences & Suites Doha, an upper upscale property that opened earlier this year and recently earned a 5-star official classification from the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC); and the previously signed Centara Grand Hotel Doha scheduled for opening in 2020.
The B Premiere Hotel, a member of the Centara Boutique Collection, is a new 85-key boutique property located on Al Rawabi Street, within ten minutes’ drive from many of the city’s popular attractions, shopping malls and event venues, and 20 minutes by car from Hamad International Airport. The hotel is expected to open by the end of 2019.
The 167-key Centara Al Bustan Hotel Doha is currently under construction and is expected to open in the second quarter of 2021.
“We are very excited to be expanding our partnership with Al Bandary with our second and third Doha properties, following the successful launch of Centara West Bay Residences & Suites earlier this year. Doha is a key gateway city to the world and a strategic development destination for Centara, and the management and team at Al Bandary Hotel Management LLC are the perfect partners with whom to realize our growth plans in Qatar,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts.
Mr. Ahmad Al Rayyan, Group General Manager of Al Bandary Management LLC, the hotel’s owner, commented, “We are delighted to be working with Centara for these exciting new projects. Their successful opening of the first Doha property is testament to their expertise and professionalism, and we are looking forward to a successful collaboration on these new properties in the months and years ahead.”
The B Premiere Hotel will feature four room categories: City View, City View Suite King, Boutique Suite King, and Premiere Suite King. City View rooms range from 32–38 sqm, while suite accommodation measures 50–60 sqm. Every guestroom features a separate bathtub and rain shower.
The hotel’s dining venues will include Zing café on the lobby level; Celeste Bistro, offering all-day dining; and Sheesh Lebanese Grill, the hotel’s signature rooftop restaurant. The hotel will be equipped with a Cenfit fitness centre; a swimming pool with Jacuzzi; separate male and female spas with steam rooms and saunas; flexible meeting room space; and a Cense by Cenvaree spa.
Qatar’s strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa has helped it become one of the world’s most prosperous economies, and one which continues to see robust growth and development — including a sustained upward trend in tourism and visitor arrivals, helped by easier visa requirements and a diverse calendar of visitor-friendly events and festivals.
Doha’s combination of dynamic business environment, vast cultural attractions and recreational opportunities makes it a highly attractive destination for business and leisure travellers as well as a popular host city for meetings, conventions and events — including the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
These newest additions to the company’s portfolio of properties take Centara’s count of hotels in Doha to four, with a luxurious hotel also owned by Al Bandary Hotel Management LLC under the Centara Grand brand set to open in the first half of 2020.