Παρασκευή, 31 Μαΐου 2013

Royal Caribbean signs contract for third Quantum-Class cruise ship

MIAMI - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that it has signed a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a third Quantum-class cruise ship for delivery in mid-2016. The price and terms of the new ship are similar to the price and terms of the first two Quantum-class ships and the contract is subject to financing conditions.

The company recently unveiled details of this new class of ship and was gratified by the public response to the design innovations. It also said that the new design included an advantageous configuration which includes a greater proportion of higher priced staterooms and that it achieves some of the greatest energy efficiencies at sea.

"We are creating a compelling experience for vacationers with innovative design, winning service, and appealing destinations around the world," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Brian J. Rice, vice chairman added, "This order follows our stated goals of moderate growth, driving improved returns and leading to an investment grade rating."

"We are encouraged by the very positive response we received from travel agents and consumers when we first announced some of the unprecedented offerings on Quantum Class last month," said Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "The Quantum class will offer vacationers more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces, and a third ship will offer even more opportunities for vacationers to experience Quantum cruising."

The yet-unnamed Quantum-class vessel will join the Royal Caribbean International fleet, alongside Quantum of the Seas, which will make its maiden voyage in 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, scheduled to debut in 2015.

Quantum ships span 16 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms. Quantum cruising will dazzle guests with never-before onboard features, such as a skydiving experience, a thrilling adventure that transports guests more than 300 feet in the air on a breathtaking journey; cutting-edge transformative venues including the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line's largest and most advanced staterooms. These new, larger staterooms enable innovation in design, storage and comfort, including the industry's first interior staterooms with Virtual Balconies, ensuring that every stateroom on Quantum of the Seas will have a view.

"We are excited to construct these tremendous ships to meet guests' demand for an exceptional cruise experience," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner Meyer Werft. Meyer continued, "And we are honored by our long partnership with Royal Caribbean, a true innovator in modern ship design."

Including today's contract and existing ship orders, projected capital expenditures for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are $700 million, $1.2 billion, $1.2 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. Including Quantum III, the company's capacity growth rate from 2012 to 2017 will be approximately 4% per annum.

Brand new edition of travel trade guide puts the spotlight on 39 European City Cards

DIJON - Targeting travel operators and intermediaries, this new edition of the digital brochure presents you with all you need to know about 39 city cards from 22 countries!
The guide has been put together by a collaboration of 39 city tourist offices working under the auspices of the European City Cards Knowledge Group. As well as offering a succinct overview of how the cards can work for you, the e-brochure provides much practical information, including details of commissions and contact details for each and every city. With the help of the brochure, the travel trade is able to make optimum use of city cards so as to create new business and at the same time enhance the customer experience.
Wendy Sieger-Kintzen, Chairperson of the European City Cards Group says: “This e - brochure is trendy, cost effective, practical for the readers, and most important, easy to forward. You just scroll on the document and follow the links or watch the videos you are interested in.”
The cards offer free and/or discounted admission to leading visitor attractions, combined in many cases with public transport options, as well as discounts at shops, bars and restaurants.
The cities and City Cards you can find out in the e-brochure are: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Bruges, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dijon, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Geneva, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Innsbruck, Krakow, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Nurnberg, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Reykjavik, Split, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn, Turku, Valencia, Vienna, Vilnius, York, Zagreb, Zaragoza and Zurich.
The e-brochure is available for free on http://digital.jmpublishing.ie/i/128259/0 or by directly contacting individual cities.

Airport Parking And Hotel highlights Wi-Fi costs at UK airports

With holidaymakers rating their smart phones and tablets as travel necessities, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) is helping savvy travellers to stay online by comparing the Wi-Fi access available at UK airports. The research compares the availability and cost of accessing Wi-Fi across 25 major UK airports.
Of the 25 airports surveyed, 15 were found to offer free Wi-Fi available in the terminal areas, including AberdeenEdinburghLondon City and Stansted. Of these 15 airports, some allocated a limited amount of time to passengers with 10 airports allowing up to 30 minutes’ access.
All the remaining airports included in the research, including BelfastExeter and London Heathrow, offer Wi-Fi to passengers at a cost except Blackpool Airport, which does not offer Wi-Fi access in the terminal. Instead, passengers must book access to the Executive Airport Lounge for internet access, at a cost of £16 per person.
Hotspots offering Wi-Fi at a fixed tariff are available at several of the airports. These include BT Wi-Fi at Belfast and Exeter; Boingo at Heathrow and GatwickArqiva (formerly Spectrum Interactive) at CardiffLeeds and Luton, and The Cloud at DurhamLiverpool and Doncaster Sheffield Airports.
In terms of cost, Arqiva at Cardiff, Leeds and Luton was found to charge the highest hourly rate for Wi-Fi at £5 per hour, whereas both BT and Boingo offer 24 hours unlimited access for just under £10.
Additionally, travellers should be aware that Newcastle Airport, which offers free Wi-Fi for up to 30 minutes, stipulates that this is only available “at certain catering outlets on purchase” including Starbucks, Condecco Bar, Eagle Bar Diner, Wine and Deli, and Caffe Ritazza. Furthermore, some travellers have noticed that although Gatwick only offers 15 minutes free Wi-Fi through Boingo, unlimited free Wi-Fi is available for customers at McDonalds in the South Terminal.
Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) is the UK’s award winning long stay airport parking operator and booking agency, after winning the Best Airport Parking Company for a third year running at British Travel Awards 2012. This year APH also celebrates its 33rd year as a retailer and operator of pre-booked airport parking and travel extras. APH offers parking at all major UK airports as well as airport hotels packaged with parking and airport lounges. APH is also a carbon balanced company and has, through support of the World Land Trust, helped purchase more than 1,000 acres of endangered rainforest.

Belgium and Greece have still failed to ratify the ECAA Agreement between EU, its Member States and the Western Balkans

The European Commission is very concerned that 7 years after the signature Belgium and Greece have still failed to ratify the Agreement between the European Union, its Member States and the Western Balkans establishing a European Common Aviation Area (the "ECAA Agreement"). Lack of ratification of the ECAA Agreement by Belgium and Greece affects the crucial opening of markets in aviation with the Western Balkans. If the Belgian and Greek authorities fail to deposit the instrument of ratification of the ECAA Agreement in compliance with the relevant EU provisions within the next two months, the Commission would refer both cases to the EU Court of Justice.
The multilateral agreement between the European Union, its Member States and the Western Balkans on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area, sets conditions for the gradual integration of the parties into the EU internal market for aviation. This agreement was signed on 9 June 2006 and its signing was approved by Decision 2006/682/EC of the Council of the European Union and the Representatives of the Member States. Article 29 (1) of this agreement provides that the agreement is subject to ratification or approval by the signatories in accordance with their own procedures, while paragraph 2 of the same Article stipulates the time of its entry into force following ratification by all the parties.
Furthermore, the Treaty on the European Union (Article 4, paragraph 3) establishes the obligation of sincere cooperation, according to which the Member States shall take any appropriate measure to ensure fulfilment of the obligations resulting from the acts of the institutions of the Union.
Belgium and Greece have not yet deposited their instruments of ratification of the ECAA Agreement. For this reason, they have not acted to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations deriving from the above-mentioned agreement as approved by Decision 2006/682/EC. Moreover, they have not acted in line with the principle of the duty of sincere cooperation established by the Treaty. The lack of ratification of the ECAA Agreement by Belgium and Greece is holding up the conclusion of the agreement and the proper enforcement of its provisions. It impedes the opening of the markets between the parties concerned and creates unnecessary obstacles to the freedom to provide air transport services. Furthermore, under these circumstances, Belgium and Greece do not facilitate the achievement of the Union tasks and the attainment of relevant objectives in the field of aviation in line with their duty for sincere cooperation enshrined in the Treaty.
Belgium and Greece have two months to respond to today's "reasoned opinion" from the Commission. If they fail to do so, the Commission may bring both cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Velo-city makes Vienna cycling capital

From June 11-14, 2013 Vienna will host the world’s largest cycling conference, Velo-city, which is expected to bring around 1,200 delegates to the Austrian capital. 
Held under the banner of "The Sound of Cycling. Urban Cycling Cultures", this four-day event will look at some of the latest developments in the cycling community and give international experts the chance to compare notes on the latest projects in their home countries. The conference will be accompanied by various fringe attractions such as a week-long bike arena on Rathausplatz with an exhibition dedicated to cycling in Vienna, a free bike wash, a bike fashion show on Karlsplatz, the Riesen-Radler bike parade and the bike film festival in the Sigmund-Freud-Park opposite the Votivkirche.

On June 6, 2013 the MAK - Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art will mount a special exhibition entitled Tour du Monde. Bicycle Stories in honor of the 2013 cycling year. A bike installation provides a fresh point of departure for a study of the bicycle as a "vehicle of perception" rather than a simple design object, exploring the way that this mode of transport generates different perceptions of the rider's surroundings and role in society. The inspiration behind the installation is provided by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne's book Bicycle Diaries, in which the British musician and all-round artist relates his experiences as a cyclist in different major towns and cities all over the world.

Velo-city, Jun 11-14, 2013, Rathaus, 1010 Vienna, www.velo-city2013.com

Goodspeed Internet Service For Travellers Expands To Russia

Uros Ltd recently announced an agreement that enables high-speed mobile Internet for travellers also in Russia. 
Up to now the Goodspeed Internet service has been available in large part of Europe, and with the latest agreement the number of countries covered amounts to 16.

Tommi Uhari, CEO at Uros said: “Difficulty to predict the mobile Internet costs and poor connectivity when travelling abroad remains a major productivity issue and it’s particularly critical when building an international business. As the tablet and smartphone sales keep skyrocketing and mobile data usage increases, the situation is only going to worsen. We are pleased to be able to offer our customers a convenient, all-inclusive mobile Internet service that allows them to travel and connect freely also in Russia. MTS was the best conceivable option to partner with us in our mission due to its good coverage and service reliability.”

The Goodspeed service for Russia is priced at 5.90€ per day of use and contains 1GB of mobile data making it a desirable option for a data intensive traveller. The Goodspeed mobile hotspot that enables the service, is available in Amazon and costs 269€ or 219£. The monthly fee, which includes automatic updates, account statements and destination management, is priced at 9.90€.

Head of department, Sergey Irevli, Development and management of business market products at MTS commented the partnership: “MTS is focused on offering universal connectivity so that people can realise the full benefits of today’s technologies. MTS’ networks cover over 98% of inhabited territory of Russia with 3G-network speed up to 42 mbps. We are happy to offer our high-quality data network for travelling mobile subscribers from all over the world. By joining the Goodspeed family and providing this new service together with Uros, we can be part of an original and innovative solution that permits business travellers to stay connected at home, work and on the move.”

Southwest Airlines Announces Organizational Leadership Change

Southwest Airlines recently announced the promotion of Randy Sloan to Senior Vice President as the Company's Chief Information Officer. Sloan, 50, joined the carrier in March of 2012 and immediately assumes the new role. 
"Randy has brought a renewed energy to the People of Technology and has made a positive and lasting difference in advancing Technology's work agenda, and establishing a new operating model for us," said Jeff Lamb, Southwest's Executive Vice President and Chief People & Administrative Officer. "Randy is a key reason we are making such great progress toward our long-range Company goals." 

As previously announced, Southwest's New Chief Technology Officer Craig Maccubbin recently join the Company.

Other Leadership changes in Southwest's Technology Department will support the Company's delivery of a stable and growing framework of enterprise technology necessary to integrate wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, including connected itineraries, international capabilities, and multi-fleet support among various sub-types of the Boeing 737.

The Leadership of the Chief Information Officer's Team will support the work of hundreds of Employees focused on delivering the systems and technology to support Southwest's Legendary Customer Service.

IAPCO and PCMA form Global Partnership

The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) announced the formation of a global partnership with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). 
The partnership provides an opportunity for both IAPCO and PCMA to collaborate on programmes, education and products and services intended to advance both organisations and the industry. The pairing will also allow for IAPCO and PCMA to expand their brands to new audiences and afford opportunities for membership and sales growth. The partnership ensures the dissemination of knowledge each organisation brings to the meetings industry through pooled resources including newsletters, education sessions and various digital entities.

"IAPCO members play a critical role in delivering and managing the services and needs of PCMA members and customers globally, our partnership with IAPCO strengthens our commitment to the entire industry to provide the best resources and education to ensure our members and customers are achieving their strategic business objectives," said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, Chief Operating Officer of PCMA.

"This is an excellent opportunity for both Associations to work together, to share their combined knowledge and expertise, for the benefit of, not only the members of each Association, but also of all those outside the Associations that draw on the materials and know-how that is publicly available", commented Gonzalo Perez Constanzó, President of IAPCO, "we are delighted to be a part of this collaboration and look forward to the challenges and co-operation of such a partnership."

Expansion of Trendy Lifestyle Brand Hotel G

Hotels G, a hospitality management group headquartered in Hong Kong, has announced its major expansion and development plans of its trendy lifestyle brand, Hotel G. 
The award-winning hospitality concept, with Hotel G Beijing as its flagship, is adding two more properties to its portfolio in 2013, and another four in the next two years.

The brand embarked on the first phase of its expansion last year in Thailand, taking Pullman Bangkok Hotel G and Pullman Pattaya Hotel G under its management.

Hotels G has now confirmed further expansions toward the end of this year with the openings of the high-end serviced apartment Residence G in Hong Kong.

The company is also considering franchise developments with strong owners and/or operators. Hotel G San Francisco, which is opening in October 2013, will be the first following this business model. 

Two more China properties are opening in 2014 – Residence G Shenzhen and Hotel G Suzhou, with Hotel G Guangzhou opening in 2015, along with Residence G Pattaya in Thailand.

Roll-out of the designer hospitality brand continues thereafter with three more Hotel G projects in the pipeline, scheduled to extend to the cities of Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei.

We are targeting a gap in the market for young, savvy travelers and guests who are keen on design and looking for cutting-edge experiences,” said Hotels G CEO, Christophe Vielle.

There are many standardised international hotel brands and local brands, but nothing like us in between. We believe we can fill this gap with lifestyle products such as Hotel G – a brand that offers a certain sense of lifestyle through unique designs, friendly yet professional services, in-vogue restaurants and trendy bars.”

Chris mentions that, although Asia is the prime focus at the moment, the group is still looking to roll out the brand more internationally, targeting places overseas such as Europe and the US, where the strong demand for lifestyle properties is continually increasing.

Hotels and Residences G are unique hotel concepts that provide a specific lifestyle by combining design, tailor-made services and in-vogue restaurants and bars. These restaurants and bars all have strong concepts and are run by professional, independent and cutting-edge restaurateurs.

Our guests are mainly aged between 25 and 60, working in the media, design, architecture, fashion and entertainment industries, looking for different atmospheres, concepts, services and experiences that match their lifestyles,” said Chris.

Τετάρτη, 29 Μαΐου 2013

ΑΝΕΚ LINES και SUPERFAST FERRIES συνεχίζουν να ταξιδεύουν μαζί

ΑΝΕΚ LINES και SUPERFAST FERRIES συνεχίζουν να ταξιδεύουν μαζί έως το 2017 στις γραμμές Πειραιάς-Ηράκλειο και Πάτρα-Ηγουμενίτσα-Ανκόνα

Το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο της Kοινοπραξίας «ANEK A.E. - SUPERFAST ENDEKA (HELLAS) INC & ΣΙΑ» ανακοίνωσε την ανανέωση της διάρκειας της Κοινοπραξίας έως την 31/05/2017 για την εκτέλεση συνδυασμένων δρομολογίων στη διεθνή γραμμή «Πάτρα-Ηγουμενίτσα-Ανκόνα», καθώς και στην ακτοπλοϊκή γραμμή «Πειραιάς-Ηράκλειο».

Η στρατηγική κίνηση των διοικήσεων των δύο ελληνικών ομίλων ΑΝΕΚ Α.Ε. και ATTICA ΑΕ. ΣΥΜΜΕΤΟΧΩΝ για τη σύσταση της Kοινοπραξίας τον Μάιο του 2011, ανέδειξε σημαντικές συνέργειες και δημιούργησε νέα δυναμική ανάπτυξης και στις δύο γραμμές, αντιμετωπίζοντας το αυξανόμενο λειτουργικό κόστος των πλοίων, με ταυτόχρονη διατήρηση των υψηλών προσφερόμενων υπηρεσιών.

Το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο της Κοινοπραξίας με την απόφασή του για ανανέωση της διάρκειάς της έως το 2017, πιστεύει στην μέγιστη αξιοποίηση της δυναμικής της συνεργασίας των δύο εταιρειών και στις δύο γραμμές, αξιοποιώντας τα ενθαρρυντικά αποτελέσματα της διετούς συνεργασίας και στοχεύοντας σε περαιτέρω βελτίωση δρομολογίων και υπηρεσιών.

Επανασυγκρότηση του Δ.Σ. της Ένωσης Λιμένων Ελλάδος (ΕΛΙΜΕ)

Συνεκλήθη το Δ.Σ. της Ένωσης Λιμένων Ελλάδος (ΕΛΙΜΕ) και σύμφωνα με το Καταστατικό της Εταιρείας αποφάσισε:
(α) την επανασυγκρότηση του Δ.Σ. και την εκλογή σε Σώμα λόγω της μεταβολής που επήλθε στη σύνθεση έξι Δ.Σ. σε Οργανισμούς Λιμένων και
(β) την εγγραφή ως νέων μελών της ΕΛΙΜΕ, του Λιμενικού Ταμείου Λέσβου, του Δημοτικού Λιμενικού Ταμείου Ρόδου, του Δ.Λ.Τ. Ναυπλίου, του Δ.Λ.Τ. Κεφαλληνίας – Ιθάκης και του Δ.Λ.Τ. Σάμου.
Στο νέο Δ.Σ. Πρόεδρος επανεκλέχθηκε ο Πρόεδρος και Δ/νων Σύμβουλος του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. κ. Γιώργος Ανωμερίτης, Αντιπρόεδρος ο Πρόεδρος και Δ/νων Σύμβουλος του Ο.Λ. Θεσσαλονίκης κ. Στέλιος Αγγελούδης, Οικονομικός Επόπτης ο Πρόεδρος του Δ.Σ. Ραφήνας κ. Γ. Ορκόπουλος, ενώ ως νέα μέλη εκλέχθηκαν ο Πρόεδρος του Ο.Λ. Καβάλας κ. Χρ. Ηλιάδης και της Αλεξανδρούπολης κ. Στ. Σταυράκογλου. Στο Δ.Σ. της ΕΛΙΜΕ συμμετέχουν επίσης οι Πρόεδροι και Δ/ντες Σύμβουλοι των Ο.Λ. Πάτρας, Ηρακλείου, Βόλου, Κέρκυρας, Λαυρίου και Ελευσίνας.
Το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο θα συνέλθει εκ νέου τον επόμενο μήνα στη Θεσσαλονίκη προκειμένου να ασχοληθεί:
(α) με την εφαρμογή των διατάξεων μετασχηματισμού του λιμενικού συστήματος βάσει του νέου Νόμου του Ν.Ν.Α.
(β) τη διαδικασία εφαρμογής των νέων Master Plans των Λιμένων
(γ) με το θέμα της αναδιαμόρφωσης των προϋπολογισμών ορισμένων λιμένων
(δ) την υπογραφή νέων Σ.Σ.Ε στα λοιπά πλην ΟΛΠ και ΟΛΘ λιμάνια και
(ε) με το τεράστιο θέμα λειτουργίας, το οποίο έχει προκύψει σε ορισμένα περιφερειακά λιμάνια λόγω έλλειψης προσωπικού.

Το Δ.Σ. συζήτησε και ενέκρινε ομόφωνα εκ νέου την πάγια θέση της ΕΛΙΜΕ υπέρ της εφαρμογής του μοντέλου του ευρωπαϊκού λιμενικού συστήματος και των αρχών του, ως του μόνου μοχλού ανάπτυξης των λιμένων της χώρας.   

Ποσειδώνια:Χορήγηση Τίτλων Πιστοποίησης

Στη χορήγηση των Τίτλων Πιστοποίησης των διεθνών προτύπων EN ISO 9001:2008 και EN ISO 14001:2004 στον ΟΛΠ Α.Ε, προχώρησαν κατά τη διάρκεια των Ποσειδωνίων για το Θαλάσσιο Τουρισμό, οι Πρόεδροι και τα στελέχη των εταιριών Lloyds και Bureau Veritas.
Η χορήγηση των πιο πάνω Τίτλων Πιστοποίησης για την Κρουαζιέρα, ικανοποίησε πλήρως την Αγορά Κρουαζιέρας για την ποιοτική και φιλοπεριβαλλοντική πολιτική που ασκεί ο ΟΛΠ Α.Ε.

Όπως τόνισε ο Πρόεδρος και Δ/νων Σύμβουλος του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. κ. Γιώργος Ανωμερίτης μιλώντας στην εκδήλωση απονομής για την ανάγκη εφαρμογής της νέας Πολιτικής Ποιότητας «Ο ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. ο οποίος από το 2011 έχει αναγνωρισθεί ως ECOPORT από την ESPO με πιστοποίηση των Lloyds, κάνει ένα ακόμα βήμα για μία αποτελεσματική Πολιτική Ποιότητας εντάσσοντας στα διεθνή πρότυπα ISO τις υπηρεσίες του τομέα Κρουαζιέρας. Καλούνται οι εργαζόμενοι και τα στελέχη του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε., οι πελάτες και η κοινωνία, οι προμηθευτές και οι επιβάτες να ενσωματώσουν στα οράματά και τους στόχους του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. για ένα Λιμάνι Ποιότητας και Περιβάλλοντος το σύνολο των καθημερινών τους υπηρεσιών. Η διοίκηση του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. θα παρέχει την αμέριστη συμπαράσταση της προς όλους για την εφαρμογή και τη συνεχή βελτίωση του Συστήματος. Το Λιμάνι του Πειραιά δεν είναι μόνο ένα μεγάλο λιμάνι, αλλά και ένα Λιμάνι ασφάλειας, ποιότητας υπηρεσιών και φιλοπεριβαλλοντικών δράσεων.

Ενίσχυση της Ασφάλειας στους Λιμένες

Το υπουργείο Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου προχωρά στην υλοποίηση της Οδηγίας 2005/65ΕΚ «Για την Ενίσχυση της Ασφάλειας στους Λιμένες». Με την εφαρμογή των Κοινοτικών απαιτήσεων, και ειδικότερα του Διεθνούς Κώδικα για την ασφάλεια πλοίων και λιμενικών εγκαταστάσεων (ISPS), αναβαθμίζεται το επίπεδο των παρεχομένων υπηρεσιών στα λιμάνια και επιτυγχάνεται η ασφαλής διακίνηση των επιβατών, ακτοπλοΐας και κρουαζιέρας.

«Με το νόμο του υπουργείου Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, που ψηφίστηκε τον περασμένο μήνα στη Βουλή, ξεκίνησε μια σημαντική μεταρρύθμιση με σκοπό την καλύτερη λειτουργία και διαχείριση των λιμένων της χώρας μας», δήλωσε σχετικά ο Υπουργός Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, Κωστής Μουσουρούλης και συμπλήρωσε: «Ρυθμίστηκαν ζητήματα σχετικά με την ανάπτυξη του ελληνικού λιμενικού συστήματος, θεσμοθετήθηκε για πρώτη φορά Ρυθμιστική Αρχή Λιμένων, δόθηκε η δυνατότητα συνενώσεων και συνεργειών, απλοποιήθηκαν διαδικασίες για λιμενικά έργα.Παράλληλα, με γνώμονα τη βελτίωση της ασφάλειας στα πλοία και στις λιμενικές εγκαταστάσεις λαμβάνουμε κάθε πρόνοια για την υλοποίηση της σχετικής κοινοτικής οδηγίας

Συγκεκριμένα, γνωστοποιούνται τα ακόλουθα:

  1. Η Οδηγία 2005/65ΕΚ σχετικά με την ενίσχυση της ασφάλειας των λιμένων συμπληρώνει τα μέτρα ασφάλειας που προβλέπονται από τον κανονισμό 725/2004 και τα επεκτείνει στο σύνολο των χώρων του λιμένα και όχι μόνο στη λιμενική εγκατάσταση, στοχεύοντας σε ασφάλεια υψηλού επιπέδου για όλους τους ευρωπαϊκούς λιμένες.

  1. Η υλοποίηση των απαιτήσεων της Οδηγίας σε ένα λιμένα που εμπίπτει στο πεδίο εφαρμογής της ουσιαστικά συνίσταται στην εκπόνηση μελέτης Αξιολόγησης της Ασφάλειας του, προκειμένου αναγνωριστούν οι αδυναμίες της και να προταθούν συγκεκριμένα αντίμετρα για την μείωση ή εξάλειψή τους, στην κατάρτιση Σχεδίου Ασφάλειας του, το οποίο βάσει των πορισμάτων της μελέτης Αξιολόγησης αναπτύσσει τα μέτρα ασφαλείας που πρέπει να λαμβάνονται και στην εφαρμογή του Σχεδίου αυτού.

  1. Ο αριθμός των λιμένων της χώρας μας που εμπίπτουν στο πεδίο εφαρμογής της οδηγίας 2005/65ΕΚ ανέρχεται σε 122. Εξ’ αυτών οι 37 λιμένες οφείλουν να εφαρμόζουν πλήρως τις διατάξεις της Οδηγίας (για τους υπόλοιπους 85 έχουν εφαρμογή οι διατάξεις της παρ. 4 του άρθρου 2 της Οδηγίας).

  1. Η καθυστέρηση εφαρμογής της Οδηγίας στη χώρα μας είχε διαπιστωθεί επανειλημμένα από επιθεωρητές της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής οι οποίοι στο πλαίσιο ελέγχων που διενεργούν είχαν καταγράψει σημαντικές μη συμμορφώσεις.

  1. Περί τα τέλη Αυγούστου 2012 κοινοποιήθηκε έγγραφο της Ειδικής Νομικής Υπηρεσίας του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών (ΕΝΥ/ΥΠΕΞ), με το οποίο γνωστοποιείτο ότι η Κομισιόν, θεωρώντας ότι η συντριπτική πλειοψηφία των Ελληνικών λιμένων που υπόκεινται στην Οδηγία 2005/65ΕΚ δεν διαθέτει τις απαιτούμενες εγκεκριμένες μελέτες, ενδέχεται να κινήσει διαδικασία παράβασης. Τον Οκτώβριο του ίδιου έτους περιήλθε προειδοποιητική επιστολή της Κομισιόν αναφορικά με την κίνηση της διαδικασίας παράβασης σε βάρος της χώρας μας για μη εφαρμογή της Οδηγίας, βάσει του άρθρου 258 της Συνθήκης.

  1. Οι ενέργειες που αναλήφθηκαν αμέσως μετά την λήψη του εγγράφου της ΕΝΥ/ΥΠΕΞ ήταν οι ακόλουθες:

- Με Απόφαση Υπουργού Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, κ. Μουσουρούλη, συγκροτήθηκε Ομάδα Εργασίας με έργο την εκπόνηση μελετών Αξιολόγησης Ασφάλειας για τους 33 από τους 37 υπόχρεους στην Οδηγία λιμένες που δεν διέθεταν τέτοιες μελέτες.

- Εντός τριμήνου από τη συγκρότηση της Ομάδας Εργασίας ολοκληρώθηκε η εκπόνηση των απαιτούμενων μελετών. Η Ομάδα αυτή παράλληλα ανέλαβε την πρωτοβουλία και επικαιροποίησε το ήδη καταρτισθέν από το Υπουργείο Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου πρότυπο Σχεδίου Ασφάλειας Λιμένα, το οποίο πρόκειται αποτελέσει σημαντικό εργαλείο για την κατάρτιση των Σχεδίων Ασφάλειας Λιμένων για 35 από τους 37 υπόχρεους στην Οδηγία λιμένες που δεν διέθεταν τέτοια Σχέδια, από τους κατά νόμο υπεύθυνους (Αρχές Ασφάλειας Λιμένα).

Έπειτα από τις ενέργειες αυτές, η υφιστάμενη κατάσταση σήμερα έχει ως εξής:

- Έχουν συγκροτηθεί 25 από τις 29 Αρχές Ασφάλειας που απαιτούνται για την εφαρμογή της οδηγίας και αναμένεται σύντομα η συγκρότηση ακόμα τεσσάρων Αρχών Ασφάλειας Λιμένα (Πάτμου, Λέρου, Σάμου & Λήμνου) στην δικαιοδοσία των οποίων αντιστοιχούν πέντε υπόχρεοι στην οδηγία λιμένες (Λακκίου Λέρου, Σκάλας Πάτμου, Εμπορικού Βαθέως Σάμου, Εμπορικού Καρλοβασίου Σάμου & Λήμνου).

- Έχουν εγκριθεί 31 από τις 37 μελέτες Αξιολόγησης Ασφάλειας Λιμένων που απαιτείται για την πλήρη αποκατάσταση της μη συμμόρφωσης της χώρας μας σε ότι αφορά στις μελέτες αυτές. Συνεπώς απομένουν εγκρίσεις μελετών Αξιολόγησης Ασφάλειας για έξι λιμένες (Εμπορικού Ελευσίνας, Λακκίου Λέρου, Σκάλας Πάτμου, Εμπορικού Βαθέως Σάμου, Εμπορικού Καρλοβασίου Σάμου & Λήμνου).

- Έχουν εγκριθεί 29 από τα 37 Σχέδια Ασφάλειας Λιμένων που απαιτείται για την πλήρη αποκατάσταση της μη συμμόρφωσης της χώρας μας σε ότι αφορά τα Σχέδια αυτά. Απομένουν εγκρίσεις Σχεδίων Ασφάλειας για οκτώ λιμένες (Επιβατηγού Πειραιά, Εμπορικού – Ναυπηγοεπισκευαστικού Πειραιά, Εμπορικού Ελευσίνας, Λακκίου Λέρου, Σκάλας Πάτμου, Εμπορικού Βαθέως Σάμου, Εμπορικού Καρλοβασίου Σάμου & Λήμνου).

ΟΛΠ:Εγκαινιάστηκε ο νέος Διεθνής Σταθμός Επιβατών Εξωτερικού

Τη Δευτέρα 27 Μαΐου 2013 και ώρα 12:30, εγκαινιάστηκε ο νέος Διεθνής Σταθμός Επιβατών Εξωτερικού του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε., ο οποίος κατασκευάσθηκε με ίδιες δαπάνες του Οργανισμού στη θέση ‘‘Παλατάκι‘‘ για την εξυπηρέτηση των επιβατών των νέας γενιάς κρουαζιερόπλοιων (άνω των 350μ.), τα οποία ελλιμενίζονται στους χώρους της Ακτής Θεμιστοκλέους.
Το νέο Σταθμό, ο οποίος έλαβε την ονομασία ‘‘Σταθμός Θεμιστοκλέους‘‘ εγκαινίασε ο υπουργός Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου κ. Κωνσταντίνος Μουσουρούλης, χοροστατούντος στην τελετή του αγιασμού του Μητροπολίτη Πειραιά κ.κ. Σεραφείμ.

Η Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) συνδέει τώρα την Ελλάδα με την Ουκρανία με απευθείας πτήσεις

Από αριστερά ο Πρέσβης της Ουκρανίας κ. Volodymyr Shkourov, ο κ. Μιχάλης Φλεριανός αντιπρόσωπος της Ukraine International Airlines στην Ελλάδα & ο κ. Anton Mattis, Αντιπρόεδρος Πωλήσεων της Ukraine International Airlines

Η Ukraine International Airlines καθιερώνει απευθείας αεροπορική σύνδεση μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Ουκρανίας με πτήσεις στο δρομολόγιο Αθήνα – Κίεβο και Θεσσαλονίκη – Κίεβο.

Οι πτήσεις από Αθήνα (Αεροδρόμιο Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος) προς Κίεβο (Boryspil International Airport , terminal D), θα εκτελούνται τέσσερις φορές την εβδομάδα, κάθε Δευτέρα, Τετάρτη, Παρασκευή και Σάββατο και από 18 Ιουνίου θα προστεθεί ακόμη μία πτήση, κάθε Τρίτη.
Επίσης, από 31 Μαΐου 2013, ξεκινά η σύνδεση της Θεσσαλονίκης με το Κίεβο, δύο φορές την εβδομάδα, κάθε Τρίτη και Παρασκευή.

Οι πτήσεις της UIA μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Κιέβου θα πραγματοποιούνται με σύγχρονα και άνετα αεροσκάφη, τύπου Βoeing 737 με δύο κατηγορίες θέσεων – διακεκριμένη και οικονομική.

Πρόγραμμα Πτήσεων
Αριθμός Πτήσεως
Αθήνα - Κίεβο
Κίεβο - Αθήνα
Θεσσαλονίκη - Κίεβο
Κίεβο - Θεσσαλονίκη
Η κ. Nadiya Borkovska, Περιφερειακή Διευθύντρια Πωλήσεων Ελλάδας, Κύπρου, Λιθουανίας & Τουρκίας, της Ukraine International Airlines
«Καθιερώνοντας την απ’ ευθείας τακτική σύνδεση μεταξύ Αθήνας και Κιέβου, δημιουργείται ακόμα ένα σκαλοπάτι για την περαιτέρω γεωγραφική επέκταση της UIA και προσαρμογή της εταιρείας στη νέα στρατηγική του δικτύου» ανέφερε ο Anton Mattis, Αντιπρόεδρος Πωλήσεων.

Οι επιβάτες από την Ελλάδα θα έχουν τη δυνατότητα να απολαύσουν το υψηλό επίπεδο υπηρεσιών, τις άνετες πτήσεις μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Κιέβου, όπως επίσης και τις άμεσες ανταποκρίσεις με πτήσεις της UIA για όλες τις πόλεις της Ουκρανίας - Ντόνιετσκ, Ντνιπροπετρόβσκ, Λβίβ, Χάρκοβο, Οδησσό, και Συμφερούπολη - τις σημαντικότερες πόλεις της ρωσικής επικράτειας, πόλεις της Κοινοπολιτείας Ανεξαρτήτων κρατών, πόλεις της Μέσης Ανατολής, του Ισραήλ και των Ηνωμένων Αραβικών Εμιράτων.
Στα μελλοντικά σχέδια της εταιρείας είναι η σύνδεση αυτή να εξυπηρετείται με καθημερινές πτήσεις.
Επιπλέον, το Panorama Club, πρόγραμμα επιβράβευσης μιλίων, επιτρέπει στα μέλη του να απολαμβάνουν αμέτρητα προνόμια και οφέλη, όπως επίσης και τη δυνατότητα να λαμβάνουν μέρος σε διαγωνισμούς και κληρώσεις εισιτηρίων και να τυγχάνουν προνομιακής μεταχείρισης σε περίπτωση που χρειάζεται να διαφοροποιήσουν την πτήση ή την ημερομηνία αναχώρησης κ.α.

Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες σχετικά με την UIA επισκεφτείτε την ιστοσελίδα της εταιρείας www.flyUIA.com

MyCEB launches Conference Mobile App

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) took the opportunity to launch its new Conference Mobile Application and Delegates Privilege Card at the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX) Frankfurt 2013. 
Both products which form part of the Delegate Welcome Kit aims to provide destination information to further facilitate business events delegates as well as to award international delegates with special privileges.

Applicable to conferences which involves more than 500 international delegates, users will be able to obtain information on the conference they are attending including schedules, conference speakers, surveys and announcements. The mobile app also comes with a destination feature which guides delegates on attractions, shopping and dining options around Kuala Lumpur. In later development stages, MyCEB will be expanding the mobile app to feature other states around the country.

As an added attraction, delegates will also be presented with a Delegates Privilege Card which entitles them to redeem discounts and privileges at selected food & beverage, retail, entertainment outlets, attractions and transportations. These outlets are MyCEB’s industry partners including Royal Selangor Malaysia, Bijan Bar & Restaurant and food outlets at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, the Express Rail Link (ERL) transportation and many more.

Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to publish a Commemorative book

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has chosen to tell the story of the first 20 years of the FCCA Conference and Trade show in partnership with Onboard Media. 
The two companies will publish a commemorative book for release at the FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show in Cartagena, Colombia, September 30 to October 4, 2013. 

Every attendee at the conference will receive a copy, along with special editions for each cruise line CEO. The book will highlight the organization and all it does for the cruising industry and Caribbean destinations.   

The publication is the latest of several projects on which the FCCA and Onboard Media have collaborated. Most recently, Onboard Media provided key media coverage tracking the FCCA's happenings at Cruise Shipping Miami through photos, video and social updates. 

Sarah Beth Reno, president of Onboard Media, said, "We are proud to partner with the FCCA to publish this book - we've worked closely with the organization over the past few years and are delighted that they chose Onboard Media to work on such an exciting project."

Michele M. Paige, president of the FCCA, said, "As Platinum Members of the FCCA, it's honorable that we can continue our strong strategic relationship with Onboard. The FCCA continues to build relationships with our destination partners within the cruise industry, and this project emphasizes the importance of our conferences year after year."

GenieConnect released the industry’s first cross-platform interactive mapping

GenieConnect has released the industry’s first cross-platform interactive mapping capability for exhibitions. 
The new tool delivers a fully functional online interactive map that can be used both on the web and natively across platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry 10. Unlike traditional online mapping solutions this tool does not use Flash and so is functional across all devices.

GenieConnect’s interactive mapping capability provides a new, efficient approach to creating floor maps for exhibitions by reducing the effort required to take existing CAD and floor plan diagrams, and transforming them automatically for multi-platform use. This automation increases the frequency that maps can be updated with new information in the run up to the event. 

In line with the rest of GenieConnect’s solutions, the maps are managed from a single point, the GenieBuilder Content Management Systems (CMS), ensuring quick and seamless integration of the technology.

International Youth Market heats up

Australia and New Zealand launch major campaigns targeting younger travellers looking for fun and work. 
Youth must have its fling—but where? Canada has plenty to offer this traveller demographic, but nowhere is the international tourism marketplace more competitive than in this arena. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has sharpened its elbows to ensure our country keeps its fair share of young travellers.

CTC News watches the movers, shakers and influencers in this rapidly growing market where social media plays a huge part in traveller aspirations. Thanks, as usual, to CTC’s colleagues, industry partners and general sales agents for sharing the juiciest pieces of intel.

The Young Ones: Tourism Australia has given a fresh lick of paint to the best job in the world concept: there are now six to choose from in its new AUS $4 million campaign targeting the youth market. The jobs up for grabs are: chief “funster” (New South Wales), outback adventurer (Northern Territory), park ranger (Queensland), wildlife caretaker (South Australia), lifestyle photographer (Melbourne) and taste master (Western Australia). The focus is not just encouraging young people to seek employment elsewhere, but also on families following them and taking a vacation.

Time off: The Chinese government has recognized the importance of travel as a way of boosting the economy and its citizens’ quality of life. A hefty doc, “Outlines of the Chinese Citizens’ Travel Initiatives 2013-2020,” has detailed plans for improving infrastructure and incentives, including more paid leave. Good news for tourism marketers the world over.

The Young Ones, Part 2: Tourism New Zealand also has its beady eye on the youth travel market. Its new Epic Experiences campaign aims to entice long-haul travellers aged 18-29, particularly from the US, Canada, the UK and continental Europe, to come and live it up via bungee jumping, wine tasting, jet boating or taking in a Maori cultural experience.

Cork-poppers: Atout France is placing greater emphasis on its work in India via a three-year campaign focusing on experiential travel. “Be There! Do That!” sets its sights on encouraging Indian consumers to come over and try French cuisine, wine, hot-air ballooning and more.

Strategic thinking: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports has mapped outs its master plan for the industry. The main objective is to bring in US$ 65 billion in tourism revenue by 2020 and an extra five to six million foreign visitors.
Source: Canadian Tourism Commission

Best Honeymoon Tour Destination for 2013

The World Travel Fair (WTF) was being held in the downtown Shanghai Exhibition Centre from the 9th -12th May 2013.
As one of the leading travel expos’ in China, WTF is a vibrant must attend event showcasing a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to China's most dynamic markets.

The Seychelles islands was showcased in a 18 sqm stand and had a panoramic backdrop of Anse Victorin depicting our turquoise blue sea, granite boulders and white sandy beaches. 

This four day event themed as “World Tourism Carnival” was committed to be a paradise for consumers to experience the wonder of the world in an all-round way. It was a great opportunity for exhibitors to launch new brands or new products, attracting the highest attention from the media, trade and public.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed over the years, as Seychelles was awarded the Best Honeymoon Tour Destination for 2013.” said Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

The Seychelles Tourism Board team conducted several media interviews from different media house based in China, namely: Hangzhou Television Station Channel Life and Shanghai Airline TV (Traveler Guide).

New Research by American Express Meetings & Events

New research released by American Express Meetings & Events reveals sizeable gaps in established policy, and also between policy and practice, when it comes to companies’ management of meetings and events (M&E). 
The study examines the risk that organizations can be exposed to when M&E expenses and activities are not managed through a clear and comprehensive program. The survey compiled the opinions of both meeting planners and leaders , uncovering the differences between company policies and actual behavior. Key findings include:

•           51% of meeting planners believe that risk is not properly mitigated in their organization 

•           52% of planners do not receive a budget when meeting planning begins

•           23% of planners sign contracts but only 6% of leaders state that planners are allowed to sign contracts

•           68% of leaders said transparency of all data is a top priority; however, 85% of meeting planners still simply use spreadsheets for their budget tracking

•           64% of planners do not currently have a method to track meeting attendees in a time of crisis 

“In an environment of increasing regulatory scrutiny and heightened awareness around security and safety issues, complacency in the meetings and events planning process can have serious financial, legal and reputational consequences,” said Milton Rivera, Vice President, Business Development, American Express Meetings & Events. “This research highlights the disparity between the precautions and procedures meetings leaders and planners feel should be or believe to be in place and actual current activity. It demonstrates how crucial it is for companies’ meeting planning processes to be formalized, documented and controlled as a means to minimize risk.”

Cuba Cruise Grows Rapidly

The team behind this year’s most anticipated new cruise offering, Cuba Cruise, are just wrapping up their whirlwind tour, launching the new cruise line in Europe at ITB, Scandinavia at TUR, South America at WTM/Braztoa and throughout Canada. 
During its 7-night sailing, the cruise line -- the only to circumnavigate the fascinating Caribbean-isle -- will provide guests the opportunity to visit six UNESCO heritage sites, and a number of other ports and excursions rarely seen.

The global launch has been a massive success, with Cuba Cruise now negotiating tour operator partnerships in Europe, the UK, North and South America. Cuba Cruise plans to take their offerings to Russia and Australia within the year.

Sailings begin December 16, 2013 running to March 24, 2014, and are aboard the Louis Cristal, a modern cruise ship with a unique yacht-like design and a cruising speed of 18 knots. It features an array of amenities with all the comforts expected of today’s contemporary vessels, including spacious staterooms and suites (some with balconies, and each one equipped with shower, WC, wash basin, telephone, hairdryer & TV), elegant lounges and restaurants, casino and open promenades. The ship also features modern communication facilities including an internet corner, WiFi and roaming GSM mobile phone service.

oneworld enters events and conventions travel market

oneworld®, the premier global airline alliance, today unveiled a new, one-stop, easy-to-use service to meet the travel needs for conventions, conferences, exhibitions and special events – offering attractive discounts on flights across a network spanning 850 destinations globally served by some of the world’s leading airlines. 
For event and convention organisers, oneworld events provides:

• An efficient and user-friendly centralised process, with one set of terms and conditions covering travel on all oneworld member airlines that can be ready for acceptance just days after submitting the online request form.

• Discounted flights for attendees plus the chance for organisers to earn and redeem credits for travel on participating oneworld member airlines.

• Simple online access to real-time management reports 24/7 to help meet attendees’ travel needs.

• A ready-to-use oneworld promotional toolkit to build attendee awareness.

For attendees, oneworld events offers:

• Attractive discounts on flights for attendees and one travel companion each, on oneworld member airlines, which together serve 850 destinations in more than 150 countries around the globe.

• A user-friendly booking tool that will display the most convenient flights and multiple fare options from hundreds of departure points all over the world to the event or convention location.

• Travel on a collection of some of the world’s leading airlines.

• Round-the-clock support, with the oneworld events helpdesk ready to help via email or phone.

• All usual privileges and benefits to members of any oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme – including the ability to earn miles/points and, for top tier cardholders and one companion each, to use any of the 550 airport lounges provided by the alliance’s airlines the world over. Attendees who are not yet members can sign-up before they depart and then receive their benefits and privileges on their way to or from their convention of event.

oneworld events is aimed at conferences, conventions, exhibitions and special events targeting a minimum of 500 international attendees travelling from at least two regions. Requests are accepted as early as five years in advance and up to three months prior to the event date.

Industry data indicates that 3.5 million delegates attend these kinds of conferences and events around the world every year, spending around US$ 1.5 billion on air travel.

The oneworld alliance brings together leading airlines from around the world - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

Besides these 12 full member airlines, oneworld also features around 30 “affiliate” members, expanding its network further. They include Austria’s NIKI, China’s Dragonair, US regional American Eagle, South Africa’s Comair, Denmark’s SUN-AIR, transatlantic carrier OpenSkies, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru and, soon, LAN Colombia.

Mainport Hotel Opens in Rotterdam

On May 13, Rotterdam’s modern harbor skyline became even richer by the opening of new Design Hotels™ member, Mainport. 
The hotel, designed by MAS architectuur is characterized by a futuristic façade of black glass and aluminum. The hotel stands proud in the central district of Leuvehaven and reflects Rotterdam’s unique architectural aesthetic. Just as Rotterdam is a symbiosis of international influences and Dutch tradition, Mainport’s overall concept entwines the best cuisine, spa traditions and design from around the world, while placing an importance on Rotterdam as the hotel’s ‘main port’.

Mainport’s 215 rooms have been split into five categories: City XL, Corner, Waterfront Sauna, Waterfront Spa and the Spa Suite. Each room reflects the hotel’s dedication to wellness by providing an in-room spa equipped with walk-in showers, anti-fog mirrors and a whirlpool. The Waterfront Spa category and the Spa Suite even have a private Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and a mirror integrated TV.
The interiors of the hotel, designed by Feran Thomassen have been inspired by many different continents. Luxurious marble bathrooms, impressive fireplaces and panoramic windows, offering views of Rotterdam’s highlights, exude grandeur. Light grey curtains, anthracite desks and dark timber flooring accessorize an elegant environment.

In-room spas may be the ultimate luxury but Mainport’s eighth floor spa takes wellness to a whole new level. Here, a Finnish panorama sauna, a Turkish steam room, hamam, two treatment rooms and an extensive relaxation room awaits.

Mainport is located in the area of Leuvehaven next to the historic Maritime Museum and the asymmetric Erasmus Bridge. The inner harbor of Rotterdam provides a beautiful skyline view which connects the center with the southern part of the city and the newly built, futuristic waterfront.

Swissotel opens a new hotel in China

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts has signed a new management contract with Shaanxi Puyu Industrial Co., Ltd for a 350 room hotel. 
The new hotel in Xi’an is cheduled for completion in 2016. Swissôtel Xi’an will be nestled in the core business area in the Xi’an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base within proximity to two Metro lines.

Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, boasts of a rich and colorful past. With a history of over 3,000 years, it is regarded as one of the four greatest cities of ancient civilizations, along with Athens, Cairo and Rome. As a result of the large number of historical sites, including the most famous Terracotta Army, tourism is a key component of the city’s economy and an efficient transport system is in place. The Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is the largest airport in Northwest China and a six-line Metro system is under construction. 

Swissôtel Xi’an will be located in the heart of phase one of China’s second national civil aerospace industrial base. The base is under construction and will be completed by 2016, expecting to attract over 300,000 residences and over 30 medium to large scale enterprises. 5 km away, the Qujiang New District is an important cultural and residential hub, also housing the Xi’an Qujiang International Conference & Exhibition Centre. Swissôtel Xi’an will offer 350 guest rooms and suites, varying in size of approximately 40m2 to 50m2, four restaurants, function and banqueting space and recreational facilities including a Pürovel Spa.

Holiday Inn Express® Manhattan West Side Opens

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the opening of the new Holiday Inn Express® Manhattan West Side, conveniently located near the Broadway Theater District, Times Square and a short walk from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. 
The new 177-room hotel in the midtown west Manhattan area, at 538 West 48th St., is the closest hotel to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. It is also near the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex, featuring the space shuttle Enterprise, and the New York offices of several major corporations. The hotel offers guests a complimentary area shuttle service, and complimentary bottled water in each room. 

"Holiday Inn Express hotels are designed to be the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travelers," said Heather Balsley, senior vice president, Brand Management, Holiday Inn brand family, The Americas, IHG. "With more than 2,100 properties worldwide and 450 more in the pipeline, the Holiday Inn Express portfolio continues to provide our guests with an enhanced-stay experience at a great value. We are proud to welcome this hotel into the Holiday Inn family with the brand-new sign and everything it represents.” 

The new opening comes on the heels of the opening of the Holiday Inn Express – NYC Herald Square 36th Street earlier this year. With over 340 of the pipeline hotels in the Americas region alone, the Holiday Inn Express brand continues to innovate and grow, remaining a key focus for IHG. The new hotels are in line with the Holiday Inn brand family’s $1 billion global brand relaunch, the largest project of its kind in hospitality history. The relaunch continues to drive increased quality and consistency across the global portfolio. The hotel features a contemporary image with emphasis on arrival and welcome services, guestroom and guest bath comfort and a redesigned logo and signage. 

We’re pleased to be joining the Holiday Inn brand family and to be able to offer visitors looking for Manhattan hotels an outstanding guest experience at a great value in a convenient location,” said Lance Herman, general manager, Holiday Inn Express New York - Manhattan West Side. “Holiday Inn Express is a fresh brand that we believe fits well with the needs of visitors to Manhattan, whether they are here for business or leisure.”