Τετάρτη, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Tourism leaders of the Americas to gather in Haiti

Haiti will host UNWTO’s annual regional gathering of tourism authorities, the UNWTO Commission for the Americas. The 58th Meeting of the Commission reflects Haiti’s preparedness to seize the growing tourism momentum in the region to further open sustainable development opportunities through tourism.

The meeting, to be held for the first time in Haiti (19-22 May, Port au Prince) , will serve as an occasion for the country to showcase its recent progress in infrastructure projects, ranging from roads to airports, in support of positioning Haiti’s destinations on the international tourism map.

“The Minister of Tourism of Haiti, Stephanie Villedrouin, has been paving the way to generate new tourism opportunities to generate jobs and support the country’s economy, against the backdrop of political support by President Martelly, for tourism as a driver of improved livelihoods in Haiti”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “As we transition towards the new Sustainable Development Goals after 2015, this meeting could not have been announced more timely, underscoring the potential of tourism as a natural ally for socio-economic progress”, he added.

Especially for the world’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS), tourism has been singled out as a key activity for economic progress and social cohesion. In 2013, 41 million international tourists visited the SIDS, generating US$ 61 billion in foreign earnings. Island States have a natural competitive tourism advantage, for half of which the sector accounts for more than 40% of the value of all exports of goods and services. International tourism is both a primary source of foreign exchange earnings with an important economic impact, equating more than 20% of GDP in several of the SIDS.

The Americas accounts for a 16% share of international tourists worldwide (168 million) and a 20% share of receipts (US$ 230 billion). In 2013, international tourist arrivals to the Americas increased by 3% while export earnings from tourism grew by 6%.

Haiti was able to substantially increase international arrivals and tourism revenues, growing 20% and 32% between 2012 and 2013, respectively.

OSHA Travel Policy to affect everyone, not just business travelers

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - A report from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that it is the responsibility of employers and employees to ensure travel health before, during, and after any type of travel, regardless of whether the trip is business related.

According to estimates provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35% of all travel is business related, but travel related diseases have an equal spread across all demographics due to a lack of proper pre-travel medical care.

"The failure of travelers to receive preventive medication results in unnecessary illness, medical expense, and the potential spread of contagious diseases within their local communities," says the report. Employers are encouraged to identify employees who may travel internationally and to refer them to qualified health care professionals for the purpose of providing helpful travel health information and vaccinations that could protect both traveling employees and others in the workplace environment.

Employees traveling to developing countries or high risk areas are asked to take specific precautions by OSHA and the CDC, including:

  • Speak with a travel health specialist and receive any necessary vaccinations and preventative medicines.
  • Be sure to receive booster vaccinations against any disease for which immunity may have diminished over the years such as: yellow fever, tetanus, and/or typhoid fever.
  • Do not handle animals in the region, especially monkeys, dogs and cats to avoid bites and potentially contracting rabies.
  • Drink bottled or boiled water, and avoid tap water or ice that may be contaminated.

Crystal Cruises kicks off 25th anniversary of luxury cruising with itinerary highlights and special celebrations

LOS ANGELES - Celebrating two and a half decades as a leader in luxury travel, Crystal Cruises is embarking upon a year of commemorative celebrations, cruises hosted by the company's leadership – both past and present – plus much more. That is, more itineraries (63) sailing to more ports of call (224) in more countries (65), including more than double the number of maiden calls (24) in 2014.

Kicking off Crystal's 25th Anniversary is the line's first-ever circumnavigation of the globe. The 108-day, round-trip Miami "Silver Celebration World Cruise," begins January 14, 2015 on Crystal Serenity and is the line's 20th annual epic journey. Crystal Symphony begins 2015 immersed in a dazzling Asia series featuring Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Japan. In addition to the new and favorite highlights of the year's global itineraries, new onboard entertainment and amenities, plus enriching experiences ashore punctuate travelers' Crystal experiences in the coming year.

"A hallmark of Crystal's philosophy for more than two decades has been to pioneer new programs, amenities, experiences and destinations, offering luxury travelers a truly unique journey each time they step aboard a Crystal ship," says Crystal president and COO, Edie Rodriguez. "In 2015, we're continuing that philosophy, pushing the limits and visiting new locales while celebrating the unchanging values that have made us the best in the world."

Of the 224 ports scheduled in 65 countries, two dozen of them are brand new for Crystal ships. The line's unprecedented calls include lesser-known locales like Albany, Australia; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar; Arrecife, Canary Islands; Richards Bay, South Africa; Sanary-sur-Mer, France; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Souda Bay/Chania, Greece; Aomori, Japan; Archangel, Korsakov and Solovetsky Islands, Russian Federation; Belawan, Indonesia; Rijeka, Croatia; Bodo, Narvik and Oye/Hjorundfjord, Norway; Helgoland, Germany; Londonderry/Greencastle and Galway, Ireland; Kochi, Japan; Sanya, China and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago.

On board, guests can revel in the celebration of Crystal's 25th Anniversary with special parties and receptions and European voyages hosted by Rodriguez and the company's Chairman Nobuyoshi Kuzuya. Additionally, the festivities continue on four Trans-Atlantic, South America and Asia itineraries hosted by long beloved Crystal captains Glenn Edvardsen, Reidulf Maalen, Helge Brudvik and John Økland. 

Original cast of "The Love Boat" reunites to decorate Princess Cruises' Rose Parade float amid flurry of media interviews

SANTA CLARITA, CALIF. - The original cast of "The Love Boat" gathered to decorate Princess Cruises' Rose Parade float, as well as participate in a myriad of national and local media interviews which celebrated the reunion of this beloved cast.

Princess Cruises, one of the most famous names in cruise vacations, is widely known for its starring role in one of television's most iconic shows, "The Love Boat." Their float in the Rose Parade launches Princess' 50th anniversary year and pays tribute to the light-hearted TV show which played such an integral role in the cruise line's early history. 

The original cast of "The Love Boat" will ride on the float, which comes on the heels of this ensemble christening Princess' newest cruise ship Regal Princess to kick off the company's golden anniversary year.

Named "50 Years of Inspiring Travel," the float depicts Regal Princess symbolically sailing through the world's most fascinating cruise destinations and iconic landmarks that guests have experienced with Princess over the past 50 years. Viewers will recognize the Sydney Opera House, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a traditional Japanese pagoda, the Golden Gate Bridge and the tropical flowers and water falls of the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico, as well as the majestic mountains and wildlife as featured on Alaska cruises – just some of the sights travelers will see when sailing with Princess, whose ships visit 350 destinations around the globe.

The float is 60 feet long and 24 feet high with more than 24,000 flowers and natural materials. Flowers include roses, orchids and carnations, dendrobs, tulips, cymbidiums, delphiniums, gerbera daisies. Regal Princess will be covered in large white navy beans, white mums and button mums. The water will be accented by dark blue and white iris. Potatoes, green grapes and seaweed will also be used on parts of the float.

Hotwire predicts 2015 will be Year of Millennial Traveler

SAN FRANCISCO - With the New Year right around the corner, Hotwire.com released additional findings from its 2014 American Travel Behavior Survey, which point to the growing power of the millennial traveler. The survey was conducted online in October 2014 on behalf of Hotwire by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. According to the survey, millennial travelers have a greater desire to travel more than their older counterparts and are looking for the best deals in 2015.

More specifically, the report contained the following American Travel Behavior Survey findings:  

  • More than any other age group, approximately one-third of millennials intend on traveling more in 2015.
  • Those ages 18-34 are more likely than their older counterparts to say they:
  • - Intend to take one or two large vacations in 2015 (35 percent vs. 23 percent of those ages 45-54).
  • - Intend to be more deal conscious when booking travel in 2015 (24 percent vs. 16 percent of those ages 65+).
  • - Intend to be more spontaneous in 2015 (19 percent vs. 11 percent of those ages 45-54 and 10 percent of those ages 65+).
  • Younger adults ages 18-34 (70 percent) are more likely to have any money in their travel budget each year than those ages 45+ (55 percent).
  • Millennials set aside a total of $226 billion1 for their travel budget.

"Millennial travelers are impacting the travel industry in a big way, particularly given their overall excitement and interest in taking more trips," said Henrik Kjellberg, president of the Hotwire Group. "Since they're concerned with finding the best deals, Hotwire offers insights and tools that can help not only millennials but all travelers get more for their money and take more trips in 2015."

In an effort to help make millennial travel intentions become reality, Hotwire polled this audience to find out where they wanted to visit in the New Year and their travel experts mined internal pricing data to pair the 15 most sought after destinations for 2015 with the most affordable months to visit.
DestinationBest Month to VisitAverage Price Per Night (Best Month)Percent Savings vs.  Peak Season
1.  Las Vegas, NVJanuary$6644%
2.  Honolulu, HIMay$15246%
3.  London, EnglandJanuary$12955%
4.  Rome, ItalyJanuary$8799%
5.  Miami, FLSeptember$11591%
6.  Paris, FranceFebruary$11764%
7.  New York City, NYFebruary$13677%
8.  Madrid, SpainAugust$7177%
9.  San Francisco, CAJanuary$11688%
10. Los Angeles, CAJanuary$9937%
11. Chicago, ILJanuary$6867%
12. New Orleans, LAAugust$9169%
13. Orlando, FLSeptember$7040%
14. Washington, DCJanuary$7758%
15. San Diego, CAJanuary$79109%

The above list of 15 destinations was determined by Hotwire's American Travel Behavior Survey. Respondents ages 18-35 were asked if they could take one more vacation than you originally planned for 2015, which U.S. cities they would travel to. The Best Month to Visit was calculated based on the minimum average price per night for the location in 2014. The Average Price Per Night was calculated based on the average nightly rate for the best month. The Percent Savings vs. Peak Season was calculated based on the minimum average nightly rate and the maximum average nightly rate of the year 2014. 

Airline Industry Bemoans Current State of Air Traffic Control in U.S.

Airline passengers fret about the lack of free Wi-Fi on planes or the nuisance of reclining seats, an air traffic control issue looms much more quietly in the background.

The U.S. economy loses as much as $33 billion a year to flight delays, with half of that attributed to economic losses passengers experience, according to the National Center for Excellence for Aviation Operations, which attributes much of the blame on the Federal Aviation Administration.

Congress, though, is a culprit, too.

Funding for the FAA expires in September, and Congress’ recent FAA reauthorization bills haven’t done much to ensure programs like NextGen, a satellite-based system geared to reduce fuel consumption, improve safety, and curb air-traffic congestion, will take off any time soon. The foundation of the FAA’s current radar, or ground-based, system dates back to the 1950s.

During its planning stages a decade ago, the NextGen plan was due to be fully operational by 2020. At the outset, the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General pinned the cost of NextGen’s implementation at $20 billion each for the government and industry. The inspector general now says NextGen costs could double or triple and the program’s full implementation might take an additional decade because of the lack of progress so far.

NextGen Inaction

In a statement at a Congressional hearing last month about the reauthorization bill, Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio expressed the trade group’s frustration about NextGen’s implementation. He emphasized that one of the challenges in implementing NextGen is how the funding is appropriated rather than how much funding is budgeted.

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“We understand the importance of NextGen and are passionate about it,” Calio said. “A4A member airlines provide the FAA with operational data, participate in pilot programs, and serve on countless NextGen working groups and federal advisory committees. But our consistent qualifier has been: Show us the benefits, so that we can make the business case for investment.”

Citing the $5 billion to $6 billion that the DOT Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office estimate has been spent on NextGen to date, Calio said A4A agrees that a lack of funding or technology are not the basis for shortcomings in NextGen implementation.

“Instead, internal issues related to implementation funding and procedure development and approvals often cause lengthy delays and a lack of uniform support from users,” Calio said. “… a February 2012 GAO study found that half of all NextGen projects experienced delays, and that implementation costs had exceeded estimates by $4.2 billion.”

What’s Ahead in Congress

Bill Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, promises the 2015 FAA Reauthorization process will be “transformational.”

Hyperbole said, the committee will seek to avert a recurrence of the 2012 FAA reauthorization process, which was marred by furloughs of air traffic controllers and the FAA’s partial shutdown in August 2011 that stalled NextGen’s progress.

Reducing the FAA’s role and privatizing air traffic control was considered during previous reauthorization processes,  although the committee couldn’t confirm this is part of current discussions.

“As for official [conversations] on privatizing the FAA, there are conversations that look at ways to help structure the FAA in order to realize more benefits as discussed in the hearing,” said Jim Billimoria, a spokesperson for the committee.

Billimoria also couldn’t comment on the proposed funding or duration of the new FAA reauthorization bill, which are still unknown. The FAA’s 2012 reauthorization appropriated $63 billion to the agency.

As A4A lobbies Congress about FAA funding, the trade group is keen to point out that NextGen’s implementation in the U.S. isn’t keeping pace with other parts of the world.

“While other countries like Canada and Australia have been using satellite-based technology to manage their air traffic, the United States continues to play catch up,” said Victoria Day, a spokesperson for A4A. “Stops and starts in appropriations’ funding, combined with sequestration, have negatively impacted long-term implementation. They have also caused disproportionate harm to controllers and the traveling public.”

“U.S. carriers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to install NextGen technology on their aircraft, yet the FAA lacks the policies and procedures required to put it to use. This is like buying a high-definition smart TV when your provider only supports analog –but on a massively larger scale.”
Dan Peltier, Skift

The U.S.’s Largest Airport Solar Farm Is Now Online

Contractors have finished bringing online dozens of acres of solar panels at Indianapolis International Airport, solidifying its status as the home of the nation’s largest airport-based solar farm.

Workers recently finished adding 86 acres of solar panels at the airport, more than doubling the size of its solar farm to 151 acres.

The airport southwest of Indianapolis now has a total of 76,000 solar photovoltaic panels that turn sunlight into electricity and feed that power into the local electrical grid.

Airport spokeswoman Kendall Bybee said Monday the airport’s sprawling arrays of solar panels are capable of generating 31.7 million kilowatt hours of power, or enough to power 3,200 average U.S. homes.

The nation’s second-largest airport-based solar farm is at Denver International Airport, Bybee said. The Denver airport’s solar farm generates enough power to light about 2,600 homes, according to its website.

Bybee said Indianapolis International Airport claimed the “largest” airport-based solar farm title not by design, but simply by putting more of the airport’s land into use for power generation.

“The airport’s intention was never to have the largest airport-based solar farm — it just so happens that it happened, because the airport had so much unused land,” she said.

The solar farm is owned and operated by Taiwan-based General Energy Solutions.

Bybee said a small addition to the airport’s solar farm will be installed next year, but that project’s size hasn’t been determined.

Associated Press

Air Serbia Ground Services certified for integrated management system

Air Serbia Ground Services (ASGS), a division of Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbiaannounced that it has been certified for the Integrated Management System, becoming the first company in the civil aviation sector to be certified for this quality management system. 

The detailed inspection by the verification team of SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, determined compliance with standards, as a result of which SGS decided to extend the certificates held by ASGS related to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 Environment Management System, and OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Management System for aircraft, passenger, baggage, cargo and mail handling and related ground handling services and shipping in air transport.

Dane Kondić, Chief Executive Officer Air Serbia, said:  “We are proud that ASGS has successfully confirmed the high level of services it offers through thiscertification process. Air Serbia is focused on delivering the highest quality of service to its guests. ASGS once again proved that all parts of our organisation strive for the same objectives and that we are on the right path to achieve them."

Through the application of the international standards ASGS completely understands needs and expectations of its customers and strives to fulfill them, efficiently utilising resources and managing risk which certainly indicates that current and future customers can expect excellence of service. Furthermore, the advantage of using these standards brings benefits through the exchange of global standards and implementation of good management practices, as every standard adopted is based on the principle of constant improvement. 

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. It is a network of more than 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world and has an impact on the formation of global standards. The Company was registered in Geneva as Société Générale de Surveillance in 1919., and has since developed into a global leader in its industry.

Passenger traffic at DXB climbs 4.3 per cent in November 2014

Dubai Airports maintained its growth trajectory in the second half of 2014 with passenger traffic at Dubai International rising 4.3 per cent in November, according to the latest traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports today.

Passenger traffic in November 2014 totalled 5,565,509, up 4.3 per cent from the 5,337,544 passengers recorded in the same month in 2013. Year to date traffic rose 5.9 per cent to 63,977,063 compared to 60,384,407 passengers recorded during the first 11 months of last year.

Aircraft movements climbed 10 per cent in November 2014 to 34,690 movements, up from the 31,525 movements recorded in November last year. Year to date aircraft movements declined 3.5 per cent to 325,469 movements, down from the 337,121 movements achieved in the first 11 months of 2013. The drop in aircraft movements so far this year has been driven by capacity cuts made during the runway refurbishment programme earlier this year.  

Regionally Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region, with passenger traffic rising 54.1 per cent year on year in November, spurred on by strong growth from Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. South America (+15 per cent) and Asia (+13.8 per cent) also showed good growth during November.

However, continued geopolitical and economic woes in Russia & CIS resulted in an 18.2 per cent drop in passenger traffic during November when compared to the same month in 2013.

India maintained its position as the busiest country destination in November, supported by double- digit growth in passenger numbers to both New Delhi (+15.1 per cent) and Mumbai (+16.2 per cent), with flydubai and Jet Airways adding new flights to the cities during 2014.

Cargo volumes slipped 8 per cent in November 2014 to 205,375 tonnes, down from the 223,195 tonnes recorded in the same month last year. Year-to date cargo volumes dipped 2.7 per cent to 2,164,738 tonnes, down from the 2,225,486 tonnes achieved during the same period last year. Freight volumes at Dubai International continued to be impacted in the second half of 2014 by the move of all dedicated freighter services to Al Maktoum International in May this year.

“Given the traffic achieved in the first 11 months, together with some of the busiest days on record in December, we are confident of ending the year above the 70 million mark and confirming our position as the world’s busiest international airport,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

“Looking forward to 2015, the prospects remain exceedingly bright and we expect to maintain the growth achieved this year in the next 12 months. Therefore Dubai Airports continues to invest in world-class facilities to meet this demand, including the opening of the new Concourse D in the first half of next year.”    

Customer Places Firm Order for 24 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen Aircraft

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that a customer, who has requested to remain unidentified at this time, has signed a firm order for 24 CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.

Based on the list price for the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $1.14 billion US.

"Bombardier sets the benchmark for aircraft in this category. With its demonstrated reliability and low fuel consumption, the CRJ900 NextGen regional is recognized as the most cost-efficient jet aircraft in its class," said Ray Jones, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "With the most recent enhancements to the aircraft, we are constantly moving that benchmark forward, reducing the CRJ900 NextGen airliner's fuel burn by up to 5.5 per cent compared to earlier-generation CRJ900 aircraft, and making it the ideal tool for operators looking at further increasing the efficiency of their fleets."

Including this latest order, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1,858 CRJ Series aircraft, including 384 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and over 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft in more than 50 countries on six continents. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.5 billion passengers and have logged more than 41 million flight hours and over 34 million takeoffs and landings.

TAV Airport Hotel Izmir opens

TAV Airport Hotels has opened its second hotel inside the International Adnan Menderes Airport in Izmir, Turkey.
Guests can enjoy resting in their room until 15 minutes to their flight. For guests looking for even greater comfort, hotel offers 20 connection rooms.
Hotel is 15 km to the city center. TAV Airport Hotel Izmir has 3 fully equipped meeting rooms that are ideal for business travelers. It takes 5 minutes from TAV Airport Hotel Izmir to get Aegean Free Zone where various important companies are located and it is close to Izmir International Fair, shopping and business centers, you can easily go to various points of the city using wide range of transportation options like Havaş, Municipality Bus and metro.
TAV Airport Hotels’ first property was opened in Istanbul. TAV Airport Hotel Istanbul inside Atatürk International Airport offers 128 luxurious accommodations together with its suite options. The hotel also has 2 disabled, 2 connection, 4 suite and 2 corner rooms. There are 2 fully equipped Executive Meeting Rooms in Istanbul property. Hotel is 25 km away from downtown (Taksim) and 4-4.5 km away from the seashore.

5 Cool New Cruise Ships in 2014

Every year the cruise industry launches brand new ships. Some years, those new ships are simply stunning and bring breathtaking new technology mixed with cool, innovative ideas.

5 cool cruise ships that launched in 2014

Norwegian Getaway
Norwegian Getaway
Norwegian Getaway. This ship takes the best features from her sister ship – Norwegian Breakaway – and adds some new ones of her own. Getaway has the multistory sports complex with ropes course, rock-climbing wall and zip line, outdoor promenade for dining and drinks and more than 20 restaurants and bars. Unique to this Miami-based ship are tropical-inspired artwork and applicably themed spaces the Tropical Room, Flamingo Bar and Grill, Sunset Bar and Sugarcane Bar. On the hull, you’ll find mermaids and pelicans as done by Pop artist David “Lebo” Batard. If you’re a music lover, you’ll enjoy the ship’s Grammy Experience – featuring performances by past Grammy winners and nominees. 
Quantum of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas
Quantum of the Seas. A first-in-class ship, this new offering from Royal Caribbean launched with much fanfare in November of this year. It was well worth the wait for this new, innovative ship which features the following first at sea offerings: skydiving simulator, bumper cars and the “North Star” – an enclosed glass capsule that rises 300 feet above sea level. In addition to the new features and entertainment, this ship also introduces revamped cabin spaces including solo staterooms and virtual balconies for inside cabins. 

Regal Princess. Another sister ship launch, Regal Princess follows in the elegant footsteps of Royal Princess. Fans of the ship who love the SeaWalk (the glass-enclosed walkway that extends over the ship’s edge and 128 feet above the water), the stunning adults-only pool, private poolside cabanas and Princess Live! Television studio will find all of the features on the new ship. New to Regal Princess is a promenade deck that runs the entire length of the ship. 
Viking Longship  photo VRC
Viking Longship
photo VRC
Viking River Cruises. With Viking this year, it’s not just about one new show stopping ship, it’s about the launch of 16 new ships this year. 14 of the new ships are Longship-class ships and are sailing on the rivers of Europe: Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine and Rhone, along with a brand-new itinerary on the rivers in France’s Bordeaux region. New this year will be two ships sailing on Portugal’s Douro River. With Viking, each suite features two rooms, French balcony and full balcony.here.
Costa Diadema photo: wiki
Costa Diadema
photo: wiki
Costa Diadema. You may not have heard of this ship, yet. Based in Europe, this is Costa’s newest and largest ship in the fleet. Carnival fans may recognize the bold décor on this ship as its being designed by Joe Farcus. Diadema features split-level rooms overlooking the sea and an outdoor promenade. For your taste, you’ll find a Bavarian-style beer garden, Japanese Teppanyaki, and Piazza Pizza. The Portobello Market Square is filled with shops, outside walkway and cabanas. For the ultimate relaxation, you’ll find the three-story Samsara Spa – the largest in the fleet. Y
Did you get a chance to sail on any of these cool ships this year? Which one are you looking forward to sailing the most in the coming year?

By Sarah Phillips
The post 5 Cool New Cruise Ships in 2014 appeared first on Cruise Radio.

Louis Vuitton arrives at Heathrow Terminal 5

Louis Vuitton opened its first European airport store at Heathrow Terminal 5.
The 301sq.m store is dedicated to Louis Vuitton’s travel heritage and welcomes the modern explorer to journey through an entirely new retail concept.
The store’s opening coincides with the arrival of Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2015 collection, which was presented in Monaco, at Place du Palais by Nicolas Ghesquiere. Aquatic motifs abound, from cut out ‘portholes’ on navy sweaters to maritime flares to the rich embroideries depicting coral branches, this is a collection that calls to mind the Cote d’Azur, perfectly in tune with the house’s legendary roots in the Art of Travel.
Louis Vuitton has long anticipated the needs of the modern traveler. The Louis Vuitton family were avid followers of technological advances in the world of aviation, inspired by the groundbreaking achievements of pioneering pilots such as the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, ‘the conqueror of the air,’ Louis Bleriot, and the Wright brothers in the dawn of the 20th Century.
The Louis Vuitton Heathrow store is flanked by an articulated series of metallic striped glass ‘fins’ finished in bronzed anodized aluminum. On the entire perimeter of the façade are a sequence of hanging transparent units hung by Louis Vuitton belts, recalling the artisan heritage of the Maison, and allowing visibility straight into the store. Inside, a considered open space makes the store’s offering of leather goods, women’s ready to wear and shoes, accessories, sunglasses, fine jewellery and watches easy to navigate. Look up to see 80% of ceiling surface crafted from suspended aluminum blades ranging from a gold oak brushed veneer to others clad in hand crafted bronze and gold wallpaper. A feeling of warmth is felt throughout, communicated by sumptuous beige leathers, polished plaster in light gold, smoked teakwood and antique brass metalwork.
By 1910, the year when Pierre Vuitton, the great grandson of founder Louis created airplane models (named Vuitton I and Vuitton II) the house’s catalogue of trunks and leather goods listed the ultra-light, unsinkable and watertight “Aero-trunks” for hot air balloons. In the years since then, Louis Vuitton and the succeeding generations have invented trunks and luggage – from check-in to carry-on, and always combining functionality with luxury – anticipating the needs of the modern traveler.

Some hotels in NYC charge 300% more for New Year's Eve

Hotels in New York City have raised their rates on available rooms substantially for New Year's Eve.
New Year's Eve revelers who have their hearts set on seeing the ball drop live in Times Square will be paying significantly more to stay overnight in the Big Apple. Hotels in New York City have raised their rates on available rooms substantially for New Year's Eve according to the latest survey from NewYorkHotels.org.
Currently, 40% of hotels in Manhattan are still offering rooms for December 31. On average, however, these hotels are elevating their rates by 167% compared to regular rates. And some hotels are charging over 300% more than they usually do.
For the cheapest available room in Manhattan (rated at least 3 stars), overnight guests on New Year's Eve will currently have to spend around $300. If they stay three nights (December 31 through January 3 or December 30 through January 2), they can find rooms for around $200 per night.
However, compared to New Year's Eve 2012, hotel rates have increased more moderately. Two years ago at the same time, less than 10% of hotels still had available rooms, and the rate hikes were then significantly higher as a result.
According to Danielle Carter, spokesperson for NewYorkHotels.org, "This significant difference between then and now can partly be explained by the opening up of many new hotels in Manhattan. But essentially it clearly reflects the importance of Airbnb, where thousands of rooms have been booked for New Year's Eve, taking potential clients away from the hotels."
For the full results of the survey, check http://www.newyorkhotels.org/press/newyearseve-2014.html

Τρίτη, 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2014

Tourism in Antarctica Could Potentially Hurt Penguins

Certainly Antarctica is the most pristine place on earth although it is not as unspoiled as may be imagined. For more than a hundred years people have travelled to Antarctica and most parts have now been visited. More than just footprints have been left and more than just photographs have been taken. Tourists are busy exploring the scenery and greeting the penguins who live there, but scientists are raising concerns about how exposure to us could increase their risk of contracting infectious diseases.

Some Antarctic species have been taken to the verge of extinction for economic benefit. Others have been killed, soils have been contaminated, untreated sewage has been discharged into the sea and rubbish that will not decompose or break down has been left behind in even the remotest parts.

According to scientists and disease experts the immune systems of penguins, and other species in the region, are less able to deal with pathogens that are commonplace in the rest of the world because they’ve been isolated for so long with few visitors.

According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, 37,000 tourists ventured to the region during the 2013-2014 season alone, up from an estimated 8,000 about two decades ago.

Avian pox caused a mass die-off of an estimated 400 Gentoo penguins, one of Antarctica’s four species of penguin, in 2006. That was followed by another die-off two years later. According to scientists some diseases may have been brought there by migratory birds, but they suspect we’re also responsible. The possibility of a disease outbreak also adds to the threats penguins are already facing as a result of a warming world and a growing human population. Tourists might add to the equation, but they’re not the only bearers of responsibility for the threats that could potentially impact their survival.

As the study reveals, “pollution, increased connectivity, and global environmental change affecting pathogens and vectors at high latitudes are likely to drive future disease emergence in this region.”

Recently attitudes have changed as we begin to realise that there are few unvisited places left on earth and that they are tremendously important to humanity. Antarctica’s clean air, water and ice of are of importance to science for understanding how the Earth’s environment is changing both naturally and as a result of human activity. Climate change, is already believed to be a major threat to the future survival of penguins, is also expected to result in more species coming into the area who could potentially bring diseases with them.  It could also make them more vulnerable, affecting their overall health, by altering their habitat and impacting the availability of food sources they rely on.

Claire Christian of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, said, “Climate change may result in a number of stressors that make it more difficult for penguin populations to deal with disease.”

According to the study’s authors more monitoring efforts will be undertaken to keep watch on infectious diseases in penguins who live in Antarctica and as we increase our presence there and the climate continues to change and that the nations involved in the Antarctic Treaty will put protective measures in place

The Industrial Hub City of Butler Welcomes New Hampton Inn

BUTLER, Pa. and MCLEAN, Va. - Hampton HotelsHilton Worldwide's global brand of more than 2,000 mid-priced Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Hampton by Hilton hotels, today announced the official opening of its newest property, the 80-room Hampton Inn Butler, located at 610 Butler Crossing in Butler.
"On behalf of the staff of Hampton Inn Butler, I am pleased to announce our opening to our city rich in beautiful scenery and history," said Danielle Hixon, general manager. "I am confident our guests will enjoy our complimentary amenities and friendly staff as they explore all that Butler and the surrounding areas have to offer." 
The hotel is owned by Butler Hotel Associates, LP, and managed/operated by Horizon Hospitality LLC.  It is the 88th Hampton property in the state.
As the birthplace of Jeep, Butler is not only known as an industrial center of its county. The new hotel is also nearby area attractions and businesses including Butler Farm Show, Moraine State Park, Grove City Prime Outlets and Slippery Rock University. Guests of Hampton Inn Butler will be conveniently located less than an hour from the city of Pittsburgh.
The hotel offers amenities, such as a heated indoor pool, free hot breakfast and Hampton's On the Run breakfast bagTM and 24-hour fitness center. Hampton Inn Butler also features Hampton's Perfect Mix Lobby, designed as an extension of the guestroom with a variety of seating and lighting options for both leisure and business travelers. Guestrooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, an LCD flat-screen TV and the brand's signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed®.
Hampton Hotels fosters a unique culture of hospitality called Hamptonality.  This term describes each hotel's approach to friendly customer service, anticipating guests' needs and providing travelers with helpful suggestions about area attractions, historical facts and fun things to do around town.  Additionally, hotels are infused with local photography and artwork, highlighting each property's connection and support to its own community. 
Hampton Inn Butler participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles® and No Blackout Dates.
For more information or to make reservations, please visit Hampton Inn Butler or call    +1 724 431 2400
Read more about Hampton Hotels at www.hampton.com and news.hampton.com.

Tourism Ireland’s €1 million ad campaign for 2015

Tourism Ireland’s €1 million marketing campaign for 2015 was launched this week, targeting audiences in Britain, the US and Continental Europe.
It coincided with the Christmas holiday period and was aimed at people planning holidays in 2015.
Ads promoting Ireland as a tourist destination also began airing on Friday on American television networks ABC, NBC and CBS across seven cities – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco – during primetime slots. These are all vital gateway cities for Irish tourism – with direct flights to the island of Ireland. The Ireland ads will air around premium entertainment programmes with large audiences over the holiday period, including the high profile New Year’s Eve Countdown, and the Kennedy Center Honors. The ads will reach millions more Americans when they also run on the online channels of the various TV networks, in five cities. The campaign will also see Ireland advertising on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) around season five of the hugely popular Downton Abbey in January and February; and also around the re-run of series four, during December.
The campaign includes three new ads – for Dublin and Wicklow, the Wild Atlantic Way and Northern Ireland. The soundtrack is the hit single “Love Like This” by popular Dublin rock band Kodaline.
The organisation will cover the front and back pages of Daily Telegraph in Britain this week. The ad will feature images of the Cliffs of Moher, Eyries village on the Beara Peninsula in Co Cork, Powerscourt Gardens and Dublin.
Other components of the ad campaign include collaboration with the Mail Online website to promote Dublin as a tourist destination by highlighting favourite haunts of celebrities including Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jay-Z when they are in town. Ads promoting Dublin also appeared this month in cinemas in France and Germany, reaching up to four million French and 750,000 German viewers.
Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland’s CEO, said: “2014 will be another record year for visitor numbers to the island of Ireland from the United States. By the end of this year, we will have welcomed about 1.2 million American visitors – contributing more than US$1 billion to our economy. Tourism Ireland has had a very busy programme of promotions right throughout 2014, keeping the island of Ireland to the forefront of American consumers’ minds as a premier vacation destination. We aim to build on this success in 2015.”

Spending by tourists visiting the UK is expected to reach record levels in 2015

Spending by tourists during trips to the UK is set to reach record levels in 2015 according to VisitBritain.
Forecasts from VisitBritain, the nation's tourism bureau, predict inbound tourism spend to rise by 4.5 percent in 2015 with visitors from overseas expected to spend £22.2 billion – an increase of almost £1 billion on 2014 (with spend forecast to be £21.3 billion for this year).
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said, “The tourism sector is driving economic growth for Britain. The Olympic Games and Diamond Jubilee gave us a great platform to showcase the best of Britain but we didn’t stop there and have kept up the momentum in the last two years.
“Britain has so much to offer tourists with our stunning countryside, great heritage and world-class sport and culture. Working closely with the tourism industry we will continue to champion the UK abroad as part of our long-term economic plan.”
According to the nationwide tourism figures released growth from Chinese tourists has been particularly strong in the last four years and tourism bosses have recently unveiled plans to try to attract more Chinese visitors to Yorkshire and the UK.

More Advanced Technology needed to Locate Missing Planes

In 2014, we are celebrating the 100 years of commercial flight but despite today’s advanced technology, it is clear that we can’t locate a downed plane immediately.
It's not completely clear what kind of tracking devices were available on the missing Air Asia Flight, but experts say even with some of the best technology it can still be difficult to locate a downed plane immediately.
Experts say the plane would have had a transponder to communicate with radar run by air traffic control during the flight. The transponder works by alerting air traffic control about the plane's location and its altitude. If the transponder is disabled, either by someone on board or due to a crash, then air traffic control could look for unidentified signals on radar to see if the plane might still be in the air.
Planes typically relay maintenance information in flight to their manufacturers or airlines. This data can also help track a lost plane like Air France Flight 447, which crashed in the Atlantic in 2009.
In the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the technology is called ACARS, for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System. The system sends different sorts of information between the plane and airlines and manufacturers on the ground. Depending on the sophistication of the information, the airline might receive the information itself or rely on the manufacturer to relay it for a fee.
The sophistication of the service depends on what the airline would like to spend. For example, Boeing promotes a service called custom alerting and analysis, which is available for 777, 747 and 787 aircraft with high-speed Internet connections. It monitors fuel, flight controls, landing gear, hydraulic power and communications.
"The major carriers collect it themselves because they have the capability of processing it and deciphering it and so forth," said David Greenberg, who worked 27 years at Delta Air Lines and is now an airline consultant as president of Compass Group. "My understanding is that Malaysia doesn't subscribe to the Boeing program and that they collect the data for their own use."
This missing AirAsia aircraft is an Airbus A320-200. The Airbus A330 in the Air France crash had sophisticated messaging that reported problems with airspeed and altitude that helped track down the missing plane and this is how they find the plane.
The Malaysian Airlines flight also had a key piece of equipment from telecommunications company Inmarsat that allowed the plane to "ping" a satellite even after the transponder was disabled. As a result of data gathered by Inmarsat, authorities were able to eventually find that MH370 flew for hours after the transponder was disabled and likely crashed in the Indian Ocean.
However, the missing AirAsia flight was not outfitted with Inmarsat technology, according to an email from Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin.
In the event no sign of the plane is found, the search team can use underwater microphones to see if they can hear a ping from the plane's black boxes. Each has a 30-day underwater locater pinger that could allow ships to locate jetliner more easily.
We believe a new standard should be researched and implemented immediately to track planes in a better way.
Source: USA Today, ABC News

SpringHill Suites Adds Security Checkpoint Experience at Oakland Airport

OAKLAND, CA—SpringHill Suites opened an Experience Zone at Oakland International Airport’s Terminal 2 security checkpoint, making it the brand’s first on the West Coast.     
Partnering with the Port of Oakland, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), SecurityPoint Media and Clear Channel Airports, the transformed security checkpoint was designed to offer new levels of comfort and service to travelers at the airport while still maintaining the highest levels of security. SpringHill Suites’ core elements of style and design permeate the space with modern furniture, wall art features, lighting, music, custom video content and a display with current queue wait times. A post-screening area outfitted with soft seating options welcomes travelers to gather their belongings.
“We have received tremendous feedback from travelers who have experienced the transformed security zones in some of the countries busiest airports,” stated Craig Fowler, senior director, SpringHill Suites brand marketing. “We are excited to be able to continue to extend the hospitality of SpringHill Suites by providing enhanced surroundings and unexpected moments of relief to busy travelers.”
Debuting at Oakland’s Experience Zone are three integrated projection screens, each 15-ft. wide, displaying a continuous, stylized video aimed to bring a calming effect over the entire zone, according to the company.
“This latest conversion in Oakland is the most dramatic to date. Balancing the unique culture of each airport with the science of queue theory has proven to redefine the screening area as a point of service excellence,” stated Joe Ambrefe, CEO, SecurityPoint Media.
"We're committed to providing our customers with a travel environment that's as safe, secure, smooth and relaxing as possible," stated Port of Oakland Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint. "We firmly believe that the goals of security and service are compatible with one another. Partnering with SpringHill Suites and SecurityPoint Media to install the checkpoint of the future will make a traditionally great Oakland travel experience even better."