Τετάρτη, 30 Απριλίου 2014

Celebrities and Industry Presidents Attend Ultratravel Forum 2014

Celebrities and Industry Presidents are joining the line-up for the Ultratravel Forum 2014 and the ULTRAs Dinner at The Dorchester Hotel in London’s Park Lane on Monday 19 May from 12.30pm.
The Ultratravel Forum will be addressed by an exclusive list of celebrities who will form a luxury Consumer Panel including Piers Morgan, the Hotel Inspector’s Alex Polizzi, journalist Celia Walden and Emma Freud OBE.  They join industry Presidents and CEOs from the world of business, luxury and travel.
A Presidents Panel, including industry leaders and CEOs from the world of business, luxury and travel will discuss the latest trends influencing the luxury travel industry today and in the future.  The Panel will include Gerald Lawless of Jumeirah; Christopher Norton of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Larry Pimentel of Azamara Club Cruises; Phil Asker of private jet tour operator Captain’s Choice, John Scott III of Belmond and Laurie Berryman of Emirates.
Other speakers include trend forecaster and ‘Stuffocation’ author, James Wallman, who will explain the key cultural shift in the 21st century from materialism to experientialism, and its relevance to today's luxury travel industry.  In addition, The Economist's Executive Editor, Daniel Franklin will present the publication’s latest findings on the business, economic and political developments across the business world.

All sessions will include an open Q&A, giving all attendees the opportunity to address the experts and senior figures on stage with any questions, ensuring that all important issues can be covered and answered.

The Ultratravel Forum will be followed that evening by the presentation of the 2014 ULTRAs – the Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards – as voted by the readers of the UK edition of Ultratravel magazine. The ULTRAs – also at The Dorchester will commence with a welcome reception at 6pm, with the dinner and presentations at 7pm. The formal evening proceedings will finish at 9.30pm, with all guests then invited to stay for the post-dinner drinks reception.
The last few places for the day can be reserved at www.ultratravelforum.com.

Delivering Aviation Sustainability Through Unity of Purpose

Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all aviation stakeholders to stay focused and unified to deliver a vision for a sustainable aviation future.
“Throughout the first 100 years of commercial passenger flight, aviation has demonstrated a proud history of teamwork and delivered innovation that has changed our world dramatically,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, at the 7th Air Transport Action Group Environmental Summit in Geneva.
“The strength of the aviation industry’s response to the environmental challenge has been founded on our unity of purpose. The industry has been clear with its call for a global environmental solution and a commitment to three sequential carbon-reduction targets. Working together, we have demonstrated progress with more efficient operations, investments in technology and by driving improvements in the use of infrastructure,” he said.
Tyler reminded the delegates that the industry must remain focused on:
  • Finding ways for biofuels to deliver a real contribution to aviation’s environmental performance.
  • Making the balanced approach work even harder to manage issues around aircraft noise.
  • Ensuring that a global mandatory carbon offsetting scheme is implemented to help the industry achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020.
Although the decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to agree a framework for a global market based measure (MBM) by its next assembly, to be implemented by 2020, was an important milestone, Tyler noted that the hard work is yet to come.
“The discussions on the details of the MBM will not be easy, but we must stay the course. If we remain united, we earn our license to grow with our stakeholders and our passengers. And we will have the strength to find solutions to the challenges that are likely to emerge—particularly with respect to the development of a global MBM.
As an industry, we are 100 years old. But I am absolutely convinced that this industry is only just getting started. The best is yet to come. And sustainability will be a critical key to unlocking our future and the benefits that aviation will deliver to the world,” said Tyler.

KSA & UAE travellers are top mobile online users in Middle East

Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions

50% of Saudi Arabian and 35% of UAE travellers use smart phones to access online services

The Arabian Travel Market’s (ATM) Travel Technology Theatre which runs alongside the ATM exhibition from Monday 5 to Thursday 8 May 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, will focus its attention on the effect mobile and internet penetration is having on the regional travel industry.

Sponsored by Sabre, the travel technology solutions provider, this year’s series will feature four sessions that will specifically examine the effect of mobile devices on regional online booking patterns and the action and future direction that marketing professionals need to take.  

Commenting about a report on travel trade website Tbnooz.com, Mark Walsh Portfolio Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of ATM, said:

“Of the regional travelers who generally plan their trips online, 48% had used a smart phone during the previous 12 months to carry out travel-related activities, a figure that rises to 69% if tablets are included. Indeed, 50% and 35% of Saudi and UAE travelers respectively access online services via their smart phones, presenting travel professionals with tremendous marketing opportunities, using mobile channels.”

However, the Middle East’s online, let alone its mobile travel market, is only scratching the surface. Given the region’s demographics, in particular a young growing population, and the fact according to Cisco, the number of mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa will rise exponentially from the current 133 million to 598 million devices by 2017, the trend is likely to accelerate in the years ahead.  
One session, ‘The impact of mobile in travel’ which is being moderated by Nick Hall from the digital tourism think tank, will no doubt intensify the competition between regional and national tourism organisations, which will have to maintain a competitive edge when creating their digital marketing strategies. To that end an innovative "fish tank" interactive debate will engage global thought leaders to identify the opportunities and solutions that will help secure the future of tourism destinations.
An interesting seminar run by PhoCusWright Inc, entitled ‘Middle East travel online today, mobile tomorrow’, will look at several local and global brands already competing in the emerging online travel space, as well as highlighting that the mobile channel is almost virgin territory and travel companies need to create loyalty or risk being left behind such is the pace of change. Globally more than 40% of online traffic related to travel enquiries now come from mobile devices including tablets, says HeBS Digital, while tablets are preferred for booking future travel according to Mobiquity research.  
‘How airlines and other travel companies have approached and are succeeding on mobile’ is a dedicated session presented by Kara Moddemann, industry manager, travel MENA at Google, for the airline and related travel agency sector. This will make delegates aware of how travelers use mobiles to research, book and share their travel experience, as well as how to reach them with relevant marketing messages. Typically 44% of travellers will use their smart phone to research travel while they are actually travelling, according to a JiWire travel report.
‘Mobile in today’s online experience’ is the final panel discussion that will examine how travel organisations can adapt to mobile marketing, such as ensuring websites are mobile optimised, as well as learning some tips of how to use social media platforms that are prominent in the mobile space. According to Atmosphere research Group, a shopper will visit 22 websites before booking a trip.
“The growing travel technology trend is also evident on the exhibition floor with a record 72 exhibitors participating this year, covering more than 2,000 square metres of floor space, a 22% increase over last year,” remarked Walsh.

In total the Sabre Travel Technology Theatre will cover 18 hi-tech sessions, with 34 industry experts voicing their opinion, through a series of presentations and panel discussions.

For more information on Arabian Travel Market 2014, please log on to: www.arabiantravelmarket.com

Norwegian Cruise Line Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter 2014

Announces $500 Million Share Repurchase Programme
Revenue Improvement of 26% driven by New Capacity and Higher Net Yield
Strong Growth in Adjusted EPS

Wiesbaden, April 29, 2014 – Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ: NCLHNorwegian Cruise LinHoldings Ltd., NCL Corporation Ltd.,Norwegian or the Company”), today reported results for thquarter ended March 31, 2014, and provided guidance for the secondquarter and full year 2014ThCompany also announced that its Board of Directors today has authorized a three-year, $500millioshare repurchasprogramme.

First Quarter Highlights

·      Adjusted EPS improvement to $0,23 from $0,06 i2013
·      Net Yield increasof 3,8% (3,9% on a Constant Currency basis)
·      Revenuincreasof 25,9% t$664,0 million
·      Adjusted EBITDA increasof 39,6% t$139,3 million; 20basis point margin improvement
·      Successfuintroductioof NorwegiaGetaway tthe fleet

First Quarter Results
Our strong resultin the quarter include an almost four-fold increase in earningon an adjusted basis,” said Kevin Sheehan, Presidentand Chief Executive Officeof Norwegian Cruise Line. With both Breakaway-class ships noin our fleet, it is easy to appreciate theimpact of their impressive earningpower, which includes commanding double-digit premiumover other Norwegian shipin the sameitinerary, continued Sheehan.
For the first quarter of 2014, the Company reported an increase in Adjusted EPS to $0,23 on AdjusteNet Income of $49,6 millioncompared to $0,06 and $12,9 million, respectively for the same period i2013On GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share and netincome were $0,24 and $51,3 million, respectively.
Net Revenue in the period increased 27,8% to $499,3 million, driven by a 23,2% increase in CapacitDays and a 3,8%improvement in Net YieldThe increase in Capacity Days was primarily from thaddition of Norwegian Breakaway and NorwegianGetaway to thfleet in May 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The Net Yielimprovement of 3,8% or 3,9% on a Constant Currencybasis, was a result ohigher passenger ticket and on-board and other revenueRevenue for the period increased to $664,0 millionfrom $527,6 million i2013.
AdjusteNet CruisCosexcludinFuepeCapacitDaincrease3,7% (3,4% on a ConstanCurrency basis) mainly due toinaugural and launch-related costfor Norwegian Getaway along witincremental expensefor the planned dry-dock of NorwegianSpiritThe Companyfuel price per metriton, net of hedges, was $643 compared to $673 in 2013. Fuel consumption perCapacity Day in thquarter decreased 6,8% which excludes an additional benefit of 0,7% from dockside charters fovesseluseasfloatinhotels.
Interest expense, net for the quarter wa$31,2 million compared to $127,7 million in 2013Interesexpense, net i201include$90,5millioin charges relateto thprepayment of certain credit facilitieand the redemption of certain of the Companys senior noteswith proceeds from both the Companyinitial public offering and other transactionsExcluding these charges, Adjusted InterestExpense, newas $37,2 millioin 2013The year-over-year reduction iinterest expense is due tlower interest ratein the periodresulting from the Companys capital structure optimization initiatives carried out in 201which more than offset the impact fromhigher debt balances related to the financinfor Norwegian Breakaway anNorwegiaGetaway.
ThCompany recordean incomtax benefit of $9,4 million comparetaexpensof $2,2 millioithprior year. The income taxbenefit i2014 is primarily related to the electioof aalt