Παρασκευή, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Meet the Speakers at the 3rd PATAcademy-HCD in December

Technology is a vital driving factor behind innovations that are affecting our daily life and our business. How can we use technology to differentiate ourselves among competitors and become successful? An impressive group of coaches at the 3rd PATAcademy-HCD will enrich, entertain and help participants reshape their innovative thinking process in a series of interactive programmes. The 3rd PATAcademy-HCD under the theme, “The Future of Tourism Technology” will take place on December 2-4, 2014 in the PATA Engagement Hub at the headquarters of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr Mario Hardy, Incoming CEO, PATA said, “We live in a world of fast pace changes where the status quo is being challenged constantly. Over the past decades some leading brands have lost their fame and are now part of history books. Others have launched and are reshaping industries, think Netflix, Uber, AirBnB…. Participants will learn about the businesses that are changing our life and how they may disrupt your sector. What should you do? Disrupt or be disrupted?”

Confirmed speakers at the 3rd PATAcademy-HCD include Bronwyn White, Director, MyTravelResearch.com, Australia; Dustin Main, Co-Founder of TooManyAdapters.com; Jeanette See, Director Marketing, Asia Pacific; Justin Malcolm, General Manager, Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11, Thailand; Omar Rizvi, Vice President, Finance, Fingi; Mario Hardy, Incoming CEO, PATA; Stuart ‘Stu’ Lloyd, Chief Hothead & Business Creativity Consultant, Hotheads, China; and Venkat Chandramoleshwar, Head of Product Marketing, APAC Travel, Google, Singapore.

Cancun-Riviera Maya is the Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America & the Caribbean

The Governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo has welcomed the honor of Golf Destination of the year for Latin America and the Caribbean which has been given to Cancun/Riviera Maya by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards.

He emphasized the importance of such recognition of the Mexican Caribbean by the leading global golf tourism organization.

“This represents another reason why Quintana Roo, as a tourist destination, constantly maintains its leadership in service and infrastructure and always guarantees quality,” he said.

“The golf courses in Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel have generated great interest among international golfers, proof of which are the competitions known throughout the world that are growing year by year. Quintana Roo has everything for those who love golf as well as for their companions, either family or friends,” noted Tourism Secretary Laura Fernandez Piña, who was presented with the award at the 2015 IAGTO Awards gala dinner, held in front of 1,500 golf tourism industry professionals on the final night of the International Golf Travel Market at Villa Erba, Lake Como, in Italy.

She added that it was an accolade that rewarded the region’s contribution to the golf industry and was an achievement to obtain.  “For this reason, the Mexican Caribbean is proud to receive this award, with its commitment to maintain customer satisfaction, quality and infrastructure of its golf courses and the high quality of service that characterizes us.”

Governor Borge reaffirmed Quintana Roo’s commitment to work hand in hand with the private sector to ensure it kept up the standards to merit this important award.

“We will continue to maintain our characteristic hospitality, infrastructure and to providing quality service and a warm welcome to our visitors,” he said.

There were five Golf Destination of the Year winners in the IAGTO Awards – one in each of five regional categories: North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, Africa & Gulf States, Asia & Australasia. They were voted for by IAGTO’s 500+ golf tour operators from 61 different countries. Each operator was asked to nominate what they considered to be the best performing golf destinations enjoyed by their golf travelling clients.

Source:- IAGTO

nternational tourism shows continued strength

International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 5% during the first eight months of 2014 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Despite geopolitical challenges and a lingering economic recovery, tourism demand was strong during the northern hemisphere high season of June to August.

International tourists (overnight visitors) travelling the world between January and August 2014 reached 781 million, 36 million more than in the same period of 2013. With a 5% increase, international tourism continued to grow well above the long-term trend projected by UNWTO for the period 2010-2020 (+3.8%). The peak months of June, July and August, which account for about one third of the total of the year, saw an increase of 4% compared to the same months of 2013.

By region, the strongest growth was registered in the Americas (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+5%) and Europe (+4%). By subregion, North America (+9%) and South Asia (+8%) were the star performers, as well as Southern and Mediterranean Europe, Northern Europe, North-East Asia and South America (all +7%).
“International tourism continues to grow above expectations despite rising global challenges”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “Yet, increasing geopolitical uncertainties and the fact that the global economy shows signs of weaker and uneven growth require our attention”, he added.

Commenting on the possible impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa on tourism, Mr. Rifai said “Although it is too premature to assess the full impact of the outbreak on the tourism sector, at this point we do not expect a major effect on the sector globally.”
“International tourism in countries where there is widespread transmission (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) represents less than 1% of all international arrivals to African destinations. Yet we have to be aware that misperception about the outbreak is affecting the whole of Africa. On the upside, and according to information gathered from our African Member States and key tour operators and associations in major source markets, there are no significant cancellations to report, despite a certain slowdown in bookings”.

Mr. Rifai recalled that the 3rd meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee regarding the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 23 October 2014 “reiterated its recommendation that there should be no general ban on international travel or trade.”
“Most importantly, we need to urgently step up international efforts to support affected countries to contain the outbreak, ensure that WHO recommendations are implemented and provide, at all moments, transparent and timely information to fight misperception and fear, and minimize the spillover effects to the whole region”, he added.

10 things you need to know

1. MP Ray Stevens new “Cable Guy” in 100 MIL. Gold Coast Tourism proposal

Mp ray stevens - karryon
Pictured: MP Ray Stevens.
MP Ray Stevens has revealed his involvement in a $100 million Gold Coast tourism proposal, insisting he has been given the green light by the Integrity Commissioner.
“I wish to advise the house of my financial interest as an investor and adviser to a consortium of prominent Queensland businessmen who are announcing today a proposal to build a $100 million tourism infrastructure cable car project from Neranwood to Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland,” he said.
While the Minister has admitted to his involvement, he has also stated that he will have no part in the application or the decision making process and that he will “adhere to that requirement in absolute totality”.
A similar scheme, also involving Mr Stevens, was mooted 16 years ago but scuttled by the then Labor government.

2. Asian visitors fuelling tourism boom in Australia

australian tourism - karryon
Tourism Research Australia has released a report claiming that a surge in tourism numbers to Australia will be prompted by visitors from China, India and Singapore.
Released this week, the report states that inbound tourism to Australia is set to rise by 10.5 per cent for China, 6.6 per cent for India and 5.8 per cent for Singapore.
Last year, Asian markets accounted for 47 per cent of total Australian tourism exports.
“As the global economy recovers from recent financial disasters, the economic climate for tourism is hopeful,” the report said.
According to Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan, the report shows that the nation is undoubtedly making progress toward the Tourism 2020 goals.
“There’s more to be done in hotel accommodation supply, but the feedback from the investors Tourism Australia and Austrade have been talking to at the recent HICAP conference in Hong Kong indicates to me that there is certainly confidence and a growing appetite for investment in Australia’s tourism infrastructure,” he said.

3. Tigerair offers freaky deals for Halloween

tigerair - karryon
Image Source: Yahoo! News.
Tigerair Australia is getting into the spirit of Halloween with a spooky promotion offering thousands of airfares across Australia on sale at the frightfully low price of (AUD) $13.
Tigerair Australia Head of Communications, Vanessa Regan says air travel deals don’t get much better than this and urges bargain hunters to pounce on the Tigerair website this evening from 8pm to secure a fantastic air travel deal.
“As the airline that consistently provides great value airfares, the only real trick to securing the best value treats with Tigerair is to plan ahead and book early,” she said.
“Our Halloween sale, which is on this evening for a strictly limited time, is likely to surprise, shock and sweeten your senses. The travel deals are hidden behind your choice of a trick or treat so choose wisely.”

4. Camera-shy koala assists in boosting Tropical North Queensland’s profile

shy koala - karryon
A camera-shy koala has helped Tropical North Queensland reach 100,000 fans on its Facebook page.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Director Destination Content Kate Duffysaid countless pictures of people cuddling koalas had been posted on social media, but this was the first time she has seen a koala refuse to pose for the camera.
“The image of Tiana hiding behind a tree at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas struck a chord with our Facebook fans when we challenged them to caption the quirky photo for us,” she said.
“Australia’s animals are a popular feature on our Facebook page, so it’s only fitting that one of our most popular has helped us achieve this latest social media milestone.”
Wildlife Habitat’s Director of Sales and Marketing Ben Woodward said Tiana was considered a very special koala by staff as she was severely ill when she was rescued from the wild around Tinana near the Sunshine Coast.
“She was rehabilitated, but unfortunately was unable to be released. Wildlife Habitat applied for her to live up here, so she came to us in February of this year,” he said.
Tropical North Queensland receives more than 400 photos per week from fans and tourism operators.
They welcome contributions from the public who can share their photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #exploreTNQ.”

5. World Travel Market Portfolio generates 6.5 BIL. in industry deals

business travel - karryon
The World Travel Market, which takes place in London every November, is the WTM Portfolio’s largest event spanning 35 years with 5,000 exhibitors and 50,000 participants.
World Travel Market 2013 was responsible for (US) $3.7 billion in industry contracts for exhibitors negotiating business deals with more than 8,500 buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club.
A poll of World Travel Market exhibitors and buyers revealed more than one in two expect to conduct more business of a greater value at this year’s event than they did in 2014. This should see the WTM Portfolio facilitate deals approaching a value of (US) $7 billion for the calendar year of 2014.
Examples of business deals conducted at WTM 2013 include London West End Theatre ticket company Encore, which signed contract worth (US) $8.3 million and tour board Andalucia, which signed agreements with five different tour operators in one day.

6. APT wins over hearts in WA

the kimberly - karryon
Australia’s leading domestic tour operator, APT, was named the winner of the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism at the prestigious 2014 Perth Airport Western Australia Tourism Awards.
APT also picked up a Silver Medal in the Major Tour and/or Transport Operator category at the awards, which saw medallists awarded in 30 categories at a Gala Dinner held at the Crown Perth on Saturday 25 October 2014. In addition, APT Driver Guide and Cruise Director, Jane Ballantyne, was also a finalist in the FACET Golden Guide Award category.
Accepting the awards on behalf of APT was the General Manger for itsKimberley and Outback Wilderness Adventures, Rob Tandy.
“It’s a huge honour to accept these accolades, especially given the incredibly high standard of travel and tourism product on offer in this region,” he said.
“To be named outright winner for theQantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism is particularly pleasing.”

7. MSC and Lego team up to build on customer enjoyment at sea

lego - karryon
MSC Cruises and the LEGO Group have joined forces to create the shipboard LEGO® playrooms and entertainment options for families with children.
Under the agreement, the LEGO Group will design new play areas on MSC Armonia. MSC guests will have the opportunity to discover it from November 2014.
The LEGO Group will supply a broad selection of its world-famous construction toys and games for all ages.
“This agreement will bring a new level of family enjoyment with this top class global brand that showcases excellence in this field”, Lynne Clarke, MSC Cruises Managing Director said.
“MSC Cruises has been offering the LEGO toys on all 12 ships in the fleet, but this is an opportunity to bring MSC guests more dedicated products and areas for our younger travellers”.
The Renaissance ships will have separate clubs and facilities for five age groups, namely Baby (under 3s); Mini (3-6); Junior (7-11); Young (12-14) and Teen (15-17).
All these features will be available free of charge, and will be replicated on the two new additional ships of the MSC fleet to be delivered in 2017.

8. Crystal cruises celebrates 21 years atop the Condé Naste Readers’ Choice Awards

crystal cruises - karryon
Crystal Cruises will embark on its 25th anniversary of ultra-luxe cruising by celebrating a record 21 years as Condé Nast Traveler magazine Readers’ Choice No.1 “Midsize Cruise Ship Line.”  Crystal’s winning score of 90.142 was the highest of all Small, Midsize, and Large-ship cruise lines.
“It is an extraordinary honour to be recognised as the No. 1 Midsize Cruise Ship Line by the well-travelled and discerning readers of Condé Nast Traveler for a record 21 years,” said Crystal president and COO, Edie Rodriguez.
“Winning this award demonstrates how highly our guests value our commitment to creating the ultimate luxury cruise experience.”
Crystal has invested more than US$140 million in extreme ship makeovers in recent years, including a US$17 million dry dock renovation of Crystal Serenity in November 2013.
Crystal also recently revealed a new (US) $20 million look to Crystal Symphony, following a two-week dry dock.  The extreme makeover brought contemporary and elegant new design features to the ship’s Crystal Plaza and Crystal Cove Bar. Upgrades included a new outdoor fitness garden featuring a “curated self-guided Movement Journey”, redesigned spa and casino spaces, fitness equipment upgrades in the indoor fitness centre, along with additional PURE allergy-friendly staterooms and technological upgrades.

9. Malaysia’s tourist arrivals up by almost 10 per cent

malaysia - rikshaw- karryon
Tourist arrivals to Malaysia continue to grow despite a challenging year, and the country is a step closer to achieving the 28 million tourist arrivals target in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.  
From January to July 2014, Malaysia welcomed a total of 16.1 million tourists, registering a hike of 9.7 per cent compared to 14.7 million tourist arrivals for the same period last year.
The top 10 tourist generating markets to Malaysia from January to July 2014 were Singapore (8,236,079), Indonesia (1,583,786), China (997,370), Brunei (699,763), Thailand (773,160), India (445,431), Australia (347,355), the Philippines (362,139), Japan (308,418) and Taiwan (168,962). July alone saw a total of 2,229,920 tourist arrivals, with the ASEAN region contributing 74 per cent. Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam registered the highest growth (40 per cent), followed by Indonesia (23.3 per cent), Brunei (10 per cent), Cambodia (10 per cent) the Philippines (8.5 per cent) and Thailand (3.6 per cent).

10. Hamilton Island receives accolades for brand-spanking new website

hamilton island - karryon
Great Barrier Reef island paradise has been brought a few clicks closer with the launch of Hamilton Island’s new-look website, recently awarded ‘Best New Website’ at the TRAVELtech 2014 Web Awards.
Developed in partnership with brand communications and innovation agency Deepend, the revamped Hamiltonisland.com.au site provides a clean and engaging user experience across multiple devices.
Aida Merdovic, Hamilton Island’s Director of Online said putting the customer first at every stage of development was a key priority.
“We wanted to make the online path to purchase as streamlined as possible; from exploring, to planning, to ultimately booking flights, accommodation and experiences,” she said.

“We also know our customers are visiting our site at various stages of this journey and require different information depending on their travel intent. To address this need for tailored content, we have introduced three separate homepage tabs – Explore, Plan, Book – to allow customers to quickly access the information they are looking for.”
was sourced from CarryON

Meliá Hotels to Open Seventh Hotel in Italy

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN—Meliá Hotels International will open Meliá Campione later this year in the region of Campione d'Italia, marking its seventh hotel in the country.
The 41-room hotel is located in the province of Como in Lombardy, an Italian tax-free zone bordering Switzerland, and is proximate Lugano.
Located on the shores of Lake Lugano, Meliá Campione sits next to the Campione Casino, built in 1933, and near the region’s other attractions, including the marina, the Oratory of Saint Peter and the Parish Museum.

“This beautiful Italian province, halfway between Italy and Switzerland and blessed by Lake Lugano, is an area of great potential for the luxury hotel and travel industry and puts Meliá Hotels International in a strong position in the Italian market,” stated Gabriel Escarrer, vice chairman/CEO.
Meliá Campione will include all-day dining and a YHI Spa & Wellness Center.

Meliá is managing the hotel for international investment group The Khamas, which includes more than 120 companies in sectors such as real estate development, contracting and construction, hotels, manufacturing, franchising and education.
“We are proud to partner with Meliá Hotels International for our upcoming boutique property at Campione and they are our preferred partners in UAE and globally,” stated Bader Bukhamas, Khamas Group of Investment Cos.’ chairman.

First Hyatt Place Hotel Opens in Panama

Hyatt Place Santiago/Vitacura Guest Room

PANAMA CITY—Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Immobiliare Real Estate Development Group have opened Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown.  
The hotel’s opening marks the first Hyatt-branded hotel to enter the Panamanian market and the continued expansion of the Hyatt Place brand throughout Latin America.

“We believe Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown will bring a new standard of hospitality to the area and provide a perfect blend of style, service and amenities that exceed guest expectations,” said Myles McGourty, SVP, Latin America and the Caribbean for Hyatt.
The 165-room Hyatt Place Panama City/Panama is located in the city’s financial zone in the banking district. The hotel is located 25 minutes from Tocumen International Airport, and is near the Atlapa Convention Center.

Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown offers rooms with a swiveling 42-in. HDTV, the signature Hyatt Grand Bed and a Cozy Corner with sectional sofa-sleeper. The hotel has five meeting rooms totaling 4,500 sq. ft. An outdoor, rooftop swimming pool offers views of Panama City.

Wales attracts the luxury cruise market and experiences over 30 percent increase in cruise calls in 2014

With cruise calls up by 34 percent over the past two years and a further ten percent increase projected for 2015, the economic impact of cruise to the Welsh economy was £2.4 million in 2013 and is anticipated to be worth even more by December 2014.

For 2015, Wales will have over 30 cruise calls from UK, Germany, US/Canada and France, with new and larger vessels coming into Wales as well as being more visible on the smaller, luxury ship itineraries.

One of the largest ships coming to Holyhead for the first time in 2015 is the new Celebrity Silhouette, which carries 3,200 passengers.    The luxury market is also putting Wales firmly on the map in 2015 with upmarket operator Prestige (now owned by NCL) making four calls into Holyhead with its exclusive ships sailing under the Regent Seven Seas and Oceania banners. 

The all-suite small luxury ship Corinthian, owned by US operator Travel Dynamics, will also be making four stops in Holyhead and four in Fishguard and luxury French operator Ponant Cruises will be bringing Le Boréal to Holyhead.   In addition, exclusive operator Hebridean Island Cruises (owned by All Leisure Group) is bringing the Hebridean Princess (a ship sometimes chartered by the Queen) to Cardiff – a fitting port of call with its royal connections.

All Leisure Group is also supporting Wales with its other brands: Voyages of Discovery is calling at Holyhead with its ship Voyager and Swan Hellenic’s Minerva is also coming to Wales as part of a joint project with the National Trust.

Suzanne Thomas, Cruise Manager Wales said: “This is an incredibly important development in Wales’ cruise agenda and operators are beginning to realise how much we can offer cruise passengers.  This year we have already welcomed over 20,000 cruise passengers to Wales and we have initiated special workshops and training to ensure that we can deliver new and exciting products for cruise passengers, as well as providing the cruise lines themselves with the facilities they need.”

To cater for the employment prospects offered by the growing cruise industry in Wales, Cruise Wales has recently held recruitment presentations to over 300 students in South Wales colleges, in partnership with Viking recruitment, offering entry level hospitality positions on a five-star cruise line. These will continue in the new year pan Wales.  

The German Ambassador linguistic guide training will also be held in West Wales next year to ensure that Wales can provide German speakers for the cruise lines calling at Fishguard and Milford Haven in 2016.

Wales has six cruise ports which are Newport, Swansea, Cardiff, Milford Haven, Pembroke, Fishguard and Holyhead.  To find out more about Wales and its growing popularity as a cruise destination, visitwww.cruisewales.visitwales.com 

Best Western opens a new luxury hotel in Malaysia

Best Western International’s rapid expansion in Malaysia continues with the addition of a stunning new luxury hotel in the Genting Highlands.
The company is going to manage the brand new BEST WESTERN PREMIER Ion Delemen, Genting Highlands, which is currently under construction and will open in the first quarter of 2016.
“We are making tremendous progress with the expansion of our portfolio in Malaysia, especially in terms of our high-end hotel products,” said Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s Vice President of International Operations for Asia & Middle East.
Nestled amidst the cooling jungle-clad hills of Peninsular Malaysia, the 500-room BEST WESTERN PREMIER Ion Delemen, Genting Highlands, will showcase its spectacular surroundings with a series of amenities that overlook the verdant mountains.
Upon arrival guests will be taken up to the Sky Lobby to check-in, overlooking the forest canopy. The Sky Café will offer a picturesque place to grab bite to eat, while the Sky Garden is an ideal setting in which to relax and enjoy the natural landscapes, surrounded by rippling water features. And the rooftop deck and fire pit provides the perfect venue to unwind at the end of the day.
The hotel’s outstanding array of facilities is completed by an infinity-edged swimming pool, a spa, fitness center, sauna, multi-purpose events hall, restaurant and children’s playground.
Guests will also be able to enjoy golf and horse riding, or take advantage of a wealth of retail and entertainment offerings nearby, which will soon include the world’s first 20th Century Fox theme park.
Best Western International currently operates four hotels in Malaysia, but such is the pace of the company’s expansion in the country, this portfolio will jump to at least 16 hotels in the next three years.

Oriental Medicine Festival in Daegu Celebrates Past and Embraces Future

Daegu’s Yangyeongsi Herb Medicine Cultural Festival enlightened and soothed visitors from October 1st-6thin Republic of Korea.
The festival was held in Yangyeongsi Market, the home of the city’s more than 350-year old tradition of oriental medicine.
The scents of fragrant herbs wafted through the 700-meter alley dubbed Yakjeon Golmok. Shop owners opened their doors to all to pore over and sample wares like teas and herbal medicines. Additionally, acupressure, skin therapy, health tests and diagnoses were offered.
The world of Eastern medicine can be a daunting one for foreigners to venture into but the festival eased the foray for many. Proprietors were gracious, patient, informative and welcoming of the hundreds meandering through the alley.
English-speaking volunteers staffed booths that further eased those new to oriental medicine.
The festival even featured a one-day tour for sixteen foreign guests sponsored by medical tourism programs. The October 4th tour included a guided tour as well as the opportunity to experience a range of treatments and medicines.
American Gary Lynn was among the fortunate sixteen. Post acupressure, he offered, “It worked magic on my back. Even though there was pain during my treatment, I felt much better after getting acupressure therapy.”
A special ceremony also celebrated the Korea’s contribution to oriental medicine. The anniversary of Donguibogam, a compendium of medical knowledge and treatment techniques compiled in 1613, was at the forefront. The book was designated a seventh UNESCO World Heritage in 2009.
At the end of the day, festival attendees reflected on their experience and eased tired feet in the herbal pond situated in front of the Museum of Oriental Medicine.
The annual Oriental Medicine Festival again successfully celebrated its storied history but perhaps more importantly, better embraced its future by becoming even more foreigner-friendly as well as offering more tangible, inviting and interactive opportunities to the uninitiated.

Where do consumers want to go in Q3 2014?

There's been some notable movement beyond the top destinations in terms of where consumers want to travel this quarter.
According to nSight consumer travel intent data, the #1 U.S. destination continues to be New York, followed by Los Angeles and Orlando. For destinations outside the U.S., the top three are Paris, London and Barcelona. Compared to the previous quarter, changes worth noting include:
From a Global Traveler Perspective
  • After making a big move onto the top 20 in Q2, Washington, D.C., held strong increasing to the #17 position for Q3.
  • Moving in and out of the top 20 over the last few quarters, Denver moved up 2 spots to #18.
  • Spain has the most representation in the top destinations list with four cities in the top 20 – Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Valencia.
  • Dubai has growing global appeal increasing 5 positions to #11 for international destinations.
  • nSight-top20destinations
Focusing on U.S. Travelers
  • Honolulu makes the most significant increase moving up 15 positions to rank #15 in the top searched destinations by U.S. travelers for Q3.
  • Dubai continues to be a hot destination of interest for the U.S., moving up 10 spots to #10.
  • Madrid maintains high interest for U.S. travelers, as well as for international, increasing 6 to #13.
  • Rio de Janeiro broke into the top 20 at #16, up 7 positions from the previous quarter.

19.3 million tourists visited Mexico in 8 months

The Bank of Mexico reported that tourism receipts received from international tourists in the first eight months of the year grew 18.1 percent over the same period of 2013.
In its latest report, from January to August 2014, the central bank said 11 million 131 thousand US dollars was received, the figure was 9 million 424 thousand dollars in the same period last year.
The flow of international tourists also showed a significant increase: it was 19 percent higher than that recorded in the same period of 2013, 19.3 million international tourists arrived Mexico this year.
The tourists arriving country by air also increased 10.8 percent and reached from 8.4 to 9.3 million in the first 8 months of 2014.

ANA partners with world renowned hotels and restaurants

ANA will collaborate with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed restaurants in Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
ANA’s in-flight meals will be created in collaboration with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed restaurants in Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Los Angeles on flights from these countries to Japan. World class chefs from the Four Seasons, the Shangri-La, and the Patina Restaurant Group will work with ANA to create bespoke menus for passengers to enjoy on flights to Japan, providing passengers with more choice and variety. Passengers will be able to enjoy local cuisine from the country of departure, in addition to ANA’s traditional Japanese menu. For some international passengers, this may be their first taste of ANA’s in-flight cuisine, whilst for passengers returning home to Japan, these meals will be a deliciously fitting finale to a business trip or holiday.
ANA began collaborating with renowned hotels and chefs on its in-fight menus last year, introducing meals to Taiwan and India route. The extension of this initiative demonstrates ANA’s continued commitment to catering for its diverse international customer base and providing the highest levels of quality and comfort in-flight. This next phase in the initiative will see even more delicious and beautifully-presented meal.

Best Western’s Patong Beach property in Phuket opens

Best Western International has opened a brand new hotel in Phuket: the stylish BEST WESTERN Patong Beach.
Located close to the heart of Phuket’s main tourist area, less than 1km from the famous white sands of Patong Beach, Junceylon shopping center, and a multitude of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, this new contemporary hotel offers a range of modern facilities that make the most of its stunning tropical setting.
The hotel’s 224 contemporary rooms and suites all come equipped with large 32-inch LCD TVs, comfortable beds, minibars and tea and coffee making facilities. And as with all Best Western hotels worldwide, Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the property.
The hotel was officially opened in a ceremony presided over by Glenn de Souza, Best Western International’s Vice President of International Operations for Asia & Middle East, and Maetapong Upatising, Managing Director of the BEST WESTERN Patong Beach.
“Thailand has great potential in terms of tourism. With our large portfolio of hotels across the country, we are catering to a new generation of young travelers who seek modern, convenient services at a reasonable price. Thailand is a very attractive value-for-money destination for young travelers and has many tourist attractions to explore, including culture, nature, entertainment and shopping.
“We look forward to welcoming more guests to Thailand in the years to come,” Mr. de Souza said.
BEST WESTERN Patong Beach will become Best Western International’s 12th hotel in Thailand and its third in Phuket, joining the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Bangtao Beach Resort & Spa and BEST WESTERN Phuket Ocean Resort Phuket.
And Best Western International is also expanding across Southeast Asia, with more than 20 hotels opening in Indonesia, ten in Malaysia and seven in the Philippines, plus other projects in Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Orbitz.com Customers Name Favorite Hotels for 2014

Orbitz.com today announced the winners of the 2014 Best In Stay Awards, which honor nearly 400 top-rated hotels in 75 popular destinations based on reviews by Orbitz customers.
There are up to five Best In Stay winners in each destination, and hotels with the highest customer rating in each destination are given special distinction as a Best In Stay Elite hotel. In addition to the destination winners, Best in Stay and Best in Stay Elite winners were also selected in six categories: Value, Luxury, Family, LGBT, Ski and All-Inclusive.
Orbitz Best In Stay Award winners are selected based on the overall numeric score of verified hotel reviews submitted by Orbitz customers that have booked and stayed at hotels over the past year. Customers are asked to rate a variety of hotel attributes on a scale of 1 to 5, including amenities, maintenance, hotel staff, room comfort, location, and value. Those ratings are supplemented by input from nearly 150 Orbitz hotel experts who factor in other market conditions, such as the number of reviews, frequency of booking and reputation of hotel staff.
2014 Orbitz Best In Stay Elite:Destination Winners in Top 10 Domestic Markets
Las Vegas:
Wynn Las Vegas
New York:The Peninsula New York
Chicago:The Peninsula Chicago
Los Angeles:Montage Beverly Hills
Washington, D.C.:The Hay-Adams
Orlando:The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Denver:Hotel Teatro
San Francisco:Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square
Maui:Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Miami:Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach
2014 Orbitz Best In Stay Elite: Destination Winners in Top 10 International Markets
Excellence Playa Mujeres Cancun
Punta Cana:Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro
London:One Aldwych, London
Jamaica:Half Moon, A Rockresort
Paris:Hotel Bel Ami
Niagara Falls:Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa
Aruba:Bucuti and Tara Beach Resorts
Barcelona:Hotel Casa Fuster
Puerto Vallarta:Marriott CasaMagna Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
Hong Kong: The Peninsula Hong Kong
2014 Orbitz Best In Stay Elite: Category Winners
MileNorth, Chicago
Luxury: Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, Phoenix
Family: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu
LGBT: The Talbott Hotel, Chicago
Ski: One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort, Breckenridge
All-Inclusive: Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun