Κυριακή, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Delta’s Nice to New York service returns from March 2015

Delta Air Lines will once again be offering nonstop daily flights between Nice’s Cote d’Azur Airport and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport for the 2015 summer season.

Flights will begin five times a week on March 29, 2015, increasing to a daily service from May 2, 2015.  Delta has scheduled a Boeing 767-400 aircraft with 245 seats on the route, which is operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France-KLM. From New York-JFK, customers can conveniently connect to more than 60 destinations, including San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas and Seattle.

“At nine percent of global visitors, data from the Riviera Tourism Board reports that the U.S. is the second largest source market for guests to the region,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Delta is proud to continue to support the local economy with the return of our flights next summer.”

The Riviera Tourism Board also reports that 58 per cent of U.S. visitors travel for a holiday, with 20 percent in the area for business. The average length of stay for visitors travelling by air is seven days.

Delta’s Nice to New York-JFK schedule is as follows:

Flight numberDepartureArrival
DL206Nice at 1:05 p.m.New York-JFK at 4:16 p.m.
DL412New York-JFK at 9:05 p.m.Nice at 11:20 a.m. (next day)

Delta’s Nice services feature fully flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration in the BusinessElite cabin. Customers flying in Economy Comfort, Delta’s premium economy service, benefit from up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard international Economy class seats, as well as priority boarding. Throughout the aircraft, all passengers will have access to on-demand in-flight entertainment. Wi-Fi is also being rolled out across Delta’s international fleet with completion due in 2016.

As one of Delta’s hub airports, New York-JFK has a number of amenities for passengers, including multiple food and retail outlets. Terminal 4 is also home to Delta’s largest Sky Club, featuring an open air Sky Deck rooftop terrace and specially-selected food and beverage options. All BusinessElite passengers enjoy complimentary access to the Sky Club

Customers wishing to book travel on Delta’s nonstop service to New York can call Delta’s dedicated reservations team on 0892 702 609, visit delta.com or see their travel agent.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson celebrates London as the world leader in Financial Technology

Figures compiled by London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company, show a record amount of venture capital investment is being made into London-based FinTech firms. So far this year companies have attracted more than US$539 million – triple the amount raised in 2013 – and an amount representing more than half of all FinTech investment across Europe ¹.

Further research commissioned by London & Partners shows that more than half (56 per cent) of senior executives and above surveyed in Britain’s financial Services believe London is best placed globally to lead FinTech innovation, ahead of New York (3 per cent), Hong Kong (4 per cent) and San Francisco (8 per cent), with London’s position as a global trading hub cited as the key reason by those who thought the capital is best placed (85 per cent), followed by the close proximity of financial and technology businesses in London (62 per cent) ².

The YouGov poll also found that 81 per cent of those surveyed thought that FinTech was already having an impact on the traditional financial services sector. More than half (52 per cent) said high street, retail banks need to embrace new technology while 48 per cent said that banks were failing to adapt quickly enough to the challenges presented by advances in financial technology.

The Mayor is on a six day trade mission to the Far East where he is aiming to build on his work to create jobs and growth, and promote London to the world as a major investment destination as he leads a trade mission to Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Over six days he will meet senior politicians, business leaders and investors in some of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies, to champion investment opportunities in London and the UK by forging closer ties with the three cities. He has been accompanied by a delegation of the capital’s top business leaders from key sectors including financial and investment services, and construction and design. They are being supported in the region by a parallel UKTI mission made up of London’s emerging small technology and science related businesses.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London has always been at the forefront of financial innovation and now our financiers are leading another global revolution, this time driven by technological innovations that are changing the way the world does business, creating new jobs and economic growth both in the UK, and in the other financial centres of the world.”

Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), who co-hosted the event said: “Singapore and London are natural partners. Just as we see London as a gateway into Europe, we want London to see Singapore as the best gateway to Asia. The Prime Minister of Singapore has laid out a vision for us to become a Smart Nation. This means Singapore is pulling together our world-ranked universities, multibillion annual R&D investments, a fast-growing community of tech startups and large pools of investment capital to tackle important global challenges brought on by the inevitable trends of ageing populations and urban density. The financial-services sector also represents an interesting space with huge opportunities for disruptive innovation.”

At the event Steve Leonard announced that Startupbootcamp, the London-based FinTech accelerator will launch an Asia accelerator programme in Singapore next year. To showcase Singapore’s commitment to tech entrepreneurship, Mr Leonard also announced that IDA would be partnering with London-based Founders Forum to bring its exclusive “Leaders-in-Tech” gathering to Singapore next April.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Founders Forum, entrepreneur and investor said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside IDA to co-host the inaugural Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore next April. We look forward to bringing some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs to Singapore and hope that through this, we can help IDA on its mission for Singapore to become the world’s first Smart Nation. We want to strengthen the ties between London and Singapore so aim to promote Singapore as the pivotal hub for top London entrepreneurs who are looking to expand into Asia.”

The Mayor of London also used the event to demonstrate some exciting new technology developed by the London-based startup Vieweet, which is working with TescoLabs, the innovation arm of the UK supermarket chain, to explore the future of online retailing ³. The company is developing a platform that allows people to navigate around a ‘virtual’ supermarket.

Domenic Versace, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Vieweet said: “Online shopping is largely about picking things off a list. It doesn’t really engage the consumer in the same way as actually being in a shop. What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap. Our technology was originally conceived as a tool for the real estate industry but we’re demonstrating, with TescoLabs, that it has potential to revolutionise ecommerce too.”

Singapore, which is the leading financial hub of Southeast Asia, is well placed to benefit from advances in FinTech. The country boasts over 200 banks with operational headquarters and Singapore-based tech startups attracted more than US$1.7 billion VC funding in 2013 – more than Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea 4.

The UK FinTech market is currently worth £20 billion in annual revenue and growing according to EY 5 and London is now the world’s largest centre for financial technology, with 44,000 people working in the sector – more than both Silicon Valley and New York, according to research by South Mountain Economics 6.

Gordon Innes, Chief Executive of London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for London, said: “London’s FinTech sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. The proximity of our world-class financial services infrastructure to London’s booming tech industry is driving innovation across mobile payments, retail banking and crowdfunding, resulting in dynamic products and apps for a plugged-in, online generation.”

Claire Cockerton, CEO Innovate Finance – the UK trade-body representing the FinTech sector – and technology ambassador for the Mayor of London said: “The increased investment in Britain’s FinTech community is fostering innovations that are shaping the future of the global financial services industry. The best talent in the world is being drawn to this rich landscape and setting up FinTech startups that are investment-ready and have high growth potential.”

Alastair Hughes, CEO, Asia Pacific for JLL, the professional services and investment management company specializing in real estate, a key sponsor of the event, said: “As FinTech is leading to disruption across all sectors, we thought this summit was a great opportunity to showcase how innovation in London and Singapore is having a profound impact on other sectors including real estate, creating new opportunities for forward-thinking firms to capitalise on.”

Other UK FinTech companies accompanying the Mayor in Singapore include: TransferGo, Algomi, Azimo, JustYoYo, Tryum, Real Asset and Iwoca.

New Flyer Battery-Electric Buses Enter Into Service With Winnipeg Transit

New Flyer Industries Inc. (“New Flyer” or the “Company”), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States announced today that Winnipeg Transit will begin daily service using up to four New Flyer Xcelsior® battery-electric transit buses.

The buses will be in daily operation on a 40 kilometer, two-hour route starting at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, making its way through the city center to East Kildonan and returning to the airport. The route was chosen as its length, speeds and loads are typical of many central business district routes in Canada and USA. Winnipeg Airports Authority permitted New Flyer to install a high power charging station at the airport, a project that completed in October of 2014.

“We didn’t want an easy route,” said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We encouraged Winnipeg Transit to select a route that would showcase the technological capability of our Xcelsior battery-electric bus in a real life in-service situation that will experience a wide range of weather and traffic conditions.”

Soubry explained, “Once at the airport the bus drives up to the charging station and, while passengers are loading or disembarking, a roof mounted pantograph (similar to the proven technology used in city trams around the world) connects seamlessly with the overhead charger interface. After approximately a 10 minute charge, the bus has fully replenished the energy consumed in the previous two-hour route. For added operational flexibility the battery capacity allows the bus to operate for five hours without recharge and by charging on route, the bus can maintain service for more than 20 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The project is a continuing collaboration between New Flyer, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Red River College and Winnipeg Transit. The project team which started the effort in May of 2011, received additional assistance in October 2012 when Sustainable Development Technology Canada (“SDTC”) announced funding on behalf of the Government of Canada of $3.4 million to take the project from prototype to full production and field demonstration, and in 2014 when Manitoba’s Vehicle Technology Center provided an additional $94,000 for charging station development.

“This electric bus project is a key element in Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy and supports our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of effective, cost-efficient, renewable energy,” said Eric Robinson, Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro. “Our innovative advancements in clean energy technologies have contributed to our placement as the first in Canada to employ the new, unique on-route rapid charging system, promoting affordable public transportation and electric vehicle knowledge which will create jobs.”

“Part of our vision for Winnipeg’s future includes supporting technology and innovation, especially when it is homegrown and the end-users who benefit from it are Winnipeggers,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “During a time of rising fuel costs and anticipated rising tourism from the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, the City of Winnipeg is proud to add eco-friendly buses to our current Winnipeg Transit fleet and provide better transit options for Winnipeggers.”

“Our government is positioning Canada as a global leader in the clean technology sector by supporting innovative projects aimed at producing and using energy in cleaner and more efficient ways. This project exemplifies the work being done by our government to build our economy while benefiting our environment,” said Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood—Transcona.

Zero-emission battery-electric propulsion transit buses are expected to significantly reduce green house gas and smog causing criteria air contaminant emissions. In Manitoba, where the electrical grid is highly renewable (nearly 100 percent of electricity is generated without burning fuel), the use of electric propulsion buses are expected to translate to an estimated reduction of 160 tonnes of green house gas emissions, per bus, per year.

“Manitoba Hydro is proud to be a part of the Manitoba Electric Transit Bus project and to have applied our expertise in the distribution and use of energy to development of the rapid charging station at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Scott Thomson, Manitoba Hydro President and Chief Executive Officer. “As a full-service energy utility, we welcome opportunities to support development of environmentally-friendly technologies that promote safe, reliable and efficient use of our renewable electricity resource; and to work closely with customers and industry to ensure these technologies can be incorporated into our distribution system.”

“Red River College is proud to support community economic development as a participant in this project,” said David Rew, Interim President & CEO, Red River College. “Our instructors, staff and students have all contributed to the success of the consortium and we look forward to the zero emissions bus going into commercial use at many transit authorities across North America.”

“Winnipeg Transit is excited to be part of the testing and development team for this innovative project,” said Dave Wardrop, Director of Winnipeg Transit. “We believe that the Xcelsior electric buses hold tremendous promise for Transit’s future with the potential for lower operating costs and reduced emissions. We are extremely pleased that our long standing partnerships, and new relationships, continue to yield dividends for our customers and for our community.”

“Core to our operations is the principal of working with community to lead transportation innovation and to do so in a sustainable manner,” said Barry Rempel, President & CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority. “This project is proof of that concept and we are proud that Canada’s greenest terminal at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is the first in North America to provide an environmentally friendly transit bus rapid charge station.”

Source:- Winnipeg Richardson International Airport

Ethiopian Graduates 187 Aviation Professionals

Ethiopian Aviation Academy, the largest aviation academy, is pleased to announce that it has graduated 93 aviation technicians, 46 marketing professionals, and 48 cabin crew at a ceremony held at Ethiopian Airlines Headquarters on 27 November 2014.

Ethiopian Chief Executive Officer Ato Tewolde Gebremariam gave out diplomas to all the graduates, and flight wings to graduating cabin crew. The graduates include nationals from other African and Middle Eastern countries.

CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, said, “Ethiopian Aviation Academy is the premier Pan-African aviation academy with the highest international standard and dedicated to bridging the aviation skill gap on the continent. The Academy is the backbone of Ethiopian success and we are continuously investing in the expansion of both its intake capacity and the scope of the training it provides. Per our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, we plan to scale up its intake yearly capacity from the current 1,000 trainees to over 4,000 trainees with a view to cater to the growing needs of the continent”.

Ethiopian Aviation Academy has joined IATA’s global training partner network as an IATA Authorized Training Center, capable of delivering training programs: IATA International Travel & Tourism Training Program and Foundation in Travel & Tourism. The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has recently voted the Academy as “Airline Training Services Provider of the Year”.

Ethiopian Aviation Academy is certified by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the U.S Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and IOSA (IATA Safety Audit). The Academy has been providing training for pilots, maintenance technicians, cabin crew, marketing and leadership for the airline and other sisterly carriers in Africa for more than six decades.

Mahekal Beach Resort opening in Playa Del Carmen after a multi-million dollar re-imagination

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - Nestled between the dense Riviera Maya jungle and Playa del Carmen's largest stretch of beach spanning 800 pristine feet, Mahekal Beach Resort is opening Dec. 15, 2014 after a $10 million dollar re-imagination. While maintaining the authenticity of the area, Mahekal introduces completely new amenities including 122 grass thatched-roof bungalows laid out in two sections (Caribe and Aventura), two swimming pools, one seaside Jacuzzi, two restaurants (Las Olas and Cocina), and three bars (Boli's, Itzi and Las Olas).

All exclusive bungalows are less than a two-minute walk from the private, guests-only portion of the beach, complete with plush lounge chairs in the sugar white sand. Room types range from Garden View and Ocean View, to Penthouses and Ocean Front directly on the beach, 10 steps from the water. Weaving through a Swiss Family Robinson setting with lush vegetation and colorful bougainvillea, hidden stone pathways guide guests to the rooms which all come equipped with private hammocks and outdoor terraces (select bungalows boast personal plunge pools).

Inspired by the book, "GypSet Style" by Julia Chaplin, Mahekal's interior design is bohemian gypsy infused with Mexican, colorful accents. Standout designs range from Missoni-esque fabrics in the eclectic lobby, to bright orange ping pong tables and cobalt blue billiard tables in Boli's (main lobby bar and activity center). As a nod to the arts, Boli's will feature The Color Condition artwork created with colorful, shredded plastic tablecloths.

Resort restaurants offer everything from traditional Mexican/Latin American fare at Cocina, to open-air poolside and oceanfront dining at Las Olas. The Modified American Plan covers daily breakfast and either lunch or dinner. Additionally, guests order room service with a twist - staff members deliver orders by riding vintage bicycles with woven rattan baskets. Personal hand deliveries are made to guests lounging by the beach or pool.  

Mahekal is located on the beach, but also only a few steps away from vibrant nightlife and local culture along the famed 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida) - a bustling pedestrian area with shops, bars and multinational cuisines. Additionally, nearby excursions are plentiful with popular choices being Tulum, Xcaret!, and more.

JW Marriott Houston Downtown opens in style

HOUSTON - JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Pearl Hospitality, one of Texas' leading hotel development and management companies, officially opened the 328-room JW Marriott Houston Downtown. Located on 806 Main Street, the hotel is housed in the historic, 104-year-old Samuel F. Carter Building and is the JW Marriott brand's first adaptive reuse project in Texas and its second property in Houston.

To celebrate the iconic opening, JW Marriott worked with celebrity event planner and brand partner Colin Cowie to create an interactive grand opening celebration filled with live performance art, memorable culinary experiences and headline entertainment so guests can see, touch and taste their way through the new property. The exclusive party took place the evening of Wednesday, November 19.

Artfully designed by Gensler, the hotel is inspired by Houston's rich heritage and modern attitude. It beautifully incorporates the building's original design elements, including the hot-riveted steel beams, into sleek, welcoming spaces. The luxurious guest rooms, exquisitely crafted cuisine, the first Spa by JW worldwide, a curated art collection and its central location on Main Street, make JW Marriott Houston Downtown the new heart of downtown Houston's hospitality.

"Houston's downtown is not only a hub of global commerce, but is also home to a thriving arts, cultural, and culinary scene," said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president and global brand manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. "We are excited to be celebrating this landmark opening in one of the city's most flourishing neighborhoods. JW Marriott Houston Downtown is a milestone addition to the JW portfolio, providing guests with incomparable experiences from a curated art collection and the first Spa by JW to superior cuisine at Main Kitchen restaurant, all housed in Texas' first skyscraper." 

Interior spaces, conceptualized by Wilson and Associates and MBCM Incorporated, are a dynamic fusion of old and new, past and present. Eighteen original works of art by Texan, national and international artists, including the iconic 13-foot griffin sculpture and the first augmented sculpture by URBANSCREEN in North America, are displayed throughout the hotel, paying homage to Houston's thriving arts community.

JW Marriott Houston Downtown offers 328 luxurious rooms including executive and presidential suites, long-term apartment suites and four wellness-inspired spa suites. Each guestroom has a 55-inch LCD TV, an iPod station, Nespresso coffee machine, wireless internet and touch screen room controls. Rooms are also equipped with iPads featuring the award-winning, multi-lingual iRiS app, which will allow guests to access and book all facilities and services offered at JW Marriott Houston Downtown including dining, spa, room service, concierge and valet services, travel information and more.

In a city recognized for its thriving culinary scene, JW Marriott Houston Downtown's Main Kitchen is set to become a new dining destination. The restaurant offers an uncomplicated yet elegant menu inspired by the unique melting pot of Houston's culinary cultures. Award-winning chefs Erin Smith and Sharon Gofreed develop globally inspired, seasonal menus based on locally sourced ingredients. The 806 Bar & Lounge connects to Main Kitchen for a seamless dining experience. Guests can enjoy delectable small bites, classic and contemporary cocktails, craft beers and carefully selected domestic and South American wines.

JW Marriott Houston Downtown redefines the concept of a hotel event venue with its gallery-inspired meeting spaces. The eclectic curated art collection displayed throughout more than 16,000 square feet of event space features works by local and national artists, adding sophistication to any event. Flexibly designed and beautifully decorated spaces can be combined or separated depending on event needs to accommodate all types of gatherings, from society galas to business meetings, making every event personal and distinctively special.

JW Marriott Houston Downtown is proud to be the first hotel worldwide to feature Spa by JW, a new spa concept by the JW Marriott brand developed in collaboration with JW Marriott brand partner and spa industry leader Aromatherapy Associates. Created to re-imagine the spa experience, Spa by JW offers guests an intuitive experience that is luxurious yet purposeful with treatments and products designed to address four core benefit states: Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew. Services vary from a selection of 12- to 25-minute express treatments for guests on the go to 60- to 90-minute full-service spa services.

Roadtrippers launches new Roadtrippers mobile app 3.0 to ease holiday travel pain points

CINCINNATI - Roadtrippers, the nation's fastest-growing online travel planner, with a community of over 3.5 million visitors per month, announced today the launch of their new iPhone app, making place discovery and trip planning easier and more intuitive than ever.

The new app, which centralizes travel resources, simplifies trip planning for the 41.3m. Americans that AAA Travel projects will drive 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. New features like trip weather forecasting and along-route discovery for gas stations, food, hotels, and more are complemented by revamped booking and navigation, beautiful new maps, swipe-able place discovery "cards," access to your favorite locations and trips, and a virtual "concierge" to help you find what you need faster.

"We created the new Roadtrippers app to make it even easier, and more fun for people to plan trips, and discover amazing places along their route. Whether they're travelling cross-country or 30 minutes outside of where they live, this holiday season, we're empowering travelers to ditch long airport lines and expensive ticket fares for the open road," said Roadtrippers CEO, James Fisher.

The Roadtrippers platform is powered by a hand-curated database of millions of points of interest for travelers to discover America's best diners, scenic points, attractions, hotels and more. This unique content covers all of the weird and wonderful "off the beaten path" places to visit nationwide. So, whether you are planning a long drive to visit family this holiday season, or simply spending a Sunday afternoon exploring the hidden treasures around you, Roadtrippers has you covered.

Fisher, a world traveler who spent years running African safari-tours and epic road trips as a part of his family business, created Roadtrippers to disrupt the antiquated Online Travel Agency landscape. Roadtrippers is the only travel platform built specifically for road-based travel, which makes up 78% of total travel and tourism spend in the US.

Since Roadtrippers' launch in July 2012, travelers have planned over 5.5 million trips on the platform, which uses mobile and cloud technology to predict its users' travel needs well before the historical point of booking. Roadtrippers has raised $3.25m. in funding including investments from Drive Capital, Ludlow Ventures, The Brandery, and CincyTech. 

Hertz launches 'Certified Clean & Safe' rental program in 30 European major airports

LONDON - The Hertz Corporation announces that the company's new protocol for rental car maintenance and cleanliness, Hertz Certified Clean & Safe, is being rolled out at Hertz's major airport locations across Europe. Through this program the company is sharing with customers each step taken to prepare every car, certifying that it is clean and safe before its rental. Once the vehicle is prepared and verified, a card with a 36 point checklist is signed by the representative and placed on the vehicle's steering column for the customer's reassurance.

"At Hertz we are committed to ensuring our vehicles are clean and safe before each rental," commented Michel Taride, Group President, Hertz International. "Our Certified Clean and Safe program is one of the steps we are taking to share our internal processes with our customers, providing them with an extra sense of security. Finding a card that certifies the 36 point cleaning and inspection process the car has undergone prior to being rented is certainly very reassuring for our customers."

At Hertz's participating locations there is a dedicated maintenance and cleaning area where vehicle inspections are conducted. Before each vehicle is driven away, it must undergo a 36 point checklist, which includes: 

Certified Clean:
     Door panels/pockets     Mirrors, in and out
     Dashboard and steering     Cup holders
     Seats, front and back     Console
     Glove compartment     Odours
     Windows, in and out     Exterior
Certified Safe:
     Windshield and wipers     Tyres and tread
     Spare tyre/tools     AC/heater
     Owner's manual available     Seat belts
     Lights, in and out     Antenna
     No warning lights     Fuel

The program was previously implemented in a large number of airport and suburban locations in the US, where it received high remarks from both employees and customers on its transparency. Following its launch in Europe, the protocol has now become international.

Group Germain Hotels strengthens its commitment to sustainability

QUEBEC - Group Germain Hotels is proud to announce that all electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts will literally be able to recharge their batteries while getting a great night's sleep at its Le Germain and Alt Hotels across the country. The independent Canadian hoteliers are the first to roll-out the new Tesla Destination Charging program thereby providing its guests access to a private network of over 20 EV charging stations capable of delivering a full charge in 4 to 8 hours at its many hotels.

"Sustainability and innovation have always been top of mind for us at Group Germain Hotels. Not only do we always incorporate eco-friendly features into the design of our properties but we also support and encourage like-minded guests and organizations. Tesla is an industry leader in both fields making this partnership a natural extension of our guest experience", says Jean-Yves Germain, co-president of Group Germain Hotels. "Our EV-driving guests can now have peace of mind knowing that they can get a full charge overnight or while attending on-site meetings. As a Tesla driver myself, I am thrilled to be able to recharge at almost every one of our hotels and I look forward to one day taking an emission-free road trip from coast to coast."

Universal and Tesla charging stations ranging from 60 to 100 amps are currently available at Le Germain and Alt Hotels in Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto. The Alt Hotel in Halifax currently has a universal charging station that is connected to the VERnetwork. Additional stations will be deployed in Calgary the new year.

"Tesla Motors is pleased to partner with Group Germain Hotels and provide accessible charging for patrons traveling with Model S and other electric vehicles. Their commitment to sustainability is a quality that resonates with our customers, and we're excited they will have extra charging options as they explore eastern Canada," says Tesla spokesperson, Will Nicholas. 

Σάββατο, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Ειδήσεις Εν Συντομία

Επίσκεψη του υπουργού Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου στη Νέα Υόρκη

O υπουργός Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, Μιλτιάδης Βαρβιτσιώτης, μεταβαίνει στη Νέα Υόρκη, όπου στη διάρκεια της παραμονής του θα πραγματοποιήσει μια σειρά σημαντικών επαφών. Στο πλαίσιο της προγραμματισμένης επίσκεψης του θα παραστεί ως κεντρικός ομιλητής σε διεθνές ναυτιλιακό συνέδριο με θέμα τις παγκόσμιες προκλήσεις στο χώρο της ναυτιλίας, αλλά και τον ρόλο της ελληνικής ναυτιλίας στο διεθνές στερέωμα, ενώ αναμένεται να συναντηθεί με παράγοντες του ναυτιλιακού τομέα και της Ελληνικής Ομογένειας που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Αμερική.

Νέο blog από το Discovergreece.com  

Ιστορίες ανθρώπων που γράφτηκαν κάποια ηλιόλουστη μέρα, σε κάποια αμμουδερή παραλία, σε κάποιο γραφικό χωριό, πλάι σε καταγάλανα νερά ή κάτω από τη φωτισμένη Ακρόπολη. Μέσα σε ένα χρόνο, συγκεντρώθηκαν στο Discovergreece.com όλα όσα έχει να δείξει η χώρα μας. Από σήμερα και κάθε εβδομάδα, παρουσιάζονται όλες οι ιστορίες που έχουν να διηγηθούν προσωπικότητες από την Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό, μέσω του νέου blog, το Μy View of Greece.

Συμμετοχή του σαουδαραβικού Ομίλου Olayan στην Costa Navarino

Ο Όμιλος εταιρειών Costa Navarino ανακοινώνει τη συμμετοχή του Ομίλου Olayan ως τέταρτο ισότιμο μέτοχο (ποσοστό συμμετοχής 25%), με κάθε έναν από τους τρεις υφιστάμενους μετόχους της οικογένειας Κωνσταντακόπουλου. Ο κ. Αχιλλέας Κωνσταντακόπουλος συνεχίζει να ηγείται των εταιρειών που απαρτίζουν τον όμιλο της Costa Navarino, όπως ίσχυε μέχρι σήμερα.
Οι δύο όμιλοι μοιράζονται την ίδια φιλοσοφία και το ίδιο όραμα για την μακροπρόθεσμη και αειφόρο ανάπτυξη της Costa Navarino και της Μεσσηνίας.

Aegean: Αύξηση 10% των ενοποιημένων εσόδων το 9μηνο 2014

Σημαντική αύξηση παρουσίασαν τα ενοποιημένα μεγέθη της Aegean το εννεάμηνο του 2014, επηρεαζόμενα θετικά από την επιτυχή επέκταση του δικτύου καθώς και από τις συνέργειες με την Olympic Air. Τα ενοποιημένα έσοδα ανήλθαν σε 736 εκατ. ευρώ, παρουσιάζοντας αύξηση 10% σε σχέση με τον κύκλο εργασιών των δύο εταιρειών το αντίστοιχο διάστημα του 2013. Τα κέρδη προ φόρων ανήλθαν σε 105,4 εκατ. ευρώ, από 75,9 εκατ. ευρώ, ενώ τα καθαρά κέρδη μετά από φόρους παρουσίασαν αύξηση 31% και ανήλθαν σε 78,6 εκατ. ευρώ σε σύγκριση με 60 εκατ. ευρώ το 2013.

Στη Grekland Panorama η TUI Nordic

 Μία εντυπωσιακή και ιδιαίτερα δυναμική παρουσία ετοιμάζει η TUI Nordic στην 2η έκθεση της Ελλάδας στην Σουηδία, με περίπτερο 100 τ.μ., στο οποίο θα πλαισιώνεται από όλα τα συνεργαζόμενα ξενοδοχεία της στη χώρα μας, ενώ παράλληλα, προγραμματίζει σειρά δράσεων και events για τους πελάτες της και για τους επισκέπτες της έκθεσης. Για πρώτη φορά η TUI Nordic στο περίπτερό της έχει την συμμετοχή όλων των αποκλειστικών συνεργαζόμενων ξενοδοχείων, δηλαδή των TUI Atlantica Hotels, TUI Blue Star Ibiscos Garden, TUI Blue Star Iolida Village, TUI Blue Star Stefan Village, TUI Blue Star Sun Beach Resort και TUI Blue Village Doryssa Seaside Resort.

Το νέο brand πολυτελών ξενοδοχείων Ikos Resorts ξεκινά την παρουσία του στην Ελλάδα το 2015

To Oceania Club, μέλος πλέον των Ikos Resorts που θα μετονομαστεί σε Ikos Oceania το 2015, πρόκειται να επαναπροσδιορίσει την έννοια του all-inclusive, δημιουργώντας εμπειρίες διακοπών “Infinite Lifestyle”.
Ακολουθώντας αυτήν τη νέα αντίληψη για τα ελληνικά δεδομένα, θα προσφέρονται υπηρεσίες φιλοξενίας υψηλού επιπέδου, με ποιότητα, καλαισθησία, χαρακτήρα και στυλ. Στόχος των Ikos Resorts είναι αυτό το νέο concept να φέρει έναν άλλο αέρα στο all-inclusive υψηλών προδιαγραφών, τόσο στην Ελλάδα όσο και στη Μεσόγειο γενικότερα. Το Oceania Club θα παραμείνει κλειστό κατά τους χειμερινούς μήνες, ακολουθώντας ένα πλάνο αρχικής ανακαίνισης ύψους 4 εκατ. ευρώ και θα ανοίξει ξανά τον Μάρτιο του 2015 ως Ikos Oceania.

Έκτακτη Γενική Συνέλευση στον ΟΛΠ

     Το Διοικητικό Συμβούλιο του ΟΛΠ Α.Ε αποφάσισε να συγκαλέσει Έκτακτη Γενική Συνέλευση με μοναδικό θέμα την εισήγηση του για τον χειρισμό του εκτάκτου αποθεματικού κατ’ εφαρμογή του Ν.4172/2013 (παρ.12 και 13 του άρθρου 73) και της Πολ. 1193/2013 του Υπ.Οικονομικών.

            Η Έκτακτη Γενική Συνέλευση θα συνέλθει το Σάββατο 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2014 και ώρα 12:00 στα κεντρικά γραφεία της Εταιρίας (Ακτή Μιαούλη 10, Πειραιάς).

Πλήθος παράλληλων εκδηλώσεων στη φετινή Greek Tourism Expo

H έκθεση τουρισμού Greek Tourism Expo, που θα πραγματοποιηθεί 5-7 Δεκεμβρίου 2014 στο Metropolitan Expo με περισσότερους από 250 εκθέτες και hosted buyers από 25 χώρες, θα πλαισιωθεί από σημαντικές παράλληλες εκδηλώσεις, απόλυτα στοχευμένες σε επίκαιρα θέματα που αφορούν τον ελληνικό τουρισμό.

Η είσοδος για τους ενδιαφερόμενους είναι ελεύθερη με online προεγγραφή μέσω του site http://www.digi.travel.

Το πρόγραμμα των παράλληλων εκδηλώσεων είναι το ακόλουθο:

Παρασκευή 5 Δεκεμβρίου (14.30-19.00)
Εκδήλωση ΣΕΤΕ
Θέμα: “Τουρισμός: “Ανάπτυξη-Απασχόληση, εμπόδια & απειλές”
Metropolitan Expo, Συνεδριακή Αίθουσα C2

Σάββατο 6 Δεκεμβρίου 2014 ( 10.00-14.00)
Ημερίδα Ένωσης Εφοπλιστών Κρουαζιερόπλοιων & Φορέων Ναυτιλίας
ΘΕΜΑ: “Θαλάσσιος Τουρισμός & Κρουαζιέρα”
Metropolitan Expo, Συνεδριακή Αίθουσα C2

Σάββατο 6 Δεκεμβρίου (13.30- 20.00)
Ημερίδα ΕΒΕΑ
ΘΕΜΑ: “Εμπορικά Επιμελητήρια: Πρωτοβουλίες και καινοτόμες δράσεις ανάδειξης της Ελλάδας ως διακεκριμένου τουριστικού προορισμού. Καλές πρακτικές διμερών επιμελητηρίων στον τομέα του τουρισμού”
Metropolitan Expo, Συνεδριακή Αίθουσα C2

Κυριακή 7 Δεκεμβρίου (έναρξη 10.00 )
EΥCLUB Conference “Health without borders”
Στο πλαίσιο της έκθεσης Greek Tourism Expo το EY Club διοργανώνει forum με θέμα “Υγεία χωρίς Σύνορα” (Health Without Borders), υπό την αιγίδα του Ελληνοκινεζικού Ινστιτούτου Ανάπτυξης, της Ελληνοσερβικής Ένωσης Εμπορίου και Βιομηχανίας και του Ελληνορωσικού Συνδέσμου Φιλίας και Συνεργασίας. Στο FORUM θα παρευρεθούν εκπρόσωποι των μεγαλύτερων ασφαλιστικών εταιριών του εξωτερικού καθώς και μεγάλων τουριστικών ομίλων της παγκόσμιας αγοράς τουρισμού. Θα παρουσιαστούν ολοκληρωμένες προτάσεις-λύσεις που καλύπτουν τις ιατρικές ανάγκες των επισκεπτών στην Ελλάδα.
Metropolitan Expo, Συνεδριακή Αίθουσα C2

Παρασκευή & Σάββατο 5 & Δεκεμβρίου (έναρξη 10.00 )
2ο Συνέδριο Ηλεκτρονικού Τουρισμού Digi.Travel
Το Συνέδριο θα φιλοξενήσει μια σειρά διεθνών ομιλητών οι οποίοι θα αναλύσουν τις τάσεις του ηλεκτρονικού περιβάλλοντος στα ταξίδια και τον τουρισμό ενώ θα δοθεί μεγάλη έμφαση σε πετυχημένα case studies, τόσο στην Ελλάδα όσο και στο εξωτερικό, εταιριών που διακρίθηκαν για τις επιδόσεις τους στο online travel.
Metropolitan Expo, Συνεδριακή Αίθουσα C1.

Σημειώνεται ότι οι συμμετέχοντες σε όλες στις παράλληλες εκδηλώσεις, για τη μεταφορά τους από και προς το Εκθεσιακό Κέντρο, μπορούν να χρησιμοποιούν δωρεάν τα πούλμαν του διοργανωτή από το Σταθμό Μετρό Δουκ. Πλακεντίας και από το Αεροδρόμιο “Ελ. Βενιζέλος”.                  

Μ. Βαρβιτσιώτης: Πρωταγωνιστής στη Μεσόγειο το λιμάνι του Πειραιά

Στην προοπτική που δημιουργεί για το λιμάνι του Πειραιά η τελική συμφωνία μεταξύ του Οργανισμού Λιμένος Πειραιώς (ΟΛΠ) και του Σταθμού Εμπορευματοκιβωτίων Πειραιά (ΣΕΠ-COSCO), που υπογράφτηκε την Πέμπτη, αναφέρθηκαν ο υπουργός Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, Μιλτιάδης Βαρβιτσιώτης, ο διευθύνων σύμβουλος του ΟΛΠ, Γιώργος Ανωμερίτης και ο γενικός διευθυντής της ΣΕΠ ΑΕ, Captain Fu Cheng Qiu (Κάπτεν Φου Τσιένγκ Τσιόου).
Η υπογραφή της συμφωνίας έγινε στο υπουργείο Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου από τους Γιώργο Ανωμερίτη και Κάπτεν Φου Τσιένγκ Τσιόου, παρουσία του υπουργού Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου και θα προωθηθεί προς ψήφιση από τη Βουλή των Ελλήνων.
Με δήλωσή του μετά την υπογραφή της συμφωνίας, ο κ. Βαρβιτσιώτης τόνισε: «Με αυτή την επένδυση, το λιμάνι του Πειραιά καθίσταται πρωταγωνιστής στη Μεσόγειο. Η καθαρά παρούσα αξία της καινούριας σύμβασής μας ανέρχεται στα 678 εκατομμύρια ευρώ και παράλληλα δημιουργούνται οι υποδομές στο λιμάνι του Πειραιά, που μπορούν να φιλοξενήσουν πάνω από 6 εκατομμύρια κοντέινερς ετησίως».
Ο Γενικός Διευθυντής της ΣΕΠ ΑΕ, Fu Cheng Qiu, είπε ότι για τους ίδιους είναι μια σπουδαία ημέρα και τόνισε: «Τώρα, περιμένουμε την τελική έγκριση από το ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο, και σας διαβεβαιώνω ότι μόλις εγκριθεί, άμεσα θα αρχίσει η κατασκευή του Δυτικού Προβλήτα ΙΙΙ. Οι περισσότεροι πλοιοκτήτες θέλουν να κάνουν τον Πειραιά τερματικό σταθμό, γι? αυτό και πρέπει να προχωρήσουμε στην κατασκευή του προβλήτα ΙΙΙ».
Ο κ. Ανωμερίτης δήλωσε ότι ο ΟΛΠ Α.Ε. ως ιδιοκτήτης καθίσταται οικονομικά λιμάνι μεγάλης αξίας και ετήσιων προσόδων, προς όφελος του δημοσίου συμφέροντος, της λιμενικής βιομηχανίας και της ανάπτυξης της χώρας.

Παρασκευή, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2014

E-visa for 43 countries set to boost tourism in India

The Indian travel and tourism industry is set to witness a huge surge as the Union government of India announced the launch of the much awaited online visa or e-visa facility for 43 countries. The e-visa facility for inbound travelers to India includes the citizens of US, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Singapore to name a few. Therefore, global travelers can apply for a visa from the comfort of their homes and avail the same within a span of 72 hours.

The electronic travel authorization (ETA) availed through this procedure will be valid for a month and the process will charge a fixed rate of $62. Travelers seeking to travel for leisure, short medical tour, casual business visit or visiting family and friends will be eligible to apply for the e-visa. The airports that will exercise the use of this facility are Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Hyderbad, Kolkata and Thiruvanathapuram.

The other countries that can avail e-visa facility are Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, UAE, Jordan, Kenya, Fiji, Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Oman and the Philippines. According to the Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, the list will grow in due time and as tourism is a major driver for economic growth in the country, this will genuinely increase the contribution of tourism in the India’s annual GDP.

Some of the salient features of India’s e-visa policy:

  • Eligible foreigners may apply for the e-visa online
  • The e-visa can be availed for a term of 30 days
  • Once approved, the applicant will receive an e-mail authorizing him to travel to India
  • A print out of this email is all that the traveler needs to carry to visit India
  • Applicants may apply online minimum 4 days in advance
  • Facility cannot be availed more than twice a year
  • Nine airports to have the facility
  • TVoA enabled with ETA latest in a series of measured introduced by the new government

WTM Latin America to see a Technology boom for 2015

The third edition of World Travel Market Latin America, incorporating the 43rd Braztoa Business Event, 22 to 24 April 2015 at Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, will this year devote a much larger area for the growing Travel Tech Zone at the event after great results in 2014.

Targeting technology companies that work with the tourism industry, the section on the exhibition floor will be expanded to meet the demand and showcase the new products that are available. Exhibitors already confirmed for next years event include TravelClick, QuadLabs Technologies, Mystifly, Illusions Online and Wooba.

WTM Latin America 2014 Exhibitor Sergio Rosarios, Regional Vice President, Latin America & Caribbean, TravelClick commented: “After the launch and success of the Travel Tech Zone at WTM Latin America last year, we are pleased to be back at the show in 2015. We expect the Travel Tech Zone will be bigger and better and are excited to continue educating Latin American hoteliers on how to increase their revenue.”

To further strengthen the Travel Tech Zone, a larger focus will be put on the Travel Technology seminars taking place over the three days, with well known expert speakers lined-up and a dedicated space for games, applications and live demonstrations which visitors and other exhibitors will be able to take advantage of.

New technologies will be discussed in the Innovation Zone where companies will present new products and platforms, explaining its operation and affordability. The aim is to educate participants on the importance of technology to the current tourism market.

The importance of travel technology is not only evident at WTM Latin America. World Travel Market which takes place in London has seen Travel Technology become the fastest growing section on the exhibition floor over the past few years, so much so, that in 2013 The Travel Tech Show at WTM was launched. It became it’s own dedicated event and currently holds the position as the largest dedicated travel technology event in the UK.

World Travel Market Latin America remains strong in its bid to be a business generator for exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals. This year more than $341 million was transacted in contracts signed during and after the event. With further growth predicted for 2015.

Travel Tech exhibitor Gaurav Chiripal, CEO at QuadLabs Technologies said : “QuadLabs is happy to be associated with WTM Latin America since its inception. We find it a perfect platform to reach our target market. A great place to interact with the industry leaders and explore new opportunities”.

Westport and Kinsale awarded 2014 National Large and Small Tourism Town — Fáilte Ireland

Fáilte Ireland announced that Westport and Kinsale have been crowned the 2014 National Large Tourism Town and National Small Tourism Town respectively. The Mayo hotspot and Cork fishing village were chosen from a shortlist of ten top tourism towns, with the remaining towns all receiving certificates of merit to acknowledge their own impressive performances in reaching out to visitors and creating the best possible tourism experiences.
Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring congratulated Westport and Kinsale on winning the 2014 crowns -

“Congratulations to Westport and Kinsale on what is a great achievement and worthy recognition for all that they do for tourism in Ireland.  These awards are all about honouring the towns that put tourism at the centre of what they do.  This is particularly evident with our winners with both towns clearly embracing tourism and seizing the opportunities that it brings.  I would like to commend both winners and all those communities that are represented here today.”
The Tourism Towns Award was designed by Fáilte Ireland to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hardest to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area.  As the overall winners, Westport and Kinsale received its winning certificate along with a €5,000 grant towards further developing itself as a tourism destination.
Aside from today’s two top winners, the other commended towns were:
• Ardmore, Waterford
• Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim
• Cobh, Cork
• Glengarriff, Cork
• Kilkenny, Kilkenny
• Killarney, Kerry
• Lismore, Waterford
• Portmagee, Kerry

A panel of independent assessors, as well as a team of ‘secret shoppers’, visited each town to measure their tourism performance and the level of welcome to visitors.
Congratulating all the towns involved, Paul Keeley from Fáilte Ireland said:
“If The Gathering taught us one thing, it was that those towns and parishes with the greatest grass roots engagement with tourism thrive the most. The objective of our Tourism Towns Awards is to encourage and recognise this type of community-wide commitment where it exists and share their achievements with other towns. A true ’Tourism Town’ isn’t necessarily a town that gains the most from tourism but rather a town that gives the most. In that respect, Kinsale and Westport are worthy winners this year.”
With regard to the overall winners, the judges’ first impressions of Westport were that the town was something special, noting the great sense of local energy and pride.  The friendliness of the locals was evident and there was no doubt that tourism is the mainstay of the town. The judges particularly noted that –
“They say variety is the spice of life and Westport is not short of either. There is something for everyone and it caters well for Ireland’s climate”.
Accepting the award on behalf of Westport, Councillor Michael Holmes said -
“Over the years the tourism product has been greatly expanded, now competing with leading tourist destinations worldwide. Westport offers a very varied palate of visitor attractions and activities, coupled with amazing local foods in a setting of spectacular scenery.
The Tourism Towns initiative, gives Westport renewed focus to ensure that our standards are kept high and that the people value the visitor’s contribution. All this helps to confirm that Westport of the Welcomes – at the heart of The Wild Atlantic way – is the ideal axis point for exploring this amazing natural landscape.”
For Kinsale, the judges noted how there is a great feeling of having arrived when you come into the town and a real desire to get out and start exploring.  The cosmopolitan feel of the town particularly impressed the judges, who noted –
“There is a great cosmopolitan feeling in Kinsale coupled with beautiful scenery and narrow streets bursting with history.  It would appear that Kinsale has something to offer all demographics and its visitors will leave with lasting impressions and memories.”
Delighted to accept the Best Small Tourism Town, Charles Henderson, Chairperson, Kinsale Tidy Towns, commented -
“Three words sum up Kinsale – Location, Location, Location!  A picturesque fishing village nestled between hills and harbour, encompassing a mix of medieval buildings and a maze of narrow streets, seamlessly incorporating a multitude of historical tourist attractions and gourmet restaurants.  The allure of a semi-tropical climate is of course an added bonus!  This award will give a great boost to all our efforts in the town.”
Town Awards – what are the judges looking for?
The Tourism Town award focuses on how participating towns have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:
• Sense of Place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it, and what distinguishes it from other towns.
• Local Involvement – How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.
• Tourism Products Available – What the town has to offer visitors.
• Development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a “tourism town”.

First impressions are that this town is something special. One can see at the onset that this is a very well organised/maintained and compact town with lots to offer.
There is a great sense of energy and pride in the town and it is obvious from the locals that they are well used to dealing with tourists.
They say variety is the spice of life and Westport is not short of either. There is something for everyone and caters well for Ireland’s climate.
The locals were very friendly and approachable. There is no doubt that tourism is the mainstay of the town.
Arriving into Kinsale on a beautiful summers evening, the first thing to come into view, are the masts of the yachts in the Harbour, a beautiful sight to see. There is a great feeling of “having arrived” and a desire to get out and start exploring.
There is a great cosmopolitan feeling in Kinsale coupled with beautiful scenery and narrow streets bursting with history. It would appear that Kinsale has something to offer all demographics and its visitors will leave with lasting impressions and memories.
A visit to one of many restaurants is a gourmet delight, and music playing in many venues, all add to a great tourism experience.
Fom the moment you arrive in Ardmore it’s obvious that you have come across something special.  Ardmore has a lovely relaxing feel to it with a warm welcome and the smell of the fresh sea air is magic. Whether you are a lover of food, the sea, history, relaxation or art, there is something for everyone both indoors and outdoors.
Ardmore is very accessible and is a most enjoyable visit – one would happily recommend it to others as a special place, especially on a fine day, its magic.
It is obvious from the onset that the local involvement is critical to the development of tourism and that the tourists are not taken for granted.
The River Shannon is central to tourism in Carrick and provides a great amenity to the town.  The Dock arts centre is a hub of activity, with rehearsals taking place for upcoming events, and a lovely art exhibition upstairs.
The Tourist Office has an easy to follow Historical Guide booklet available and the trail meanders through the town, on and off Main Street and has some lovely buildings to see.
Carrick has one of the best event calendars to be seen, with events to suit all demographics.
There is no doubt if you love and are interested in the history and the sea it’s the place to be.
There is a sense of vibrancy due to the respect and pride of the historical impact on the area and its people and the legacy it left behind.
It’s obvious that there is a huge local effort to promote Cobh as a worthwhile tourist location. The locals and staff alike were all very friendly and helpful when approached, eager to assist and offer information.
Overall a very worthwhile visit not to be missed, even on a wet day.
To arrive in Glengarriff from the Cork side is a real pleasure.  There is a great sense of welcome in Glengarriff, from hotel staff to people in shops and restaurants, to the men who take visitors across the sea to Garnish Island, all were very happy to accommodate tourists and had a pleasant approach and a smile for all.
There is plenty to do and see and a feeling of wanting to stay longer to experience all the town has to offer.
It’s very pleasant to sit and watch the world go by and see the boats come and go to the Islands and in good weather there is no better place to sit outdoors and have a meal and chat to overseas visitors.
The city is bursting with history, great shops, cafes, eateries etc something for everyone.
It is obvious from the city and its people that while it is a working business location it is very much focused on tourism. Everywhere one was met with smiles and eagerness to assist.
There is general feel of Kilkenny as a safe, clean and pleasant environment well organised with happy residents welcoming a wide variety of visitors.
On the day of assessment the town was awash with tourists with plenty to see and do on offer.
The town centre is busy but has an unhurried feel to it, and the buildings are well maintained.  The town has a compact feel to it which enhances the overall experience.
The local people are very friendly and willing to take the time to help and offer advice. The store assistants and people in the service industry are all very informed about what the town has to offer its visitors, recommending attractions, and pointing out venues to hear different types of music.
The overall impression was very good, what a relaxing perfectly maintained and manicured town.  There is a huge commitment and pride in the town and all it has to offer by the local residents. Lismore is a very special town and one we all should be proud of.
A very worthwhile visit, not only to admire its beauty and learn its history but also a wonderful place to relax.  Lismore is a unique tourist experience where the old meets the new complimenting it very well creating a relaxing atmosphere.
The approach to Portmagee is spectacular with high cliffs and sweeping mountains as far as the eye can see.
There is a feeling of anticipation on the journey in, which does not disappoint the visitor. The blue sea with its fishing trawlers nestled beside the harbour walls and the queue of Tourists waiting to board the boats going to the Skellig Rocks add to the sense of anticipation.
The level of care and attention by the inhabitants of Portmagee, for their village, is very evident.  The tidy towns committee clearly work very hard at presenting their village as a jewel in the crown