Πέμπτη, 31 Μαρτίου 2016

PATA Travel Mart 2016 to be held in Jakarta

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will hold the 39th PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Greater Jakarta, Banten Province, Indonesia on September 7-9 at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE). The Mart is being generously hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia.
Situated in Tangerang, Banten, only 30 minutes away from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, ICE is Indonesia’s biggest convention and exhibition centre with eco-friendly and energy efficient features. The surrounding province of Banten enjoys a rich cultural heritage and pristine natural resources from the archaeological remains of the Banten Kingdom to secluded islands, landscaped resorts and spectacular golf courses. Key attractions in Banten include the Tanjung Lesung, an unspoiled and serene peninsular offering the most beautiful beaches on Java; the Old Banten Complex, the former capital of the Banten Sultanate offering historical attractions from the Kaiboon Palace to the Grand Mosque of Banten; and the Ujung Kulon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features one of the world’s most pristine natural eco-systems of flora and fauna, boasting virgin beaches and healthy coral reefs.
“We are extremely excited that PATA Travel Mart is returning to Indonesia, having held one of our most successful Marts in Bali in 2007. This year, we have the opportunity to showcase a part of Indonesia that offers a variety of historical and natural attractions for today’s travellers,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “Once again we will adding value for all delegates by partnering with Phocuswright and Connecting Travel to present the PATA Innovation Forum. New for 2016 is the PATA Blogger Forum that’s designed to educate industry stakeholders on the importance of content creation in the digital age. Furthermore, the popular PTM Talk sessions continue during each day of the Mart.”
On March 2, 2016, the announcement of free visa regulation in Indonesia was released granting Free Visa-on-Arrival to 169 countries, including Australia. “With the free visa to Indonesia, it is expected that Indonesia tourism will increase 5 to 25 percent,” explained I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Tourism, Republic of Indonesia.
PATA Travel Mart (PTM) is the Association’s signature event and Asia Pacific’s premier travel trade show, featuring unparalleled networking and contracting opportunities to help travel and tourism organisations access decision makers, meet new clients, expand their network and build or maintain existing relationships.
PTM 2015 in Karnataka, India attracted 1480 delegates from 61 countries for the three day event, facilitating over 10,000 pre-matched appointments and bringing together qualified international buyers and sellers for face-to-face meetings, educational forums and networking functions.
For more information about PTM 2016, visit www.PATA.org/mart

New Villas at Bernardus Lodge & Spa" set to debut Summer/2016

CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF. - A long-term dream realized one nail at a time, The Villas & Suites at Bernardus Lodge & Spa is poised to be the West Coast's most anticipated opening this summer, with 14 exclusive suites and villas designed from the ground up. Set on 28 acres of vineyards, gardens and fragrant lavender in Carmel Valley, this unparalleled new entry is set to raise the bar in luxury hospitality, July 1, 2016.

Following the successful 2015 restoration of the Forbes Four-Star 57-guestroom Bernardus Lodge & Spa, the Villas will offer an exclusive experience deserving of the estate-style environment. Elegant and evocative - these stunning new lifestyle accommodations will transport guests to a private sanctuary paired with a three-to-one staff ratio focused on exceeding guests' expectations. 

San Francisco Bay Area-based AXIS Architecture and ARCSINE, Inc., interior design are credited with bringing vision to reality with a sophisticated ranch country-chic design.  Reflecting Bernardus' inherent epicurean spirit and soothing soul, interiors are set in soft sand and celadon tones fused with punches of rich plum and metallic accents. Rustic European oak floors, cerused ebony furniture, dramatic weathered bronze chandeliers with antique silver leaf accents and soft honed limestone will be showcased throughout with focal features set in antique brass and hammered bronze. Custom hand-carved porcelain bathroom sinks and hand-crafted bamboo rugs set in sand, sable and soft coral point to the strong indoor/outdoor aesthetic, which includes alfresco showers set on hand-made Moroccan mosaic tile.

Curated for epicureans and romantics alike, highlights of the spacious 1050 sq., ft., to 2100 sq., ft., guest accommodations include outside fire pits, master baths featuring hammered copper free-standing soaking tubs, wet rooms with wall and rain showers, radiant heat floors, vaulted ceilings, French doors, wet bars, double-sided fireplaces and private bath patios and terraces featuring vineyard or Santa Lucia Mountain views. 

Amari Koh Samui reopens

A favorite amongst holidaymakers since it opened 25 years ago; Amari Koh Samui unveiled its brand-new look following a 12-month refurbishment period.
The resort reopens with freshly revamped guest rooms, public and outdoor areas, spa and restaurants.
From 1 April, guests visiting Amari Koh Samui will be able to see and experience the bright and comfortable spacious surroundings, reflective of warm, Thai-inspired design elements with a contemporary twist. The resort comprises of 197 guest rooms across three wings – the Garden Wing, Thai Village Wing and Beach Wing with room categories to fit all travel needs, from the comfortable superior rooms overlooking the lush gardens, to the spacious two-bedroom suite for the perfect family getaway.
Along with its new look, Amari Koh Samui is also happy to introduce a new dining option, the first Amaya Food Gallery in Thailand. An Amari brand concept inspired by the well-loved street markets of Asia, Amaya Food Gallery is an all-day dining venue presenting food from across Asia from interactive open kitchens. Before heading to their meals, guests can enjoy a quick drink during sunset at Amaya Bar, or grab a quick snack or afternoon treat at Amaya Café.
Also, new to the resort is the Voyager Lounge which offers a cool escape from the sun and space to catch up on reading or a board game. Meanwhile, Prego, the island’s favorite Italian restaurant, will reopen with a fresh new look.
To celebrate its reopening, Amari Koh Samui is offering a special deal, the Stay-Three, Pay-Two offer, for stays from 1 April to 31 July 2016, with rates starting at 7,950 THB ++ per night in a Superior Garden Wing room.

Embraer forecasts a market demand for 720 new jets with 70 to 130 seats in Latin America

SANTIAGO, CHILE – Embraer Commercial Aviation released during FIDAE (Feria del Aire y del Espacio), its market outlook for Latin America, which forecasts that the region will take delivery of 720 new jets in the 70 to 130-seat segment over the next 20 years, representing 11% of the worldwide demand for the segment in the period. The 70 to 130-seat jet fleet in service is estimated to grow from the current 310 units to 740 by 2034.

Despite the region’s current headwinds, which stem mainly from political and economic instability, prospects for mid and long-term growth remain positive in the coming years. An economic turnaround is expected, addressing macroeconomic imbalances and restoring business confidence. This recovery will result in more equitable income distribution and deeper regional integration, which will boost demand for air travel. 

Over the last five years, the annual growth in demand for air transport in Latin America has consistently been above the world average of about 5%, hovering at 7%. This trend is expected to continue over the next 20 years, when the region will grow around 6% annually.

The growth of the region’s middle class will also create new customers for the airlines, since many people have yet to take their first flight, rendering Latin America ripe for air transport. Comparing the region with a mature air travel market like the U.S. reveals enormous potential for growth: Latin America has 0.4 airline passengers per capita, a figure that is one sixth of the U.S.

Along with the expansion of the middle class, new investments in aviation infrastructure will shape the way air transport will grow in the coming years. The broader reach of air transport beyond major financial and industrial centers to mid-sized cities–with population between one hundred thousand and one million–has caused demand to grow nearly 1.5 times faster than to the largest cities. This growth highlights the need for efficient airline service to new low-and mid-density markets, and higher frequencies in existing markets.

“Fleet optimization is key, as secondary markets are poised to lead the demand for new air travel,” said Simon Newitt, Embraer Vice President, Commercial Aviation, Latin America. “Carriers will continue to acquire new and efficient aircraft to serve low- and mid-density markets and to offer greater network connectivity.”

Consolidation and mergers have also contributed to fundamental changes in the airline industry as a way of leveraging synergies and focusing on sustainable growth and profitability. Yet, some major carriers responded to the capacity/demand mismatch - and financial losses - by cutting routes and reducing capacity in attempting to achieve a more viable business environment.

The first delivery of an E-Jet in Latin America occurred in 2005, when Panama’s Copa Airlines received an E190. Currently, over 200 E-Jets are in service in the region, where Embraer is the leader in the segment of jets up to 130 seats, with 70% of market share. The E-Jets family has logged more than 1,700 orders and over 1,200 deliveries to date. The aircraft are in service with some 70 customers from 50 countries.

In order to meet future demand, Embraer is bringing the E-Jets E2 to the market to complement its current E-Jets offering. The company recently rolled out the first E190-E2, which will enter service in the first semester of 2018. 

Flight bookings surge for the Rio Olympics

rio olympics16

Olympic fans are prepared to book up well in advance of the games and a new study for the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau proves that. Flight bookings to Rio have risen dramatically for the Olympic Games. It is 322% ahead of where they were at the same time last year, with the largest number of sports fans coming from the US and Argentina.
According to data from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day, issued air bookings show that the biggest spike is for arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday 4 August, the day before the opening ceremony.
rio bookings
The Rio Olympics run from 5-21 August and the Paralympic Games from 7 to 18 September.
olympic games booking
Overnight stays ‘on the book’ are currently 208% ahead for the Olympic and Paralympic Games period. 63% of international visitors arriving before the Olympics officially start will spend more than 14 nights, suggesting they are staying in Rio for the full extent of the games. In contrast, the same number (63%) of those arriving between 21 and 31 August will stay for fewer than 14 nights.
rio bookings2
International bookings for the Olympic and Paralympic games period are threefold those of previous year, while among leading source markets, China, Japan and the US are showing the strongest growth.
The ForwardKeys analysis of international flight capacity data from Innovata shows that it is up 17% for the Olympic period compared to last year.
Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys said, Our analysis shows that bookings for the Olympics and the Paralympics are strong.
“One explanation for the high volumes from the US may be the move to relax visa conditions for the duration of the games, making it easier for American sports fans to travel to Rio.”
On the Zika virus, Olivier said that at this point there is no significant impact on travel to the Olympics.

Low-cost coach prices in Europe

NURENBERG – Which country offers the cheapest coach tickets? In a European comparison average ticket prices in the UK rank third behind France and Germany. Whereas in these two countries the market for intercity buses was only recently liberalised, the UK boasts itself of a securely established low-cost coach industry. Even after decades, customers still benefit from inexpensive tickets while newly founded coach companies from the continent are likely to cause renewed cuts in prices.

The international bus search engine CheckMyBus calculated the European intercity bus price index, for which the top ten connections in the individual countries were analysed. The top two spots are taken by France with an average of only 1.05 pence per kilometre and Germany with 1.85 pence per kilometre. This is in so far not surprising as the market for low-cost intercity buses was only recently opened in Germany (2013) and France (2015) and heated competition between young coach companies is resulting in particularly inexpensive tickets. On the contrary, in Spain the coach market is subject to strict regulations, which is why taking the bus is most expensive there. Due to Europe’s current tendency to deregulate markets, however, more and more people in Spain speak up for a liberalised coach market. 

Despite its established coach market, the UK ranks securely in third place with 2.41 pence per kilometre. Britain thus manages to prove that inexpensive bus journeys are still possible even after prices reached a plateau and the initial race for market leadership is over. Eurolines UK, megabus and National Express exist side by side and offer a fairly adjusted price and service level. However, the competition is likely to be rekindled as FlixBus sets sail for the British Isles: On 24 March the German market leader launched a connection from Paris to London with ticket prices starting at 9 euros – a connection for which travellers had to pay a minimum of £15 with Eurolines UK up to now. With its subsidiaries FlixBus Italia and FlixBus France, the bus provider has forced existing and new coach companies in these countries to re-evaluate their prices and to prove themselves when faced with special deals and €1-tickets – the same might hold true for the UK

Tickets for only £1 are no novelty in the UK, however, with Scottish bus company megabus regularly advertising its low-cost fares. Customers, who compare prices before booking their ticket, can save up to 95 per cent on popular bus routes, such as Sheffield-London or London-Manchester. “Even on a settled coach market the cheapest ticket always goes to the customer who compares prices – especially so on highly frequented intercity connections. As the example of Italy shows though, a market entry of FlixBus could still shake things up much to the benefit of the low-budget traveller,” declares Marc Hofmann, CEO of CheckMyBus. Possible results of a British FlixBus venture are reduced maximum prices, more special deals and a higher amount of inexpensive bus connections to and from mainland Europe as well as within the UK.


Turkey wants to host Euro 2024

vodafone arena

Turkish daily media on Tuesday, 29 March 2016  announced Turkish Football Federation's plans to host Euro 2024 in Turkey.
Turkey, which lost Euro 2016 with one bid to France, would like to host the European football championship in 2024. When Michel Platini has said that Euro 2020 would be hosted in several nations, Turkish Football Federation withdrew its proposal to host the tournament.
But today, Turkey reveals its wish to host the event alone in 2024. There are 28 stadiums that are currently under construction in Turkey and 13 of them will be completed by next year. With completion of brand-new stadiums, Turkey will be a strong candidate to host the sports event.
Turkish Football Federation plans to organize the final match at Istanbul Atatürk Olympic Stadium and other stadiums are: Ulker Stadium, TT Arena, Vodafone Arena and newly constructed stadiums in Eskişehir, Antalya, Ankara, Kayseri, Konya, Trabzon, Samsun, Bursa, Mersin. Turkey sees Germany as the biggest competitor at the bidding process for Euro 2024. Turkey will present its candidency in 2017 and host country will be announced in 2018.
Source: HaberTurk

Survey reveals what travelers need to know before booking a summer vacation rental

PARSIPPANY, N.J. - The arrival of spring kicks summer vacation planning into high gear – for many that means finding a vacation rental. Before booking that dream vacation home, travelers need to think twice about who they rent from as it makes a big difference when it comes to safety, service and peace-of-mind according to a new survey from Wyndham Vacation Rentals.

Nearly 90 percent of do-it-yourself hosts secretly dread doing the things needed to deliver a great vacation experience – dealing with guests, handling inspections and cleaning the house. As a result, nearly 70 percent of travelers who have tried both would prefer to rent from a professional management company as opposed to an owner during their next stay.

Stranger Danger: Rental Guests Book with Caution
The private space and home-like amenities of vacation rentals have strong appeal - 89 percent of those who never tried a rental would consider doing so - but tales of vacation rentals gone bad when booking directly with a homeowner weigh on renters' minds.

  • Unmet expectations. 62 percent of all vacationers worry about not being able to get problems solved quickly and nearly half (46 percent) are not confident that they'll get what they anticipate when renting directly from an owner.
  • Unsafe rentals. Nearly half (45 percent) of all vacationers worry about the safety of an owner-managed property.
  • Guests want to vacation with confidence. Nearly half (49 percent) of all vacationers look for a name they can trust when booking accommodations.

"The survey underscores that travelers want to know their vacation is in the hands of someone they can trust," said Gail Mandel, CEO, Wyndham Vacation Rentals. "Being a homeowner doesn't necessarily make you qualified nor interested in running a bed and breakfast. The reality is most homeowners don't have the time to adequately meet guest expectations when it comes to safety, cleanliness and assistance, and as a result they find the tasks daunting."

Who You Rent From Matters
Nearly seven in 10 guests (68 percent) who have stayed in a professionally managed vacation rental and one managed by the owner prefer the managed option.

  • No Complaints. Virtually all guests (99 percent) who stayed in a professionally managed home had a positive experience during their last visit.
  • At Your Service. 95 percent of vacationers can think of at least one reason why they would choose to rent from a management company over the owner. Top reasons included the company resolving issues quickly and providing a 24/7 contact.
  • Peace of Mind. Nearly half of all vacationers would choose a professionally managed rental over owner-managed because it provides greater peace of mind.
  • Safety. Guests who have experience with both options are two and half times as likely to feel extremely confident in the safety of a home rented through a management company as opposed to one rented directly from the owner.

While peer-to-peer listings may dominate the headlines, professionally managed properties account for nearly half of all transactions annually in the U.S. In fact, many of today's most popular vacation rental listings are peppered with professionally managed properties.

Unlike direct-from-homeowner rentals, vacation rental managers like Wyndham Vacation Rentals oversee the process from start to finish ensuring a great guest experience. Vacation rental managers have established standards for quality, service and security for their properties whereas peer-to-peer rentals leave the standards up to each individual homeowner.

Mandel adds, "Guests should know they do not have to go it alone. But if they do, they should keep in mind important tips, like renting from a reputable source, watching for signs of fraud and only using secure payment methods. If they have any hesitations at all, they should consider a professional manager who will keep their concerns top of mind."

This study was conducted by Kelton Global from December 14, 2015 – January 5, 2016 among the following audiences: 1,000 nationally representative Americans 25+ who have ever traveled outside the home overnight, including 447 Americans who have experience being a rental guest in someone else's vacation home and 561 Americans who own two or more homes and have ever rented out one of their homes to travelers (this group includes U.S. vacation rental homeowners who have a rental agreement with Wyndham Vacation Rentals and those who do not).

Dubai World Trade Centre welcomed 2.74 Million Visitors In 2015

Dubai World Trade Centre in 2015 had an impressive 12% year-on-year increase in traffic to deliver 2.74 million delegates and attendees. The centre coupled with a strong 17% increase in exhibiting companies, reinforcing the entity’s regional dominance within the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector and its dynamic influence on Dubai’s wider business tourism agenda.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Board of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority, announced the 2015 annual performance results of Dubai World Trade Centre.
In his address to the board, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, said, “Our 2015 results are not just a show of outstanding performance but more importantly, reflect the maturity of the DWTC portfolio in being able to deliver double digit growth with such consistency across its various business lines. Backed by a prudent long term expansion strategy with strategic diversification of the event calendar, the DWTC business has steadily grown in number of events, venue occupancy rates, visitation quality and volumes, and in building Dubai’s international attractiveness for exhibiting corporates and trade delegates.”
Over the past year, the newly established DWTC Authority has served as a strong regulatory complement to the DWTC business networking proposition, with a focus on broader ecosystem enablement, developing unique commercial real estate value and creating a holistic destination value proposition.
Sheikh Hamdan added, “DWTC is widely recognised as the most conducive international platform for businesses from the East and West to access and service emerging markets in Africa and the wider region. I congratulate the Board, the management and the employees for committing to the long-term agenda of the organisation as a core economic contributor for Dubai’s GDP and for their collective drive to continuous innovation that has enabled DWTC to stay ahead of the curve in the evolving global economic landscape.”
Last year saw 396 trade events being hosted at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC) venue including 104 mega-events, delivering a total of 2.74 million MICE delegates and attendees with 53,547 exhibitors from 185 countries to Dubai. With nearly 41% international participation across its portfolio of events, DWTC contributed an incremental 1,066,865 global visitors to Dubai’s business tourism figures. The primary international source markets for visitors included: Saudi Arabia, India, United Kingdom, Pakistan, China, Qatar, Oman, Iran, Jordan and Egypt. These accelerating numbers are a further testament of its key positioning, both on a global scale and within a diversified and sustainable local economy that supports future growth, employment and prosperity.
“Over the next 3 years, our priorities are aligned to the economic diversification focus of the UAE and Dubai, so that DWTC sustainably drives long-term returns for the MICE industry and consequently builds its contribution to our GDP,” said His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
27 new shows including 8 exhibitions and 19 associations and conferences, featured as new entrants within the 2015 calendar, with many of them showcasing the latest trending topics like the Digital Health & Medical Technology Conference, and Internet of Things.
Eighty of the top tier exhibitions reaching a threshold scale of 25,000 attendees in average traffic per event during 2015, and all of DWTC’s anchor mega-events uniformly experienced year-on-year growth in volumes across visitors and exhibitors, reflecting very strong confidence in growth prospects for their respective global sectors, from healthcare, security and food, to travel, technology, and construction. Notable mentions include Arab Health that saw a 5% uplift over 2014 with more than 140,000 delegates; Gulfood that attracted a record 84,642 visitors from 170 countries and 4,800 exhibitors from 156 countries; the Arabian Travel Market that witness

HRS urges review of travel prpogrammes to ensure they neet the needs of today's business traveller

As HRS launches ‘The Pillars of Perfect Programmes’ whitepaper this month, the global hotels solutions provider is urging procurement and travel managers to review their travel programmes to ensure that they meet the needs of today’s business traveller.

The whitepaper has been launched at a time when the global workforce is going through a significant period of change as business travel is becoming more traveller-centric, more akin to that of a leisure experience. The whitepaper also talks through how emerging business travellers have very different needs and expectations to the previous generations, and looks at how channels of distribution are changing. It also explores the importance of providing richer content from both independent and chain hotels.

Committed to educating travel and procurement managers about getting the most out of their travel programmes, HRS’ whitepaper reveals how travel and procurement managers can achieve optimum compliance to travel policies. 

The whitepaper shows how to create the perfect hotel programme by focusing on the central pillars of content (including channel and price); usability and functionality (including payment solution, booking process and traveller tracking), and policy – the business rules that determine the use of both content and booking channel. 

Jon West, Managing Director (UK and Ireland) for HRS – Global Hotels Solutions, commented: “The distribution and delivery of real, bookable content is becoming more sophisticated, and this is something that travel managers should harness for their employees. It is vital that they reign in leakage by providing the right content and functionality within a changed travel policy to deliver compliance and cost savings to the company.  In order to do this, travel and procurement managers also need to understand the behavioural patterns of today’s business traveller to ensure that they have effective travel policies for both now and in the future as digital natives emerge in the workforce.

“Unless all three central pillars are in place, any programme is doomed to fail because bookers and travellers will simply not comply. These three pillars all support adoption which is key to compliance and preventing leakage from travel programmes.

“Ultimately, perfect policy is already in travel managers’ hands. Adoption and compliance levels can be controlled by making the right solution available to bookers and travellers. To succeed, it is policy which creates the dynamic environment in which the right content, usability and functionality, delivers better results, every time.”

This latest publication builds on HRS’ series of informative whitepapers that have been specifically designed to help those responsible for procuring or managing business travel to truly understand the process and maximise time and cost efficiencies.  Other whitepapers include ‘Content is King’, ‘The Cost o


SAS expands services to USA by opening new Boston route

As part of a major expansion of its long haul routes, SAS is today announcing the launch of a year-round service from Copenhagen to Boston with daily departures. SAS is the first airline to fly direct to Boston from Scandinavia.
It is the ninth direct route to the USA, taking the number of flights operated by the company each year between Scandinavia and the USA to 6,800, carrying some 1.6 million passengers. This new development further strengthens SAS’s position as the airline with the most robust offering from Scandinavia to North America.
The company recently cut the ribbon on a new route from Stockholm to Los Angeles, and will start flying to Miami in September. SAS already operates services between Scandinavia and New York, Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco.
In this way, SAS will continue to strengthen its offering to frequent flyers travelling between the USA and Scandinavia. During 2016, SAS is set to operate around 500 flights between Boston and Copenhagen alone, bringing the company’s total number of flights between Scandinavia and the USA to 6,800 or 1.6 million seats.
“We are the airline with the most robust offering for people looking to travel between Scandinavia and the USA. Our North American long-haul route expansion underlines this fact. Copenhagen-Boston is our ninth route, which, together with the new routes from Copenhagen and Oslo to Miami, will bring us to 11 USA services by September. Our focus is on making life simpler for frequent flyers, a group of people who are increasingly demanding direct and flexible options for travel to the USA,” says SAS Group CEO Rickard Gustafson.
The Copenhagen-Boston route is aimed at both leisure and business travelers, and has been designed to meet the rising demand for direct and daily departures shown by companies in the hi-tech, finance and medical sectors, as well as institutes of higher education. SAS expects to see a significant proportion of travelers to and from the rest of Scandinavia using Copenhagen Airport as a seamless transit hub.
Initially a Boeing 737-800 with 92 seats will operate the route. After a short while a Boeing 737-700 will be used, with space for 86 passengers, 20 of which will be Business class whilst 66 will be Go class seats. The route will be operated by PrivatAir using an SAS livery plane with a new cabin configuration. Departure and arrival times for the route have been set so that they fit in with connections to and from Copenhagen and other central airports in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including Brussels, Hannover and Düsseldorf.
Timetable – Copenhagen-Boston
From Copenhagen: Daily departure on SK927 at 12.50 pm, arriving in Boston at 3.20 pm
From Boston: Daily departure on SK928 at 5.30 pm, arriving the following day at 7.00 am

Turkey witnesses 10.32% decrease in tourist arrivals in February'16

Things are getting worse for Turkey’s tourism sector. Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry announced decrease in number of international tourist arrivals to Turkey in February 2016.
The number of arrivals decreased 10.32% to 1.240.633 tourists in February 2016.
Top 5 Port of entries in February 2016
1. Istanbul 54.43% (675.250)
2- ARTVİN 12,64% (156 869)      
3- EDİRNE 12,53% (155 444)      
4- ANTALYA 7,30% (90 526)       
5- AĞRI 2,46% (30 502)
In January - February 2016 term number of tourist arrivals decreased 8.48% to 2.410.966.
2014-2016(*) Nationalities of tourist arrivals in February - Top 3 country
GEORGIA152 16512,27106 4137,69101 0057,47
GERMANY138 33811,15152 91111,05140 32210,38
IRAN124 96210,07106 9167,73114 4148,46
OTHER825 16866,511 017 10373,53996 44373,69
TOTAL1 240 633100,001 383 343100,001 352 184100,00
* Provisional data
2014-2016(*) Nationalities of tourist arrivals in Jan.-Feb. – Top 3 country
GEORGIA265 74711,02214 4608,14203 1068,13
GERMANY252 54610,47268 90410,21237 8179,52
IRAN217 2229,01186 6327,08190 7937,63
OTHER1 675 45169,491 964 28874,571 867 28374,72
TOTAL2 410 966100,002 634 284100,002 498 999100,00

Top 10 U.S. airlines on social media

Airlines socialmedia
With the airline industry thriving on customer satisfaction and reviews, it is imperative for the companies to utilize its social media channels as a way to directly engage and communicate with consumers to gain their trust.
Engagement Labs, technology and data company, released its rankings on the top airlines based on social media performance and word of mouth conversations. The Company found that when studying the airlines, they are continuously using the platform to engage with its followers and address travel needs by participating in two-way communications.
Here are the top 10 airlines on social media
top10 us airlines socialmedia2016

U.S. Airlines Offline word of mouth (WOM) Rankings
us airlines wom2016
On Facebook, JetBlue Airways ranked first with the highest overall eValue, as well as the highest Responsiveness and Impact score. Hawaiian Airlines, which ranked second, had the highest Engagement score of the group and had the most likes per 1,000 fans, indicating that the content they are posting is resonating extremely well with its followers.
When looking at Twitter, Alaska Airlines ranked first for overall eValue score, but more importantly Engagement Labs found that the airline industry is actively using the channel as a customer service platform by providing its passengers answers to their inquiries with helpful information. For example, Southwest Airlines ranked first for Responsiveness with the highest response rate, while JetBlue Airways ranked second for the subcategory with the fastest response speed average.
On Instagram, Frontier Airlines placed first with the highest eValue score of the group and also scored the highest Engagement and most likes per 1,000 fans. Enlisting in user-generated content, the brand posted images of the airline’s planes in flight or landing in scenic locations, tagging the photographer and leveraging hashtags such as #avgeek, #viewfromabove and #instaaviation.
According to TalkTrack data, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines led with regard to the volume of offline WOM conversation, earning 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively, of the TalkShare (the percentage of conversation an individual brand has relative to WOM for all brands in the category) within the airline industry. Virgin America and JetBlue Airways earned the highest offline WOM sentiment amongst all airlines measured, with Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines ranking fourth and fifth.

Hilton Worldwide Unveils Brand New Hotel In Egypt

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt and MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Hotels & Resorts today announces the official opening of Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch. The hotel marks Hilton Worldwide's (NYSE: HLT) 18thin Egypt, showcasing the company's commitment to expanding its operations and further strengthening its presence in the country.
"As we continue to spearhead the hospitality industry in Egypt and around the world, we're proud to expand our world-class offerings," said Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide. "With the opening of Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch, we continue to build on our long-standing legacy in Egypt, a country we have served for more than 50 years. Expanding our presence and our team will allow us to continue providing our guests with the superior services they've come to expect from Hilton."
Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch is located just outside the city of Alexandria and only 12 kilometers from Borg Al Arab International Airport. The hotel offers 199 modern rooms, including 20 suites and 21 executive rooms, all designed with comfort and convenience in mind to provide a place to relax and unwind or to catch up on work.
All rooms are equipped with a spacious desk, minibar, an HDTV and a stylish bathroom with walk-in shower. Suites benefit from a separate bedroom and living room space, with additional daily amenities. Executive rooms have complimentary access to the Executive Lounge where guests enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks throughout the day.
Andreas Lackner, vice president, area brand management, Hilton Worldwide, said: "As the pre-eminent hospitality provider in the region, our portfolio of hotels in Egypt boasts some incredible properties across the country. Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch is a stylish, contemporary hotel with world-class facilities that will appeal to both leisure and business travellers alike and we are delighted to see this wonderful hotel join our outstanding portfolio."
Located in the upscale King Mariout area of Alexandria, the hotel features Egypt's first Premedion Spa which is the first Spa and Prevention Centre in the Middle-East. Its 6,000 square meters comprises an experience pool, sound-and-light system floatation pool, male and female wet areas, a rehabilitation centre, diagnostics centre, medical beauty centre, male and female spa areas, a hammam and a VIP spa suite.
Offering guests a variety of leisure facilities, Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch boasts the largest outdoor pool in the city at 2,350 square meters alongside a children's pool, a kid's outdoor playground as well as a heated indoor pool. The hotel also features six food and beverage outlets offering a wide range of local dishes and international cuisine. Zaatar is the hotel's signature Lebanese restaurant, while at Teatro, the all-day dining restaurant, guests can enjoy a sumptuous meal from the wide range buffet and à la carte menu offerings.
Axis bar is the hotel's social hub where guests can meet for a drink or a snack and enjoy the entertaining atmosphere. La Terrasse is the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the area; the sun-soaked terrace is surrounded by lush gardens and offers superb views of the hotel's main swimming pool. The ideal setting for a laid-back drink is at Splash pool bar which features tropical cocktails and light meals. The Lounge, situated at the hotel's lobby, offers an elegant and relaxed environment where guests can enjoy their favourite drink before heading to lunch or dinner. Featuring six spacious function rooms and a signature ballroom, the hotel can accommodate more than 1,000 guests for business meetings, weddings or other social events.
Karim Helmy, general manager, Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch, said: "I am delighted to be officially opening this amazing hotel. With great facilities and an incredible team of industry professionals, we are able to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests by providing quality experiences and creating lasting memories for them."
Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only hotel loyalty program that allows members to earn Points & Miles® on the same stay and No Blackout Dates on reward stays. HHonors members always get the lowest price with its Best Price Guarantee, along with HHonors Points, free standard Wi-Fi, digital check-in and no booking fees only when they book directly through Hilton.
Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch is located at 10.5 kilometers, Borg El Arab Road, King Mariout, Alexandria, Egypt. For more information or to make reservations, please visit alexandriakingsranch.hilton.com or call +20 3 4530180.

Pride of America receives bow to stern enhancements

World’s only US-flagged cruise ship returns to her homeport of Honolulu completely renovated with enhancements in nearly all public areas and staterooms

Wiesbaden, March 29, 2016 – Norwegian Cruise Line’s US-flagged Pride of America returned to her homeport of Honolulu this Saturday, March 26, as a nearly new ship following a three and half week dry dock where she received ship-wide enhancements, including newly designed public spaces, brand new venues and refreshed décor in all staterooms. Pride of America’s extensive renovation is a part of The Norwegian Edge™ program, a $400 million investment that sets a new standard of excellence for the Norwegian brand encompassing the entire guest experience.
“When guests step aboard the all new Pride of America they will be amazed by the breadth of this renovation,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Operating Officer. “This is much more than just a fresh coat of paint and new drapes. Pride of America is now essentially a new ship, and the only one to offer this incredibly unique way to experience the Hawaiian Islands with 100 hours of time in port.”
Many of Pride of America’s public spaces, along with several of the ships’ restaurants as well as bars and lounges, were refreshed from top to bottom to receive a modern updated look with new contemporary décor and furniture as well as new lighting and flooring. Every stateroom aboard Pride of America was touched by this renovation, receiving new bedding, new furniture, new flat screen televisions and updated flooring.
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Pride of America guests will now be able to enjoy not only refreshed spaces but also new modern venues including the Soho Art Gallery, an expansive venue that features original works of art available for purchase; the new Perspectives Photo Studio, an area for couples, families and friends to have professional photo memories of their holiday; and Dolce Gelato, Norwegian’s signature gelateria. Those looking to tie-the-knot while in any of the ship’s enchanting ports-of-call can do so in the ship’s wedding chapel, now in a new location on deck six with new flooring, furniture and wall fixtures.

The ship’s pool deck underwent a complete refurbishment to create an upscale feel on board with a refinished pool, new loungers and Jacuzzis.
Guests looking to enjoy some quiet time can now do so in the completely transformed Conservatory; complete with new furniture, flooring and modern décor; and the library and card rooms, which were outfitted with new flooring, furniture and six computer stations for Internet access, for those who prefer to leave their personal devices at home. Relaxation will take centre stage at The Mandara Spa, which is being expanded and revitalized to feature more treatment rooms so guests can enjoy massages, facials and more. The spa will feature New Mexican décor including soft, neutral colours and natural elements like stone and wood to provide a tranquil atmosphere.
Dining enhancements for Pride of America include extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues, most notably the ship’s Skyline Main Dining Room, which received a refreshed look with new décor including a new entrance, new carpet design, new furniture upholstery, new window drapes and new columns throughout the restaurant. La Cucina, Norwegian’s signature Italian restaurant, aboard Pride of America has been transformed into an elegant and intimate venue where guests can enjoy fine Italian fare. The ship’s speciality restaurants East Meets West, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Jefferson’s Bistro also received enhancements to upgrade the venues to a modern look with new flooring, reupholstered furniture, new artwork, lighting fixtures, new window treatments and more.
Beyond hardware upgrades, guests sailing aboard Pride of America can now enjoy new menus in all dining outlets offering more freedom and flexibility to guests with additional choices and à la carte priced items in complimentary dining rooms and speciality restaurants. Building on the success of the enhanced menus aboard Norwegian’s newest ship Norwegian Escape, Pride of America’s new menus now feature increased variety and have been carefully developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations.

Pride of America is the only ship that sails year-round from Honolulu on 7-night intra-Hawai’i cruises. This one-of-a-kind itinerary offers nearly 100 hours of port time and visits Hawai’i’s main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nāwiliwili, Kaua’i; stops in Hilo, Hawai’i and Kona, Hawai’i; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nā Pali Coast. To book an inter-island Hawai’i cruise aboard Pride of America, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian or visit www.ncl.eu.