Τρίτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2017

ICCA Malaysia met at MBEW 2017

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ICCA Malaysia met at MBEW 2017

Malaysia Business Events Week (MBEW) entered its third year with the theme “Our Future by Design: Accelerating Transformation” at One World Hotel, PJ. The event was launched by Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia.
icca mbew2017
In conjunction with MBEW, Malaysia Association Next (MyNEXT) and Future Leaders Day forum was held. The four-day event was successfully joined by 460 attendees.
ICCA Malaysia held a meeting to discuss on the current news and upcoming developments for business events in Malaysia. Among the ICCA Malaysia main objectives is to garner more government advocacy and education that focuses on the importance of inter-ministerial collaboration by leveraging opportunities from business events taking place in Malaysia, as well as to play a role in achieving the 2020 goals of every ministries. Student activities with Business Events Academic Council, otherwise known as BEAC, will include 2017 Corporate Incentive Challenge, Future Leaders day and supporting activities such as the AFECA Youth Challenge. As data collection on business events remains a key effort in analysing the strength of the industry, members have agreed to work and collaborate in collecting data.
Ms. Ho Yoke Ping, General Manager Business Events, MyCEB and Chair of ICCA Malaysia Committee, said: “As the ICCA membership in Malaysia grow, it is vital for us to ensure that all members become an active player in the association meetings space. We are glad that ICCA Malaysia members are able to play our part to support the various activities for the industry and developing the future generation”
ICCA Malaysia is one of the 19 partners to participate in the MBEW BE HUB and product showcase. A social media campaign was initiated with posts of the event tagging #ICCAMy and #ICCAxMBEW2017. Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau held a slogan competition on Twitter based on the MBEW’s theme, “Accelerating Transformation” and sponsored two free passes to the BE@Penang 2017 in December. As part of the green initiative, Free Tree Society donated 30 plants to the booth visitors to encourage sustainability in the business events industry.

Duetto brings true personalization to booking process with launch of PlayMaker

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Duetto brings true personalization to booking process with launch of PlayMaker

SAN FRANCISCO - Duetto, hospitality's only Revenue Strategy Platform in the cloud, has introduced PlayMaker, the industry's first application tackling true personalization of the booking path.
The new cloud application addresses the industry's greatest challenge by providing consumers a better and more personal shopping experience, increasing their likelihood to convert. By serving both known and unknown shoppers customized merchandising content on direct channels, PlayMaker enables hoteliers to offer guests what they want and drive more direct bookings.
"The lack of real personalization in hospitality, despite all the data hotels and casinos have at hand, is a challenge as old as revenue management and the primary reason consumers continue to shop around,"said Marco Benvenuti, Co-Founder and the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of San Francisco-based Duetto. "PlayMaker solves problems I've dealt with ever since my days as a revenue and marketing director and provides incredible opportunities for hoteliers to increase conversion and win back direct bookings. And when combined with GameChanger, hoteliers now have the ability to personalize pricing and merchandising to really move the revenue needle."
With PlayMaker, properties connect browsing behavior, demographic information, past stay history and third-party data to make instant, intuitive decisions that serve up the most enticing room types, packages, offers and upsells. Duetto's Revenue Strategy Platform delivers those "plays" to the booking engine via an integration with the RESTful API, allowing the hotel to offer personalized experiences that increase conversion. With visibly faster response time and relevant offers, guests will be able to book without frustration - ending their buying journey with a confirmed reservation.
For example, when an unknown high-worth shopper arrives at a hotel's booking engine, PlayMaker could instantaneously offer an executive suite as the first choice in the room type sort order. Or if it's a known customer who has previously booked spa treatments, PlayMaker might serve up the suite plus a special spa offer to drive ancillary revenue.
When paired with GameChanger, Duetto's Open Pricing Application, PlayMaker provides the unprecedented ability for hoteliers to match the right content and the right price to the right consumer, providing a completely personalized offer that increases conversion and revenue.
"The launch of PlayMaker marks an important extension of who we are as the pioneers of Revenue Strategy," added Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of Duetto. "When we started this company and developed Open Pricing, it enabled us to optimize our clients' pricing and distribution strategies, but we never intended to stop there. We're closer than ever to realizing our vision of personalization and providing hoteliers the solutions they need to drive greater guest loyalty and more profitability."
Combined with the company's flagship Open Pricing application, GameChanger, its intelligent-reporting app, ScoreBoard, and its contracted business optimization app, BlockBuster, the new product further delivers on Duetto's founding mission to help hotels and casinos adopt a highly collaborative, data-driven and more profitable Revenue Strategy.
Like the other applications, PlayMaker enables hotels and casinos to better address hospitality's increasingly complex landscape for technology and digital distribution. The Revenue Strategy Platform brings together all core technologies and data to make them accessible through multi-tenant cloud architecture, powering a growing suite of applications that enable the most comprehensive Revenue Strategy.

Aman is coming to New York, to occupy the entire Crown Building

Aman New York building
Aman announced its next island destination to open its property: New York’s Manhattan Island. Aman New York, scheduled to open in 2020, will be Aman’s third US property after Amangiri and Amangani.
Aman destinations are renowned for space and privacy and Aman New York will be will occupy the iconic Crown Building and will comprise not only guest rooms and suites, but will also house the first urban Aman Residences, a collection of just 20 incomparable private homes, inviting owners to be part of a very select community. Embodying the splendour of the Gilded Age and dynamism of Fifth Avenue, the Crown Building is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Manhattan. Built in 1921, it is one of the finest examples of neo-classical Beaux-Arts architecture in the Big Apple.
Situated in the heart of Manhattan at the crossroads of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, overlooking Central Park, Aman New York will blend the pulse of the city with the soul of Aman. Beyond the park views, the location and the absolute rarity of the building as one of the few vestiges of old New York, this building represents a unique opportunity for Aman, its guests and permanent residents
As it embarks on a new chapter ahead of its centenary in 2021, the Crown Building – formerly the first home of the Museum of Modern Art – will undergo a monumental transformation, which will see it fully restored to its original splendour and imbued with the spirit of Aman.
Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman, says, “Aman has always sought the finest locations in the world, and we recently expanded our vision to include select cities. The Crown Building represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring Aman to New York, the world’s greatest and most dynamic city. We are honoured to be the stewards of an exciting new chapter in this iconic building’s legacy.”
Aman New York will occupy the entire Crown Building, excluding the retail space on the first three floors. It will comprise 83 elegant guest rooms and suites, three principal social dining venues, a comprehensive spa, 19 private Aman Residences on the upper floors, plus an extensive, one-of-a-kind, five-storey, park-view Penthouse at the building’s apex. There will also be an Aman Members’ Club, and Aman New York will house facilities exclusively for the use of its Members.
After arriving via an understated entrance, guests’ first encounter of Aman New York will be its dramatic 10th-floor double-height Sky Lobby. Its multi-layers of textured ceiling panels in muted tones will gently hint at Asian influences and set the scene for an aesthetic journey in deference to Aman’s Asian roots.
In keeping with Aman’s commitment to creating havens of space and seclusion, the 83 guest rooms and suites start at 70 square metres, each have a functioning fireplace – something of a rarity in New York – and will be among the largest in the city. A subtle design narrative will feature throughout, typified by nuanced hues and innovative lighting that will cocoon guests, while a more modern ambience can be introduced thanks to a unique pivoting door, which can be opened to integrate the contemporary fixtures and furnishings of the bathroom, should it be preferred.
Aman New York Spa Pool
Extending over three storeys on the 7th, 8th and 9th floors, the Aman Spa will cover 2,000 square metres and will be reserved exclusively for hotel guests, residents and Club Members. The centerpiece of this elevated sanctuary will be its 25-metre indoor swimming pool - flanked by alcoves of double daybeds and fire pits – which will provide a soothing escape from the hurried pace of the city. Two Spa Houses will provide guests with an all-encompassing spa journey, indulging them with comprehensive private facilities including a spacious double treatment room, sauna and steam rooms complemented by hot and cold plunge pools, and an outdoor terrace with cabana, daybed and fireplace.
Its 10th-floor has wraparound Garden Terrace – a rare find in one of the most densely populated cities in the world – encompassing a bar with panoramic views of Central Park, and a Cigar Bar, the whole setting a new precedent with its verdant environment. Offering year-round dining, the Terrace will be a must-visit rarefied perch with water features adding a soft and soothing touch, and a central fire pit adding a sense of drama and energy. A stylish Piano Bar in the Sky Lobbytwo restaurants - including Aman’s recently introduced Japanese culinary concept, Nama - plus the Wine Library (which will be available for private wine tastings and events), and a subterranean Jazz Club will all establish the hotel as a destination in itself, interwoven into the fabric of the city.
Nestled in the building’s ornamental gilded crown, the Crown Penthouse will present the rarest of opportunities to own a New York icon - a piece of the city’s architectural history, reimagined for the 21st century. Offering consummate privacy with uninterrupted views of Central Park, the Penthouse will have a wraparound terrace and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. All Residences, some with sweeping outdoor terraces with heated pools, will be fully serviced by Aman, and Residents will have access to a Members’ Lounge, in addition to the use of all hotel facilities.
Aman New York will offer the unrivalled, intuitive service for which Aman is celebrated, providing peace and privacy in the most energetic and engaging city in the world. This new urban sanctuary, together with its fully serviced Aman Residences, will open in 2020 and will see the Crown Building rightfully regain its status as the ruler of Midtown.

Cruise markets slows in China

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cruise markets slows in China

The cruise market of China is growing slowly. The delivery of the World Dream from Meyer Werft to Dream Cruises on October 26 in Bremerhaven, Germany, marked the third new cruise ship completed this year dedicated to the Chinese market.

While it underscores the cruise industry’s continued long-term confidence in the market, near-term the Chinese market appears to be entering a period of adjustment after extraordinary growth.

Even before the addition of the 11,000 new berths in 2017 from the World Dream, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy and Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess, the Chinese market had already become the world’s fastest-growing major source market for passengers.

Between 2012 and 2016, passenger counts recorded an astounding 76 percent CAGR. In 2016 alone, mainland China sourced more than 2.1 million cruise passengers.

Over the past decade, cruise lines have been adapting their products to suit local preferences.Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cruise markets slows in China

The newest ships have been most successful prompting, for example, Royal Caribbean International to deploy in China both the newly built Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas that feature bumper cars, a skydiving simulator and an observation pod.

As the competition increases, the lines are now adding further unique amenities, such as a small deep-sea submarine on the World Dream.

Responding to Chinese tastes has also meant, for example, adding the largest shopping space at sea, karaoke rooms and a mahjong and gaming area to the Majestic Princess.

Princess Cruises will relocate the Majestic Princess to Sydney, Australia, between September 2018 and March 2019, joining Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, which is also splitting its year between China and Australia.

Costa Cruises’ Costa Victoria is re positioning to Europe, while Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas returns to Miami. MSC Cruises will be doubling its capacity in the Chinese market, replacing the 1,984 passenger MSC Lirica, which departs for Europe in April 2018, with the 4,363 passenger MSC Splendida, which will arrive in China in May 2018. The MSC Splendida, however, will only be seasonal as she is scheduled to return to Dubai late in 2018.

WTM London Welcomes 130+ New Exhibitors for 2017

More than 130 new exhibitors from across the globe have signed up for WTM London – the leading global event for the travel industry, which takes place next week (Monday 6 – Wednesday 8 November).

The newcomers represent every continent and every sector of the travel trade, including destinationstechnologyhospitality, tour operatingcruisinginsurance andcar hire.

The fast-growing Asian markets are particularly well represented, with 33 of the new exhibitors from Asia.

Major new first-timers from Asia include Hong Kong International Airport (stand AS964) and Kazakhstan’s culture ministry (stand AS970).

Hong Kong International Airport handled 70.5 million passenger trips in 2016, and is seeing more growth this year. More than 100 airlines link Hong Kong with about 220 destinations worldwide every day, making it one of the world’s busiest passenger airports.

The Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan will highlight a wealth of tourism opportunities in the central Asian country, from wellness and activity holidays to adventure and heritage travel.

The largest city of Kazakhstan, Almaty, is also making its debut at WTM London (stand AS510). It is a bustling, leafy city, with museums, shops and nightclubs, and offers sporting breaks for skiers, hikers and cyclists.

Sri Lanka has a new exhibitor too: The Kingsbury Colombo (stand AS910), which is an award-winning luxury hotel in the heart of the country’s capital, with views over the Indian Ocean.
Elsewhere in Asia, there are new exhibitors from Iran, China, Japan, Russia, Vietnam, Nepal, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan.

The burgeoning technology sector is also brimming with new exhibitors, as 38 firms are making their debut at WTM London’s Travel Tech Show – the largest travel technology event in the UK.

Sceptre Hospitality Resources (stand TT229) works with thousands of hotels worldwide, with its Windsurfer reservation system and internet booking engine, TopSail.

Wetu (stand TT401) will show how it can add value to its clients by making business more efficient and increase their ability to convert opportunities. 

Stardekk (stand TT255) – a preferred IT partner for major industry players such as Booking.com, Expedia, HRS and Google – will highlight its hotel software called Cubilis, which enables users to be better connected to their guests.

Dublin-based Innstant Group (stand GV275) will demonstrate its powerful booking platform with an extensive travel inventory featuring more than 300,000 properties.

Other sectors welcoming fresh faces are the tour operators and industry suppliers such as car hire and insurance markets.

Online specialist ImperaTours (stand GV345) promotes Italian hospitality and is part of Imperatore Travel World.

Car and van hire firm B-Rent (stand GV484) has a fleet of 2,000 cars and has started to specialise in luxury and wedding services.

Another growing car hire brand is Crete-based SurPrice Car Rental (GV370) which operates in 19 countries and is looking for further expansion opportunities.

WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “We are very encouraged by the sheer diversity and numbers of new exhibitors signing up for WTM London.

“These first-timers will see how the event is an excellent platform to develop their businesses and meet contacts from around the world in one place.
“The huge variety on offer ensures that visitors to WTM London can catch up with their established contacts to renew business deals, and negotiate fresh contracts with new partners too.”

easyJet acquires air berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel Airport

easyjet terminal
easyJet acquires part of air berlin’s operations at Berlin Tegel Airport for €40 million. This excludes potential start-up and transitional operating costs. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in December 2017.
The acquisition will result in easyJet entering into leases for up to 25 A320 aircraft, offering employment to Air Berlin flying crews and taking over other assets including slots. easyJet has launched a recruitment campaign to attract around 1000 of Air Berlin’s pilots and cabin crew who will be recruited over the coming months and will then be trained on easyJet’s safety and operating procedures. In line with easyJet’s business model they will be employed on local, German contracts under collective labour agreements negotiated with ver.di.
This agreement is consistent with easyJet’s strategy of purposeful investment in strong number one positions in Europe’s leading airports (or number two to a legacy incumbent). This will enable easyJet to operate the leading short haul network at Tegel connecting passengers to and from destinations across Germany and the rest of Europe. This is in addition to easyJet’s existing base at Berlin Schönefeld and would mean that easyJet would be the leading airline in Berlin.
easyJet will make announcements on the new routes and services to be flown to and from Tegel in due course. easyJet will operate a reduced timetable at Tegel during the winter season but plans to operate a full schedule from the summer season 2018.
easyJet looks forward to building on the strong, customer focussed platform it already has in Berlin to fly more passengers, employ more people and support more economic growth in both Berlin and Brandenburg.

AC Hotel debuts in downtown Cincinnati At The Banks

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για AC Hotel debuts in downtown Cincinnati At The Banks

CINCINNATI - The AC Hotel Cincinnati at the Banks officially revealed its sophisticated European style during a ribbon-cutting celebration attended by Mayor John Cranley, Hamilton County Commissioners and area business leaders. Situated across from the Great American Ball Park, the design-led property resides in The Banks development – a premier mixed-use office, retail and residential development that serves as home to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, GE's Global Operations Headquarters and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Located at 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, the hotel was developed by Eagle Realty Group on behalf of its parent company, Western & Southern Financial Group, and its development and operating partner Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group, LLC of Cincinnati, Ohio.
"We are excited to bring this dynamic hotel to downtown Cincinnati," said Tom Stapleton, senior vice president, Eagle Realty Group. "The European inspiration of the design and the beverage and food is unlike any other hotel in the downtown market and has already been well received."
Designed with creative, well-traveled, entrepreneurial spirits in mind, the hotel will cater to those who are constantly on the go through its innovative beverage and food programming, intuitive service, locally inspired art and 171 modern guest rooms and suites, many with balconies that overlook the Ohio River, Roebling Suspension Bridge and Smale Park. Guests will appreciate the hotel's jaw-dropping views from the rooftop bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Three distinct meeting spaces are also available to guests of AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks, including two intimate, audiovisual-equipped media salons for up to eight people, and an 888-square-foot meeting room.
The AC Lobby will feature the brand's signature open-concept spaces with a thoughtfully selected collection of inviting furnishings. Ambient lighting and cozy seating in the AC library and lounge areas invite travelers and locals to relax in chic surroundings, while also creating an effortless space in which to conduct a business meeting or connect with friends over cocktails.
A twist on the traditional hotel bar, the AC lounge will serve up AC's signature Gintonic, beer from local breweries, specialty wines, expertly made craft cocktails and a selection of tapas-style small bites. The AC Upper Deck rooftop bar and event space overlooks downtown Cincinnati with spectacular views of the Ohio River and Smale Park. The AC kitchen will serve a European-inspired continental breakfast selection of flaky croissants, savory egg tarts and Nespresso coffee.

Hotelbeds Group grows car rental sales 200% over three years

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hotelbeds Group grows car rental sales 200% over three years

PALMA de MALLORCA – Hotelbeds Group, the business-to-business provider of services to the travel industry globally, has announced that CARNECT – the business-to-business car rental distribution specialist platform – has achieved 200% growth in the Total Transaction Value (TTV) of sales through its platform over the last three years.
Additionally, CARNECT is able to confirm that it has now reached agreements with over 70 additional online travel agencies (OTAS), tour operators and ancillary revenue management platforms over the last 12 months only. This takes the total number to over 200 partners connected to CARNECT/s 500-plus car rental partners, including market leaders such as Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, and Enterprise that offer geographical coverage in over 170 countries.
Chris Leonard, Managing Director of CARNECT: “Our growth continues to accelerate through both commissionable and wholesaler models that we offer to our partners, a direct result of developing innovative and tailored solutions that not only focus on car rental ancillary revenues for our partners but also increase customer satisfaction.
“This focus on customer satisfaction has been supported by initiatives around increased product display transparency, supplier sourced inclusive product and excellent account management and customer service. We believe this commitment to customer satisfaction is often overlooked in the car rental industry, but that it is critical for both our online and travel agency partners to maximize customer retention and lifetime value.”
Cina Bahri, Global Business Development Director of CARNECT continues: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm that over the last 12 months we have strongly increased our business development by signing over 70 new agreements with major players within the industry across the globe – and that our sales have trebled over the last three years.
“This has been achieved through focusing solely on the B2B sector and via our commitment to providing our clients with the best possible tailor-made product and technology solutions to help them grow their car rental businesses.  Our recognition as a highly reliable car rental distribution partner shows the strong mutual trust and reliability we have established with our existing and new clients. This has driven our successful entry into further markets, including the US, Asia-Pacific, and this year the Middle East & North Africa.
“In recent years having the right technology has become one of the biggest challenges for our car rental and travel seller partners. With our own in-house technology, which is highly recognized within the industry for its impressive credentials and ceaseless commitment to innovation, we have been able to further differentiate our offering through API, widget and mobile solutions that our partners need to drive both revenue and margins.
“Currently we have many exciting partnerships in the pipeline and ambitious plans for growth that I look forward to announcing soon.”

Qatar Airways Launches New Flights to Pattaya

pattaya bay
Qatar Airways continues expansion with launch of flights to its fifth Thai destination. The award-winning airline has responded to increased customer demand for services to Thailand by launching direct flights to Pattaya.
The new four-times-a-week service, which starts on 28 January 2018, is in addition to the airline’s existing flights to Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket and soon to be launched, Chiang Mai. The launch of the service to historic Chiang Mai is scheduled to start on 12 December, 2017.
Located on the popular southeast coast of Thailand, Pattaya and nearby Rayong are major destinations for sun-seekers looking to soak up the local culture or relax and bask on one of the areas extensive beaches. Holiday-makers on the route are expected to come from Qatar Airways’ extensive network of destinations across Europe and the Middle East.
Qatar Airways will operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class on flights between Doha and U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport, on its winter schedule. It will be the first five-star Middle East airline to offer flights to and from Pattaya.
Qatar Airways’ new service to Pattaya will help to reinforce the strong ties between Qatar and Thailand. Qatar Airways currently operates flights to three destinations in Thailand, with services 35 times a week to Bangkok, 14 times a week to Phuket and daily to Krabi commencing 1 December 2017. From 12 December 2017, Qatar Airways will also fly four times a week to Chiang Mai, which will take the airline’s weekly frequency to 60 flights a week.

WestJet announces 2017 Travel Partner Award winners

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για WestJet announces 2017 Travel Partner Award winners

CALGARY - On October 26, WestJet announced the names of its 2017 Travel Partner Awards winners and honoured the agencies and agents who have contributed to the airline's success.
"Our travel partners play a significant role in the success of WestJet and WestJet Vacations and our annual Travel Partner Awards are just one way of saying we value you," said Lyell Farquharson, Vice President, Sales and Distribution. "Every day, our TA partners help us deliver unforgettable travel experiences for our mutual guests, and we enjoy recognizing the dedication and support of the travel trade with this special evening."
More than 200 agents attended the event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto where guests were treated to hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and a four-course meal. Sandy Jobin-Bevans, Canadian Comedy Award winner and Second City veteran, acted as host while Ron Tite, award-winning advertising writer and creative director, delivered an engaging and inspiring address.
Said Farquharson, "Thank you to our generous sponsors Bahia Principe, Barbados and AMResorts for your contributions. The evening was a great success due to all of our partners' efforts." WestJet
The awards recognized 13 different categories including: WestJet Vacations Top Revenue Growth, WestJet Top Revenue Growth and WestJet Top Growth TMC.
List of winners:
WestJet, Top Revenue Growth
WestJet, Top Guest Count Growth
Uniglobe West
WestJet, Top Growth TMC
American Express GBT and HRG
Bahia, Top Growth Sales
Red Tag Vacations
WestJet Vacations, Top Revenue Growth
WestJet Vacations, Top Guest Count Growth
AMResorts, Top Growth Sales
WestJet, Top PLUS sales growth
American Express GBT
WestJet, Top U.S. Agency
Voyages a la Carte
Barbados, Top Growth Sales
Ensemble Travel Group
Top Growth, Online Travel Agency
Top Group, Incentive, Convention Sales
Uniglobe Premiere Travel
Top Growth Consolidator

Best Western Hotels & Resorts Launches Third Soft Brand, BW Signature Collection By Best Western

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Best Western Hotels & Resorts Launches Third Soft Brand, BW Signature Collection By Best Western

Best Western Hotels & Resorts today announced its eleventh brand – and newest soft brand – BW Signature Collection by Best Western.  With the arrival of this new product, Best Western now offers soft brand options to hotel owners in most chain scale segments – upper economy and midscale (SureStay CollectionSM by Best Western), upper midscale (BW Signature Collection by Best Western) and upscale and upper upscale (BW Premier Collection®).

“An increasing number of hotels in North America and overseas are going independent because they want flexibility and freedom from brand requirements, but they are also looking for an alternate source of business, a loyalty program and a robust reservation system,” said David Kong, President and CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

“No one is offering a soft brand in the upper midscale segment right now, so by diversifying our offerings in the space, it is clearly an opportunity for us to capture market share and achieve scale,” Kong said.  “At the same time, we are happy to provide a home, and serve as a resource, to high quality independent hoteliers who have great potential to succeed.  We believe this is a win-win.”

The first two hotels to join BW Signature Collection by Best Western are Killington Mountain Lodge in Killington, Vermont and Brooklyn Way Hotel in Brooklyn, New York.  Hotels joining this new brand will be on boarded in a rapid ramp-up, with near immediate access to Best Western’s robust revenue management systems, tradeshow and sales support, marketing programs, award-winning BWR® loyalty program, global reservation system and more.

“Best Western is a trail-blazer in the soft brand space. Since launching our BW Premier Collection in 2015, and last year, SureStay Collection, we’ve seen incredible results, with continued opportunity to grow,” said Ron Pohl, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Best Western Hotels & Resorts.  “We anticipate a successful launch of BW Signature Collection by Best Western and look forward to welcoming many more independent hoteliers to our family in the near future.”

While targeting rapid growth for its most recent soft brand, Best Western will be selective and focus on quality over quantity. To qualify, properties must maintain a TripAdvisor® score of at least 4.0 and meet other standards, as well.  Best Western anticipates 100 hotels to be in the BW Signature Collection by Best Western pipeline by 2020.

As Catalonia declares independence, Travel Bookings fall 22%

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για As Catalonia declares independence, Travel Bookings fall 22%

The  October 27, 2017 was a historic day in Spain as the country’s Catalonia crisis plunged to new depths - Catalonia declares independence. This is Spain’s gravest political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago and many fear it could escalate further into violence. In the light of the political unrest, international air reservations for Catalonia have fallen by 22% since the beginning of October.
According to ForwardKeys, which helps forecast future travel by analysing around 17 million flight booking transactions a day, international air reservations for Catalonia have fallen 22% since the beginning of October (up to 25th of October), benchmarked against the equivalent dates last year.
catalonia crowd flags

Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys said: “Domestic political unrest almost always deters visitors and that is what we are seeing now – a 22% collapse in international flight bookings for Catalonia. This will also have a knock-on to other parts of Spain because many visitors arriving in Catalonia will travel around the country. If the political crisis worsens, I fear we will see a further decline in bookings. This trend will be of great concern because Travel & Tourism represents such a large proportion of the Spanish economy, over 14% of GDP*”. (*Source WTTC)

Qatar Airways makes history as the first airline ever to operate an Airbus A350 to the Maldives

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Qatar Airways makes history as the first airline ever to operate an Airbus A350 to the Maldives

In a move that makes history, Qatar Airways is proud to announce that it is the first airline ever to fly the state-of-the-art Airbus A350 to the Maldives.

The airline has upgraded its current double-daily A330 service to an A350, with the first A350 beginning operations today and the second A350 service joining shortly afterwards on 3 November.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the first airline to fly our Airbus A350 to the Maldives. As one of the airline’s most in-demand destinations, we are delighted to be upgrading our aircraft and providing our passengers with the ultimate comfort and services on board one of the most technologically innovative aircraft in the sky.”

Renowned worldwide for its pristine white-sandy beaches, idyllic diving spots and preserved natural wonders, the Maldives is truly one of the world’s most exotic and tranquil leisure destinations. The picture-perfect islands are located in the Indian Ocean and are just five hours from Doha.

Qatar Airways first launched service to the Maldives in December 2001. The airline operated the service using an A330 aircraft, which features 30 seats in Business Class and 275 in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways was the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 in January 2015. The award-winning airline has the largest fleet of this aircraft type of any airline in the world and currently operates 19 A350 aircraft across its global network to destinations, including Adelaide, Brussels, Geneva, Singapore and Tokyo. It was the first airline to fly the A350 to the United States and to Australia.

The Airbus A350 aircraft features a total of 283 seats, with 36 Business class seats and 247 in Economy Class. Thanks to the extra-wide cabin design, passengers on board are offered unparalleled comfort in both cabins, with Business Class fully flat beds and spacious seats in Economy.

With high-definition touch screens and dual-screen function that allows for simultaneous viewing, passengers can enjoy countless entertainment options through the airline’s award winning Oryx One entertainment system, as well as connect to the internet using the OnAir Wi-Fi service.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its twentieth year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.

The award-winning airline has received a number of accolades this year, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which was held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline. In addition to being voted ‘Best Airline’ by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’

Rwanda participated for 1st time in ITB Asia to promote in Asian market

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Rwanda participated for 1st time in ITB Asia to promote in Asian market

Rwanda Development Board wants to attract the Asian market in their travel and tourism business.

It is for the first time, Rwanda Development Board participated in ITB Asia, one of Asia’s leading travel trade shows that was hosted last week in Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, Singapore.

ITB Asia is one of the experts within the travel trade industry worldwide. Rwanda Development Board in partnership with High Commission of Rwanda in Singapore displayd the different travel and business tourism opportunities available in the tourism sector of Rwanda. ITB Asia took place between October 25 and 27 in the year 2017.Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Rwanda

The participation of Rawanda opened all opportunities in travel and tourism for major Asian tourism stakeholders who later expressed deep interest in beginning the new hopeful collaborations and partnerships towards promotion of high-end packages to Rwanda.

Also, the participation of Rawanda Tourism Board  is predictable to improve the rising number of visitors from Asia and Australia and to further introduce Rwanda to new emerging markets, especially for high-end and MICE visitors.

Visitors spent $12.56 Billion in Hawai’i – Q3, 2017

hawaii honolulu
Hawai’i continues to be a popular tourism destination. Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $12.56 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) announced that total arrivals rose 4.9 percent to 7,017,268 visitors compared to a year ago, boosted by growth in arrivals from both air service (+4.7% to 6,931,187) and cruise ships (+23.2% to 86,081).
Year-to-date through September 2017, Hawai‘i’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+10.5% to $4.60 billion), U.S. East (+10.4% to $3.27 billion), Japan (+11% to $1.68 billion) and Canada (+9.8% to $748.8 million), all reported strong gains in total visitor spending, along with increased daily spending, compared to last year. Visitor spending from All Other International markets declined in the first three quarters of 2017 (-6.5% to $2.24 billion) due to lower daily spending.
Visitor arrivals from U.S. West (+4.4% to 2,864,784), U.S. East (+5.7% to 1,535,934), Japan (+6.7% to 1,175,174) and Canada (+9.6% to 367,655) all increased in the first three quarters of 2017 versus last year.
All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending and arrivals in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to last year. The island of Hawai‘i saw double-digit growth in both visitor spending and arrivals, supported by increased direct air service from the U.S. and Japan.
Through the first nine months of 2017, total air capacity to the Hawaiian Islands increased slightly (+0.8% to 9,165,745 seats) compared to the same period last year.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Visitors  in Hawai’i – Q3, 2017
U.S. West: In the first three quarters of 2017, visitor arrivals increased from the Mountain (+6.2%) and Pacific (+3.6%) regions compared to last year. There was moderate growth in hotel (+5.6%) and timeshare (+2.4%) usage, while stays in rental homes (+10.8%) and bed and breakfast properties (+10.4%) rose sharply compared to the same period in 2016. Daily spending averaged $178 per person in the first three quarters of 2017, up from $166 per person versus the same timeframe in 2016. Lodging, food and beverage, entertainment and recreation and shopping expenses were all higher compared to last year.
In September 2017, growth in arrivals from the Mountain region (+11.5%) was led by increases from Nevada (+16.4%), Utah (+12.9%) and Colorado (+8.8%). From the Pacific region (+10.6%), more visitors came from California (+9.9%), Oregon (+15.5%) and Washington (+13%).
U.S. East: Year-to-date through September 2017, visitor arrivals increased from all regions, highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, South Atlantic (+8.3%) and East North Central (+4.3%), compared to a year ago. Usage of bed and breakfast properties (+14.1%) and rental homes (+13%) rose significantly. Average daily spending rose to $210 per person (+5.3%). Lodging, food and beverage, shopping, and entertainment and recreation expenses all increased, while transportation expenses were similar to a year ago.
In September 2017, visitor arrivals increased from the East South Central (+3.3%) and West South Central (+2.3%) regions, but declined from the New England (-11.4%), East North Central (-10.3%), West North Central (-7.6%), Mid-Atlantic (-6.3%) and South Atlantic (-3.2%) regions compared to September 2016.
Japan: The launch of direct air service to Kona in December 2016 and increased air service to Honolulu has supported growth in visitor spending and arrivals through the first nine months of 2017. Significantly more visitors stayed in condominiums (+24.2%) and timeshares (+21.2%) in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period last year. More visitors made their own travel arrangements (+29.5%), while fewer visitors purchased group tours (-10%) and package trips (-2%).
Daily visitor spending rose to $238 per person (+2.4%) in the first three quarters of 2017. Lodging, food and beverage, and transportation expenses were higher than a year ago but shopping expenses declined.
Canada: Visitor spending and arrivals increased in the first nine months of 2017, as the market continued to recover from sharp declines in both categories for much of 2016. Significantly more visitors stayed in rental homes (+25.4%) in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to last year. Daily spending by visitors increased to $163 per person (+2%). Visitors spent more on lodging and entertainment and recreation, while expenses for shopping, transportation and food and beverage were similar to last year.
Australia: In the first three quarters of 2017, visitor arrivals decreased (-1.3% to 240,486) versus the same period in 2016. Average daily visitor spending also declined (-4.9% to $277 per person per day). While shopping expenses increased, lodging, food and beverage, and transportation expenses decreased. In September 2017, arrivals declined (-5.8% to 34,407) compared to a year ago.
New Zealand: Visitor arrivals increased through the first nine months of 2017 (+5.3% to 51,014) compared to the same period last year. In September 2017, arrivals dropped slightly (-0.6% to 7,929) year-over-year.
China: Visitor arrivals declined through the first three quarters of 2017 (-9% to 122,425) and also in September 2017 (-3.5% to 12,280) compared to a year ago. Daily spending by visitors decreased to $329 per person (-14.6%) in the first three quarters of 2017 versus last year, but continued to be the highest among Hawai‘i’s visitor markets. Spending was lower in all categories (lodging, shopping, food and beverage, entertainment and recreation) compared to the same period last year.
Korea: Visitor arrivals decreased (-2.6% to 178,382) in the first nine months of 2017, as did average daily spending at $278 per person (-9.1%) versus the same period in 2016. Shopping expenses increased, but lodging, food and beverage, and transportation expenses declined. In September 2017 arrivals were up (+5.8% to 22,883) versus last year.
Taiwan: Visitor arrivals rose (+1.9% to 14,324) through the first three quarters of 2017 compared to 2016. Arrivals decreased in September 2017 (-6.8% to 1,426) compared to last September.
Europe: Visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland declined in the first three quarters of 2017 (-4% to 106,359) and in September 2017 (-8.5% to 14,366) versus last year.
Latin America: Visitor arrivals from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina decreased in the first three quarters of 2017 (-6.8% to 18,080) and in September 2017 (-6.9% to 1,717) compared to last year