Πέμπτη, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017

MIA mobile app named “Best Immigration Initiative” by global forum

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για MIA mobile app named “Best Immigration Initiative” by global forum

MIAMI — Miami International Airport’s recently upgraded mobile app MIA Airport Official was named “Best Immigration Initiative” this month at the 2017 Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global Awardsceremony. MIA was recognized for being the first airport in the world authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to integrate Mobile Passport Control into its mobile application, making MIA Airport Official a digital one-stop shop for MIA travelers. Previously, the only option travelers had was to download the separate Mobile Passport Control app if they wanted to clear passport control via mobile device.
The awards ceremony took place at the FTE Global 2017 Gala Party on September 7 at the OMNIA at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Nearly 700 attendees gathered from around the world for this year’s FTE Global – an independent global forum for travel industry stakeholders – to reveal their passenger-focused plans, discuss their future visions, and unveil their latest products and services designed to improve the passenger experience and business performance.
“As the gateway for 70 percent of all international passengers to Florida and 96 percent of all visitors to Miami, MIA is the front door to our community,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I congratulate Director Gonzalez and his exceptional team for the steps they continue to take toward improving the first impression Miami-Dade County makes on our visitors, through world-class technology and world-class customer service.”
After first-time users of MIA Airport Official create and save a traveler profile, those traveling with family will have the option to create multiple traveler profiles and include them in their submission to CBP. Once the desired number of travelers is selected, users will be asked to provide airline information and answer five questions about their travel itinerary. Upon submitting the answers, the app provides users with a digital receipt to be used at dedicated Mobile Passport Control entry lanes. The expedited service does not require pre-approval and is free of charge.
Launched in 2011, the FTE Global Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of organizations that have gone the extra mile to improve the passenger experience both on the ground and in-flight. Presented to the winners in the presence of their industry peers, the awards recognize the most innovative, ambitious and effective initiatives and organizations across multiple categories. The winners were chosen through consultation with a panel of industry experts, whose identities we keep confidential to maintain their independence.
“As MIA continues to welcome more international passengers, one of our top priorities is to improve our efficiency by turning to technology,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González“We are extremely honored to have been recognized by FTE Global for the recent update to our app, and we look forward to introducing additional passenger enhancements in the coming year.”
This accolade comes just months after MDAD Director of Information Systems and Telecommunications Maurice Jenkins was ranked among the world’s top 10 airport industry figures on the 2017 Future Travel Experience Airport Innovation Power List. MIA was also acknowledged for its innovative initiatives last October, when Airport Innovation Accelerator – an aviation industry community established by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) – awarded the airport its inaugural Airport Innovation Award in recognition of creative projects that improve the passenger experience.
Future Travel Experience (FTE), established in 2006, is an independent events and online media business dedicated to improving the end-to-end passenger experience. Having started with a standalone event in North America, FTE now hosts four annual events around the world – FTE Global, FTE Asia EXPO, FTE Europe and FTE Ancillary – which were attended by more than 2,000 senior air transport and travel industry figures in 2015.

Princess Cruises bags the best cruise line award in 2017

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για 2Princess Cruises bags the best cruise line award in 2017

Princess Cruises has just bagged a special award at the Cruise International Awards sweeping the gold for the best cruise liner in the world.

This is the fourth time this luxury cruise line has won this title at the awards.

Its cruise vessels like the Ocean Medallion that is an electronic medallion dedicated to offering a more seamless on-board experience by enabling people to navigate the cruise ship, locate their friends and also come up with personalized celebratory packages and consistently spectacular sales.

This year it comes out really grand thanks to big feathers to its cap like Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Saga, P & O Cruises and so on.

Therefore this was not the only award Princess carried away during this night.  It was also named the Best Cruise Line for First-Time Cruisers and had won the Best Product award for its Ultimate Balcony Dining Experience.

Besides, it was also shortlisted for the Best for Families, Best for Food, Best for Entertainment, Best for Onboard Activities and Best Value for Money.

2018 forecast as busy year for UAE hotel openings with 83 new projects set to launch

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για 2018 forecast as busy year for UAE hotel openings with 83 new projects set to launch
Dubai Tourism CEO Kazim addressing visitors at this year's show

Dubai, UAE - The latest Middle East and Africa Hotel Construction report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS –  commissioned by The Hotel Show Dubai 2017, the 18th edition of which concluded on 20th September 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre – has identified the UAE as being the busiest country for hotel construction in the Middle East and Africa.
The region currently has more than 200 hotel projects in the pipeline, with Dubai (164 projects), Abu Dhabi (25 projects) and Ras al Khaimah (12 projects) seen as the busiest areas for hotel construction in the UAE. Of these properties, 83 will open next year.
Some of the most anticipated hotel openings include Dubai’s Rosemont Hotel and ResidencesCurio Collection by Hilton (730 rooms) and Fairmont Abu Dhabi Marina Hotel & Residences (812 rooms).
“The spotlight is firmly on the hospitality industry in this region, particularly the UAE,” commented Ray Tinston, Portfolio Director of the dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa hospitality portfolio which includes The Hotel Show, The Leisure Show and the Middle East Hospitality Awards – which have all run in Dubai this week to massive success. 
“We have welcomed more regional and international guests to our events this week than ever before in our 18-year history serving this market, some of which have massive expansion plans for the region, covering hundreds of hotels.
“Some of the business deals orchestrated at our shows this week has been unprecedented, and just goes to illustrate once more how continually forward-thinking and how constantly growing the hospitality market is in this part of the world. With experts revealing that hotel openings are going to galvanise the market from 2018, we are set to provide the industry with an even larger showcase of the best products and insights.”
Event organisers have today revealed the dates for next year’s The Hotel Show Dubai and The Leisure Show Dubai. Both will take place 16-18th September 2018.
In making that announcement, the event organisers also unveiled how both shows will be brought to life with more live features than ever before.
Following on from the huge success of its debut running in 2017, The Middle East Housekeepers League of Champions will once again pit the region’s exceptional pool of background staff against one another in The Hotel Show’s timed contest to clean-up ransacked guest rooms, which attracted an incredible 28 different teams for its inaugural hosting.
The Middle East Hospitality Forum – which itself drew capacity crowds to every discussion at this year’s show – will return too, maintaining the same quality caliber of speakers which included Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).
At The Leisure Show, new features will include The Landscaping Competition, The Outdoor Furniture Showcase and Everything Golf – the latter geared at providing all the equipment vital to developing and maintaining the region’s unparalleled golf offering.
The ever-popular Fit Hub will bring live gym sessions back to the Dubai World Trade Centre once more, while the Pool and Spa Conference will gather leading professionals to dissect both the challenges and opportunities facing one of the Middle East’s fastest growing industries.

Patrick Pacious takes the reins as Choice Hotels President and CEO

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Patrick Pacious takes the reins as Choice Hotels President and CEO

Patrick Pacious marked his first day as president and chief executive officer of Choice Hotels International, Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel companies, by signing franchise agreements with long-time Choice franchisee Jayesh (Jay) Patel for a new Cambria Hotels property in Nashville, Tenn., and a Comfort Inn & Suites hotel in New Orleans.

The Cambria Hotel in Nashville marks Patel’s first upscale hotel with Choice Hotels. He is also signing a new construction franchise agreement for a Comfort Inn & Suites property in New Orleans. Patel has owned Choice branded properties for nearly two decades in several segments, including economy, midscale, upper midscale and now upscale, highlighting the depth and opportunity franchisees have to grow their businesses both in scale and segments with Choice Hotels.

“As customer demand increases and our brands grow, it’s vitally important that franchisees grow with us and help us fortify Choice Hotels. Jay is truly a member of the Choice family, and the perfect example of an owner that started with us and continues to expand his portfolio,” said Pacious. “I am thrilled to start my tenure as CEO by signing these franchise agreements for the Cambria and Comfort brands. It reinforces my commitment to stay focused on franchisee profitability and work with them to continue to fuel our strong development pipeline, especially our momentum in the upscale segment and our strong core brands.”

Patel grew up in the hotel industry and started his own business Athena Hospitality Group in Nashville, when he was 23 years old. He currently owns six open Choice properties, with another five hotels under development. His portfolio of open properties includes Comfort Inn hotels in Antioch (Nashville), Tenn., Lima, Ohio and Zachary, La.; a Comfort Suites hotel in Nashville; a MainStay Suites hotel in Brentwood, Tenn.; and a Quality Inn hotel in Franklin, Tenn. Patel was awarded Choice’s prestigious Premier Legacy award in 2013, recognizing his commitment to enhancing the company’s family of brands. He also is an active member in the community, including being involved with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

“After having worked with Choice Hotels for many years, it truly is an honor to take part in this momentous occasion as Pat begins his new role as CEO,” said Patel. “Choice offers a tremendous value proposition to franchisees and equips us with all of the tools and resources to be successful so that we can provide guests with the best possible experience and product. This includes brands in many different segments, including midscale and upscale, which I’m thrilled to own for the first time. I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationship with the company, beginning with these two, new great Cambria and Comfort hotels in Nashville and New Orleans.”

Cambria Hotel Nashville International Airport
Set to open in 2019, the 124-room property will be a short distance from Nashville International Airport and is located within one of the largest business parks in the area. Companies in the area include Dex Imaging, Apria Healthcare and the headquarters of Bridgestone Americas. The hotel, which will be the second Cambria property in the market, is also a short drive from downtown Nashville, “home of country music.” The Cambria Hotel Nashville International Airport will include flexible meeting space, a business center, lobby lounge and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Comfort Inn & Suites – New Orleans Arts District
The 104-room hotel with 40 suites and three floors will be located in the Arts District of New Orleans and less than a mile from the French Quarter. The Arts District sits next to the Central Business District of the city and is walkable to many tourist attractions, including the Mercedes Superdome, National WWII Museum, Convention Center, Harrah’s Casino, and Cruise Port.

Guy Verhofstadt to speak at WTM London

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για wtm london 2017 logo

European Parliament’s chief negotiator of Britain’s departure of the EU
to speak at WTM London’s Leaders Lunch
The European Parliament’s chief negotiator of Britain’s exit from the European Union, Guy Verhofstadt, is the keynote speaker at the exclusive WTM Leaders’ Lunch on the first day of WTM London 2017, the leading global event for the travel industry.
The WTM Leaders’ Lunch is a prestigious invitation-only networking event with 200 pre-eminent heads of commercial travel organisations.
The Belgian MEP was Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 until 2008, and is now leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament.
He is charged with leading the European MEPs’ negotiating team, and any deal on the UK’s relationship with the rest of the EU after leaving, which will have to be ratified by the European Parliament.
Verhofstadt is among the top brass in Europe dealing with the negotiations, alongside Donald Tusk, European Council president; Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission; and Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the European Commission.
A keen advocate of reform in the EU, Verhofstadt wants Europe to focus more on issues such as economic crises, crime and the disparity between rich and poor.
He supports greater integration within the EU, with a single currency, treasury and economic policy – believing Europe can be a superpower “if it escapes its history and embraces revolution”.
Verhofstadt has written about Europe with books such as The United States of Europe, The New Age of Empires and Emerging from the Crisis: How Europe can Save the World.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “I am delighted we have someone as prestigious and influential as Guy Verhofstadt at our Leaders’ Lunch.
“The UK’s exit from the EU is considered by many to be our generation’s greatest challenge, and it will bring huge changes to the travel trade. Many in our industry are deeply concerned about freedom of movement for travellers and workers – so to hear directly from the European Parliament’s negotiator is an exceptional opportunity.
“Our Leaders’ Lunches have a reputation for bringing top speakers to the captains of the travel industry and Guy is first-rate.
“He is a fantastic speaker and will offer inspiration and practical advice to our senior travel industry audience at a crucial time in the UK’s, Europe’s – and indeed the world’s - history.”
The WTM Leaders’ Lunch is an invitation-only event, taking place from 11:00-13:30 on 6 November in Platinum Suite 3 & 4.
Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament’s chief

World Dream gears up for debut sail

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Dream cruises

The Journey will start off from Fermnay to Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal across the Indian Ocean. It will visit Sri Lanka and Singapore before reaching the new dual homeports in Hong Kong on November 17th and Guangzhou, China on November 19th.

World Dream being the Dream Cruises’ newest addition has been conceived as a floating high-end, integrated resort at sea. It has leveraged on Genting Cruise Lines’ extensive history and expertise from the cruise related ventures.

Dream Cruises’ capacity to further offer a broad spectrum of multi-generational programs and facilities for guests will be set right with the debut of World Dream. It will have the exemplary heartfelt Asian hospitality and a market leading crew to guest ratio.

The cruise will provide an international cruise experience with authentic Asian characteristics with the 18 deck, 151,300 ton ship. It can hold a capacity of over 3,400 passengers and World Dream is expected to be the most spacious and luxurious cruise ships.

Aviation industry heads to Barcelona for World Routes

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Aviation industry heads to Barcelona for World Routes

World Routes brings together senior decision makers from airports, destinations and airlines to negotiate new air services. Around 2,600 delegates from 130 countries will meet during four days at Barcelona's Fira Gran Via.
A record number of 275 airlines will be represented including the world's top ten largest carriers. They will be joined by 610 airports and 90 tourism authorities from across the globe.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and a leading tourist destination. Nine million tourists and four million cruise passengers visit Barcelona every year, with the wider Catalan region welcoming 17 million tourists in total.
The Government of Catalonia is hosting the event with support from Barcelona City Council. One of their aims is to gain more long-haul routes for Barcelona El Prat Airport just one third of its intercontinental traffic is direct. World Routes is a brilliant opportunity to attract new airline partners and expand the airport's route network.
Barcelona has recently gained some significant services, increasing the number of intercontinental routes to 44. Norwegian's new base and the launch of LEVEL highlight the attractiveness of the market to long-haul carriers and the ability of the airport network to expand.
Sustainable tourism is an important issue for Barcelona and Catalonia which is reflected in World Routes' conference programme. The event's charity partner, The Travel Foundation, will explore how the aviation and travel industries can work together to manage tourism sustainably during a panel discussion and talk.
Showcasing Catalonia's attractions is also a priority. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy destinations such as the beach resorts of Sitges and Calella de Palafrugell, the Roman town of Tarragona, the medieval city of Girona, the mountains of Montserrat and the vineyards of Penedès.
The Government of Catalonia's Minister of Land and Sustainability believes that World Routes is an excellent opportunity to place Barcelona and Catalonia on the intercontinental transport map. It will also be important for its economic impact, including future alliances between local and international businesses through Barcelona El Prat Airport.
Jaume Collboni, Deputy Mayor of Enterprise, Culture and Innovation at Barcelona City Council said: "In business events, Barcelona offers the best mix of competitive advantage for both companies and professionals. Therefore, the city will be a key factor for the success of this World Routes edition."
Steven Small, Brand Director of Routes said: "World Routes 2017 promises to be outstanding with record-breaking numbers of airlines and airports. I'm confident that our delegates will have an extremely productive event and take the opportunity to explore Catalonia's charms."

Hilton grows Colorado portfolio with signing of Hilton Denver City Center

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Hilton grows Colorado portfolio with signing of Hilton Denver City Center

Hilton and Chesapeake Lodging Trust announce the signing of Hilton Denver City Center, a 20-story, 613-room hotel in the heart of Denver’s bustling downtown. The prominent city-center hotel will be rebranded and repositioned under the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, following the completion of a $27 million multi-phased renovation over the past 36 months.

The renovations have transformed and enhanced all public areas, dining outlets, event facilities and guest rooms, creating contemporary and inviting spaces for guests and visitors of the hotel. Hilton Hotels & Resorts will assume the management of the hotel and begin accepting reservations effective December 1.

“We look forward to expanding our presence in one of the fastest growing cities in the country,” said Ted Ratcliff, senior vice president management services, Hilton. “With its stunning views, newly appointed spaces and location in the heart of the city, Hilton Denver City Center is poised to redefine the guest experience when it opens its doors under Hilton’s flagship brand.”

Towering above the Mile High City, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and city skyline and is conveniently located near the Colorado Convention Center, 16th Street Mall, Pepsi Center, Sports Authority Field and Denver Art Museum. The hotel has 581 guest rooms and 32 suites, and features approximately 32,000 square feet of flexible events space ideal for conferences, weddings and receptions.

“Our strategic plans in Denver began several years ago when we embarked upon a comprehensive and transformational renovation of virtually all spaces in the hotel,” said James L. Francis, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Lodging Trust. “We welcome Hilton as our management partner and the power of a globally recognized brand.”

Hilton Denver City Center will participate in Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app. Diamond members will enjoy free Premium speed Wi-Fi, space-available upgrades, complimentary breakfast and 1,000 Bonus Points per stay. Gold members will have the option of a complimentary, continental breakfast or 1,000 Bonus Points per stay.

Port Douglas sees the record number of cruise visit

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Port Douglas sees the record number of cruise visit

Port Douglas, a small and idyllic town in Queensland, Australia has seen the record number of cruise visit and it is the trend set in action to continue in the next two years.

The cruise liners such as Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel are delivering visitors that ‘love Port Douglas’ in their droves. The passenger capacities of each and every cruise liners are over 1500 each.

The tourist surge sees many businesses in town get a stable boost in tourists purchasing their products. The tourists’ expenditure has increased in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas normally only have one employee at the counter, but when there is a cruise ship there the management have two employees. It is with an average of around 500 extra people wanting to catch the Bally Hooley train, and over 1000 extra people booking other trips.

Although there are many positive vibes, some restaurants and food outlets in Port Douglas say many passengers choose to eat on board before exploring the town.

There are the strict rules of what people can and can’t bring back on ships, along with the short amount of time there docked, meant some businesses didn’t receive major benefits.

But the negative is about the tourist coming on the cruise ships is they are told not to take any food back on with them, limiting what food products they purchase in Port Douglas.

However, Constantine Retsas from Port Douglas Opal and Jewellery Centre said what might not be good for him ‘might be good for my neighbour.

The one thing that all local businesses in Port Douglas agree on is they want more tourists from all over the world to come and experience the local food, tourism attractions and scenery of Port Douglas.

Associated Luxury Hotels International adds five new hotels to its West U.S. collection

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Associated Luxury Hotels International adds five new hotels to its West U.S. collection

ORLANDO, FL – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its worldwide portfolio and West U.S. options with the recent addition of five new member hotels. This includes:  the newly renovated, 120-room Loews Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Washington; the luxurious, AAA Four-Diamond Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite in Fish Camp, California; the iconic 604-room Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California; Scottsdale, Arizona’s charming The Scott Resort & Spa, which will complete a $7 million renovation this fall; and the acclaimed 293-room Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona. The ALHI Global Sales Organization now represents the hotels to the North American and European meetings, conventions and incentive market, according to ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.
ALHI features a distinguished portfolio of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts worldwide, plus 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. All of ALHI’s member hotels and resorts are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and specialize in serving the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (M.I.C.E.) marketplace.
“We are very proud to represent these five exceptional hotels in the North American and European meetings and incentive marketplace,” said Sergot. “Loews Hotel 1000 is putting the final touches on a dramatic multi-million-dollar transformation. Tenaya Lodge is a wonderful and very unique option for planners, at the truly stunning destination of Yosemite. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is an exquisite resort with tremendous appeal for meetings, conventions and incentive programs. While Scottsdale continues to be a very popular destination for groups, and we are very pleased to add the picturesque The Scott Resort & Spa and the renowned Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia to meet the tremendous demand. We are thrilled to showcase these outstanding new members to planners throughout North America and Europe.”   Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Associated Luxury Hotels International adds five new hotels to its West U.S. collection
Ideally situated in Downtown Seattle just steps from the waterfront along Elliott Bay, Loews Hotel 1000 is slated to emerge from an impressive multi-million-dollar transformation this month. Offering 120 rooms and suites with oversized windows that frame spectacular views of the city and Elliott Bay, the hotel also is close to Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the business district, and historic Pioneer Square. The hotel features 7,200 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 1,850-square-foot Bainbridge Room and the 1,100-square-foot Greenhouse Terrace; a spa offering a range of treatments; a 24-hour fitness center; an indoor golf simulator; and the popular BOKA Restaurant + Bar. Seattle-Tacoma Airport (SEA) is just 13 miles away.
Set adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s South Gate at an elevation of 5,288 feet, the elegant Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an all-season resort where groups can experience an array of unique outdoor adventures in a truly picturesque setting. Surrounded by the scenic Sierra National Forest, the resort offers 302 newly renovated guest rooms, and 15,000 square feet of meeting space (which includes a 10,000-square-foot ballroom). Posed on 75 acres, the Lodge’s signature outdoor venues include a 3,000-square-foot Terrace and a 3,000-square-foot Pavilion with breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada. The resort also features the 10,000-square-foot Ascent Spa; exceptional dining; and such group activities as guided hikes and tours, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking. The resort is 65 miles from Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). 
Set on over 400 acres in the coastal foothills of Carlsbad in Southern California, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa features 604 spacious guest rooms, suites and villas providing views of the lush golf course or picturesque gardens. The world-class resort also offers 101,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, which includes the 18,000-square-foot Costa del Sol Ballroom; the world-renowned Spa at La Costa; two 18-hole championship golf courses; 17 tennis courts; an athletic club; eight swimming pools (including the Edge adult pool); the Chopra Center for Wellbeing; two restaurants; two cafés; and an upscale sports lounge. The resort is just 30 minutes north of San Diego’s downtown, 30 minutes from San Diego International Airport (SAN), and 90 minutes south of Los Angeles.
Arizona’s The Scott Resort & Spa is an enchanting 204-room boutique resort located just steps from the restaurants, nightlife and shopping in Old Town Scottsdale. This fall the resort will complete a $7 million renovation of all meeting space and public areas, which includes the main lobby, restaurant and bar. In 2018, the resort will complete an $8 million renovation of all guest rooms and suites. Featuring 14,500 square feet of indoor meeting space and 7,000 square feet of outdoor event space, the resort also offers La Vidorra Spa, two pools, and multiple dining options. The resort is centrally located, with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) just 20 minutes west, and Scottsdale Airport situated 20 minutes north.
Nestled at the base of inspiring Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale’s exclusive enclave of Paradise Valley, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia is an intimate oasis inspired by the exotic locale of Spain’s Andalusia region. Featuring arching entryways, tranquil fountains and floral walkways, the resort offers 293 beautiful guest rooms and suites, more than 27,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 74,000 square feet of outdoor space. The luxurious resort offers 14 breakout rooms, two private dining rooms, and an array of unique dining options including the signature restaurant Prado. The resort is close to city attractions, and is just 15 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
Loews Hotel 1000 becomes ALHI’s third member in Seattle, joining the luxurious 319-room Motif Seattle in downtown and the Forbes Four-Star Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle in the thriving South Lake Union neighborhood. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is ALHI’s first member in the Yosemite area. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa becomes ALHI’s sixth member in the San Diego area, joining the lush Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in the Torrey Pines area, the elegant 249-room Fairmont Grand del Mar, the AAA Four-Diamond Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, the breathtaking 439-room Loews Coronado Bay Resort, and the picturesque Rancho Bernardo Inn. The Scott Resort & Spa and Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia become the third and fourth members in Scottsdale, joining the AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and the beautiful 326-room The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch.

ABA selects Omaha as Host City for 2020 Convention

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Omaha, Neb.

The American Bus Association (ABA) – the industry leader advancing North American motorcoach, travel and tourism – announced Omaha, Neb., as the site of its 2020 ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace. The dates of the 2020 Marketplace will be Jan. 10-14, 2020. This is the first time ABA has come to Omaha for its annual event.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ABA selects Omaha
"We look forward to bringing our ABA Annual Meeting & Marketplace to Omaha in 2020," said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso, CTIS. "Omaha offers a lot for the travel and tourism industry and we look forward to showing our members a great city and encouraging them to add Omaha to their destination offerings."
American Bus Association’s Annual Meeting & Marketplace is the number one group travel show in North America with the greatest ROI for its attendees. In 2017, ABA’s meeting in Cleveland welcomed more than 3,400 tour operators, travel industry suppliers and exhibitors and generated approximately $115.9 million dollars in booked business during the event and immediately afterward.
Noting all that Omaha has to offer and its proximity to all major cities in the Midwest, it was an easy decision to choose the city to host this gathering of motorcoach, tour and travel professionals from all over the United States and Canada.
For more information on ABA’s Marketplace, visit https://www.buses.org/events/event/marketplace-2018

Qatar Airways' new Luxury Global Chauffeur Service for all cabin classes

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Qatar Airways' new Luxury Global Chauffeur Service for all cabin classes

Qatar Airways has announced a new premium global chauffeur service not only first and business class passengers but for customers in all cabin classes. This new service provided by Qatar Airways is bookable for a fee online through qatarairways.com and the Qatar Airways app.
qatar airways chauffeur service
Qatar Airways passengers, no matter what cabin they are flying in, can choose from a wide-range of high-end vehicles, provided by top auto manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac to take them to and from their chosen airport.
The new chauffeur-driven service is available for passengers at more than 85 Qatar Airways destinations around the world. Blacklane is also available in over 500 airports worldwide, including the majority of destinations served by the airline’s codeshare and interline partners.
Benefits of the new global chauffeur service include access to Blacklane’s modern fleet of high-end vehicles, and highly professional drivers, to ensure a safe, comfortable journey. Customers can choose Business Class, business vans, SUVs or First Class cars.
The global chauffeur service features all-inclusive highly-competitive rates – including all taxes, tolls, fees and gratuities – which are confirmed before booking online. Customers also receive up-to-date SMS and email updates and confirmations, which include the driver’s name and phone number.
Passengers can take advantage of a generous complimentary wait time of up to an hour for airport pickups. Payments are cashless, which means there’s no need to carry cash or worry about having the correct local currency. Credit cards are only charged after customers finish their ride. There is also a free change and cancellation policy of up to an hour before for one-way journeys. Customers can reach Blacklane’s customer care team 24/7 over phone, email and social media for any urgent needs.
Luxurious door-to-door transfers are just the latest in a range of innovations unveiled by the airline to enhance it’s unrivalled five-star service. It also recently launched a new bespoke pre-select dining service for premium passengers flying in First Class and Business Class.

U.S. business travelers are confident emerging tech will improve travel experience, but fear impact on mankind

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για U.S. business travelers are confident emerging tech will improve travel experience, but fear impact on mankind

Bellevue, Wash. – Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia, Inc., found surprising differences in the perceptions and confidence levels of global business travelers on the impact of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) on corporate travel. Results from the 4th edition Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey show business travelers abroad remain much more pessimistic about the potential of emerging technologies to improve the business travel experience, compared to confidence levels of U.S. business travelers.
More than half (55 percent) of U.S. business travelers believe AI advancements can improve their travel experiences, with 62 percent rejecting the belief that AI and VR could end mankind as we know it today. While U.S. business travelers are cautiously optimistic that emerging technologies can improve their business travel experiences, they recognize the need for balance between technology and human interaction. When compared to other regions, business travelers outside the U.S. have lower confidence levels and are far less optimistic about the use of technology overall.
“The adoption of new technologies is increasingly happening on the consumer side, ahead of the corporate world. AI and VR are no exception and are very much in their infancy. However, similar to disruptors in other technology-led industries, investments in new technologies that create simplicity and improvements in experience will ultimately win over business travelers and drive significant change in the overall industry,” said Michael Gulmann, chief product officer at Egencia. “There is a fundamental shift already happening in the traveler mindset that companies need to anticipate travelers’ needs and simplify all aspects of business travel, regardless of how a traveler chooses to interact with travel companies. As such, there is a balancing act for travel companies to ensure they offer the latest technology, alongside the ability for travelers to connect with a live person anytime, anywhere."
When compared to the U.S., business travelers in regions such as in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. and Singapore have lower confidence levels in how AI advancements can improve their business travel experiences in the future and they certainly think it is less likely that AI and VR will threaten mankind:
  • At 37 percent, Sweden and Norway were the least likely to believe AI advancements will improve their travel experiences followed by 41 percent in the U.K. and Germany, 42 percent in Australia, 44 percent in Canada and France, and 47 percent in Singapore.
  • When asked if they believe AI and VR could end mankind, 72 percent of business travelers in Norway say no – compared to 70 percent in Sweden, 67 percent in the U.K., 64 percent in Canada and Germany, 61 percent in France, and 60 percent in Australia and Singapore.
Interestingly enough, while business travelers in EMEA and APAC countries are more pessimistic on the promise of emerging technologies for business travel compared to their U.S. counterparts, they still demand more mobile accessibility across devices. In fact, 68 percent of business travelers in Singapore and Sweden want to more efficiently manage their travel across devices, compared to 65 percent in Canada and Norway, 64 percent in France and the U.K., 62 percent in Germany. The U.S. is once again the most tech demanding, with 76 percent wanting greater cross-device integration.

Carnival Issues Cruise Scam Warning

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Carnival Issues Cruise Scam Warning

Carnival Cruise Line’s senior cruise director and brand ambassador warned his Facebook followers of a cruise scam, calling the person responsible a “soulless, heartless wanker” and taking them to task for repeatedly creating fake accounts.

Watch Out For This Cruise Scam!

cruise scam
“First,” said Heald, “he/she/it created a fake Facebook page in my name. Then one in my late father’s name, and now this soulless, heartless wanker has done this.”
The post in question features a headline shouting “Carnival Cruise Lines will now offer FREE cruises!” and had, at the time of Heald’s posting, been shared over 75,000 times. The post goes on to say, “Carnival is now offering Free Cruises to those effected by the Hurricane. Just call Carnival or message John Heald and say you want a stress free cruise with (hashtag) Carnivalfamily and they will have you set up on a 4-7 night cruise of your choice. Just pay taxes and port fees. You also will receive $100 per cabin OBC.”
Sound too good to be true? Of course it does… because it is. “It is a fake page,” Heald confirmed, “and we have reported the author accordingly. I know which Facebook group this originates from and I will be severing all ties with them as well. I had had enough now, and I am sure you have as well. Proudly — #CarnivalFamily.”

Where The “Prank” Originated

A major clue to the fact that the post in question is a fraud is the fact that it comes from a page called breakingnews247.net. When one goes to that page, the headline reads “Prank Your Friends Now” and provides all the tools necessary to “write an article and prank your friends.” At the bottom of the page, which was clearly not spoken by someone for whom English is their primary language, it reads:  “This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humorous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.”cruise scam
Over the past few years, similar scams have popped up offering free trips to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, free flights around the world and other dream vacations. And all too often, gullible individuals believe what they read and do whatever is required to obtain the “free” trip. While this particular cruise scam seems to be little more than an ill-conceived prank, similar efforts in the past have been designed to retrieve personal information such as e-mail addresses and even credit card information from naive internet users.
The best thing to do? Share this story, let folks know its a scam. Otherwise, that friend — you know, the one who falls for this kind of thing every single time — might wind up dreaming of a free cruise on board a ship that will never come in!

BDRC: Americans like to 'stick to the plan' when traveling abroad

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Americans like to 'stick to the plan' when traveling abroad

WASHINGTON - Research consultancy BDRC's Global Passenger Study uncovers the views and habits of over 16,000 international air travelers. The results give fresh, and sometimes surprising, insights into the preferences of Americans who are flying internationally.
The study reveals that American international air passengers, in comparison to their European, Asian and Latin American counterparts, are more likely to plan their trip in advance to know what to expect and are less interested in traveling independently (i.e. discovering things 'at their own pace').  Further, American leisure travelers spend more money on international vacations and stay more nights away than travelers from other regions. When visiting international destinations, Americans are keen to experience the local culture but also want to make sure they 'check off' the main tourist sites. 
Other key highlights include:
  • Among the sample of more than 2,000 American international travelers, an overwhelming majority (72%) are traveling (by air) for leisure.
  • These travelers take an average of 4 leisure trips abroad per year, and spend 28 nights in hotels.
  • Americans have the highest proportion of Boomers (a group with potentially greater travel flexibility than other demographics) traveling via air internationally.
  • When traveling abroad, Americans' hotel tier preference is for Upper Midscale accommodation (78%) followed by 45% opting for Luxury and 45% opting for Midscale.
  • Demonstrating the disruptive growth of the 'home sharing' sector, 39% of US travelers surveyed have stayed at a home share property abroad (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) in the past year.
  • In terms of airlines, most Americans are choosing to fly internationally on Delta, followed by American Airlines and United.
"These results demonstrate that US travelers are more likely to want organized travel, seeking assistance in planning to avoid 'surprises' on the trip," said Matthew Petrie, President, BDRC Americas. "This desire to avoid the potential pitfalls of international travel is good news for travel companies and the growing 'custom travel' sector."

Oman Air Successfully Tests Crisis Procedures

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Oman Air Successfully Tests Crisis Procedures

Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate, successfully completed a crisis simulation exercise on Thursday 14 September, to test the airline’s emergency response plans and procedures.

The emergency response teams led by Senior Manager, Safety and ERP Captain Waheed Al Subhi were mobilised and the exercise was overseen by Deputy CEO Abdulrahman Al Busaidy and supported by the executive management team.

The exercise was hailed as a success; Abdulrahman Al Busaidy, Deputy CEO of Oman Air said: “Despite Oman Air having an exemplary safety record we need to ensure that we are prepared in the event of an emergency. We adhere to the strictest standards when it comes to emergency response planning and activation and it was gratifying to see all the procedures correctly put in place last Thursday. All the teams worked together seamlessly to ensure that the simulation exercise ran in textbook fashion and I am confident that we have everything in place should, God forbid, an unlikely emergency event happen.”

The full simulation involved the setting up of the Family Assistance Centre and a Media Centre at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Seeb. Simulated activities such as role playing, providing assistance to family members, form filling and a casualty condition update were practiced at the Family Assistance Centre. At the Media Centre, a simulated press conference took place to run through a media address from the CEO followed with a question and answer session with the media.

The Oman Air GO team was deployed and GO team tents and other gadgetry such as laptops and satellite phones were set up for use. A representative from Kenyon International Emergency Services (the specialised emergency support firm retained by Oman Air) was also present.

Indonesian resort anticipates quake after feeling numerous tremors

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Indonesian resort anticipates quake after feeling numerous tremors

Indonesian Authorities have hiked the alert levels for a volcano on the resort island of Bali after hundreds of small tremors stoked fears that it could erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.

Mount Agung, about 75 kilometres from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August and officials have barred people from venturing within 7.5 kilometres (4.7 miles) of its summit.

No volcanic ash has been seen spewing from the crater. But hundreds of small tremors have rattled the mountain in the past two days, causing about 350 people to evacuate their homes Monday, although they returned the next day.

“Even though seismicity is not as sharp as two days ago, as much as 480 seconds of tremors have occurred. The community must remain vigilant,” Willem Rampangilei, the head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement Wednesday.

The airport on the resort island, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year, has not been affected but airport management are watching the situation closely.

“All flight activities are still normal, there is no cancellation or volcanic ash,” Yanus Suprayogi, a spokesman for Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport, told the media.

The last time that Mount Agung erupted was in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people.

Riga International Airport became one of the top 5 fastest-growing European airports

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Riga International Airport became one of the top 5 fastest-growing European airports

According to the information gathered by the Airports Council International (ACI), the increase in the number of passengers by 16.2% allowed the Riga Airport in July to become one of the five fastest-growing airports in the European airport group with the number of passengers served between 5 and 10 million per year.
"Growth of the Riga Airport significantly exceeds the European average, which, according to the data of ACI, was 9.6% in July, as well as the average growth of its group: in the group of airports with 5-10 million passengers, the average increase in passenger traffic in July was +10.2%," says Ilona Lice, Chairperson of the Board of Riga International Airport. 
The ACI EUROPE Air Traffic Report for July covers 247 European airports, providing 88% of the passenger air transportation in Europe.
In August, Riga Airport continued to grow numbers of served passengers and cargo volumes. According to the operational data on airport performance, in August, 644.8 thousand passengers were served at the Riga Airport, which is by 15.3% more than in August 2016, but during the eight months of this year, in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year, the number of passengers has increased by almost 11%, while the volume of cargo served – by 10%.
In total, over the past eight months, more than 4 million passengers have been served at the airport, which is by over 10.9% more than in 2016. 
The number of transit and transfer passengers in the Riga Airport in the eight months of 2017 has increased by 18%, reaching almost 1.2 million passengers – almost one third of the total number of passengers served.
The largest air carrier at the Riga Airport is the national airline airBaltic, whose market share accounts for 53.5% of the total number of passengers. The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair transported 15% of the airport's passengers, while the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizzair – 8.8%. 
In August, the double-digit increase in the segment of aviation cargo continued – the cargo volume at the Riga Airport in August increased by 12.4% compared to August 2016. During the first eight months of 2017, 14.4 thousand tons of cargo were handled in Riga, which is by 10% more than in 2016.
The number of flights served at the Riga Airport has increased by 8% – within 8 months, 49,012 aircraft were served in Riga. On average, Riga Airport serves more than 6,000 aircraft per month. 
As reported before, this summer flight season 89 destinations are available to passengers traveling from Riga Airport. Altogether 17 passenger carriers operate flights from Riga Airport  – airBaltic, RyanairWizzAirAeroflotSASFinnairNorwegian Air ShuttleLufthansaLOT Polish AirlinesUtairTurkish AirlinesUkraine International AirlinesRusLineUzbekistan AirwaysBelaviaEllinair and Smartlynx Airlines.
The Riga Airport recalls that during the summer season in the mornings and evenings at the Riga airport, there is a large number of simultaneously arriving and departing flights, therefore the airport also invites passengers who are registered on the Internet and traveling with hand luggage, to arrive at the airport in time – at least 2.5 hours in advance. The airport also draws attention to the fact that after the new EU regulation on passenger data verification enters into force, the border checks for passengers departing outside the Schengen area may take longer than before, so passengers are encouraged to timely arrive at their gates.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltic States. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 60 destinations in the winter season and almost 90 in the summer season. In 2016, Riga Airport handled over 5.4 million passengers - nearly 45% of the entire Baltic air passenger traffic