Sun, fun & strikes: Transat launches new Winter Sun program Other highlights include Duo programs (eight new ones this year), five new hotels in the Luxury Collection, and Florida, now part of the Fun & Sun brochure. As for routes, daily flights to Punta Cana and Cancun from Toronto will start even earlier this year (in November), while a second flight will be added to Liberia (Costa Rica), Managua (Nicaragua) and Roatan (Honduras) from the Ontarian metropolis. Also from Toronto, the airline will add more flights to Varadero and Holguin.In total, Air Transat will offer 28 destinations from Toronto, seven from Ottawa, five from Hamilton, three from London and one from Windsor, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie this winter.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckTo entice clients to book super early, Transat’s ‘Super Early Booking Promotion’ applies to any South package booked by June 30 for next winter. With a reduced deposit of $100, clients receive Transat’s Price Drop Guarantee for all-inclusive packages, the option to change their travel dates up to three hours before departure, an upgrade to Option Plus for Luxury or Distinction Collection packages, and a $50 future travel voucher. For any booking of a Florida, Duo, cruise or guided tour package, clients benefit from a reduced deposit of $100 and a $50 future travel voucher.In addition to Sun offerings this winter, Nicole Bursey, commercial director, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, highlighted Transat’s sustainability efforts, which recently landed the company on the list of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. Transat ranked 16th on the list and is the only tour operator to earn the distinction. The award was handed out following the event by the Corporate Knights, which evaluated companies’ performance using 12 key indicators including energy productivity, carbon productivity, safety performance and the presence of women in executive management.Both Heffron and Bursey credited the company’s achievements and growth to its relationship with travel agents. Heffron said this relationship is of the “utmost importance”, while Bursey referred to agents as the company’s heart. “We are a Canadian success story, one that’s built on a love for travel,” said Bursey. “And at the heart of it all are retail travel consultants.” Travelweek Group “Although it’s hard to think about winter right now in June, there’s nothing better than getting off to a good start,” said Heffron. “Last fall we launched our new branding featuring a consistently clean look. We got rid of the multiple brands and embraced the star, and also launched aspirational commercials. It’s safe to say that we made the right decision to go to one brand.”Heffron also noted that the company is focused on building its domestic connections and enhancing its cruise program. “We’re in the final stages of planning our cruise program for the years to come, and our brochure will be coming in mid-August,” she said.Transat, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is experiencing growth across the board, especially in terms of lift. According to Heffron, Air Transat is boosting its winter capacity by 7% on a national basis, in every region across Canada but particularly in the West.More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterOn the importance of offering diversity and options in its product line, she said, “We know how one size doesn’t fit all.”The new Sun & Fun brochure, which sits at a healthy 377 pages, features 36 destinations including two new ones from Toronto and Montreal: Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both departing Sundays, Tampa will be available throughout the winter season, while San Juan launches Dec. 24. << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill product launch. In an effort to inject some fun into an otherwise gloomy day in Toronto yesterday, Transat celebrated the launch of its 2017/18 Sun program with a bit of bowling and plenty of laughs.Denise Heffron, VP National Sales & Commercial at Transat and a self-described klutz, jokingly warned those in attendance that she had bowled a strike and a spare during warmup. Her team, which she named ‘The Beach Bums’ to reflect Transat’s diverse Sun offerings, led a group of media and industry partners in an afternoon of 10-pin bowling at The Ballroom Bowl in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district.There were a few strikes and lots of gutterballs, not to mention some friendly trash talking between teams, all done in good fun to commemorate what looks to be a stacked winter season for the company. Share Posted by Tags: Transat Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Travelweek Group LOS ANGELES — How do you touch all seven continents in just 72 hours? Easy, just follow in the footsteps of Kasey Stewart and Julie Berry.The two American travel photographers will depart tomorrow, Dec. 13, from Sydney, Australia in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record by touching every continent in just three days. Is it possible? If all goes to plan and there are no travel delays, the two will traverse across the world and arrive on King George Island, Antarctica the morning of Dec. 16 as world record holders.They’ll be racing against the clock – the current Guinness World Record record for ‘Fastest to touch all seven continents’ is five days.The route they’ll be taking is: Sydney, Australia; Dubai, UAE; Cairo, Egypt; Frankfurt, Germany; Toronto, Canada; Santiago, Chile; Punta Arenas, Chile; King George Island, Antarctica.The total estimated elapsed time to touch all seven continents will be 72-79 hours dependent upon weather for the last flight to Antarctica. The two will spend almost 50 hours in an airplane and have on average 3.6 hours on each continent. They will be leaving the airport on each continent for activities that include a limo ride through Dubai, having a drink in a tavern in Frankfurt, ascending the CN Tower in Toronto and winter shopping for Antarctica in Santiago. Quark Expeditions, the leading operator in polar expeditions, is sponsoring their final flight to Antarctica.More news: Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthLast year, after stepping foot in Antarctica, Stewart achieved his lifelong goal of travelling to all seven continents. “As a little kid, I always wanted to touch the corners of the earth and get a taste of every part of the world,” he said. “After I did that last December, I felt like I had barely scratched the surface and wanted to push myself to do something bigger.”For live updates on their trip, following them on Instagram: @Kasey and @JulieBerry. You can also visit 7in72.com for more details. << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share The race is on! Travelling duo to attempt seven continents in 72 hours
<< Previous PostNext Post >> MIAMI — Karisma Hotels & Resorts has chosen WestJet Vacations as its Karisma Preferred Partner for the month of April.The goal of the program is to highlight a different tour operator from the U.S. and Canada each month, offering a variety of special activities to drive bookings while providing training on Karisma Hotels & Resorts and the Gourmet Inclusive Experience.Partners get training support, sales incentives and assistance, weekly contests, web, social media, and more.The training, which takes place prior to the start of the month, focuses on reservations, groups, and sales with the intention of providing a better understanding of Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ fundamental differentiators, including the company’s Gourmet Inclusive Experience.During the month of April, WestJet Vacations travellers will save up to 50% and receive up to a $500 resort credit. Resort credits can be used towards services such as massage services, culinary experiences, wine credits and more.Clients will also earn up to $300 on instant savings when booking at El Dorado Casitas Royale, El Dorado Seaside Suites and Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, by Karisma using promo code: INS4. This offer is available for clients when booking by April 30. This special is combinable with Cash for Your Bash, Your Stay Your Way, Pick Your Perks and Double Canada Cash.More news: Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaKarisma’s Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants can earn up to 21% in commission. This offer is only available for new bookings with a minimum stay of three nights – valid at El Dorado Spa Resorts, Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, Generations Riviera Maya, and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana. Complimentary Sky Wedding Package will be applicable for new wedding groups and new bookings using promo code: SKY9. A minimum three night stay and a minimum of 10 rooms will be required and the offer is applicable at El Dorado Seaside Suites and Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun, by Karisma.Preferred Partners also get a spotlight on Karisma’s travel agent portal and dedicated social media. Share Travelweek Group WestJet Vacations gets Preferred Partner status with Karisma for April Tags: Karisma Hotels & Resorts, WestJet Thursday, April 4, 2019 Posted by
Salary negotiations for private-sector workers are set to begin Tuesday between Labor Ministry officials and union representatives.Negotiations will determine a salary raise for the first half of 2013. Workers are seeking a 4 percent increase on monthly salaries.They also are asking for an additional 1 percent increase for employees earning minimum wage.The National Salary Council will review the proposal, as well as an additional proposal from employers, expected on Oct. 22. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Costa Rica’s Basic Passive Rate (BPR) decreased from 10.25 to 10 percent on Thursday after remaining above 10 percent for more than three months.On Oct. 25, President Laura Chinchilla expressed “concern about the high interest rates paid in the country and the effects on Costa Rican finances.” The government initiated a monitoring process, which prompted public banks to lower average rates.BPR is used by banks to calculate loan rates, mainly housing loans. This means that the increase or decrease in the BPR affects a loan’s monthly payments.Vice President Luis Liberman said he was satisfied with the reduction, and “the implications are very important for Costa Ricans, because each quarter point less in BPR means an annual reduction of some ₡15 billion [$30 million] for Tico debtors.”“A family with a housing debt of ₡15 million [$300,000] would have a reduction in their monthly interest of some ₡4,000 [$8],” Liberman said.The reduction, however, will not be noticeable for debtors until next year, while banks adjust their rates, and it affects those with savings in dollars, as interest rates will also decrease.The BPR is an average of the interest rates of private and public banks and non-banking financial companies. It is calculated with all deposits in local currency received within six months and the average rate of a joint auction between the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry. It takes into account available balances of up to six months of each of the banks and companies included in the calculation.In November 2011, the BPR was 8.25 percent. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Since 2003, the village of Laguna de Zarcero, in Alajuela province northwest of San José, has paid tribute to the chiverre with an annual festival. Zarcero’s soil and climate have helped the area become the biggest producer of chiverres in the country. This year, the fair was held March 23-25.Hundreds of families attended the event, which also featured cotton candy, churros (a delicious fried-dough pastry) and other sweets, and a cattle exhibition.The fair is organized each year by the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Laguna de Álfaro Ruíz. Facebook Comments Feria del Chiverre More photos from this year’s Chiverre Fair at: www.theticotimes.tumblr.com. In Costa Rica, Easter Holy Week isn’t complete without thechiverre (Cucurbita ficifolia), a type of local squash that is eaten during Semana Santa.Chiverres are traditionally harvested a few weeks before Semana Santa so that Ticos can make sweet preserves or jam in time for the holidays. The recipe includes tapa de dulce (a traditional unrefined sugar), cinnamon and cloves. Chiverres also are used to make empanadas, or are spread on ice cream or cookies. No related posts.
Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times In 2006, more than 1,000 families in extreme poverty, most of them Nicaraguan immigrants, were evicted from a shantytown called La Candela behind the Juan Santamaría International Airport, north of Costa Rica’s capital.The community pleaded with government officials for more time: Parents wanted their children to finish the school year, and they had to find affordable places to live.But in just two weeks, the shantytown was cleared of its residents, and the shacks were destroyed. (The Tico Times reported on this on April 21, 2006.)In response, a group of women from several communities organized a housing association, the Mothers-Teachers Association Project, and with the help of a priest and many donors, worked for seven years until they finally were able to own their own homes.More than 80 families founded the association, but only 23 remained at the end. Eleven of those families are from La Candela.The seven-year process was marked by challenges met with hard work and perseverance. Each family saved about $1,000, worked at monthly fundraising events and sold raffle tickets, produce and other food. But the hardest part, the families say, was dealing with discrimination and what they describe as “swindles” by public and private organizations.To buy each lot and build each home, families received a grant from the Costa Rican government of $28,000. Their status as immigrants made it extremely difficult to obtain this grant. Members of the association saved money and raised more than $120,000 to pay for construction and land.Three years ago, the first few homes were turned over to families who were up to date with association fees and responsibilities. The last key was given to the last family on Dec. 16, 2012. That day, the association threw a party to inaugurate the new community and their new lives.The families of the Mothers-Teachers Association Project say they will never be homeless again. Here are their portraits and their stories. Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times No related posts. Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Facebook Comments Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times Mónica Quesada/The Tico Times
Related posts:Non-career politician Luis Guillermo Solís wins Costa Rica presidential runoff in a landslide A look at Costa Rica’s 2014 elections UCR Poll: Solís running away with runoff election Johnny Araya is down and out, but not his party, says analyst Costa Rica’s second-ever presidential runoff campaign came to an end Sunday evening, but only one party created much fanfare about the deadline.Front-runner Luis Guillermo Solís of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) ended his campaign at the Plaza de Guarantías Sociales in central San José Sunday evening, encouraging supporters to get out the vote on April 6. Solís had previously said he wanted 1 million votes on Sunday to shore up his popular mandate despite not having an active opponent.Sunday was the last day during this election that political parties can distribute or pay for propaganda.Solís, 55, struck an inclusive tone in his closing campaign speech: “Many thanks to the Costa Rican people because what we see today is not the action of one party but the joining of many, the efforts of many people from different ideological backgrounds who understand that change is needed and that the hour of change has come.”The former university professor, who has never held elected office, campaigned on a platform of anti-corruption and government transparency. Solís emerged as a surprise favorite for the presidency after the first round of voting on Feb. 2. The candidate of the center-left PAC benefited from a backdrop of voter dissatisfaction with eight years of National Liberation Party (PLN) leadership. Solís compared his campaign and the expectant PAC government as a tsunami wiping out politics as usual.“If people demand that their government govern well, then demand more from PAC, much more from PAC,” he said.The PLN did not hold any public event to mark the end of a presidential campaign that left the ruling party in crisis and questioning how they would reshape their social democratic message that had veered to the right in recent years.Former mayor of San José and ruling party candidate Johnny Araya announced he would suspend his campaign on March 5, following a disappointing showing in a national poll and a lack of financial resources to continue. Despite dropping out of the race, Araya encouraged Costa Ricans to vote but said he would no longer hold public events or pay for campaign advertising.The PLN candidate has said he would respect the vote regardless of the outcome.The only message from Araya’s Facebook page to mark the close of the campaign Sunday was, “Enjoy this Sunday with your family.” The former candidate’s Twitter account went silent on March 10.PLN supporters have found themselves in the strange position of campaigning for a candidate who has already conceded defeat. Ruling party leaders last week tried to challenge the PAC to a last minute debate but it was unclear who would debate in place of Araya. After the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the number of debates and subjects in the short time left, the opposition eventually refused.Legally, Araya’s name cannot be dropped from the ballot and Solís must still obtain a simple majority Sunday to win the presidency.“It’s the Costa Rica we love that we want to rescue from injustice, corruption, inequality, poverty and that’s why we need to vote on April 6,” the PAC candidate said. Supporters of Citizen Action Party presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís wave the party’s red and yellow flag days before what will likely be the 14-year-old party’s first presidential victory. Alberto Font/The Tico Times Facebook Comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite thehorrendous terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, French officials have vowed to move forward with a major climate conference set to begin on Nov. 30.COP21 will bring together 100 heads of state, including U.S. President Barack Obama, and 40,000 other attendees. According to Time, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called COP21 “absolutely essential,” and France is expected to deploy at least 30,000 police officers to provide security.In an online statement, Nick Henry, CEO of Climate Action, said, “We are currently overseeing the tightening of event security with Stade de France to ensure that every possible measure is taken to prevent any further potential incident, details of which we will share here as soon as they have been confirmed.”With confirmation from France that COP21 will proceed, much work still remains for participating nations.Can it succeed?Last week – three days after scientists confirmed that average levels of carbon dioxide now exceed 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history – experts met in Washington to discuss Latin America’s climate change policy ahead of COP21.“The big question is whether to be optimistic or pessimistic about the upcoming meeting in Paris,” said Timmons Roberts, co-author with Guy Edwards of the new report “A Fragmented Continent: Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change.” “Will 2015 be different from Kyoto in 1997, Copenhagen in 2009 and all the other meetings since the first one in Berlin in 1995?” he asked.Roberts and Edwards spoke last Thursday at a Washington panel co-sponsored by Inter-American Dialogue and the Brookings Institution, along with Amal-Lee Amin, chief of the climate change and sustainability division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).Climate pledges for the COP21 talks, which run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, are consistent with a temperature rise of 2.7 C, implying investment needs of $13.5 trillion in low-carbon technologies and efficiency between now and 2030. Any global deal means that results will be based on climate action plans submitted by some 150 countries – known in official jargon as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – yet some of these INDCs are clearly more ambitious than others.Roberts called the 51-page text to be negotiated at COP21 “a mess,” noting that includes more than 1,000 brackets – or phrases where there are disagreements.The Brown University environmental studies professor said four broad issues will be hammered out in Paris: whether there should be a long-term carbon reduction goal and what that goal should be; how to share the burden of getting to those targets; who will pay for it all; and finally, what kind of compensation should be offered in the event poor countries simply cannot cope with the damage caused by climate change.“There’ll be a huge difference in how countries respond if Paris fails,” he warned. “The greatest risk is that countries will be left behind as the imperative becomes clear that we’ll have to decarbonize our economies.”There’s also little hope the world’s advanced industrial nations will be able to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries cope with rising seas and temperatures, as promised six years ago in Copenhagen by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.“Financing is the most challenging aspect of the whole deal,” Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, recently told The New York Times. “There is no credible road map to the $100 billion.” From left, Timmons Roberts and Guy Edwards, co-authors of “A Fragmented Continent: Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change.” At right is moderator Harold Trinkunas of the Brookings Institution. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesLatin America blocsThe 304-page report written by Roberts and Edwards focuses on Latin America’s three major blocs at the U.N. climate talks and how they attempt to balance climate action with building prosperity.In the first group is Brazil, which has reduced its deforestation but continues its drive for economic growth and global recognition (as do other large developing countries such as China, India and South Africa). Second is a leftist group led by Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela – which rallies against the injustice of climate change but remains highly dependent on the export of fossil fuels.The third group, which includes Costa Rica, Chile and Peru and is supported by Mexico, offers sharp reductions in their carbon emissions in return for greater action by other countries.“President Luis Guillermo Solís has reconfirmed Costa Rica’s plans to become carbon-neutral by 2021, and its INDC has very ambitious targets for lowering per-capita emissions,” said Edwards. “Costa Rica offers something consistent with the 2C goal. President Solís was very keen to increase climate education and focus on adaptation, given Central America’s vulnerability, but also to create some kind of new mechanism for citizens to participate, so Costa Rica will be a very interesting example to follow.”The goal of reducing carbon emissions has taken on new urgency with a Nov. 9 announcement by the World Meteorological Organization that average levels of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million in the early months of 2015, a 43 percent rise over pre-industrial levels.In a separate report issued the same day, Britain’s University of East Anglia reported that the Earth’s temperature has crossed the 1C (1.8F) mark, with temperatures over the first nine months of this year exceeding historic norms by exactly 1.02C. All this comes amid concerns that 2015 will surpass 2014 as the hottest year in recorded history.“Around the world, disasters are coming more often,” said Roberts. “Summers are longer, the heat is more intense and rains are less predictable. But the economy is much better than 2009, when it was in free fall. Now things are more stable, except for Brazil and a few other places. Renewable energy, especially wind, has become as affordable as coal-fired power and even more so than natural gas. Solar energy has also come down in price, and Pope Francis has made climate change a priority of the Catholic Church.” Amal-Lee Amin, chief of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Climate Change and Sustainability Division, speaks Nov. 12 at Washington’s Inter-American Dialogue about the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesYet observers say that except for Costa Rica, individual countries’ targets and goals as outlined in their INDCs aren’t ambitious enough.“Climate policies in the region appear to suffer from a lack of implementation, and are often undermined by the energy sector or by mining legislation,” complained Edwards. “To make the INDCs a success, we need to better integrate energy and climate objectives – things like fossil fuel subsidy reform and the promotion of public transport. These countries could send a very strong signal that they’re serious about these INDCs.”The IDB’s Amal said that in 2010, the bank set a target for 25 percent of its lending portfolio to finance climate sustainability and renewable energy projects. The IDB has since exceeded that goal, with 30 percent of loans – or about $2 billion – currently funding such projects.“A key area for the bank is how to turn these INDCs into investable projects on the ground. These investment plans can then form the basis for countries to ensure that their national climate objectives are fully integrated into their other national development plans,” Amal said, warning that climate change could shave up 4 percent of regional GDP in coming decades under a scenario in which temperatures rise by 2.5C.“The countries that are already the most vulnerable are the ones who will be impacted the most,” she said. “They’re also the ones least able to respond to those risks.”Read more COP21 coverage here Facebook Comments Related posts:With COP21 underway, development banks urged to boost ‘green finance’ in Latin America What Paris climate talks have accomplished Scientists say Greenland just opened up a major new ‘floodgate’ of ice into the ocean US inflames debate on climate finance with plan for UN talks
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Ryndam has become the latest Holland America Line ship to receive the brand’s latest “Signature of Excellence” upgrades, which include a refresh of public areas, staterooms and a range of new activity options.Costing some $525 million the ongoing improvements will be applied to several of the most popular Holland America Line ship with the last ship is slated for completion in early 2011.“We are in the midst of an extensive and exciting phase of our Signature of Excellence enhancements program,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line EVP Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs. “As the most recent ship to receive the new public areas and soft goods, the Ryndam looks wonderful and our guests will feel like they are sailing on a new ship.”During dry dock, the Ryndam saw its existing Casino and Piano bars reconfigured into a new space called Mix, a new multi-themed area with three bars. A brand new jewellery shop is one of the brand new additions.All of the staterooms on board received new carpeting, soft goods and renovated bathrooms, while 16 of the staterooms near the spa have been turned into “Spa Staterooms” with other enhanced amenities.The Explorations Program has been extended with new team members and also includes an expanded menu of programs for guests. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/24c01/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
The ‘incredible’ determination and resolve displayed by PATA Chapter members in India in the wake of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai has been acknowledged with the ‘Spirit of PATA’ Award for 2010. The ‘Award of Excellence’ for 2010 goes to the PATA Chapter in Micronesia, recognising the intelligent use of social media and creative marketing to promote a new-look Micronesia brand.For the ‘Spirit of PATA’ award, judges were impressed with the Chapter’s success in promoting both outbound and inbound tourism through its ‘Scandi roadshow’ as well as various advocacy and community relations projects. Its new website also ‘showed promise as a communications and development vehicle’, judges stated.PATA Micronesia Chapter organised an impressive range of activities in 2009 and showed further commitment to industry training. The Chapter displayed solid progress with e-guides for the islands and has demonstrated its efforts to promote the Micronesia brand.The awards will be presented next month at a PATA Foundation gala dinner in Kuching, Sarawak as part of the Association’s annual meeting programme that also includes a special workshop for all Chapters worldwide. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/20198/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = PATA
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Virgin Blue is preparing to unleash some major changes and updates in the New Year, in the battle for Australian airline supremacy.According to The Australian, CEO John Borghetti is aiming to establish “a very different airline”, creating a unique alternative to Virgin’s direct competitors, Qantas.“What we do want to be – and what we are driving to – is being an airline that is relevant in today’s world for both the leisure and the business traveller domestically and internationally,” Mr Borghetti said.The former Qantas executive is prepared and eager to do battle with his former colleagues, taking a fresh approach to airline management.“We’re able to create a product going into this new space that is relevant to today rather than a product that has been around for decades and simply gets refreshed,” he said.Mr Borghetti said he does not wish to emulate Qantas and feels Virgin Blue has the advantage of being the new kid on the block, providing a fresh and contemporary outlook.Everything from Virgin’s uniforms and seats, through to its livery and possibly the carrier’s name may be changed.Analysts are predicting Borghetti’s strategy to yield a much stronger year for the airline, particularly if the international Virgin Blue/Delta Air Lines alliance is successful.In reference to Virgin Blue’s attempt to double its share in the corporate market, Mr Borghetti is brightly optimistic. “It can only go up. “Can it go up by 1 per cent, 10 per cent, 20 per cent? I don’t know, but it can only go up,” he said. Virgin Blue
Source = South African Airways SAA’s Australian operations received some well-deserved recognition at a special ceremony in Johannesburg last week. At a glittering black tie event, awards were given for the global airline’s best performing stations both on the African continent and around the world. SAA’s Head of Australasia Thevan Krishna was on hand to receive an award for Australia which is in the top five. “We’re delighted to have been given this recognition following a successful year for SAA in the Australasian market. Our passenger numbers in the last fiscal year grew smartly despite continued pressure on international airlines, Thevan said. Thevan is pictured with the award certificate at the ceremony held at SAA’s main hangar at Oliver R Tambo International Airport (ORTIA).
After its first full year of operations Inland NSW Tourism has announced a directional shift, transforming from a regional tourism organisation to a destination management organisation.Inland NSW Tourism chief executive officer Graham Perry said destination management requires a detailed consumer focus.“The foundation for this new approach is Inland NSW Tourism’s $100,000 consumer research program which will determine the propensity of consumers to travel to Inland NSW and their awareness and perceptions of each destination and the cross regional experiences.”This requirement for change has been supported by Inland NSW Tourism chairman Rodger Powell.“Destination Management will allow destinations to align with the needs of visitors,” Mr Powell said. “The outcome will not only inform marketing, but help identify product gaps and product development opportunities to allow regional NSW to thrive in a sustainable way.”Inland NSW Tourism currently manages 50 different co-operative marketing activities and product development programs. “With a combined value of more than $4.7 million, these programs are already delivering strong results,” Mr Perry said.“These campaigns are also starting to contribute to the regions’ overall growth in visitation expenditure.“Most notably, the New England North West area of Inland achieved an 18 percent increase in the year-on-year domestic overnight expenditure to March 2012, according to the National Visitor Survey conducted by Tourism Research Australia.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.
The analysis was inconclusive, with the RAAF concluding that weather condition had hampered efforts to find the apparent remains of the plane, the ABC reported. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received an expert analysis of RAAF satellite imagery apparently showing the wreckage of MH370 in water in the south-west Indian Ocean. “The objects are relatively indistinct on the imagery,” Mr Young said. “We don’t know what that satellite saw until we can get a much better, much closer look at it at it, but this is the first tangible break-through in what up until now has been an utterly baffling mystery,” Prime Minister Abbott said. ASMA spokesperson John Young said that the debris may not be related to the search for MH370. “I don’t profess to be an expert in assessing the imagery, but those who are expert indicate they are credible sightings.” A source close to the investigation told Reuters that the plane likely flew into the Indian Ocean because South East and North Asian countries have failed to trace MH370 entering their airspace. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also presumptively weighed into the debate about the images. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Silversea Cruises announces new shipSilversea Cruises is happy to announce their new flagship, the “Silver Muse”, to be delivered in April 2017. The new ultra-luxury ship is being built by Fincantieri and at 40,000 grt accommodates 596 guests, representing an exciting evolution of the Silver Spirit that will redefine ultra-luxury ocean travel, enhancing the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience.The addition of the Silver Muse, will expand Silversea’s fleet to nine ships, and will once again significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market with a wealth of enhancements to the on board experience, while satisfying the uncompromising requirements for comfort, service, and quality of the world’s most discerning travellers.“We always had a special relationship with Fincantieri, since my father ordered them the first cruise vessels for Sitmar in 1987” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of Silversea. “Both companies have a clear understanding of what today’s affluent traveller seeks, and each approaches the market with originality, creativity, and quality. The management team led by Giuseppe Bono has been exceptional in managing Silversea’s project and we have also been well supported by SACE.”According to Enzo Visone, Silversea’s CEO, “With enhanced design specifications and enriched content, the Silver Muse will continue to build on the sophistication, innovative style and ground-breaking concepts for which Silversea ships are renowned. This ship contributes to our ambitious growth plans that will ensure our continued leadership in ultra-luxury cruising”.“We’re very pleased to once again partner with Silversea,” commented Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “Silversea has shown remarkable dynamism and ability to achieve important results in this market. This project offers us the opportunity to develop creative solutions and set new standards for shipbuilding in the ultra-luxury segment, a segment in which Fincantieri has won every new order on the market in the past year.”Additional details and specifications on the new ship will be announced in the near future. Book a Silversea CruiseSource = Silversea Cruises
MSC Cruises 96 hour saleclick and book here now About MSC Cruisesdiscover cruising here MSC Cruises MSC OperaBack by popular demand, our 96 Hour SaleAs always, we’re offering incredible itineraries on our luxury cruise ships for fantastic value. State-of-the-art accommodation, delicious dining, and the best entertainment at sea are all included in your cruise fare, which for 96 hours is incredibly low.A seven-night cruise in the Mediterranean starts from AUD$53 / NZD$64 per person, per day! But it doesn’t end there, see below for a range of itineraries on sale – whether you dream of the Caribbean’s crystal blue waters, South America’s rich culture and spirit, the Arabian Peninsula’s elegance and contrasts, or Northern Europe’s fairy-tale landscapes there’s something for you.For more information contact MSC Cruises today:Australia 1300 028 502 New Zealand 0508 4278 473 Source = MSC Cruises Australia & New Zealand
airberlin and Arvato open a new service centre for B2B servicesGermany’s second largest airline airberlin and Arvato AG, part of the Bertelsmann group, today jointly opened a new service centre in Berlin.Seventy agents with experience in the tourism sector will work here, processing requests from travel agents and sales partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.Together, the companies will in particular work to develop and expand innovative communication channels for airberlin’s B2B service. A live chat room for travel agencies was launched today as a pilot project on the airberlin online partner platform.Julio Rodriguez, Chief Commercial Officer at airberlin, said at the opening ceremony: “We consider it very important that airberlin offer sales partners and travel agencies excellent service, so that all queries to do with flights or the co-operation with airberlin can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. That’s why we continue to invest in the quality of our service. I am convinced that we have the right partner in Arvato – a partner that can support us with reliable, innovative solutions in communications with our partners”.“We are delighted to have won airberlin as a customer, and that the company will be relying on Arvato’s expertise both in traditional customer communications and in developing its contact channels and technological infrastructure for customer service”, Daniel Welzer, CEO of Arvato CRM Solutions Germany, emphasised. “Our team willconcentrate fully on providing the best possible service for airberlin’s partners and priority customers”, Welzer continued. Fly airberlinSource = airberlin
(L-R) Edie Rodriguez, Bruce Anderson, Sally MacMillanAlso at the podium will be Bruce Anderson. Anderson is a founding Principal of Starcrest Consulting Group in Seattle and has over 25 years of experience working on critical environmental issues for the cruise industry including major emissions reduction programs. He will speak on Starcrest’s work with port and maritime related air quality issues and development of Clean Air Plans. He has extensive background working in the US and internationally and consulted on White Bay Cruise Terminal for the Port Authority of NSW.Destination Development will be a key theme at this year’s event. Journalist, Sally MacMillan best known as the author of the “Cruise Director” section for Fairfax will draw on her extensive cruising experience to deliver an insightful look at what works and what doesn’t when passengers arrive in port.Additional plenary and group workshop sessions will explore a range of topics critical to the growth of the cruise industry including homeporting, infrastructure development, benchmarking and the regulatory landscape.The Conference is being sponsored by the Port Authority of NSW and Destination NSW. It will be held this year at the Four Seasons Hotel which was chosen in the main due to its close proximity to the Opera House and the Overseas Passenger Terminal where some of the hospitality sessions will take place.Australian Cruise Association CEO, Jill Abel said “On the back of an exciting time for the cruise industry, we are delighted to continue the momentum at this major event which will celebrate our members who play a key role in this multi-billion industry.”“We want to recognise the vital role our members play as the unsung heroes behind the scenes of this amazingly powerful industry. We will help them grow in this role by providing them with rich information and new insights from the speakers while also allowing them the opportunity to network with some of the major players on the global stage” continued Abel. Register hereSource = Australian Cruise Association Registration has opened, and an exciting line-up of initial speakers announced, for the 20th Australian Cruise Association conference to be held in Sydney from September 7-9, 2016.Themed “20 years – Our People, Our Passion, Our Success”, the Conference will celebrate the role of the Association’s members in the successful growth of the cruise industry in this region and will explore the exciting opportunities for growth over the next 20 years.Emceed by Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director of Life Media and Events at Fairfax and Non-Executive Director at Sealink, this year’s speaker line-up reflects the coming of age of the industry and the Association.Edie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Crystal Cruises will give the keynote address. Ms Rodriguez is the first CEO of an international cruise line to speak at an ACA conference. She will speak on the luxury cruising segment, a topic she is well qualified to discuss having worked previously with Azamara Club Cruises, the upmarket division of RCL and for the Cunard and Seabourn brands while at Carnival.Last year, Rodriguez unveiled the blueprint for a major brand expansion for Crystal Cruises which has been dubbed by the travel and hospitality industry as the largest expansion in history for any luxury brand.
Qantas offsets the carbon emissions of all domestic flights on World Environment Day (WED) as the national carrier launches a series of new sustainability initiatives.To mark WED, Qantas is reinvigorating its Fly Carbon Neutral programme, which gives customers the option of paying a small amount to offset the emissions associated with their flight – with all proceeds going to community projects in Australia or overseas which generate carbon credits.At the same time, Qantas will move to replace all lighting in operational areas with energy-efficient LED lights, revamp its domestic on-board recycling programme to reduce waste to landfill, and introduce new, lightweight freight containers that will cut fuel consumption.More than two million tonnes of carbon emissions – the equivalent of planting 12 million trees – have been offset since Qantas and Jetstar introduced carbon offsetting in 2007.Qantas Head of Environment, Alan Milne, said the airline’s offset programme had grown to become the largest of its kind in the world and Qantas was more committed than ever to reducing its carbon footprint.“We are really proud to be setting the example in the aviation industry with our Fly Carbon Neutral Programme and hope that by offsetting the emissions of all our domestic flights on World Environment Day we will raise awareness in the community about creating a more sustainable future,” Milne said.Milne said the airline is working on several new projects which will have long term benefits for the environment as well as the airline’s bottom line.“We acknowledge aviation is a significant contributor of carbon emissions, which is why we are working hard to reduce our environmental impact in many ways including through fuel efficiency, conserving electricity and water, and reducing waste sent to landfill…We are currently replacing fluorescent tube lighting with energy efficient LED lights in our airports, hangars, ramp areas, warehouses and flight simulators nationally, which will reduce our energy consumption by more than 13 million kilowatt hours and save our business more than USD two million per year,” Milne added.