Share Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Travelweek Group Tags: Space Tourism, Virgin Group << Previous PostNext Post >> First agent now offering Virgin Galactic’s space flights MANLY, AUSTRALIA — What do you think the commission is on a $250,000 flight?A Sydney-based travel agent has become the first agent to offer Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flights. Gill McLachlan of Lachlan Travel Group will be offering the 90-minute, $250,000 flights from his Sydney agency, even though no lift-off date has been confirmed.“They advertised people to apply as agents – we were the first people in the world that Branson appointed in 2008,” said McLachlan in a Manly Daily interview.Credit: Braden Fastier.With a hefty price tag, the agency owner said he doesn’t push people to the product, but so far it seems that the older generation is keen to try the product.“Many people, especially older people, have that dream. They saw the moon landings,” he said.The 67-year-old noted that the flight is safe after visiting Virgin Galactic’s New Mexico base, Spaceport America. There, he experienced the same G-forces that passengers would experience during the flight. He said the feeling wasn’t that “grueling” and passengers won’t need to be “that fit” to take the flights.Virgin Galactic has been granted a licence to restart testing after a fatal crash in 2014. Posted by
Travelweek Group Friday, March 10, 2017 Share TORONTO — G Adventures is now a Platinum Club member in Canada’s Best Managed Companies program, recognizing best-in-class Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million that demonstrate strategy, capability and commitment to achieving sustainable growth.The Best Managed program is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums.“We’re incredibly honoured to receive this highly coveted stamp of excellence,” says Bruce Poon Tip, Founder, G Adventures. “This award is a testament to our fantastic team, their entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to our clients, and dedication to delivering life-changing adventures.”Canada’s Best Managed Companies program is about more than financial performance, says Lorrie King, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader. “The ingredients to success also include overall business performance and sustained growth. It takes dedication and commitment from the entire organization.” Posted by Tags: G Adventures G Adventures recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies << Previous PostNext Post >>
“Business as usual”: rumoured Sandals sale could mean expansion Share Travelweek Group Friday, May 12, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Sandals Resorts International is said to be eyeing several business strategies including the possible sale of a majority stake in the company, privately owned since 1981 when it was founded by Sandals Resorts Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.According to Reuters, Sandals has hired Deutsche Bank AG to explore various options. The company’s estimated worth is more than US$1 billion including debt.Sandals Resorts International issued a statement to the Jamaica Gleaner saying “Sandals Resorts International is exploring options to accelerate the company’s long-term growth and development plans. This is not new. Meanwhile it’s business as usual.”The resort industry has seen some high-level shakeups recently. In December 2016 Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V. announced plans to go public. Playa’s move to go public was seen as a catalyst to accelerate Playa’s growth strategy by providing million of dollars of additional capital and access to the public markets to strengthen its balance sheet, pursue acquisitions, and enhance distribution. Reports indicated that Playa intends to launch a new hotel brand as part of its growth plan.More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAlso in December 2016 AMResorts’ parent company Apple Leisure Group reached a deal to be bought by financial firms KKR & Co. and KSL Capital Partners LLC. Posted by Tags: Sandals Resorts
Travelweek Group TORONTO — GLP Worldwide has released its new River Cruise brochure with nine cruise programs as well as three new exclusive GLP Worldwide hosted cruise programs: ‘Cruise on the Vltava & Elbe Rivers’, ‘The Incredible Mekong’ and ‘Experience Exotic Myanmar’.The 64-page printed brochure will be available to agents in early December and the online brochure can be accessed at the following link on GLP Worldwide’s website: http://glpworldwide.com/river/.Agents can request a brochure (and multiple copies) at this address: info.glpworldwide.com/request-a-brochure-global.Alan Law, Director of Sales and Marketing for GLP Worldwide, says the brochure represents “a stellar lineup of culturally significant and fascinating cruise programs and we are especially proud of launching three new GLP Worldwide exclusively hosted tours for 2018 and 2019.”He adds: “Agents can count on GLP’s expertise and high standards in insuring their clients are well taken care of and will experience an incredibly memorable and value-added cruise.”More news: Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureThe new brochure features river excursions in Europe and Asia from the Scottish Highlands, the Douro Valley, the Marne Canal through France’s Champagne region, cultural capitals such as Budapest, Prague and Berlin to villages along the Mekong River in southeast Asia.Itinerary and ship details, pricing (in Canadian currency), cruise dates, visuals of the destination, ship and deck layouts, price inclusions and terms and conditions are all outlined in the brochure.New this year and fully escorted by GLP Worldwide personnel, are three new cruise programs:Cruise on the Vltava & Elbe Rivers – 11 days, priced from $4,980 per person, double occupancy in a stateroom (Main Deck), Oct. 3-18The Incredible Mekong – 14 days, priced from $7,450 per person, double occupancy in a stateroom (Main Deck), Feb. 6-19, 2019 and Nov. 14-27, 2019Experience Exotic Myanmar – 15 days, priced from $7,700 per person, double occupancy in a stateroom (Main Deck), Jan. 20 – Feb. 3, 2019 and Nov. 19 – Dec. 3, 2019More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJGLP Worldwide can be reached directly via telephone toll-free at (866) 760-1987, online at glpworldwide.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: GLP Worldwide Posted by Tuesday, November 21, 2017 GLP Worldwide-hosted programs new in 2018 river cruise brochure
Jetlines appoints new Chief Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Posted by Tags: Canada Jetlines, New Hires << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 8, 2019 VANCOUVER — Ahead of its highly anticipated launch this year, Canada Jetlines has announced Jordi Porcel, a former Vueling executive, as its new Chief Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience Officer.CEO Javier Suarez, who worked with Porcel at Vueling from 2012-2014, said he’s “thrilled” to welcome him to the Jetlines team.“Jordi’s extensive experience working for fast-growing, low-cost carriers, as well as his vocation to design and deliver the best customer experience, is fantastic news for Jetlines,” said Suarez.While at Vueling, Porcel served as Chief Sales Officer and was responsible for all non-direct sales, accounting for 57% of Vueling’s revenue totalling approximately €700 million. Together with Suarez, Porcel helped Vueling rapidly and profitably expand in Europe, which at the time was going through the global financial crisis.More recently, Porcel was the head of Europe at Air Arabia, a profitable low-cost carrier where he was responsible for implementing strategic sales, marketing and communication initiatives in Europe. During his tenure, he helped grow the European business by 26%.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongPrior to that, Porcel also served as General Manager of Spain at Etihad Airways from 2014 to 2016 as well as Regional Commercial Manager for Spain, Portugal and Latin America at British Airways.In connection with his new appointment at Jetlines, Porcel will be granted 250,000 Restricted Share Units (RSUs), which will vest over a three-year period from the date of grant. Share Travelweek Group
No related posts. Mango consumption is booming in the United States, and the tropical fruit is starting to give more traditional fruits such as bananas, strawberries and pineapples a run for their money.According to Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office, the U.S. is now the second most important destination of Costa Rican mango exports behind the Netherlands, with sales to the U.S. totaling $8.4 million in 2011. In 2010, the U.S. market was third behind the United Kingdom.U.S. Department of Agriculture data indicate that mango imports increased from $226 million in 2007 to $343 million in 2011, an increase of 13 percent. Mexico is the main supplier of the fruit, followed by Peru and Brazil.During the first five months of 2012, Costa Rica’s mango sales to the U.S. totaled $6.7 million, with a market share of 24.5 percent. Facebook Comments
Soccer, Cirque du Soleil and the country’s economic situation are some of the reasons why only 67 percent of hotel rooms in Costa Rica are occupied during mid-year vacations, according to the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH).Current occupancy is four percent lower than that recorded last year, and CCH members described this season as “not good at all” because Ticos have been opting mostly for one-day trips.A survey conducted by the CCH last month showed its members expected 62 percent of hotel rooms would be occupied during this period.They said the country’s economic situation and recent increases in public services tariffs forced Ticos to look for alternatives to hotels for their vacations.They also believe that recent activities such as the visit of Cirque du Soleil and the sale of tickets for the National Football Team match against the United States generated expenses that came out of a family’s vacation budget.The CCH also said they are facing unfair competition from private condo rentals, mainly at the country’s beaches, which offer lower rates than hotels.Mid-year vacations end next weekend. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Related posts:Thousands get gay pride in gear at Mexico City march Panama bill calls for jail time for anti-gay hate crimes Costa Rican court upholds gay rights in professional associations Costa Rica grants first gay common-law marriage in Central America Striking a pose in downtown Guatemala City during that country’s Pride Parade on June 28, 2014. Several countries in the region, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, are holding pride parades this weekend. Facebook Comments
As Canada’s home crowd exploded into cheers at BMO Field in Toronto on Tuesday evening, a nightmarish silence clouded over Costa Rica. For a split second, it looked as if the men’s soccer team would lose to the Canadians and possibly fail to advance from the Gold Cup’s group stage.Then the yellow-and-red checkered flag waved on the sidelines and the rain-drenched fans returned to a monotonous hum in front of the eventual 0-0 draw between Canada and Costa Rica.Canada’s Marcus Haber, who scored the would-be game winner off a free kick, was ruled offsides. He was barely an inch beyond a line of defenders when he punched in the discounted score past keeper Esteban Alvarado.After Costa Rica’s third straight draw, the perennial favorites to win Group B coming into the regional tournament finish in second place behind Jamaica. On Sunday, they will face the runner-up of Group C: either Trinidad & Tobago or Mexico, depending on the result of their game tomorrow.“We achieved the main goal, which was to get to the quarterfinals,” Alvarado said after the game. “We have a lot of details to iron out but, thank God, we’re moving on.”The Ticos haven’t just flirted with disaster in the Gold Cup, they’ve been on the verge of making a long-term commitment to it. Canada nearly scored again in the waning minutes when a slippery ball went through Alvarado’s gloves. A seemingly sure chance for Canada to score again was denied when captain Bryan Ruíz’s leg miraculously deflected the ball right at the goal line to keep the match scoreless.“We’re not satisfied with the tie because we know we have to get better,” Ruíz said. “But today we get to continue into the next round and have the opportunity to improve.”Players and coaches keep harping on the theme of improvement as the men’s team has been unable to establish dominance over a trio of teams ranked 76th, 88th and 111th in FIFA’s world rankings. And the latest draw keeps Paulo Wanchope still winless as Costa Rica’s head coach, moving La Sele to 0-3-5 under his watch.“I don’t have doubts about what we’re doing,” Wanchope said leading up to the game with Canada. “I don’t doubt the form or the identity of play that we want, but we have to make some individual adjustments,” he said. “In terms of style and form, we’re doing alright. But we still recognize that things have to improve.”A starting lineup that left strikers like Joel Campbell and Álvaro Saborío on the sidelines was a risk on Wanchope’s end to find some cohesion for a precarious defense that remains a work in progress. Though Cristian Gamboa was able to return from a leg injury that kept him from Saturday’s 1-1 tie with El Salvador, veteran defender Michael Umaña left the team before its game Tuesday, reportedly to work out a new deal with his club team in Iran.Short bursts of heavy rain before kickoff and at the end of the first period created a slick canvas for Tuesday’s sloppy game. Costa Rica’s offense did little in the first half until Deyver Vega cut inside for a left-footed shot that required a diving save from Canadian goalie Kenny Stamatopoulos.Costa Rica’s quarterfinal matchup will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EST on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Facebook Comments Related posts:CONCACAF Gold Cup preview: Ticos look to re-establish themselves as region’s top team FEDEFUTBOL official: FIFA scandal won’t affect Costa Rica’s upcoming matches Analysis: Why Costa Rica’s football team will get back to the World Cup 2017 Gold Cup: Costa Rica’s La Sele draws Canada 1-1
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Military prosecutors investigating the downing of a Turkish plane by Syria say initial findings show Syria targeted the plane with a long-range missile while it was in international air space.The report carried by the state-run Anadolu agency on Wednesday backed Turkish government claims. Syria has insisted the plane was hit by anti-aircraft artillery while flying low in Syrian air space.The report says radar data and an inspection of the wreckage show the plane was not hit, but that it lost altitude and crashed from the power of a missile blast near its rear. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments Share Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project The plane went down in the Mediterranean Sea near Syria, killing its two pilots.The June 22 incident further strained ties between the two neighbors.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chile’s government has apologized to a lesbian judge who was denied custody of her three daughters because she is gay.The apology was issued Friday during a ceremony led by Justice Minister Teodoro Ribera. Chile says it will pay Magistrate Karen Atala $70,000 and grant her medical and psychological treatment.The reparation comes 10 months after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemned Chile’s decision to deny Atala custody of her children. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share The vital role family plays in society 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Atala had filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Nov. 2004 after Chile’s Supreme Court decided to give custody of her daughters to her ex-husband because she is lesbian. Two of the children are now adults and the third is a teenager.The ruling followed Chile’s approval this year of an anti-discrimination law.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, centre, talks to colleagues after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II delivered the Queen’s Speech to the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The Queens Speech outlines her governments legislative plans for the forthcoming parliamentary year and the laws and bills they hope to pass. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)n THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron met his Dutch counterpart on Thursday as he began a whirlwind visit to four European capitals, pressing his case that Britain needs to renegotiate its relationship with the 27 other members of the bloc.It will be a tough sell. France’s foreign minister signaled resistance to any major concessions on Britain’s push for less centralized EU control. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona European leaders have expressed a desire to accommodate Britain, but it’s unclear how far they will go to meet Cameron’s desire for change — especially to the right of EU citizens to live and work anywhere in the bloc.Other leaders have warned Cameron that free movement within the bloc is non-negotiable, but he hopes to gain agreement to restrict immigrants’ right to claim benefits for a period of up to several years.Hours before Cameron arrived in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Thursday that Cameron’s plan for a referendum is “very risky.”Speaking on France-Inter radio, he said France is open to “improvements” in the way the EU functions, but “if it’s about creating a specific status for Britain, so that it has advantages without constraints, then it’s ‘No.’”British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was understandable that “some of our partners will adopt a hard line at the start of the negotiations.”___Lawless reported from London. Angela Charlton in Paris and Barry Hatton in Lisbon contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Cameron started his tour with lunch at the official residence of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a center-right leader Cameron described as a “very good friend and very strong partner in Europe.”Cameron said he would discuss with Rutte his reform agenda.“The need for flexibility. The need to focus on growth and jobs. The need to make sure we complete the single market the need to make sure that, as you put it, Europe where necessary, but nation-states wherever possible,” he said to Rutte.Cameron’s government plans a referendum by the end of 2017 on the question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU, if he manages to negotiate a new, looser relationship with the group.He was traveling to the Netherlands, France, Poland and Germany on Thursday and Friday as part of his efforts to talk with all of the leaders of the EU member states before a European Council meeting late next month. A planned trip to Denmark was canceled because Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt called a snap election.After his meeting with Rutte, Cameron was heading to Paris for talks with French President Francois Hollande. On Friday, he meets with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw before traveling to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. How men can have a healthy 2019
Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Diaz Ochoa said 23 residents had been taken to a temporary city shelter and would be referred to a city elderly care center. He said most were apparently over 75 years old. The nursing home housed poor, abandoned or formerly homeless elderly people.Telephone numbers listed for the home rang unanswered or were disconnected.Diaz Ochoa said the facility was run by the nonprofit Cultural Society for the Promotion of Social Welfare.In its government registration page, the group lists one of its functions as “giving humanitarian assistance to low-income elderly people in need, including food, shelter, clothing and medical care.”Susana Marisol Tapia, a former volunteer at the home, said the administrators “do a great job, with a lot of dedication and sacrifice.”“What has happened is a tragedy that will surely hurt the beautiful work that they do, and that’s a shame,” Tapia wrote in an email upon hearing of the fire.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories MEXICO CITY (AP) — A fire swept through a retirement home for poor people early Tuesday, killing 16 elderly residents at the facility outside the northern border city of Mexicali, the mayor’s office said.Five other residents were reported in serious condition after being taken to a hospital in nearby Mexicali, which sits across the border from Calexico, California.Mayor Jaime Diaz Ochoa said the cause of the blaze at the Hermoso Atardecer (Beautiful Sunset) retirement home was being investigated by the state prosecutors’ office. The mayor’s office said that 12 fire extinguishers and eight smoke detectors had been found at the home and that the nonprofit facility in a rural area about a half-hour drive from Mexicali had not been overcrowded.
UNESCO said the site was recognized for its contribution to the food processing industry and the impact it had on a global level providing food security to troops. Over the decades, thousands of people worked at the factory famous for the production of corned beef — a staple food for soldiers during the two world wars.The plant was opened in 1859 by Liebig’s Extract of Meat Co. of Germany. The British firm that took it over in 1924 named it the Anglo meat processing plant and it operated day and night before it closed in 1979.Former plant worker Eduardo Romero says the factory was once so busy that when it closed it “was terribly sad … you didn’t see anyone on the streets.”The almost 680-acre (275-hectare) complex includes a slaughterhouse, rotting docks on the river and the homes of the factory bosses and workers of many different nationalities who labored there. The former offices still contain have wood furniture and old equipment such as adding machines.Former employees and their relatives who still live by the plant celebrated its new heritage status July 7. They included Belen Gadea, who took a selfie with her grandmother Ivis Saldana in a former slaughterhouse. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies FRAY BENTOS, Uruguay (AP) — A dilapidated food processing plant built in the 19th century on the banks of the Uruguay River to process and export meat to Europe may seem an unlikely candidate for status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.But the United Nations agency said last week that the abandoned factory’s role in history was so important that it deserved designation as a “cultural-industrial landscape.” Top Stories The vital role family plays in society Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Saldana said the plant gave each worker almost 4 Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 0 Comments Share This July 6, 2015 photo shows the warehouses of the historic Anglo meat processing plant in Fray Bentos, Uruguay. The dilapidated food processing plant on the banks of the Uruguay River, which was set-up in the 19th century to process and export meat to Europe, was recognized on July 5 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico) 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories
The Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia (VCAWA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 GWN Top Tourism Award.Nineteen nominations were received and the desktop assessments have now been completed by the judging panel.According to the Chair of the judging panel, Nicolas Petit “Once again this year the quality of the submissions was of an extremely high standard and it’s very encouraging to see the diverse range of Tourism opportunities that WA has to offer”.Of the nineteen nominations, the judges have advised there are six entrants who have been selected as finalists. These include Armadale, Broome, Bunbury (2009 Winner), Kalgoorlie, Margaret River and Swan Valley.Each of the six finalists will receive a site visit from the judges and the winning entrant of the 2010 GWN Top Tourism Award will receive from GWN an airtime package valued at $25,000 to utilise in support of their overall marketing activities to attract visitors to their area.The judges will also acknowledge a town, city or region that has a resident population of less than 5000 people as a Top Tourism Award winner.In addition, each of the nominees are eligible for the West Australian Regional Newspaper Category Awards which include: Heritage Award Cultural Award Website Development Award Management & Staff Training Award Community Relations Award Environment Award Special Events AwardThe awards will be announced at the 2010 GWN Top Tourism Award Gala Dinner on Friday the 15th of October in Bridgetown, which forms part of the Annual Visitor Servicing Conference. Source = Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1a839/” 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 Hertz Corporation has its eyes set on a greener future for the rental car industry, but has admitted that there is no magic bullet to achieve this. “There is not a single solution to the green issue,” Hertz International president Michel Taride told e-Travel Blackboard. In Sydney for the announcement of Hertz’s acquisition of Ace Rental cars and alliance with Apollo Motorhomes, Mr Taride said “the move to electric cars is not a simple process”, but added that the elements required for its success “are all converging”. “We are partners with GE (General Electric) who build charging stations,” Mr Taride said. The Hertz International president commented that “the whole issue was about battery life” but was confident things were moving in the right direction. “New technology will see batteries recharged in 22 minutes and not a couple of hours like now,” Mr Taride told e-Travel Blackboard. The comments follow the acquisition late last year by Hertz of Melbourne based car sharing company Flexicar, which has become part of the rental company’s “Connect by Hertz” programme. “We are the only global car sharing club,” Mr Taride said.“New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid are already part of this programme – now it is Australia’s turn.” Mr Taride speaking at the presentation Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Hertz International president Michel Taride
NSW and JTG are hoping to bring more people to the state NSW looks set to benefit from a new partnership between Destination NSW and The Jetset Travelworld Group (JTG) promoting the state as a tourism and events destination.Announced yesterday, the two-year AU$4 million marketing deal will allow Destination NSW access to JTG’s wholesale and retail brands across Australia and New Zealand as well as Qantas Vacations in North America and inbound tour operator ATS Pacific.Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality, Racing and the Arts George Souris said the partnership with JTG would provide “new opportunities for the packaging and promotion of a huge variety” of NSW tourism products as the government looked to double tourism expenditure in the state by 2020.“It’s a confident step forward that demonstrates the resolve behind Destination NSW, the new statutory authority which will be responsible for the marketing and promotion of the State’s tourism destinations, holiday experiences and events to drive visitation across the State,” Mr Souris commented. Destination NSW – Tourism executive director Lyndel Gray echoed the minister’s remarks, saying the relationship would boost NSW by allowing “businesses to access Australian and New Zealand marketing campaigns, travel agents, trade education programs and trade promotion”.JTG chief executive Peter Lacaze said the deal would help treat an inbound tourism industry hit hard by an explosion in outbound travel. “This new relationship will help to promote the value and diversity of NSW destinations and experiences in comparison to international travel,” the JTG boss said.“This agreement will bring focus to NSW as a travel destination across all the JTG brands and will assist our travel agent networks in growing their businesses, particularly in NSW where over 30 per cent of JTG’s national agency network is based.” Jayson Westbury, chief executive of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents called the announcement an endorsement of the Australian retail travel sector.”Packaged travel is a fantastic option for consumers who want a cost effective deal but don’t want to spend time finding flights, hotels, tours and so on,” Mr Westbury said.“Retail travel agents are experts in helping consumers find the right package to suit their timing and budget and there’s nothing like dealing with an agent for professional advice.”The hosting of the New Zealand Harvey World Travel Frontliners conference later this month will be one of the first undertakings of the new partnership, according to Mr Souris. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Focusing its business solely on agents is a signifier of Excite’s confidence in the survival of consultants, with the company’s general manager Joe Karbo stressing that “there is a future for agents” in Australia. Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard exclusively, Mr Karbo said while there are hurdles in the industry, every market is being dealt with various scenarios and expects agents to always play a role in the Australian travellers booking plans. “We believe there is a future for agents, we consider them a part of the family and give them an alternative option,” Mr Karbo said. “We see sizeable bookings from Australians – some that add up to $10,000 particularly from families and I think that’s where the difference is in the Australian market. “They also prefer to book four – five star hotels and also the strong AUD and weak Euro continue to play a big factor that keeps the market stable and we’ve seen a lot of new trading.” Experiencing a 198 percent growth in bookings over the past 18 months, Mr Karbo pinned the company’s success to its dedication to travel agents as well as its move to embrace online. He said the combination of traditional with the benefit of technological development from consumer sites made Excite a spot for agents looking for a faster option with more choice. Celebrating its ten year anniversary this year, the company is in the midst of unveiling major technological developments that will help agents during the booking and research process. Among the online advancement includes a possible GDS alignment as well as next week’s official launch of Activities, a “comprehensive site seeing module” with over 5,000 activities in 330 cities to explore online in real time. Mr Karbo said the new site was designed to make Excite the “one stop shop” for accommodation, transfer and sightseeing. This year the company has also been nominated for three AFTA Awards including two in the supplier categories. Mr Karbo said the nominations were a “monumental achievement” for an Australian company that started with two people and now employs over 80 staff. “It is a competitive market with some agents booking on consumer sites,” Mr Karbo added. “We believe we have superior product out there… we believe we are the most innovative and that we have to work harder to earn the business when others have an open road for business.” For more information on Excite’s new Activities module, click back onto e-Travel Blackboard next week.
The second portfolio consists of 11 hotels (ibis, ibis budget and Novotel) in Switzerland and has been operated by Accor since 2008 also under variable-rent leases. The first portfolio contains 67 hotels across Germany and 19 hotels in the Netherlands (ibis, ibis budget, Mercure and Novotel), and has been operated by Accor under variable-rent lease agreements since 2007, with the acquisition for this portfolio around €722 million. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovich Accor hotel group has announced the acquisition of two real estate portfolios, featuring 97 hotels in Europe through its Hotellnvest business in a deal worth around EUR €900 million. “These transactions send a strong signal of our capability to rapidly implement the strategy of restructuring the Hotellnvest portfolio and they are fully aligned with our selective asset acquisition criteria; hotels located in key European cities and delivering excellent operating performance in our most profitable market segments,” Accor chairman and chief executive officer Sébastien Bazin said.