Caribbean Princess to debut seven new dining options Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> SANTA CLARITA — When the Caribbean Princess debuts its two-week, multi-million-dollar renovation on April 6, she will have completed its largest food and beverage innovation to ever take place during a drydock. This includes seven new onboard dining destinations that range from specialty restaurants to casual outdoor eateries on the top deck.“Fresh, regionally-inspired and family friendly offerings were the inspiration behind our largest food and beverage makeover ever,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “With updated décor and designs that offer a welcoming atmosphere, the seven new dining options aboard Caribbean Princess are sure to please any palate and delight the senses.”The new dining options aboard Caribbean Princess include World Fresh Marketplace, which replaces Horizon Court, featuring a new look and well-balanced food choices. For breakfast, passengers will find a designer pancake station and 24-hour cereal stations, while lunch offerings include handcrafted sandwiches, regionally inspired dishes and soups as well as carvery selections. Dinner options include ‘breakfast at night’ with omelettes and a kid-friendly PB&J bar.World Fresh MarketplaceTwo casual specialty restaurants will also be added: Planks BBQ and Steamers Seafood. Planks BBQ serves up ribs, sausages and chicken for dinner, with complimentary buffet-style breakfast and lunch options also available, while Steamers dishes out east coast-style seafood dishes like crab-stuffed flounder and black & blue mussels. Both restaurants have a cover charge of US$12 per person for dinner.Steamers SeafoodIn addition, four Princess top-deck outdoor dining offerings will be revitalized, renamed and enhanced, including The Salty Dog Grill (formerly Trident Grill), Slice (formerly Pizzeria), Coffee & Cones (formerly Scoops), and The mix (formerly Blackbeard’s Bar).More news: Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoTo complement the slew of new food and beverage options, Caribbean Princess will emerge from drydock with new family offerings including Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centres, upgraded Movies Under the Stars, Princess Luxury Bed and interconnecting staterooms. The cruise ship will also be wired for the Ocean Medallion launch that will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season. Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Posted by Tags: Culinary Tourism, Princess Cruises
New survey says parents are ignoring kids on holiday in favour of their phones Share KENT — Parents take note: Every time you glance at your phone while on holiday, you take away a little piece of happiness from your kids.According to a new study by villa holidays specialist oliverstravels.com, children say their parents spend too much time glued to their mobiles. The survey polled over 400 families across the U.K. and asked children, “Does mummy or daddy use their phone too much when on holiday?” A resounding 40% said yes. When asked how this makes them feel, over 42% said they feel ignored.When parents were asked if their children complain about their mobile phone usage on holiday, over 51% of parents said No. However, when Oliver’s Travels asked parents “how do you feel about using social media on holiday”, 40% of parents responded with “no problem” yet over 20% said they “absolutely hate it” on holiday.Oliver Bell from Oliverstravels.com said “it’s a fairly disappointing set of results to uncover during our family survey. It seems these days we all spend our working lives in front of some sort of device; to then go away and use a mobile phone so much that 42% of children are feeling ignored, that’s sad. Holidays are where memories can be made for a lifetime and it’s unfortunate to think this special time is being lost to the pursuit of likes, shares and other type of digital engagement.” Travelweek Group Posted by Wednesday, July 5, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Earn triple STAR Agent Reward Points on Sunwing Experiences Tags: Discounts, Sunwing Posted by TORONTO — All this month Sunwing is offering agents triple STAR Agent Reward Points that convert to cash on new bookings of Sunwing Experiences excursions. The promotion includes experiences across the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico and Central America confirmed by Aug. 31, 2018 with a travel window from Aug. 14, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2019 inclusive.In addition to being added onto customer’s Sunwing packages, Sunwing Experiences can be a component of any vacation package booked through SIREV, Galileo Vacations and Sabre Vacations, regardless of the tour operator or airline it was originally booked with, says the tour op.The promotion includes savings of up to 20% for clients on select excursions for travel departures Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2018.All tours offered by Sunwing Experiences are hand-selected by local experts and vetted for value, quality and safety, says Sunwing.Travellers can also benefit from the added convenience and cost savings of pre-paying in Canadian dollars. A number of top-rated excursions are included in this limited-time promotion. Travellers can discover Aruba’s desert-like landscape and an array of native wildlife at a discount with the Arikok Hiking Tour; soak up Jamaica’s rich culture by exploring natural landscapes and sampling authentic Jamaican treats; discover the history and culture of the Mayans with a visit to the Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico; swim with dolphins in the D.R.; or experience the life of a pirate in Saint Lucia and sail on a replica 16th-century galleon.Chichen Itza, MexicoFor more information on the promotion or to register for the STAR points program visit sunwingagents.ca.
Washington.-Three Secret Service employees are to leave the agency over the sex scandal in Colombia which has tarnished the elite presidential protection agency’s image, an official statement said Wednesday.One “supervisory” employee will retire over the allegations that agents consorted with prostitutes, another has been told he will be sacked and a third “non-supervisory” employee has resigned, said Paul Morrissey, of the service’s Office and Government and Public Affairs.Morrissey said that the investigation into the alleged scandal was still at an early stage, and that eight other agents remained under investigation, in a process which included the use of polygraph lie detector technology.Eleven agents and at least 10 military personnel are accused of bringing prostitutes to a hotel in the Colombian resort of Cartagena where President Barack Obama was attending a Latin American summit last weekend. Facebook Comments No related posts.
No related posts. It “Could’ve Been Worse,” headlined the excellent Tico Times article by Matt Levin (Sept. 7-13). As Mr. Levin noted, the variables in seismic activity spared Costa Rica the fate of China’s populace, which was subjected a few days later to a temblor rated much lower on the Richter Scale.Still, there were some big losses here. Museum putty failed to save decorative plates, ceramic statues and bowls crafted by the artisans of Guaitil. Upon impact with tile floors, they were obliterated. These mementos of served to reinforce memories of time shared with friends in Costa Rica. Now those memories have gradually begun to fade. For some people, the breakage caused irreplaceable economic loss, which will alter their lives. So, yes, it could have been worse, and it’s a blessing that it wasn’t, but also we must recognize that some of the damage may last a lifetime.The Arenal spay/neuter clinics treated as many as 70 animals a day for two days. Thanks to Costa Rican veterinarian, Dr. Mario, and the many volunteers who contributed to the success of this important effort to control the local animal population. Special kudos to coordinator Gloria Dempsey of Nuevo Arenal.Until further notice, Gringo breakfast will be held at Lajas restaurant every Thursday at 8 a.m.–William & Jean Priestjean_pri@msn.com Facebook Comments
RECOPE President Jorge Villaloboshanded in his resignation on Thursday in the latest setback for the protracted expansion. The troubled refinery project on the northern Caribbean coast has sputtered forward since it was announced in 2007, coming under increased scrutiny after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Costa Rica early in June.Plans to upgrade the aging refinery were announced when then-President Oscar Arias visited China in 2007 after his administration said it would no longer recognize Taiwan.In 2008, the government ordered environmental impact and feasibility studies for the new refinery, and in 2009, RECOPE and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) formed a 50-50 partnership called the Chinese-Costa Rican Reconstruction Corporation (SORESCO) to build and finance the refinery, according to RECOPE.After years of debate over how the project would be financed, the Chinese Development Bank Corporation announced it would put up $900 million toward the project’s estimated $1.5 billion price tag in 2012. The remainder would be split between RECOPE and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation, according to AmeilaReuda.com.Villalobos was not the first to slip on the refinery upgrade. Monica Araya, a former consultant for the Environment Ministry (MINAE), was allegedly fired for speaking out against the project, according to ClimateWire. Opposition lawmakers are also calling for Environment Minister René Castro to step down over the affair, reported Costa Rica’s Radio Monumental.RECOPE has already spent $50 million on the estimated $1.5 billion project, according to crhoy.com.RECOPE argues that the country needs to replace the aging facility to reduce Costa Rica’s energy dependence and domestic gasoline prices. The state-run company claims the project will save the country $2 billion in annual oil costs and increase the facility’s capacity from 25,000 to 60,000 barrels, reported EFE.A statement from RECOPE also claims the project would generate 2,000 construction jobs in Limón and another 3,000 indirectly. The facility would have a full-time staff of 700.An environmental impact study accepted by the National Technical Secretariat of the Environment Ministry (SETENA) in October 2012 found that the project would have “minimal” impact on the surrounding area, according to RECOPE.Environmentalists disagree. They claim the new refinery takes Costa Rica in the wrong direction and will do little to contribute to the country’s goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021. SETENA came under fire from green groups for allegedly ignoring environmental concerns in favor of the project, approving its construction based on RECOPE’s provisional plans and without a required cost-benefit analysis, according to TV’s Channel 7 and crhoy.com.Castro said the company has six months to present an alternative plan that includes a new feasibility study and the possibility of incorporating biofuels, reported the daily La Nación. Facebook Comments No related posts.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States will launch a “moonshot” effort to cure cancer, U.S. President Barack Obama declared Tuesday, assigning his deputy Joe Biden to lead the effort.Comparing the scale of the challenge to the successful U.S. mission to put an astronaut on the moon, Obama said the drive would receive the same effort as clean energy research.“For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all,” Obama said in his final State of the Union address.Last year, Vice President Biden’s son Beau — a politician and former military officer aged only 46 — died after suffering a stroke caused by brain cancer.The tragedy touched many, and Biden — after shutting down speculation that he would make a run for the White House — has since emerged as a champion of cancer research.‘It’s personal’“It’s personal for me,” Biden said in a statement issued as Obama was using his address to name him the leader of the national fight. “But it’s also personal for nearly every American, and millions of people around the world. We all know someone who has had cancer, or is fighting to beat it. They’re our family, friends, and co-workers.”Biden vowed to find ways to boost public and private funding for cancer research and treatment and to reorganize the effort, declaring: “This is our moonshot.”“Over the next year, I will lead a dedicated, combined effort by governments, private industry, researchers, physicians, patients, and philanthropies to target investment, coordinate across silos, and increase access to information for everyone in the cancer community,” he said.“Here’s what that means: The federal government will do everything it possibly can — through funding, targeted incentives, and increased private-sector coordination to support research and enable progress.“We’ll encourage leading cancer centers to reach unprecedented levels of cooperation, so we can learn more about this terrible disease and how to stop it in its tracks.”Biden described cancer as a growing threat to wider populations and already the leading cause of death worldwide.He said that more U.S. patients would be allowed into clinical trials of new potential remedies, and more community doctors will be involved in cutting-edge research. Work on the project was to begin immediately.On Friday, Biden will visit the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine to talk to experts. The following week, he will head to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland — an annual get-together for billionaire investors and world-class scientists seeking funding.“That is the history of the journey of this country. If there’s one word that defines who we are as Americans, it’s ‘possibility’,” Biden said. “And these are the moments when we show up.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Former US President Jimmy Carter, 90, announces that he has cancer In heroin fight, White House tries to break down walls between public health, police US President Obama hopes to stoke optimism in farewell union address 10 key quotes from Obama’s final State of the Union speech
Thanks to Kristel Segeren for this image from Cahuita National Park on Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast: she came across a green basilisk lizard, also known as a Jesus Christ lizard because of its amazing ability to run atop the water.For more stories and photos from Kristel, visit her blog, The Tiny Travelogue, or follow her (and her dog’s) adventures in the tropics and beyond on Facebook or Instagram. Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to email@example.com. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Comments Related posts:When you shop in Costa Rica, take a friend Time for some more sloth therapy Baby turtles on a mission Welcome ashore
PDVSA announced Chevron’s investment plan Wednesday.Venezuela is Latin America’s largest oil producer and a major supplier to the United States.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s state oil company says U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. plans to invest $2 billion to boost petroleum production at a Venezuelan oil field.The state-run PDVSA says Chevron is seeking to increase output from the Boscan oil field in the western state of Zulia.San Ramon, California-based Chevron is a minority shareholder in Petroboscan, a joint venture with PDVSA that produces 115,000 barrels of oil a day. Top Stories The vital role family plays in society 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates
Top Stories Sponsored Stories Associated PressSINGAPORE (AP) – Voters handed Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party its second by-election defeat in eight months, giving the opposition another seat in Parliament and signaling widening discontent over immigration policies and rising income inequality.Opposition Workers’ Party candidate Lee Li Lian won 54.5 percent of about 29,800 votes cast Saturday in the Punggol East district, beating three other candidates including the PAP’s Koh Poh Koon, who received 43.7 percent. The Workers’ Party now has seven seats in Parliament and the PAP has 80. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Political blogger Andrew Loh said the PAP’s loss “is a reflection of the uncertainty that Singaporeans have about their future. They also want stronger voices in Parliament.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Four benefits of having a wireless security system Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “Despite this victory, the Workers’ Party is still a small party with much to do and improve upon,” party chairwoman Sylvia Lim told reporters.The PAP has been in power since 1959 but has seen its support decline in recent years, winning only 60 percent of the votes in the 2011 general election _ its lowest share since independence in 1965 _ as it struggles to stem rising discontent over the high cost of living, an influx of foreigners and rising income inequality.The PAP “will continue to work to improve the lives of Singaporeans, and present our report card for voters to judge in the next general elections,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a statement.Lee had called the by-election after the sudden resignation of PAP lawmaker Michael Palmer over an extramarital affair, adding to a list of sex scandals that have rocked the city-state in the past year.Lee and other PAP heavyweights had hoped to avoid another electoral embarrassment after the party’s loss in a by-election in May last year.Analysts say the PAP defeat forces the party to re-examine policies that have brought popular discontent.“This is a shock for the PAP,” said Bridget Welsh, an associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. “They went to the polls so quickly with confidence and had expected to win. So, this is a devastating loss. It forces the PAP to have a very serious evaluation of their policies, and what they’ve done wrong.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation
Sponsored Stories Separately in the same suburb, a sticky bomb attached to a pickup truck carrying Shiite militiamen exploded and killed two militiamen.Earlier in the day, a blast at a commercial street in Baghdad’s western district of Bayaa killed three people and wounded nine. And a bomb near an outdoor market killed two people in Baghdad’s western al-Furat suburb.A bomb also went off near a cafe on Thursday night in the town of Madain, just south of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 11, officials said.All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of bombings in Iraq, including a car bombing in Baghdad and a town south of the Iraqi capital, killed 16 people on Thursday, officials said.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iraq sees near-daily bombings and other attacks that often claimed by Islamic State group, which seized large swath of the country following a stunning blitz last yearThe deadliest attack took place late Thursday when a car bomb exploded near a line of restaurants and cafes in Baghdad’s southeastern Shiite suburbs of Zafaraniya, killing seven people and wounding 18. Several cafes and restaurants were damaged in the attack. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments Share Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Qantas is overhauling its business class services to fend off efforts by Virgin Blue to poach corporate fliers, as Tiger Airways looks to attract budget travellers. Qantas will revamp airport lounges, food menus and business-class cabins, CEO Alan Joyce said, in an effort to retain its 90 percent control of Australia’s market for business fliers. The airline is also introducing technology to make luggage tracking, check-in and queue avoiding easier, Bloomberg reported.“It’s about raising the bar for what business travellers can expect,” Mr Joyce said. “This isn’t a defensive strategy; it’s about setting the pace to keep our customers.”Virgin Blue is seeking to double its share of the Australian domestic travel market to 20 percent by revamping its premium services, Bloomberg reported. The airline is looking to expand its operations into the corporate market after increased price competition from Tiger Airways and Qantas’ budget offshoot Jetstar. “We are chasing a share of the lucrative business market,” Virgin Blue’s Executive General Manager Commercial, Liz Savage said.Virgin Blue’s targeting of business fliers comes as Australian fares have tumbled ever since Tiger Airways began flights in the country in 2007, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, Tiger Airways seeks to attract budget travellers by having the lowest costs in the market and trimming ticket prices with extra charges for food, airport check-in and reserved seating.Non-ticket sources generate 19 percent of revenue and may be extended to include charges for on-board toilets and the installation of ‘vertical seating’, where passengers stand during the flight to conserve floorspace, Bloomberg reported. “Nobody has developed the right system yet but we will consider it when they do,” Tiger Airways Australia CEO, Crawford Rix said. “Customers looking for value will come to us,” Mr Rix said. Business lounges are “financial black holes with mood lighting,” he said. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2a6cd/” 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 finalists of the highly contested 2011 NSW Tourism Awards were announced today by organisers, Tourism Industry Council of NSW.Hundreds of tourism businesses entered the annual competition with hopes of winning one of the 30 categories, ranging from Visitor Information and Services right through to Adventure Tourism and Tourism Education and Training. Now in their 22nd year and proudly supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards honour those in the tourism industry, which contributes $28.7 billion per year to the NSW economy. Ken Corbett, Chair of Tourism Industry Council NSW, was extremely impressed with the quality of the submissions this year. “The exceptionally high standard of entries made for a very competitive field. We received a wide range of submissions especially in the Heritage and Cultural Tourism, Festivals and Events, Deluxe Accommodation and Ecotourism areas.“We congratulate all the finalists. Getting to this stage alone is no mean feat,” said Mr Corbett.The judging is conducted by a panel of highly experienced tourism professionals. The entire process is checked and verified by Ernst and Young auditors. Reg Edwards, Chair of the Judges, identified the diverse products which became finalists in the New Tourism Development category. These include: The Clarence River Way Project in the North Coast; Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Venue in the Riverina; Eco Extreme in Jervis Bay; The Ex HMAS Adelaide Artificial Reef on the Central Coast; Savanna Visitor Plaza at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo; Sculptures in the Scrub in New England and Tandara, a luxury tent in Lane Cove, Sydney.“Seeing all the new tourism businesses coming into the market gives us reasons to be optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in NSW,” said Mr Edwards.“What we have seen is a creative, resilient and professional industry which is reflected in the depth and breadth of the finalists right across the state. We look forward to celebrating with the finalists and winners at NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Dinner.”All finalists and industry members are invited to the NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Thursday 17 November 2011 at Parkside Ballroom, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Source = Tourism NSW
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Last year’s political disruptions in Egypt and the tough economic situation in Greece did not slow down tourism into the Eastern Mediterranean with up to 850,000 Australians visiting one or more countries in the region.Speaking at the Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Association (EMTA) product seminars in Sydney last night, founder David Beirman explained that the region was a popular place amongst Australians and one in eight Aussies making an outbound trip selected either Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, the Balkans, Lebanon and Libya.He said although the region had received negative media attention, Aussies still had a desire to visit the region.Italy continued to be the most popular destinations for Australian travellers, maintaining its fifth most visited destination in the world and attracting up to 530,000 Australians.“Italy is in great shape,” Mr Beirman said.“It is safe and expected to stay this popular in 2012.”Greece was also the ‘go-to’ place last year, with the EMTA finding up to 122,000 Australians flocked into the country last year, despite reports of riots.Unable to defy negative attention, Egypt saw its visitor numbers across the globe drop 30 percent last year, while arrivals from Australia fell 50 percent.Mr Beirman said it was a “rough year” for Egypt with numbers of Aus falling from 74,000 in 2010 to 37,000 in 2011.The Group’s head said he expects to see Egypt stabilize in 2012 in terms of media coverage and tourism.Upcoming destinations, according to the founder, include Cyprus, Turkey and Croatia where arrivals from down under are spiking quickly.Speaking at the product updates yesterday, Mr Beirman also revealed that the company’s current chairman, Iaine Ferguson has announced his resignation.For more information on Mr Ferguson’s departure click here otherwise click back onto e-Travel Blackboard on Monday to read more on the stabilizing tourism environment in Greece and Egypt.You can also check out photos from last night’s event by clicking here.
One of Queenstown’s most highly valued pieces of real estate is set to become home to the country’s most expensive hotel suite, targeting wealthy travellers with prices of up to NZD$10,000 per night.Skyline Enterprises is currently working on expanding the six million dollar (NZD) high-end site, situated in the heart of town’s central business district.Eichardt’s Private Hotel has been announced as the tenants for a penthouse apartment and two lakefront suites, taking the luxury hotel’s capacity to seven suites.Eichart’s Private Hotel owner and Melbourne-based businessman Andrew Cox recognised Queenstown’s potential to attract premium visitors and includes the recently acquired The Spire Hotel in his portfolio of small luxury hotels, apartments and restaurants.Mr Cox said properties like this speak to a small but powerful group of guests.“These people value privacy however they want to be in the thick of the action and with all the amenity of home,” Mr Cox said.“They choose Queenstown because it offers them what money can’t buy – a unique experience to share with their networks that melds understated luxury, safety, food, wine and activities that no other destination in the world can compete with.”Queenstown has seen an influx of wealthy visitors and, as a result, a private jet terminal was opened last May to accommodate the large volume of private jets arriving in the town.Skyline Enterprises chief executive officer Jeff Staniland said this development opportunity is unmatched in being able to provide the best location in town.“Queenstown is known for its forward-thinking and considered hospitality, and we have been careful to reflect the history of Eichardt’s in our modern design,” Mr Staniland said.“It is exciting that this world-class hotel is a key part of our development, and we look forward to announcing our retail partners in due course.”The ground floor level of the new expansion will feature high-end retail stores and a new bistro restaurant to accompany the hotel’s existing iconic bar and private guest parlour.With the expansion to be completed in early 2016, the new accommodation will maintain the current interior style by Virginia Fisher but will feature a modern twist, including exposed steel details on the exterior.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Commemorative sculpture unveiled on the second anniversaryCommemorative sculpture unveiled on the second anniversary of the crash of flight 4U9525Today, two years after the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525, a sculpture has been unveiled in Le Vernet in the French Alps as a memorial to those who lost their lives. An official ceremony was held to mark the second anniversary of the accident and was attended by 500 relatives of the victims, who traveled from all around the world to be there. At the ceremony, the “Sonnenkugel” (meaning ‘Solar Orb’) created by German artist Jürgen Batscheider was presented to the relatives by Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.The commemorative sculpture is in the form of a gold-plated sphere with a diameter of five meters, made up of 149 different elements. The interior of the sphere contains a crystal-shaped cylinder which in turn contains wooden spheres where the relatives of the victims can place their own personal mementos on. As soon as weather conditions allow, the work of art will be erected directly at the site of the accident and the area will then remain permanently barred from public access. The “Sonnenkugel” will, however, be visible to all from a viewing platform set-up by Lufthansa last year at the Col de Mariaud public viewing area.The artist’s work was chosen in an international competition held last year, which received entries from 23 artists. In a pre-selection process, a jury chaired by Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt am Main, chose three designs, and the relatives of the victims selected one of these as the winner. In addition to representatives of the relatives, the twelve person jury also included the Mayor of the communities of Le Vernet and Prads-Haute-Bléone and two representatives from Lufthansa.About the artistThe painter and sculptor Jürgen Batscheider is a graduate of the State College of Sculpture in Berchtesgaden. He lives and works as a freelance sculptor in Memmingen in Allgäu, and in Port Grimaud in France. He has already had numerous works exhibited in the public arena in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. Source = Lufthansa Group
Virtuoso flash poll finds travel disruptions occurringA new survey by international travel agency network Virtuoso has found travellers are avoiding certain worldwide destinations as a result of the uncertainty tied to specific countries and global regions. Virtuoso was one of the first travel organisations to introduce the term VUCA, which stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, as a means of describing the potential travel disruptions caused by geopolitical situations.“The world is going through a transition where uncertainty is the new norm,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “Whether it’s Brexit, the shifting political climate in the U.S., or the threat of terrorism or disease such as Zika, there seems to be only two certainties. First, we have no idea what we might wake up to find tomorrow because change happens fast. Two, and this is of utmost importance, travel is the best way to bring people together when isolation begins. At Virtuoso, we say borders divide, but travel unites. Never has it been more important to keep the ability to travel as a fundamental right.”Among the questions asked, Virtuoso surveyed its travel advisors globally to discover the impact of the Presidential Executive Order disallowing travelers from seven countries to enter the U.S. Although the order is not currently in effect, Virtuoso advisors report that it is still impacting clients’ travel decisions. Among U.S.-based advisors, 10 percent say clients are changing travel plans due to a concern over anti-American sentiment. However, a much higher 40 percent say their clients are now avoiding certain destinations due to concerns over terrorism, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa, with Turkey and Egypt topping the list of countries. Instead, Americans are choosing to travel within their own country, as well as visit those perceived as safer, including Japan, Canada and New Zealand.Forty-two percent of Virtuoso-affiliated travel advisors outside of the U.S. say their clients are avoiding travel to the United States due to factors including opposition to the country’s foreign policy and concerns over obtaining visas. As an alternative, they are electing to travel to destinations such as Italy, Australia and the U.K. The majority of advisors anticipate the slowdown in travel to the U.S. will last three to six months.About VirtuosoVirtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specialising in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organisation comprises over 770 travel agency partners with more than 15,200 elite travel advisors in 44 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $21.2 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry.Source = Virtuoso
Helloworld Travel Limited results announcementHelloworld Travel Limited results announcement Year ended 30 June 2017Highlights for the year ended 30 June 2017Total Transaction Value (TTV) of $5.9 billionEarnings before interest expense, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $55.2 million, an increase of $29.9 million compared with prior yearProfit before tax of $31.0 million, an increase of $27.6 million compared with prior yearBasic earnings of 18.8 cents per share compared with 1.9 cents per share in the prior yearFinal dividend declared of 8.0 cents per share, bringing our total dividends declared for FY17 to 14.0 cents per share, compared with 2.0 cents per share in the prior yearWinner of the Best Travel Agency Group (Helloworld Travel), Best Domestic Wholesaler (Sunlover Holidays) and Best International Wholesaler (Qantas Holidays and Viva Holidays) at the July 2017 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA).Strong, positive performance in the business continues with key achievements including:EBITDA growth for all segments against prior year.Implementation of $18.6 million merger synergies and annual cost savings by 30 June 2017, outperforming previously identified $17.1 million of annualised cost savings.During FY17, Helloworld Travel Limited achieved a strong business performance, growing revenue and significantly reducing its cost base, while integrating the Helloworld Travel and AOT Group businesses.Helloworld Travel grew its TTV to $5.9 billion, achieved solid revenue growth of 8.6% to $326.4 million via TTV growth and margin improvement through the full year impact of the AOT businesses as well as better supplier and partner contracting with a focus on profitable growth.Helloworld Travel has successfully implemented a significant business turnaround with a reported EBITDA of $55.2 million, an increase of 118% or $29.9 million from prior year. The net profit after tax attributable to members was $21.5 million, an increase of 1,116% or $19.8 million from prior year. As a result, our earnings per share was 18.8 cents, which enabled us to declare a final dividend of 8.0 cents per share to our shareholders, bringing our total dividends in FY17 to 14.0 cents per share, fully franked. In FY16, Helloworld Travel declared dividends of 2.0 cents per share, which was the first dividend payment since 2013.OutlookHelloworld Travel will focus on growing revenue and margins and continually extracting efficiencies in its operations and right sizing the cost base of the Group. Helloworld Travel remains focused on delivering for shareholders, agents, partners and consumers with the objective to future proof its agents and the business through technology, training, product and profile supported by the omni‐channel strategy.The outlook for Helloworld Travel is positive. Business fundamentals are heading in the right direction in all our key segments with demand for our integrated service offering continuing to develop and grow.Helloworld Travel expects to improve its current year performance in the year ended 30 June 2018 and is well positioned for sustainable long term growth. As a result, Helloworld Travel has provided earnings guidance for FY18 that its EBITDA will be in the range of $63.0 million to $67.0 million.About Helloworld Travel Limited• Helloworld Travel Limited (ASX: HLO) is a leading Australian & New Zealand travel distribution company, comprising retail travel franchise operations, destination management services (inbound), air ticket consolidation, wholesale, corporate and online operations. This includes “Helloworld Travel”, Australia’s largest network of franchised travel agents, as well as our Corporate, Associate, Affiliate and Travel Broker networks, Qantas Holidays, Go Holidays in New Zealand, AOT Inbound, ATS Pacific, QBT, Sunlover Holidays and Insider Journeys• “Helloworld Travel” is a nationwide network of independently owned and operated retail travel agencies offering Australia and New Zealand outstanding service, and the best value, tailor-made leisure and corporate travel experiences• HLO has over 2000 staff located in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the USA, South East Asia, India and UK/Europe• Helloworld Travel is the proud naming rights partner of Volleyball Australia and the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos men’s and women’s national teams• Helloworld Travel is a major sponsor of Basketball Australia and the Australian Boomers• Helloworld Travel is a major sponsor of the Carlton Football Club including “Carlton IN Business“Source = helloworld
MTA Advisors get the bluesMTA Advisors get the blues on US deep south programPictured visiting the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum in Memphis, the group of MTA – Mobile Travel Agents who recently had the opportunity to experience the US deep south as part of an exclusive ‘Blues Trail’ study tour visiting Tennessee and Mississippi.Hosted by Delta Airlines, Memphis Tourism, Visit Mississippi and New Orleans & Company, the group’s itinerary also included Gracelands, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, the Grammy Museum in Cleveland and the BB King Museum in Indianola, both in Mississippi and the French Quarter in New Orleans.From left to right: Memphis Tourism director NZ/AU, Chris Ingram; Memphis Tourism officer, Kevin Brewer; MTA’s Di Cox; Delta Airlines’ national account manager, Alba Aradillos; MTA’s Susan Barton, Tatiana Parry, Stacey Harding, Julie Hatz, Joe Pezzano and Fiona Snell.Source = MTA – Mobile Travel Agents