Τρίτη, 20 Μαρτίου 2018

Cruise industry – Its expanding growth & future possibilities!

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cruise industry – Its expanding growth & future possibilities!

In April 2016, Vadim Kashirin took the administration of the Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg Marine Façade, coming with lots of experience related to the career that spans engineering, law and the armed forces. Under his direction the port, which was completed in 2011, has sustained development in the midst of constant growth, and it shows no signs of drop.Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cruise industry – Its expanding growth & future possibilities!
To quote Kashirin, “Saint Petersburg has already become one of the cruise capitals of the world, and interest in it is growing year by year. Today, it is the most popular destination of the region. More than seven million tourists visit the city every year, and half a million come by sea. According to surveys among tourists, 75% choose cruises on the Baltic Sea only if there is a call in Saint Petersburg.”

Majority of those cruise passengers generally come from outside region: a quarter are Germans as 19% are US citizens and 13% are British, followed by citizens of Spain, Italy and other nations making up the remainder. “Cruise tourists choose Saint Petersburg because it is not like any other Russian city,” says Kashirin. “Palaces, sculptures, bridges and fountains, theatres and museums give an opportunity to explore its rich history and our times full of political, economic and cultural events.”

Travelzoo Survey: 2018 to see Africa boom among avid Chinese travelers

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Travelzoo Survey: 2018

SHANGHAI - Travelzoo, a global publisher of exclusive offers and experiences for members, is forecasting the largest popularity growth of Africa in 2018 among avid Chinese travelers, according to the results of the latest Travelzoo Travel Trends Survey.
Africa Becomes Top Destination to Explore In-depth in 2018
The survey shows a record high number of Chinese respondents -more than 60%- who plan to travel in-depth in 2018. "In-depth travels" is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience. For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination Chinese travelers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia. Among the destinations in Africa, Travelzoo's Chinese members are most interested in Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania, according to Travelzoo's website statistics.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Travelzoo Survey: 2018
Travelzoo deal experts say the rapid growth in popularity in exotic destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia is largely due to relaxation of visa requirements for Chinese nationals. Chinese passport holders have been granted visa-free access to visit Morocco since June 2016 and Tunisia since February 2017, and visa-on-arrival access to enter Tanzania and Egypt. There was a 378% year-over-year growth in Chinese arrivals in Morocco and 240% in Tunisia during the six months after the easing of visa requirements, which pushed Morocco to first place and Tunisia third as the destinations that enjoyed the greatest growth in Chinese visitors (source: ForwardKeys, October 2017).
Furthermore, the survey showed a 25% increase in the number of Travelzoo members in China who plan to take five or more overseas holidays in 2018. Travelzoo's statistics show the click-through rates of Morocco deals have increased 20% since the visa-free Morocco access was announced. "Travelzoo members like to explore the less-traveled destinations and have immersive local experiences," comments Yoyo Huang, Associate Publisher at Travelzoo in China. "These Travelzoo members become influencers for their friends and family when they seek travel suggestions. Now that the major visa restrictions were lifted, our members are definitely keen on Africa and their friends will follow. 2018 is about time that Africa took off and continued to grow in popularity throughout the year."
More Interest in Historic Attractions and Less Shopping
Beach holidays still top the activities Chinese travelers are interested in, followed by food and wine. Third place, however, was taken by historic attractions, rising from fifth spot last year. Cruises climbed to seventh place from tenth and photography tours appeared in the top 10 the first time. Otherwise, shopping dropped out of the top 10 activities for the first time and sightseeing also fell from ninth spot to last.
"The days when Chinese tourists were entertained by merely sightseeing and shopping are long gone,"adds Huang, "the middle class in China are now seeking unforgettable experiences at their own pace when they travel. The destinations that offer rich culture and nature should expect many more Chinese visitors, so we're confident in our prediction that 2018 will see Africa secure its place as the fastest-growing popular destination among avid Chinese travelers."
Additionally, the survey revealed that the U.S. -one of the top five destinations of all time for Chinese travelers- fell from the third place to fifth this year while Japan and Australia remain number one and two. The U.K. retains the fourth spot, while no other Western European country made it into the top 10 this year.


Lebanese Food Festival at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Lebanese Food Festival at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh

Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh welcomed honourable media representatives and influencers during the launch of the Lebanese Food Festival at Elements restaurant, which was attended by the Lebanese Ambassador His Excellency, Dr. Fawzy Kabbara. The event took place on March 15, 2018, when the culinary team at Elements, along with Chef Ahmed Al Zoghbi visiting chef from Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, prepared special mouth-watering Lebanese dishes and selected the finest ingredients to create a wide variety of scrumptious dishes.

Tarek Bekhiet, Regional Director of Marketing commented, “At Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, we are keen to bring unique and distinctive culinary and cultural experiences, by hosting different food festivals.” Bekhiet also pointed out that the Lebanese Food Festival is widely admired by local guests for its exquisite dishes and comprehensive cultural ambience.

The Lebanese Food Festival offers a daily all inclusive dinner buffet starting 7:00 pm and continuing until 12:00 midnight at Elements restaurant. During the festival guests can take their pick of a variety of appetisers and traditional Lebanese mezze such as hummus, fried kebbe, tabouleh, grape leaves and many more. Over at the hot food buffet, guests can indulge in a wide variety of authentic main courses from the region of Beirut, then round off the evening with irresistible temptations made up of a selection of oriental and international desserts. The festival will continue until March 31, 2018, providing a wonderful experience to be enjoyed by all family members.

Bekhiet also stated that Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh continues to constantly distinguish itself by offering a blend of diverse cultural experiences prepared by the most talented international chefs with top professional expertise from the best global culinary schools and others from Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world.

Ryanair To Partner With Niki Lauda To Develop LaudaMotion Airline In Austria

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Ryanair To Partner With Niki Lauda To Develop LaudaMotion Airline In Austria

Ryanair Holdings Plc today (20 Mar) announced that it has entered into a binding agreement with Mr Niki Lauda to support his plan to develop and grow LaudaMotion GmbH, an Austrian Airline based in Vienna.

LaudaMotion is an Austrian AOC holder owned by Niki Lauda, which has recently acquired many of the assets, including A320 aircraft, of the former Niki Airline, and will shortly start a range of scheduled and charter services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland primarily to Mediterranean leisure destinations.

Under this agreement Ryanair will acquire an initial 24.9% stake in LaudaMotion and this will rise as soon as possible to 75% subject to EU Competition approval. Niki Lauda will chair the Board of the airline and oversee the implementation of his strategy to build a successful Austrian low fares airline. Ryanair will provide financial and management support to LaudaMotion as well as 6 wet-lease aircraft for S2018 to enable LaudaMotion to complete an extensive 21 aircraft flying program.

The cost of this 75% investment in LaudaMotion (if approved by the EU) will be less than €50m although Ryanair will provide an additional €50m for year 1 start up and operating costs. Both Mr Lauda and Ryanair will work with the existing management team of LaudaMotion and expect the airline to reach profitability by year 3 of operations if their plan to grow the business to a fleet of at least 30 Airbus aircraft is successful.

This partnership provides job security, career opportunities and growth in employment in all activities of LaudaMotion, such as cockpit and cabin crew, maintenance and administration, and will allow consumers and visitors to benefit from strong competition, leading to more choices and lower fares.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“We look forward to working in partnership with Niki Lauda to successfully develop his vision for a successful Austrian low fares airline to service the schedule and charter markets.  The LaudaMotion AOC will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years.

LaudaMotion will benefit from this partnership between Niki Lauda and Ryanair. With access to the Ryanair fleet and financial resources, LaudaMotion will now grow more rapidly, as it seeks to compete in a market which is dominated by Lufthansa’s high airfares with its Swiss and Austrian subsidiaries.

This LaudaMotion partnership is good news for Austrian and German consumers/visitors who can now look forward to real competition, more choice and lower fares.  It is also great news for LaudaMotion’s people who can look forward to improved job security and more promotional opportunities in Vienna and other bases as we work with Niki Lauda and his team to accelerate growth of LaudaMotion – Austria’s low fares airline.”

Niki Lauda, Chairman of LaudaMotion said:

“I have always stood up for competition and have opposed monopolies. Therefore I am thrilled that in the partnership with Ryanair, LaudaMotion will be able to establish itself as a strong competitor and to grow quickly and sustainably. A new player in the aviation market is born and I am looking forward to offering our passengers an extensive route portfolio at competitive air fares.”

Walking the talk: the value of human rights on the Camino de Santiago

MADRID, SPAIN - Tourism as an instrument for mutual understanding and sustainable development is at the centre of the international university project “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago: Harnessing the Power of Tourism to Promote Cross-Cultural Dialogue and the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”. Over five days, students specializing in a variety of fields, from twenty universities in 13 countries, will travel 100 km on different routes of the Camino de Santiago, putting into practice the principles of sustainable tourism they have previously analysed.
The project, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Helsinki Espana University Network and the Compostela Group of Universities, identifies the Camino de Santiago as a prime example that embodies the values that arise from sustainable tourism and dialogue between cultures. “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago” brings together students from universities in Spain, Poland, Sudan, Mexico and the United States, among many others. This cultural diversity gathered along a cultural route with a common goal highlights the potential of tourism for cross-cultural understanding and sustainable development.
“From increasing equality and protecting communities to sustainable land use, cultural routes can be a catalyst for improving sustainability in our sector,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a message addressed to the participants. “Throughout the Camino, you will see how tourism can transform communities, generating income and preserving local heritage and culture,” he added.
Walking the talk: from the virtual to the real
Between January and March, the participants worked on an online study focusing on the key principles and requirements for the development of sustainable tourism, as well as ethical principles and responsibility on the Camino de Santiago.
From March 17 to 22, the Project moves on to the practical phase. The idea is to walk the talk: divided into four groups, the participants walk for five days covering a distance of 100 km on four different routes of the Camino de Santiago, finishing their journey in Santiago de Compostela. The objective is to compare the sustainability challenges studied previously with the reality along the Camino, in order to make necessary adjustments or to identify new sustainable tourism products.
As one of the emblematic cultural routes of the world, the Camino de Santiago is positioned as a vehicle for mutual understanding through the practice of sustainable tourism and endows the project with the necessary international relevance in order to replicate it and train tourism professionals in different parts of the world.
The Project will culminate with an International University Forum in Santiago de Compostela, at which the conclusions of the online work and the tourism products will be presented, and which will approve the Declaration of Rectors on the Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago.


“Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018” list unveiled in Macao next week 2018

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018” list unveiled in Macao next week 2018

Top chefs and restaurateurs from across Asia will gather in Macao for the announcement of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018” list and related events, running from March 25 to 27. Organized with the support of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the hosting of the world famous gourmet awards ceremony in the city is one of the highlight events of “2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy”, following Macao’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

The unveiling of the highly anticipated annual ranking of the fifty most influential restaurants in Asia will take place at a gala event at Wynn Palace on March 27. Ten special awards will also be presented at the occasion, including Chefs’ Choice Award, Sustainable Restaurant Award, Asia’s Best Pastry Chef, One to Watch Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, among others. Chefs and restaurant owners, food critics from Macao and destinations across Asia will attend the occasion that each year brings Asia’s culinary community together, celebrating the foresight of experts in the field and important trends in the industry in the region.

In tandem with the awards ceremony, a “50BestTalks” will be held on March 26 at Wynn Macau. Themed around the idea of “Exploring Identity” in Asian cuisine, the session will consist of a culinary conference and demonstration with a line-up of chefs from Japan, Singapore and Taiwan region, to share their stories and new trends in the food and beverage industry. During their stay in Macao, visiting chefs and restaurateurs will also have an occasion for networking among themselves and with local ones at a Chefs’ Feast at the Military Club, with the menu to feature Macanese food prepared with the support of the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT). In addition, participating chefs will have the opportunity to experience Macao through walking tours to explore local markets, as well as the city’s unique east-meets-west cultural heritage and other attractions. “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” will also conduct an educational exchange with students at IFT, among other activities.

Launched in 2013, “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list is the regional version of the famous list of the “50 Best Restaurants” in the world, published by William Reed Business Media since 2002. Prior to Macao, “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards presentation ceremony was held in Singapore and Bangkok for three and two years, respectively. “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list is voted by a 300-member committee, whose members include restaurant experts, namely food writers, chefs, restaurateurs and gourmands from across the region. 

Members base their decisions upon their dining experiences of the past 18 months to list their favorite restaurants. Macao had one restaurant in the final list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” in the first four years of the Asian edition, and last year two local restaurants were ranked on the regional list.
Last November, organizers and MGTO announced in Macao that the city will serve as host destination for the awards presentation ceremony and other related activities in 2018 and 2019. The hosting of the prestigious award ceremony will provide Macao with the opportunity to interact with some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the region, showcase the city’s dynamic restaurant scene and its projects as a newly designated UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, as Macao paves the way to transform itself into a world centre of tourism and leisure.

ATM to showcase largest ever hotel exhibition space as GCC boasts 152,551 room pipeline

·         ATM 2018 will feature 68 main stand hotel exhibitors, including eight new brands, covering an area of over 5,000 sqm
·         Expansion coincides with sharp increase in new entrants to the regional hospitality market and GCC pipeline reaching 152,551 rooms
·         Responsible Tourism will headline ATM 2018 accompanied by the inaugural 

ATM Student Conference and Destination Investment Forum
Hotels will comprise 20% of the total show area at Arabian Travel Market 2018, the largest exhibition of regional and global hotel brands in the history of ATM.
Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, ATM 2018 will feature 68 main hotel stand exhibitors, including eight new brands, over an area of more than 5,000 sqm, in addition to over 100 Middle East hotels featured alongside their respective national tourism organisations.
Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM said: “Arabian Travel Market continues to be the preferred route to market for many international and regional hospitality brands and the increase in hotel exhibition space in 2018 reflects the hundreds of new property and brand launches we have seen during the last 12 months.
“Over the coming years we will see these new properties prosper as millions more tourists visit the region for the first time. The last 12 months brought unprecedented developments in major markets and the region is poised for further great developments in 2018,” he added.
The largest stands will feature A.A.Al Moosa Enterprises UAE, owners of hotels operated by Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Taj and Wyndham; Intercontinental Hotel Group; and the Middle East’s newest hotel group, Roda Hotels. They will operate stands covering 185sqm, 120sqm and 100sqm, respectively.

Celebrating its 25th edition in 2018, ATM will also welcome some of the brands that were present at the first show, back in 1994. Including Abjar Hotels International, Abu Dhabi National Hotels Forte Group, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Taj Hotels.

As stakeholders in the regional hospitality industry, each brand has contributed to the GCC’s phenomenal rate of growth, which is driven currently by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Data from STR confirms the total pipeline of rooms in the GCC currently stands at 152,551 across 518 properties. The leading contributors are the UAE with 73,981 rooms in the pipeline; Saudi Arabia with 64,015; and Oman with 8,823. In percentage terms the largest increase on existing stock will be seen in Saudi Arabia, which is on track to witness 123.7% growth.
In terms of market growth, research published by Colliers International ahead of ATM indicates the hospitality market in Saudi Arabia will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.5% to 2022, ahead of that of the UAE (10.1%) and Oman (11.8%).

The growth expected across the GCC and Middle East will bring billions of dollars in opportunities for the region’s key players. Helping them navigate the investment landscape, ATM has partnered with IHIF (International Hotel Investment Forum) organisers to deliver the inaugural Destination Investment Forum, which will take place on the Global Stage.
Discussion will cover investment drivers across the region’s top travel destinations with focus on who is investing, what assets they are looking for, and how destinations can attract investment.

Press said: “Providing key intelligence, insight and advice, the Destination Investment Forum is the next step in pairing owners and investors with operators highlighting the opportunities that will drive the next era of hospitality in the region. The event will outline opportunities for private sector investors as well as providing a forum to ensure regional strategies for future development are aligned.
“A natural evolution of the core concept of Arabian Travel Market, our 25th event is the opportune time to introduce this exciting new addition to what is now a bumper edition of ATM,” he added.

ATM 2018 has adopted Responsible Tourism – including sustainable travel trends - as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities, including advice clinics and focused seminar sessions, featuring dedicated exhibitor participation. Running throughout the event, professionals from across the industry will demonstrate how, with the correct strategy in place, the tourism industry can expand its responsible credentials.
In celebrations of its 25th year, this year’s show will host a series of seminar sessions looking back on the tourism revolution in the MENA region over the last quarter of a century, while exploring how the industry will shape up over the next 25 years, in light of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties, huge technological advances and, of course, the increasing trend of responsible tourism.

Debuting at this year’s event will be the ATM Student Conference – ‘Career in Travel’ – a programme aimed at students and graduates. Taking place on the final day of ATM, this programme will allow students to listen to guest speakers and travel industry leaders. It will also help provide a greater understanding of the industry and potential career paths.

Following a successful launch last year, the second edition of the International Luxury Travel Market Arabia (ILTM) will return on the first two days of the show. International luxury suppliers and key luxury buyers will connect via one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments and networking opportunities.
Other popular features returning to the show repertoire this year include the ultra-innovative Travel Tech Show, Wellness and Spa Lounge and the Travel Agent Academy as well as the Digital Influencer Speed Networking and the Buyers’ Club.

The ATM Best Stand Awards are back for a fourth year and will see a line-up of top judges and visitors to the annual industry event acknowledge the design, creativity and positioning of exhibiting companies’ physical presence at the annual showcase.

ATM – considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2017 event, including 2,661 exhibiting companies, signing business deals worth more than $2.5 billion over the four days.