Share Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group CALGARY — WestJet is boosting its network with dozens of new flights added to its 2016-2017 winter schedule.The airline confirmed that nonstop service to London Gatwick from Calgary and Toronto will continue to operate on year-round basis through the winter. In total WestJet will operate an average of 642 daily flights to 95 destinations this winter including 36 in Canada, 25 in the U.S. and 34 in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe.“WestJet has been Canada’s low-fare leader for 20 years with a proven track record of bringing safe, affordable and stress-free air travel to communities across the country,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial. “The addition of dozens of new flights demonstrates our commitment to invest in communities and serve Canadians now and in the future, a commitment backed by our established, trusted brand and caring, people-driven service.”Highlights from WestJet’s 2016-2017 winter schedule include:. New flights from Toronto to a number of Canadian and international destinations including Vancouver, Ottawa, Moncton, Myrtle Beach, Aruba, Kingston (Jamaica), San Jose and Liberia (Costa Rica), Port of Spain and St. Martin.. An increase of 41 new weekly flights between Vancouver and Kelowna, Prince George, Toronto, Honolulu, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles.. New nonstop weekly service between Regina and Orlando starting Oct. 27.. 19 new flights per week from Kelowna to Vancouver and two additional weekly flights to Calgary.. Increased service from Halifax with seven additional weekly flights to Sydney, NS, and daily flights added this summer scheduled to continue through the winter.. Extension of existing seasonal services through the winter, including Vancouver-Montreal, and Toronto to Gander, Nashville, Los Angeles and Brandon.. Additional flights from Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg to domestic and international destinations.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesWestJet posted its 45th consecutive profitable quarter with its Q2 results, even though net earnings were down 38% from $61.6 million in Q2 2015 to $36.7 million in Q2 2016. The airline flew a record 5.3 million guests for the quarter.“Despite the continuing economic weakness in Alberta, I am very pleased with the positive momentum we are seeing in our business including strengthening topline revenue growth,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “Our fundamentals remain strong, as highlighted by our recent US$400 million investment grade unsecured notes offering, and we are confident that the strategic initiatives we are pursuing position us for continued profitable growth.” Tags: WestJet WestJet’s winter schedule: 642 daily flights to 95 destinations
Share Thursday, January 18, 2018 Posted by [People] Two new presidents for tourism marketing agency DCI Tags: People NEW YORK — Development Counsellors International (DCI) has named two new presidents to guide the 58-year-strong economic development and tourism marketing agency.Karyl Leigh Barnes, who joined in 1998, is President, Tourism. Julie Curtin, who joined DCI in 1994, is now President, Economic Development. Both are partners and previously were Executive Vice Presidents.Andy Levine, who had been President, remains a partner and continues to be involved in daily operations as Chairman. Rounding out executive leadership is Carrie Nepo, Chief Financial Officer and partner, who started with DCI in 2003.“For nearly 60 years, DCI has worked with more than 450 places all over the world, designing campaigns to attract investment, travelers and talent to their destinations,” said Levine. “Julie and Karyl Leigh have been growing our agency and our relationships for a long time now — since before Y2K, social media, digital marketing or reality TV. DCI is better and stronger for their expertise and leadership. I’m eager to see what the next few decades bring to our agency.”DCI was founded in 1960 by Ted Levine, Andy Levine’s late father. Since joining DCI, Barnes and Curtin have helped drive the firm’s expansion and success. DCI is now an agency of more than 60 individuals, the largest assembly of place marketing professionals in the world.In her 20 years at DCI Barnes has advanced the agency’s tourism expertise, transforming a team of three publicists into a Tourism Practice with four additional divisions – tourism research, digital marketing, travel trade marketing, and meetings and incentive sales. She has created communications campaigns for destinations on every continent except Antarctica, in partnership with organizations such as Tourism Australia, Japan National Tourism Organization and Visit Scotland.Barnes restructured DCI’s California office, with staff in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and established the agency’s presence in Canada, commencing work in Toronto in 2009 and expanding into Montreal in 2017.She has actively served on boards and committees for Destinations International, Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and Sustainable Travel International, and speaks frequently about both leisure travel and business events trends at conferences.In 1998 Curtin opened an office in Denver to support the agency’s growing business in the western U.S. Now with 16 team members, ‘DCI West’ has designed marketing strategies, digital campaigns and websites for economic development organizations, such as the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the Houston Partnership, the San Diego Regional EDC, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Wyoming Business Council, to name just a few.In 2013 Curtin founded and launched the DCI Marketing Summit, the only peer-led annual gathering of senior level economic development marketing minds in the country. Curtin is a frequent speaker for cities, regions, states and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She serves on the Executive Committee for Counselors Academy, a special section of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
Club Med slashes Sun prices with ‘Fun in the Sun Sale’ << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Club Med, Mexico, Sales TORONTO — Club Med is deeply discounting top Sun destinations with its new ‘Fun in the Sun Sale’, kicking off this month.Running until Feb. 26, 2019, for travel between Jan. 14-Aug. 24, 2019, the sale allows Canadians to book winter and spring holidays at prices starting at $1,649 per adult, including airfare and perks. Participating Club Med resorts include those in Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean.The sale applies to packages with a minimum three-night stay and is valid for new individual bookings only.Select resorts include:Punta Cana: Highlights include the new Zen Oasis, the Cirque du Soleil-inspired CREACTIVE playground, and the Indigo Beach Lounge.Cancun Yucatan: Recently redesigned with a new Aguamarina Family Pool and Building, this 4-Trident resort features a new Boutique Concept and renovated main restaurant, oceanfront Superior and deluxe family rooms, and a family oasis pool along a secluded beach.Ixtapa Pacific: Named one of Mexico’s best family spots, this resort offers guests the chance to watch newly hatched baby turtles make their first trip into the ocean. Other offerings include kayaking around Isla Ixtapa, the newly renovated El Miramar Restaurant, a new spa and a new pool deck.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamAll-inclusive packages at Club Med include perks that include all flights and transfers, free room upgrades (for select travel dates), gourmet cuisine, sports and leisure activities, relaxation, open bar, and day/night childcare. Plus, kids under 15 will receive up to 50% off stays, while children under four stay for free. Monday, January 14, 2019 Share
Costa Rican food products will be on display this week in SIAL Paris 2012, the world’s largest food fair involving some 5,900 companies from 200 countries.Nine Tico companies are exhibiting, offering: pasta, rice, frozen tubers, pineapple juice, hearts of palm, roasted coffee, canned yuca, sugar substitutes, frozen tropical fruits and canned tuna, the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) and the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica said.In addition to company stands, the Costa Rica delegation will host a coffee shop. The fair ends Thursday.Álvaro Piedra, PROCOMER’s promotion manager, said Europe is an important trading partner for Costa Rica. In 2011, 547 local companies exported $1.8 billion worth of products to the continent. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Police on Sunday seized 406 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a semi-trailer, and arrested the driver as he attempted to cross into Nicaragua.A 52-year-old Costa Rican man with the last names Velásquez Ramírez was arrested at the Peñas Blancas border crossing in northern Costa Rica and charged with international drug trafficking, police said.Costa Rica’s new anti-drug commissioner, Celso Gamboa – who filled a post left vacant last week after former commissioner Mauricio Boraschi resigned – told local radio ADN that Costa Rica should “keep its guard up” against drug traffickers. Drug cartels frequently use the country as an important transit route for South American cocaine headed to the United States.So far this year, officials have seized more than five tons of cocaine. Last year, more than 15 tons were seized, nearly double the previous year’s amount. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Facebook Comments An already pricey visit to Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula just got more expensive. Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced in January that starting today visitors to the country’s most biodiverse national park must be accompanied by a certified guide.According to a letter sent to tour operators, guides must be approved by the Costa Rican Tourism Board. Exceptions will be made for guides who present sworn statements on their knowledge of the park’s trails or who are members of groups with permission to enter the park.The new regulations will not apply to reservations made before Feb. 1, but SINAC recommends all visitors use guides. Violators of the new policy could be sentenced to up to one year in prison. Related posts:Corcovado Foundation opens budget hostel in Osa Peninsula Alleged gold miners end protest at Corcovado National Park Whale sharks spotted off the Osa Peninsula To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’
Related posts:As teacher strike continues, government announces plan to distribute back pay ICE unions announce strike, protest later this month Underwhelming Costa Rica strike mostly affects health service access Costa Rica’s Solís denies secret agreement with unions on Monday’s strike If you’re driving in Costa Rica’s capital Monday morning, there’s a good chance you’ll need a little patience.Several public services unions united in a group called Patria Justa – a “Just Homeland” – are mounting a general strike starting at 6 a.m. that could snare traffic at several points in the capital and beyond.Some of the potential trouble spots mentioned in local Spanish-language media include: the Finance Ministry in downtown San José, Paseo Colón, west of downtown, the General Cañas Highway near Juan Santamaría International Airport, Route 27 to the Pacific coast, and Route 32 to the Caribbean coast.Unions threatening an “indefinite” Costa Rica strike over proposed government cuts to salary bonuses and collective benefits include workers from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, the National Oil Refinery, the Atlantic Port Authority and the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP), among others. But according to online news site CRHoy.com, ANEP Secretary-General Albino Vargas has called on “all workers” across the country to strike.Although the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís has spent the past two weeks in negotiations to avoid Monday’s nationwide strike, union leaders have stepped up pressure by threatening to cut or draw back services, including fuel distribution, port service in the Caribbean city of Limón, and electricity and telecommunications services, the daily La Nación reported.Responding to Patria Justa’s threats, President Solís took to national television Sunday night promising to stand firm.“I had prepared a message about the indispensable role that public employees have in the country,” Solís said. “But in the last few hours we’ve heard an intransigent rhetoric from some union leaders about the protest planned for tomorrow [Monday]. That obliges me to guarantee to you that the government will do everything that is necessary to prevent the disruption of public services, as union leaders are threatening.”The president reiterated his administration’s willingness to negotiate, but he added that “there’s a limit that I’m not going to cross, which is the right of the majority to receive public services from the state.”“To all Costa Ricans,” he continued, “I guarantee that the government will use all means provided by the law to prevent your rights as citizens from being violated.”Stay tuned, this could get ugly. And don’t forget to fill up on gas. Facebook Comments
HOUSTON, Texas – Polls opened across the U.S. South and New England Tuesday morning, heralding the opening of a day-long contest that was widely expected to secure the frontrunner status of both Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.The day before, presidential hopefuls made frantic sprints across the country in anticipation of a massive day of voting across nearly a dozen states.In Massachusetts and Minnesota, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont continued to draw the mega-rallies of enthusiastic supporters that have become the hallmark of his campaign. Republican Ted Cruz pleaded with voters in his home state of Texas for their support — banking on a primary victory here to jump-start his sputtering candidacy and stop Trump’s march as the runaway leader for the nomination.While voting results could give Trump a critical boost against his closest rivals, Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, Fla., a well-funded super PAC is ramping up its effort to discredit the New York businessman with a devastating new television advertisement that portrays him as a predatory huckster who scammed working- and middle-class Americans.A 60-second ad, which will begin airing Wednesday on stations across the country at the cost of more than $1 million, centers on Trump University, the billionaire mogul’s for-profit enterprise that promised to teach students the tricks of the real estate trade and is now defunct and the subject of a fraud suit.The ad, titled “Scam,” is the latest component of the stop-Trump campaign of Our Principles PAC, a conservative group funded in part by Marlene Ricketts, a major Republican donor and the wife of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.The attack echoes themes that Rubio, who is trying to unite the GOP’s anti-Trump forces under his own banner, has made as he has addressed swelling crowds in suburban areas.Both visibly fatigued from weeks of breakneck travel, Cruz and Rubio campaigned for Super Tuesday as if they were cramming for an exam. The senators volleyed stinging character attacks at Trump, one after another, in a desperate move to halt the billionaire mogul’s momentum.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk0XZJ3hAbwBut if the polls and roaring crowds that greeted Trump in Virginia and Georgia on Monday were any indication, he is steamrolling toward a triumphant showing Tuesday. Republican primaries or caucuses will take place in 11 states — seven across the South, as well as Alaska, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Vermont — and the only one Trump is not expected to win is Texas, where Cruz appears to be the favorite.“You don’t get to abuse our immigration laws and take advantage of American workers, and suddenly call yourself a champion of working men and women,” Cruz said. He added later: “If you don’t want to see Donald Trump as the nominee, if you don’t want to see Hillary Clinton as the next president, then stand with us, tomorrow, on Super Tuesday.”At a rowdy rally at Radford University in Virginia, Trump sold himself as the polling front-runner and as a more effective leader than either of the freshman senators. He repeatedly referred to them by demeaning nicknames — “Lying Ted Cruz” and “Little Marco Rubio” — and mocked the latter for his frequent sweating and sipping of water.Protesters interrupted the rally at several points, drawing swift rebukes from Trump, who asked one woman if she was Mexican after a commotion. After a disruption by black attendees, who chanted slogans including “Black lives matter,” Trump shouted, “All lives matter.” The crowd cheered its approval of the candidate.See also: US expats in Costa Rica can vote in person for presidential primaryOn the Democratic side, Clinton was widely expected to sweep six southern states, including Virginia, where her longtime friend Terry McAuliffe is the sitting governor. Clinton’s trouncing of Sanders in South Carolina on Saturday, by nearly 50 percentage points, revealed an overwhelming advantage among African American voters that should play out in the minority-heavy South on Tuesday. Less clear is whether her winning streak will dampen Sanders’ previous advantage among the five other states at stake – Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and Sanders’ home state of Vermont.Although Clinton is still waging a hard-fought nomination battle against Sanders, she also began pivoting this week to her likely general-election opponent, Trump.On Monday, Clinton lingered on what she called “scapegoating” and “finger-pointing” in the Republican race — clearly signaling her willingness to criticize Trump.“The mean-spiritedness, the hateful rhetoric, the insults — that’s not who we are,” Clinton said in Springfield, Mass., a day ahead of the Super Tuesday voting that is expected to place her firmly in the lead for the Democratic nomination. “It really undermines our fabric as a nation.”Sanders, meanwhile, speaking to reporters beside his chartered jet in Boston Monday, vowed to stay in the race until voters in all 50 states have spoken. He also took a jab at Clinton for the “substantial sums” a super PAC supporting her has collected from corporate interests.“Tomorrow, all over the country our campaign is taking on the political establishment,” the senator from Vermont said. “We’re taking on governors and senators and mayors who know how to get out the vote. They do that very well.”Sanders’ wife Jane, speaking to reporters at the back of his campaign plane Monday night as it approached Burlington, Vt., said “time is on our side now” as a growing number of voters hear the senator’s message.“The more they listen to his message, the more they know him, they more support him as a person and him as a candidate to be president,” she said, adding he had no intention of dropping out of the race. “If you’ve gone to the rallies with us, you’ve seen the hope and the expectation, the fervor and the support for the ideas. Bernie’s not going to let those people down.”More delegates are up for grabs Tuesday than on any other single day in the Democratic nominating calendar.Back on the Republican side, Trump tried to signal that he was looking toward the general election, arguing that the early primary results show there is greater voter enthusiasm for him than for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.“There is enthusiasm,” Trump said of his campaign. “Big, big, big enthusiasm.”Advisers to Rubio and Cruz hoped for a clarifying verdict Tuesday that would winnow the nominating contest to two men: Trump and one of them.But both camps saw signs of trouble. Cruz has continued to find it difficult to unite a conservative coalition of evangelicals and self-described liberty voters. Kris Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas and a high-profile opponent of illegal immigration, announced Monday that he was endorsing Trump, joining two fellow immigration crusaders, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ala., and former Arizona governor Jan Brewer, on the Trump bandwagon.—The Washington Post’s John Wagner reported from Minnesota and Massachusetts. Abby Phillip in Massachusetts and Virginia; Anne Gearan and Paul Kane in Washington; Robert Costa in Atlanta; Jose A. DelReal in Nashville; Fenit Nirappil in Radford, Va.; Ed O’Keefe in Alcoa, Tenn.; and David Weigel in Castleton, Vt., contributed to this report. © 2016, The Washington Post Related posts:Fall of the House of Bush: How last name and Donald Trump doomed Jeb Mexico to contact US candidates to rebut ‘disinformation’ Campaign aims to ‘defeat Trump’ by encouraging more U.S. expat votes Meet Sarai González, the inspiring Tica in Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” video Facebook Comments
Comments Share Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Check your body, save your life New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Australian flags will be flown at half-staff on all government facilities throughout the country, he said.“We continue to support families who deal with the pain of loss and who have a deep yearning for justice,” Abbott told Parliament.The victims included 39 Australian citizens and permanent residents.The shooting down of Flight 17 as the Boeing 777 flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was the second of two disasters that struck the troubled airline last year after Flight 370 with 239 people on board went missing on March 8 last year while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace of it has been found.Ukraine and the West suspect Flight 17 was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian forces or separatist rebels fighting in the area.The Russian maker of the Buk air defense missile system this month concluded that Flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which is not in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian, Malaysian and Dutch governments will hold services on July 17 to mark the first anniversary of the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine with the loss of 298 lives, Australia’s prime minister said Monday.Australian lawmakers would be recalled to Parliament House for the national service and a plaque would be unveiled in the House of Representatives’ gardens inscribed with the names of all victims, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A British Airways, Air France-KLM, Cathay Pacific and Qantas are among 11 carriers fined a total of almost €800 million for their roles in a global air cargo cartel during 1999 and 2006.The European Commission claimed the carriers colluded to fix surcharges for fuel and security, the Commission putting a halt to the “illegal behaviour” in 2006 following advice from cartel member Lufthansa, which received full immunity from fines, “as it was the first to provide information about the cartel”. Air France-KLM was fined the most from the group at over €310 million, British Airways was next at over €104 million. Qantas and LAN Chile were fined the least at over €8 million each.”It is deplorable that so many major airlines coordinated their pricing to the detriment of European businesses and European consumers,” European Commission competition vice president Joaquin Almunia said. “With today’s decision the Commission is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate cartel behaviour”.According to Mr Almunia, the carriers stopped competing against each other, instead conspiring “to ensure that worldwide airfreight carriers imposed a flat rate surcharge per kilo for all shipments” and then by introducing a security surcharge of which they refused to pay commissions.”The fact that fuel prices were increasing, or that security costs rose after the 2001 terrorist attacks, is not an acceptable reason to stop competing against each other,” Mr Almunia said.”If companies’ costs increase, it’s normal that their prices also increase. “But companies cannot collude to fix the price for customers.”Mr Almunia said the Commission supports unions within the airline industry, but on the condition that monopolies or “excessive market power” were not a result.In fact, Mr Almunia was quick to shoot down “the alliance excuse”, saying that, “whenever contacts between carriers were held within the terms of an alliance the Commission ignored them for the purpose of this decision.”However, there were also pricing discussions that were clearly illegal.”[T]he existence of an alliance agreement cannot give a blank cheque for naked price coordination among the members of this alliance.”Qantas has advised it will release a statement in regards to the fines it has received. e-Travel Blackboard will keep you abreast of news as it comes to hand.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H The general manager of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), Darryl Washington, has responded to comments made in weekend papers suggesting that the Australian Grand Prix is no longer viable, calling them “wrong on several counts.” Mr Washington believes the comments failed to take into account the huge economic benefit generated to business and additional employment and taxes that flow.“It is too simplistic to calculate the economic value or so called loss to the taxpayer by calculating government direct spending less Grand Prix revenue,” Mr Washington said. “The Grand Prix has been a great marketing tool both directly and indirectly for Victoria, which can’t rely on the harbour bridge, rock, reef or any other icon to attract tourist’s attention in a competitive and overcrowded market.” Mr Washington points to the international attention major events like the Grand Prix receive and the economic rationale it provides for existing hotels to renovate and refurbish, enabling Melbourne to keep up to world standard. “The relatively small marketing funds that Tourism Australia and Tourism Victoria have to promote Australia to an international market, mean that the Grand Prix is our major international exposure each year and is the major promoter of the Melbourne brand,” Mr Washington said.“Also, what is not measured in economic impact statements is the flow on effect events have, in that many tourists visiting Melbourne will typically stay in Melbourne and Victoria for considerably longer, before or after the event or visit at another time. “If we lose it, many other cities will line up to take it and reap the benefits.” Australian Grand Prix
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A It was a red carpet arrival for Voyager of the Seas last night when she sailed into Sydney Harbour for the first time ahead of her inaugural summer season down under. Flounced by fountains and pleasure craft, Voyager of the Seas awaited her sister-line ship Celebrity Millennium by Fort Denison as the vessels sounded their horns in welcome. Crew and passengers lined the decks of both ships for the occasion with a special appearance by the Dreamworks characters who will be entertaining guests aboard Voyager of the Seas this season. Click here to view the entire photo gallery of the meeting in the Harbour. Royal Caribbean’s Adam Armstrong and Gavin Smith toast Voyager of the Seas as she sails into Sydney Harbour for the first time.
JAL establish evaluation plan to improve targets. Japan Airlines (JAL) will begin to implement its Medium Term Management Plan Rolling Plan 2013.JAL established the Medium Term Management Plan in 2012 to measure targets, identify improvement areas and reassure staff and stakeholders that the airline was working hard to achieve its future goals.The Rolling Plan 2013 was setup to evaluate the Management Plan and reaffirm the company’s forecast direction and current positioning.“We will humbly reflect on the past year, identify those measures that need to be improved to achieve our targets in the remaining four years, correct them, and execute them,” a JAL spokesperson said.“FY2013 will be a year in which we will be tested as to whether we can overcome apparent risks at the beginning of the fiscal year, such as suspended 787 operations and currency fluctuations, and establish a high profitability structure.”JAL’s financial goals for an operating profit of 140 billion yen and a profit margin of 11 percent for FY2013 are on target with the Medium Term Management Plan.At the close of FY2013 JAL aim to achieve equity of 644 billion yen, an improvement of 75 billion yen, compared with the Medium Term Management Plan’s goals established last year.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.
The famed birthplace of Charlie Chaplin was allegedly defamed by travellers, according to local residents.Black Patch Park, heralded as the apparent birthplace of popular British comedy actor Charlie Chaplin, was left a “horrendous mess” by tourists, the Birmingham Mail reported.Gas canisters, building materials, clothes, food, CD’s and even a dog bowl was among the rubbish left at the well-known 20-acre park in Smethwick.Local residents allege gates had been broken down and community members attacked. “It is horrendous and no-one seems to want to do anything about it,” a Smethwick resident said.“They smash the gates down to gain access and there’s a lot of violence and drinking… I’ve heard of people being assaulted by some of the travellers.”Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. Local residents allege tourists are to blame.
Biggest Cruise Ship in the World Makes Debut to U.S.Biggest Cruise Ship in the World Makes Debut to U.S.Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas has made her highly anticipated debut to the cruise capital of the world, Miami.Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest and most adventure-packed ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s brand new, state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S.“Symphony takes family holidaying to an all new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around guests’ preferences.” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.“With her U.S. homecoming, Symphony is changing the game for how travellers of all ages holiday on our biggest and boldest vessel yet.”The ultimate family ship, Symphony of the Seas will sail year-round seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, when it launches in May 2019.Experiences on Symphony of the Seas include:The two-story Ultimate Family Suite for eight guests includes an in-suite slide, air hockey table, building block wall and “Royal Genie” concierge.The high-energy Boardwalk with activities for all ages, including game-day favourites at Playmaker’s Sports Bar & Arcade, the Sugar Beach specialty candy and ice cream shop, face painting, caricature artists, live music and more.New restaurants including Hooked Seafood, featuring fresh New England-style favourites, and made-to-order Mexican “street fare” at El Loco Fresh.An out-of-this-world, glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience called Battle for Planet Z.An always-evolving Royal Caribbean app, designed to be a game changer for the guest experience, enables expedited arrival, more personalised experience on board and interactive onboard features.The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, a 10-story test of courage.The Perfect Storm, a trio of thrilling multistory waterslides named Cyclone, Typhoon and Supercell.Two FlowRider surf simulators, pumping 128,000 litres of water per minute, perfect for adventure-seekers wanting to hang ten.Twin rock-climbing walls, standing at 12 metres and boasting stunning sea views.A zip line nine decks high, speeding riders 24 metres across an open-air atrium.AquaTheatre, an open-air theatre with jaw-dropping, high-diving acrobatic and aquatic performances in the deepest pool at sea.Central Park, a green sanctuary lush with more than 20,000 living plants and trees.The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Nov. 15, 2018, during the pre-inaugural celebration hosted by the ship’s first-ever Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas encompasses 228,081 gross registered tonnes, measures 72 metres tall and spans 362 metres in length. Each week, Symphony will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or the ship’s signature Boardwalk neighbourhood.Source = Royal Caribbean
2019 NTIA Nominees Announced2019 NTIA Nominees AnnouncedThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is pleased to reveal the 2019 National Travel Industry Award (NTIA) Nominees.The full list of nominees is available on the AFTA website – CLICK HEREVoting will commence for selected categories tomorrow, Tuesday 26 March at 9:00am (AEDT).Voted categories include:Best Domestic AirlineBest Airline International – On LineBest Airline International – Off LineBest Cruise Operator – Domestic DeploymentBest Cruise Operator – International DeploymentBest Car / Campervan Rental OperatorBest Tourist Office – InternationalBest Agency Support ServiceBest Hotel / Resort GroupFinalists in categories that do not appear in the list above are determined through a separate nomination submission process which is assessed by external and independent assessors.AFTA congratulates all those nominated and wishes everyone the best of luck through the voting or nomination submission assessment and judging processes.2019 NTIA Key Dates;Voting Opens – Tuesday 26 March 2019Finalists Announced – Monday 20 May 2019Ticket Sales – Tuesday 21 May 2019Judging Period – Wednesday 15 June to Friday 21 June 2019 (Judged categories only)Gala Dinner – Saturday 20 July 2019 Source = Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Thomas Cook (India) Ltd launched its unique and user friendly ‘Foreign Exchange app’, a consumer empowering one-stop-shop for foreign exchange transactions.According to International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone shipment in India grew 44% to 26.5 million units in June 2015. And equipped with his hand-held device, today’s digitally native Indian traveller (including business travellers, leisure, ad-hoc groups and last minute travellers) is increasingly impatient for information / transactions on the go. Thomas Cook India’s research having identified this blue ocean potential for secure and convenient foreign exchange transactions created its Foreign Exchange app to equip customers with easy, safe and smooth currency transactions with fulfilment while on the go.Thomas Cook’s android mobile app features Live Rates across major global currencies including USD, Euro, Swiss Franc, to cover both buying and selling of foreign exchange; also a Block my Rate option as protection against rate fluctuations. The application also provides customers a handy tool of Rate Alerts for specified currencies via SMS & Email.Commenting on India’s first ever transactive mobile-app for Foreign Exchange, Amit Madhan, Chief Operating Officer – IT & E Services, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, “Thomas Cook India’s internal research has highlighted that while over 40% of our online transactions are via a mobile device, for foreign exchange this is truly noteworthy – at over 65%. Hence launching our Thomas Cook Forex app was clearly the need of the hour.”He added, “With mobile data reiterating the Indian travellers’ shift to M-commerce, coupled with India’s booming smartphone market, as pioneers in the Foreign Exchange space we are delighted to present he first ever mobile application and its slew of unique and customer empowering features for India’s Forex consumers on the go.”The mobile application is available on Android (2.3.3 and up), with iOS expected in the next two months.
Tourisme Montréal has unveiled Montréal vous accueille as part of Je fais MTL, which is a community movement aimed at making Montréal a more inspiring city.Montréal vous accueille is an initiative designed to standardise tourist welcome strategies across Montréal’s nine main gateways.Between now and May 2017, Tourisme Montréal would introduce different visual tools designed to create a warm welcome at the various partner locations. The signature for this powerful brand image is Bonjour, a word that conveys the city’s French roots and vibrant personality. The new welcome strategy, which has been developed by Tourisme Montréal in close collaboration with its partners, would include more tourist information agents, new interactive terminals, interior displays and improved signage.Montréal vous accueille would roll out a standardised approach at all points of entry, leading to improved consistency and fluidity in tourist welcomes. Quality information services have a beneficial impact on tourism and the local economy.“As part of Tourisme Montréal’s strategic plan, we set an ambitious goal of equipping Montréal with the best tourist welcome in North America and the most innovative at-destination interactive strategies for assisting tourists throughout their stay,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “By offering a top-quality welcome, we hope to encourage tourists to keep coming back to Montréal. I would like to congratulate the project partners for their commitment to this issue.”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently organised the 4th Amazing Thailand Health and Wellness Tourism Showcase with the theme of ‘Thailand: Paradise for Longevity’ to endorse the Kingdom as a destination for products and services for a longer life. Noppadon Pakprot, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business said, “This annual showcase is part of our plan to promote Thailand as a world-class destination for medical tourism. According to a report by VISA and Oxford Economics, Thailand is considered as one of Asia’s top medical tourism destinations. Thailand now has 58 JCI-accredited hospitals, more than any other Southeast Asian country.”44 health and wellness professionals across the entire range of medical disciplines were present at the event to hoist Thailand’s health and wellness products to raise international cognizance. Medical tourism facilitators and travel agencies from 30 countries worldwide also discussed business deals with participating health and wellness providers.The event highlighted why Thailand is a ‘Paradise for Longevity’ and an emerging leader in the field of ‘Functional and Regenerative Medicine. Thailand is the first and only Asian country with hospitals specialising in ‘Functional & Regenerative Medicine’, including Better Being Hospital and Mali Interdisciplinary Hospital.Thailand is also the continent’s anti-aging centre leader with 500 medical specialists in this sector, the largest number of American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine-certified medical professionals are practicing in the region.In a bid to boost Thailand’s medical tourism,The Royal Thai Government has given 90-day visas consent to patients and medical visitors from Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) as well as from the People’s Republic of ChinaIn addition, long-stay 10-year visas are ? available for senior nationals of 14 countries including Japan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.TAT, in association withRoyal Orchid Plus will offer special health and wellness tourism packages until 31 December to help promote medical tourism. This includes an invitation to Royal Orchid Plus Platinum and Gold members to visit Thailand, supported by special packages from leading hospitals and clinics, for complimentary health check-ups.