French jihadi network chief sentenced to 9 years in prison

first_imgIn another chat, he said he wanted to “scar” France; in another, he compared himself with Osama bin Laden, according to court documents.___Lori Hinnant contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. PARIS (AP) — The chief of a dismantled French radical network was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for recruiting for jihad, plotting attacks against Jewish targets and praising terrorism. The relatively severe verdict comes as France is trying to prevent extremist violence by angry, marginalized Muslims.A Paris court on Friday convicted Mohamed Achamlane, self-proclaimed “emir” of the Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride) group, of terrorism charges. The French citizen was accused of plotting attacks including targeting kosher markets and other Jewish businesses in Paris, abducting and torturing a Jewish judge in Lyon and threatening France. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Thirteen others, who like Achamlane were convicted of criminal association with a terrorist enterprise, were sentenced to up to six years in prison — except for the lone female defendant who got a suspended 12-month sentence.The verdict came six months after attacks on a kosher supermarket and satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which left 20 people dead including the three radical Muslim gunmen.Achamlane said he created the group in 2010 to counter exaggerated fears about Islam and to “channel the energy” of young Muslims.Achamlane, 37, testified that he favored an “uninhibited” Islam but denied any violent intent or “terrorist inspiration.”“I am the emir of a group that is considered Islamist and I do not hide anything,” Achamlane said.The group was dissolved in 2012 and its suspected members were arrested because authorities feared they would carry out violent acts. Achamlane and other main defendants have been in custody since then.The judge, Dominique Piot, said the court found Achamlane intended to “perpetrate an act of a terrorist nature.”She noted a number of Internet chats, including one in which Achamlane praised Mohamed Merah, who killed three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse as well as three French paratroopers before being killed by police. 0 Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home FILE – In this photo dated Nov. 21, 2011 Mohammed Achamlane, left, leader of Forsane Alizza (Knights of Pride), an Islamic radical group which was outlawed in 2012, speaks to the media during a demonstration in Nantes, western France. The chief of a dismantled French radical network who wanted to “scar” France has been sentenced to nine years in prison for recruiting for jihad, plotting attacks at home and praising terrorism, Friday July 10, 2015 in Paris. (AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni, File) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academiescenter_img Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

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Household rubbish set to fuel British Airways flights

first_img<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25b4e/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> British Airways has announced plans to turn household waste products into a biofuel for its planes from 2014 onwards, though initial media reports have questioned whether this has been approved by local government yet.In a statement, British Airways says that it intends to convert 500,000 tonnes of waste biomass per year into 16 million gallons of green jet fuel from 2014 onwards as part of its biofuel program.Already a partnership has been established with Solena Group in order to build a plant which will take waste materials destined for landfill.  Four sites are currently being considered for the plant.“This unique partnership with Solena will pave the way for realising our ambitious goal of reducing net carbon emissions by 50% by 2050,” said Willie Walsh, British Airways CEO.“We believe it will lead to the production of a real sustainable alternative to jet kerosene.”But initial media reports have questioned whether or not the ambitious plan has been approved by the British government, as the Ministry of Defence regulates the quality of aviation fuel in the region.British Airways’ new proposal will produce a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the road per year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

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Delays cancellations continue in Heathrow

first_imgHeathrow Airport will operate under a reduced schedule until 6.00am GMT 22 December after severe weather conditions shut down the airport leaving thousands of passengers stranded. In a statement released yesterday airport officials said “continuing bad weather, further flight delays and cancellations are likely over the coming days”. “We are truly sorry for the disruption caused,” Heathrow Airport said in a online statement.Etihad Airways is among the airlines affected by the events and was forced to divert two flights headed to London to Manchester and Frankfurt. Qantas spokesperson Olivia Wirth said four Qantas planes were able to take off from Heathrow, ABC News reported. The airline was also able to get seven Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok bound aircraft back in the air last night. Meanwhile passengers forced to spend the night at Heathrow Airport have described the experience as hellish.According to Ninemsn, limited floor spacing had people fighting over sleeping in the bathrooms. “You could not believe it was happening,” New Zealander Andy Robson said.“There was a family of six in the disabled toilet, a man was grappling to keep the door close while this other man was trying to pull it open so that his mother, who was in a wheelchair could go to the toilet.“They were fighting because this family of six knew that if they were evicted from the toilet, there was nowhere for them to go.” According to Mr Robson nappies were disposed on the floor because toilets were inaccessible and a man was vomiting on the wall. Heathrow airport has advised travellers to not make their way to the airport unless they have confirmed their booking with airlines.Passengers can be updated on flight status’ via the airport’s website, twitter or iPhone and Android mobile applications. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Chinese tourism doubles to Cairns

first_imgThe number of travellers visiting the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns more than doubled last year, pushing the Chinese market up to the third biggest in the region. Up to 70,000 visitors from China flew into Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef last year, an increase of up to 85 percent compared to results from 2009. North Queensland also welcomed a 26 percent growth in visitors from Japan last year compared to the year before which Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Rob Giason said is a strong comeback, “contrary to some predictions”. “This result shows the importance of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef to the Australian economy as a holiday destination for Japanese holiday visitors,” Mr Giason said. “Local tourism operators have complemented the aviation capacity increases provided by Jetstar, by rebuilding the market. “The yen is strong and there is no better time for the Cairns Vision mission made up of senior tourism industry representatives, which is travelling to Japan this month.” However, despite achieving growth from the Asia region, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef saw a decline in international visitors from the UK, a fall of up to 14 percent and a drop of nine percent from the USA.Overall the region reports a six percent increase in holiday visitors from the international market last year, this just ahead of the four percent national result. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

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Its about TIME

first_imgMentors and mentees of the Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) joined other industry professionals on Wednesday night at the Harbourview Hotel North Sydney to learn more about the professional development programme and to hear first hand from its members how the initiative was faring one year after its launch.    Addressing the 70 attendees of the event was keynote speaker and former United Airlines Australia general manager Anne Keating, who after 23 years in the travel industry advised mentees not to “just take the lineal path”. “You have to be prepared to do things a little differently.”“And you have to stand for something” Ms Keating said, emphasising the importance of philanthropic pursuits. Unveiled at the event was the new “Gift of TIME” incentive, a voucher rewarding loyal employees and suppliers with six months of professional personal mentoring available to employers for AU$1,500.The Travel Authority Group general manager and programme mentor Uschi Howard told e-Travel Blackboard the initiative was about delivering relevant advice to aspiring industry leaders.“You [mentees] don’t have to take everything on board,” Ms Howard said.WorldStrides Australia sales executive and mentee Angelya Vassiliadis–Balaguer told e-Travel Blackboard the programme so far had been “fantastic”, calling her mentor – Ms Howard – her “professional psychologist”.Guest speaker Anne KeatingSimon, Shannon (American Express Business Travel)Vanessa (Sabre), Cherie (CTM)Angelya (WorldStrides), Yonas (CTM), Jake (Pan Australian Travel)Rowena (Top Deck Travel), Jan (Jan Knox Consulting), Julie (Creative Holidays)Gary (The Travel Wherehouse), Robyn (Travelscene AMEX), Peter (The Travel Authority) Uschi (The Travel Authority), Angelya (WorldStrides) ::It’s about TIME:: Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

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MU flights into Cairns much needed for tourism TA

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J China Eastern’s plans to launch new direct services into Cairns could boost ‘much needed’ tourism into the region, according to Tourism Australia’s head, as well as offer Australia further benefit from the fast growing market, China.Launching from October this year with a three times weekly service between Shanghai and Cairns, the tourism bureau’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said joint marketing activities to promote flights would move Australia closer to its 2020 goal of doubling overnight expenditure.”The additional air capacity represents a huge boost to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland by opening up direct passenger and freight links from the key commercial city of Shanghai and beyond it, many of China’s secondary cities,” Mr McEvoy said.“Asia will generate close to A$19 billion a year by 2020 for Australian tourism, with China, our most valuable international tourism export market, remaining the key driver.”The fact that 2.4 million Asian travellers – over 40 per cent of our total international visitors last year came to Australia was unprecedented, but with this level of growth it is important that we are focused on getting the supply side of the equation right.”Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) managing director Felicia Mariani concurred, adding that the services would bring Queensland to the Chinese market’s door.“This new China Eastern service will directly link Chinese visitors to one of Australia’s top destinations and shows Queensland is recognised as a highly desirable place to take a break,” she added.According to local figures, the Chinese market into Cairns was up 39 percent last year over the prior year. last_img read more

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Wotif Destination NSW campaign family friendly

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Families need not fear that the holidays are near now that Destination NSW and Wotif.com have launched a campaign for family friendly NSW Getaways over the school holidays and coming months. Set to run for two weeks until 17 September, Wotif Group executive general manager for Australia/New Zealand Joachim Holte said the campaign showcases the best of what New South Wales has to offer over the school holidays. According to Mr Holte, as the weather warms up it is a perfect time to take a short break to New South Wales’ various regions that offer a raft of attractions that are ideally suited for family holidays. “The NSW Getaways campaign features exclusive deals at a range of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts on Wotif.com,” Mr Holte said. Destination NSW chief executive officer Sandra Chipchase said it was a great opportunity for families to enjoy what experiences Regional New South Wales has to offer, at great prices. “This is a great example of Destination NSW working with industry partners to help the NSW Government achieve its goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure in NSW by 2020,” Ms Chipchase said. The campaign will be promoted on VisitNSW.com and its social media channel while being supported by radio advertising throughout South-east Queensland, Canberra, South Coast NSW, Southern Highlands, Blue Mountains, Mid-north Coast and North East NSW.last_img read more

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Ryanair initially denies deceased passenger refund

first_imgMs Parsons eventually booked a Ryanair flight with her family to the Canary Islands in April 2013. Low-cost carrier eventually re-compensates mourning family. Beryl Parsons, 78, was diagnosed with cancer last year and planned to take a trip with her family during Christmas 2012, however, she feel ill and the family did not book the holiday. Offended by the reply, Mr Parsons threatened to strap his mother’s ashes to her seat on the aircraft, film the incident and place the video on YouTube. The Irish low-cost carrier has since returned a full refund to the passenger’s appalled family, according to the Daily Mail. In June, Ms Parsons was unexpectedly informed that the cancer had spread and was terminal. Ryanair has since issued an apology and full refund to Mr Parsons. When Mr Parsons contacted Ryanair for a refund, the airline offered its condolences but said Ms Parsons had breached its terms and conditions because she had not passed away within 28 days of the intended travel date. Ryanair initially refused to refund the ticket of a deceased passenger in accordance with the airline’s terms and conditions. “Her first comment when she was told she was dying was, ‘Oh, I suppose, I will have to cancel my holiday then’,” her son Doug Parsons said. “It was never really about the money. It was all about the principle,” Mr Parsons said.last_img read more

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Travelport Orbitz Worldwide update distribution agreement

first_img“Under this new agreement, we have plans to work together to supplement this via an upgrade to Travelport’s latest API connectivity – Travelport Universal API – enabling Orbitz to progressively access and display to its customers the much wider range of travel content that Travelport can now provide,” Travelport chief commercial officer, Kurt Ekert said. The renewed agreement means that Travelport will continue to supply airline, car rental, hotel fares as well as availability, booking and ticketing services to Orbitz. Source = ETB News: T.N. “Travelport has been an important partner for Orbitz and we are pleased that they will continue to play a key role in our technology and travel management needs through this multi-year agreement,” Orbitiz Worldwide chief operating officer, Chris Orton said. Travelport, a leading distribution company, and Orbitz Worldwide have updated their global distribution system agreement.last_img read more

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International arrivals into Asia Pacific continue strong growth

first_imgInternational arrivals into Asia Pacific continue strong growth International arrivals into the Asia Pacific region continued the strong growth momentum of previous years with a gain of 5.4% during the first half-year of 2015, resulting in close to 12.5 million additional arrivals year-on-year. This continues the full year growth of 6.1% during calendar year 2014, which culminated in a total foreign inbound volume of more than 550 million.These are some of the top-level findings contained within the Annual Tourism Monitor 2015 Final Edition released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Following the release of the Early Edition in May this year, the Final Editionincludes a number of other measures of travel activity and profiles including length of stay, expenditure and several other useful quantitative metrics.Early indicators of travel flows for calendar year 2015 (year-to-date) are also provided for 39 Asia Pacific destinations as an early warning mechanism for identifying major shifts and movements in key source and destination markets.Highlights of the Annual Tourism Monitor 2015 Final Edition include:International Visitors arrivals to the Asia Pacific region – as defined by the 45 destinations covered in this report – have collectively shown significant growth over the last five years rising from almost 455 million in 2010 to over 552 million in 2014.Asia continued its dominance in 2014, capturing more than 410 million foreign arrivals – a relative share of more than 74% – led by Northeast Asia with a share of 47% of total international arrivals into Asia Pacific.China, Hong Kong SAR and the USA were the top three generating markets for all international arrivals within the Asia Pacific region in 2014, although there were significant deviations in that grouping from sub-region to sub-region.For early 2015, the 39 destinations in the Asia Pacific region with arrivals data for early 2015 show a collective gain of 5.4% year on year, compared to growth of five percent for the same destinations and periods of 2014.The Americas region is showing the strongest 2015 period growth (6.8%) year on year, followed by the Pacific (6.3%) and then Asia (5.0%).Early 2015 indictors for the key source market show that Thailand, Hong Kong SAR and Japan captured more than 4.1 million additional arrivals from China, period over period in 2015.The impact of the contraction in the Russian outbound market is also considered in light of destinations across the Asia Pacific region in early 2015, with Thailand, Turkey and China being particularly negatively affected.“Understanding the immediate impacts of changes in the foreign inbound markets allows us to contain the negative consequences and boost the positive. This Final Edition of the 2015 PATA Annual Tourism Monitor therefore provides an important first step in quantifying these changes and allowing us to make resource deployment decisions based on those quantification metrics,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy.“Our publications along with PATAmPOWER are valuable tools for those planning and making important decisions in allocating their resources for the future.” PATASource = PATAlast_img read more

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Meet the experts generating new sources of revenue for airlines

first_imgEveryMundo co-founder and president Seth CasselThis week, over 500 airline industry executives will gather in Singapore for the 12th annual Aviation Festival Asia.Over two days delegates will learn how the latest e-commerce and passenger experience technologies can drive sales and meet the needs of today’s traveller.Performance marketing company and one of the event’s sponsors EveryMundo will be sharing its expertise in ancillary revenue generation and web traffic acquisition with attendees.EveryMundo co-founder and president Seth Cassel will detail how airlines can directly market to the 90% of travellers that begin their travel process online.Mr Cassel will also demonstrate how airlines can combat the current dominance of online travel agencies by monetising their greatest offerings: destinations and routes.In a report scheduled to be released this week titled 2016 Airline Marketing Outlook, EveryMundo suggests airlines currently face a more competitive and rapidly changing market than ever.EveryMundo founder and CEO Anton Diego“As global distribution systems, brick-and-mortar travel agents, and other traditional tools for lead generation continue to decline in relevance, new realms like mobile search and ‘performance marketing’ are rising to replace them,” the report said.“And with aggregator platforms seizing a substantial share of online bookings, it’s crucial for airlines to maximize customer acquisitions and conversions without misspending their marketing budgets on outdated strategies.”The report details current trends in aviation marketing and customer acquisition landscape and provides solutions to help airlines strengthen their online performance.“Airlines have to become more nimble when addressing their customers’ mobile experience,” EveryMundo founder and CEO Anton Diego said in the report.“If they don’t invest in evolving their mobile (direct) channel, they’re going to truly lose the battle.”At the Aviation Festival, Mr Cassel’s presentation will provide a good opportunity to discuss how airlines now have the opportunity to create high volume, multi-language dynamic pages that feature content to match travellers’ search queries.In 2016, the Aviation Festival will host over 2,000 attendees, 200 conference speakers, 600 conference delegates and 150 exhibition booths. Over 100 airlines and 40 airports will be represented.Learn more about Aviation festival Asia here. EveryMundoLearn more hereSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

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Fly Free to Thailand with Star Clippers

first_imgFly Free to Thailand with Star ClippersFly Free to Thailand with Star ClippersFrom Phuket, plunge into the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, explore exotic Penang and lie back on powdery white island beaches on this Star Clippers Tall Ship sailing adventure. Explore the many islands that are scattered off the coast of Thailand and Northern Malaysia with some of the most beautiful beaches and dazzling marine life in the world.The Star Clippers Thailand Cruise is special in so many ways but we love it especially because of:–  The sheer-sided sea mountains that rise vertically out of Phang Nga Bay to form some of Thailand’s most spectacular scenery.–  Ko Rok Nok has some beautiful beaches and colourful reefs and is one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in Thailand. –  Penang conjures romantic images of trishaws pedalling past watermarked Chinese shop houses and a sting of chilli in the air. Priced from $2999 for eight days and seven nights, book by 31 October for travel between 11 November 2017 – 21 April 2018 for this incredible deal.  This includes International economy class flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane  to Phuket, seven nights air-conditioned Star Clippers Tall Ship cabin accommodation, port charges, all activities (including water sports) and entertainment on the Ship, meals as per the itinerary and English speaking hosts. More information visit: www.starclippers.com or call 1300 295 161Source = Star Clipperslast_img read more

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Lufthansa presents a new brand design

first_imgLufthansa presents a new brand designLufthansa presents a new brand designLufthansa will reveal its new, modernized brand image to customers and employees at two major events at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs on Wednesday, the 7th of February. The most visible change is the new aircraft livery. In front of more than 3,000 guests in Frankfurt and Munich, Lufthansa will officially present a Boeing 747- 8 and an Airbus A321 with the new design. In the previous week, individual details created interactive discussions, especially on social media. The response to the new appearance was predominantly positive, although some people missed the traditional yellow tone; nevertheless, it will receive a specific function to serve as a means of orientation and differentiation. The color will be found in the future, on every boarding pass and at every Lufthansa counter at the airport, among other things.“Lufthansa has changed and is more modern and successful than ever. From now on, this will also be visible to the public through a new design”, says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “The crane has always been with us and clearly stands for the promising performance from Lufthansa. To this day, it still stands as a symbol of highest quality, excellent service, flying expertise, reliability, innovative spirit; and it stands for trust.”Against the backdrop of digitalization and changing customer requirements, Lufthansa recognized that the company needed to modernize the aircraft appearance in order to remain up to date. The Group invests two billion euros a year in new, fuel efficient aircraft. The premium on board and ground services meet individual customer requirements. Lufthansa was awarded the Platinum Award by the International Air Transport Association IATA for its new digital services and was the only and first airline in Europe to be awarded the 5th star by Skytrax. The introduction of a new business class with the new Boeing 777-9 in two years is an example of how the path to modernization will be consistently pursued in the future.On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the crane, every detail of the design was reworked – to meet requirements of the digital age. The new Lufthansa appearance gives the individual elements a new, modern quality to sharpen their impact. The designers found great importance in taking up the unique design tradition of the Lufthansa brand and leading it into the future.Heritage meets the future“The modernization of Lufthansa is only possible thanks to the commitment of our employees, who are the best in the industry. They are the actual face of the brand “, Carsten Spohr continues.The crane, designed exactly 100 years ago by graphic artist Otto Firle, a distinctive icon in the sky, remains the airline’s iconic symbol. In the future, it will be slimmer and fit for the digital world. A thinner ring makes the crane look more elegant, bringing it into the foreground and granting it more space. All in all, the trademark will gain lightness and elegance. The familiar blue-yellow color combination of Lufthansa will also be retained – but the use of these primary colors will be redefined. The blue specially developed for Lufthansa is somewhat darker, more elegant and is becoming the leading brand color. It stands for reliability, clarity and value.After 30 years, Lufthansa’s aircraft are gradually being given a new livery. The design was developed in a complex process with numerous experts. After intensive preliminary studies, more than 800 designs and own color developments in the laboratory, the new aircraft design was completed. In keeping with the airline’s claim to be premium, the blue color of the livery will dominate the sky and the world’s airports for the next few decades.In the cabin, guests will encounter the modernized design within the crew’s uniform in the form of new – and often yellow – accessories. On-board articles such as tableware, amenity kits, blankets or pillowcases will carry the new design in future. Around 160 million items will be exchanged over the next two years.An important challenge in revising the design was to meet the requirements of today’s and tomorrow’s digital world. In addition to optimizing the crane for new technical requirements, Lufthansa has developed its own typeface, which is particularly easy to read on mobile devices or Smartwatches.New brand campaignOpenness and curiosity – the launch of the new Lufthansa brand launch marks the start of the new #SayYesToTheWorld brand campaign. It questions familiar ways of thinking and habits. Lufthansa opens up the world to all explorers. With style, ambition and quality. With empathy for each individual. Reliable and trustworthy.New design also for the Lufthansa GroupThe Lufthansa Group’s brand image has also been modernized. The new logo no longer bears the crane and is written completely in capital letters. This will take into account the great variety of brands in the Group, offering optical neutrality for all companies. The newly developed Lufthansa Corporate typeface is timeless and independent. The use of capitals is a characteristic of the new Group design.The new Lufthansa blue is the Lufthansa Group’s main color. White ensures lightness and an independent appearance. Yellow complements the color palette.Carsten Spohr says: “We are the proud drivers of globalization and are honored to bring this abstract concept to life! All this drives us forward and makes our work so valuable and fulfilling.”Further information can also be found online at www.explorethenew.comSource = Lufthansa Grouplast_img read more

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Marketing 30 Customer Service

first_imgMarketing 3.0: Customer ServiceData , social media and OTA’s – Service and people who give it are the travel differenceCustomer service is regularly  the difference between a good business and a bad business. Often, its as little as simply caring enough to go the next step.Customer service, generating word of mouth marketing, is a powerful marketing tool that can help grow your business and stand out from your competition. The challenge is reliable and fair delivery, which is easier said than done as customers want more.Customers are more demanding than ever, and if you don’t provide what they want, when they want it, they’ll leave and tell everyone they know of their experience at a ratio of 20 complaints to every single piece of positive validation. More so, unscrupulous competitors will promise the world and many believe it to only feel let down. Consistency is very important.Raising customer service to a high level will build trust and loyalty with your client base.A well-designed customer experience is also marketing:Know your product inside and out. Be aware of the most common questions and how to answer them effectively.Be respectful and don’t allow your emotions to take over.Listening is the key to great customer service. It’s not just what people are saying, but how it’s said, the context and also the visual cues.Be friendly; provide a smile, firm hand shake and an enthusiastic personality. Make them feel like they are your only customerAsk for feedback to gauge how your customer views you and the service you provide.Excellent customer service generally comes down to following up your customers and ensuring they are happy with not only the product, but more importantly the entire customer experience.If you do that successfully, you are on your way to engagement through service. Something a slick marketing campaign will never deliver. Source = STUBA.com learn more about stuba.com herecenter_img www.stuba.comlast_img read more

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Tourism New Zealand to raise its marketing budget in India

first_imgIn order to expand its growth in the Indian market and effectively engage with its travel trade and consumers, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has made plans to invest heavily in the market. Speaking on the sidelines of Kiwi Link India 2015 in Mumbai, Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand said, “We will spend NZD 5 million in India this year. In 2009, our budget was only NZD 1 million. Of the three emerging markets – India, Indonesia, and Brazil – India is the fastest growing market for New Zealand. We have a comprehensive marketing strategy for India and will extensively engage with the travel trade there. We will also look at a digital advertising approach.”While discussing about newer destinations in New Zealand, Bowler said, “One of the big successes is Hobbiton; it has some amazing experiences. We are introducing the same this year in the Indian market at Kiwi Link. Besides, Auckland, Rotorua, and Queenstown are popular destinations among Indian travellers. Young professionals, honeymooners, couples, and family trips are significant tourism contributors. The average length of stay of Indian travellers is around 14 days. There is a good distribution of tourists around the country.”In the fiscal year, which ended in June of this year, TNZ welcomed 43,000 Indian visitors, which is a 23% higher than the previous fiscal. Bowler attributed this growth to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. “The tourism figures have almost doubled since 2009. We are looking to sustain the numbers this year, and are hoping for a double-digit growth,” he added.last_img read more

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Kuwait to establish a tourism authority

first_imgSheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Information Minister, State Minister for Youth Affairs and the Supreme Tourism Committee Chairman has called for establishing a tourism authority in order to manage the sector’s diverse activities including cultural and entertainment programs.During a meeting of the commission, the Minister affirmed keenness on overhauling the sector with the intent of making it one of the national income sources, as part of the state revenues’ diversifying policy.This sector has been envisioned as one of the Kuwaiti economy foundations, considering its high proceeds and political, economic and social benefits, Minister Sheikh Salman said, noting the private sector should be included in such a process; backed by the government with the necessary legislations.The supreme commission, which groups talented citizens, is capable of activating such a strategy for the Kuwaiti tourism, he said, noting the need for in-depth studies, upgrading the infrastructure, diversifying the programs and allocating more lands for new projects. He also called for training national cadres, particularly the young nationals, in the process to develop the field.Expansion of Kuwait International Airport to reach an accommodation capacity of 25 million passengers per year, warrants expansion of the services and tourism projects, “which in turn should lure many young Kuwaitis thus creating new work opportunities for them,” the Minister said. The meeting was held following the shift of the tourism portfolio from the Ministry of Commerce to the Information Ministry.last_img read more

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The Best of World Tourism at OTM Mumbai 2016

first_imgThe world is set for the biggest travel trade show in India – OTM 2016, to be held in Mumbai, India’s largest source market of travel, from February 18 to 20, 2016 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre.Tourism within and out of India provides huge opportunities for the thousands of trade professionals from around the world attending OTM 2016 to buy, sell and be updated.As per data released by India’s Tourism Ministry, it is estimated that in 2015, over 20 million Indians travelled abroad, close to 10 million foreigners came to India and over a billion trips were taken by Indians within the country. The governments at the federal and state levels have prioritised tourism as a key area for the economy.With generous support from Wonderful Indonesia, over 500 trade professionals from Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur and Pune have been pre-qualified for participation in India’s largest hosted buyer programme, to visit the OTM 2016. Additionally, over 3,000 trade visitors have registered their participation online, underscoring the real business value of OTM. The number of such committed buyers is increasing daily in the lead-up to OTM.For the very first time in trade show history, the United Arab Emirates is leading their participation with all its 7 emirates, making them the largest destination exhibitor in OTM 2016. They are joined by several global destinations at OTM 2016 with the keenness to carve a piece of India’s projected 50 million outbound pie – Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Thailand, New Zealand, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao, Bangladesh, Philippines, Maldives, Oman, Bhutan, Seychelles, Israel, Rwanda, Romania, Fiji and Greece are all in place at India’s biggest travel show.Major Indian destinations are not far behind their international counterparts with Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and many other states, present with large number of sellers from each, to showcase India at its best.All segments of travel and tourism industry are increasingly required to use Information and Communication technologies, to stay competitive. TechForum@OTM2016 is India’s first and only specialised business platform connecting technology solution providers to the travel industry.last_img read more

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Jamaica on the verge of a record year in tourism

first_imgJamaica is on track to have a record year in tourism as the island continues to register growth of over five percent for both tourism earnings and visitor arrivals.From January to October 2016, Jamaica recorded earnings of $2.06 billion, which represents an increase of 5.7% over the amount earned for the same period in 2015.The island also registered an increase of 5.1% in visitor arrivals over the same period in 2015, with 3,100,235 total visitors.“The latest figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board are truly proof of the strength of Jamaica’s tourism product. We have consistently recorded growth throughout the year, though over 8,000 potential visitors cancelled their trips due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October,” said Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism. During the first 10 months of 2016, stopover arrivals also increased by 2.3% over the same period in 2015, with 1,786,394 visitors, while cruise arrivals increased by 9.1% over the same period, totalling 1,313,841 cruise passengers.“Our arrival figures and tourism earnings, from January and October of this year, are very positive and an indicator of the considerable impact tourism is having on the growth agenda. Our tourism earnings continue to outpace our arrivals, which is quite significant. It is clear, that we remain on track to have a record year in tourism,” added Bartlett.last_img read more

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Israel witnesses strong growth in visitor arrivals from India

first_imgIsrael, in November 2016, welcomed 5,617 travellers from India, which was 50% more than 2015, thus creating a new record in outbound travel to Israel from India.“I am delighted to see the numbers growing and I am looking forward to see more Indian travellers visiting and exploring Israel,” said Hassan Madah, Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism Office in India.2016 at the Israel Ministry of Tourism has been successful in maintaining the growing travel relationship between India and Israel. Not only did the Israel Ministry of Tourism have a very successful marketing campaign in 2016 through television, newspapers, magazines and multiple digital platforms, they have also seen a growth in travel from India to Israel.Israel saw a growth of five percent in Indian arrivals during the first six months of 2016. In 2015, it achieved a growth of 13.2% by welcoming 39,529 Indian tourists as compared with 34,920 in 2014. Top destinations include Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Dead Sea, etc. Apart from these traditionally popular destinations, Israel is also making efforts to pro-mote new destinations like Akko and Eilat, situated on the shores of Red Sea.last_img read more

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Ethiopian Airlines begins services to Bahrain

first_imgEthiopian Airlines has begun its services to Bahrain effective August 2017 with the latest B737-800 New Generation with Sky Interior. A nation comprising of more than 30 islands in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain has been the center of major trade routes since olden days with growing economy over the past decade.In line with the commencement of Ethiopian services to Bahrain, Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, said, “With the flourishing trade relations between Ethiopia and the Gulf countries, availability of efficient air transport services will surely play great roles in ensuring easy movement of people and import/export items. Currently, Ethiopian flies to major cities in the Middle East including Beirut, Dammam, Doha, Jeddah, Kuwait, Dubai, Madinah, Muscat, Riyadh and Sharjah.”In 2017, new destinations like Victoria Falls, Antananarivo, Oslo, Chengdu, Singapore, Guinea, Windhoek, Moroni, as well as freighter destination like Ahmedabad, a fifth cargo gateway to India, Milan and Zaragoza have joined Ethiopian vast global network.last_img read more

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