Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/23bb0/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> AirAsia has claimed that it is lack of support from the Malaysian government which is holding it back from launching long-haul services into Sydney with its AirAsia X brand.Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO, has confirmed to e-Travel Blackboard that the only thing holding back from launching its direct services from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney was government approval from Malaysia.Initially AirAsia X had planned to launch Sydney services in 2008, but continuous delays and red tape has seen the carrier opt to connect Perth, Melbourne and the Gold Coast first.“It’s confirmed that there won’t be services before June [to Sydney] but that July is possible if AirAsia X is granted approvals by March,” said Mr Osman-Rani.Reports from Malaysia are claiming that one of the key reasons why the government is dragging its feet is due to favouritism of the national carrier Malaysia Airlines, which the government wholly owns.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/25e5d/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> The SkyTeam airline alliance is reportedly in talks with around 12 other airlines, two of whom may be added to the group by the end of the year. In an interview with Bloomberg, SkyTeam said new members were integral to expansion plans in Asia, India and Latin America, but declined to name which carriers were being pursued. Alliance chairman Leo van Wijk admitted only that most of the airlines currently in talks were regional carriers servicing either just one or a few countries. “Latin America is still a relatively wide spot for us,” he said. “It’s not easy to find a partner who covers all of it, so you have to go with multiple partners who cover pieces.” The alliance, which already includes Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France-KLM, gained its 13th member this week with the official induction of Tarom Romanian Air Transport.Vietnam Airlines joined the alliance on June 10 and China Eastern is set to join in the coming months.
The Vietnamese-based budget airline was called Pacific Airlines until 2007, when a 23-per-cent stake was sold to Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. As part of a branding shake-up, the state-owned carrier was renamed Jetstar Pacific Airlines Joint-Stock Aviation Co and given a logo similar to Jetstar Airways Pty, an Australian budget airline launched by Qantas. Previously, Qantas has not raised any objections to Jetstar Pacific’s use of the orange-star logo. Speculation has mounted that the order by the CAAV stems from opposition to the Australian stake in the airline by elements in the Vietnamese government, which still holds 73 per cent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2930a/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered budget carrier Jetstar Pacific to change its orange-star logo and repaint all of its aircraft. “Jetstar Pacific has to do it to avoid customers confusing the Vietnamese airline with Australian carrier Jetstar Airways,” said Deputy Minister of Transportation Pham Quy Tieu.
Dr Handa, George Souris, Emma Matthews, Adrian Collette Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Opera in Sydney will be taken to a new level (sea-level, that is) when Opera Australia presents La Traviata on Sydney Harbour. The new event will start its season on 24 March 2012 and run for the duration of three weeks.The International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) together with Events NSW on behalf of the NSW government have sponsored the event enabling Opera Australia to roll out three annual seasons of which will be known as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.It will be the first opera in Australia to be held on a tailor-made stage built over the water off the Royal Botanical Gardens and, according to Opera Australia, this is there most ambitious project yet.“Opera on Sydney Harbour will be a spectacular event and will focus national and international attention on Sydney,” NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said.”Sydney Harbour will once again become the stage, attracting people from all over the world.” Events NSW on behalf of the government will work with Opera Australia to connect with potential markets across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the USA to encourage tourism to accompany this major opera event.Speaking to e-travelblackboard Opera Australia chief executive Adrian Collette indicated that the opera marked the creation of an event for which Sydney will become known, generating tourism locally, nationally and globally.“A vision of this scale is only possible when it’s a vision shared and we’re very fortunate to have such partners in the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, and Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government,” Mr Collette said.Internationally acclaimed director Francesca Zambello will stage direct the production which will feature Sopranos Emma Mathews and Rachelle Durkin and tenors Ji-Min Park and Gianluca Terranova.“The chance to work with Opera Australia and its wonderful performers to bring La Traviata to the stage is something that I would always consider an exciting undertaking. But staged on the water, under the stars and with that iconic Sydney skyline as a backdrop, this is truly a special opportunity,” Ms Zambello.Tickets will go on sale to the public on 04 July 2011 and price ranges from AUD$85 – AUD$350, dinner and show packages are also available. Opera Australia chief executive Adrian Collette was kind enough to meet with the etravelblackboard team and described the event as a once in a life time opportunity Alan Jones, George Souris The stunning voice of Emma Mathews who plays “Violetta” is regarded as one of Australia’s most outstanding sopranos.
Good things come in pairs at Rotorua’s Hamurana Lodge Boutique Hotel, which has been applauded for its outstanding service for the second year in a row.The lodge has only been open for two years, but has been awarded its second Certificate of Excellence after it was again voted top for service by traveller reviews made through TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website.Since it opened in 2009 the lodge has established a name for itself in Rotorua’s tourism market with innovative product offerings and service excellence.Hotel director Fred Novella says the award comes in the wake of a very busy summer season and again shows the great team effort that goes into providing the best genuine hospitality to the lodge’s guests.“In the past two years, the last five months have been our best and it is with great pleasure that we receive this recognition,” says Mr Novella.“The Excellence Award is a genuine reflection of our team’s efforts as it comes from guests that have experienced our hospitality and the services we provide here at the lodge.”Mr Novella says the award complements the lodge’s number one ranking restaurant in Rotorua, Le Manoir Restaurant.“We are extremely proud of our position in the New Zealand Hotel Industry,” he says.“Our successes to date show that local and international travellers alike are keen to experience luxury in great surroundings but mainly with a team of dedicated professionals.” Source = Hamurana Lodge Boutique Hotel
In an initiative to show the world why there is no where better to celebrate New Year’s Eve than in Sydney, Tourism Australia has launched a social media campaign to capture a short film overnight on New Year’s Eve. Party-goers celebrating the night are urged to capture and share the experience and emotion of welcoming in the New Year with friends and family against the magnificent backdrop of Sydney’s world renowned fireworks display. This latest digital and social media campaign, titled Project:12 features user-generated video clips via the City of Sydney’s NYE iPhone app. The video clips will be promoted globally via Tourism Australia’s Facebook and Twitter sites in the early morning hours of January 1, 2012 before many other parts of the world reach their own 2012 countdown, as well as released on Tourism Australia’s YouTube channel. Tourism Australia is also giving away a BridgeClimb gift certificate for the best video clip submitted City of Sydney’s NYE iPhone app Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W
The Queensland tourism industry has received a massive boost as Gold Coast Airport reports a rise in passenger arrivals, the first year on year gain since the chain of natural disasters that hit last year.Recent figures reveal almost 26,000 more passengers arrived into the Gold Coast Airport in March 2012 than in the same month a year ago.Internationally, 67,023 passengers arrived into Gold Coast Airport in March, up 5.5 percent from last year, and 389,688 domestic passengers, up 5.7 percent.Queensland Airport Limited managing director Dennis Chant said the last 12 months had been a challenging year for the region but there are positive signs for the future ahead.”In the next six months we have more seats allocated to the Gold Coast both domestically and internationally,” Mr Chant said.”The loads are starting to pick up too, particularly out of Japan.”Additionally, Ardent Leisure chief executive officer Greg Shaw who represents theme parks Dreamworld, Skypoint Climb and Water World has reported an increase in visitation for the company’s March quarter.”We are happy with the momentum of the theme park division,” Mr Shaw said.”We are in a much better position than we were in the prior year.”Queensland Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the Gold Coast was turning around and gaining momentum.”The arrival of budget carrier Scoot next month will be another positive boost to our tourism industry,” Ms Stuckey said. Theme Park boss talked of a turnaround in business Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Hoping to dig up gold, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) has announced a step into Australia’s growing mining industry with its new brand offering, Resource Travel Management (RTM).Unveiled this morning, the company said the new brand would help deliver expertise and know-how from the segment that covers up to 30 percent of the company’s business.CTM managing director Jamie Pherous said it was the next logical move for the company and noted it “was time” to launch a brand that catered to specific mining needs.“We have extensive experience in these industries, from mining to oil and gas, to coal, to iron ore – you name it – in Western Australia, in Queensland and also offshore in Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific and now Africa and Mongolia,” Mr Pherous said. “These industries are growing, and they need a lot of assistance because their travel needs are so manual, that is why I am so passionate to be able to give this industry the skill-set, the products and the industry-leading expertise that it needs, and quite frankly deserves, with the launch of RTM.”CTM Queensland general manager Andre Moten said among the key areas in which RTM will assist include emergency situation support, end-to-end logistical solutions and industry expertise.He added that the brand would also offer support and quick responses while assisting with pre-trip approvals and commercial and non-commercial requirements. “RTM and CTM can do all of these things and more. We know we offer the most compelling solution for the resource industry and that no one is really positioned as well as CTM and RTM in their understanding of the resource industry at the moment – we have so many customers in these sectors, so many pieces of technology aligned around the industry – this launch is just the next step in our ongoing investment,” he concluded. Earlier this month CTM also announced its first step into the US, with the acquisition of R&A Travel.Click here for more information.
Leading international airline Emirates has signaled its commitment to Australia’s growing cruise industry by taking on the role of Gold Sponsor for the 2012 Cruise Industry Awards.Presented by the International Cruise Council Australasia, the prestigious annual Cruise Industry Awards event recognises leading cruise travel consultants and agencies from across Australia and New Zealand.ICCA General Manager Brett Jardine said he was delighted to welcome Emirates onboard as the Gold Sponsor of the 2012 Awards night, which will be held in Sydney on February 9, 2013.“Emirates first joined the Council as an associate member in 2007 and, as our cruise line members will attest, has made a point of pro-actively working with the industry to carry Australian passengers to cruise ships around the world,” Mr Jardine said.Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown said the airline was pleased to further strengthen its relationship with the ICCA and to celebrate the achievements of those in the industry.“With a route network that currently includes more than 120 destinations in over 70 countries, and a consistent global service proposition, Emirates is a natural partner for cruising operators worldwide,” Mr Brown said. “In particular, the expansion of Emirates’ European network to more than 30 cities has allowed the airline to build stronger relationships with more cruise professionals, who appreciate the wider flight possibilities for connecting with a variety of European cruise itineraries, conveniently via one-stop in Dubai from Australia.“With the growth of Dubai as a popular cruising destination for Australian travellers in its own right, we look forward to furthering our relationship with the Council in 2012, and supporting our partners as the industry continues to flourish,” Mr Brown said. Source = Emirates
Sydney’s Sofitel Wentworth Hotel played host to an evening of fantastic French photography, creative cuisine and a celebration of all things Champagne-Ardenne.The French Government Tourist Office and Champagne Tourist Office invited special guests and media to enjoy a flamboyant dinner prepared by Michelin chef, Philippe Mille, paired with selected G.H. MUMM champagnes.The menu consisted of a hot and cold haddock soup reduction, black truffle risotto with scallops and a tempting chocolate dessert.The evening featured an engaging performance by famous French cabaret entertainer Pierre Marchand.The region of Champagne-Ardenne is just 45 minutes by train from Paris and contains 34,000 hectares of vineyards, 15,000 growers and over 300 Champagne houses. Special guests in attendance included the president of the regional council of Champagne-Ardenne Jean-Paul Bachy, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy, Australian television presenter Catriona Rowntree and many others. During the month of September, an enlightening Champagne Exhibition, featuring rare and imported vintage and contemporary photographs, prints and posters celebrating the exciting bubbly beverage will be on display at the Sydney Sofitel Wentworth Hotel.Check out images from the spectacular evening below or you can visit our Facebook gallery. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Cyclone Evan has ravaged Samoa and its capital, Apia, on Thursday and now the island nation is bracing for a second bout of turmoil as the storm looks set to return.The Samoan government has declared a state of disaster, issuing gale force wind warnings, the ABC reported.Airports and sea ports across the country have been shut down and home evacuations undertaken.Cyclonic conditions caused power to the island to be cut off, infrastructure damage, trees torn down and flash flooding throughout Apia.Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Taulealea Usunai said weather conditions were expected to intensify once again as the cyclone moves back towards Samoa.“There is a possibility that it may turn around,” Mr Usunai said.“At the moment we are coping, but in calling for international assistance during the cyclone it will be difficult to get help into the country because airports are closed and so are the ports.”Two children are believed to have drowned near Apia Park after flash floods devastated the area.The Disaster Management Office has not confirmed the deaths, but as is traditional in Samoa, families have posted announcements on state radio, advising of the tragedy.The US territory of American Samoa was preparing to be hit but has so far only experienced high winds.Cyclone Evan is thought to be one of the most powerful to hit the Pacific nation in 20 years. Cyclone Evan is set to return to further wreak havoc on Samoa. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Travelport today announced at CAPA’s annual Airline in Transition Aviation event that 100 airlines have already committed to the Travelport Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution.The recently launched merchandising technology is integrated into Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform and enables airlines to effectively retail their products to the global trade.It allows airlines to control how their products are presented to agents in order to help drive ticket sales and boost optional extras such as baggage and lounge passes.Travelport managing director air commerce Derek Sharp said the company is aiming to redefine travel commerce and provide its customers with improved air merchandising solutions.“As a result of our heightened focus in this area, we have been able to transform the traditional air distribution model to offer a suite of unique merchandising solutions, including Rich Content and Branding, which significantly benefit our airline customers as well as our travel agency and TMC partners,” Mr Sharp said.Benefits to travel agencies using the technology include potential increase in sales and up selling opportunities, while still allowing them to continue booking through their preferred processes rather than visiting several airline websites.Airlines that have signed up to Rich Content and Branding include TAP Air Portugal, LATAM Airlines Group and China Eastern.At present, almost 60 of the 100 signed up airlines are already available for booking through Travelport’s Travel Commerce Platform.After winning technology awards last year, Travelport plans to continue focusing on developing and introducing new merchandising solutions to the industry.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson
Source = Sabre Global study reveals travellers would spend $100 on airline ancillariesGlobal study reveals travellers would spend $100 on airline ancillaries to personalise travel experienceHow much are travellers willing to pay for airline ancillary services such as seats, bags and food when travelling? New research from global travel technology company, Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), has found that travellers would drop a hundred dollar bill to make their travel a little more “about me”.Sabre surveyed travellers from 20 countries about what they would spend and why. The results show that 80 percent of travellers purchased air extras on their last trip, spending an average of $62. When asked if they would spend more to personalise their trip, the answer was “yes” – up to $99 if it improved their travel experience.The research was announced at the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Dubai, as part of a Sabre-hosted industry roundtable on how airlines and hotels can deliver more tailored offers and services to customers.Regional differences in ancillary purchases The survey also found differences between what people from different regions would spend on extras, with Africans willing to spend the most and Asia Pacific travellers the least.Africans willing to spend twice as much on airline extras than travellers from Asia PacificWhen asked what they would be most likely to spend money on, the most desired ancillaries were cabin class upgrades, on-board food and beverage and preferred seating and extra leg room – all at 11 percent. This was followed by inflight Wi-Fi (nine percent) and extra checked baggage (nine percent). The popularity of each ancillary varied between travellers from each region, with North Americans and Europeans choosing preferred seating and extra leg room; Latin Americans opting for on-board Wi-Fi, and Asia Pacific travellers selecting extra checked luggage. For travellers from Africa and the Middle East, on-board food and beverage, and fast track security respectively topped their pick.“It’s clear that while there are regional differences in ancillary preferences, 80 percent of all travellers spend on air extras, representing a significant revenue opportunity for airlines,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president EMEA, Airline Solutions, Sabre. “Airlines know what their travellers want based on the data they have of past purchases. Yet so much of this data remains unused today. However, by leveraging the latest technology, airlines can unlock this data and show they know their travellers by offering the right products at the right time and tailoring a personalised experience that will improve customer loyalty and generate much needed revenue.”Personalisation While technology is preferred by most travellers to plan and book travel, human interaction still plays a significant role in some countries. In Latin America, almost half (48 percent) prefer the help of a consultant to plan and book travel, compared to around a third of travellers from other regions – 37 percent in the Middle East, 36 percent in Asia, 35 percent in Africa and North America, and 33 percent in Europe.The study also revealed differences in the time it takes travellers around the world to book trips. African travellers were the fastest planners, with 33 percent saying they spent less than a day planning their last trip, compared to just 12 percent of travellers from Asia Pacific. At the other end of the scale, American travellers were the most likely to plan in advance with nine percent taking longer than a month, compared to just three percent of travellers from Africa and the Middle East.“Both airlines and travel agencies have a role to play in providing travellers with a complete booking service that combines the convenience of technology with the power of human interaction,” said Shelly Terry, vice president, product marketing, Travel Network, Sabre. “Airlines can maximise revenue by leveraging the expertise of travel agencies and ensuring their inventories are conveniently available to passengers through both direct and indirect channels, giving people the choice and freedom to book travel the way it suits them.”The full report can be read and downloaded HERE Sabre
Pullman Luang Prabang partners with local sustainable tourism trailblazersPullman Luang Prabang partners with local sustainable tourism trailblazersSustainability may have been a burning issue — some would even say a buzzword — in the hospitality and tourism sectors in recent years, but for Luang Prabang it is simply part of the ancient city’s fabric.From traditional locally-sourced menus that burst with freshness and flavour to responsible tourism activities that would make the most cynical traveller smile, Laos’ former royal capital prides itself on its mix of rich heritage, local culture and close-knit community that is increasingly hard to find on the 21st-century tourist map. And while many destinations are now attempting to quickly carve out a sustainable reputation Luang Prabang has already chalked up a series of respectable awards for its far-reaching efforts in the last decade.“There are few examples of destinations in which so many positive experiences, such as responsible tourism, sustainable farming and corporate social responsibility initiatives, have grown so organically and are so accessible,” said Denis Dupart, acting general manager of Pullman Luang Prabang.As the most highly-anticipated recent addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s hospitality scene it is only natural then that Pullman Luang Prabang has embraced a raft of sustainable practices — both internally and through a collection of carefully selected local partners.“Alongside the Planet 21 programme, which promotes similar practices throughout the AccorHotels global portfolio, and plans to introduce our own sustainable initiatives at the 16-hectare resort, Luang Prabang offers guests unique, immersive and unforgettable experiences”, added Dupart.One such initiative to be rolled out at Pullman Luang Prabang in 2019 is the introduction of an expansive onsite garden that will supply Executive Chef Marc Comparot with an abundance of fruit and vegetables for his diverse menus. For the time being he makes the almost-daily sunrise pilgrimage to the city’s much-loved morning market to procure most of his ingredients, with the exception of some highly unique — to Laos at least — dairy products. For his mozzarella, ricotta, feta, blue cheese and yoghurt needs, Chef Marc calls on the services of Susie Martin and Rachel O’Shea — or more specifically their 150-plus buffalos.Not content with being the first dairy farm in the country and introducing a brand-new industry, Laos Buffalo Dairy is transforming the way local communities make a living from what were once seen exclusively as beasts of burden. The socially-responsible enterprise also focuses on training farmers how to better care for other animals including pigs, chickens and rabbits and welcomes individuals and groups to experience the interactive farm, dairy facilities and of course the delicious products firsthand.“We love to source locally. It is organic and extremely fresh,” said Chef Marc.The staple food for almost every meal in Laos is, however, found much closer to home. Embedded into the heart of the landscaping, a series of stunning rice terraces take centre stage at the resort. In addition to growing it for use in the dishes at the 123-room hotel’s all-day dining restaurant L’Atelier, Pullman also organises seasonal rice cultivation classes for families and corporate groups. With the harvest recently complete, the rice husks, a byproduct of the cultivation process, were donated to MandaLao Elephant Conservation camp.Another admirable programme that combines responsible tourism, animal conservation and local community involvement, the camp provides small groups intimate interactions with rescued elephants that range from full-day treks through tranquil teak jungles to cooking and feeding them handmade snacks along the banks of the river. Much of the elephant feed is in fact sourced from nearby communities, which provides an often vital source of income for local villagers.If there is a symbol as synonymous with Laos as the elephant (the country after all was once called ‘Lane Xang’, which translates as Land of Million Elephants), it is surely the colourful and often highly intricate traditional fabrics worn throughout the nation. In recent years, these handwoven garments have garnered a great deal of international attention, putting traditional Lao weaving and handicrafts firmly on the map. Much of that fame can be attributed to Ock Pop Tok.Launched in 2000 by local Laos weaver Veo Douangdala and British photographer Jo Smith, what initially began as a small-scale venture selling a handful of designs has evolved into one of the most successful, socially-responsible and sustainable startups in Laos. At the heart of the company is a strong commitment to female empowerment, evident at the Living Crafts Centre, an educational and interactive haven on the banks of the Nam Khan river. The Centre runs a series of immersive individual and group weaving classes, but for those who don’t have time to make the short trip there is an exclusive Ock Pop Tok on-site boutique at Pullman Luang Prabang.“From straightforward, effective measures such as the introduction of locally-made bamboo straws and refillable water bottles to supporting strong, responsible initiatives and local communities, Pullman Luang Prabang is committed to promoting sustainable practices throughout the resort and with our partners through the city,” said Dupart.“An exclusive 2-day itinerary including visits to Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, MandaLao Elephant Camp and Ock Pop Tock can be booked through the hotel’s Tour Desk managed by Trails of Indochina. The rate starts at USD141 per person.”AccorHotels currently has five hotels in Laos including three properties in Luang Prabang and two in Vientiane. Usual rate at Pullman Luang Prabang starts at USD135++ per night for the Deluxe Room.For more information, please visit www.pullman-luangprabang.com, email H9112@accor.com, or contact +856 71 211 112 for general enquiries or reservations.Pullman Luang Prabang Sustainability Partners: https://ockpoptok.com/ https://mandalaotours.com/ http://www.laosbuffalodairy.com/About PullmanPullman Hotels & Resorts delivers an experience that is upscale, upbeat and perfectly in tempo with the global zeitgeist. Against the backdrop of today’s fast paced life, Pullman helps guests be at their best, in business and at leisure, enabling them to seamlessly conduct business, explore the locale, workout and make connections – to the neighborhood and people around them. Retaining the values of exploration, comfort and dependability that drove it to become a pioneering travel brand over 150 years ago, Pullman today features more than 120 worldwide properties including Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, Pullman Park Lane Hong Kong, Pullman Shanghai South, Pullman London St Pancras and Pullman Sao Paulo Vila Olimpia. Pullman is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travelers to feel welcome at more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.pullmanhotels.com | accorhotels.com Source = Pullman Luang Prabang