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Ajman Tourism revenues reached nearly Dh300 million in 2014, compared to Dh220 million in 2013. The number of hotel and hotel apartments’ guests in 2014 increased to 850,000, compared to about 600,000 in the previous year.

Association of Leading Visitor Attractions announced its members’ visitor figures for 2014 which saw an average increase of 6.5 per cent on 2013 visitor numbers. Scottish attractions had the greatest increase of almost 10 per cent, followed by London with an increase of 7.11 per cent. The British Museum remained the most popular visitor attraction overall for the 8th year running with 6,695,213 visitors and remaining in 2nd place was the National Gallery, which saw a 6.4 per cent increase to 6,416,724.

ATP Instone has announced a new contract to manage the worldwide travel programme for Aberdeen-based Sparrows Group. The appointment follows a six month tender process which will deliver one single travel management programme for Sparrows Group.

AVIAREPS has been appointed by Marriott International as its representative in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and an additional nine Southeast European countries including; Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Austria is confident of boosting tourist arrivals from India in 2015. In 2014, 85,000 Indians went to Austria, spending 170,000 overnights, making for an average of a 1.9-day stay.

Ajman Tourism Development Department said that it plans to establish Emirate’s first tourism information centre in 2015. The centre will include a reception area that offers tourism information about Ajman and answers to visitors’ questions.

Amadeus is launching a share buyback, on which it will spend up to €320 million ($397 million). The firm said it aims to buy back no more than 12.5 million shares, equivalent to about 2.79 percent of its capital.

Association of Caribbean States, on behalf of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), hosted a meeting of Regional Tourism Agencies at its headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The meeting was themed “Sustainable Tourism: Building Bridges for Co-operation and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean Promoting Community- based Tourism for Diversification and Competitiveness.”

Accor plans to spend €225 million between 2014 and 2018 to build up its digital business in response to the challenge from onli
Amadeus announced that group Revenue increased by 9.4 percent to reach €2,585.0 million and EBITDA grew by 9.3 percent to become €1,037.5 million, driving adjusted profit growth of 9.0 percent to €557.2m.

Australia welcomed 6.7 million visitors in the 12 month period ending August 2014, an increase of 8.2 percent when compared to the same period the previous year. Of the total, 666,900 visitors arrived from the UK representing a 5.7 percent increase on the previous 12 months.

Africa’s international tourist numbers grew by three percent in recovery consolidated in North Africa (+4 percent). This is contained in the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer, released for the first half of the year 2014.

Abu Dhabi’s 156 hotels and hotel apartments have reported that from January to September end, 2,498,672 guests checked into the emirate’s accommodation, a 26 percent year-on-year increase.

Abu Dhabi hotels have recorded the best August guest arrivals to date with 306,890 guests staying in Abu Dhabi’s 156 hotels and hotel apartments delivering 877,819 guest nights a 24 percent year-on-year rise.

Associated Luxury Hotels International has launched ALHI Global Luxury Alliance (GLA) as a strategic global resource addition to the extensive luxury-level portfolio it has served throughout North America for nearly 30 years.

Australia’s tourism departments venture ‘The Indigenous Tour program’, in partnership with the State and Territory Tourism Organisations, looks to build the reputation of Indigenous tourism operators internationally through the marketing of ‘Champion’ product.Currently, 14 percent of international visitors to Australia participate in an Aboriginal cultural experience during their visit, worth $5.6 billion annually.

Amadeus reports year-on-year financial and operating results for the first half of 2014. Adjusted profit for the period grew 8.9 percent to €380.6 million. This was backed by an increase in revenue of 8.5 percent, to €1,730.9 million, and an EBITDA growth of 8.8 percent, to €702.6 million.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and Etihad Airways are planning to spread out their successful ‘Access Abu Dhabi trade engagement programme’ to five new destinations this year thus taking the campaign’s outreach to a total of ten countries across four continents. During this year, the programme will be exposed to promising partners in China, France, Italy, Brazil and the USA. The campaign has already notched up significant success with hotel guest booking hikes from its initial target markets of Germany, the UK, Russia, India and Australia. The organizers are expecting a target of 3.1 million guest arrivals and guest night uplift of ten per cent annual compounded growth in 2014.
Abacus, the leading travel technology provider in Asia Pacific, is now powering, one of the fastest growing online travel agencies in India with over four crore customers and a strategy that is establishing the brand across the region. Adopting Abacus global distribution system front and mid office solutions, is scaling its domestic and international operations. Recently awarded the ‘Best Online Corporate Travel Solutions Provider in India,’ the company is deploying Abacus to maintain its edge with the most technically demanding corporate accounts, while improving compliance to travel policy terms.

Autogrill, the world’s leading operator of restaurants at airports and motorways, reported flat core earnings for the third quarter. The company informed that the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the three months ended September stood at EUR€149.2 million (USD$200 million) compared with 150.1 million in the same period during the previous year. Revenues fell slightly to EUR€1.1 billion as compared with EUR€1.15 billion last year.The group confirmed it expected its food business to report a full-year EBITDA of between EUR€315 million and EUR€325 million, lower than last year., one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group, has announced a brand new partnership with Virgin Australia which will give the airline’s customers instant access to’s global inventory of hotels, including over 5 million customer reviews. Members of Virgin Australia’s award-winning loyalty program ‘Velocity Frequent Flyer’ will also earn Velocity Points on accommodation in over 37,000 cities worldwide.

Australia’s tourism industry, driven by resurgence in domestic travel and growth in the Asian market, is on track to be worth at least $115 billion by 2020. In accordance with a new research, Australia’s tourism industry is right on track to cast at least $115 billion by 2020. The sector was worth $69 billion in 2010 when it was predicted to grow to $97 billion within a decade. According to Andrew McEvoy, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, Tourism Australia’s vision is that the industry will be worth between $115 billion and $140 billion by 2020.

Africa Hotel Investment Forum delegates in Nairobi recently declared poaching to be the greatest threat to Africa’s tourism industry and branded poachers as Africa’s greatest public enemy.Some five per cent of all AHIF revenues are being given to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which looks after orphaned baby elephants and rhinos, including those whose parents have been butchered by poachers, and it has several anti poaching initiatives.

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), in consultation with its stakeholders and the Western Region Development Council, has launched a map of Al Gharbia. The map enables visitors to easily explore some of the UAE’s most dramatic desert and coastal scenery featuring 3D representations of attractions, including detailed plotting of the eight early 19th century forts and towers across the oasis town of Liwa. In addition, the map includes details of the archaeological and conservation destination of Sir Bani Yas Island, home to one of Arabia s largest wildlife reserves with more than 10,000 free roaming animals.

Arab tourists have reportedly spent £1.3 billion in London on purchases. Initial estimates on foreign tourist purchases in London during this summer season are estimated to be worth £4 billion. Official statistics have not yet been disclosed. The contribution of Arab citizens to this figure is estimated to be worth £1.3 billion, says the British Commercial Association.

Arab tourism sector, according to Bandar Al-Fuhaid, Director of the Arab Tourism Organization (ATO), has recorded a $ 15 billion loss as a result of the Arab Spring, in addition to the loss of around 10 million tourists.

Amadeus has ‘published its 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report reviewing the company’s business and performance in 2012 from a sustainability perspective. The document, which has been granted the Application level A+ by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), analyses the economic, environmental and social impacts of Amadeus’ business, as well as its contribution to help meeting sustainability objectives.

Arcari Travel, an award winning travel agency based in Lima, Peru, has announced a range of new family-friendly tour itineraries for summer 2013. Responding to increasing demand for family-oriented experiences in Peru, Aracari Travel has developed two itineraries that incorporate the destinations, accommodations and activities that are most suited to younger families with children aged up to 12 years old as well as families with children aged 13 years and older.

Andhra Pradesh has bagged the best state award for comprehensive development of tourism in the rest of India category of National Tourism Award 2011-12. The Best Heritage city award has gone to Warangal of Andhra Pradesh. Amritsar Heritage Walk and Delhi Heritage Walk have been declared joint winner of the best Heritage Walk Award. Union Tourism Minister of India, Mr. Chiranjeevi said every year the categories of awards are reviewed with new categories being added to recognize excellence in diverse fields, in accordance with the requirements of changing times. He said it is an ongoing endeavour of the Ministry to diversify the tourism products of the country by developing and promoting new niche segments, so as to attract different categories of tourists with diverse interests and to promote India as a year-round destination. In keeping with this thrust of the Ministry, new categories of awards for “Medical Tourism Facilities” and for “Tour Operators Promoting Niche segments” had been introduced in 2011.

airberlin announced flights to 150 destinations to assist travelers and exhibitors from many countries to come to Berlin. From 6th to 10th March visitors from all over the world will be converging on Berlin for the International Travel Trade Show, ITB Berlin. Germany’s second largest airline, airberlin operates flights connecting 150 destinations in 40 countries.

ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers’ fourth meeting (4th M-ATM+India) was held on 21 January 2013 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2013 (ATF 2013). In 2011, the number of tourist arrivals between ASEAN and India recorded steady growth, with the total number of tourist arrivals from India to ASEAN recorded a total of 2.7 million arrivals and arrivals from ASEAN to India recorded a total of 521,755. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Vision Statement of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held on 20 December 2012 in New Delhi, India, particularly on enhancing the ASEAN Connectivity through supporting the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. The Ministers also supported the close collaboration of ASEAN and India to enhance air, sea and land connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and India through ASEAN-India connectivity project.

Australian Tourism Minister Mr. Martin Ferguson has called for direct air connectivity between India and Australia to boost tourism. Both the Ministers of tourism of Australia and India expressed their resolve to strengthen bilateral tourism cooperation. Referring to the recent road shows organized by India Tourism in Australia, the tourism minister of India Mr. Chiranjeevi expressed the hope that such shows will contribute to more tourist inflow from Australia.

ASTA is praising the House of Representatives for its unanimous passage of The No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012 to eliminate duplicative baggage screening for passengers arriving in the U.S. from so-called “preclearance” airports connecting to domestic flights. The bill, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in the Senate and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) in the House, had passed the Senate (also unanimously) on November 29, and now heads to President Obama’s desk.
Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) is organising its 10th Annual Convention in Guwahati, from January 20-22, 2013. The theme of the convention this year is – “India’s Unexplored Paradise”. ATOAI seeks to use the convention as a meaningful and useful platform to showcase North-East India as an adventure destination to both domestic as well as the international tourism fraternity. The convention will focus on creating a platform for the travel fraternity for new networking opportunities and providing an environment for learning workshops. The convention will also provide knowledge exchange and brain storming sessions for the delegates to enhance efficiency levels and providing enhanced infrastructure for the adventure tourism industry.
ASTA praised the California Legislature and commended its California members for their efforts to secure passage of a bill (AB 2354) that permits travel agents to offer and disseminate travel insurance under the license of the “limited lines” insurance producer it works with, as long as certain consumer protections are followed. The bill, signed into law by the Governor and effective from Jan. 1, 2013, significantly reduces excessive burden on California travel agencies while offering greater transparency for consumers.
ASTA is praising its members for their grassroots efforts after a decision by the Massachusetts Legislature not to move forward with two bills that would have had a negative impact on the state’s travel agencies before the end of its formal sessions on July 31. The fact that the Legislature backed off these bills is due in large part to the Massachusetts travel agents who answered ASTA’s grassroots calls to action, as well as the hard work of the leadership of ASTA’s New England Chapter, including President Gabe Garavanian and Immediate Past President and Chapter ASTAPAC Chairman Mike Spinelli. “Fighting punitive bills like these and preventing discriminatory, burdensome regulation from being applied to travel agents is one of ASTA’s top priorities,” said ASTA President and Chair Nina Meyer. “On behalf of the thousands of travel agency small-business owners in Massachusetts and across the country, ASTA commends the Legislature for its decision and stand ready to work with state legislators toward a stronger travel industry and safe, affordable and enjoyable travel experiences for the American public.” Meyer added.
AVIAREPS, the world leader in tourism and airline management, has been appointed by VISIT FLORIDA as its representative in India. With immediate effect, AVIAREPS will be responsible for carrying out all Sales, Marketing and Public Relations activities in India on behalf of the state’s official tourism marketing corporation.
Abacus International, Asia Pacific’s leading provider of travel solutions and services has entered into a partnership arrangement with Kabul Star Technologies to gain entry into the Afghanistan market. Afghanistan will be the 31st market for Abacus.
ASTA’s Travel Retailing & Destination Expo (ASTA-LA) will deliver a fresh approach to traditional travel trade shows, combining targeted, revenue-boosting sessions and the opportunity for high-level networking to provide travel agents a combination of new business contacts and enhanced sales skills to help them better run their businesses. Agents may choose from a series of high-level educational courses, including three courses taught by Microsoft-certified expert trainers, each providing agents with real-life skills they can use to control expenses, balance their bottom line and fuel new business opportunities.
Amaya Resorts & Spas has introduced a new camping site inside the park where travelers and tourists gets to experience the wild in all its element creating an opportunity for wild life enthusiast to enjoy Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park in all its glory.
Amadeus and Expedia, Inc. signed a multi-year content and technology agreement for North America. The agreement provides Expedia with Amadeus’ fare search technologies for air travel among other products, as well as access to global travel supplier content through the Amadeus system.
ASTA announced a new enhancement to its ongoing educational programming–a series of webcasts hosted by Microsoft, each designed to strengthen and enhance user knowledge and understanding of Microsoft Office System tools. “These webcasts are designed to give agents hands-on business productivity training, taught by Microsoft experts,” said ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar. “We also are working with Microsoft to develop additional content for the Travel Retailing & Destination Expo in Los Angeles this September, as well as other initiatives that will be announced shortly.”
Amadeus has signed a five-year agreement with UNIGLOBE Travel, the world’s largest single-brand travel franchise, to provide content distribution services and IT solutions worldwide. This five year contract renewal will extend UNIGLOBE TMC access to Amadeus inventory of 430 bookable airlines, over 110,000 hotel properties, 30 car rental companies and 22 of the world’s cruise lines.
ASTA joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in opposition to a proposed increase in the UK Air Passenger Duty. The tax, while expected to add £2.8 billion ($4.4 billion) in additional taxes to UK government coffers, is also forecast to dampen the demand for travel and ultimately would harm not only the UK economy but also those countries to which the British travel most frequently, including the United States and Caribbean nations.
ASTA continued its record of success in its fight against anti-travel agent tax provisions at the state level with the defeat of the “Oregon SB 1519.” This bill, had it passed, would have imposed occupancy taxes on service fees charged by travel agents and other intermediaries for hotel bookings made in the state.
Abacus International now boasts the largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC), Hybrid and Regional airline portfolio in Asia Pacific. With a year-on-year growth of 27 per cent in 2011 against 2010, Abacus expects growth in this portfolio to continue.
ASTA’s eighth annual International Destination Expo (IDE) in Dubai, is scheduled for April 3-7, 2013. Through its International Destination Expo, ASTA continues its global push to provide certified destination training with the vital skills to market their business and increase sales.
ANA relies on myIDTravel, Lufthansa Systems’ integrated ID travel management solution for staff travel. With the integrated ID travel management solution, ANA can introduce self-service e-ticketing for flights of staff members between ANA and other airlines.
Amadeus IT Holding, S.A., parent company of the Amadeus Group, a leading transaction processor and provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry, has announced its profit for the full year increased 20.7% to reach €487.2 million. This was backed by growth in like-for-like revenue of 5.8% to €2,712.0 million and a 6.4% improvement in EBITDA to €1,039.0 million.
American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) announced the creation of the Joining Forces Travel Industry Coalition. As part of a national initiative to honor, recognize and support military families, led by First Lady Michelle Obama, this ASTA-led coalition will aggregate veteran and military-spouse hiring commitments from travel industry firms.
ASTA released the results of its 2011 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report, a 63-page study designed to assist agencies in evaluating their current GDS contracts and help industry suppliers gain insight into the travel agency distribution channel. Among its key findings, the study found that for the first time since 2008, the percentage of agencies reporting increased bookings (34%) through their GDS was higher than those seeing a decrease (24%), a signal of a sustained economic recovery. This report also confirms the value of the GDS distribution to the travel agency industry.
Assam grows by 11% in domestic tourism; receives 45 lakh domestic tourists in 2011 against 40 lakh in 2010. There has been a spurt of domestic tourists in Assam. Last year the state received 45 lakh domestic tourists and 15,000 foreign tourists compared to the 40,50,924 number in domestic tourists.
ASTA released the results of its exclusive 2011 Technology and Web Usage Report, which found that a substantial number of travel agents are using elements of Web 2.0 to enhance their networking and marketing efforts. Now in its seventh year, the survey is the only report of its kind that specifically looks at online booking revenue, Internet usage, Web 2.0 marketing, and website development from the agency’s’ point of view.
ASTA announced that it has released its sixth annual Supplier-Travel Agent Marketing Report. Among the key findings, 94 percent of respondents ranked “reputation/quality of product” as the most important factor when selecting a preferred supplier.
Amadeus and American Airlines have reached a medium-term agreement to extend the previous agreement for full content. Under the medium-term agreement, Amadeus travel agencies will continue to have access to American Airlines fares and inventory with no change from the previous agreement.
Amadeus announced that it has reached a new multi-year extension agreement with United Airlines into 2013 which guarantees that their full range of content will be available for sale through the Amadeus system and includes distribution of the carrier’s Economy Plus seating.
American Express has announced two new benefits to the American Express Corporate Platinum Card to help business travelers get through airports quickly and stay connected during flights.
Amadeus announced nine distribution agreements implemented in 2011 with low-cost and hybrid carriers that improve travel agents’ access to the inventory, schedules and fares of over 74 million seats sold annually by these nine airlines. Amadeus has signed distribution agreements with Air Arabia (Maroc), Air Méditerranée, flydubai, Porter Airlines and Vision Airlines.
ASTA members expect to see a stronger profit in 2011 and 2012–on par with 2008 profit levels—according to an ASTA survey conducted this summer, which asked travel agency members about their revenue and transaction volume, sales per travel segment, and their expected profits. “The good news is that most agencies are on track to realize a stronger 2011 than prior year. Market weakness is still apparent, as recent upheaval in the stock market evidenced, however travel agencies have proven themselves to be extremely resilient and adept at adapting to changing forces,” said Tony Gonchar, ASTA CEO.
ASTA’s recent Travel Retailing & Destination Expo in Las Vegas saw the travel industry’s best and brightest come together at ASTA’s annual black-tie Advocacy Dinner, sponsored by Sabre Travel Network. The event, which celebrates ASTA’s influence in shaping the policies affecting the retail travel business, continues to build upon its success as was evidenced by the fact that this year’s event saw a 54-percent rise in attendance by top travel industry executives from 159 to 245. “Each and every day, ASTA demonstrates its ability to positively influence key legislators and policymakers on issues affecting the retail travel marketplace, but it is through events such as these that we are able to bring the agency industry’s collective fire-power under one roof and thank them for their support of ASTA and our initiatives,” said Tony Gonchar, ASTA CEO.
American Express Global Business Travel announced the launch of Mobile Communications Management (MCM), a dynamic, visual traveler tracking and integrated two-way messaging solution. This new capability can assist companies in promptly locating employee travelers and communicating to them on the spot to offer direct assistance in times of travel disruption.
ASTA’s Travel Retailing & Destination Expo (Las Vegas, Sept 11-13) will be the place to be when the travel’s best and brightest come together at two select events—ASTA’s annual black-tie Advocacy Dinner, sponsored by Sabre Travel Network, which celebrates ASTA’s influence in shaping the policies affecting the retail travel business, and the new, invitation-only Leadership Luncheon, sponsored by Hertz Rent-a-Car, which will recognize the industry’s leading entities and ASTA’s strongest supporters.
Amer Group Egyptian real estate company has established new companies in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia to focus on tourism and property development. The companies, which are 99 percent owned by Amer Group Holding, will include two in Egypt, one in Saudi Arabia and one in Syria Pyramids, with capital worth EGP5 million Egyptian pounds (USD$838,900), will develop a 102,000 square-metre project including 240 residential villas near the Pyramids of Giza.
Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga has scooped the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2011 for Best Small Hotel and Best Sustainable Hotel in both the Thailand and Asia Pacific categories in another milestone achievement for the luxury boutique resort.
ASTA is offering U.S and international travel agents the chance to become an ASTA member and take $50 off their first year’s membership dues. “This is a terrific chance for travel agents to experience all that ASTA provides to its members and save a little money in the process. This membership offer is just one of the many ways in which Marriott demonstrates its understanding of the value travel agents provide consumers and suppliers alike,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo.
ACCOR, the European leader in hotels, has signed an agreement with India’s leading general sales agent, Connect-Worldwide to strengthen its distribution in India. Connect-Worldwide will be responsible for increasing sales among Retail Travel Agents and Small and Medium Enterprises. Accor has also introduced a call centre number for Travel Agents, 1860 500 1010 and has optimized the websites and for ease of use. These initiatives will lend support to the existing booking channel of Accor is keen to further develop domestic sales in India to accompany the development target of opening 90 hotels by 2015 in the country.

ASTA, said that the final rules announced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections rulemaking were, with two important exceptions, a triumph for air travelers and those who sell to them.

Amadeus, announced that it has agreed to dissolve a contract under which United Airlines previously planned to migrate onto the Amadeus Altéa Suite in 2013.

ASTA asked its travel agent members for their best honeymoon destination recommendations Hawaii and the Caribbean came out on top. Not surprisingly, the top five ranked destinations all offer sunshine, tropical beaches and the promise of adventure.

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has identified 5 sites including Kadem, Brahmasagar, Gundlakamma, Yeleru and Priyadarshini Jurala, for creating facilities like jetties & boating, food courts, accommodation and other ancillary facilities under the public private partnership


Amadeus, a leading transaction processor and provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry, today announced that it has agreed to dissolve a contract under which United Airlines previously planned to migrate onto the Amadeus Altéa Suite in 2013. Following United Airlines’ decision to merge with Continental Airlines, and as part of its overall integration efforts, the airline has decided to migrate to Continental Airlines’ existing IT system and will review its alternatives for a long-term IT solution in due course. Therefore, United will not be continuing with its planned implementation of the Amadeus Altéa Suite. United Airlines will make a one-time payment to Amadeus in consideration of the change in plans. The two companies intend to continue working closely together to pursue opportunities for partnership in the future.

Accor North America (ANA), one of the largest hotel chain owner and operators in North America, announces changes to its leadership structure. Olivier Poirot, CEO of Accor North America, Motel 6 and Studio6, will assume responsibility for the Novotel network in Canada and for Accor operations in Mexico

American Express Global Business Travel announces a new traveler information enhancement to its leading compliance tool Pre-Trip Auditor (PTA). The PTA solution offers companies various options of enforcing traveler compliance through methods such as automatically sending notifications to travelers when they’ve booked out of policy, to having itineraries sent to a traveler’s manager for approval before the trip is ticketed. Now, for travelers, it will also send relevant trip notifications by pushing information related, but not limited to visa/passport information for international travel, company incentives or programs, industry advisories on high-risk destinations, recommendations for virtual meeting options, and how to utilize enterprise mobile applications while on trip.
Aegean Airlines, Greece’s largest carrier, swung to a 2010 net loss of of EUR€23.3 million (USD$32.5 million), hit by the country’s debt crisis and recession. “Weak domestic demand conditions, the subsequent significant reduction in average fare and the rise in the price of fuel were the main contributors to the loss,” it said.Aegean’s 2010 revenue fell 5 percent to EUR€591 million.
Amadeus has released version 14.0 of its flagship e-Travel Management solution, the self-booking tool for corporations. The new version, which is available globally, includes a range of enhanced features including the new Travel Arranger Workspace.
ASTA has extended an exclusive offer to Puerto Rico travel agents to attend the International Destination Expo on Saturday, April 16.
Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, and Germanwings, one of the most successful low cost airlines in Europe, announced the launch of a new distribution solution that will enable Germanwings to offer travel agencies more flexible travel options as well as comprehensive ticketing services.

Axis Bank, India’s third largest private bank recently announced the launch of India Travel Card, India’s first and only Indian Currency prepaid travel card for foreign nationals and non-resident Indians travelling to India.

Axis Bank, announced the launch of INDIA TRAVEL CARD, India’s first and only Indian Currency prepaid travel card for foreign nationals and non-resident Indians travelling to India. The India Travel Card will initially be available at select Axis Bank branches in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai as well as a large network of money changers.
Abercrombie & Kent, India, recently announced two strategic outbound divisions. The A&K India Private Travel, mainly focussing on the B2B segment, has been set up to introduce A&K’s global luxury offerings to the experience seekers and high profile travelers from India. Whereas the MICE division will cater to the demands of fast growing outbound MICE movements from India.

ASTA announced that it has completed an extensive update to its popular Green Guides for travel agents and suppliers to reflect ongoing changes in the eco-friendly travel arena. “The travel industry continues to evolve quickly when it comes to sustainability, and many suppliers have developed a strong ‘green’ program.

American Express Global Business Travel has won through November 2010 more than $2.3 bn in new managed travel business with clients spanning from small and mid-sized companies to large market, multinational and global businesses worldwide. Transaction volumes are also on the rise and have seen double-digit growth globally. For client contracts up for re-signing, it was also reported that renewed client business accounted for $3.2 billion year-to-date

Air New Zealand and Sabre Travel Network have introduced Sabre Branded Fares to Sabre Connected travel agents who can now shop and book the airline’s branded fares. This enables the airline to market its products consistently with its own website.

ASTA’s latest research study, the 2009 Travel Agency Service Fee Report, found that 41 percent of responding agencies are charging consultation fees for some type of custom travel, and a much smaller percentage is also charging fees for information given over the phone (12 percent) or in an e-mail (17 percent).

Amadeus IT has seen year-on-year profits jump by a third in the first nine months of 2010. Net profit hit €355mn driven by higher sales from the company’s IT Solutions arm while distribution used by airlines to relay ticket information to travel agencies and customers, saw a 10 percent rise in sales to above €1.5bn.
American Express is launching a new travel rewards Card – the Blue Sky Preferred Credit Card. The new Card is the first to offer travelers an annual $100 Airline Allowance to cover fees such as checked baggage, in-flight meals, entertainment or Wi-Fi purchases on any airline spending. Amadeus has introduced Amadeus OneClick, an online application that enables corporate users to quickly locate and contact travelling employees in the event of an emergency, travel disruption or for an important corporate message.

Abacus International, gained further ground in Kazakhstan by signing an exclusive agreement with Sapsan Air. In the first quarter of 2011, Abacus-connected travel agents can look forward to the ability to book and ticket Sapsan Air content through an integrated user-friendly guided workflow.

American Express Canada made a major play in the Canadian travel rewards landscape with the launch of the American Express Gold Rewards Card. The Card represents a new concept in the travel rewards marketplace and is designed to give Cardmembers more choice and freedom from the limitations associated with other programs. “We designed the Card to be the solution to the frustrations people have when it comes to redeeming points,” says Trevor Van Nest, Vice President, Consumer Marketing for American Express Canada. “We’ve taken the best elements of the various choices of reward programs in Canada, paired them with a very rich points earning rate and then put it all into one Card. This way, consumers get the benefits of rewards travel and none of the hassle when using or transferring their points.”
Atlas Travel International expects to streamline processes, eliminate manual work and increase reservation processing time dramatically by implementing GDSX’s COMPLEAT and CETAS software. The COMPLEAT and CETAS programs by GDSX, Ltd. Allow agents and business travelers to work together more efficiently and save money on travel costs. Atlas plans to use COMPLEAT not just for its standard functionality but to use some functionality that other TMCs don’t.

Atlas Travel International will soon offer its business travel clients a smartphone-based itinerary and productivity application through an agreement with Concur, a technology provider whose on-demand services help companies increase efficiency and manage employee spend. Concur announced the agreement at the 2010 National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Convention in Houston. This is the first time Atlas has offered services that can be received via smartphones.

ASTA presented its Allied Member of the Year Award to Julius Robinson, vice president of global sales intermediaries for Marriott International and Chairman of Marriott’s Innovention Network for his outstanding contributions to the travel industry. Each year, ASTA acknowledges one of its Allied members for having positively impacted the travel agency community.
Abacus, recently announced its new tie up with Net Trans to offer travel agencies a total solution for the collection; recovery and reconciliation of hotel commissions that may see travel agencies increase their revenues from hotel commissions between 30-50 per cent within a year. By partnering Net Trans, Abacus will help travel agencies outsource this task to a professional company with the expertise and market knowledge to methodically follow up with the hotels. With this system in place, travel agencies have the peace of mind to devote their time and energy on providing superior travel experiences to their customers and boosting their bottom line.
Atout France, France tourism development agency, launched its first French Specialist training sessions in six major cities in July 2010 to widen the knowledge of Indian travel agents about France as a tourist destination. The training programme conducted by Atout France in association with Amadeus India, also had four partners on board including Air France, Rail Europe, Accor Hospitality and the Rhône Alpes Regional Tourist Board.

Abacus, a leading provider of travel solutions and services, has announced its partnership with ACE Travel Insurance to distribute insurance products to all Abacus-connected travel agents. During the first phase, travel agents across the Asia region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Thailand will be able to access the content via Abacus’ fully integrated travel insurance booking solution, Abacus TravelSecure. In the second phase, the insurance product will be available to other Asia Pacific markets as well.

American travel and tourism products organized an interactive travel trade seminar ‘Destination USA 2010: Travel Trade Seminar’ on July 7th, 2010 at the Marriott Courtyard in Ahmedabad in an effort to showcase the United States of America as a top notch tourist destination. The seminar witnessed informative presentations by NYC & Company – the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Disney Cruise Lines Continental airlines, Globus – Cosmos family of brands and Marriott International.

Abacus, Asia’s leading provider of travel solutions and services, had announced the launch of the enhanced Abacus TicketingExpress, an automated pricing and ticketing solution that allows travel agencies to manage pricing and ticket issuance more efficiently.

Amadeus is launching a new car booking tool which uses cutting-edge technology to power a user-friendly interface. Travel agents using the Amadeus Selling Platform will be able to access Cars Plus in any one of the 10 languages supported by our global booking solution.
ASTA has and will continue to work closely with the TSA to notify members through member alerts and updates, of upcoming changes and deadlines that impact the travel agency community and the traveling public.

AVIA, the new boutique hotel collection with locations in Savannah, Georgia; Napa and Long Beach, California; and The Woodlands, an area just north of Houston, Texas, is offering a radiant summer escape – AVIA Shines – now through September 6.

ASTA released the results of its 2009 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report. A major trend in GDS contracts, the report found, is the movement of agencies away from fixed-rate based contracts to “no-minimum” and productivity-based contracts, allowing agencies greater flexibility in how and when they use their GDS for booking. The report is the only one of its kind that specifically examines GDS usage, contracts and distribution trends from the agencies’ point of view and takes a close look at the reasons agencies use GDSs.

Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, announced record performance of its airline IT business and strategy highlights for 2010. Amadeus’ airline IT division has seen a strong uptake of its flagship solution, the Altéa Suite, which enables airlines to seamlessly manage their customers from their shopping experience to check-in. Over the course of 2009, Amadeus’ data centre processed 238 million passengers boarded from airlines using Altéa, 23% more than in the previous year. This represents 11% of the world’s air traffic .

Abacus, the leading GDS provider, has recently unveiled the latest version of Abacus Whiz in India, with an objective to provide travel agencies with greater automation and efficiencies in work processes. According to the company sources, Abacus Whiz is a Windows-based system that gives travel consultants easy access to Abacus’ GDS and other travel content. The new version of Abacus Whiz consists of new features such as the enhanced re-issue mask that automates re-pricing and calculates the difference in fares and taxes automatically.
ASTA announced the names of featured debaters and discussion leaders for the 2010 Retail Travel Leadership Summit (Sept. 13, 8:00 a.m.-11 a.m.). The summit will be held at this year’s THETRADESHOW (Orlando, Sept. 12-14). The exclusive audience of senior level executives, select media and industry representatives will hear debates on such topics as whether cross-selling enriches or harms a business, the employee model versus the independent contractor business model and what the impact of airline unbundling will be on the future of travel distribution. “This year’s roster of panelists, in addition to the controversial subject matter, will no doubt lead to a lively debate,” said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. “This group of experienced travel professionals will shed light on some of the industry’s most challenging issues. I, for one, am looking forward to learning more about each of these issues.”

ASTA has come out in strong support of the announcement by iTrek—the Australian travel insurance provider that had launched a much-decried ‘Travel Agents Are Dead’ film contest—that it would stop its negative marketing campaign.

Andhra Pradesh has launched an Approach Paper for rural tourism to educate tour operators and travel agents so as to enable them to market rural tourism products most effectively. Further, for promotion of rural tourism and marketing it both at the domestic and international level, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) will take initiatives at the centre to have better inter-ministerial coordination.

Amadeus and Iberia, the leading airline in Spain and the European-Latin American market, have agreed to extend their full content agreement until 2014. The agreement guarantees travel agents worldwide access to the entire range of Iberia content through Amadeus.

Amadeus has recently announced the launch of the Amadeus Ticket Changer. According to Ankur Bhatia, managing director, Amadeus India, Amadeus Ticket Changer is a multi-carrier international solution that gives customers a flexibility and reactivity to all their itinerary change needs.

Abacus International has announced the introductions of four innovative solutions – ButterFly, Web Office, Bargain Finder Max and eServices in Taiwan to give Abacus-connected agencies a head start in the recovering travel industry.
American Express Business Travel announced the results of its 2009 European Barometer, during its 19th Espace Voyages Professionnels (EVP) in Paris, the leading business travel event in Europe. The Barometer highlights the impact of the global economic crisis has had on business travel expenditure, revealing an 18% fall in budgets reported on average. Sixty-six percent of companies report a reduction (-31%) of their travel budgets, 23% have witnessed no change and a mere 11% have noted an increase (of +23%).
Accor, Vietnam’s largest international hotel operator, has announced the development of the Novotel Saigon Centre. The 350 room hotel is to be built in the city centre in District 1 and is scheduled to open in 2012.

ADTOI (Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India) has decided to theme its forthcoming convention as domestic tourism – foundation of incredible India. The convention is scheduled to be held from March 19-20 at Ashok hotel in New Delhi. Subhash Verma, vice-president, ADTOI has been appointed as the convention chairman.

ASTA announced the release of a research report with the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA), examining the ins and outs of the independent travel agency market. Among its findings, the 2009 NACTA Independent Agents Report shows several shifts in the independent agent population, namely an increasing number of independent agents who work out of their home, a figure which has grown from 77.9 percent in 2006 in to 85.1 percent in 2009.

ASTA is praising the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a bill to accelerate the implementation of earlier legislation to protect consumers from abusive and misleading credit card policies. The bill, H.R. 3639, the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009, would move up the effective date of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act from Feb. 10, 2010, to Dec. 1, 2009. President Obama signed the original legislation into law on May 22, 2009. The earlier Credit CARD Act contains a host of reforms to credit card lending practices, including new disclosure requirements for fees and account terms; a ban on retroactive rate increases; and new rules concerning promotional rates.
ASTA is working with the Weather Channel to spread travel tips and advice to an even wider audience of consumers. Visitors to the site looking for sage advice on a holiday travel will now be able to read articles from ASTA’s consumer Web site,, on such subjects as Road Tips for Road Trips, 10 Winter & Holiday Travel Tips to Melt Your Worries Away and Happy Holiday Travel with Kids in Tow.
American Express has announced the launch of the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, a new Charge Card for U.S.-based consumers that provides generous rewards on airfare, gas and grocery purchases through the



Business Traveller Poland trade publication have chosen Frankfurt Airport (FRA) as the Best Airport in Europe for the second time. Winfried Hartmann, Fraport AG’s head of sales and customer services accepted the award in Warsaw, Poland. The Business Traveller Poland Awards have been held since 2013.

Britain’s Visitors from overseas are set to earn a record £22billion next year. The figure, which will beat the milestone £20billion of 2013, will be boosted by an increase in the number of trips here from abroad.

Bangkok remains the Asia-Pacific’s top destination city for air travel, and is the world’s second top destination city after first-ranked London, the newly released MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index for 2014 shows.

Berlin Fairytale Festival’s 24th edition would be conducted from November 7 to 24, 2013. This year’s 800 or so events are united by the theme ‘Around the world in 18 days’ and will be focusing on fairytales and fables from the French-speaking world. The Festival expects to attract tourists from all over the world. In a total of 300 venues in and around Berlin, including libraries, schools, concert halls and theatres, these wide-ranging examples of francophone culture will charm audiences young and old.

Best Western International has announced the addition of three new hotels to the brand’s West African portfolio. With eight properties open, and five additional hotels in the pipeline, the World’s Biggest Hotel Family plans to have more than 1,300 rooms in West Africa.The newest additions to the Best Western hotel family are the BEST WESTERN PLUS Ajuji Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria and the BEST WESTERN Starfire Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, giving the brand six hotels in Africa’s most populous country.

Bali provincial administration would be issuing four major policies related to the island’s tourism development. The four major policies cover the development of tourist destinations, effective marketing, industry and institutions. I Ketut Astra, head of the destination development section at the Bali Tourism Agency intimated that the four major policies were in line with the national development plan for the tourism sector. In relation to destination development, Astra said that the government would focus on tourism mapping to determine the best spots on the island.

Blue Square Consultants has been appointed to promote Laguna Phuket, Asia’s finest destination resort with public relations and marketing activities in the Indian travel marketplace. Laguna Phuket is a holiday paradise of nine deluxe hotels and villas on 1,000 acres of tropical parkland along an eight kilometer stretch of pristine beach at Bang Tao Bay on Phuket’s North West coast, in Thailand.

Brazil Tourism Ministry have commenced meetings to promote alignment to define joint actions and prevent the abuse of high prices during mega events ahead of the soccer World Cup 2014. The representatives of the federal government said that prices of public investments in infrastructure, tax relief, strategic policies will be monitored. The hotel entrepreneurs reaffirmed their commitment to adopt a market positioning with a focus on appropriate long-term rates.



Cox and Kings has introduced two different packages for South Africa this summer. Best of South Africa is 11-night package that includes visits to exotic places like Cape Town, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Sun City, Kruger National Park and Johannesburg

China’s tourism revenue in 2014 grew 14.7 percent to reach 3.38 trillion yuan (551 billion U.S. dollars). There were 3.6 billion domestic trips made, up 10.7 percent, according to Du Jiang, deputy director of the National Tourism Administration.

Cox & Kings Global Services has announced the opening of the Vietnam Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Kolkatta. The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in India has authorized CKGS to accept visa applications at their center. The center was inaugurated Ton Sinh Thanh, the Ambassador in India, for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the presence.

City of Durban is now an Official New 7 Wonder City of the World. To be positioned amongst other leading global cities of the world like Kuala Lumpur and Havana, proudly shows the commitment and competitive edge of our city as a leading Tourism, Events and Business Destination.

Centra Taum Seminyak Bali has been awarded a Gold Medal in the Tri Hita Karana Awards 2014 for the second time, which recognize hospitality operators for adopting Balinese Hindu philosophy on harmonious relationships between the community.

Choice Hotels International announced the signing of Clarion Hotel Istanbul Airport North, signifying further expansion of the company’s Turkish hotel portfolio.

Canadian Tourism Commission has recorded 46.5 percent rise in Indian visitor arrival. Till July 2014, overnight arrivals from India to Canada increased 20.7 percent.

Canada has recorded a growth of 19 percent in visitor arrival from India. This shows that Canada has been one of the most favorite summer destinations for Indians. India expected 15-20 percent rise in people travelling abroad this summer.

Caribbean enjoyed a 4.3 percent increase in visitor arrivals during the first six months of the 2014, much in line with the world average of 4.7 percent, the director of research and information technology revealed at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Corinthia London has joined the Virtuoso Hotels and Resorts Program. This promises increased and strategic visibility and marketing opportunities for Corinthia London in North America as well as in the rapidly growing Australian and South American markets.
Cape Town’s tourism sector continues to flourish with local and international tourists, with main tourist attractions recording an increase in the number of tourists during 2013. Cape Town International Airport has seen increase in total influx of tourists as compared with the statistics of November and December 2012. In recent years, the city’s tourism sector has shown remarkable signs of expansion. A study undertaken in 2013 by business services company Grant Thornton as per the directives by the city authorities, revealed that direct spending by tourist in Cape Town increased by 5.6 percent a year from 2009 to 2012.
Cuba recorded an unexpected tourist arrival record in 2013 with the winter season arrivals having grown over 8 percent. During the period, the operations from Canada, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Venezuela and Haiti have been increased. Similar result was achieved with cruise operation as an outcome of the visit of Cuban ports by new vessels such as Louis Cristal and Star Clippers. On the other hand, a group of markets like Spain, Portugal and Italy, which had shown negative numbers, have begun to change the situation and hence such travel destinations as Varadero, Santa Clara, Jardines del Rey and Holguin stood out in December with their best figures in history.
Calgary, according to the Conference Board of Canada, will lead all Canadian cities in spending growth related to overnight visits after seeing a quick 2013 turnaround following the June floods. The board estimates overnight visits during 2013 to reach 3.4 million registering a 1.6 percent increase from the previous year, and also predicted a further increase of 4 percent during 2014. The board forecast calls for longer term growth of 3.1 percent in 2015, 3.4 percent in 2016, and 3.3 percent in 2017.
Cape Town has been voted The Telegraph Travel Awards’ ‘Favourite City for 2013’ at a ceremony held in London.The Telegraph Travel Awards is an annual event, which appeal to its readers to vote for their travel favourites in categories such as Best City Worldwide, Best Country Worldwide, Best Travel Website, Best Travel App and more. The Telegraph is one of Britain’s top newspaper and online news sources. This year’s survey garnered 75,000 consumer votes by Telegraph readers in the UK.

Cuba has received over two million visitors during the first nine months of 2013 in Cuba. The development has made this Caribbean Island Nation to accord even more importance to tourism in their economic struggles. According to data published by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI in Spanish), during the period January to September this year, 21,44,632 visitors, of which 147,673 did so in September, arrived at this Caribbean archipelago.

China’s tourism industry, according to official statistics, raked in 1.4 trillion yuan ($228 billion) in revenues in the first six months of the year, registering an increase by 10.7 percent year on year. According to the National Tourism Administration, the domestic travel and outbound travel markets both expanded during the period, although the inbound travel market shrank slightly due to weak global economic recovery.

Chinese tourists are visiting Australia more than British tourists despite strong Australian dollar. New Zealanders still take first place, comprising almost 20% of the country’s 5.8 million international visitors in the year to March, however, Tourism Research Australia figures show that an increasing number of holidaymakers are coming from Asia.

Chile’s new campaign for international tourism promotion has been launched by the Subsecretaría de Turismo and Turismo Chile, the institution responsible for the promotion of Chile in international markets. This new campaign was launched in parallel in Sao Paulo, as part of the events at World Travel Market Latin America. WTM is one of the largest tourist events in the world and is held annually in the city of London. This is the first version of the trade show in Latin America.

China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. Other emerging markets as well as most traditional tourism source markets also showed positive results in 2012. Over the past decade China has been, and still is, by far the fastest-growing tourism source market in the world. Thanks to rapid urbanization, rising disposable incomes and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, the volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Expenditure by Chinese tourists abroad has also increased almost eightfold since 2000. Boosted by an appreciating Chinese currency, Chinese travellers spent a record US$ 102 billion in international tourism in 2012, a 40% jump from 2011 when it amounted to US$ 73 billion.

Chinese visitors credit card spending, according to reports, in New Zealand last year was up by almost a third from its 2011 level, offsetting declining spending by tourists from other traditional source markets. Spending with Visa cards rose from NZ$53.6 million ($45.36 million) in 2011 to NZ$70.6 million in 2012. The growth mirrored the increase in visitor arrivals from China and followed a 56.4 percent rise from the 2010 figures, Caroline Ada, Visa country manager for New Zealand and South Pacific, said in a statement.

Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, announced the launch of the Concur Perfect Trip Fund of $150 million in capital allocated specifically to invest in and nurture emerging companies in the T&E Cloud. Concur’s vision of The Perfect Trip is built on creating a travel ecosystem that dynamically responds to the needs of business travelers, the companies that they work for and the suppliers that serve them.



Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) show steady year-on-year growth and significant increases across key indicators including hotel establishment revenues and guest nights.

Dubai hotels have hit the highest record of 5.8 million tourists in the first half of 2014. These statistics have been released by the Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Dubai has been named as the fifth most popular city for global travellers. Dubai is becoming one of the most frequently visited cities in the world.

Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that Dallas has been recognized as a top US destination ranking third by the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Resonance Report.

DoubleTree by Hilton announced the opening of ‘DoubleTree by Hilton Wuhu’ in China’s Anhui province. Strategically located in the central business district, the 26-story hotel features 442 contemporary guestrooms, including 23 suites, five uniquely-styled restaurants, the city’s largest ballroom at 1,000 square meters and nine multi-functional meeting rooms. The hotel is operated by Hilton Worldwide and owned by Wuhu Shimao New Century Property Co., Ltd.

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit(German International Cooperation Agency, (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will provide the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) with a grant of up to 75,000 Euros to support the implementation of the sector project – Sustainable Development through Tourism Project in the Asia Pacific region. PATA signed the agreement with GIZ, a German International Cooperation Agency, in order to help develop a sustainable future for the Asia Pacific visitor economy. The primary aim of the project is to support the increased engagement of PATA in the promotion of sustainable development and inclusive green growth through tourism.Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced a comprehensive new partnership that offers exclusive new benefits to Delta SkyMiles Medallion members and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) elite members. The program, called Crossover Rewards, provide elite members of both loyalty programs reciprocal benefits. Crossover Rewards allows Delta and Starwood elites to share program benefits and earn more miles and Starpoints. SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will have access to added benefits including priority check-in, 4pm late checkout and free in-room internet access when staying at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. All Delta Medallion members will also earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible room rates when staying with Starwood in addition to the Starpoints usually earned for their stay.

DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon-New Delhi NCRhas been awarded the 2013 Deal of the Year award in the First Class category at the Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI). The 184-room hotel is conveniently located on the Golf Course Road, within 4km of companies like Dell, Genpact and American Express and 7km of Cyber City, offering easy access to prime corporate, commercial and residential districts. The hotel presents a sophisticated and modern combination of guest services, amenities and technology in a refreshingly spirited and welcoming ambiance.

Dusit Thani Maldives has been named as one of the Top Ten Hot New Hotels of 2012 by the acclaimed travel review site TripAdvisor. Dusit International’s latest opening was named alongside hotels in Spain, Canada and Vietnam.Deloitte’s new Travel, Hospitality and Leisure (THL) Outlook report finds that travel companies have reason to be optimistic for renewed growth domestically, for the power of technology to transform the consumer experience and for the opportunity to capitalize on emerging market growth.


EcoVadis has credited Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) with recognition for its responsible business practices. Of the businesses EcoVadis rates worldwide, CWT is responsible business leader in the travel management industry and among the top 11 per cent of all companies, moving up this year to a silver rating.

Egypt’s tourism revenues in 2014 rose to $7.5 billion from $5.9 billion the previous year, the tourism minister said, marking a 27 percent increase in revenues from one of the country’s major sectors. The country received 9.9 million tourists in 2014, up from 9.5 million in 2013, Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou told a news conference.
Egypt’s number of tourists visiters rose by 79.5 percent in October compared to the same month in 2013, according to the latest official figures.
Egypt has seen a significant rise in the number of incoming tourists. These results reflect the solid foundations that the Egyptian tourism sector enjoys, which enables the nation to overcome the various challenges posed by the exceptional circumstances witnessed by the country over the past three years.

Emirates Airline and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, are announcing a new partnership providing reciprocal benefits to Emirates Skywards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members. The program, Your World Rewards allows Skywards and SPG elite members who register for the program, to elevate their earnings and benefits when they fly with Emirates or stay with Starwood.

Expedia rposted net income of $257.1 million on revenue up 22 percent to more than $1.71 billion. Despite heavy competition abroad and concern that the Ebola virus would discourage travel, the volume of Expedia’s bookings grew by 29 percent to nearly $13.5 billion in the quarter.
East African countries have achieved a milestone in its quest to deepen their integration with the official launch of the single tourist visa. Tourists visiting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will find it much easier and cheaper to travel across the three countries now. The multiple-entry visa, which will be valid for 90 days, will cost $100. Whilst the visa is expected to reduce the costs of touring across the three countries, it is also expected to boost the number of tourists.

Europe and Asia will now be connected by a 3 billion Euro worth 13.6 km tunnel under the Istanbul Bosporus river 13.6 km opening a new chapter in the world of travel & tourism and transportation. Turkey unveiled a three-billion-euro rail tunnel under the Bosphorus connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, one of several mega projects driven by the Islamic-rooted government in the country’s main gateway city.The 13.6-kilometre (8.5 miles) tunnel includes an immersed tube tunnel, which government officials say is the world’s deepest at 60 metres (nearly 200 feet) below the seabed.

Expo Milano announced that it has selected Disney Italia to design the official Mascot of Expo Milano 2015. Disney Italia, a leader in media and entertainment sector, won a competitive tender for the development, promotion and commercialization of Universal Exposition’s Intellectual Property. The mascot will represent and reflect in Disney style the Universal Exposition’s theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”

EIBTM the leading global event for the meetings and events industry, taking place in the award winning business and tourism destination of Barcelona, has announced plans to increase the size of their Technology Village, as a direct response to the high demand received from international technology suppliers who have signed up to exhibit at the show.

Emirates Airline, following the launch of services to Lyon in December last year, along with Rhone-Alpes Tourism organized a workshop for travel agents at its Mumbai office on 11th March. Ms. Barbara Breheret from Rhone-Alps Tourism provided an in-depth understanding of Lyon’s key-selling aspects to the travel agent partners. Lyon is France’s second-largest city and also popular as a wine region in Europe. The workshop highlighted Lyon’s immense tourism potential in numerous tourism segments, such as honeymoons, heritage, architecture, food & wine, Bollywood and a family destination. Commenting on the workshop.

EIBTM the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, events, and business travel industry has confirmed that the show will remain in Barcelona until 2016 and will continue to be hosted in the Fira Gran Via.



France will now be delivering visas for Indians by the French consulates within 48 hours. A text message will be sent automatically to the applicant should there be an extension of deadline due to missing documents or inaccuracies in the visa application.
Four Seasons Hotel in Washington will host the Four Seasons Food Truck featuring an internationally inspired menu with all items priced between $3 and $9. Providing a fun opportunity to connect with the Georgetown community, the Hotel’s Executive Chef Douglas Anderson and bourbon steak Executive Chef Joe Palma will go head to head offering their take on an American comfort with an international twist to street food.
First Oman Tourism Forum scheduled to be conducted on February 26, will be organised by German University of Technology (Gutech) under the auspices of Ahmed bin Nasser al-Mahrzi, Minister of Tourism. The forum aims at highlighting the elements and components of the vision for the tourism industry in the Sultanate, underlying the current performance indicators for the tourism sector, viewing the most recent academic research on the tourism development in the Sultanate and shedding light on the strategic and development projects that are being executed as also the pivotal role of the tourism sector.

FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online travel community, has teamed up with Frequent Business Traveler magazine to assess the performance of how the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and awarded it with ‘F’ Grade. According to the survey, eighty-five percent of frequent flyers opined that the TSA is doing either a poor or fair job in performing security screenings at the nation’s airports.

Four Seasons, with the signing a long term management agreement with the owners of The Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, continues to expand its presence in Africa,. The iconic property, set on a cliffside garden estate in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, was closed on June 30, 2013 to undergo significant enhancements including renovations and new construction and will reopen as Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff, Johannesburg in the second quarter of 2014.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) of India, in partnership with the State Governments and the Ministry of Tourism, organized the first ever two-day focussed Conclave on Investment in Tourism Infrastructure (CITI) encompassing exclusive state presentations, B2B meeting of investors with State Governments and exhibition by organisations in the hotel supply chain forging one to one meetings with their target consumers during January 16-17, 2013 at the Federation House, FICCI.


Ghana and Kenya have agreed to work together to strengthen the tourism industry in their respective countries. Following their meeting in Berlin, where both are attending the ongoing International Tourism Exchange (ITB, Berlin) tourism fair, Ofosu-Adjare said in a statement.

Goa to start helicopter services to cater to the large number of tourists that are coming to the beaches, as well as the cultural and natural attractions. Initially, three helipads will be made ready to receive the choppers.

Goa Tourism shows an overall 30 percent increase in comparison with the corresponding year 2013. Data emerging from the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa for the year 2014 shows that Goa hosted a total of 40,58,226 tourists from January to December which includes both domestic and foreign tourists as against 3,121,473 tourists in 2013.

Greek tourism hit a new record in 2014. Greece was included in the top 15 tourist destinations, and given the drop in the euro exchange rate and oil prices, Greeks believed that booking would be going through the roof by now.

Greece was the tourist destination showing the largest increase in demand in Germany. More than two million German tourists traveled to Greece by plane over the summer, according to the German statistical office.
Goa Tourism has broken all records in terms of tourist arrivals in October 2014 with an increase of 13.5 percent compared to the previous years. According to statistics released by the Department of Tourism, 4,76,861 tourists visited Goa in October this year as against 4,20,142 tourists in October 2013. Domestic tourist arrivals for the month of October has surpassed last year’s figure recording a 13.8 percent increase.
Global Traveler announced United Airlines as the 2014 Airline of the Year and Marriott Hotels as the 2014 Hotel of the Year. This marks the fourth year Global Traveler awarded Airline and Hotel of the Year.
Goa tourism department in India is targeting a huge growth with 5 million tourists in Goa by 2016. “This is the goal of Goa government,” Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister, Goa said at the inaugural function of 17th national seminar organised by national media foundation, New Delhi at Institute Menezes Braganza hall, Panaji.

Global Business Travel Association has said that business travel spending across the world will reach a record $ 1.18 trillion this year, up nearly 7 percent from 2013. The main factor in this growth will be Asia-Pacific, mainly China, the report says.

GBTA Foundation announced at GBTA Convention 2014, “The Gift of Knowledge” initiative and United Airlines’ $75,000 commitment as a founding leadership partner. Through the initiative, GBTA will be utilizing funds raised to develop and implement an innovative and comprehensive program to further develop the travel management profession in China.

Greece and China announced launching of a task force to strengthen the tourism ties between the two countries. As part of the agenda of the task force, it was agreed to organize a Greek-Chinese Symposium on tourism issues in Athens this year with representatives of the tourism sector from both countries. The Greek tourism minister referred to actions launched by Greece to simplify the entry procedures for citizens from third countries, whilst the visa requirements of Chinese citizens wanting to travel to Greece were discussed during the meeting held in connection with the pact.

Goibibo is India’s fastest online travel solutions provider and continues to stay ahead of the curve with its association with channel manager AxisRooms, which is a single platform for hotels to manage inventory and pricing. AxisRooms is the first channel manager to launch the XML API (Application Program Interface) with The platform helps hotels increase their distribution and revenue.

Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) will take place this year at the Macau Tower and Convention Center on September 17 – 19, 2013. Hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, Cheong U, and co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the auspices of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the theme for this year’s conference is “Regenerate our Economies: Invest in Travel and Tourism” to highlight the critical nature of tourism investment in today’s economic climate.

Goa Tourism Department has adopted a new marketing strategy to promote Goa nationally and internationally. Dilip Parulekar, tourism minister of Goa informed about the new methods of marketing used for promoting Goa by his department. The tourism department will release advertisements in print and electronic media in India and abroad to market and promote Goa. Conventionally, tourism department participated in domestic and overseas events such as road shows and international trade fairs to project Goa as world class tourist destination. However, it has now also started using social net working sites such as facebook and twitter. A brand consultant will be appointed to develop brand architecture, work out creative options and implement a brand strategy for Goa tourism.

Greek tourism revenues are expected to bounce back this year to pre-crisis levels, the industry informed following the return of political stability to the country. Visitors from Germany, Britain and Russia are expected back. The Mediterranean country has pinned its hopes on its sun-drenched beaches and ancient monuments to pull itself out of a deep recession. Tourism is the Greek economy’s biggest cash-earner, accounting for about 17 percent of output. Andreas Andreadis, head of Greece’s main tourism body SETE, said tourism revenues are seen rising by up to 10 percent this year to 11 billion euros on the back of an expected record 17 million visitors., India’s fastest growing online travel site launches Flight Advice – a recommendation engine for international flights. Traditionally flights are sorted based on lowest prices. “Goibibo Flight Advise” learns from user search pattern and then ranks the flights based on its cancellation policy, duration taken, stops, fares etc to deliver the most relevant results thereby recommending the least agonizing flights that are not just based on price., India’s online travel site has released its monthly travel report, derived from live buyer data. The latest report covers insights on Hotel bookings on the internet in India. Based on the observations, it has been found that 3 star hotels drive 50% bookings online in India within the tariff slab of USD 30-70. The affordable average price point and online availability are the key reasons for travellers opting for this category of hotels. The report also shares insights on average price points of various star rated hotels; break down of leisure versus business hotels booked online; customer segments and top destinations for business hotel bookings.


Hong Kong tourist arrivals increased 12 percent to 60.8 million last year – up on an estimate made last February that there would be 59 million visitors and despite uncertainty created by the Occupy protests.

Hilton Worldwide has acquired the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek from a consortium including affiliates of GEM Realty Capital, Farallon Capital Management and Blackstone. The closing follows an announcement that Hilton Worldwide signed agreements to acquire the two hotels.

Hyatt Hotels announced the opening of Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort in Sanya on Hainan Island. The hotel marks the fifth Park Hyatt hotel in China, as well as the 35th Park Hyatt hotel in the world.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi at all Hyatt hotels worldwide, providing connectivity and convenience regardless of booking method or loyalty program participation.
Hilton Worldwide and DoubleTree announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Lawrenceburg, a new $50 million hotel development built onto the city’s multi-purpose Lawrenceburg Event Center.

HNA Group has bought an additional 8.33 percent of Spain’s NH Hoteles, taking its holding to 29.5 percent.

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa has been recognized as Seychelles’ Leading Resort for the third successive year at the final of the renowned World Travel Awards, as voted for by industry professionals worldwide.

Hilton Worldwide announced that following a comprehensive upgrade to its LightStayTM global environmental management system, more than 4,200 of its properties around the world are now ISO 50001 (energy management) certified.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Chesapeake Lodging Trust announced the opening of Hyatt Herald Square New York. Ideally located in Midtown Manhattan’s lively Herald Square neighborhood, the 122-room hotel draws on inspiration from the area’s rich publishing history and neighboring Fashion District – both of which serve as inspiration for the hotel’s design, dining, services and amenities.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation and PRISA Group and McConnell Valdés Consulting announced the opening of Hyatt House San Juan, debuting as Puerto Rico’s first extended stay hotel as well as the brand’s first Hyatt House hotel outside of the continental United States. The Governor of Puerto Rico, the Hon.
Halal tourism sector is undergoing rapid evelopment, both at the national and international levels. The recently released Muslim Traveler Index Europe 2014 estimates the size of the global Halal tourism market at TL 300 billion ($137 billion).
Haryana Tourism Corporation of India has decided to offer 20 percent discount on accommodation at its tourist complexes across the State. This discount is for private stay by any category of serving or retired Haryana government officials.
Hong Kong Tourism Board has won the PATA gold award in the marketing category. The campaign in India, “Hold My Hand,” revolves around the romantic side of Hong Kong. The campaign is based on a story by author Durjoy Datta, who has explored the attractions of the area from a romantic angle.
Hilton Worldwide announced the signing of the 237 room DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns. Located at 121 The Esplanade, DoubleTree by Hilton Cairns will enjoy a prime waterfront location.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with P.T. Wynncor Bali for an Andaz resort in Bali, Indonesia. The new venture, upon completion, will be the first Andaz-branded offering in Southeast Asia. Scheduled to open in 2016, Andaz Bali will be a beachfront resort designed by international architect Tierra Design, and Japanese interior design firm Spin Design Studio.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Hyatt Corporation, has made it to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in America. After two years of research that revealed consumers view the hotel industry as ‘one size fits all,’ Hyatt began re-examining its business to create a distinctive experience based on individual preferences. In order to create a more meaningful career experience, Hyatt is taking steps to transform its operations to unlock individual innovation within each employee, which includes real-time innovation, associate training and operational implementation.

Hawaii, according to the Preliminary Statistics released by Hawaii Tourism Authority, earned a total of $1.3 billion through expenditure by the visitors during June 2013, recording an increase of 7 percent as compared to June 2012. Total arrivals, which have shown continuous growth since September 2011, rose 5.5 percent to 716,577 visitors in June 2013. In the first half of 2013, total visitor expenditures rose 6.9 percent to $7.4 billion and total arrivals grew 5.6 percent to 4,155,868 visitors.

Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications (Taiwan Tourism Bureau) jointly organised a press conference which also included a signing ceremony to announce that they will step up their collaboration to promote cruise tourism in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the region at large. It was also announced that the two organisations have reached an agreement with Royal Caribbean International to schedule two deployments of cruise liner Mariner of the Seas to Hong Kong and Taiwan on 29 October and 2 November this year.Hong Kong will be the home port of the ship for both deployments.

Hitachi Ltd has received an order to build Vietnam’s first urban railway in Ho Chi Minh city for 37 billion yen ($373.2 million), the Japanese infrastructure company said. Hitachi informed that it will be delivering trains, ticketing machines, communication systems and other facilities for the new railway that is set to start operating in early 2018 in the Ho Chi Minh city area.

Hoi An, the ancient town of, located some 650 km south of Hanoi, over the past few years, is now becoming a favorite tourist destination in Vietnam. Hoi An, which used to be an international trading port in central Vietnam’s Quang Nam province, has exceptionally well- preserved architectural wonders that include old houses, temples, pagodas, and other structures that have been built from the 15th to the 19th century. In 1999, the old town was recognized as a World Heritage site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO).

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has signed management agreements with affiliates of Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd., adding four hotels in France and more than doubling the number of Hyatt locations in the country. The agreements will enable Hyatt to establish and enhance brand representation in highly visible locations in some of Europe’s key high-barrier-to-entry markets, consistent with the company’s strategy of increasing the long-term presence of its brands in gateway cities.

Hilton Worldwide announced the opening of Hilton Sharjah, the company’s 11th branded hotel in the UAE and its first in the Emirate of Sharjah. The 259-room Hilton Sharjah, a conversion property previously known as Corniche Al Buhaira Hotel, is a visually striking property, ideally positioned on the picturesque Corniche Road and overlooking Sharjah’s biggest lagoon.

Hilton Worldwide signed a management agreement with Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. to manage Hilton Manila in Newport City in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The agreement will bring the first Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotel to Manila. Scheduled to open in 2014, the 350-room Hilton Manila is located on Newport Boulevard next to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and is 3.5 kilometers away from Manila’s central business district, Makati.

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui recently unveiled five remodelled salons, all of which live up to the market expectations of excellence. The remodelling of the five salons increased the total meeting and event space to 590 square metres (6,350 square feet), taking the 335-square-metre (3,606-square-feet) pillarless Regency Ballroom into account.



Indian visitors to the United States rose by an impressive 11.9 per cent in 2014, over the 2013 figures. As many as 961,790 went to see the attractions of the Big Apple last year, making India the 11th largest market for the US.

Ireland’s visitor numbers up by nine per cent in 2014 and further increases expected this year, the Dublin Pass, a sightseeing card which helps visitors save time and money, has been relaunched to make the capital city more convenient and accessible for tourists.
Irish tourism industry is aiming to draw 10million visitors to Ireland in 2025, contributing €5billion to the economy and helping to sustain about 250,000 jobs. Following on the success of 2014, the tourism industry aims to build on this growth with a target of 7.74million visitors into Ireland in 2015, beating the previous record set in 2007.
Indian tourism industry grew by 10 percent year-on-year in the year ending 2014, according to Indian tourism minister Mahesh Sharma. Sharma also stated that they are planning to draw 11 million overseas tourists in 2015.The 11 million figure is 1 percent of the global 1.1 billion international tourist arrivals.
India is looking for more tourists from Oman following the launch of Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) – the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility for Omani nationals. In this regard, the Indian Embassy in Muscat conducted a presentation on ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival’ facility for citizens at the Embassy of India Auditorium, Al Khuwair where a large number of travel agents and senior government officials were present.
India’s survey on the travel preferences of Indian holiday goers were released. Mumbai rules the roost, coming in at the 1st position with an overall rating of 4.4/5, topping the food (4.5) and shopping (4.8) categories. Mumbai was also 2nd in the nightlife (4.6) and transport (4.5) categories while it came 9th in the sightseeing category (4.3).Mumbai was followed by Goa (4.3), Delhi (4.1), Jaipur (4), and Jaisalmer (3.8) in the overall rankings.
India is set to lift ban on satellite phones for adventure tourism. Tourism Ministry has finalised a scheme for procurement, registration and use of satellite phones by tour operators which has been concurred to by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lok Sabha was told.
Indian travel and tourism industry is set to witness a huge surge as the Union government of India announced the launch of the much awaited online visa or e-visa facility for 43 countries. The e-visa facility for inbound travelers to India includes the citizens of US, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany, Singapore. Therefore, global travelers can apply for a visa from the comfort of their homes and avail the same within a span of 72 hours.
International Air Transport Association and a Coalition of National Travel Agent Associations (The Group) are collaborating on a study to look at options that could benefit travel agents as the New Distribution Capability (NDC) XML standard is considered for implementation by airlines and technology providers. The study will be conducted by an independent consultant to be appointed jointly by The Group and IATA.
Iran’s Tourism and Handicrafts Organization will invest 7 trillion rials (about $220 million) to implement 30 projects to promote tourism in the country. The investments will be made to build hotels, guest houses, and accommodation camps across the country, the IRNA news agency quoted CHTHO Director Masoud Soltanifar said.
India greeted about 6.6 million international travelers in 2012 and 2013 witnessed a steady growth to 6.9 million. The U.S. is the largest source market for India in terms of international visitors accounting to 15.8 percent.
Indian Government has extended ‘visa on arrival’ for US citizens to boost tourism as US citizens happen to be the topmost spenders among foreign tourists to India.
International Renewable Energy Agency and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, have joined forces to promote the use of renewable energies in Islands.
Incredible India is among the ten nominees for the World Travel Awards (WTA) for Asia under Asia’s Leading Tourism Board 2014 category. Among the other Indian travel companies that are making their presence felt is Air India, that has been nominated under five different categories as well as the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi that has been nominated under Asia’s Leading Airport 2014.
India set to introduce e-visa system. Ministry of tourism in India is taking fast and effective measures to boost international tourism in India.ixigo has launched its award-winning app on the Windows Phone Store. The app allows users to not only search and compare the cheapest flight ticket fares but also get best hotel rates, compare best available buses and train fares for free.
India is one among the top five medical tourist spots in the world having hosted nearly 166,000 medical tourists from across the globe in 2012, said a PHD Chamber’s Medical and Wellness Tourism Report. The medical tourism industry in India is expected to reach an estimated value of $6 billion (`36,060 crore) by 2018, it added.
India’s foreign tourist visit showed a positive growth of 12.5 percent in Northern Eastern States of India during 2012 over 2011, which further rose by more than 100 percent to register a growth of 27.9 percent during 2013 over 2012. .
International Finance Corporation got together with the Ministry of Tourism, government of India, and the state governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, plus members of the private the sector, to promote “Investing in the Buddhist Circuit” in India.
Israel, according to its Central Bureau of Statistics, had a record number of tourists during 2013. Tourist arrivals rose 0.5 percent to 3.53 million in 2013 as against the 3.52 million recorded in 2012. Tourist arrival by air rose 4 percent to 2.58 million during the year as against the 2.48 million recorded in 2012, although arrivals by direct flights to Eilat fell to 58,500 from 59,500. The US was the largest source of tourists during the year, with 623,000 entries, followed by Russia with 603,000. France was in third place, with 316,000 tourists followed by Germany, with 254,000, the UK with 217,000, and Italy with 160,000.

International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) called on its 109 member tourism boards and their stakeholders to express solidarity with the Philippines. ICTP also called to contribute to the Philippine Red Cross. “In the wake of the horrific typhoon, the International Coalition of Tourism Partners sends its sympathy to the country and its tourism stakeholders” read a statement released by the ICTP Executive Board.

Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics announced that tourist arrivals to Indonesia in September increased by a significant 12.7%, due to the large number of international events and conventions held in the country, including the Miss World pageant, meetings of APEC in Bali , Sail Komodo etc. Major market shares remained consistent, topped by Singapore with 15.11%, followed by Malaysia with 13.86%, Australia with 11.42%, China with 9.85% and Japan with 5.78% share.While total tourist arrivals to the country during January–September 2013 increased by 8.8% year on year to a total of 6.41 million visitors as compared to the 5.9 million recorded during the previous year.

IATA, with the unbundling of airline services like preferred seats, meals and baggage in India, has started a pilot project to display all such facilities on ticket booking sites to allow passengers to choose what they want.

Indonesia’s number of foreign tourist arrivals in May, according to its National Statistics Bureau, rose by 7.65 percent to 700,700 on a yearly basis. The government targets 9 million foreign holiday-makers this year, compared with 8.04 million last year. The government is striving to encourage more foreign holiday- makers to visit the country by luring more Muslim tourists particularly and boosting health tourism.

India’s Tourism Ministry has proposed Visa-on- Arrival provision for Chinese Nationals. The proposal is mooted with a view to ease travel facilities for Chinese nationals as it would pave way for huge potential for exchanges in this sector.

India’s Foreign tourist arrivals grew by about 4.5% from 6.30 million in 2011 to 6.57 million in 2012. Whilst it indicates a sharp drop from the about 9% growth that was seen in 2011 as compared to 2010, it is still twice the world average according to latest data from the Bureau of Immigration. Tourists outflow from India have registered a significant decline of up to 20 per cent during the months of April and May owing to weakening rupee against dollar, a survey has conducted by “Assocham”, which is an industry body, opined.

International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) announced the IIPT/Skål Peace Town project, a joint partnering initiative with Skål international. A goal has been set for the dedication of 300 Peace Towns and Villages in the first year of the project, each committed to building a culture of peace in their respective communities. Each IIPT/Skål Peace Town or Village will support a positive and dynamic concept of peace that goes beyond the traditional passive notion of peace as simply the absence of conflict.

IATO will host its 29th annual convention in Kochi from September 8-11 at the Le Meridien Cochin Resort and Convention Centre. This is for the second time that IATO will be hosting the convention in Kochi, the last time being in 2005. The information was provided by Lally Mathews, Honorary Secretary, IATO. Arun Anand, Honorary Treasurer, IATO will be the Convention Chairman while E M Najeeb, Chairman-Kerala Chapter, IATO and Mathews will be Co-chairmen.

India’s Working Group on Tourism for 12th Five Year Plan, set up by the Planning Commission, has recommended a target growth in domestic tourism of about 12% per annum during the 12th Five Year Plan period. The Working Group has also recommended to increase India’s share of International Tourist arrivals to at least 1% by end of 12th Plan – requiring an annual growth of about 12%. The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India grew from 5.17 million in 2007–08 to 6.50 million (provisional) in 2011–12 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.88%, during the 11th Five Year Plan. The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism in India grew from USD 9.10 bn in 2007-08 to USD 16.72 bn (provisional) in 2011–12 at a CAGR of 16.41%, during the 11th Five Year Plan.

India Government announced that visa on arrival scheme registered a growth of 54 percent During the month of February 2013. A total of 1,947 Visa on Arrival(VoA) were issued during the month as compared to 1,259 VoAs during the month of February 2012, registering a growth of 54.6%.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and UNWTO signed a special Joint Statement on Aviation and Tourism, acknowledging the intention of the two UN agencies to begin cooperating more closely on issues of common priority. The Joint Statement was signed by ICAO Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin, and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, on the occasion of the official opening of the ICAO Sixth Worldwide Air Transport Conference (ATConf/6). Visa facilitation, taxation, the modernization of aviation regulations and the development of convergent rules for traveller and enterprise protection were stressed in the Statement as key areas for improved collaboration.

Indian Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi has welcomed the decision of Reserve Bank of India to allow Indian companies in the hotel sector to avail benefits under the ECB (External Commercial Borrowings) scheme to repay their outstanding rupee loans and or to finance fresh capital expenditure. Through a statement issued the Minister said “amended guidelines which came into force with immediate effect will greatly help the Indian companies in the hotel sector as they would now be eligible to borrow under this scheme for projects costing USD 0.05 bn or more irrespective of geographical location which would make the implementation of hotel projects in the country more viable and cost effective”.

Indian Union Minister for Tourism Chiranjeevi met the Secretary General of UNWTO Mr. Taleb Rifai in Madrid, Spain. They discussed diverse issues relating to the tourism cooperation between India and the world. During the talks, the Secretary General and the Tourism Minister emphasized on the proactive approach to make tourism an important global political and economic agenda. The Minister also informed Secretary General about the efforts taken by the Indian Government towards easing the visa regime in India.

IHG, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has been ranked third in The Sunday Times’ list of the 25 Best Big Companies to Work for in 2013. IHG was awarded ‘Best Improver’ for jumping 11 places in the Best Companies employee survey and ‘Excellence in Learning and Development’, for having a workforce that feels they are provided with the opportunity for growth and progression, supported by structured training and personal development.

International Tourism Mart, organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was held at Guwahati, Assam from 18 to 20 January 2013 successfully showcasing the unique and diverse tourism potential of the North-east in the domestic and international markets. Through the event, the Government of India planned for aggressive marketing of this region as a major tourist destination across the globe with the Ministry of Tourism getting around 85 buyers from 23 countries to participate in the event.

India Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism during the year 2012 showed an increase of 21.8% as compared to FEEs of 2011. Foreign Tourist Arrivals ( FTAs) in the country also registered an increase of 5.4% during the year 2012 as compared to FTAs of 2011. FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during 2012 were Rs.94,487 crore with a growth of 21.8% as compared to the FEEs of Rs.77,591 crore with a growth of 19.6% during the year 2011 over 2010. FEEs during the month of December 2012 were Rs.10,549 crore as compared to Rs.8,870 crore in December 2011 and Rs.7,039 crore in December 2010. The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in December 2012 over December 2011 was 18.9% . FEEs from tourism in terms of US$ during 2012 were US$ 17.74 billion with a growth of 7.1% over 2011.

India bagged three prestigious awards at the World Travel Awards (WTA). The respective awards are World’s Leading Destination – India, World’s Leading Tourist Board – Incredible India and World’s Leading Tourist Attraction – Taj Mahal. K Chiranjeevi, Minister for State, Tourism (independent charge) received the awards. The Tourism Minister said that the Ministry has prepared a multi-pronged strategy to increase India’s share in World Tourist Arrivals at the Award ceremony.

Indian Ministery of Tourism working Group on Tourism for 12th Five Year Plan, set up by the Planning Commission, has recommended various strategies for promotion of tourism Industry to increase India’s share of International Tourist arrivals to at least 1% by end of 12th Plan from the level of 0.64% in 2011 and to provide adequate facilities for domestic tourism to sustain the growth of over 12% during 12th Plan.

Indian Government has decided to lift the restriction of the two-month gap on re-entry of foreign nationals coming to India except in the case of nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origins and Stateless persons. The Tourism Minister of India said that this decision has addressed a long pending demand of the travel industry and would facilitate tourists visiting the country.

Jeddah has increased influx of tourists by 70 percent with the festivals and activities drawing huge crowds to the historical city. Hotels and furnished apartments have also recorded an increase of 75 percent as tourists take advantage of online bookings to rent accommodations in advance.

Japan became an important source market for India tourism. During 2013, India received 2.20 lakh tourists from Japan. India would be interested to learn from the Japanese experience in the field of tourism. and Jet2holidays are continuing their growth at Newcastle International Airport with the launch of four brand new destinations for summer 2015, Antalya (Turkey), Larnaca (Cyprus), Malta and Zante.Over 31,000 seats will be available these hotspots.
Japan, according to Takeshi Yagi, Japanese Ambassador to India, is exploring opportunities to cooperate with the India’s southernmost state Kerala in IT and tourism sectors. According to the Ambassador, the tourism and IT are the pillars of growth of Kerala’s economy. There are a number of Japanese companies looking to expand their operations in South India, considering the presence of more Japanese citizens working in the region compared to rest of the country. The Ambassador also expressed the hope that the new organisation would go a long way in changing Kerala’s SME landscape. The organisation would groom SMEs in the State cutting across all sectors including manufacturing and services such as IT and tourism.

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts is continuing to grow its India portfolio with the opening of two new hotels in Bengaluru and New Delhi. JW Marriott Bengaluru was opened on September 12, redefining luxury for the modern business and leisure traveler. JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity was opened on October 18, These will be JW Marriott brand’s fourth and fifth hotels in India, and 61st and 62nd properties worldwide.

Jakarta is aiming to attract 2.3 million foreign tourists this year. Around 2.1 million foreign visitors arrived in the Indonesian capital in 2012, with 63% travelling to the Big Durian for business.

Kenya’s Tourism Board missed out narrowly to Rwanda at the just-concluded ITB 2015 but nevertheless lifted the runner up trophy as second best African exhibitor. The award will no doubt give an added boost to the confidence of Kenya’s tourism stakeholders who had come to Berlin to market and sell the country.
Kenya coast’s Tourism infrastructure will get a major boost when the upcoming expansion of the Ukunda aerodrome is completed. Ukunda has for long served as Diani Beach’s primary airfield from which tourists take off every morning for air safaris to Kenya’s national parks.
Korea Tourism Organisation is promoting a new destination in India- Gyeongbuk-do, which is located in the eastern part of South Korea. Before Gyeongbuk-do, KTO has been extensively promoting Incheon and Jeju Islands among the Indian tourists visiting Korea.
Kenya Tourist Board has said Jambo to over 170 trade representatives, as part of the 2014 Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE), held in Nairobi. In its fourth year, MKTE continues to provide a solid platform for the destination, on which to spark and enhance tourism opportunities between local industry partners and key buyers.
Kenya Tourism Board has successfully defended its title as Africa’s Leading Tourist Board as World Travel Awards winners in Africa & Indian Ocean are revealed.
Kerala Tourism’s e-Newsletter and the Responsible Tourism initiative at Kumarakom won an award at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Golden Award in the categories for Marketing Media and Corporate Social Responsibility respectively.
Khiri Travel will launch a new company in Sri Lanka. The initiative is a joint venture between Khiri Travel and Sri Lanka-based DMC Luxe Asia.
Kerala Tourism signed an agreement with UNESCO to begin cooperation between the state and the world’s foremost cultural organisation in promoting and protecting the ancient Spice Route heritage.
Khiri Travel Vietnam has launched a discovery tour that celebrates the unique hilltribe culture of Kontum and its nearby villages in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The area is known as “The Space of Gong Culture” where gongs play a central cultural role in the lives of the Bahnar, Sedang, Ede Jarai and other ethnic groups.
Khiri Travel has announced the launch of Khiri Travel Indonesia. Khiri Travel will partner with Sunda Trails and open offices in Lombok and Flores with dedicated English and Dutch speaking teams in place. Sunda Trails has 12 years of inbound tourism operations experience in Indonesia, focusing mostly on ecotourism and rural community exploration, all with an emphasis on responsible travel. Willem Niemeijer, CEO of Khiri Travel, said that the merger was made possible due to shared values held by both companies. Niemeijer also added that the deep expertise of Sunda Trails, combined with the professional business systems that Khiri employs and exposure to a wider travel agent base will bring efficiencies of scale and fast client response times.
Kenya and Kuwait have signed an MOU with a view to boost the number of tourists from the Middle East oil-rich nation. The government is targeting new markets to fulfill the desire to grow the number of tourists visiting Kenya from the current average of one million to three million by 2015.

Kenya’s President Kenyatta assured 3 billion Kenya shillings for promotion of tourism in the counrty. President Kenyatta reassured the tourism sector that his government had set aside some 3 billion Kenya shillings (over US$34 million) to allow for vigorous marketing of the destination in existing, new and emerging destinations, aimed to bring in significantly higher numbers of tourist visitors to the Kenya coast and the safari parks.

Kenya Tourism Board recently launched the “Magical Kenya” App for Android. Free of charge, users can now access exclusive information about Kenya all in the palm of their hand. From detailed travel guides of the various regions, to trip planning features and information on the history of the safari, the Magical Kenya App has everything needed to plan the perfect vacation in Kenya. The app also allows users to interact with others by creating their very own “souvenir video” to share with friends and family!

Las Vegas reached a historic milestone, exceeding 40 million visitors for the first time. The tourism industry in Southern Nevada continues to expand, achieving ten consecutive months of visitor volume increases, with many of those months being the best on record.
London welcomes record number of tourists. Official figures released show that international tourists made nearly 8.5 million trips to the city in the first six months of this year, a 7.6 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2013.
Luxury Travel Ltd has been nominated in ‘Vietnam’s Leading Tour Operator’ category at the 2014 World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Hailed as the “Oscars” of the travel industry, the awards is aimed at raising the standards of customer service and overall business performance throughout the international industry. Now In their 21st year of operation, the World Travel Awards have evolved to represent a global search for the very best travel and tourism brands. After a rigorous selection procedure, Luxury Travel emerged with a nomination for ‘Vietnam’s Leading Tour Operator’ for the first time, confirming its position as a leader within the Vietnam tourism industry.
Luxor, the famed temple city of Egypt, unveiled two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III adding to an existing pair of world-renowned tourist attractions. According to the European and Egyptian archaeologists, the two monoliths in red quartzite were raised at their original sites in the funerary temple of the king, on the west bank of the Nile. The temple is already famous for its existing 3400-year-old Memnon colossi – twin statues of Amenhotep III whose reign archaeologists considers to have marked the political and cultural zenith of ancient Egyptian civilization. ”The world until now knew two Memnon colossi, but from today it will know four colossi of Amenhotep III,” said Hourig Sourouzian, the German-Armenian archaeologist who heads the project to conserve the Amenhotep III temple.

Lisbon, the cosmopolitan and fascinating capital of Portugal, has been named Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2013. The city triumphed at the prestigious ‘World Travel Awards’ which are considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of tourism.

London benefitted from record tourism figures in the early months of this year. The very first quarter of the year 2013 London has seen a boost of 4.2% in the industry as compared to the same period during the last year.

Luxury Travel Ltd. has launched the first in a series of set departure, luxury travel packages in Vietnam and Cambodia, allowing guests to experience the finest food, nature and culture, while discovering the countries essential highlights and witnessing its astounding diversity, from north to south.



Malaysia’s tourism sector, involving tourists from China, has recovered by an increase of 5.9 per cent from last October compared to the same period in October 2013 following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 in 2014.

Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) cooperates with the Supporting Office to the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries (Macau) to carry out the training program of this year for tourism government officials from Portuguese-speaking countries.

Morocco’s tourism sector attracted $ 2 billion in investments in 2014, despite a challenging international economic environment. Despite a challenging international economic environment, the sector attracted $ 2 billion in investments in 2014, to bring the overall investments in the sector since the launch of the 2020 Vision to 7 billion dollars.

Marriott International’s world-class luxury hotel brand, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, plans to open three properties in Greater China and one hotel in India by summer 2015.

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited witnessed a 21 percent increase in its net profit. Total income was up 5 percent to Rs 200 crore and EBITDA was up by 20 percent at Rs. 54.72 crore for the quarter. The results of the quarter integrate an additional charge on account of depreciation (consequent to change of rules) and consolidation of the results of Bell Tower Resorts Private Limited.
Ministry of Immigration and Population of Myanmar is expecting major tourist arrivals in 2015, due to the recent launch of the e-visa scheme. Following the launch of e-visas, Myanmar is further keen on expanding the e-visa scheme to more EU countries. The country expects three million tourists by end-2014.
Mauritius is trying to promote tourism from India.As part of this promotion, the tourism authority held a seminar in Delhi to increase awareness among travel agents.

Maritime Energy Heli Air Services and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation flagged off the first commercial flight in Mumbai, from Mumbai to Pawana dam (Lonavala). The amphibian planes will eventually connect Mumbai with multiple state tourist destinations adjacent to four suitable water bodies even though there are no runways at these destinations.

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has appointed Cox & Kings as its outsourced partner to operate the luxury train, Deccan Odyssey.

Mauritius has become a well-known destination for India, and to boost the demand for the high-end travel, focus is made mostly on the luxurious and high-end products in Mauritius.

Myanmar, one of the exotic destinations of Asia, has prepared plans to persuade more global travelers to visit the country in the future. According to Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, the Myanmar Tourism Master Plan 2013-2020 has identified 38 projects that require $486 million of funding to bring tourist attractions up to an international standard. Tourist arrivals are expected to reach over seven million in 2020, and revenue from the tourism industry is expected to reach $10.18 billion in the same year, indicating an explosive growth of the tourism sector in the country. Tourism in Myanmar is witnessing an unprecedented boom with an astounding surge in international tourist arrivals. Tourism receipts, according to government figures, were also skyrocketing and reached $926 million in 2013 as against $400 million recorded in 2012.

Medical Tourism contributes over A$26 million into national economy of Australia during 2013. As per the latest figures, more than 10,000 medical tourists, mainly from Asia, came to Australia last year for procedures, contributing more than A$26 million into the national economy. According to Australian doctors and hospital chiefs, a small but increasing number of wealthy people from the Asia-Pacific region are coming to Australia for treatments such as orthopaedic and heart surgery, cancer services and IVF. Data from Tourism Research Australia indicated that 10,739 people came to Australia for medical reasons in the year.

Ministry of Tourism and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), with the support of Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), has forwarded a proposal to organise the 3rd edition of The Great Domestic Tourism Bazaar (GDTB) from September 27- 29, 2013. The inauguration of the Bazaar will be held at The Lalit, New Delhi on September 27, 2013. The exhibition, with pre-scheduled B2B meetings and also opportunities for on the spot B2C interactions, will be organised on September 28 and 29 at FICCI KK Birla Auditorium Lawns, New Delhi.

Mauritius Tourism Revenues, which show a decline of arrivals during Q1 of 2013 by 12.4 percent, have caused a storm of outrage across the island’s tourism sector, and from calls and emails it is clear that the knives are now out for those thought responsible for the reverse of fortunes of the Indian Ocean’s erstwhile tourism giant. While arrivals for the same period are still up by 1.5 percent, according to the same sources, it is clear that those tourists coming to Mauritius are not the heavy spenders compared to the island’s European core markets, which have again declined by a staggering 7.5 percent vis-a-vis the first quarter of 2012.

Marriott International will be featured in a one-hour TV special: “Hotel: Behind Closed Doors at Marriott.” The global hospitality leader invited CNBC into the “heart-of-the-house” over a 6-month period for a rare glimpse at the inner workings of the hotel business.

Meisterkreis Association, an umbrella group of 55 luxury brand goods manufacturers and institutions showed that Germany was an increasingly attractive destination for a new class of very wealthy tourists. Growing numbers of wealthy tourists from Asia and Arab countries are streaming into Germany to buy up high-end luxury goods.



North American markets experienced positive growth in both rate and occupancy across most travel segments according to data from the December 2014
National Travel and Tourism Office recently announced that international visitors spent $19.1 billion on travel and tourism-related activities within the United States. International visitors have spent $169.4 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through September), an increase of 6 percent when compared to the same period last year.
New Zealand Immigration and Tourism have signed an agreement to woo more Indian visitors. A new agreement has been signed to make it easier for Indian nationals to visit New Zealand for international business events and capitalise on substantial growth in conference facilities in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.
New Zealand’s Tourism Industry Association hopes that the new visa regulations will help attract more high-end music acts to New Zealand, paving the way for greater spin-offs for the tourism industry.
Norwegian Cruise Line is debuting a new all-inclusive package that takes the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising to a new level, providing guests yet another way to customize their cruise vacation. Representing more than $2,400 in value per stateroom, Norwegian’s all-inclusive package is a first for major cruise lines, and is available for a limited time for all 2015 sailings fleetwide. The comprehensive package includes signature dining, alcoholic beverages, unlimited soda, shore excursions, internet access, service charges and more.
New Mauritius Hotels (NMH) reported a 6.3 percent rise in first half pre-tax profit due to higher occupancy rates and forecast a better second quarter. The hotel group, which owns nine hotels in Mauritius, one in the Seychelles and another in Morocco, posted a pre-tax profit of MUR570.55 million rupees (USD$18.89 million), indicating a reckonable turnaround in the Indian Ocean island’s tourism sector.

New Zealand Tourism Chief Executive Kevin Bowler has welcomed the Tourism Industry Association’s new framework “Tourism 2025 – Growing Value Together”. The framework was launched at the Tourism Industry Association’s annual summit in Wellington. Kevin considers that the framework provides direction and a focused approach for the industry, critical to achieving its common objective of long-term, enduring, value-based growth.

Nepal’s total tourist arrivals from the European market in the first seven months of this year decreased by 15.6%. In the first seven months, a total of 66,535 European tourists visited the country as against 78,828 tourists in the same period last year.

NTA (National Tour Association) and ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), the tour operator and travel agent professional associations, respectively, plan to host a second Hispanics in Travel Caucus at the NTA Annual Convention to be held Jan. 22 in Orlando in conjunction with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA).



Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has won the UNESCO award for the creation of the ‘Muscat Geoheritage Auto Guide.’ The guide highlights the environmental scenario around the Sultanate and its geological nature.

Oman’S number of foreign tourists visiting is expected to increase 14 percent compared to last year. Last year, it had about 2.2 million tourists visiting Oman, and the number has remained healthy so far this year. Oman is looking to an average of a 14 percent increase compared to last year.

Orbitz Worldwide announced that it had reached an agreement with American Airlines to continue to offer American Airlines and US Airways flights on all of its sites.

Oman was visited by more than 17,000 Saudi tourists during the last year, placing the country among leading destinations for the Kingdom’s residents. Oman remains one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East. It has also been highly successful in establishing itself as a prime destination for cultural tourism. Muscat, the capital of Oman, was adjudged as the second best city to visit in the world in 2012 by Lonely Planet, the renowned travel guide publisher. Among Oman’s local tourist attractions are the stunning nature, beaches, old-world souqs (markets), forts, ancient settlements, tombs and UNESCO-recognized heritage sites. Visitors would also be able to enjoy the trekking and rock-climbing, turtle, dolphin and bird-watching and desert safaris, among other exciting activities.

Oberoi Group announced the opening of Trident, located in the heart of the information technology hub, HITEC City, Hyderabad, the hotel has an elegant and contemporary design and offers state of the art business and leisure facilities.

Oberoi Group, a pioneer in luxury hotels, has received two prestigious global recognitions by the World Travel Awards (WTA) this year. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has been voted as the “World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand 2012”.This honour was bestowed upon The Oberoi Group for its all-round excellence and unparalleled levels of service. The Oberoi, Gurgaon, has been voted” World’s Leading Luxury Hotel 2012”. This is the second consecutive year, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, has received this prestigious award.


Philippines achieved a double-digit growth of almost 39 percent of Indian visitor arrivals in September 2014 as compared to the same on 2013. The country is involved in dynamic marketing campaign and promoting the destination in the Indian market.

Pacific Asia Travel Association successfully launched the Tourism Development on New Formats – Emei Global Summit in Leshan. The summit was co-organized by Leshan Municipal People’s Government, Tourism Administration of Sichuan Province, and Sichuan Bureau of Expo Affairs, with guidance by the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government and China Association of Travel Services.
Philippines Department of Tourism has recorded a double-digit growth of almost 50 percent in Indian visitor arrivals in August 2014 over the same month last year. The Indian market has continued to be one of the important contributors of international visitors to the Philippines.

Pacific Asia Travel Association announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Travel Association “World Without Borders” of the Russian Federation (World Without Borders). The agreement strengthens the links initiated by PATA’s visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Pacific Asia Travel Association presented the PATA Grand and Gold Awards 2014 to 21 separate organizations and individuals at a special luncheon. These awards have long been supported and sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) for the past 19 years.

Pacific Asia Travel Association enters into strategic partnership with TripAdvisor offering trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools.

Pacific Asia Travel Association announced the winners of the 2014 PATA Gold Awards that recognise the achievements of 20 separate organisations and individuals. Among the winners are Kerala Tourism Board and Kuoni Travel (India), each winning an award under two different categories.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) have agreed to work together for mutual benefits. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed during April this year, signed by the Associations, will be focusing on efforts on implementing joint activities related to tourism. The MoU put on view the membership commitment by both associations to enhance the role of the tourism sector and to develop the tourism industry in Asia and the Pacific. The agreement commits the two organisations to continue their productive on-going cooperation through PATA’s participation in the annual JATA Tourism EXPO Japan and JATA’s participation in PATA’s programme of work. JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2014 will be held at Tokyo Big Sight, September 25-28.

Philippines, according to its Department of Tourism, recorded a rise of 9.56 percent in tourist arrivals on year to 4.68 million in 2013. The visitors continued to flock to the country’s tourist spots, including those in central Philippines which was devastated by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake and super typhoon Haiyan in the last quarter of 2013. According to DOT, the visitor count reached an “all-time high” or more than 400,000 during the months of January, February, March, July, and December. DOT also revealed that total revenues gained from foreign tourists went up by 15.1 percent on year to 186.15 billion pesos (4.4 billion U. S. dollars).

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced that it will hold its 37th PATA Travel Mart 2014, at Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Centre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the “Kingdom of Wonder” from September 17-19, 2014. The Mart is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. PTM 2014 will offer delegates the opportunity to buy and sell Asia Pacific travel products in an emerging destination that has diversified its tourist attractions and recorded double digit increases in arrivals during the last 10 years. PATA Power statistics indicated that in 2013 Cambodia’s visitor arrivals increased by 8 percent to over 3.7 million. Tourism accounts for about 16 percent of Cambodia’s GDP which amounts to around US$2.5 billion per year.

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have joined forces to donate $1 million to the University of Alaska Foundation. The donation would provide funding in three main areas i.e. research and education critical to the health of the sea, training programs that prepare Alaskans for the tourism and hospitality industry and scholarships that support Alaskans seeking higher education at the University of Alaska.

Pacific Asia Travel Association reports that the surge in Asia Pacific international visitors continues. International visitor arrivals into Asia and the Pacific grew by six percent in June 2013, the latest month for which comprehensive pan-regional results are available. The figures for June are among the strongest year-on-year growth performances so far this year. Southeast Asia set the pace once again with a solid double-digit gain, but all sub-regions reported good percentage growth performances during the month.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced the winners of the 2013 PATA Gold Awards. Proudly supported and sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), for the last 18 years, this year’s awards recognize the achievements of 22 separate organizations and individuals. PATA will present 26 Grand and Gold Awards, including awards to Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority, Rottnest Island Authority, Korea Tourism Organization and Travel+Leisure magazine etc.

PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) 2013 Annual Summit (2013PAS) scheduled to be held Bangok during April 25-28, 2013 will be attended by the Leaders of the Complete Visitor Economy. The PATA Youth Forum will commence on Thursday, April 25, followed by the one-day summit on Friday April 26, and the PATA Board meetings and AGM on April 27-28, respectively.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will hold the 2013 PATA Annual Summit (2013PAS) in Bangkok during April 25-28, 2013. The PATA Youth Forum will commence on Thursday, April 25, followed by the one-day summit on Friday April 26, and the PATA Board meetings and AGM on April 27-28 respectively. Under the theme “Embracing the Complete Visitor Economy”, speakers from the public and private sector at the summit will discuss the considerable impact and social and economic reach of the complete visitor economy.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) welcomed Amadeus as a PATA Premier Partner. Amadeus, one of the world’s leading providers of technology solutions to the travel industry, now assumes the highest level of PATA membership, along with fellow PATA Premier Partner, Visa. PATA and Amadeus will work together to the grow Asia Pacific visitor economy in a responsible way. They will leverage data from their joint resources, including Amadeus’ Total Demand airline passenger database. PATA and Amadeus will collaborate on joint initiatives, including air passenger service development for destinations. Amadeus’ Total Demand data will be available on PATAmPOWER, the Association’s mobile data platform for members.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) officially launched its Rapid Recovery Task Force (PRRT) at the association’s Engagement Hub at its head office in Bangkok. The PRRT is a standing task force of the PATA CEO and seven volunteers who will collectively try to help PATA member destinations during and after times of crisis, such as SARS, floods, tsunamis, disease outbreaks and terrorist incidents, all of which have had a massive impact on Asia Pacific destinations in the last 10 years or so. The objective is to help destinations return to ‘normal’ as quickly as possible.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announced Travel Channel International as a new PATA Preferred Partner. Owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, the Travel Channel is the world’s leading international travel broadcaster, transmitting 24 hours a day in 21 languages to 130 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. It is based in London. The partnership will enable PATA and Travel Channel International to collaborate on brand-building opportunities at major events such as PATA Annual Conference, PATA Travel Mart and PATA Hub City Forums. The partnership allows both parties to share data including research, statistics and analysis and to develop joint consumer and industry surveys and reports.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), through its recently released Preliminary Results, announced that the International visitor arrivals into Asia between January and September 2012 showed a collective increase of 5.5% year-on-year. During the first nine months of the year, the 4.7% collective growth rate for Northeast Asia was somewhat lower than the Asia average. However this percentage increase was translated to around 7.8 million additional international visitor arrivals to the sub-region. Intra-regional flows remained the key force behind this growth in both volume and percentage gain terms for the period. China (-2%) and Macau SAR (+1%) saw relatively weak results while the remaining destinations, Japan (+41%), Chinese Taipei (+24%), Korea (ROK) (+19%) and Hong Kong SAR (+16%), performed strongly with each destination posting double-digit growth over the period.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced TripAdvisor will become a new PATA Strategic Partner. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools.

Peru is aiming to attract 6 million tourists by 2016, according to Carlos Canales, head of the National Chamber of Tourism. This year, he said, Peru saw 2.9 million tourists, who generated $3.3 billion in revenue for the country’s tourism industry.



Queensland Tourism will lead a delegation of 44 Queensland tourism businesses on a trade mission to New Zealand, the state’s largest international visitor market to promote the state’s tourism products and grow business opportunities.
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has partnered with Qatar Airways to launch the fourth edition of their annual food festival in Doha. Renamed Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) the four-day event will take place at the Museum of Islamic Art Park from March 28 – 31. This year, QIFF will carry two main themes; healthy food and a healthy lifestyle, as well as focusing on the Qatari UK Year of Culture by highlighting traditional dishes from both the UK and Qatar. Families can enjoy sampling food and different cuisines from around the world as prepared by a wide variety of Qatar’s finest 5 star hotels and restaurants.



Reunion Island Tourism’s first German language e-newsletter of 2015, the recipients were able to discover the wide range of tourism attractions from scuba diving, to hiking across the island, to exploring the underwater wonders of the Indian Ocean, and on to a complete overview of Reunion Island throughout the seasons.
Russia Friendly’, a recently formed association, with an aim to create comfortable conditions for Russian tourists abroad, will commence its operations shortly. The announcement of the formation of the association was made during the Intourmarket International Trade Fair for Tourism and Travel, held at Moscow in March. The project is designed, among other things, to spread the Russian language in foreign countries, to promote foreign citizens’ interest in Russia and also to improve the image of the country abroad. The association will play a crucial role in bringing together foreign hotels, transport companies, public catering enterprises, medical centres, museums and amusement parks, interested in attracting tourists from Russia.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that it has signed a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a third Quantum-class cruise ship for delivery in mid-2016. The price and terms of the new ship are similar to the price and terms of the first two Quantum-class ships and the contract is subject to financing conditions.

Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department will officially launch a new tourism site, a cave in the Musanze District which is being readied for visitors by installing walkways, stairs, and safety measures. The main tourism activity in Musanze, previously known as Ruhengeri, is, of course, the tracking of mountain gorillas from the Volcano National Park headquarters near Kinigi. Local hospitality businesses have long advocated for longer stays of tourists to explore the wider area, and perhaps track the Golden Monkeys or just take extended hikes in the forests on the slopes of the volcanic mountains.

Royal Caribbean International’s $300 million fleet wide revitalization program integrating the latest innovations and highest guest-rated programs from the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ships (The Oasis Class vessels) is nearing its completion. Recent enhancements on the refreshed and rejuvenated ships will offer guests a greater variety of new onboard dining and entertainment options, new staterooms, pervasive Wi-Fi, Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, digital way-finding systems, interactive flat-panel televisions in staterooms, i-pod docking stations and lots more.


Sabre Corporation announced the integration of Sabre Virtual Payments, an industry-leading payment and settlement integration tool, into GetThere, its corporate online booking system. The integration of virtual payments at the point of sale will help travel management companies and corporate travel departments improve efficiency, compliance and security.

Shannon Group has described Ennis’s success in winning the right to host the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann as a huge boost for tourism in the town and county. The Fleadh Cheoil attracts in the region of 300,000 visitors and €40million in revenue.”

SSP America and San Diego International Airport (SAN) celebrated the grand opening of the Cohn Restaurant Group’s, The Prado at the Airport, based on the multiple award-winning restaurant, The Prado at Balboa Park. Located post-security, the 1,900-square-foot restaurant is the final concept to open in SSP America’s portfolio of 14 restaurants at the gateway and marks the completion of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s Concession Development Program (CDP).

Sabre Corporation announced the integration of Sabre Virtual Payments, an industry-leading payment and settlement integration tool, into GetThere, its corporate online booking system. The integration of virtual payments at the point of sale will help travel management companies and corporate travel departments improve efficiency, compliance and security.

Shannon Group has described Ennis’s success in winning the right to host the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann as a huge boost for tourism in the town and county. The Fleadh Cheoil attracts in the region of 300,000 visitors and €40million in revenue.”

SSP America and San Diego International Airport (SAN) celebrated the grand opening of the Cohn Restaurant Group’s, The Prado at the Airport, based on the multiple award-winning restaurant, The Prado at Balboa Park. Located post-security, the 1,900-square-foot restaurant is the final concept to open in SSP America’s portfolio of 14 restaurants at the gateway and marks the completion of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s Concession Development Program (CDP).

South African Tourism concluded its annual roadshow in New Delhi and over 1000 Indian trade partners participated in the roadshow across four cities.

South Africa has shown promising results in its tourist trade. With record visitation of 10.3 m visitors in 2014, there was a gain of $10.9 billion and the industry employed 645,000 people. This is the brightest spot on the otherwise dismal economy of the country with the GDP plummeting to 2 percent over the past two years and unemployment rising by 35 percent in the same period.

Seychelles Tourism Board has once again excelled in trade fairs, this time at the Outbound Travel Market tourism trade fair in India known as OTM, winning the most decorative stall award.

Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities launched three travel and tourism associations on the sidelines of its recently concluded annual staff meeting. The associations were launched jointly by Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTA president and Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of commerce and industry.

South African Tourism’s biggest travel trade engagement initiative, 12th Annual Roadshow will commence across four cities in India in the presence of over 60 South African suppliers in February 2015. The interactive programme will further intensify destination awareness among Indian travel partners.

Seychelles has received The Best Island Travel Destination award from Best Travel Media – one.

Seychelles closes 2014 with a 1 percent increase in its tourist arrival and a drop of -8 percent in tourism earnings.
Solmar Villas has been announced as the winner of Best Villa/Self Catering Booking Company in the 2014 British Travel Awards. The winners were announced at the BTA Gala Awards Dinner, held at Battersea Evolution in London on 26th November, attended by close to a thousand travel industry people.
Suryagarh was felicitated with the runner-up trophy under the category of “Favorite Boutique Hotel in India” at the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller India Annual Readers’ Travel Award held in New Delhi. Suryagarh firmly believes that the most important part of a hotel is its people and abiding by this simple philosophy, the venerated title was accepted by Suryagarh’s concierge himself.
South African Tourism organised its training programme ‘Learn South Africa’ at a bigger and better scale this year. The fifth module of the popular training session travelled to KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape – three of South Africa’s nine provinces.
SriLankan tourist arrivals has jumped 25.2 percent. The number of visitors was 133,971, up from 107,016. Total arrivals hit a record high while revenue from the island nation’s leisure sector also hit a peak.
Sweden Tourism continuing to increase. Visitor figures for both domestic and foreign tourists climbed strongly in the first half of this year.Arriving tourists stayed 5.2 million nights in Sweden, representing a rise of 5 percent on last year, while domestic tourists spent 18.5 million nights on holiday across the country.
Sabre reported total consolidated revenue of $718 million for the quarter compared to $768 million for the second quarter of 2013. Consolidated net loss for the second quarter of 2014 totaled $10.9 million, compared to a net loss of $116.9 million in the year-ago period.

Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture has called for a multi-sectarian meeting with government authorities, destination management companies, tourism establishments, and airline companies to discuss pertinent issues raised in its series of door-to-door meetings with these respective trade partners in the tourism industry. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, is of the opinion that this cohesive approach is pivotal to get everyone in a roundtable discussion to look and assess issues raised by destination management companies, tourism establishments, and airlines touching different ministries such as finance, land use and habitat, environment, employment, transport, and others. “For the tourism industry to continue to move forward, it is today more important than ever before to have a round-table discussion between the private sector and a cross-section of other ministries. Many issues raised in the door-to-door visits cannot be solved by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture alone. The private sector trade recognizes the need for this meeting, so that they can meet with the ministries concerned and together look at some issues which are persisting,” Minister St.Ange said.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB), according to preliminary estimates, welcomed nearly 15.5 million visitors during 2013 there by registering an increase of 7.2 per cent over the previous year. Although a record number of tourists visited the country as tourists, the growth rate of the sector was the lowest since 2009, due to less expenditure by business travelers and the decision by the leisure visitors to fly by budget carriers. The visitors spent marginally more on transport, food, accommodation and shopping, from $23.1 billion in 2012 to $23.5 billion last year.

Shangri-La Hotel will be opening its new venture at Lhasa, the administrative capital of Tibet. Set on a plateau soaring 3,650 metres above sea level, this intriguing destination will become home to Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ newest property, the 289-room Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa, which is scheduled to be inaugurated 17 April 2014. Shangri-La Hotel, Lhasa will be a luxurious home base for those wishing to explore dramatic scenery and some of the world’s most culturally significant Buddhist sites, including World Heritage Sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka Palace.
Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) announced that majority of the foreigners visit the Kingdom for religious purposes and tourism. According to the commission only about 20 percent of the foreigners visits the Kingdom for the purpose of business. The SCTA is equipped with the financial resources to ensure maximal Saudi impact on international markets and is able to promote the Kingdom as a global destination both for leisure and business.

Sabre, a global technology company, has launched a mobile app for travel agents who need to book travel and serve customers. The Sabre Red Mobile Workspace would provide access to the most commonly used agent functions including air, car, and hotel shopping and booking, customer profiles, PNR servicing, seat maps, ticketing capabilities and more. The Red Mobile Workspace is a purpose-built app specifically designed to take advantage of the unique capabilities offered by tablets, including touch and swipe gestures.

SATTE’s contribution in the growth of travel and tourism in India and South Asia is acknowledged by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) through its support to SATTE 2014 being held at India during January 2014. This is the third consecutive year that UNWTO is partnering with SATTE. At SATTE the UNWTO perspective will feature senior representatives addressing topics such as “Setting the Scene: Tourism Towards 2030,” followed by ExpertSpeak on “Global Marketing for Ecotourism,” and a panel discussion on “Tourism for National Development” engaging senior representatives from the government and private sector.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts received the coveted title of “Best Business Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific” for the 12th year running along with eight other prestigious awards at the 2013 Business Traveller Asia-Pacific 22nd Travel Awards . Regarded as one of the travel industry’s most anticipated events, the annual Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Readers’ Poll surveys readers mainly in Asia Pacific, both frequent business travellers and leisure travellers.

SITA World Tours, which celebrates its 80th anniversary, is offering additional agent incentives, in appreciation of the significant contribution that the travel agents made towards their success and creating more affordable travel options in addition to the Deluxe & Luxury product that they are known for. SITA is extending an $80.00 appreciation bonus in the form of a customized SITA/American Express Gift card on every booking agents make through March 31, 2014. In order to receive this award, agents must be a registered member of SITA’s “Agent Services” website.

Sharjah is launching campaign to strengthen US business & tourism ties. Often perceived in the West as the quiet United Arab Emirate, the nation-state of Sharjah will bring its voice to Washington, D.C. and New York City seeking closer cultural and economic ties to the United States. The Sharjah delegation hopes to secure greater bi-lateral economic cooperation, investment and tourism.

Skal International has presented “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards have been presented during the Opening Ceremony of its 74th World Congress . For twelve consecutive years, the Skal International has been presenting “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards. The 74th World Congress was held aboard the Carnival Glory. This is the first time this yearly event has taken place on a cruise ship. This year, the Heritance Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka won the Diversey Special Recognition Award.

Sri Lanka’s ‘Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo’ property achieved 4th consecutive year of Green Globe re-certification. Corporate Social Responsibility has played a fundamental role in building the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, the highest valued hospitality brand in Sri Lanka.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has launched the ‘ In Singapore Incentives & Rewards (INSPIRE)’, a rewards programme catering to the Indian Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) outbound segment, particularly incentive travel groups. This rewards programme is a partnership between STB and major Singapore tourism industry partners such as Changi Airport Group, Gardens by the Bay, Resorts World Sentosa, Sentosa Leisure Group, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Turf Club, and Wildlife Reserves Singapore. India’s outbound MICE market has grown significantly, with Euromonitor pegging it in the range of US$ 550-600 million in 2011, with an estimated 1.8 million Indians travelling outbound solely for MICE purposes.

Seychelles and South Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to consolidate bilateral ties. The agreement was signed by the South African Minister for Tourism, Mr. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk and his Seychellois counterpart Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture at the historical La Plaine St Andre site. It was highlighted at the signing ceremony that this MOU will pave the way for new avenues of cooperation between Seychelles and South Africa and that this MOU will echo a clear message to the world that Africa is working with Africa for the betterment of its tourism industry.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced plans to expand its hotel portfolio in Mexico by 30 percent, emphasizing the important role the country plays in Starwood’s Americas growth strategy and its prominence in the global travel market. Starwood continues to lengthen its lead as the largest operator in the upper-upscale hotel segment in Mexico with eight new hotels in its development pipeline that will add nearly 1,100 rooms. Mexico is Starwood’s largest market in Latin America with 24 hotels and a total of 4,800 rooms, representing eight of the company’s nine brands including the recently launched Aloft brand, which made its debut in Cancun.

Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has appointed Mumbai-based Blue Square Consultants (BSC) as its official representative in India. BSC will conceptualize, implement, and promote marketing strategies for Seychelles in India.

Sri Lanka and Tanzania have agreed to work together in the areas of tourism, culture and commerce. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa , Sri Lankan President had signed three agreements in Dar es Salaam on bilateral cooperation between Tanzania and Sri Lanka in areas of tourism, culture, and commerce.

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts continues at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Europe with a new deluxe hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan. Swissôtel Baku, which is scheduled to open in 2015, is currently under construction and will open in time for the first European Olympic Games.The mixed use complex consists of two towers set upon a shared podium which will accommodate businesses, retail and entertainment outlets and numerous restaurants. Swissôtel Baku will be situated in the taller, 160-metre tower and will offer 149 rooms and suites, as well as a Swissôtel Living with 45 furnished apartments and 80 Swissôtel Residences, which will be sold to private individuals looking to enjoy the benefits of Swissôtel services from the comfort of their home.

Seychelles is taking the lead in promoting regional tourism and will host a travel and tourism mart with the member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) next year to give the industry a further boost. This comes in the wake of the enthusiastic support that Seychelles and other Vanilla Islands member states of Reunion, Comoros, Mauritius, Mayotte provided to Madagascar for its International Tourism Trade Fair held at the end of May.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. said the company will open 20 new hotels in China in 2013. Having doubled its footprint here in the last three years, Starwood has 120 hotels open and more than 100 in the pipeline, making China the company’s second largest hotel market behind only the United States, and its fastest growing. Starwood President and CEO Frits van Paasschen said the company will open one new hotel every 20 days here and that 70 percent of its pipeline of new hotels under construction and in development are in second and third tier cities.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced the debut of its two hotel brands – Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton in Ahmedabad, India. The opening marks fifth Aloft hotel of the company in India, which are developed with the Urbanedge Hotels, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Auromatrix Holdings, an anchor partner of Starwood. Combining the two brands, Starwood has 10 operating hotels in India. It has executed deals for five more hotels which are under development.

StarWorld Macau recently garnered the “Best Service Hotel of the Year” award during “2013 China Travel and Meetings Industry Awards” presentation ceremony held in Shanghai, becoming the only Macau hotel to receive such recognition. “China Travel and Meetings Industry Awards” aims to honor outstanding enterprises in the travel and MICE industry in China. This award marked an important recognition by the industry given the award’s well-renowned justice and innovative originality. Other winners include The Ritz-Carlton Guangzhou, Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou and Sheraton Shanghai Waigaoqiao Hotel.

second annual UNWTO & Ministerial Forum held at the Arabian Travel Market was attended by more than 25 ministers with delegates sharing their views on how to work together towards long-term aviation and tourism sector growth. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the event, entitled “Tourism & Aviation: Building a common agenda for growth”, was opened by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai and Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of ATM.Addressing the issue of tourism and aviation Mr. Rifai highlighted that tourism and aviation need to move out of working in silos. “Tourism and aviation are siblings, and have been working together in parallel lines. We cannot see them separate from one another; with 52% of world travellers reaching their destination by air, their growth is intrinsically linked,” he added.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc announced the opening of Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel just outside Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Owned by an affiliate of Platinum Equity, the hotel completed a comprehensive multi-million dollar renovation prior to re-opening in order to meet Sheraton brand standards. The opening is part of the Sheraton brand’s strategic $8 billion expansion effort.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that its global powerhouse Sheraton plans to open 30 hotels over the next 12 months. Half of the new Sheraton hotels will open in China, lengthening Starwood’s lead as the largest upper-upscale global hotel operator in Asia Pacific. Sheraton is also picking up momentum in several other emerging markets including Latin America, the Middle East and Turkey.

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau has changed its name to the San Diego Tourism Authority, with effect from January 1, 2013. The newly named San Diego Tourism Authority, which was Incorporated in 1954, would be aiming to market and sell the greater San Diego region as a premier meeting and vacation destination. The organization which has satellite offices on the domestic front in Washington D.C. and Chicago along with its sales staff deployed in the northeast and Texas, is also represented internationally by firms in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Korea. “Our new name is direct, easy to understand, memorable and recognizable, which is vital as San Diego becomes more visible on the global tourism stage,” stated Joe Terzi, President & CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Seychelles has been seeing the number of visitors from the UAE grow in numbers. The islands’ two Tourism Board offices give them a perfect working partnership with both Emirates and Etihad Airlines as they are based in the base cities of these airlines that are now serving the Seychelles.



Travelport announced a new agreement signed with Bangkok-based Jet Asia Airways for global distribution, utilising its Rich Content and Branding solution. Jet Asia becomes the latest airline to commit to Travelport Rich Content and Branding, a key component of the Travelport Travel Commerce Platform, which allows airlines to market and retail their products more effectively by controlling how their product is visually presented and described to travel agents.

Travelport announced a new agreement signed with Bangkok-based Jet Asia Airways for global distribution, utilising its Rich Content and Branding solution. Jet Asia becomes the latest airline to commit to Travelport Rich Content and Branding, a key component of the Travelport Travel Commerce Platform, which allows airlines to market and retail their products more effectively by controlling how their product is visually presented and described to travel agents.

Thailand expects around 27.8 million tourists up 12.2 percent on 2014 when the capital was gripped by anti-government protests and the murder of two British tourists on a holiday island made headlines worldwide.

Turkey’s tourism revenues increased by 6.2 percent in 2014 year-on-year, totaling $34.3 billion, data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute. Though the revenues generated from tourists’ expenditures in Turkey decreased slightly, by 1.3 percent, in the last quarter of 2014, the surplus in the first nine months compensated for the deficit in the last quarter and resulted in a surge for the whole year.

Thailand has just been listed as one of the world’s 25 best places by International Living, a North American-based magazine for retirees. International Living’s latest Annual Global Retirement Index released on 1 January, 2015, listed Thailand at number 10 with a total score of 84.6.

Thai tourism industry is expected to face another tough year, judging from a slow economic recovery in key markets.

Tourism New Zealand in partnership with The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) and Air New Zealand, hosted nine association executives in New Zealand in a bid to grow the number of Australian business events in New Zealand.

Tanzania is looking to attract Belgian tourists and investors in prime attractive areas, including the rich historical town of Bagamoyo along the Indian Ocean coast. Tanzanian Ambassador to Belgium, Dr. Deodorus Kamala, had led a group of Belgian investors in a fact-finding mission aimed at exploring areas of tourist visiting and investment.

Torremolinos will be the venue for the second International Conference on tourism destationalization in June 2015. The Torremolinos Mayor, Pedro Fernández Montes, and the UNWTO General Secretary, Taleb Rifai, have signed the Agreement and Cooperation Memorandum between their organizations. The agreement also includes the continuation of the “Project 365” that the UNWTO promotes in Torremolinos.

Thailand ranks the world’s 7th top destination for expats, and is the top rank in terms of affordable quality living, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer 2014 survey.

Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is exhibiting in a prominent space again this year at the World Travel Market (WTM) on the stand EM1000-1050. For this year’s WTM the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is highlighting what’s new in travel and tourism for 2015 with Irfan Onal, General Director at the Directorate of Tourism Promotion and Advertising, present at ‘meet and mingle’ reception held on the Turkey stand.

Travel Agents Association of India has signed an MoU with Mumbai-based HR College for a three-year degree course on tourism approved by Mumbai University. The signing took place at the KC College auditorium. TAAI will support and assist the college and also help in formulating the curriculum.

Taj Hotels’ four luxury safari camps in Madhya Pradesh opened offering a series of wildlife activities in the nearby national parks and forests. These four national parks form Madhya Pradesh’s ‘tiger circuit’ give an opportunity for guests at the safari camps to take drive into the jungle and catch a glimpse of the wildlife.

Turkey witnessed a 7 percent rise in the number of tourists visiting the country in the first eight months of 2014, the Turkish tourism minister said.

Telengana State Tourism Development Corporation conducted an introductory road show in Mumbai on the sidelines of a travel show. Inbound and domestic travel agents were a part of the presentation.

Turkey reports that visitor arrivals were up by 13.5 percent in the first seven month of the yaer totalled 20.45 million, up 6.84 percent compared to the same period last year.

Travel Agents Association of India has got a degree course on tourism approved by the Mumbai University and is partnering with a Mumbai based college for that. The faculty for the course will be from the college itself but will receive visiting faculty from among TAAI members.

Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Moscow Office and 13 leading tour operators in Russia are planning to launch a range of winter promotions to promote Thailand’s many tourism attractions and attract high-end travellers from Russia during winter season.

Tourism Holdings reported a 192 percent rise in annual profit as sales improved and debt costs fell.The company reported a net profit of NZ$11.1 million ($9.26 million). Tourism Holdings, which operates campervan rental fleets in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, and makes motorhomes, declared a dividend of 6 cents a share compared with last year’s 2 cents.

Tunisia is looking forward to reap benefit from the achieved political success by promoting a new image for its tourism through social media. Amel Karboul, Tourism Minister announced that the country is all set to exploit the political calm and the security improvements achieved by Tunisia in a bid to promote tourism recovery by attracting visitors from various countries. According to tourism experts authorising low-cost airlines to operate in Tunisia might be one way to help revive Tunisian tourism. An open skies agreement under discussion between Tunisia and the EU is expected to be finalised in May. The ministry posted several promotional videos of touristic areas on the internet with calls for all to visit free and democratic.

The world tourism industry, according to the reports released by the World Travel and Tourism Council, contributed 7 trillion US dollars to the global economy in 2013. The tourism industry is expected to grow by 4.2% during 2014. The reports released by the World Travel and Tourism Council also outlines the economic impact data and forecasts the tourism prospects. Travel and tourism forecasts over the next ten years also look extremely favourable, with predicted growth rates of over 4% annually that continue to be higher than growth rates in other industries. India’s tourism industry is expected to grow by 7.3% in 2014. The total global contribution of Travel and Tourism reached 266 millions in 2013 which is almost 9% of the global employment. One in every 11 jobs in the planet is considered to be linked with travel and tourism.

Turkey has implemented a new Visa rule, in accordance with which the visitors will have to apply for an e-visa online prior to their journey as they will not be able to buy a visa on arrival at the Turkish border. This new visa rule for travel to Turkey will be brought into effect with effect from 10 April 2014. Travelers will not be allowed to board flights to Turkey after 10 April if they fail to buy an e-visa. Travel agencies caution that unofficial websites may charge an extra application fee for an e-visa.
Tourism Australia confirmed that the business events sector continue to remain as it’s high strategic priority and is all set to achieve its Tourism 2020 target of reaching $16 billion annually in expenditure by the end of the decade. The commitment is further backed by a new research released at the recently conducted Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo 2014 (AIME) in Melbourne, which confirmed Australia’s reputation as a leading destination for business meetings and events amongst key major decision makers overseas.
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has released its new research about the wine tourism sector. The research revealed that thirteen per cent of all international holiday travellers visit a winery or participate in wine tourism activities annually. The report indicates that Australia, USA, UK and Germany are the countries which provide most wine tourists to New Zealand. Since food and Wine is a priority Special Interest area, the Tourism New Zealand would be focusing its marketing activity on attracting more international tourists to New Zealand to participate in food and wine based holidays.
Tourism New Zealand had opened its newest international office in Sao Paulo, Brazil with an ambitious target of doubling arrivals from Latin American within five years. Tourism New Zealand has begun 2014 with its sights set firmly on continuing the upward trend of visitor arrivals from existing core markets and the newly identified “emerging markets” of India, Indonesia and Latin America. The establishment of the office completes Tourism New Zealand’s recent growth which currently has 14 offices in 12 countries around the world.
Thomas Cook raised its revenue and cost-cutting targets in the latest stage of a profit-boosting turnaround at the world’s oldest travel firm. The tour operator, hit by the euro zone debt crisis, is recovering from a dramatic slump over the past three years, high fuel costs and political turmoil in popular leisure destinations such as Greece, Egypt and Tunisia. The 172-year-old company posted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) duly recording an increase of 49 percent to £263 million equivalent to $429 million for the period till November 2013 as a result of strong demand for fixed-price travel packages to Spain, the Canary Islands and Turkey.

 Turkish Culture & Tourism Office and Turkish Airlines announced a pan India campaign to reach out to the Indian online audience. Keeping in mind the huge number of people online, each with a unique story to tell and limitless opinions, the campaign – “A Million Reasons” was opened to the public with existing Blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages. Designed to encourage visitors from across India to discover the destination that is unique, iconic and guarantees to provide a million experiences, the campaign aims to highlight the depth of Turkey tourism offerings and stimulate curiosity of yearning Indian travelers.

Tourism Australia was announced as the overall winner of the World Routes Awards 2013 which were formally announced last night during the fabulous Las Vegas Networking Evening which took place in the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace sponsored by Caesars Entertainment. This is the first time that a tourism authority has taken the top spot in the World Routes Awards. Created in 1997 to recognise excellence in airport marketing as rewarded by airlines, the annual Routes awards provide the airline community to choose the best overall marketing services to them.

Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) announced enormous success this year with their new “TAP Into T.A.P. – Tuesdays at Two” program. Not only is the focus on unique tours and destination but there is high interest in educational webinars as well. Travel professionals have enjoyed hearing and learning about tours from the Great American West to Kenya Safari Adventures, the Kentucky Derby to the Heart of Europe, and everything in between. In August 2013, TAP hosted their first educational webinar called “TAP Into Marketing Escorted Tours” which brought record attendance.

Turkey’s tourism income, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), reached $8.68 billion in the second quarter of 2013, registering a 22.8 percent increase as compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Turkey’s tourism income was $4.9 billion in the first quarter of this year. While individual expenditures constituted $6,465,783 thousand of the total tourism income, $2,211,601 thousand of tourism income was obtained by package tour expenditures. Turkey’s average expenditure of the visitors was $825 per capita in this quarter while the average expenditure of the foreigners was $766 per capita, average expenditure of the Turkish citizen residents abroad was $1,335 per capita.

Tourism Australia has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with New Zealand’s national airline to enhance the number of tourists to Australia following its split with Qantas. The $6 million deal with Air New Zealand will see the organisations work together on marketing for the next three years. Last year, Qantas pulled out of a $44 million dollar partnership with Tourism Australia over a conflict of interest with Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon.

Thailand’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo was in not successful as the organizers rejected Thailand’s bid for failing to secure government support. On August 24, 2010, the Abhisit Vejjajiva government announced Thailand’s bid to host the World Expo 2020, with Ayutthaya selected as the venue. The bid presented by Abhisit’s Democratic Party government has reportedly received lukewarm interest from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party, thus wasting thousands of man hours and millions of dollars.

Tibet Autonomous Region registered a 30.5-percent hike in tourist arrivals in the first three months of the year, introducing a promising outlook for the region’s tourism industry. Tibet received 300,599 tourists from January to March, intimated a senior official with the regional tourism bureau . Wang Songping, deputy chief of the bureau, said revenues also saw a 31.1-percent increase compared with the same period last year, reaching 300 million yuan (48 million U.S.dollars) in the first quarter. Wang attributed the growing number of visitors to an increasing variety of cultural attractions, as well as winter tourism packages. The region is expecting 12.6 million tourist arrivals and 15.8 billion yuan in tourism revenues this year, local authorities said.

 Thailand has advised the visiting foreigners not to buy elephant tusks or any ivory products, even if it is something as small as an earring or a bracelet. Offenders might face arrest in Thailand or at home if they are caught taking tusks or any other ivory product outside the Kingdom. This measure has been implemented under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in order to stamp out the international ivory trade. This action is part of a plan, presented at the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held in Bangkok, to crack down on illegal ivory in the domestic and international wildlife market. Thailand has been listed as one of eight countries most involved in the illegal killings of elephants and ivory trade.

Tourism Australia is teaming up with industry and State and Territory tourism partners in a new A$4 million campaign targeting the international youth market – a segment which last year contributed nearly A$12 billion in tourism spending and a quarter of all Australia’s international visitors.



US Embassy in Yerevan announced that the United States will begin issuing 10-year tourist and business visas to qualified Armenians. The Embassy previously announced that the United States would begin issuing visas in accordance with a new reciprocal arrangement.

US International visitors have spent $185.1 billion on US travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through October), an increase of 4 percent when compared to the same period last year.

UK’s tourist spending is said to touch a record of £22.2bn in 2015 according to forecasts made by Visit Britain’s Culture Secretary Sajid Javid. In 2013 people spent £20bn and 2014 saw a promising growth of £21.3bn.

UK & Ireland sign an MoU for joint visa scheme. Travellers from outside the European Union (EU) can now move freely between UK and Ireland on a single permit. Tourists from India and China will be the first beneficiaries of the scheme.

US tourist or business visas also called B1 & B2 visas are now free according to the US Department of state.

UNWTO Executive Council has brought new governance models to foster closer cooperation between tourism and culture in order to advance the sustainable development of cultural tourism.

UNESCO, according to reports from Arusha, has apparently suggested that the area around Ol Doinyo Lengai, one of Tanzania’s active volcanoes and the country’s third highest mountain, be turned into a World Heritage Site (geographical). Adjoining the Ngorongoro Crater area, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ol Doinyo Lengai and its slopes is a destination of growing importance for adventure tourists who eagerly explore areas outside the national parks of exceptional scenic and natural beauty. Tanzania is home to several UNESCO WHS sites but has, of late, had a checkered relationship with the Paris based organization and some years ago in an almost unprecedented way withdrew at the very last moment an application for the recognition of the Eastern Arc Mountains apparently to pave the way for logging and mining in the ecologically sensitive water tower area of the sprawling East African country.

UNWTO and the AU (African Union)announced that the organizations will be signing an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to consolidate their partnership in matters related to the development and consolidation of the tourism industry in Africa. According to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Tourism Minister, who tabled the proposal for the MOU is hopeful that that the grouping of African Member States into an ‘Africa Brand of Tourism’ should work with and alongside the UNWTO. The Minister further expressed his hope that the ‘Africa Brand of Tourism’ would enhance the cooperation between UNWTO and Africa, and that the ‘Africa Brand of Tourism’ could also become a UNWTO Affiliate Member.

US travel to overseas markets totaled 3.3 million, up two percent in June and flat for the year at 14.5 million. Regional results indicates that Europe recorded 1.5 million travelers, up three percent Caribbean, 676,000 travelers, up nearly one percent Asia, 394,000 travelers, down three percent Central America, 279,000 travelers, up six percent South America, 172,000 travelers, up one percent Middle East, 168,000 travelers, up two percent Oceania, 46,000 travelers, flat Africa, 39,000 travelers, down almost six percent U.S. travel to other North American totaled 3.2 million and was up two percent as compared to compared to June 2012.

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) intimated that a total of 298 million international tourists traveled worldwide between January and April 2013, 12 million more than in the same period last year. Prospects for the current tourism peak season remain positive with some 435 million tourists expected to travel abroad in the May-August period. International tourist arrivals grew by 4.3% in the first four months of 2013 to reach a total of 298 million, up from 286 million, despite a challenging global economic environment.

U.S. News & World Report has named Marriott Rewards the top hotel loyalty program in its recent survey of hotel and airline frequent travel programs. Cited for having no blackout dates and a portfolio of more than3,700 hotels across 14 distinctive brands around the world, Marriott Rewards received the highest score among 16 major hotel programs.

USA is set to introduce visa application interview per electronic video conference .Travel and tourism to the United States adds nearly $2.0 trillion per year to the U.S. economy. The US Government is in the process for a pilot program using secure, remote videoconferencing technology to conduct interviews with those applying for a tourist or business visa to the US. The growing economies in countries like Brazil, China and India require new visa process mechanisms to address the high visa demand, including videoconferencing.

UNWTO signed an agreement with Spanish engineering company ISDEFE (Ingeniería de Sistemas para la Defensa de España. Whilst Research, best practices and new methodologies for tourism development are at the centre of an agreement, it aims at developing pilot projects based on a range of subjects including connectivity, energy in tourism, among others.

University of British Columbia says in its global analysis that shark watching is a major economic driver for dozens of countries, generating $314 million annually. Citing the study’s projections that shark-related tourism could more than double within 20 years, generating over $780 million annually.

UK holidaymakers aged 25 and older are expected to spend more than £27 billion on hotel stays this summer, whether it be for UK destinations, short or long haul travel. The average traveller is planning to book an average of ten room nights during the main summer holiday period according to a new survey released by Room Key, hotel search engine built by hoteliers.

UNWTO World Tourism Barometer reported that international tourism receipts hit a new record in 2012, reaching an estimated US$ 1075 billion (euro 837 billion) worldwide, up 4% in real terms, from US$ 1042 billion (euro 749 billion) in 2011. “It is encouraging to see that the growth in international tourist arrivals was equalled by a comparable increase in spending in spite of continued economic challenges” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. By regions, the Americas (+7%) recorded the largest increase in receipts, followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Africa (+5%) and Europe (2%). Receipts in the Middle East were still down (-2%); yet report a steady improvement compared to the decline recorded in 2011. In absolute values, Europe saw US$ 457 billion in tourism earnings (euro 356 bn) equivalent to 43% of the world’s total tourism receipts, the largest share by region. Destinations in Asia and the Pacific (US$ 323 billion or euro 251 bn) account for 30% of international tourism receipts and the Americas (US$ 215 billion or euro 167 bn) for 20%. In the Middle East (4% share) total tourism receipts reached US$ 47 billion (euro 36 bn) and in Africa (3% share) US$ 34 billion (euro 26 bn).

UNWTO, the Government of Morocco and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement to support the Ministry of Tourism of Morocco in the implementation of a new classification system for tourism accommodation establishments. The project will build capacity within the Ministry of Tourism to set up a new classification system for the accommodation establishments, a central part of Morocco’s tourism strategy «Vision 2020». The new system should elevate the competitiveness of the hotel industry in Morocco according to international standards while creating a true culture of quality among the accommodation industry. The agreement contemplates furthermore actions to raise awareness among tourism accommodation establishments and relevant stakeholders of the need for a new classification system, in order to ensure its sustainable implementation.«This initiative will contribute to the economic and social development of Morocco as it creates opportunities to advance the quality of its tourism sector», said UNWTO Executive Director for Programme and Coordination, Fréderic Pierret, in signing the agreement on behalf of UNWTO. The project, financed by the Government of Morocco, will be implemented by UNWTO who will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Tourism between 2013 and 2018.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) rejoined the Organization 26 years after having left UNWTO. The announcement was made during the UNWTO & Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum on Tourism and Aviation .”The Middle East is one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the world in spite of facing countless challenges; much of this dynamism has been led by the strong political commitment awarded to tourism in the region and the vision that tourism is a key pillar of development in the Middle East of which the UAE is a perfect example” said Mr. Rifai.

Union Tourism Minister of India Mr. K Chiranjeevi has urged the corporate world to join hands with Ministry of Tourism to promote Campaign clean India. During an Interaction with CII Tourism Committee Members, the Minister announced setting up of six MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) centers in the country. He also said that world class culinary institutes will be set up at Tirupati, Kolkata and Noida by the end of this year. Mr. Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism briefed the delegation about the developments in Tourism sector. Mr. Nakul Anand, Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism, & Executive Director, ITC Ltd. emphasized that while there have been achievements at the centre, the effort at the centre must be dovetailed with the activities at the States.

UNWTO welcomed Jamaica’s decision to waive visa requirements for Eastern European nationals and to extend indefinitely the current visa waiver system for some Latin American nationals. These important policy steps are in line with UNWTO’s call for countries worldwide to revise their visa regulations and procedures underscoring the close links between visa facilitation and economic growth through tourism. The visa waiver for tourists from Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine visiting Jamaica for up to thirty days was announced on 6 March 2013 together with the indefinite extension of the visa waiver in place for nationals of Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela.

UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) revealed that one billion tourists have travelled the world in 2012, marking a new record for international tourism – a sector that accounts for one in every 12 jobs and 30% of the world’s services exports. On the symbolic arrival date of the one-billionth tourist (13 December 2012), UNWTO kept the general tourist informed of the actions they can take to ensure that their trips benefit the people and places they visit, as voted by the public.


Vietnam promotes tourism in GES – India. On this occasion, Vietnam will also organise a tourism seminar in New Delhi and roadshows in Hyderabad and Chennai cities aiming to introduce Vietnam’s tourism potential.

VisitEngland launched an industry wide consultation on the future growth strategy for the tourism industry in England. This consultation will set the stage for a mid-term refresh of the Strategic Framework for Tourism 2010-2020 launched by VisitEngland five years ago.

Vietnam promotes tourism in GES – India. On this occasion, Vietnam will also organise a tourism seminar in New Delhi and roadshows in Hyderabad and Chennai cities aiming to introduce Vietnam’s tourism potential.

VisitEngland launched an industry wide consultation on the future growth strategy for the tourism industry in England. This consultation will set the stage for a mid-term refresh of the Strategic Framework for Tourism 2010-2020 launched by VisitEngland five years ago.

Vietnam Embassy in association with Accor Hotels, OM Tourism, Vietnam Airlines and Jet Airways, organized the first ever Vietnam Tourism Promotion event in West Bengal, under the theme “Vietnam – Amazing destination for Indian tourists” at Novotel Hotel & Residence in Kolkata. Umapada Mukherjee, director Tourism, West Bengal Government and 140 travel agents and media attended the event.

Vietnam ranked fourth on the list of five must-visit destinations in the world next year. Dubai, the most populous cityin the United Arab Emirates, is at the top of the list, followed by Namibia and Burma. Papua New Guinea is ranked fifth.
Vietnamese government issued a resolution on waiving visas within a certain time period for tourists from seven countries. The waiver will be applied to citizens from Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnam has become the latest country to tap the growing Indian outbound market and wants the numbers to grow from the present 30,000 a year. The SE country announced at  Delhi that the travel trade that Vietnam was ready with the products to cater to the Indian market.

Virgin company prepares to open its first hotel in January 2015, production company and animation studio Not To Scale teamed up with ad agency One Trick Pony to create a delightful animated film showing potential guests just a tantalizing glimpse of what to expect at a Virgin hotel.

Vietnam, according to Ho Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is visited by large number of international tourists by sea. An estimated 3 to 5 percent of international tourists who visits the country each year opts sea as their mode of transportation. According to Tuan, Asia is now considered an attractive destination for big tourism ships with many modern seaports. The minister further opined that an estimated 3.7 million foreigners will choose cruise ships to go to Asian countries by 2017. Vietnam defines its maritime economy, including maritime tourism, as one of its key development orientations in the time ahead which is evidently reflected in the ‘tourism development strategy by 2020 with a vision to 2030’, approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Accordingly, the country will focus on increasing the quality of maritime tourism products, improving the capacity of hospitality staff serving tourists by sea and simplifying customs and administrative procedures they face, the deputy minister added.

Vietnamese cities Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Quang Binh have been permitted to use trams to offer transportation for tourists visiting the cities by its Prime Minister. The decision was made after the success of a pilot program on using trams at tourist sites in three cities and at the proposal of the Ministry of Transportation. The Ministry considers this vehicle to be appropriate for tourist attractions, old streets and small towns. The battery-powered trams have 5-12 seats, are flexible, safe and especially environmentally friendly. The total number of tramcars in the four cities will be 621 cars, including up to 431 in Thanh Hoa and only 50 in Hanoi. In addition to the four above provinces, the Ministry of Transportation wants to develop tramcars in other tourist cities.

Vienna Tourist Board is looking forward to global access in its Vienna Tourism Strategy 2020. Travelers from all over the world along with tourism experts and the Viennese have been invited to take part in an ideas competition for new, unconventional and provocative proposals for the destination Vienna. The best of these will be built into Vienna’s strategic planning and will improve the city’s chances in enhancing the number of for visitors. About 650,000 users are invited to participate in an open innovation project called: “Now or never: Your idea for #Vienna2020”.
Vietnam will hold a major international tourism fair to boost tourism in which a phenomenal 450 domestic and international tourism companies are expected to attend. The event, jointly organised by the Vietnam Tourism Association, the General Department of Tourism, and the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM 2014), at Hanoi’s Vietnam Exhibition Fair Centre from April 3–6 is the second of its kind and is expected to welcome 50,000 attendees. The fair will be oriented around “Tourism promotion – new destination, new opportunity, and travelling for sustainable development”.
Visa on Arrival(VoA)Scheme of India recorded a growth of 26.5 percent in the number of tourists utilised the facility during the period January to November, 2013. A total of 17,594 ‘visa on arrival’ have been issued during this period as compared to 13,903 ‘visa on arrival’ recorded during the corresponding period of 2012, registering a growth of 26.5 percent.

Virginia and the Petersburg region, according to a report prepared by the United States Travel Association, saw a four percent increase in tourism spending in 2012 as compared to the previous year. The increase in tourism spending for the Petersburg, Florida region in 2012 matched the increase recorded statewide. Overall, visitors spent $328.9 million in 2012 in the six localities – Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties and the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell – that comprise the Petersburg Area Regional Tourism. Each of the six PART localities saw increases in expenditures ranging from 3.1 percent to 6.1 percent.

Vietnam, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT ), received more than 677,000 foreign arrivals in the early days of August, registering a 22% increase against the same month last year. The August figure raised the total number of foreign visitors since early this year to nearly 4.9 million, registering an increase of 7.9% compared to last year’s same period. Most of the visitors came from Russia (up 63.1%), China (33.1%), Indonesia (25.6%), Thailand (24.2%) and New Zealand (21.9%). The tourism sector has achieved nearly 68% of the set target of 7.2 million for the whole year.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), intimated that the there were over 3.54 million international tourist arrivals in the January-June period indicating a year-on-year increase of 2.6%, considered to be the lowest growth rate in three years. However, this situation is not considered too bad view the rebound in June, whilst the number of international tourists recorded in the January-May period dropped by 1.4% year-on-year.



World Tourism Organization and AVIAREPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show being held at the Berlin Messe. As part of the agreement the two organisations will join forces to promote international tourism to various destinations around the world in need of destination marketing assistance.

World Tourism Organization and AVIAREPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show being held at the Berlin Messe. As part of the agreement the two organisations will join forces to promote international tourism to various destinations around the world in need of destination marketing assistance.

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), while welcoming the Indian government’s decision to ease visa restrictions by implementing Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), urged the government to ensure “effective roll-out” of the initiative without delay prior to the commencement of the next the next tourism season in November. The Council believes that the initiative will provide the much-needed boost to Inbound Tourism and offer “competitive advantage” to the destination in comparison to other destinations in South Asia and Middle East.

World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) would cooperate with each other with a view to develop plans and programs to give practical expression, through tourism, to Indigenous rights. The Guiding principles for the venture will be drawn from the relevant portions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement is the outcome of the common focus of both the parties in fostering tourism developments consistent with the principles of the Larrakia Declaration that were promulgated on March 30, 2012 at the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference 2012 held at Australia. The Larrakia Declaration has also been supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are of the opinion that visa facilitation could create up to 2.6 million new jobs in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies by 2016. The report was presented on the occasion of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation held at Bali, Indonesia. The report ‘The Impact of Visa Facilitation in APEC Economies’ indicates that although there has been successful collaboration and advances across the APEC region to facilitate visas, including progressive approaches to implement new visa policies.

World Travel Market 2012, the leading global event for the travel industry, is expected to generate more than £585 million for exhibitors from Americas & The Caribbean, marking an impressive increase of 30% as compared to WTM 2011.

Wyndham Hotel Group announced the signing of an exclusive development agreement with İlbak Turizm İşletmeleri Ve Yatirim A.Ş. for 20 Super 8 hotels in Turkey over the next 10 years.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) agreed to launch a new public awareness campaign calling on tourists to help reduce demand for illicit goods and services linked to transnational organized crime. Preparations for the campaign were set in motion during the Spring Meeting of the Chief Executive Board of the United Nations in Madrid. A Cooperation Agreement was signed between UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The joint campaign, to be launched later this year, aims to raise awareness among international tourists about the types of illicit goods and services to which they are often exposed during their travels and which directly or indirectly fund organized crime groups. Travellers can play a key role in reducing demand for these products through ethical consumer choices. The campaign will encourage tourists to make informed decisions and help reduce demand for trafficking in persons, cultural artefacts, wildlife, fauna and flora such as ivory products, as well as counterfeit goods, and illicit drugs.





Zambia witnessed a surge in French tourist arrivals in 2014 by 27.37 percent, First Secretary for Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in France Percy Ngwira has said. Ngwira, who is also Zambia’s Liaison Officer to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), said the increase had been attributed to the strategic marketing efforts by the Zambian Embassy in Paris working with the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB).

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is increasingly adopting a universal approach to gain new source markets from both the East and the West. Zimbabwe registered a 1 percent increase in tourist arrivals to 867 163 compared to 860 995 in the same period last year.

Zanzibar may in the near future be the best tourist destination in the Indian Ocean region. While moving a motion for legislators to deliberate and approve a 10.4bn/- budget for the Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports, Minister Said Ali Mbarouk informed the House that “all is going on well” to achieve the objective. In addition the Minister also intimated that strategies to make Zanzibar the leading tourism destination included improving services and the working environment for staff in the tourism commission, and advertising abroad.

Zimbabwe plans to aggressively promote its tourism to Chinese tourists by relaxing visa restrictions, and also by giving a boost to air connectivity to grab a bigger share of the world’s largest outbound tourist market, the country’s tourism chief intimated.

Zambia’s Minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi, stated that land had been allocated for a new Victoria Falls City. The city would be modeled on Niagara Falls City and be home to hotels, theme parks, and casinos. 1,200 has been allocated to the project on the road to the airport. There are also plans to develop Kariba and Masvingo for tourism.