... ETOA, TAAI, TAFI and OTOAI, to help strengthen the travel industries

ETOA, the European tourism association, is forming a new partnership with the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) to cooperate on the promotion of the UK and Ireland’s visitor offer to the Indian market. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed at ETOA’s stand at World Travel Market London on November 4, 2014.

The main subject of the MOU is OTOAI’s support of ETOA’s March Marketplace (MAMA) business networking workshop, taking place on 16th-17th March 2015 in London. The first day of the B2B workshops is dedicated to selling the UK and Ireland, followed by a day dedicated to selling London.

Guldeep Singh Sahni, President of OTOAI said: “ It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the signing of an MOU between ETOA – the leading trade association for tour operators and suppliers with business in European destinations and OTOAI – a national, not for profit organisation comprising of India’s leading outbound operators, NTO’s, airlines and overseas suppliers wishing to do business in India.

Our two regions have a long history of political, trade and travel links and we also have excellent flight connectivity. Europe and UK are very strongly represented in India by their various tourism boards already but signing an MOU with ETOA to promote MAMA 15 and UK with Ireland to begin with to our almost 300 active members, who collectively would influence travel business decisions globally to the tune of around 15 million USD, is an excellent initiative.

We feel that mutual cooperation between ETOA and OTOAI would be immensely beneficial to the membership of both associations and MAMA 15 would showcase a multi layered destination experience in UK & Ireland to Indians who already have a fondness for and a pre-disposition to choose the UK for work, leisure and higher education. The benefits of the new transit visa regimen for UK with effect from December 2014 should also push up short term and transit traffic, which can have pleasantly surprising results on a destinations visitor economy.

How does there UK and Ireland fit into this boom? At first it seems quite problematic. The UK, in particular is losing market share and appears to have real difficulty in competing with a mainland Europe that can offer a huge variety of experiences on one visa.

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Fraport begins Ljubljana Airport takeover talks

Taking advantage of the favorable conditions currently available in the capital market, Fraport AG has secured further long-term financing by issuing a promissory note – running for a seven-year term and at a coupon rate of 1.436 percent. The placement was supported by a consortium of banks comprising Bayerische Landesbank, DZ Bank AG, Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, as well as HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG. Originally set at a volume of 200 million euros, the Fraport note was more than three times oversubscribed. The order book closed ahead of schedule, just one week after the announcement of the issue. This strong demand allowed Fraport to increase the total issue volume to 350 million euros, thus making it one Germany’s largest placements of promissory notes this year to date. The risk premium of 0.7 percent above the reference interest rate was significantly lower than the premium for Fraport’s last issue in 2012.

Fraport AG’s executive board member for finance (CFO), Dr. Matthias Zieschang, commented on the successful offering: “We are delighted by the strong investor interest and confidence in our company. The additional funds generated will increase our strategic liquidity reserves and provide management with further scope for projects such as the continued expansion of Fraport’s international portfolio.” As owner and manager of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Fraport AG operates one of the largest transportation hubs in the world and is also active at 10 other airports on four continents – including Lima (LIM) in Peru, Xi’an (XIY) in China, and Antalya (AYT) in Turkey. In 2014, Fraport has already expanded its portfolio twice by acquiring U.S.-based Airmall Group (which markets retail space at North American airports) and by winning the bid for a majority stake in Aerodrom Ljubljana, the operating company that runs Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia.

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Hilton Worldwide today announced an exclusive license agreement with Plateno Hotels Group, one of China's leading hospitality groups, to rapidly

Hilton Worldwide today announced an exclusive license agreement with Plateno Hotels Group, one of China’s leading hospitality groups, to rapidly launch and develop the Hampton by Hilton brand in China. With this agreement, Hampton plans to have over 400 deals signed, with the first hotel expected to open by the end of 2015. Hampton by Hilton is a leader in the mid-priced hotel segment with nearly 2,000 properties in 17 countries. Plateno Hotels Group operates five brands with a portfolio of over 3,000 hotels in 300 cities across China and operates China’s largest hotel loyalty program, reaching 80 million members

China has a growing demand for the mid-scale hotel market and has a low supply of 3- to 3.5-star hotels. Hampton has designed a 3-star hotel prototype to fit top-tier cities in China, serving value-conscious, quality-driven business and leisure travelers. Hampton by Hilton’s portfolio in China will be a mixture of new builds, conversions and adaptive reuse properties. Plateno Hotels Group will lead the development and management of the hotels.

“Our key strategic objective for Hampton is to expand our global footprint in China by offering a very popular hotel product in the mid-scale market, which has not evolved as quickly as in the economy sector,” said Phil Cordell, global head, focused service and Hampton brand management, Hilton Worldwide. “Plateno has the largest hotel footprint and loyalty program in China, in addition to being experts in development and management. Our partnership will fuel the growth of Hampton by Hilton in China in addition to allowing us to establish strong relationships with new owners and guests.”

Guests of Hampton by Hilton hotels in China will be able to participate in the globally recognized loyalty program, Hilton HHonors. Plateno Hotels Group operates China’s largest hotel guest loyalty program with more than 80 million members, which will provide a new source of guests for Hampton by Hilton in China. The partnership will also provide an opportunity to educate Chinese guests about Hilton HHonors and Hilton Worldwide’s other best-in-class brands. Combined with Hilton Worldwide’s 43 million Hilton HHonors members in 94 countries, over 120 million travelers from China and around the globe will be able to earn rewards by staying at Hampton by Hilton hotels in China.

Hampton and Plateno share common views on how best to serve guests. Plateno’s focus on a collaborative, fun-spirited brand culture that empowers team members to exceed guest expectations and needs is similar to Hampton’s culture of Hamptonality, the brand’s friendly and authentic approach to hospitality.

The 100% Hampton Guarantee, an unconditional satisfaction pledge, will continue to be a key pillar and will differentiate Hampton by Hilton in China from its competitors. Room count, product size and on-property and in-room amenities will also be consistent with the Hampton brand, including free Wi-Fi and comfortable beds with duvets washed fresh for every guest.

A consistent interior design aesthetic will distinguish Hampton by Hilton in China as a brand projecting strength, value, fun and comfort. Public areas will share the same look and function as current Hampton properties outside of the Americas, with welcome and gathering zones, bars, communal tables and on-property amenities, including fitness centers, gaming zones and 24-hour snack bars and restaurants.

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... town councillor completed his fourth Silverstone Half-Marathon today

Millions will line the streets of New York City this Sunday and endure cold and blustery conditions to watch 50,000-plus runners participate in the 44th annual New York City Marathon.

Daytime highs will settle in the upper 40s, and there will be plenty of sunshine. However, gusty winds could make an already challenging event more difficult.

Winds on Sunday will be blowing out of the north or northwest with speeds anywhere between 15-25 mph and gusts of 35 or better said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Dave Dombek.

“To me, it looks like its a case where all day on Sunday it’s windy,” he said.

The most favorable temperatures for running a marathon are between 45-65 F according to Mindy Solkin, a professional running coach and founder of The Running Center, a training studio for runners, which operates in New York City and Atlantic City.

For windy conditions, runners must know the direction the wind is coming from and calculate where it will be on the course, she said.

“Use the wind at your back to your benefit to make up for the slowdown when wind is in your face,” Solkin said. “In other words, the wind in your face will slow you down [and] the wind at your back will push you.”

Solkin has run six marathons, including the New York City Marathon four times. As part of her coaching, she frequently explains to her classes that they may have to adjust their goals because what they have trained for may not occur thanks to certain weather conditions.

In extremely warm conditions runners may have to slow down and walk to ovoid dehydration and the threat of overheating. When it’s very cold, runners must be more vigilant about finding the proper balance of clothing to wear, because while you don’t want to overdress, you don’t want to put your body at risk for hypothermia by leaving parts of the body exposed.

While it will not be warm on Sunday, runners will become warmer as they continue to move along the course. Still, as the day goes on, it’s a good idea to keep an extra layer tied around your waist, Solkin said.

In 2013, more than 50,000 entrants completed the 26.2 miles through the five boroughs and across the finish line in Central Park. The average finish time last year was four hours and 18 minutes according to the marathon’s website.

At the start of the race, highs will be near 40 F, but AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures could be in the upper 20s, according to Dombek.

Cooler weather means that runners will likely not need as much hydration as compared to warmer weather when they’re sweating, said Dr. Melissa Leber, assistant professor of sports medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

“The ideal athlete would already be warm before they go outside for their run so they would have done some activity inside to get warm, before they start running outside,” said Leber, who’s also the director of the emergency sports medicine department at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital.

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HYATT DEBUTS IN PANAMA | Affordable uganda safari

Felicidades a Hyatt Place por sus 200 ubicaciones

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Immobiliare Real Estate Development Group today announced the opening of Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown in Panama City, Panama. The hotel’s opening marks the first Hyatt-branded hotel to enter the Panamanian market and the continued expansion of the Hyatt Place brand throughout Latin America.

”We are delighted with the opening of Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown because not only does it represent the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Panama, it marks the continued growth and development of the Hyatt Place brand,” said Myles McGourty, senior vice president, Latin America and the Caribbean for Hyatt. “Hyatt Place hotels have been extremely well received by our guests around the world, especially in the United States and Latin America. We have been on a path of meaningful growth in the region and being represented in Panama is important because our guests are traveling there for business and pleasure. We believe Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown will bring a new standard of hospitality to the area and provide a perfect blend of style, service and amenities that exceed guest expectations.”

The 165-room Hyatt Place Panama City/Panama is located in the city’s financial zone, in the heart of the banking district. The hotel is conveniently located 25 minutes from Tocumen International Airport, and is near popular destinations in the banking district and the Atlapa Convention Center. Guests of this hotel will also enjoy easy access to local attractions such as Calle Uruguay, which offers a wide variety of cuisine and clubs. Additionally, a Panama Metro stop, a few steps from the hotel, can take guests directly to Albrook Mall.

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Ten Great Places to Hike, Bike and Sip in California Wine Country ...

Now that the harvest rush has subsided, active wine lovers can take advantage of the good weather and enjoy vineyard landscapes with a hike or bike ride in California wine country and a wine tasting at the end. All of California’s dozens of wine regions offer hiking and biking opportunities, as well as new “favorite” wineries and wines to taste and discover. Below are just a few of the many opportunities to get out and active among the vines suggested by Wine Institute.

Free Self-Guided Vineyard Walking Tours in Sonoma County Wine Country
Take a free self-guided tour with no appointment necessary at several wineries in Sonoma County, getting a healthy burn as you take in spectacular views. Stop in the tasting room to pick up a detailed walking-tour guide. You can finish at the tasting room and sample wines from the vines you just explored (tasting fee may apply). Tours offered at wineries including: Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Landmark Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Mauritson Family Winery, Stryker Sonoma Winery and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Hike or Bike Napa Valley on your Own
The Napa Valley Vine Trail offers a 47-mile path for exploring the world-famous region by foot or pedal at your own pace from Vallejo’s Ferry Terminal to the foot of Mount St. Helena in Calistoga. For a packaged but still self-guided experience, Clif Family Winery at VeloVino offers bike rentals through Calistoga Bike Shop. Start the day at the winery’s Clif bar for an espresso and a map of the winery team’s favorite routes. End the day with a food and wine pairing experience and wine by the glass at the tasting bar displaying cycling memorabilia or at the outdoor patio and wine sensory garden.

Livermore Valley Wine Tasting by Foot, Bicycle or Train
First-time visitors to Livermore are often surprised at the numerous, closely situated wineries surrounded by open space and gentle hills of vineyards in San Francisco’s southeast bay. Cycling routes are plentiful and winery and bike path maps are available through the Livermore Valley Winegrowers. A good walking route is on Greenville Road where six wineries are within less than a mile, including Big White House Winery, McGrail and Bent Creek Winery. Another good hike is on Tesla Road where walkers can visit Wente, Steven Kent, Page Mill, Concannon and Retzlaff. Niles Canyon Railway offers a laid-back way to taste Livermore wines paired with hors d’oeuvres. The wine-tasting trains run alternate Sundays in the summer.

Hike, Bike and Horseback Ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains
Whether your favorite transportation is your own two feet, a bike or a horse, Fremont Older—a 763-acre open space preserve bordered by Garrod Farms Stables and home of Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards— is a great place to hike or ride. The oak studded hillsides are home to many native animals, from bobcats, coyotes and deer to a variety of bird species. Begin the trail in the Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards parking lot, and end in the tasting room for wines from their Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing vineyard. Horseback riders can rent from the stables and book a tour of the chardonnay vineyard and estate.

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BOEING DELIVERS EMIRATES’ 100TH 777-300ER | Rwanda safari

Boeing and Emirates Airline are celebrating the delivery of the airline’s 100th 777-300ER (Extended Range), marking another milestone in a partnership that began over two decades ago when the Dubai-based airline ordered its first 777.

With this delivery, Emirates will have 142 777s in operation and is the only airline in the world to operate all the 777 variants. With a current direct backlog of 51 777-300ERs, the 777 also comprises the largest part of Emirates’ 213-strong fleet.

“The Boeing 777-300ER is one of the most remarkable aircraft ever built, and its combination of efficiency, range and payload is second to none. Our customers are equally excited by the aircraft and its on-board product, and to date over 108 million passengers have flown on an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER,” said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline.

“We have 204 more Boeing 777s on order, which supports over 400,000 jobs in the United States of America, including those from various suppliers such as General Electric which provides the GE90 engines that power all of our 777-300ERs,” said Clark.

Today’s 777-300ER is the most fuel and cost-efficient airplane in its class departing on time 99.5 percent of the time making it the most reliable twin-aisle aircraft in the world. It also has the highest cargo capability of any passenger airplane. Its 330-minutes ETOPS approval allows for more direct flights and decreases cancellations due to conditions at alternate airports.

At the 2013 Dubai Airshow, Emirates became one of the launch customers for the 777X by committing to 150 airplanes. The order was finalized in July of this year.

Each 777-300ER contains approximately three million components and assemblies, with more than 65 percent purchased through Boeing’s global supply chain. More than 500 companies around the world contribute parts for the 777, with a significant percentage in the United States.

Boeing provides Emirates with essential support and services from its Boeing Edge portfolio of aviation services, including parts and components, Airplane Health Management to speed the detection and resolution of maintenance issues, Jeppesen Crew Rostering services to optimize flight crew scheduling, and AerData STREAM (Secure Technical Records for Electronic Asset Management) to manage aircraft and engine records.

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meetings industry eibtm 2011 eibtm 2011 ceo summit eibtm 2012 ...

Pacific World, the global DMC and Event Management organization, is once again confirmed as the official partner to this year’s EIBTM which is expected to attract some 17,000 meetings industry professionals from all over the world. Pacific World will deliver operational support for all aspects of the show which takes place in the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona (November 19-21).

At the same time, they are to be one of the official sponsors of the Meetings Leadership Summit 2014 (MLS), a VIP by invitation only event for the elite of the global events industry. This year the MLS will take place at the fabulous recently refurbished 19th Century Modernista Hospital de Sant Pau complex on Monday evening, 17th November 2014. Pacific World is supporting the whole event organisation.

Patricia Silvio, Global Marketing Manager of Pacific World, commented, “As the official DMC, our role is to ensure that each of those attendees receive the very best service from their arrival to departure, EIBTM is also a global platform for us to show first hand the quality of our organization to the industry, it is essential for us and an important high profile platform for our company. This year, we also wanted to be a support the second EIBM Meetings Leadership Summit. This event is not only a top networking opportunity but it gives us the opportunity to align ourselves as a brand with the world’s leaders of this industry.”

As the official DMC, Pacific World is responsible for managing over 5,000 hotel room nights, and working with a list of official hotels to secure attractive rates for EIBTM delegates.

Graeme Barnett, EIBTM Senior Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions commented, “We now consider Pacific World part of the “EIBTM family” as they are essential to delivering the standards of service we require for all our attendees. Implementing EIBTM each year is an enormous task and it is incredibly important to us that we work with suppliers whom we can trust implicitly. Year on year, Pacific World prove themselves beyond expectation and we are looking forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Pacific World as a global brand is recognised for delivering operational excellence, creativity and best-in-class customer service across the world. Through working closely with local governments and convention centres, the global MICE company currently delivers event solutions in over 27 countries including China, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Greece, Scotland, Portugal, Spain, Southern Africa, France, Monaco, England, Italy and North America (thanks to the Global Alliance with ACCESS Destination Services).

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bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease diagnostic tests, has successfully developed a pre-clinical prototype diagnostic test

BioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease diagnostic tests, has successfully developed a pre-clinical prototype diagnostic test for the rapid detection of antibodies to the Ebola Zaire strain responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa.

The prototype is based upon the company’s proven, accurate, and highly-accepted INSTI rapid test platform, which is capable of providing results in as little as 60 seconds.

“We are very excited about what our research and development team has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” says bioLytical’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Christopher Shackleton.

BioLytical Chairman Robert Mackie adds, “This test is a significant step forward in the battle to contain the current Ebola epidemic, and bioLytical is continuing to work with international authorities to ensure that we’re contributing to the containment efforts.”

BioLytical Laboratories is a privately owned Canadian biotechnology company engaged in the development and manufacture point-of-care rapid diagnostic tests. Its flagship product is the 60-second INSTI™ HIV1/HIV2 antibody test – the world’s fastest.

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Asia Pacific accounts for 40 per cent of Global Business Travel spend ...

Global business travel spend is expected to reach a record US$1.18 trillion by 2014, with nearly 40% coming from Asia Pacific. This is according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which released latest figures from its Business Travel Index (BTI) outlook report at ITB Asia 2014, ‘the Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market.’

The three day travel trade event kicked-off today at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. ITB Asia, which is now in its seventh year, is expecting close to 750 exhibitors. The show has seen strong support from the business travel segment and an increase in international representation with exhibitors from 76 countries and regions.

Exhibitors showing a strong presence this year include the Spain Tourism Board, Brand USA as well as the Philippines Tourism Board and Indonesia’s flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, both of which have increased booth space by 200% and 300% respectively. This year also sees the strongest buyer participation to-date, with 14% more buyers compared to 2013.

“The evolution of the business travel sector in Asia Pacific is leading key industry players from across the world to focus more intensely on this market. At ITB Asia, we hope to leverage this strong growth and maintain our position as the region’s main marketplace for business travel opportunities,” said Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin, organiser of ITB Asia.

“The MICE sector in particular is growing exceptionally, accounting for over half of the total business travel market. It is a very resilient segment that is outpacing traditional corporate travel. ITB Asia aims to deliver pertinent insights on these key industry opportunities to help delegates leverage the potential,” added Göke.

“The dramatic progress of Asia’s travel and tourism markets, fuelled by the rising BRIC economies, testifies once again to the region’s immense potential for growth. Now, more so than ever, we need to encourage greater strategic collaboration among the leaders of the industry. Over the years, ITB Asia has been incredibly valuable in delivering comprehensive market insights and important networking opportunities. We are confident that STB’s partnership with Messe Berlin will continue to boost the success of ITB Asia and anchor TravelRave’s status as the region’s premier travel and tourism week for the trade” said Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.

Over the next three days, the show is expected to attract over 8000 attendees from 90 countries. With 4,080 minutes of in-depth conference sessions, the year’s show will host the most comprehensive conference programme to-date. ITB Asia is also a partner event of TravelRave 2014, a mega travel and tourism festival week organized by the Singapore Tourism Board.

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