Archive | February, 2008

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts launches ‘Signature Events’ Promotion

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has launched a “Signature Stages” package at five Shangri-La hotel locations – Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xian, Suzhou and Chiang Mai. The package includes:

– Auditorium rental from 8 a.m. until noon, or from 1 to 5 p.m.
– Use of LCD projector, screen and built-in audio and visual equipment
– Dedicated on-site technician throughout the event Complimentary flower arrangement for the podium, head table and VIP corsage
– Complimentary bottled mineral water
– Stationery arrangement at every seat
– One coffee break with coffee and tea service throughout the function

As well, meeting planners with a minimum of 50 participants or more booked for the auditorium, will receive additional benefits, valid from 1 April until 30 June 2008: Continue Reading

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International Air Transport Association begins 100 days E-Ticket Countdown

International Air Transport Association has begun the 100 days to 100% e-ticketing countdown . “In 100 days the paper ticket gets put in a museum. On June 1, 2008 we will achieve 100% electronic air ticketing,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Air Transport Association began the drive to 100% e-ticketing as part of its Simplifying the Business programme in June 2004 with the dual goals of making travel and shipping more convenient and more cost efficient. The programme began with five projects – Bar Coded Boarding Passes (BCBP), Common Use Kiosks for Self Service (CUSS), RFID for aviation, e-ticketing and e-freight with annual industry savings of US$6.5 billion. It has since expanded to include the self-service oriented Fast Travel project and an industry Baggage Improvement Programme.

“E-ticketing is the flagship project of Simplifying the Business. While a paper ticket costs US$10 to process, e-ticketing reduces that cost to US$1. The industry will save over US$3 billion each year by offering the passenger a better service. There is no better win-win proposition,” said Bisignani. Continue Reading

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Marriott to Establish Presence in Northern Ireland with Courtyard Hotel in Belfast

Marriott International is to establish its presence in Northern Ireland with a 169-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Belfast under a management agreement reached with Culzean Holdings. When opened in 2010, it will be the third Courtyard by Marriott hotel to open in the United Kingdom.

The Courtyard by Marriott Belfast will be located on Cromac Place and will form a core part of a high-quality, mixed-use commercial development that is the Gasworks. The site will be replete with a large central water feature, lawns, gardens, walkways and cycle routes connecting it to the city center and to paths along the River Lagan. Within a five-minute walk of the hotel will be Belfast’s central business district, the soon-to-open Victoria Square retail mall, the Grand Opera House and the various cinemas, restaurants and pubs of Greater Victoria Street, Dublin Road and Bradbury Place. Belfast’s main conference, meeting and event venues of the Waterfront Hall, Odyssey Arena, Kings Hall, Ulster Hall and Queen’s University are all accessible either by foot or public transport.

“We are excited to have our largest lodging brand represented in Belfast at the vibrant Gasworks development project,” said Ed Fuller, president and managing director for international lodging for Marriott International. “This project is largely the result of recent political stability and resulting upswing in commercial activity in the city and we are confident that the Courtyard by Marriott Belfast will play an important role in the future growth of Belfast’s commercial and leisure travel business.” Continue Reading

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Nakheel Hotels acquires 50% stake in Mexican Resort

Dubai-based Nakheel Hotels is to acquire a 50% stake of Mexican resort, One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, based on a total enterprise value of US$315 million. Nakheel Hotels is acquiring its stake from certain funds affiliated with the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, a series of real estate opportunity funds sponsored and managed by Goldman Sachs & Co, while existing joint venture partner, Kerzner International, will retain its 50% stake.

The resort is a 172-room ultra-luxury ocean front resort managed by Kerzner International under the award-winning One&Only brand. It features a Jack Nicklaus 27-hole championship golf course, a world class 22,000 sq ft spa featuring 13 spa villas, a 7,000 sq ft executive conference centre, two oceanfront infinity swimming pools, acclaimed restaurants and a wedding chapel. One&Only Palmilla is located on the Southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and benefits from oceanfront natural beaches, its own private peninsula and close proximity to San Jose del Cabo International Airport.

Joe Sita, Chief Executive, Nakheel Hotels, said, “One& Only Palmilla represents an important investment for Nakheel Hotels. We are constantly looking for opportunities to add value to our investments in companies such as Kerzner and this acquisition fulfils that strategy perfectly. Latin America is very important in the global tourism market and this deal marks our first entry into this lucrative region.” Continue Reading

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Marriott opens New Renaissance Hotel in Boston

Marriott this week opened the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, the first Renaissance property in downtown Boston. The $165 million hotel project is the next chapter in the fast-paced development story of the South Boston Waterfront’s Seaport District.

The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel offers 471 guestrooms, including 21 suites. It also features over 21,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, with a 10,700-square-foot ballroom and a 4,400-square-foot junior ballroom that are conveniently located on the same floor. Managed by Marriott International, this hotel is a flagship of the Renaissance Hotels & Resorts brand.

Cambridge, Massachusetts architects, Kling Stubbins, created the sleek 21-story building, which redefines the skyline, with a design inspired by the sails of a ship billowing in the wind. The hotel’s interior, developed by Beverly Hills, California-based Cheryl Rowley Design, celebrates the seaport setting, and pays homage to Boston’s newest waterfront playground. The décor weaves marine-inspired elements, vivid colors and dramatic finishes into the hotel’s custom-crafted artwork, furnishings and fixtures. The design team was inspired by the great luxury liners of the 1930s and 1940s: the Normandie, the Queen Elizabeth, the Libertine, and the Nieuw Amsterdam. These ships became the design inspiration, and gave foundation to the guest experience the designers hoped to create: discovery, excitement and leisure. Continue Reading

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8,888 Free Seats on AirAsia to Hangzhou

AirAsia X is giving away 8,888 free seats on its new Kuala Lumpur – Hangzhou route.

This free seats promotion is available for the travel period from 30 March 2008 – 11 January 2009, and is offered exclusively through online bookings made before 27 February 2008. Guests are advised to book early as free seats are usually snapped up pretty fast.

AirAsia X launched its service to Hangzhou on 4 February, and is extending its schedule from March 2008 to January 2009. Hangzhou itself is poised to receive a major tourism boost with this extension of service, as it welcomes visitors from Malaysia, Southeast Asia and Australia. Continue Reading

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Cebu Pacific Airlines dominates the domestic travel market in the Philippines

In a report by Thomson Financial, government figures revealed that Philippine budget carrier, Cebu Pacific carried more passengers in 2007 than the national Philippine Airlines (PAL).

According to the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board, Cebu Pacific carried 430,000 more domestic passengers than PAL in 2007. At 4.46 million domestic passengers, Cebu Pacific enjoyed a whopping 47 percent increase in traffic over 2006.

While Cebu Pacific and PAL both enjoyed higher load factors, Cebu Pacific’s 2008 full year load factor was 83 percent – five points higher than PAL’s domestic load factor of 78 percent.

Meanwhile, Cebu Air CEO Lance Gokongwei said that the carrier was expecting to carry seven million passengers in 2008. This is a 28 percent increase on the 5.5 million passengers it carried in 2007.

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Myrtle Beach : The Golf Capital of the World

Where do you plan to go this summer? If you love the beach and you love golfing, Myrtle Beach is the place for you. Myrtle Beach is located in South Carolina (USA). The reason as to why travelers get attracted towards this place is a number of amusement parks, theatres, yummy food, water sports etc. It is the place where one can enjoy each moment of his vacation.

Myrtle Beach is one of Americans favorite vacation destination spots. During the summer months, nearly 10 million visitors pass through this area. Myrtle Beach is not only known for its beautiful beaches, but also for the great golfing packages available.

Myrtle Beach is a city in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. It is part of the Grand Strand, a stretch of beaches along the South Carolina coastline, and the combined Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach MSA.

Myrtle Beach resort is very popular in this area and is the primary hub of the Grand Strand, a stretch of beaches along South Carolina’s coast, and sees upward of ten million visitors each annual season, with a large proportion coming from Ohio, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, West Virginia, England, and Canada. Visitors are drawn primarily by the coastline, but also by a number of amusement parks, restaurants, festivals, and tourist traps. Continue Reading

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Philippine Department of Tourism to promote Philippines wellness sector

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has vowed to intensify its marketing promotions on the country’s wellness sector, particularly on medical tourism, to lure high-paying tourists to the Philippines.

”It will be one of our high-valued packages,” said Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano.

The wellness industry is composed of the spa business, medical tourism, including recuperative services and cosmetic surgery and spiritual healing.

Durano said the country is fast becoming a destination foreign patients who are undergoing treatments like medical, dental, and surgical, as well as recuperative services because of the huge savings foreign patients get from offshore medical services.

Offshore medical procedures can be performed as little as one tenth the cost of what would normally be charged in the United States. Continue Reading

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Philippine Tourist arrivals for January up 7.8%

philippines tourist guideTourist arrivals to the Philippines grew 7.8 percent in January this year as compared to the same period last year.

Latest statistics from the Department of Tourism’s Tourism Research and Statistics Division show that there were 293,803 tourists that came to the country last month.

Of this number, the Koreans still remain as the top tourists in the country with 69,522. This figure, however, dropped by 1.7 percent.

Japanese tourists to the Philippines also declined with only 34,432 or 1.5 percent.  American tourists rose though by 5.1 percent more with 58,486.  The number of Chinese tourists also increased to 38.1 percent with 13,691 arrivals. Overseas Filipinos holding Philippine passports but are permanently residing abroad who visited the Philippines increased 16.3 percent to 14,465.

Other foreign visitors came from Canada, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Germany, Malaysia, among others. Continue Reading

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Copthorne Hotel Dubai offers Best Rate Guarantee for Online Reservations

Reservations can now be made online for the Copthorne Hotel Dubai through the website with the Millennium Hotels & Resorts Best Rate Guarantee.

Located in Port Saeed in the heart of Deira, minutes from the Dubai International Airport and within walking distance of the shopping and entertainment complex, Deira City Centre, the Copthorne Hotel Dubai opened at the end of January 2008 with 163 rooms and suites, four restaurants, swimming pool, health and fitness centre, business centre, meeting rooms and a Club Floor.

Managed by Millennium Hotels & Resorts, this first Copthorne to open in the Middle East offers travellers luxuriously appointed rooms of an average 40 to 135 sqm in size. Continue Reading

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Philippines was destination of choice for Chinese New Year

The Philippines stood as this year’s Lunar New Year holiday destination of choice among an increasing amount of Chinese tourists. This was revealed through reports by Taipei-based travel agents and supported by data from the Philippine embassy and consulates in China.

According to Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, “This clearly indicates that the Chinese travel market finds our various destinations very attractive. The combined efforts of the Philippine travel industry and the Department are working beyond what we expected.”

Initial reports from 12 tour operators in Taipei show that packages covering Cebu, Bohol, Manila, Tagaytay, Boracay and Palawan were popular among Chinese nationals spending a week-long New Year holiday overseas. Bookings have reached as much as 62 people per tour group.

“Based on the destinations chosen, the tourists would opt for places that offer a good mix of tropical beaches, cultural attractions and interesting historical sites. What makes the Philippines stand out is that we can provide all this in one location,” said Rica Bueno, Department of Tourism (DOT) Marketing Head for Team Asia Pacific. Continue Reading

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