Archive | April, 2009

Stay Longer and save more in Chiang Mai

U Chiang Mai is offering U Stay and Save rates for leisure travellers who need more time to experience the historic town of Chiang Mai or even for business travellers who need more than just one night to achieve their business goals.

The longer guests stay the better rates they will receive per night. Stay longer and save more at U Chiang Mai from now until October 31, 2009. Now – October 31, 2009 Superior Deluxe One night 3599

Posted in Asia, Hotel News, Thailand, Tourism Promotion0 Comments

Japan Airlines to Increase Flights to Okinawa

Japan Airlines will increase the number of flights from Tokyo, Haneda to Okinawa, Naha, between July 1 to October 31, 2009.

Utilizing the increase in number of landing slots at Tokyo, Haneda, offered by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) earlier this month, JAL will commence additional flights to Okinawa, Naha taking the current number of 11 daily flights to 12.

The increase in flights to Okinawa follows the increase in flights to Hiroshima in the month of May, and Fukuoka in June.

Posted in Airline News, Asia, Japan1 Comment

Foreign travel continues to fall at Los Angeles int’l airport

Mainly due to the economic crisis, foreign travel through Los Angeles International Airport ( LAX) continued to fall by a whopping 19 percent in March, it was reported on Thursday.

This was the 12th straight month of declines for the world’s sixth largest airport, the Los Angeles Times reported, quoting figures released by the Los Angeles World Airports.

The figures showed that the number of domestic and international passengers at LAX declined from 5.2 million in March 2008 to 4.6 million in March 2009, a drop of about 12.6 percent overall.

Meanwhile, the number of international travelers fell from 1.5 million to 1.2 million for the same period.

The greatest declines occurred at nearby Ontario International Airport (OIA), where the number of domestic and international passengers dropped by more than 31 percent from 607,000 in March 2008 to 417,000 in March of this year, according to figures cited by the paper. Continue Reading

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Australian tourism industry optimistic in face of global recession

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said on Friday that the economic crisis has led to a sharp spike in the number of backpackers heading to Australia shores.

“The backpacker market is absolutely booming, we’ve seen visa applications up by 20 percent out of Germany and Britain alone, and those figures are translating into business” ATEC managing director Matt Hingerty told reporters.

The number of tourists coming to Australia has been predicted to fall by at least 250,000, representing a loss of around 1 billion Aust dollars (0.71 billion U.S. dollars), but Hingerty said the industry is well-equipped to bounce back.

“The industry’s been through SARS, September 11, the collapse of Ansett, and the Bali Bombings, and we have learned and got better at recovery every time,” Hingerty said.

The government has launched an 8.5 million Aust dollars (6 million U.S. dollars) grant program to support tourism innovation. Continue Reading

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Mexico opens wider to Chinese tourists, more improvement still needed

Mexican government has taken concrete steps to make it easier for Chinese citizens to visit Mexico, but major improvement is still needed, a senior tourism official said Thursday.

Mexico has scrapped visa requirement for Chinese nationals living in Macao and allowed Mexican consulates in China to process visa applications, said Alejandro Rojas, head of Mexico City’s Tourism Department.

It has also extended visas for both tourist and business visitors to a maximum term of 10 years and a maximum 180 days for the visa holders to stay in Mexico, said the Mexican official.

In order to promote Mexican tourism, the Mexican government has eased visa restrictions for technicians and business people from other parts of China, and put up signs in Chinese at international airports in Tijuana and Mexico City, in addition to training 16 Chinese-speaking staff members, Rojas said.

Rojas added that the achievements are the results of the efforts by Mexico’s National Migration Agency during the first Mexico-China International Tourism Congress, which was held on March 18-22 in Mexico City. Continue Reading

Posted in South America, Tourism News, Tourism Promotion1 Comment

World’s largest cave discovered in world heritage site in Vietnam

The Quang Binh administration has revealed that an English potholing team has discovered a cave believed to be the biggest in the world, in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang World Natural Heritage site.

A representative from the central province said that the English cavers told the provincial authorities at a meeting on April 22 that the cave, called Son Doong, is approximately 200m high, 140-150m wide and over 5km long. The find is located in an area that is extremely difficult to access, about six hours walk from the Ho Chi Minh trail.

The Son Doong cave has replaced the Deer cave in Malaysia to take pole position as the world’s largest cave.

The local authorities say that the local people knew of the caves existence several years ago but have always been unable to access it.

During their one month trip, the English explorers discovered another 20 caves, bringing the total number in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to 150. Continue Reading

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Hong Kong Disneyland launches MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) Promotion

Hong Kong Disneyland has launched two MICE products to help corporate clients maximize their spending, while taking some time out to relax and recharge, amidst business events.

Available until the end of August, the Special Meeting Package and Group Ticket Promotion take into account budgets and the growing emphasis on holding MICE events that provide a mini escape for employees.

Hong Kong is well-known as a MICE hub thanks in part to its strategic location, comprehensive and world-class infrastructure, and strong hospitality sector.

Aliana Ho, Vice President, Sales and Travel Trade Marketing of Hong Kong Disneyland said, “The current economic environment is set to be a challenge for our corporate clients and budgets now play a significant role when organizing MICE activities. Hong Kong Disneyland understands the mounting pressure that corporations face. Our new Special Meeting Package and Group Ticket Promotion are excellent solutions financially, and give clients’ employees a break from their everyday routine.” Continue Reading

Posted in Tourism Promotion, Travel Business News0 Comments

World Tourism : An engine for employment creation and economic stimulus

The tourism industry continues to be amongst the most dynamic economic sectors, generating a wide range of benefits including a growing contribution to GDP, in some cases over 10%, and substantial foreign exchange earnings. Tourism as a reliable tool for sustainable job creation was at the centre of the 5th UNWTO International Conference on Tourism Statistics ( Bali, Indonesia, 30 March-2 April), with 450 participants from 70 countries and nine international organizations.

Tourism plays a crucial role in the creation of employment, which is especially important during the current economic crisis. The key challenges are to establish sustainable policies to enhance both the quantity and quality of employment in the tourism industry.

Participants in the Conference underscored the importance of public-private cooperation, particularly in the framework of advancing the Decent Work Agenda promoted by the International Labour Organization (ILO, a key partner of UNWTO within the UN family). In this regard it was agreed to both protect and promote the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) as a powerful brand which should be carefully developed and applied for the measurement of tourism’s contribution to developed and developing economies alike. Continue Reading

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Santa Monica, CA Offers Special Promotion; Simple Pleasures

A selection of 25 Santa Monica accommodations, from luxury to beachfront hotels, and value options to boutique havens, are welcoming guests with a never-before seen hotel promotion showcasing a Southern California hotel collection as diverse as its destination. Santa Monica’s “Sun, Sea, Save” promotion offers travelers a 3rd night free and a variety of free attraction passes when booking from a selection of participating Santa Monica properties.

Beckoning adventure seekers, fun families, sophisticated singles, bright-eyed business types and cool couples, Santa Monica invites all to rediscover its sandy shores, abundant sunshine and laid-back diversion that is surely to be the springboard for guilt-free self indulgence, self discovery and oh so much fun! In addition to great deals across the city, guests booking this special Santa Monica vacation package will also be treated to a free sampling of Santa Monica’s most iconic attractions.

In celebration of the world-famous Santa Monica Pier’s Centennial Celebration, the Pier will provide a complimentary whirl on their historical Carousel; Pacific Park on the pier will offer a free ride on their solar-powered Ferris Wheel; Perry’s Café locations along Santa Monica Beach will offer a complimentary beach bicycle rental; and Santa Monica’s award winning ‘Big Blue Bus’ transportation system will offer visitors a free fare card. Coupled with a list of ‘25 Free Things to Do in Santa Monica,’ the “Sun, Sea, Save” promotion is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a ‘back to basics’ exploration of this vibrant seaside city. Continue Reading

Posted in Tourism Promotion, USA1 Comment

Smart Destinations adds Empire State Observatory to NYC Explorer Pass

Smart Destinations, the company behind Go Cards and Explorer Passes, announces the addition of the Empire State Building Observatory as part of the NYC Explorer Pass. The newly-renovated visitor’s area at the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the most visited attractions for visitors to New York City and represents an important addition to the popular product.

The NYC Explorer Pass offers the ultimate in convenience, cost savings and flexibility for visitors to the city. Customers choose three, five or seven attractions at a low, pre-paid price. The pass serves as a ticket to any of the 40 participating NY attractions. Customers have the freedom to use the pass at anytime of the day or night and can take up to 30 days to use the admissions on the pass, making it ideal for out-of-towners and locals alike. The pass also provides discounts at popular restaurants and shops and the ability to skip the lines at many attractions. Each Explorer Pass also comes with a color-printed, pocket-sized guidebook full of maps, travel tips and itineraries for New York City.

“With millions of visitors from around the world, the Empire State Building is the ‘must-see’ attraction in New York City,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, Director of the Observatory at the Empire State Building. “We have recently renovated our 86th and 102nd floor observatories with aesthetic and modernization improvements. By joining with the NYC Explorer Pass, we encourage people to get the most out of their visit to the world’s most famous office building.”

Among the top attractions included in the NYC Explorer Pass are Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry, and Madame Tussauds. In addition to the Empire State Building Observatory, in 2009 Smart Destinations also added a Harlem Walking Tour, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, Bodies…The Exhibition, the Museum of Sex and an entire Brooklyn section with attractions including the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and more. Continue Reading

Posted in Tourism Promotion, Travel Business News, USA0 Comments

Marriott signs New Courtyard Hotel in Boulogne Paris

The first franchised Courtyard by Marriott property in France will open in late 2010 under an agreement reached between Marriott International and Societe Hoteliere de Boulogne.

The 115-room Courtyard by Marriott Paris Boulogne will be located in the re-development of an historic building that was originally owned by the Banque de France at 114 Route de la Reine in the city center of Boulogne-Paris.

The original edifice will house the hotel’s public areas including an open, spacious lobby, bar and restaurant; 336 square meters of conference space, a fitness facility and some guest rooms. An extension will be built behind and above the existing building, including three additional floors of guest rooms.

Accommodations all Courtyard hotels globally offer plush bed and bath linens; distinctly defined rest, work, relaxation and grooming areas; a large work desk with bright lighting and ergonomic chair; flat screen television; high-speed interest and voice mail access; safes; iron and ironing board and a coffee/tea maker. Continue Reading

Posted in Europe, France, Hotel News0 Comments

Fidel Castro welcomes new US travel rules for Cuba

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has given a cautious welcome to the new travel rules for US citizens, saying they are positive but insufficient.

US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that restrictions on travel and money transfers to Cuba would be lifted for Americans with relatives in the Caribbean country.

In an article published on the government website on Tuesday, the longtime communist leader said the decision was “positive, but only a minimal part” of what needs to be done. “Many other measures are needed,” he said.

Castro, 82, also criticized the failure of the Obama administration to address the half-century blockade of Cuba.

“Of the blockade, which is the cruelest of measures, not a word was uttered,” he wrote. Continue Reading

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