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Web Reservations International Merger With HostelBookers

Web Reservations International, which operates the award winning web-sites, and, has announced its intention to merge with Limited, which operates the and web-sites.

With this merger, the company hopes to bring to you the resources of a larger company resulting in improved technology, support, and revenues.

As is common, this transaction is subject to regulatory approval and it will be business as usual for both organisations while this process takes its course, which may take some months.

During that time the company continues to operate completely independently and there will be no change to your day-to-day relationship with the hotel reservation websites.

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31st International Tourism Fair opens in Madrid

The 31st edition of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) opened here Wednesday at the IFEMA exhibition center.

10,500 exhibiting companies from 166 countries and regions are expected to participate in the exhibition, which will run until January 23. In addition, more than 124,000 professionals and about 7,500 travel journalists are expected to attend the fair.

This year, new exhibiting destinations such as the Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Pakistan, are making their first appearance, while New Zealand, Namibia, Lebanon and South Africa are among the destinations with new official delegations.

The exhibition is only open to industry professionals during the first three days, but the last two see the doors thrown open to the public, who can visit and perhaps discover a new and fascinating destination for their next holidays.

Posted in Tourism Promotion, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News0 Comments

Australian travel insurance estimates volcanic related insurance claims over 8 million

Australia’s largest travel insurance provider said on Monday the company expected claims relating to the volcanic ash cloud over Europe to top more than 8 million Australian dollars (About US$ 7.35 million).

Cover-More Travel Insurance Australia chief executive David Ferguson said travelers who purchased their policy before April 16 will be covered.

“With the magnitude of the disruption of flights we expect claims to exceed 8 million Australian dollars and this number will continue to grow as the period of disruption extends,” Ferguson said in a statement.

Cover-More, whose policies are sold through travel agencies such as Flight Centre, Harvey World Travel, STA Travel, Travelscene American Express and Travelers Choice, has been receiving more than 2,500 calls a day from customers anxious to find out whether they are covered.

Ash from eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano last Wednesday has stranded millions of air travelers across the world after European airports were shut down.

An enormous cloud of fine mineral dust particles has now stretched from the Arctic Circle to the French Mediterranean coast, and from Spain into Russia.

Posted in Europe, travel advisory, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News0 Comments

Vietnam Foreign arrivals up in March

The number of foreign tourists to arrive in Viet Nam in March reached 473,000, lifting the total arrivals in the first quarter to 1.35 million, up 36.2 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The number of visitors from Cambodia was reported to be the highest increase of 147.2 percent, followed by mainland China with a surge of 115 percent. Visitors from Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia also rose sharply between 22 percent and 37 percent.

Foreign tourists from Japan, France and Malaysia also rose significantly between 12 and 15 percent.

The ministry’s statistics showed that most foreign tourists arrived by air or road.

The ministry attributed the increase to the recovery of the world’s economy, especially in Asian countries, which are traditional markets to Viet Nam’s tourism industry. Continue Reading

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IATA urges US agencies to look at next generation checkpoint

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to look at a next generation checkpoint.

This, it said, should give screeners access to effective intelligence to deliver proportional screening measures based on risk assessments.

The IATA was commenting on the new security measures introduced by the United States following an attempted downing of the Northwest Flight 253 on December 25 last year.

In a statement released in Geneva on Monday, the IATA stated that a lesson learned from the recent incident is the importance of combining screening procedures with intelligence.

“It is critical that the DHS partner with industry to identify the most effective and efficient ways to address this challenge going forward.

“Clearly, the air transport system cannot support 100 percent pat-down searches over the long term,” said IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Giovanni Bisignani. Continue Reading

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Philippines pushes tourism growth at World Travel Expo in London

The Philippines joined hundreds of exhibitors at the World Travel Market (WTM) show in London, as part of an ongoing long-term strategy to boost tourism into the country.

Together with members of the Philippine travel industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) presented to a global audience of travel professionals who are looking for business opportunities.

The annual event, held at ExCel Exhibition Centre in the Royal Docks, is among the biggest events in the travel industry, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world including tourism boards, hotels, tour operators, entrepreneurs, airlines and specialist publications.

“The World Travel Market is a very significant venue where international stakeholders composed of different markets and countries come together for an intensive business-to-business exchange with immediate results,” said Ace Durano, Secretary of Tourism. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, Philippines, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News1 Comment

UK Hotels See Minor improvement

UK, October 2, 2009: Year-to-date August 2009 hotel performance indicators in the UK confirm a minor, yet positive swing, signifying a slowdown in market decline.

“These performance indicators have a long way to go before suggesting a recovery, but they are indeed a positive sign. The next few months however will be crucial in determining if the hotel cycle is spinning in the right direction; that OR change continues to climb and ADR remains stable,” stated Director of Development, MKG Hospitality, Vanguelis Panayotis. “In order for this to occur, improvement should really come from the corporate clientele segment.”

According to MKG Hospitality’s market monitoring database HotelCompSet, average Occupancy Rate (OR) in August reached nearly 72%. Although this still represents a decrease of 4.7 percentage points compared to August 2008, the decline is less significant compared to the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, the rate of decline in Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) also stabilised, reaching £74.7 and £53.7, respectively. Continue Reading

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The Four Seasons Restaurant Names New Chef

Today The Four Seasons Restaurant named New York Times starred Fabio Trabocchi as executive chef.

Trabocchi was most recently the executive chef of Fiamma, where The New York Times awarded him three-stars. He has cooked in Milan, Moscow, Marbella and Washington, DC.

“After almost a year of celebrating The Four Seasons’ 50 year history, we’re excited to reveal our delicious future,” said co-owner Julian Niccolini.

“Chef Trabocchi offers the perfect ingredients we need to serve our guests,” added co-owner Alex von Bidder. “He’s smart, creative and sophisticated. And his spectacular food is an innovative celebration of the local, seasonal ingredients that have always been part of the Four Seasons’ history.”

Shortly after he moved to New York, Chef Trabocchi impressed the critics as an internationalist with a melting-pot approach to ingredients and cooking styles – both in re-imagining classics and in creating inventive new dishes. Continue Reading

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British Airways offers First Class Upgrade Promotion

Until the end of September, travellers who book British Airways’Club World business class can enjoy a free upgrade to First class on one leg of their journey to Europe.

Customers must book before midnight on 30 September 2009 and travel before 31 March 2010 to take advantage of the free upgrade offer.

“This is a great opportunity for our customers in Hong Kong to truly travel in style and enjoy the very best of premium travel to and from Europe,” said Kevin McQuillan, British Airways Regional General Manager, Far East.

british_airways-promotions“British Airways has always been at the forefront of innovation, and both of our award-winning premium cabins are testament to this.”

In addition to electronically operated seats that can be converted into fully flat beds, the recently refreshed First experience also includes a turndown service, soft cotton sleeper suits, brand new Anya Hindmarch-designed washbags, a-la-carte dining and access to the exclusive and luxurious Galleries First lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

British Airways’ revolutionary new Club World business class was launched on the Hong Kong route in 2007 and features wider seats, increased privacy, Club Kitchen and a new, six-foot-six “Z” bed position, moulding your body to the position it naturally assumes in zero gravity.

The new Club World is available on all Boeing 747s on British Airways’ Hong Kong–London Heathrow route and is currently being embodied on its fleet of Boeing 777s.

Posted in Airline News, Aviation News, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News1 Comment

New York and London to boost travel between two cities

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and London Mayor Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday a two-year tourism agreement to boost travel between the two cities.

The cities will provide each other with outdoor media advertising space, and NYC & Company and Visit London, their respective tourism arms, will share best practices as a way to maximize travel between the two destinations and will assist each other with at least one publicity event in each city.

“Now more than ever, as we work to limit the effects of the ongoing global financial downturn, it is important to find new ways to grow a diverse array of economic sectors, and tourism is among the most important for New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

hilton new york“New York City and London, both significant sources of overseas travel for each market, can learn a great deal from one other and we will work together to highlight each other’s strengths and remain leading global cities.”

“London and New York City share many similarities, including a strong sense of optimism and determination, along with a great appreciation for diversity and innovation,” said Mayor Johnson.

Under the two-year tourism agreement, New York City will exchange 71 bus shelters with London that will run in New York City for four weeks per year.

In return, London will exchange 250 posters for four weeks on the London Underground system twice per year.

Posted in Tourism News, Tourism Promotion, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News, United Kingdom, USA0 Comments

Istanbul hotel owners jack up prices before IMF, World Bank annual meetings

Many hotels have raised their prices prior to the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, which will be held here between Sept. 30 and Oct. 7, local Daily News reported Friday.

According to the report, hotels currently provide accommodation under what they call “IMF meeting pricing,” which is on average 400 to 900 percent higher than regular prices.

Single rooms cost anywhere between 918 euros (about 1,322 US dollars) and 3,000 euros that week, compared to regular prices that range from 167 euros to 536 euros. (1 euro = 1.44 USD).

istanbul turkey hotelsSome 13,000 people are expected to participate in the event. The tourism agency Visitur, which is responsible for arranging the accommodations for the organizations, said that 6,000 rooms were already reserved in 45 hotels.

The IMF and World Bank will end up footing a bill of 15 million to 20 million euros for the meetings, according to the report.

As Istanbul gets ready for the annual meetings, it seems the metropolitan city may not achieve the high income it was expecting from the event.

Hoteliers and tourism agencies agree that the number of participants may be much lower than expected as very few reservations have been made to date. Continue Reading

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CheapOair Treats You Like A Celebrity with STARcations

CheapOair is now offering you the opportunity to vacation just like a celebrity, by recreating your favorite celebrities’ trip, from destination to entertainment and activities!

Celebrity Version: Cameron Diaz frequently vacations in one of the most luxurious hotels in beautiful Hawaii. Whether relaxing or keeping busy, this beach bunny loves the sun – her favorite activities include surfing, snorkeling and jet skiing.

CheapOair Version: Book flights to Kahului and stay at the beautiful Maui Prince Hotel Makena Resort, an oceanfront paradise, located on the gorgeous Maui Island of Hawaii.

Love to be active just like Cameron? Then this resort is for you, as guests can enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course, six tennis courts, an outdoor splash pool with spa tub and children’s pool, and cultural activities. Continue Reading

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