People Amadeus strengthens Americas commitment with Avila appointment

first_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> [People] Amadeus strengthens Americas commitment with Avila appointment DALLAS — Amadeus has named Elena Avila, the current global head of airline strategy, as its new Executive Vice President, head of Airlines for the Americas.Avila will drive the business and solution strategy for Amadeus’ airline segment in Canada, the U.S. and Latin America. She will also oversee the implementation, delivery and customer care teams. In ongoing support of the airline industry, Avila and her team will focus on delivering solutions for airlines to execute their distribution and IT strategies, while continuing to nurture long-term customer partnerships.Avila will assume her new position Oct. 1, 2017, based in Amadeus’ Dallas office.“The Americas region is the world’s leading travel market, with a strong heritage and a huge geographical reach,” said Avila. “Our airline customers both in North America and Latin America have unique needs and business objectives. I look forward to putting our solutions, expertise and people to work to help carriers across the region achieve their goals, now and in the future.” Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Tags: Amadeus, People Wednesday, September 6, 2017 last_img read more

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Arenal report

first_imgIt is a pleasure to announce the opening of the Iguana’s Tropical Bar and Grill in El Centro Nuevo Arenal. Known previously as Rumors Bar, Iguana’s interior renovation includes tropical wall murals, three widescreen TVs for sports fans, free Wi-Fi,  comfortable couches, a few overstuffed chairs with tables for two, plus traditional four-tops. There’s also a covered outdoor veranda for diners who wish to observe the hustle and bustle of the small but interesting town of Nuevo Arenal.Successful restaurateur Tom Carter provided training for the staff in everything from food preparation and service to the development of a new menu, with the most expensive item costing only $15. The new owners and staff are Ticas, one of whom partnered with all-around good guy Mike Neal, whose primary interest is the success of the Ticas. Mike also enforces the new anti-smoking law for restaurants, including the veranda where food is served. The Iguana’s Tropical Bar and Grill is a welcome addition to Nuevo Arenal’s business community.The next meeting of the Arenal Gardeners is Monday, Dec. 3, at Jeff and Allison Spencer’s home.–William & Jean Priestjean_pri@msn.com Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

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Tarpon in the Pacific Are there illegal aliens among us

first_imgFifty years ago, Jesús Chavarría was a small boy living in a little fishing village on the Sierpe River. He watched one day as a villager brought in a large crocodile. When the local men opened the crocodile’s stomach to see what it contained, they found it full of huge fish scales. Everyone thought a giant cubera snapper, larger than anything ever caught by locals, had succumbed to the giant reptile and all that remained were a few scales. Today Jesús knows different.Jesús went on to become a successful offshore captain and fished with the pioneers of the sport. For more than 30 years he fished all over the Pacific Coast, chasing marlin and sailfish in the days when Costa Rica was considered the sailfish capital of the world. He passed his knowledge on to his son Steve, who today captains a sportfishing boat.  Around five years ago, Jesús retired from the big waters of the Pacific and settled in his home village of Sierpe. He bought a smaller skiff and fishes with his grandchildren for relaxation, occasionally taking guests for inshore species as well as upriver into the fresh water. Four years ago, while fishing with a jig for corvina at the mouth of the Terraba River with his son Steve, they landed their first Pacific tarpon. Jesús instantly remembered the huge fish scales he saw in the croc’s belly as a child and knew it must have been a tarpon. Once you know a tarpon, its huge scales are unforgettable. (Courtesy W. Lamb and son)The first time I saw one in the Pacific was in 1995 in the Golfo Dulce. I had seen them hundreds of times on their own turf and I knew exactly how they looked and how they moved. I encountered my first one at 10 years old and I chased them for years, studied them with scientists, and marketed things to catch them. They were my ticket to live in Costa Rica when the late Archie Fields brought me here 26 years ago to run his famous tarpon lodge. The day I saw a tarpon roll and take a gulp of air a few yards from my boat in the Golfo Dulce, I thought I had lost my mind. Tarpon are not indigenous to the Pacific Ocean and it wasn’t supposed to be there. But I knew what I saw. Is there a subspecies living in the Pacific, or did they sneak through the Panama Canal from the Caribbean without getting their passport stamped and set up camp in Pacific waters?Two decades later we know for sure there is a population of tarpon on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Fish as big as 130 pounds have been recorded, and Saul Porras’ capture and release of a baby tarpon while snook fishing in front of the lagoon at Carate on the Osa Peninsula a couple years back opens the possibility that they are probably breeding. Saul Porras with a clue that tarpon may be breeding in the Pacific. (Courtesy Saul Porras)The Chavarrías are the only fishermen I know on the Pacific side that have caught tarpon on multiple occasions. They have found the Sierpe River has quite a few that cruise its length. Their first successes were closer to the ocean in the lush mangrove areas of the river, and they eventually started seeing them roll on the surface way upriver in the fresh water.These waters also hold a couple types of snook, machaca, corvina, snapper and roncador, so if a tarpon is not meant to be on a given day, there are plenty of other things to fish for. Even though this area is miles from the ocean, there still is a tidal influence. They prefer the falling tide. Small lures like Rapalas and plastic tail jigs are their baits of choice.Tarpon is one of the species of fish that moves freely in and out of salt and fresh water, making the migration through the Panama Canal plausible. The construction of the canal was nearly stopped in its planning stages for fear that the poisonous Pacific sea snake would enter the Caribbean and work its way into the Atlantic. The construction of the canal proceeded without that type of problem when it was discovered that sea snakes would not enter fresh water. Steve Chavarría with tarpon taken in fresh water at Sierpe. (Courtesy Steve Chavarría)If I were a betting man, I would say the tarpon that have established themselves in the Pacific passed through the Panama Canal, found the waters inviting and eventually settled here in sufficient numbers to start reproducing. We may soon have the answer.Andrea Beuter of the Ladies League of Anglers recently carried a scale from a Pacific tarpon caught in front of the Río Tamales in the Golfo Dulce and delivered it to Keith Goodman of the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust organization in Florida, who will do a DNA comparison between it and an Atlantic tarpon. If it turns out to be the same genetic composition, it opens the possibility that other species such as snook and certain types of snapper could have made the same trek through the canal. Jesus with a future third-generation captain in the Chavarría family. (Courtesy Steve Chavarría) If you would like more information about west coast river tarpon, you can contact Jesús Chavarria at 8981-8824. He might even take you fishing. Facebook Comments Todd Staley has run sportfishing operations on both coasts of Costa Rica for over 25 years. He recently decided to take some time off to devote full time to marine conservation. Contact him at wetline@hotmail.com.center_img Related posts:Reader not fond of ‘torturing fish’ — but sportfishing isn’t the problem Young biologist’s only sailfishing trophies are tissue samples Offshore World Championship fishing tournament gets underway in Quepos Brazilians take ‘World Cup’ of sportfishing in Queposlast_img read more

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Your brothers my cousins exgirlfriends son A Costa Rican screenplay

first_imgYou know what is trulypura vida, to me, after 13 years?More than a beach or a rainforest porch, more even than a cafecito or a birra bien fría, pura vida might consists of sitting in the back of a taxi while, in the front seat, two Costa Ricans figure out how they know each other.It’s always entertaining, always funny, always different, and usually better the older the two people are – except I guess it tops out around 60, because if they’re older than that, they’ll probably have figured out each other’s family histories before they even open their mouths. Facebook Comments (There follows a contented pause. Next, someone signals out the window at something that is dissatisfactory, usually a new construction project.)Remember when this used to be a cafetal / so-and-so’s mansion / a horrible slum? (The level of nostalgia is identical for each. If the two people conversing are far from the neighborhood they’re discussing, they signal to something anyway and find a way to compare it to their home turf.)Oh, yeah. Hey, do you remember the bakery/greengrocers/crazy neighbor who used to hit everyone/someone whose animal had fleas?Totally! Hey, what model are you?I’m a ’78. You?’79. No wonder! Hey, do you remember…The woman in the back seat, whose childhood neighborhoods are more or less untouched but also unknown to her now because she moved from state to state, who would be hard-pressed to have a conversation like this with anyone, sits in silence.She listens happily as cafetales grow back through fresh cement, as condominiums crumble into dust, as doña Mercedes – the angry pulpería owner who used to swear at the children but secretly slipped them Guaritos when their parents weren’t looking so they could slurp down chocolatey gulps of cane alcohol on the walk home – stomps the tiny aisles of her corner store, at home forever in her kingdom, alive and well in the minds of her former subjects. Doña Merce reigns anew as the two men in the front seat all but sigh in remembered pains and pleasures, made all the more enjoyable by the endless reasons to complain about the present that are gliding by outside the taxi’s windows.They chat for as long as the ride lasts. They could go on forever.I love it, I tell you. I love it every time.Read previous Maeology columns here.Katherine Stanley Obando is the editor of The Tico Times and the author of “Love in Translation: Letters to My Costa Rican Daughter,” a book of essays about motherhood, Costa Rica’s unique street slang, bicultural parenting, and the ups and downs of living abroad. She lives in San José. For more from Katherine about Costa Rican life and culture, follow her on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to the Love in Translation blog. Related posts:A room of our own: Costa Rican choteo and Virginia Woolf Why learning another language keeps us young Costa Rica, The Quiz: Part II For my father, who loved Costa Rica A tale of two Costa Ricas: hope, inequality and an hour on the train La nave: the joys and mysteries of San José buses What follows is an extremely loose riff on one such encounter, experienced recently when my husband realized our driver was from his own childhood canton.Hey, you’re from (insert municipality)? What part? From Frog’s Leg / Better-than-Nothing / Monkey Tail / famous Costa Rican’s name.No way! I’m from Water Duck / Banana Plant / Little Puddles.From the fancy part?No, from the stabbed-for-a-loaf-of-bread part [puñalada por bollo de pan].Your last names?(Gives them.)Are you related to Tere?What, the one with the lazy eye?No, the one with all the cats.No, my mom’s Ana. I’ve got three sisters.Wait… are you Carlitos’ cousin?Yup. Ok, ok, ok. Look, I live right next to the dentist’s office.The crazy guy who went to prison?No, that’s on the other side of the river. The one with the blue gate and the big laurel tree. Right! With the really good chicken on the corner!Oh, it’s the best. They don’t do it like that anymore.My best friend Chepe lives right near there.Yeah, he’s my brother-in-law.last_img read more

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ExUS guard in China pleads guilty in secrets case

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Underwood devised a plan in which the Chinese state security could gain undetected access to a building at the U.S. consulate to install listening devices or other technical penetrations, according to his later statements to U.S. law enforcement officials.In May 2011, Underwood took a camera surreptitiously into the U.S. consulate compound and took 30 photos of a restricted building and its contents, according to a government statement of facts to which Underwood agreed. Many of the photos show areas or information classified as secret. He also created a schematic listing all security upgrades and drew a diagram of the surveillance camera locations.In addition to his duties as a guard, Underwood, at the behest of a U.S. law enforcement agent, agreed to participate in a counter-surveillance project in which he was to report to his superiors any attempt by the Chinese to recruit him for intelligence purposes.When he later came under suspicion by U.S. investigators, he initially told his interrogators that he had been trying to contact Chinese state security as part of his work on behalf of that counter-surveillance project.From November 2009 to August 2011, Underwood was a civilian American guard with top secret clearance; his job included preventing foreign governments from improperly obtaining sensitive or classified information from the U.S. consulate. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) – A former security guard at the construction site of a new U.S. consulate compound in Guangzhou, China pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to sell secret photos and other secret information about restricted areas inside the facility to China’s Ministry of State Security.At a hearing in federal court, Bryan Underwood admitted that the case against him as laid out by prosecutors in court papers was correct.center_img Comments   Share   Top Stories “Bryan Underwood was charged with protecting a new U.S. consulate compound against foreign espionage, but facing financial hardship, he attempted to betray his country for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement “Guilty,” he said when the judge asked for his plea.According to prosecutors, Underwood had lost nearly $170,000 in the stock market and hoped to make $3 million to $5 million by selling information to the Chinese and by providing them with access to the consulate. Underwood created a schematic that listed all security upgrades to the U.S. consulate and drew a diagram of the surveillance camera locations at the facility, according to papers in the case.Underwood wrote a letter to the ministry of state security expressing interest in initiating a business arrangement with Chinese officials and took photographs of his worksite to pass on. He was turned away by a guard who declined to accept the letter.He later left the letter in the open in his apartment hoping that Chinese state security would find it. He believed that Chinese state security routinely searched apartments occupied by Americans.A year ago, U.S. law enforcement agents in Hong Kong interviewed Underwood and he revealed his plans to sell information and access to China.The charge Underwood pleaded guilty to carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Underwood likely will be sentenced to serve between 15 and 20 years in prison. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

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Purported Saddam aide Iraqs invasion helped Iran

first_img“The U.S. administration provided the cover for Iran and its agents for nine years to destroy Iraq and kill its people,” he purportedly said in the interview, published this week in Egypt’s online Al-Ahram newspaper. “Then it handed over Iraq entirely to Iran through (Iran’s) agents in the political process.”Iran’s growing influence in Baghdad since the U.S. military left last year has raised widespread doubts over just how independent Iraq and its majority Shiite Muslim population can remain from its eastern neighbor, the region’s Shiite heavyweight.Al-Douri, who was Saddam’s deputy, has been reported dead or captured more than once in the past. He has not been seen in public since the U.S.-led invasion, though audio tapes purporting to be from him have been released, as well as a video as recently as last April. His whereabouts are not known.Al-Douri is believed to have played a key role in financing Sunni insurgents seeking to undermine Iraq’s post-Saddam government. He was the “king of clubs” in the deck of playing cards issued by the U.S. to help troops identify the most-wanted members of Saddam’s regime. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How men can have a healthy 2019 Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   CAIRO (AP) – The highest-ranking member of Saddam Hussein’s ousted regime purportedly said the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Baghdad has ultimately served to make Iraq beholden to Iran.In an online interview, a man claiming to be fugitive Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri called the invasion a “horrible crime in America’s history” and said it was part of an imperialist plan engineered by the U.S., Israel and Iran. Sponsored Stories The newspaper said the interview was conducted through an online question-and-answer session, and The Associated Press could not immediately verify that it was with al-Douri. The interview also appeared on the website of Saddam’s Baath party, which is outlawed in Iraq.In Baghdad, a spokesman for Iraq’s Shiite prime minister called the report “worthless propaganda.”“Al-Douri has no value, whether he is alive or dead,” said Ali al-Moussawi, spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

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Qantas to battle for SAA codeshare

first_imgQantas may need the services of the kangaroo on its tail to fight a competition regulator’s challenge against the airline’s desire to extend its South African Airways codeshare agreement. In an application to the International Air Services Commission (IASC), Qantas asked for a two year extension on its codeshare with South African Airways, claiming a weak economy over the past two years had dampened travel demand on the Australia to South Africa route.However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) argued there was an increase in flights over the past year which suggests little need for a codeshare arrangement between the two carriers, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.”The ACCC considers that the increase in capacity on the route has altered the competitive dynamics in such a way that the need for codesharing arrangements between Qantas and SAA is likely to have diminished,” the ACCC said in a submission to the IASC.According to the newspaper, the ACCC believes carriers such as Singapore Airlines, which fly to the South Africa via a third country, and V Australia, which only offers two flights a week do not offer real competition to Qantas or South African Airways.The IASC claimed that it would have blocked the last attempt of Qantas and South African Airways to extend their codeshare agreement in 2008 had it not counted on V Australia entering the route, said the newspaper.Qantas will offer seven trips each week between Sydney and Johannesburg starting next month. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/19ae7/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

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Gong Gets Love at South Coast Tourism Awards

first_imgTourism Wollongong won two major categories at this week’s South Coast Tourism Awards, taking out gold for Tourism Marketing with its innovative We Love The Gong campaign and New Tourism Development for its $11m Southern Gateway Centre.Tourism Wollongong also picked up a Silver Award in the Visitor Information and Services category and saw four of its members also take home a Gold Award.Winning members on the night at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in Nowra were:Dolphin Watch Cruises at Jervis Bay in the Eco Tourism and Tour Operator categories; Novotel Wollongong Northbeach in the Meetings and Business Tourism and Sustainable Tourism categories;Coolangatta Estate in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries category, and Ibis Wollongong for Standard Accommodation. Tourism Wollongong General Manager Greg Binskin said the gold and silver tally was an “outstanding result that reflected huge advances made in the way the region was developing as an exciting holiday and lifestyle destination.” Photo: Tourism Wollongong attendees celebrate their win at the South Coast Tourism Awards proudly sporting their ‘I Love the Gong’ badges (front row left to right Kate Chapman Sales and Marketing and Greg Binskin General Manager from Tourism Wollongong, Klaus Kinateder General Manager Ibis Wollongong.  Second row left to right Vera Cvetkoski S+M Manager Tourism Wollongong, Sean Haylan General Manager Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, Melissa Davis Development Tourism Wollongong, Kate Dombkins Marketing Tourism Wollongong, Matt Davidson Chairman Tourism Wollongong. Back two people Greg Doyle Wollongong City Council and Walter Immoos General Manager Novotel Wollongong ) Source = Tourism Wollongonglast_img read more

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DJ plans Indonesia services

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Virgin Australia is expanding its international routes, applying to the International Air Services Commission (IASC) for services between Australia and Denpasar. Hoping to launch the new route from April next year for up to five years, the carrier said in its application that it would utilise its Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the service and offer up to 2,800 seats per week between the two countries. “The allocation will provide Virgin Australia with certainty to support the progressiveexpansion  of  services  on  the  route  over  the  next  three  years,” the carrier explained.  “Based  on  our  current expansion  plans,  we expect that 900 seats will  be  utilised by April  2012,  a further 900 seats will be utilised by April 2013 and the remaining  1,000 seats will be utilised by April 2014.”The proposal is now in the process of awaiting necessary approval, with the IASC inviting intentions to make an application by 11 July 2011, with applications due by 18 July this year.last_img read more

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Dealing with flight delays

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Airports and airlines “providing timely, accurate, and consistent data across all customer-facing technologies” will be the most successful in garnering return business, according to FlightView chief executive Mike Benjamin.FlightView has revealed three ways in which airports and airlines can improve the customer experience and reduce the disturbance of flight delays and cancellations, according to Business Wire.Results from a survey of more than 2,600 travellers highlighted regular communication, up-to-date flight information and free WiFi access as important features for aviation customers.“These are extremely reasonable requests – especially during delays and cancellations,” Mr Benjamin said.Close to 40 percent of respondents listed a lack of fast and accurate departure time updates as the most frustrating aspect of airline travel.“Travellers want to be in control of their experiences, and that begins with timely, accurate information,” Mr Benjamin said.A high majority of those surveyed (65 percent) said they had been misled by conflicting flight information.More than 40 percent of travellers requested free WiFi, 29 percent wanted airline lounges access, while approximately 20 percent would prefer digital displays to show aircraft location when not at the gate.“By providing timely, accurate, and consistent data across all customer-facing technologies – and WiFi access to enable productivity during wait times – airport and airlines can deliver an experience that passengers will keep coming back for,” Mr Benjamin said. last_img read more

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Excellence in Service Wins WorldMark Resort Denarau Island Top TripAdv

first_imgWorldMark Resort Denarau Island has been honoured with a prestigious 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award for receiving consistently outstanding traveller reviews. The Fijian resort, which is part of the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific group, was recognised as being one of the best in the business with its exceptional achievement of a 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. This impressive rating was a result of consistent high praise and recommendations from its guests. The Certificate of Excellence award honours hospitality excellence each year and is only given to businesses that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall rating of four, or more, out of five stars based on a set minimum number of traveller reviews over a 12-month period. Barry Robinson, CEO and Managing Director, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific, said, “This award demonstrates our ongoing dedication to providing memorable experiences for all of our guests without exception.” There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that our guests are not only having such great holiday experiences at our resorts, but also sharing their experiences with fellow travellers,” Mr. Robinson added. WorldMark Resort Denarau Island provides an exotic paradise for its guests, complete with unspoiled natural spectacles and top-class resort facilities. Source = WorldMark Resort Denarau Islandlast_img read more

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Nigerian airline grounded… again

first_imgDana Air’s flying license suspended once again. Less than six months after resuming operations, Nigerian airline, Dana Air has had its flying license revoked again.Announced over the weekend, the carrier responsible for the country’s largest aviation accident, said it was notified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of its suspension, but was unsure of the reasons behind the grounding, Yahoo News reported.In June last year, the airline crashed into a residential area, killing up to 153 passengers and sparking an inferno at the scene.The airline was told in September it was able to resume flights, and eventually took off in January this year, despite ongoing investigations into the crash.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.last_img read more

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Tourist Visa on arrival scheme kicks off in India

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman The Consul General of India in Sydney, Sunjay Sudhir has announced the new Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVOA) scheme, which will make travelling to India much easier for tourists in the future.The TVoA enabled with ETA Scheme will facilitate nationals of 43 countries, including New Zealand and Australia, to travel to India for tourism for a short stay of 30 days and it is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.It would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian Visa from their home country online and pay the visa fee online without visiting the Indian Mission.Once approved, the applicant will receive the confirmation email authorising them to travel to India and on arrival, the visitor presents their authorisation letter to the immigration authorities at the airport, who would then stamp the entry into the country.The visa is intended for the international travelers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing , casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.The Consul General further informed that during Indian PM’s visit to Australia, several MoU’s were signed between the two countries, including one in field of Tourism to promote people-to-people contacts.The MOU will encourage cooperation in tourism policy, information exchange, interaction between tourism stakeholders, training and investments in hospitality sector and promote the importance of the tourism sector in economic development and employment generation.India Tourism assistant director Sydney Vibhava Tripathi, said that Australia is one the most important markets for India and numbers from this market are on steady growth.“The numbers of tourist visiting India are likely to increase more after this TVoA facility,” Mr Tripathi said.India tourism Sydney, in addition to advertising, promotes tourism to India by way of various activities such as participating in important travel trade and consumer shows, organizing Know India Seminars, Road Shows, and extending marketing support to travel trade. From left to right: Dr Vinod Bahade –Deputy Consul General of India, Sydney, Mr Vibhava Tripathi, Assistant Director, IndiaTourism Sydney and Mr Sunjay Sudhir, Consul  General of India , Sydneylast_img read more

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HK Express launches GoConnect

first_imgHK Express has announced the launch of GoConnect throughout Asia, it is a connecting flight service offering guests a convenient, flexible and highly affordable choice for travelling around Asia.The service will help connect North and South East Asia, for example it will allow travelers in Tokyo to book tickets to Da Nang via Hong Kong in one reservation and enjoy the convenience of baggage checked once through the whole journey.Travelers on the service will not need to make two separate reservations and carry out customs and baggage formalities at each airport, saving time and providing a more seamless transit experience.GoConnect is available between all the 20 destinations in HK Express network, including Japan, Korea, South East Asia, and Greater China, providing travelers with more than 100 connecting destination pairs.HK Express chief executive officer Andrew Cowen, said GoConnect will make traveling far easier in Asia. “With GoConnect, Hong Kong becomes an even more convenient hub for connecting Guests from North Asia with the delights of South East Asia, and vice versa. GoConnect is a vital network service which, together with our growing list of destinations, is bringing Asia together,” Mr Cowen said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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Sydney welcomes new airline services from China

first_img Visit Sydney book and fly Xiamenair Sydney welcomes new airline services from ChinaThe NSW Government has announced a major boost to the NSW economy, with flights between Xiamen and Fuzhou in China to Sydney, bringing more visitors to the State, and generating a further $133 million each year.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said Chinese airline XiamenAir will fly to Sydney from November, just in time for the busy holiday and Chinese New Year period.“I’m delighted to welcome XiamenAir which will fly to Sydney for the first time, bringing even more visitors from China to our great State,” Mr Ayres said.Sydney is the first city in Australia to secure new routes between China and Australia since the expansion of the bilateral arrangements.“It is fitting, given NSW was last month once again named the number one destination for international visitors in Australia, with a record 3.3 million international visitors, with China placed as the top market for international guests to NSW with 500,000 visitors – an increase of 19 per cent from the previous year,” Mr Ayres added.“This new airline service from XiamenAir will contribute to the strong growth NSW has experienced from China and builds on other aviation relationships we have in this key inbound tourism market.”The five new weekly flights comprise three flights each week from Fuzhou, and two weekly flights from Xiamen. Both cities are located in Fujian Province, which has a population of almost 38 million.Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said the new XiamenAir relationship demonstrates the expanded China-Australia bilateral agreement is delivering significant benefits already.“This is expected to further grow the important Chinese passenger market, which is expected to be Australia’s largest inbound visitor market next year,” Ms Mather said.Both routes will operate with new 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and are subject to Federal Government approval. Source = Destination NSWlast_img read more

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Two countries one visa for international tourists

first_imgTourism & Transport ForumTwo countries one visa for international touristsAustralia and New Zealand’s peak tourism industry groups are calling for a permanent Trans-Tasman Visa that would allow international tourists to travel between both countries with a regional visa – making long-haul flights to Australia and New Zealand more enticing.A temporary Trans-Tasman Visa arrangement was implemented during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in which visitors travelling between 26 January and 5 April 2015 only required an Australian Visa to travel over to New Zealand. A three month visa was granted upon arrival in New Zealand to those holding an eligible Australian visa through the period.The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) have written a joint letter to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection following the temporary visa’s one year anniversary calling for the implementation of a permanent Trans-Tasman Visa by the end of 2016.“Australia and New Zealand are long-haul destinations – it makes a lot of sense for us to package the two countries together in a joint regional visa to prospective international tourists who are weighing up the long flight to our countries,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.“The reality is that if you are coming halfway around the world to Australia or New Zealand you want to make it worth your while, just as travelling to Europe we visit a multitude of countries on that continent not just one.“Seamless travel between Australia and New Zealand for our own citizens and international visitors is a goal we should be strongly pursuing to make our two nations a more attractive destination in what is a cut-throat, competitive tourism market.“A 2014 TTF investigation into the benefits of streamlining the Trans-Tasman border highlighted that a joint visa scheme could increase the number of international visitors to our region by 141,300 people by 2020 – that’s more jobs and economic activity we are missing out on by dragging our feet on a Trans-Tasman Visa.”TIA CEO Chris Roberts said the experience during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 proves that a Trans-Tasman Visa arrangement has tremendous potential to bring more visitors to both countries.“The New Zealand Government’s review of the visa arrangements during the Cricket World Cup shows that during the 39 days it was in place, 7,239 travellers from 77 nations entered New Zealand using the Trans-Tasman Visa,” Mr Roberts said.“Approximately 40 per cent of the international visitors who used the arrangement were Chinese – a non-playing nation in the World Cup – which just goes to show the potential a permanent and cleverly-marketed Trans-Tasman Visa could have in the Asia-Pacific region.“It makes sense to invest and market a joint Australia-New Zealand experience to potential international visitors. This is already happening successfully elsewhere – for example the Schengen zone of 28 European countries, where a single visitor visa is required.“Our organisations are encouraging the Australian Government to complete its own review as a matter of urgency and work with the New Zealand Government to put in place a permanent Trans-Tasman Visa by the end of 2016.“The Cricket World Cup has shown it can work, we just need the will of our governments to bring down this travel barrier between our countries permanently.”Source = Tourism & Transport Forum Australialast_img read more

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Master of the ship

first_imgMaster of the shipMaster of the shipPioneering cruise company, Pandaw, is offering families and groups of friends the chance to be master of their own ship on the exotic rivers and coasts of Southeast Asia.Pandaw’s small but powerful shallow-draught ships, allow the cruise company to reach remote areas that other operators cannot and, now, customers can charter their own ship and carve out a bespoke itinerary in a choice of breath-taking destinations, including Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.All 16 – soon to be 17 – ships in the Pandaw fleet can be privately hired and they range in size from the intimate, five-cabin, RV Kalay Pandaw, sleeping up to 10 guests, to the 30-cabin RV Orient Pandaw and RV Indochina Pandaw, sleeping up to 60. Onboard, guests are wined and dined by expert staff offering authentic local cuisine, enchanted by the local culture and sights on daily excursions, and entertained with on-board activities and cultural performances as they cruise the greatest waterways in Asia. Every ship is equipped with mountain bikes, ideal for families who want to explore each port of call.Chartering their own ship allows customers to enjoy a truly bespoke cruise, deciding on the duration and route that the itinerary takes, in collaboration with Pandaw’s expert team. Alternatively, guests can opt to follow one of Pandaw’s existing itineraries on their private charter, for example, Pagan and the Upper Irrawaddy or The Chindwin in Burma, the Halong Bay And Red River route in Vietnam, the Classic Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia or The Mekong: From Laos to China.In addition to its traditional, off-the-beaten-track river cruise itineraries, Pandaw now offers a coastal cruise around Burma’s Mergui Archipelago, aboard the MY Andaman Explorer. A glamorously restored, classic 1960s motor yacht, the Andaman Explorer can be hired privately and features 10 generously proportioned suites, with separate sitting room area and private bathrooms. The ship, which sleeps up to 20 people is floored with Carrara marble throughout and boasts a saloon, dining room and two teak observation decks.On the Andaman Explorer, families or groups of friends can choose to sail Pandaw’s established, seven-night ‘Mergui Archipelago’ itinerary or the new 10-night ‘Burma Coastal Voyage’. Alternatively, Pandaw can tailor-make an itinerary allowing guests to visit the locations that most interest them, stay longer at one port of call or move on, as the moodtakes them. The ship carries kayaks and snorkelling equipment, allowing guests to get up close to marine life as they explore the islands, beaches and coastal ports.Highlights of the Mergui Archipelago voyages include Naung Wee island where guest can visit a sea gypsy village, Lampi Marine National Park with its mangrove forests and diverse bird life, the Nga Man group of one hundred and fifteen islands and Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon. The ‘Burma Coastal Voyage’ will depart from Burma’s largest city Yangon, cruising south to the Mergui Archipelago.To discuss private charter requirements, obtain a quote and for more information, Email privatecharters@pandaw.com or go to www.pandaw.com.Source = Pandawlast_img read more

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AgartalaAkhaura border to replicate AttariWagah

first_imgThe India-Bangladesh border will soon be acquiring the features of the Attari-Wagah border that the country shares with Pakistan.The tourism ministry in India has sanctioned a project of Rs 18 crore for the Tripura government to upgrade the infrastructure in the area. 20% of the allocated fund has already been released for the project, to be executed by the state government’s Public Works Department (PWD). “Wagah-like infrastructure, including a mini-stadium, would be created at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) border to organise a Beating Retreat ceremony like that at the Wagah border with Pakistan,” said Tripura’s Tourism Minister Ratan Bhowmik.The Beating Retreat ceremony is a spectacular military routine conducted by the border guards since 1959 at the Attari-Wagah border to announce the closing of the same every evening. Apart from the stadium, an open theatre, cafeteria and other infrastructure will also be constructed at the site.“To build a Wagah-like infrastructure at the Agartala-Akhaura border, official level meetings between Bangladesh and India were held and the Bangladesh government has no objection to the project,” Bhowmik informed.Besides being a significant trading point between India and Bangladesh, the Agartala-Akhaura border is also a tourist spot which hopes to attract more of tourists with the creation of the infrastructure.The infrastructure upgradation at the frontier is among the several projects for which the Centre has sanctioned a total amount of Rs 99 crore to boost tourism in Tripura.last_img read more

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Tourism Arrivals in Kenya rises by 18

first_imgAs per the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, cross-border arrivals into Kenya, mostly from Tanzania and Uganda, until September 2016 closed at 326,438 compared to 318,689 in 2015, which is a growth of 2.4% year on year. Data on cross-border arrivals is key as it is thought vital in monitoring the progress made with regards to intra-regional movements and seamless connectivity in the region.Total international arrivals for January to September 2016 by air and sea was 657,438 compared to 555,855 in 2015, showing an increase of 18.3%JKIA arrivals grew by 17.4% to record 589,958 compared to 502,711 in 2015. Moi International Airport Mombasa (MIAM), on the other hand, welcomed 65,600 visitors, compared to 53,145 in 2015, which is a growth of 23.4%. 1,880 cruise ship arrivals were recorded until September 2016Consolidated arrivals for January to September 2016 are 983,876, 12.5% more than 2015 which saw 874,544 arrivals over the same period timeIn terms of share of arrivals, the U.S. has overtaken the UK to become the highest source market for Kenya. India comes in third, followed by Uganda and China, displacing Germany and Italy from the top five performing marketslast_img read more

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Demand for luxury segment  in Caribbean region on a significant rise

first_imgExpedia group has reported that travel demand to luxury properties throughout the Caribbean increased in 2016. When compared to 2015, overall demand for four and five-star rated properties throughout the Caribbean increased by nearly 20% in 2016.Likewise, the Caribbean’s leading destinations also experienced luxury demand growth including the Dominican Republic (15%), Puerto Rico (5%), Jamaica (nearly 30%), Aruba (nearly 20%), The Bahamas (10%) and Turks and Caicos (35%) in 2016 when compared to the previous year.According to a recent report by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), tourism accounted for nearly 30 million arrivals to the region in 2016 with visitor spending hitting new heights, representing a unique opportunity for Caribbean hoteliers specialising in luxury travel.In 2016, the Caribbean destination with the highest luxury inventory was Paradise Island, with more than 80% of the Bahamian island’s hotels being four and five-star property. Additional destinations where the majority of hotel inventory was comprised of four to five-star rated resorts included St Martin (nearly 80%), Punta Cana (nearly 80%), Turks and Caicos (more than 75%) and St John, U.S. Virgin Islands (nearly 75%).Demetrius Canton, Director of Market Management for the Caribbean, Expedia group, said, “We’ve seen luxury travel continue to thrive throughout the world, including the Caribbean. Expedia works closely with hotel partners seeking to tap into new and growing markets, including the luxury segment, by utilising the company’s innovative technology and global marketing strategies.”last_img read more

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