Τετάρτη, 24 Αυγούστου 2016

UNWTO Wine Tourism Conference gathers experts from around the world

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration, is organizing the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia on 7-9 September 2016.
“Georgia’s unique wine-making traditions date back 8,000 years and are considered by UNESCO as intangible heritage, making the country an ideal host for the Global Conference on Wine Tourism. The country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists, and its development of tourism products, branding and marketing, combine to present an excellent platform for sharing best practices, experience and knowledge,” said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
“Wine tourism is a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, the segment’s potential is well known and we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country”, added Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General.
Gastronomy and wine have become key components of a culture and lifestyle experience of any destination, and a growing travel motivation. To foster the development of this segment, in September 2015 UNWTO launched the UNWTO Gastronomy Network.
In this context, UNWTO is currently developing a Wine Tourism Prototype in Spain. The Prototype includes an analysis of wine tourism, in comparison with other tourism segments, and the design of an innovative product development model focused on the integration of the wineries into the cultural, economic, social and environmental heritage of their area of influence. The final results of this project will be presented at the conference.
The Conference will have a unique and dynamic format with three sessions to be held in different wineries across the Georgian region of Kakheti.
Speakers at the conference will include: Mr. Giovanni Mantovani, CEO, VeronaFiere and creator of VINITALY, Italy; Ms. Janet Dorozynski, Trade Commissioner, Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits and Tourism, Trade Sectors Bureau (BBI), Global Affairs Canada; Mr. Mike Veseth, Wine Economist, Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound, United States; Mr. Gabriel Fidel, Wine Tourism Consultant; Mr. Pedro Vargas, International Projects Director, Leading Brands of Spain Forum; Mr. George Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration; Mr. Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia; Mr. Patrick Honnef, Winemaker, Viticulturist, CEO of Chateau Mukhrani, Georgia; Mr. John H Wurdeman V, Owner of Pheasant’s Tears, Georgia; Mr. Santiago Vivanco, Director, Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture; Mr. Donald Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor, George Washington University; Ms. Paula Sousa, Marketing & Tourism Sales Director, Quinta Nova N. S. Carmo, Portugal; and Ms. Zaida Semprun, Wine Tourism Commercial Manager, Freixenet Group, Spain.

Asia Pacific’s Best LCC launches flights to Athens

Asia Pacific’s Best Low Cost carrier launches flights to Europe. Low cost flights to Europe onboard 787 Dreamliner will be the carrier's longest non-stop flight - from Singapore to Athens– transforming the guest experience in low-cost, long-haul travel.
Asia Pacific’s Best Low Cost Airline Scoot commences flights between Singapore and Athens, Greece on 20 June 2017. The new service between Singapore and Athens marks Scoot’s first long-haul flight between Asia Pacific and Europe, as well as the longest flight operated by a low-cost carrier (LCC) with flight distance exceeding 10,000km.
The commencement of Scoot’s services to Europe is part of the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group’s strategic move to stimulate passenger traffic between Asia Pacific and Europe, as well as to boost connectivity through the Singapore hub.
Budget-conscious travellers will soon be able to Scoot to Greece at pocket-friendly airfares, immersing in the rich history and culture Athens has to offer. Take a trip back to ancient Greece with visits to the famed Acropolis of Athens and the legendary Temple of Apollo in Delphi, before hopping over to the many picturesque Greek islands including Mykonos and Santorini for a dose of idyllic romance. Travellers can also connect onward from Greece to other alluring cities in Europe for an extended pan-Europe vacation.

IHG offers bonus points for corporate bookings

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has launched its new IHG® Business Rewards promotion, offering members the opportunity to earn 50% extra bonus points at participating IHG hotels worldwide.
Corporate travel is considered an investment to grow an organization’s business. Corporate travel grows with, and indeed fuels, economic growth. Business related travel in India is estimated to grow at over 10% in 2016 and further 10% in 2017, and could account for USD 36.1 billion (approximately Rs 2,42,000 crore) in spending in 2017 according to Global Business Travel Association, GBTA. With IHG® Business Rewards programme, corporates stand to save significantly on their expenses related to accommodation, events and meetings.
As a way of thanking those who book on behalf of others, IHG Business Rewards is rewarding members with 50% extra IHG® Rewards Club points on Qualifying Spend* up to the value of USD 20,000 (approximately Rs 13,50,000) when booking accommodation, meetings and events for others from 1 September 2016 to 30 November 2016 (for events and stays until 31 August 2017).
Once a member has a qualifying spend of USD 20,000 (approximately Rs 13,50,000), they will revert to earning three points for every USD 1 (approximately Rs 67) of additional spend as per the programme’s general terms and conditions.
In addition to the promotional bonus points earned, members can also capture more value by earning an extra 10,000 and 20,000 additional points for one-off individual bookings of USD 10,000 (approximately Rs 6,70,000), and USD 20,000 (approximately Rs 13,50,000) respectively. There is no limit on the number of high value bookings that may be made, and additional points will be received for each individual, one-off high value booking.
Members can register for the promotion by visiting: http://businessrewardsbookerbonus.ihg.com/. Guests can sign up for IHG Business Rewards by visiting: http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/businessrewards/home

541 projects and 158,950 rooms in Middle East hotel construction pipeline

DUBAI, UAE - There are 541 new hotels in the pipeline across the Middle East – bringing an additional 158,950 hotel rooms to the region, an industry report has revealed.

The Middle East Hotel Construction Overview report prepared by TOPHOTELPROJECTS exclusively for The Hotel Show Dubai 2016 forecasts that the majority of new hotel rooms will open before 2020. The UAE (180 projects) and Saudi Arabia (134 projects) remain the most active hotel construction hotspots in the region.

The busiest year for hotel openings leading up to 2020 is forecast to be 2017 with 189 projects and 58,527 rooms. Notable hotel openings scheduled for 2017 include: the world’s largest hotel in Makkah, Saudi Arabia with 10,000 rooms, and the world’s first Paramount Hotels & Resorts property; the Paramount Hotel in Dubai.

“That is a lot of bedrooms, bathrooms, windows, doors, terraces, restaurants, pools, spas, gyms, and much more to be fit out and equipped over the next five years,” said Gary Williams, Event Director of The Hotel Show Dubai, taking place 17-19 September 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). “This year the 17th edition of The Hotel Show, the largest hospitality supply event in the region, will run at the same time as Windows, Doors & Facades Event and Intersolar Middle East at the DWTC, as the need for all aspects of hotel construction – including its external or facade design and sustainable footprint, increases. We are providing the ultimate selection of sourcing, networking and educational forums for professionals interested in hotel construction in the Middle East.”

The brand-new Windows, Doors & Facade Event (18-20 September 2016) is a dedicated platform for global consultants, manufacturers and distributors of window, door and facade products, and will compliment the interiors, lighting and design showcase at The Hotel Show.  The event will host The Middle East Facades Summit on 18 September, focused on innovation, efficiency, security, fire safety, and quality control in facade design and engineering. 

“A well-designed facade in a sustainable hotel will bring energy costs down considerably, and add to the building lifespan,” said Muhammed Kazi, Exhibition Director of Windows, Doors & Facades Event.

Meanwhile, Intersolar Middle East (19-21 September 2016) is focused on solar energy and sustainability, an important trend in hospitality. In 2017, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is forecast to open Dubai’s first 100% solar powered hotel.

Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, EMEA, IHG said: “Hotel Indigo Dubai The Sustainable City is a unique project designed to be integrated into an entirely sustainable community, and to meet the highest environmental, social and commercial sustainability standards. As a brand, Hotel Indigo is a direct reflection of its surroundings and in this case, the hotel’s first commitment to its neighborhood was a net zero energy building where solar power will meet 100 per cent of the hotel’s energy needs. We see this project as a potential future trend, perhaps encouraging more hotels of its kind and more usage of solar energy.”

Intersolar Middle East will also host the Global Solar Leaders' Summit (GSLS), expected to attract more than 300 regional leaders and policy makers and prestigious speakers from Tesla, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, IRENA, Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, and many more.

Etihad expands its services to Italy

Etihad Airways will expand its services to Italy with a daily flight to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Starting from 30 October 2016, the carrier will operate with an Airbus A319, offering 16 seats in Business and 90 in Economy. Together with Alitalia, its codeshare and equity partner, Etihad Airways will offer 35 weekly flights in and out of Italy, including double daily services to Rome and Milan.
Etihad’s Venice flight will offer convenient travel times for guests travelling between the UAE and the Italian city. In addition, the new service will offer seamless connections through Abu Dhabi’s hub to the popular key destinations in the GCC, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and Australia.
Venice, renowned for its picturesque bridges and canals, is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, while Italy is the world’s 5th most visited country - with over 50 million international arrivals in 2015, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Etihad Airways started flights to Milan in 2007 before Rome was added to the network in 2014, contributing to a strong trade relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Italy. Bilateral trade was valued at USD 6.14 billion in 2015 and the UAE Ministry of Economy has registered more than 90 Italian companies.
Etihad Airways’ schedule for Venice Marco Polo flights, effective 30 October 2016:
Flight No.OriginDepartsDestinationArrivesFrequencyAircraft
EY79Abu Dhabi (AUH)0230Venice Marco Polo (VCE)0640DailyA319
EY80Venice Marco Polo (VCE)1055Abu Dhabi (AUH)1955DailyA319
Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time.

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts gets even greener

DUBAI, UAE - Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has recently stepped up its CSR initiatives to ensure that its hotels across the globe are committed to sustainability and actively engaged in social responsibility. 

The latest example of the hotel group's adoption of an environmental ethos can be seen at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Dubai, which recently installed an electric car charging station - free of charge for electric vehicle drivers with a green card charger - in an effort to reduce the Emirate's carbon footprint and to encourage the use of renewable energy alternatives.

Movenpick's global sustainability partner Green Globe provides certification to Movenpick Hotels and Resorts that follow established best practices and fundamental principles towards sustainability. 

Accredited hotels in Asia include Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket and Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, both of which conduct regular beach and ocean cleaning activities. While at Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, electric "tuk tuks" are used to transport guests around the resort. 

More Movenpick hotels and resorts are implementing trackable initiatives every year that contribute to the protection of natural resources and support long-term sustainability. 

"As one of the largest hotel groups to commit to Green Globe Certification for all our properties worldwide, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is setting a benchmark for the industry for environmental, employer, and social sustainability," says Andrew Langdon, Senior Vice President Asia for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts. 

The partnership follows Movenpick's company-wide commitment to the conservation of energy and water resources through the implementation of new technology and adoption of renewable energy sources whenever possible, reducing its properties' carbon footprint, as well as making meaningful contributions to the local communities and their environment. 

"We want to conduct business that is not only good for the company, but also positively contributes to the environment, for our employees, and for our communities," adds Mr. Langdon.

In the latest Green Globe report, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts was highlighted as the most "Green Globe certified hotel company in the world," scoring 2.5 higher than the average of all Green Globe certified members worldwide and with some 76% of its properties worldwide now Green Globe certified.

Five magic steps to improve tourism in Ghana

For every tourist in Ghana, a very common local word you will hear frequently everywhere you go is "AKWAABA" meaning welcome.This very friendly, warm and culturally rich West African nation blessed with a vast array of natural resources including gold, cocoa and oil is a great tourism hub in Africa. With beautiful beaches, game and wildlife, parks and gardens as well as great historical monuments, Ghana is definately the place to take that ideal vacation and learn something new. However, recently there have been a few strains on the tourism industry with many challenges and malfunctions. The best way to promote, strengthen and improve this industry is to combine several steps and effectively execute them strategically. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online hotel booking website takes a look at a few steps below.
Reduce fees at Tourist Destinations - Tourist destinations are the main attractions to tourists when they decide to visit a country. To see a much talked about statue or fort, to visit a historical palace or lake, to hike a record breaking mountain or to visit an art/cultural centre are just a few of the many activities tourists undertake when they visit Ghana. The Kakum National Park, Cape Coast and Elmina castles, The village on Stilts, The Manhyia Palace and the alarabanga mosque are great places to visit when in Ghana. However, to make these places more attractive, authorities need to take a look at the fees charged at these sites. Some of them are way too expensive and tourists who visit may not want to return in the future or even recommend the place to others who wish to visit. Also internal travelers like student groups or families do not patronize these tourist sites anymore because of hiked gate fees or prices of antiques and artifacts. When fees are reduced, more tourists will troop into these places, local visits will increase as well and revenue will skyrocket leading to an improvement in the tourism sector.
Include Tourism in Student Curriculum - One major challenge facing the tourism industry is also the lack of understanding of this great foreign exchange earner. This primarily emanates from the fact that right from elementary stages, tourism is not one of the key topics taught to children. Hence they grow up with little or no understanding of it. Many people have the notion that tourism is just about landmarks and historical sites. However, there is more to it than that. Just like other topics being taught in basic and elementary schools like Information Technology, Science and Agriculture, tourism needs to be incorporated in the curriculums of all schools. This will make for more understanding and appreciation of the sector. Many students will then see the need to take up further courses in tourism leading to careers in the industry. This will only help to make the industry better as more trained professionals with good understanding of the industry will be actively involved in policy making, implementation and improvement of the industry.
Refurbish and renovate broken down monuments and Tourist sites - Imagine you visited a tourist site in Ghana back in 2006 and saw some very unique monument and had fun with some awesome pictures,Fast Forward 10 years on and you return to the same place only to find cracks and dents, rodents and deserted places, unpainted and very bad facilities.Not the sight to savour anymore right? To get the best out of our tourist sites and national monuments, we need to continuously refurbish and renovate these tourist sites to make it more attractive to first time visitors or those visiting again to recommend the places to others, These sites also have to be fitted with modern facilities such as washrooms,restaurants and roads.
PR and Advertisement - It is usually said that good things speak for themselves. However in a fast growing and competitive world such as ours, there is always a need to go an extra mile to advertise and showcase the richness and beauty of the tourist sites available. Showing the world that Ghana is indeed very beautiful will only attract more tourists to the country. Also,showing the world that we have adequate facilities, good hotels and amazing food will also be a motivating factor for those planning a vacation to add Ghana to their lists. There are many ways to advertise or showcase this country and its resources. We can do that via articles and social media (notably facebook,twitter,instagram,youtube and snapchat). By constantly putting out there the beauty and history of Ghana, we attract more visitors thereby improving the tourism sector through revenue and business opportunities.
Provide adequate modern facilities close to tourist sites - To feel confident about visiting another country and having a good time, one has to be sure of access to some very good facilities. Some things that make you feel right at home. Comfortable accommodation, electricity, potable drinking water,internet access,good restaurants and good roads are just basic amenities that tourists look out for when choosing a tourist destination. Providing these facilities increases the chances of getting more tourist visits thereby improving the sector.