Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Following Prince Williams stop by Queensland earlier this month, a second royal will be visiting Australia this year with Queens Elizabeth II making her way down under to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).Her Majesty accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will make her way into Perth for the event on 28 October to open the meeting for up to 50 Commonwealth countries.Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said the Queen’s visit demonstrates the importance of the event as well as offers the state the opportunity to showcase itself to the world. “We have announced cultural and sporting events to coincide with CHOGM and now The Queen’s attendance is confirmed, I’m sure it will add to people’s excitement about this event,” Mr Barnett said.“With The Queen’s Birthday public holiday moving to October 28, it is fitting that West Australians will get to celebrate the occasion with The Queen on that day.”According to Mr Barnett, this visit will mark the Queen’s eighth visit to the state, with her last trip made in 2000.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.C Flight Centre (FLT) is expanding on its Asia based operations, launching its first ever leisure store in Singapore late last week.With an establish presence in corporate travel, FLT Singapore executive general manager Suyin Lee said the new store targets a niche market in the local area and would continue to offer the company’s “low airfare guarantee”. “Flight Centre has an extremely strong global presence in leisure travel and our aim is to capitalise on this by offering the brand’s powerful mix of price, product and service in the Singaporean leisure market,” Ms Lee said.The office will continue to sell a range of products including airfares, accommodation, car hire, tours, insurance and cruises and will hire both English and bi-lingual consultants. “We invest heavily in destination and product training in addition to service excellence to create a different experience for our customers in a very competitive market,” she added.Earlier this year, Flight Centre Limited said it was in line to achieve its full year pre-tax estimate between $220 million and $240 million.FLT currently has up to 2,000 stores located in Singapore, Greater China, Australia, New Zealand, India, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Dubai.
Despite their outbound operations going “gangbusters”, Contiki Holidays managing director Fiona Hunt told e-Travel Blackboard she was concerned with the decreasing trend of young Australians to tour their home country.With nearly triple digit growth in demand for Contiki’s Asia tours and strong growth in demand for tours to the US and Europe, Contiki’s future is looking bright, but Ms Hunt wants all aspects of the business to boom.Following from last night’s launch of Contiki’s annual Travel Trends Research Report, Ms Hunt told e-Travel Blackboard Contiki has exciting plans to boost domestic demand, but has yet to officially reveal her strategy.“It’s a really exciting time, though,” Ms Hunt said, itching to share her news. From an outbound perspective, Ms Hunt told e-Travel Blackboard of her recent trip to Europe, where she was surprised by the impact Australian travellers were having on a markedly down market.“We are making a difference.” According to Ms Hunt, Contiki are seeing lead times shortening in general but a trend toward booking multiple tours is increasing. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
Thai Airways set to be the first in Asia to fly passengers using biofuels Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P Leading the way in green travel, Thai Airways (THAI) is set to be the first airline in Asia to operate a commercial flight using biofuels.Thai Airways has announced it will operate its inaugural biofuels flight, TG8421 on 21 December 2011, utilizing Boeing 777-200 aircraft.On the following day, 22 December, Thai Airways will operate its first passenger biofuels flight in Asia, flight TG104 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, carrying a total of 100 students and professors.Thai Airways President Piyasvasti Amranand said the green initiative is in support of the airlines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program which is in line with His Majesty the King’s vision of creating sustainable and renewable energy.According to the airline, the decision to operate a commercial flight using bio jet fuel is one way it can help reduce global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.The airline claims it is revolutionizing the use of bio jet fuel in Asia and Southeast Asia, which it hopes will kick start other carrier in the region to follow suit.Thai Airways has received total support by petroleum producers, research firms, educational institutions, aircraft and engine manufactures as well as government agencies affiliated with the aviation industry to develop bio fuel for aviation in Thailand.Revenue from the first passenger flight will go toward further developing renewable energy in Thailand.
Despite the strong Aussie dollar and continuing global economic woes, international visitor spending increased by 2.5 percent last year according to Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF).According to the International Visitor Survey for December 2011 international visitor nights also increased 4.0 percent even though overall visitor numbers were the same as the year before.TTF Chief Executive John Lee said the increases in spending and nights is excellent news for the tourism industry and its operators.“Spending by international visitors continues to grow, even though their buying power has been reduced by the strength of our currency,” Mr Lee said.“Total spending by overseas tourists was $23.8 billion in 2011 up 2.5 per cent on 2010 with the increase driven by a 4.7 per cent increase in international business visitors whose spending rose 13.6 per cent.“Business travellers are less price-sensitive than leisure travellers, whose spending fell just 0.3 per cent, even though leisure visitor numbers fell 2.1 per cent.” Mr Lee said Mr Lee reported that spending by Chinese visitors jumped 15.0 percent to AU$3.5 billion in 2011 which further emphasizes the importance of the Chinese market to Australia.Mr Lee added that the number of trips taken by Chinese people is expected to jump from 70 million in 2011 to 130 million by 2020. “It is critical we continue to build on that momentum and capitalise on the competitive advantage of our proximity to Asia, noting that our competitors have also recognised the importance of China and are ramping up their activities.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Pacific Resort Hotel Group (PRHG) in the Cook Islands has been nominated as the Best Hotel Resort Group at the 2012 New Zealand Travel Industry Awards along side top international hotel groups Four Seasons Hotels, Accor hotels, Starwood Hotels and Hilton Hotels & Resorts to name a few.The New Zealand Travel Industry Awards 2012 will celebrate and honour the exceptional people and businesses in the New Zealand travel industry. The Awards will provide recognition for individuals and businesses that excel in customer service and develop innovative ways to stand out from the crowd.Pacific Resort Hotel Group properties Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Pacific Resort Aitutaki and Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa are also up for their own awards in the Best International Hotel / Resort category. Other hotels competing in this category include The Langham (Melbourne), Bora Bora Nui (Tahiti), Park Hyatt (Sydney) and the Ritz-Carlton Central Park (New York).CEO Adrian Caruso’s vision for the New Zealand Travel Industry Awards is they will act as a development opportunity for skills and professionalism, and play an integral role in encouraging and rewarding excellence, innovation and commitment in the industry. It is the winning combination of passionate employees that go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations, company philosophy, values and culture, creativity and innovation in business practices and marketing campaigns, and operating in a sustainable, socially responsible way.People from all areas of the industry, from travel agencies and brokers, to tour and cruise operators, airlines, travel media, hotels and suppliers, will gather together at the New Zealand Travel Industry Awards Gala Dinner on Saturday 8th September 2012 at The Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand.Other awards picked up in recent years by Pacific Resort Hotel Group properties include the prestigious World Travel Awards; “World’s Leading Boutique Island Resort” for the four consecutive year for Pacific Resort Aitutaki and “World’s Leading Island Villas” for the two consecutive year for Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa. Source = Pacific Resort Hotel Group
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Image Source: Glenn Hunt Rob Gurney has been elected to the position of vice chairman of Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).The decision was made at the AFTA Board Meeting last week, following the resignation of Peter Lacaze.The former AFTA vice chairman also retired from his role as chief executive of the Jetset Travelworld Group.“Rob is known to many within the industry and it is an excellent endorsement of the work AFTA is doing that he has joined the Board and has accepted the position of vice chairman of AFTA,” AFTA Jayson Westbury chief executive said.“As you would know, Rob now holds the position of Chief Executive of Jetset Travelworld Ltd.”
AirAsia Indonesia wishes to inform the latest development on the SAR operation of flight QZ 8501 lead by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia.The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia today confirmed that they successfully lifted the tail piece of QZ 8501’s aircraft from the Java Sea.The sonar equipment continue to detect more objects which are suspected to be the plane’s front section and detected pings suspected to be from the plane’s black box flight recorders near the location where the tail was found.Good weather and clear visibility have allowed for SAR operations to continue with the focus remaining on the search and recovery of the passengers in the primary search area.SAR vessels and sea divers also approached the area where the pings were detected, suspected to be the location of the aircraft’s black box. No additional remain recoveries were reported today.In Surabaya, the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they were able to identify three more remains, to date, BASARNAS has confirmed to have recovered a total of 48 remains of which 32 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 16 remains are still being identified.Earlier today, the Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan also visited the crisis center at East Java Region Police Headquarter to have a direct dialogue with the families of QZ 8501’s passengers.AirAsia Indonesia would like to take this opportunity to urge the public seeking progress on the search and evacuation and identification process of QZ 8501 passengers to refer solely to official information from BASARNAS and DVI POLRI.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
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