Nigeria president visits Cameroon to discuss militant threat

first_img YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — The president of Nigeria made his first official state visit to neighboring Cameroon on Wednesday, as the two former enemies struggle to contain the mutual threat posed by Islamic militants carrying out suicide bombings across the region.New Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari came to Cameroon’s capital to bolster support for a multinational army to fight the Boko Haram uprising that has claimed at least 60 lives in recent days in Cameroon alone. FILE- In this file photo taken Friday, May 29, 2015, former General and Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, arrives for his Inauguration at the eagle square in Abuja, Nigeria. Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari makes his first official visit to one-time enemy Cameroon on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 to ease tensions and bolster support for a regional army to fight the Boko Haram Islamic uprising that is spilling across borders, his spokesman and Cameroon’s defense minister said. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File) Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The violence has displaced nearly 2 million people and killed 20,000 across the region where the borders of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad meet in the course of the 6-year uprising.Attacks have mounted over the past year in Cameroon’s far north and in Chad’s capital as the militants seek retaliation for those countries’ military aid in the Nigerian army’s fight against Boko Haram.The group drew international prominence when it abducted nearly 300 girls from Chibok, sparking an international campaign for their return that has stalled. Girls and young women have increasingly been used as suicide bombers in attacks on civilians.Also complicating the fight has been the long-tense relations between Cameroon and Nigeria, and concerns over the role of Chad’s military might on Nigerian soil. The U.N. Security Council has issued a statement calling for “increased regional cooperation.”Hard feelings between Nigeria and Cameroon date back to a 1980s land dispute. More recently, Nigeria accused Cameroon of doing little to prevent Boko Haram from using their territory as a refuge.Cameroon saw Buhari’s failure to visit earlier as a snub after he traveled to Niger and Chad, and the Cameroonian president, Paul Biya, didn’t attend Buhari’s May inauguration. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Men’s health affects baby’s health too Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Gareth Evans appointed as Qantas CFO

first_imgGareth Evans has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the Qantas Group following the resignation of Colin Storrie earlier this year. Mr Evans has been acting group executive finance, and had also been performing all the CFO duties. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said, “He brings to the role strong airline operational experience across a broad range of functions, in addition to his corporate finance skills from roles at Caltex, KPMG and within Qantas. “I look forward to working with Gareth Evans in his new role as CFO at the Group level.” “We share a common vision of Qantas Airways operating the world’s best premium and low-fares airlines, in Qantas and Jetstar, and the financial disciple required to ensure it remains on the of the strongest airline groups in the world.“Gareth was appointed after a search process that considered a very strong internal and external field, and I would thank all those who we considered in that.” <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Net escapes Aussies go online during holidays

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Even on holiday, Australians are going out of their way to log on to the net, a survey has found. More than one in ten Australians access the internet up to five times per day when on holiday, whilst a quarter access the internet at least daily, reported a survey of 1,000 Australians by Expedia. Only 15 percent of Australians truly ‘disconnect’ from the world whilst on holiday by refraining from internet usage completely. Though the internet is primarily being used on holiday to communicate with family and friends, 63 percent of participants said they also used it to check their bank balance and manage their holiday finances. A further 45 percent said they used it as a travel guide to plan their trip; researching aspects such as transport, accommodation, and activities. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by 53 percent of Generation Y for status updates whilst on holiday, spurring jealousy from friends and family back home. Eight percent of Facebook users updated their status at least once a day, the survey reported. However, serial status updating isn’t limited to Generation Y, as 15 percent of Australians aged 45-64 admitted to updating their status whilst on holiday.The survey found that 27 percent of Australian men were using the internet on holiday to manage and respond to work emails, compared to 20 percent of Australian women.“It is fascinating to see how many Australians enjoy keeping their friends up to date with their holiday news, when traditionally a holiday was seen as an opportunity to take a break from our busy work and social lives,” Expedia Marketing Manager, Louise Crompton said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Clast_img read more

AirAsia X gets Branson approval

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A Sir Richard Branson Virgin Blue group founder Sir Richard Branson has commended Malaysian run AirAsia X for its business success, claiming Malaysia could learn a lot from the long haul budget carrier.Speaking at an investment conference in Malaysia, Sir Branson said the airline was “doing a good job” and advised Malaysia to follow the carrier’s lead and privatise their large government linked companies in order to attract foreign investment and increase competition. “Break them up into smaller companies for them to compete with each other,” he told Bernama. “It will be better if Malaysia can be more liberal and open.”According to Sir Branson, AirAsia X “helped transform Malaysia”, the company’s success attributed to the fact that it was “more nimble compared with bigger government-run companies”.Sir Branson may show further support for AirAsia if Virgin Racing performs worse than Lotus F1 Racing at the end of the F1 season, Sir Branson and AirAsia group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes betting that the losing party will dress up as an airline stewardess of the winner’s airline. “I think Tony will be fetching in a Virgin stewardess [outfit]. “I think he Tony is making an outfit for me as well,” Sir Branson said. last_img read more

Virgin tops Qantas for inaugural Randstad

first_imgVirgin Blue has beat out Qantas, with its employee benefits and enticements pushing the carrier to win the first ever Randstad award for the most attractive employer. Up to 7,000 Australian jobseekers voiced their opinions on employers throughout the country, selecting five travel companies in the top 20 list including; Virgin Blue and Qantas in first and second place plus one other airline, Jetstar and two travel agents, Jetset Travelworld and Flight Centre.  Randstad chief executive Fred van der Tang said the Awards are designed to provide insight, so employers can recognise the importance of branding as well as the significance of perception amongst current employees. “With a talent war looming, the ability of Australian companies to attract and retain the best and brightest employees will prove invaluable in their race to secure greater market share and outperform their competitors,” Mr van der Tang said. Mr Tang added that Virgin Blue’s win at the Award’s first year, set the standard for companies in the years to come. “Since entering the Australian market eleven years ago, Virgin Blue has built upon its reputation as one of the nation’s most respected brands,” Mr van der Tang stated.”As Australia’s first ever Randstad Award winner, Virgin Blue can now confidently lay claim to being Australia’s most attractive employer, having received an overwhelming endorsement from Australian jobseekers.”Up to 150 HR directors and senior executives attended the event at The Ivy Ballroom in Sydney last night. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Entertainment Ahoy for Carnival Magic

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A Setting sail on her inaugural voyage on 1 May from Venice, 130,000 tonne Carnival Magic will feature some of the most spectacular entertainment ever seen at sea.Some 3690 passengers will be treated to three production shows, along with a wide array of entertainment options throughout venues across the ship. From solo performers to comedians, it’s all about choice on board the latest ‘fun ship’ to join Carnival’s extensive fleet. “Carnival Magic is our most entertaining ship to date,” said senior vice president of guest operations Mark Tamis. “With our most fun and diverse entertainment lineup ever, we are offering something for everybody.”Speaking exclusively to e-Travel Blackboard from onboard Navigator of the Seas, comedian Steve Caouette  shared his excitement about performing in the Punchliner Comedy Club on Carnival Magic’s inaugural voyage.”I’m really happy that I was asked to be a part of something so special,” Mr Caouette said. “I can’t wait to see the new design. The indoor/outdoor concept is a great idea. I’m also looking forward to the new show lounge the comedians are performing in.”A detailed description of the slated entertainment was released by Carnival Cruise Line yesterday:A Magical ExtravaganzaThe first production show, “Destination: Unknown,” is the largest show ever staged on a Carnival ship and the latest in Carnival Cruise Lines’ arsenal of hits.  It stars Jason Byrne, award-winning “magician extraordinaire” and Las Vegas headliner. The mood is set before guests even enter the Showtime theatre with high-tech special effects, and as the houselights dim, full-stage silk drapes fall into view and quickly disappear into the floor or fly into the wings to reveal the full cast of singers and dancers.  Then Byrne, the show’s star magician, appears out of thin air piloting a helicopter mid-stage.  What follows is a mystical and magical circus full of masterful illusions made possible by the Showtime theatre’s state-of-the-art, unparalleled technology. This is a can’t-miss show stopper that’s sure to entertain the whole family.Grooving Through the ’70sThe 1970s were more than just disco music and polyester bell-bottoms, and “The Groove Line” is a funky journey through the city streets and iconic discotheques of that era.  Choreographed to the tunes that shaped a generation and featuring artists such as KC and the Sunshine Band, The Jackson Five and Sister Sledge, this show will have guests on their feet and carry them back to the heyday of the 1970s.It’s a Game Thing”Win! The Game Show” is a wild and crazy parody of television’s most popular game shows.  The different and twisted games comprise a travelogue that guides the audience to exotic and exciting places, from a NASCAR-style race track to the Las Vegas Strip. With opportunities for audience participation and a fabulously catchy soundtrack featuring songs by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Shania Twain and Ricky Martin, this show is sure to be a major hit with guests.More Entertainment OptionsCarnival Magic’s two new venues help to take the line’s reputation for diverse, at-sea entertainment choices to a new level.  Cucina del Capitano (“The Captain’s Kitchen”) not only boasts singing and dancing waiters and waitresses alongside a barrel of Chianti on wheels, but also has a loop of 65 hand-selected, Italian-themed songs.Meanwhile, each evening as the sun sets, patrons of the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub can kick back to live acoustic guitar and vocals as they relax on swing-gliding chairs or amuse themselves with any number of bar games, such as foosball, a tabletop shuffleboard, darts, puzzles and more.Ocean Plaza is the central entertainment hub of the ship.  Here, sip on a latte from the coffee shop, delight in an ice cold beer or indulge in a frozen concoction.  By day, this is the place to surf the web, gather with friends or enjoy fun trivia contests led by the cruise staff.  By night, the fabulous indoor/outdoor space turns into a whole different world with entertainment acts taking the stage and guests dancing the night away.Also featured on the Carnival Magic is the Punchliner Comedy Club, which highlights a wide variety of comedians offering both family-friendly and adult-only performances nightly.  “Superstar Live” takes karaoke to a whole new level by offering wannabe starlets, crooners and rockers the opportunity to perform accompanied by a live band and backing singers.Additionally, a variety of solo performers and musical ensembles can be found in different locations throughout the ship, providing musical entertainment spanning a wide range of musical genres.More Shows in TexasUpon arrival at Carnival Magic’s homeport of Galveston, Texas, two more shows will be added to the ship’s entertainment lineup. The first is guest favorite “Carnival Legends.”For those who have dreamed of performing with a live band dressed as Tina Turner, Michael Jackson or Cher, this is the opportunity to make that a reality.  During the “Carnival Legends” show, guests don authentic, highly detailed costumes of their favorite singer and perform one of the artist’s signature tunes, backed by a talented 10-piece orchestra and full complement of dancers.  After rehearsing with the Carnival Magic’s band and production show dancers, it’s “showtime” as the would-be stars take to the stage and strut their stuff to a packed audience.Carnival Magic will be sailing in Europe on a variety of 7-12 day Mediterranean itineraries from 1 May to 16 October before heading to her homeport of Galveston, Texas. 7 day voyages to the Caribbean from late October will make her the port’s largest year-round cruise ship. e-Travel Blackboard will be featuring reports live from Carnival Magic’s inaugural voyage next week. Do you have any questions you’d like answered about the newest ‘fun ship’?last_img read more

Qantas looks to China Asia for growth

first_imgThe emerging markets of South East Asia, India and particularly, China, are expected to feature largely in Qantas’ soon-to-be-revealed expansion plans as the airline looks to replicate the success of the Jetstar model in Asia.    Addressing delegates at the Australia Pacific Aviation Outlook Summit in Sydney, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the Asian market represented an “enormous opportunity” for the carrier to leverage its “excellence in brand management, aviation safety and other skills” in the world’s largest and fastest growing aviation region.  And the Qantas boss said there were “lessons to be learned” from Jetstar’s rapid expansion in Asia.   “Jetstar’s enormous growth pointed the way to how Qantas, or a Qantas-owned, Asian-based carrier, could tap into the Asian market for business and mid and upper-market travellers,” Mr Joyce said. “Research on affluent Chinese travellers, for example, shows they are strongly influenced by prestige brands and considerations of safety.”Complementing its expansion into Asia, Mr Joyce said Qantas would be looking at further partnerships with global airlines to add to its already existing alliances with American Airlines and British Airways amongst others. “I believe that we have a major opportunity to go beyond the natural limitations of our market size and geography, to become a champion Australian company in a globalised region and world,” Mr Joyce said.The flag carrier will unveil its plans for its international operations on 24 August, an announcement the Qantas boss said “will signal the beginning of the phased transformation of Qantas over the coming years”.“Change is always tough,” Mr Joyce said.“But the competitive challenges we face make major change essential and our commitment to the change process is absolute.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Globalisation is not optional or selective: Joycelast_img read more

Minor to launch new Asia Australian brand

first_imgAvani Bentota Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Asia, Australia, The Middle East and Africa are set to see a new hotel brand on the scene, with Minor Hotel Group’s launching its new Avani Hotels & Resorts.As part of the hotel Group’s global expansion plan, the new brand will focuse on providing an upscale accommodation experience and is expected to open its doors in Sri Lanka first with a beachfront resort by then end of this year.The Group said it will follow up its first property with a second resort in Sri-Lanka before expanding elsewhere.“The launch of Avani serves as a two edged sword in Minor’s expansion roll out,” Minor Hotel Group chief executive Dillip Rajakarier said. “The refreshing new brand carves a dynamically different pathway for our group by offering a unique hotel concept, as well as adding to our successful global growth.”According to the Group, the word Avani stems from the Sandskrit word for ‘earth’ and was used to emphasize the new brand’s grounded personality and simple sense of style.last_img read more

China the worlds third largest tourism market

first_imgChina becomes third biggest tourism market in the world Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P China’s rapidly growing tourism industry is not showing any sign of slowing down with recent figures reporting the country has become the third largest tourism market in the world.According to a report issued by the National Tourist Administration (NTA) China’s total income from inbound and outbound tourism for the last five years leading up to 2010, totals a whooping six trillion yuan, reported.During the past 16 years from 1994 to 2010, China’s total tourism income has increased 11-fold, with the last five years having received 9.3 billion people.National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei said the figures indicate we have created the biggest domestic tourism market.“Additionally we are the third largest tourism destination in the world, at the same time, we’ve become the biggest Asian country for people travelling to overseas countries,” Shao Qiwei said.The report reveals that the tourism industry has largely supported economic growth in China, contributing over 90 percent to the hotel business, and over 80 percent to the aviation and railway sector.While at the same time created nearly 14 million jobs in the tourism industry alone and 60 million jobs in other areas.“Tourism has progressed economic development in rural areas, last year over 400 million people visited the Chinese countryside. Rural tourism has benefited about 20 million farmers,” Shao Qiwei said.During the past five years, China has signed cooperation plans with the U.S., Russia, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Looking ahead China is anticipated to generate 100 million new outbound departures each year from now to 2015.last_img read more

Use common sense help NSW tourism TIC

first_imgAustralia’s political leaders have been told to use their ‘common sense’, with local tourism heads urging the government to consider facts when deciding the fate of a second Sydney Airport.Tourism Industry Council NSW (TIC) general manager Andrew Jefferies said recent talks for a second airport have been swayed by “politics and marginal seats” while ignoring “the realities and needs” of New South Wales.Mr Jefferies said the country’s leaders could commence assisting local tourism simply by relaxing Sydney Airport’s movement cap.Currently Sydney is restricted to just 80 arrivals and departures per hour despite NSW Government investigations identifying that the airport’s natural capacity can handle up to 90 movements every hour.“A simple amendment to this legislation in the Federal Parliament could be moved by the Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, giving Sydney Airport the additional capacity to build additional flights and allow Government the time to plan and develop a second Airport in the Sydney basin,” TIC said.In regards to chatter of a possible high speed rail link between Canberra Airport and Sydney to handle growing traffic, TIC said the project had the potential to become a “massive while elephants funded by taxpayer dollars”.“The cost of this project is unfunded, unknown and would need the expense of new rail line construction, land rezoning, costly government purchasing of homes and land resumptions in Sydney and the inconvenience of utilising a facility that is 300 kilometres away from the Sydney Central Business District,” the tourism Group said.  “There is not one example of a successful airport operation anywhere in the world that is located 300 kilometers away from a major city.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Emirates SkyCargo Wins Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East Award

first_imgEmirates SkyCargo fleet consists of 174 wide-body aircraft including eight freighters Recognised at Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards for 17th consecutive yearEmirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, one of the fastest growing international airlines, was named Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East for the 17th consecutive year at the Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA). The AFSCA awards in Shanghai, organised by market leading transport and logistics newspaper Cargonews Asia, are widely regarded as the most authoritative and prestigious awards for the industry in Asia.  “We are honoured to have received the award again and the recognition of the continued success of Emirates SkyCargo by our industry is a great honour,” said Michael Qu, Emirates’ Cargo Manager China, who collected the award. “Asia, and China in particular, is a key market for Emirates SkyCargo and remains an area of huge trading potential. With our network continually growing and fleet expanding, we can support Chinese customers with enhanced levels of connectivity, flexibility, reliability, as well as provide them with tailored products and services to the Middle East and onwards, especially to Africa.”  Trade between the UAE and China has grown by 35% annually in the past decade to $35 billion in 2011, despite the global economic downturn, thus placing the UAE as the second largest trading partner of China in the Middle East, according to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade. Meanwhile, bilateral trade grew from $10.6 billion in 2000 to $160 billion in 2011, and Chinese investment in Africa rose from tens of millions of dollars to over $10 billion. China has become Africa’s largest trading partner, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Since January, Emirates has introduced services to eight new destinations: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Dallas, Lusaka, Harare, Liege (cargo-only), Seattle and Ho Chi Minh City. It will also launch flights to Lisbon and Barcelona in July, and Washington DC in September. Moreover, a fourth Boeing 777F joined its fleet earlier this year, taking its dedicated fleet to eight aircraft, with a further nine Boeing 777Fs on order. Currently, Emirates SkyCargo offers over 1,300 tonnes total weekly capacity from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, including five weekly freighter services from Shanghai and daily belly-hold services from all three cities. Emirates SkyCargo’s China gateways can be easily connected to South America via its world-class and technologically-advanced Cargo Mega Terminal in Dubai.  The AFSCA award comes shortly after Emirates SkyCargo received the prestigious Cargo Airline of the Year award for the 24th consecutive year by trade magazine Air Cargo News. Source = Emirates SkyCargocenter_img Michael Qu (Right), Emirates’ Cargo Manager China collects the Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East award at the Four Seasons, Shanghai. last_img read more

Travellers prefer inflight fun to work

first_imgPassengers would rather engage in leisure activities than work while on a plane, according to GO Airport Express.The Chicago based ground transportation company surveyed more than 640 respondents about how they chose to spend their time while in flight.Preferring to get some shut eye and sleep was 14 percent of respondents,  seven percent watched in-flight movies while two percent played computer games.Just 10 percent of travellers said they work while on the plane and 12 percent read business books and publications.Two percent of those surveyed admit to engaging other passengers in conversations and two percent also said they do nothing at all.Indicating people prefer to use their travel time to relax and pursue leisure activities instead of catching up on work is 19 percent of travellers who stated they do a combination of all activities listed on the survey. Others activities engaged included watching their own movies, listening to audio books, knitting or doing puzzles. Go Express president John McCarthy said these activities may change however as more airlines offer low-cost or free in-flight WiFi. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

More cancellations as Hurricane Sandy arrives

first_imgMore than half a million people have been evacuated from severely impacted areas and the US stock market has closed for its first weather related closure in 27 years.  Image: Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J More than 13,700 flights have been cancelled over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in the US.Travelling the coastal area between Cape May and Atlantic City, New Jersey at roughly 8.00pm local time on Monday, the storm, which has been described as one of the worst the region has experienced, has accelerated, according to an AccuWeather update. People are expected to experience damaging gusts of 60-80mph, while the storm is expected to affect a large area of Virgin and southern New England, leaving behind five to ten feet of water.Wind field surrounding Sandy will affect all coastal areas from the Delmarva Peninsula north to New England.Heavy and destructive rainfall is most likely to pour over southern New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern and northern Virginia as well as south and southeastern Pennsylvania.More than half a million people have been evacuated from severely impacted areas, 1.5 million people have reportedly been left without electricity and the US stock market has closed for its first weather related closure in 27 years. New York City has advised its residents that it will close seven major bridges at 7.00pm EDT, as they are “quickly becoming unsafe”, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile John F Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports have all closed while airlines have cancelled more than 13,700 flights over three days.Impacted services and airlines include: American Airlines (AA) Continuing to monitor the situation, AA recommended passengers check their flight status before heading to the airport.The airline advised impacted passengers booked to fly between 28 October to 31 October 2012, will have the ticket reissue charge waived for one ticket if the ticket was issued no later than 26 October 2012.New travel dates must be between 26 October to 7 November 2012. Southwest Airlines & AirTran AirwaysSouthwest has cancelled up to 887 flights from Sunday through to midday Wednesday to 16 airports in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic US.AirTran has advised the cancellation of 278 flights over the same period.Turkish AirlinesThe airline has cancelled six flights over Monday and Tuesday between Istanbul and New York as well as Istanbul and Washington.Turkish Airlines advised travellers continue to check online for flight updates before heading to the airport.US AirwaysMore flights have been cancelled over Tuesday to airport: Philadelphia PHL, Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport and Dulles, New York’s LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports, Albany ALB, Binghamton BGM, Elmira ELM, Islip ISP, Ithaca ITH, Newburgh SWF, Syracuse SYR and White Plains, N.Y. HPN, Boston BOS, Bangor, Maine BGR, Burlington, Vt. BTV, Hartford BDL and New Haven HVN, Harrisburg MDT, Williamsport IPT and Providence, R.I.The airline continues to offer a “relaxed policy” for affected travellers. Virgin AmericaThe airline says it is experiencing delays and cancellations for flights departing and arriving through to Wednesday, 31 October this year.Affected airports include: Washington Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, John F Kennedy and Boston Logan International Airport.  For guests with confirmed flights departing to or originating from either of the airports between 28 October to 31 October 2012 may change their dates without charge through to 10 November 2012. Travellers may also cancel their flights without penalty and receive a credit for future travel valid for up to one year. Austrian AirlinesCancelled two return flights on Monday on routes; Vienna – New York and Vienna – Washington.The airline says flights from Vienna to New York and Vienna to Washington due to depart on Tuesday will likely be delayed but a revision of its decision is due later today.Passengers booked on cancelled services will be offered a seat on an alternate flight as soon as airports reopen. Rebooking will be free of charge. United AirlinesUnited has cancelled all flights today to and from Newark Liberty International Airport, John F Kennedy and LaGuardia.Flights Dulles International Airport, Reagan Washington National and Baltimore/Washington International Airport were suspended on Monday and most of Tuesday.Services to Cleveland were suspended on Monday but are expected to be resume this afternoon while many flights to and from Chicago have been delayed. The airline has extended the period which customers whose flights are delayed or cancelled as a result of the storm may rebook without fee.Customers ticketed to fly to or from impacted cities from 28 October to 31 October 2012 are now covered and rescheduled itineraries may be made through to 7 November 2012.Delta AirlinesDelta anticipates delays and cancellations from 29 October through to 1 November.The airline is offering a one-time change for affected travellers with ticket must be reissued on or before 7 November for travel to through to 7 November.Click here for more information. SWISS AirlinesUp to 18 services flying between Zurich and JFK, Boston as well as Geneva to JFK have been cancelled over 29 October to 30 October 2012. The airline advised a fee waiver for impacted customers for rebookings and cancellations.  EmiratesThe airline has cancelled eight flights to and from John F Kennedy Airport over the 29 October and 30 October and expects delays on flights two to and from Washington Dulles International Airport today. Visit airline websites for more information on rebooking and cancellation terms and conditions. last_img read more

Marriott announces opening of The Pune Marriott Suites

first_imgMarriott International Inc. further expands its footprint in India with the opening of its fifth hotel in Pune, The Pune Marriott Suites.The addition of this new hotel means that Marriott International will be managing the largest number of hotels in the city of Pune.The Pune Marriott Suites provides luxurious accommodations of 199 suites located in the plush Koregaon Park area. Sharing close proximity to the Pune Airport and key business and IT hubs, this property will cater to longer stay, business and leisure travelers.Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Mr. Neeraj Govil, Market Vice-President South Asia of Marriott International said, “The opening of Pune Marriott Suites takes our portfolio to 33 hotels in India.“This hotel further demonstrates our commitment to strengthen our relationship in Pune with the ownership – Panchshil Reality. It will be exciting as the team to position this all-suites hotel as one of the top in class luxury destinations in the city.”The food & beverage selection the hotel will offer an interesting mix of local and international cuisine, 5 senses – the All-Day dining restaurant, the Bistro (Italian & Mediterranean cuisine) and the Oak Lounge offering perfectly aged Cognacs and Single Malts will ensure an international dining and lounge experience.One of the unique features of this property is that it will allow housing pets making it a true ‘home-away- from- home’ experience. The hotel houses a fully equipped fitness centre, outdoor pool and a wellness centre. The Pune Marriott SuitesSource = Marriott International Inc.last_img read more

JC International Airlines and Lanmei Airlines partner with Sabre

first_imgMembers of the JC International Airlines flight crewJC International Airlines and Lanmei Airlines partner with SabreNew partnerships empower the airlines to offer their content globallySabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, today announced a new agreement with Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines, two rapidly expanding carriers based in Cambodia, who will now offer their content to travel agencies across the globe.The announcement of this new partnership is timely, as data reveals that inbound tourism reached an all-time high in Cambodia last year, and the growth of these figures is not expected to slow down any time soon[1]. A recent report from CAPA – Centre for Aviation indicates that the rise in tourism throughout Cambodia is driving an important shift in the aviation industry. With seven airlines now in operation across the country, in comparison to just two only four years ago, start-up airlines such as Lanmei and JC International are shaping the future of Cambodia’s air travel infrastructure.“As the leading GDS in Cambodia, Sabre is pleased to support the rapid development of two of Cambodia’s growing carriers. With these new partnerships, Sabre will provide both Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines access to innovative solutions, enabling the addition of new bookable content on our platform,” said Rakesh Narayanan, vice president, air line of business, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. “Cambodia’s travel industry is changing. By providing our new partners with the technology they need to embrace industry shifts, access to our global network of agents will help them achieve their business objectives as they shape Cambodia’s travel industry,” he added.“Making our content available to a wide range of domestic and international consumers is central to our strategic vision. Our partnership with Sabre will not only help propel our brand globally, but also play a crucial role in the future success of our business,” said Eric Li, deputy general manager, commercial department, Lanmei Airlines.“Building a partnership with a leading technology partner such as Sabre supports our plan to further expand operations. As we continue to invest in our success, Sabre will provide us with the necessary network to support the massive wave of inbound tourism that Cambodia is witnessing,” added Tang Chun, CEO of JC (CAMBODIA) International Airlines.Sabre announces these new partnerships with Lanmei Airlines and JC International Airlines as they take on more aircrafts and establish new routes across the Asia Pacific region, and to further anchor itself as a trusted technology partner for Cambodia’s travel industry.Source = Sabre Corporationlast_img read more

The top seven train journeys in Latin America

first_imgThe top seven train journeys in Latin AmericaThe top seven train journeys in Latin AmericaFamous for the snow-capped Andes, rugged canyons, wild jungles, exotic wildlife and ancient civilisations, Latin America is also home to some of the best train trips on the planet, providing a perfect way to see the beautiful scenery from the comfort of a rail carriage.Australia’s longest-running travel specialist for Latin America, Contours Travel, has released a list of the top seven train trips in Latin America.1.    Copper Canyon, MexicoMexico only has one passenger train but what it lacks in company it certainly makes up for in quality. Known as ‘El Chepe’ by locals, the Copper Canyon Railway takes passengers from the desert to the Pacific Coast in north-west Mexico, passing sheer canyon walls, waterfalls and plains along the way. The railway stretches over 650km from Chihuahua to Los Mochis on the coast via 36 bridges and 87 tunnels and has been running for over 50 years.2.    Panama Canal Railway, Panama Linking the city of Colon on the Atlantic Coast and Panama City on the Pacific, the Panama Canal Railway offers spectacular views of one the world’s less-travelled tourism destinations. The glass-domed train is perfect for travellers wishing to relive the heyday of luxury train travel on one of the world’s most renowned examples of engineering. The hour-long train ride offers stunning views of the history-changing and recently enlarged canal and vine-engulfed jungle abundant with wildlife.3.    Tren Crucero, Ecuador This luxury, vintage train has just four carriages – two dining cars and two lounge cars – ensuring passengers have an intimate experience as they journey from Ecuador’s capital, Quito, through the Andes over snow-capped mountains and past volcanoes before arriving in the bustling coastal city of Guayaquil. The most memorable section of the route is a steep descent through wild mountain scenery known as the ‘Devil’s Nose’, which sees the track drop 500m in elevation over the course of only 12km. A unique way to experience Ecuador’s diverse natural beauty.4.    Tren a Las Nubes, ArgentinaRegularly ranked among the world’s top rail adventures, the ‘Train to the Clouds,’ which reaches heights of 4200 metres, connects north-west Argentina with the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range. The peaceful journey is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Perhaps the most impressive part of the journey is passing over the Viaducto la Polvorilla. The 64m-high, 232m-long viaduct is the most photographed part of the ‘Train to the Clouds’ as locals and tourists alike stick their bodies out the windows for a once-in-a-lifetime snapshot.5.     End of the World Train, AgentinaConsidered the southernmost operating railway in the world, the ‘End of the World’ train ride takes travellers from Ushuaia to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. The heritage railway follows the historic convict train route through some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, from Patagonian lakes to snow-capped peaks. As guests admire the breathtaking views onboard, commentary provides insight into the rich history of the railway and the region.6.    Machu Picchu, PeruConsidered one of the most beautiful rail routes in the world, this trip takes passengers from Cuzco to the base of the world-famous Machu Picchu Incan ruins in the Peruvian Andes. The route follows the river along a narrow valley, passing small communities, farms, snow-capped mountains and lush forest. Carriages range from the Explorer – perfect for those on a budget – to the Hiram Bingham Deluxe – one of the most luxurious carriages in the world.7.     Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru Launched in May 2017, the Belmond Andean Explorer is a luxurious train journey filled with breathtaking views of the Andes mountain ranges. Among the highest train trips on Earth, the Belmond Andean Explorer reaches heights of 4300m, or almost twice the height of Mt Kosciuszko. The luxury sleeper train takes pampered passengers from Cusco – the ancient capital of the Inca Empire – through the Andean plains to beautiful Lake Titcaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest in the world and also journeys to the vast Colca Canyon and the city of Arequipa, a World Heritage site.Specialising in Latin America only and headed by Ted Dziadkiewicz, a well-travelled expert on the region, Contours Travel offers hosted group tours and tailor-made itineraries for independent travellers throughout Latin America.To book or make enquiries call Contours Travel on 1300 135 391 or visit = Contours Travellast_img read more

Kerala Tourism conducts a press meet in Gurgaon

first_imgKerala Tourism recently organised a press meet at The Leela Hotel, Gurgaon. P I Sheikh Pareeth, Director, Kerala Tourism and Secretary Dr G Kamala Vardhana Rao were among the guests at the event.Some of the talking points of the event included, statistics on domestic/international tourist arrival, new initiatives in God’s Own Country, progress in the Virtual world, expected growth in Tourism and Marketing plan for 2015-2016.Kerala popularly known as God’s Own Country is the perfect holiday destination of India; from picturesque landscapes, exciting getaways to rich culture and heritage the state has a lot to showcase. As a ritual, the state brings you a 360 degree preview of India’s favourite destination; the essence of the state being captured in one single event. The idea is to witness the rich culture, extravagant heritage, magnificent landscapes, cuisine, music and art all in one show.In 2014, foreign tourists’ arrival up by 7.60%, domestic tourists’ arrival up by 7.71%, and increase in foreign exchange earnings by 15.07%. With total Revenue generated at Rs 24885.44 crore.Foreign Tourist arrival to Kerala during the year 2014 is 9,23,366; which shows an increase of 7.60% over the previous year’s figure of 8,58,143.Domestic Tourist arrival to Kerala during the year 2014 is 116,95,411, an increase of 7.71% over the previous year’s figure 108,57,811. Foreign exchange earnings for the year 2014 are Rs 6,398.93 crore which recorded an increase of 15.07% over the previous year.Total Revenue (including direct & indirect) from Tourism during 2014 is Rs 24,885.44 crore, showing an increase of 12.11% over the last year’s figure.Kerala Tourism has declared the period from April 2015 to April 2016 as ‘Visit Kerala Year’ and an array of activities are planned as part of it. In the wake of the fresh initiative, Kerala Tourism will explore more new markets like China, Sri Lanka etc. Aggressive campaigns that target potential travellers in big traditional markets for Kerala will be conducted in the United Kingdom, France and Germany through trade fairs and road shows. Leveraging the increased air connectivity, a focused Ayurveda and monsoon campaign will be conducted in the Middle East where 90% of the Diasporas are from Kerala.A comprehensive festivals and events calendar will be prepared and promoted through multiple channels, including India Tourism Offices and Indian embassies abroad. Kerala will be promoted as a major ‘Wedding and MICE destination’ through online campaigns.Kerala Tourism will also launch a new theme campaign to showcase Kerala and its unique attractions, to strengthen Kerala’s position as ‘God’s Own Country’ and to create a destination pull. Food festivals will be conducted in cities like Delhi and Mumbai to market Kerala’s authentic cuisine, one of the tourist attractions of the State. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will come up with special discounted packages during the period.Government of Kerala has rolled out a lot of initiatives till date, ‘Seaplane Project’ and ‘Project Muziris’; being the latest projects which were rolled out last year in order to enhance the travel experience and add to its array of attractions. Where the former project is aimed towards improving last mile connectivity by air to its destinations across the state, the latter is directed to reinstate the historical and cultural significance of the legendary port of Muziris, which makes a part of Central Kerala.For the Seaplane Project, the immediate plan is to provide service initially in the priority circuit, consisting of the three airports of Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut and the prime destinations viz. Astamudi, Punnamada, Kumarakom, Bolgatty and Bekal in the state.The Marketing Initiatives for the year 2015-16 are aimed at Value of Money off season packages targeting some important cities of the country namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Surat.The Hop on Hop off Boats service was started as a part of Kerala Tourism’s many other initiatives in the year 2014. As part of its innovative water-based tourism facilities, the Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd, under the state’s Department of Tourism, launched the Hop-on Hop-off boat service and Water Taxis, for the first time in India, in the backwaters of Kochi and in the Spice Route project of Muziris.In a short span of time, Kerala Tourism has made a mark in the Digital world. Kerala Tourism has 1.1 million plus Facebook fans, 44,400 plus Twitter followers, 6,000 plus Instagram followers, 500 plus Pinterest followers, 700 plus four-square followers; the Kerala Tourism YouTube channel has 7,189 subscribers and 8,578,373 views. More than 250+ articles on Kerala, Backwaters and Ayurveda published in guest blogs.The new website has been launched recently with a fresh look and increased accessibility with more information, 1,500 pictures and 3,000 videos.Kerala Tourism’s website, which attracts the maximum number of visitors, has been translated into various Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu, as well as foreign languages including Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish.Kerala has emerged as the No. 1 travel destination of the country in Google search trends, edging out Taj Mahal. This is a testimony to the international recognition of brand Kerala.Among the cultural events, which showcases Kerala, Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala. But, there is a lot more to Onam than being just a festival. Onam reflects the faith of the people of Kerala A belief in their legendary past, religion and power of worship. It shows the high spirit of the people who go out of the way to celebrate the festival. It is also a harvest festival. Kerala tourism organises events and exhibitions to add festive mood in the state.Nishagandhi Festival, the annual festival is set to be held from January 20-26, 2016. Renowned dancers perform Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Odissi, Modern Ballet and other folk forms. Artist and connoisseurs of dance from all over India come to enjoy this cultural treat. The festival is organised by the Kerala Tourism.Another amazing initiative in the offering is the Spice Route Revival Project. Kerala’s initiative to revive and promote the two millennia-old spice route, that links the south western coast of India up to Europe, through tourism has received a boost, with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) pledging support to the venture.Kerala Tourism has come out with a unique nature based soft adventure holidays program Natventure. The idea behind this is to use the key tourism products – Wildlife, Hill Stations, Beaches, Backwaters, etc. and engage the possibilities of adventure activities they offer. Kerala Natventure activities include Trekking, Camping, Rock Climbing, Jungle, Wildlife Safaris, Bird Watching, Cycling, Kayaking, Canoeing and Paragliding.Another forward initiative is the launch of the new ‘Great Backwaters’ campaign. The campaign aims at unveiling the state’s majestic backwaters as a single unique destination.A new campaign, ‘Home of Ayurveda’ was also launched to promote Ayurveda through all media. ‘Bakel’ has been introduced as a new destination in North Kerala.From a seasonal tourist place, Kerala was elevated to an all season destination through a successful Dream Season campaign launched during the off-season.last_img read more

Malaysias new found Paradise

first_imgWhen one takes a trek through the Langkawi archipelago’s luscious rainforest, one can get a feel for Penang Island’s bustling local life and find an urban oasis in one of Kuala Lumpur’s 52 shopping centres.Source: BBClast_img

Bali Island of the Gods

first_imgBali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music.Source: Expedialast_img

Oman Tourism to conduct fourcity India roadshow in September

first_imgThe Sultanate of Oman in association with the national airline Oman Air will conduct multi-city roadshow for the travel trade in India during September. The roadshow will commence on September 19 at Park Hyatt, Hyderabad; September 21 at The Oberoi, Kolkata; September 23 at Courtyard by Marriott, Ahmedabad; and conclude on September 26 at JW Marriott, Pune.The objective of the roadshow is to create a platform for the Indian travel trade to establish or enhance commercial ties with the Omani delegates. Representatives from Ministry of Tourism, Oman along with a 15 member delegation representing hotels, DMCs and attractions in Oman will interact with key travel agents and tour operators from India. The roadshow will follow a pre-fixed meeting format whereby the invited travel agents will get adequate time to meet each delegate from Oman.Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative- Ministry of Tourism, Oman says, “In 2015, we witnessed 17% growth in Indian arrivals and in the first six months of 2016 too we have seen a positive growth. Encouraged by these figures and to penetrate better in Tier 2 cities, we have decided to conduct the roadshow in Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. This year, we also identified Kolkata as a new market for Oman and will be conducting our first roadshow in the city. With this new addition, Oman has made presence in eight Indian cities with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai being our main source markets.”last_img read more