JUNEAU — The first “mega” cruise ship will begin visiting Alaska next summer.The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss starts making port calls in June, CoastAlaska News reported Wednesday. The “megaships” are part of a trend that’s sending more tourists to Alaska by sea.The ships will carry up to twice as many passengers as some current ships in Alaska. The 5,000-passenger Ovation of the Seas begins sailing to Alaska in 2019.“I believe people will notice the size difference in these ships, particularly the Ovation of the Seas,” said John Binkley, president of Cruise Lines International Association’s Alaska branch. “That is significantly bigger than the ships that people would normally be seeing throughout Alaska.”The Bliss will sail weeklong round-trips out of Seattle, stopping in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. It will also sail to Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord.The Ovation will be based in Seattle, too. But its Alaska itinerary hasn’t been posted yet.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThe Bliss is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, which will send two smaller ships to Alaska this summer.The Ovation is owned by Royal Caribbean International.Binkley said the reason people want to go to Alaska is because “it’s a somewhat exotic destination, yet it’s on U.S. soil.”“And it’s someplace that people feel comfortable and safe to visit,” he said.Travel expert Chris Gray Faust said the Bliss has the largest go-kart race track on the seas, among other attractions.“One thing that’s very nice for passengers going to Alaska is they have a 20,000-square-foot observation lounge with 180-degree views,” she said. “Passengers in that lounge, they’ll really get the beauty of the landscape right there. They’ll be able to see it all as they come in.”The Ovation of the Seas advertises skydiving and surf simulators, as well as robotic bartenders. But it also has a scenic aspect.“They have what’s known as the North Star, which is a compartment that rises above the ship, like a travelling viewing compartment,” Gray Faust said. “People should be able to get good views from that and certainly from the shore, people will notice that.” Alaska set to welcome ‘mega’ cruise ships next year Thursday, December 14, 2017 By: The Associated Press Tags: Alaska, CLIA << Previous PostNext Post >> Share
Posted by Friday, January 25, 2019 TORONTO — Zurich Insurance has launched Zurich Travel Insurance for Canadians travelling out-of-country. Coverages are available for emergency medical and dental care, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage loss and damage, flight and travel accident and 24/7 travel assistance services, says Zurich.“Our commitment to the travel sector has grown along with the rise in international travel for Canadians,” said Saad Mered, CEO of Zurich Canada. “We are excited to bring new capabilities to Zurich Canada, strengthening our core offerings to help meet the growing demand for convenient, customized and compliant travel protection plans.”Zurich Canada’s Vice President of Travel, Accident & Sickness John Thain says: “Canadians’ health insurance does not follow them across the border, so they need travel protection plans with medical coverage they can count on. Our new proposition was designed to help travellers close this coverage gap.”In addition to the medical, trip cancelation, and baggage coverages, the new proposition includes access to Zurich Travel Assist, a 24/7 travel assistance service administered by Toronto-based Zurich subsidiary World Travel Protection. For more than 25 years, World Travel Protection has provided medical, travel and security assistance services, complete with a mobile app, to over 3.8 million travellers.In Canada, Zurich Canada is underwritten by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd (Canadian Branch) and is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a Switzerland-based global insurance provider with subsidiaries licensed to provide travel protection in multiple geographies around the world. In 2017, Zurich acquired Cover-More Group Limited, a specialist global travel insurance and medical assistance provider based in Australia. Other Zurich travel subsidiaries include U.S.-based Travelex, and Latin American brands Travel Ace and Universal Assistance.More information is at https://www.zurichcanada.com/en-ca/industries/travel. Share Tags: Travel Insurance, Zurich Canada, Zurich Travel Insurance New to market: Zurich Travel Insurance now available << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group
MONTREAL — Airbus SE has secured a firm order from Air France- KLM for 60 A220 aircraft – the former Bombardier C Series – to be built at the European giant’s Mirabel facility north of Montreal.The contract for the narrow-body A220-300 includes an option for another 30 aircraft and acquisition rights. The Airbus board confirmed the news Tuesday after weeks of rumours about the passenger jet.Based on 2018 list prices, the firm portion of the contract sits at nearly US$5.5 billion, though airlines generally negotiate big discounts.The first plane is slated for delivery to Air France-KLM in September 2021. Operated by Air France, the A220s will replace some of the fleet’s aging A318s and A319s.As of late June, the Airbus A220 order book counted 551 aircraft, including Delta Air Lines’ firm order for 75 A220-100s last October.In July 2018 Bombardier sold a majority stake in the C Series aircraft program to Airbus, which renamed it the A220. The Canadian Press Tags: A220, Air France, KLM << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Wednesday, July 31, 2019 Air France KLM orders 60 A220s, the aircraft formerly known as Bombardier C Series
Related posts:US President Obama and Cuba’s Castro to ‘interact’ at Americas summit, says US official Cuba, Venezuela likely to overshadow Central American issues at Panama summit Bolivia’s Evo Morales: Obama should lift the embargo and return Guantánamo Naval base to Cuba PHOTOS: Cuba, US reopen embassies to end 54-year estrangement PANAMA CITY – Hours after shaking hands, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro headed toward historic talks in Panama on Saturday, sealing efforts to bury decades of animosity.Taking their bid to restore diplomatic ties to a new level, Obama and Castro will have a discussion on the sidelines of the second and final day of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, according to U.S. officials.The two leaders already said hello late Friday, greeting each other and shaking hands — a gesture rich in symbolism — as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and other leaders looked on, before the 35-nation summit’s inauguration.They shook hands only once before, at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in 2013.The face-to-face talks will be the climax of their surprise announcement on Dec. 17 that, after 18 months of secret negotiations, they would seek to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba that broke off in 1961.“The pleasantries between President Barack Obama and Raúl Castro offer hope of a seventh Summit of the Americas free of the chains of the Cold War,” said Arturo López-Levy, professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.The last time U.S. and Cuban leaders met was in 1956, three years before Fidel Castro came to power.“We’re in new territory here,” said senior Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, referring to the flurry of diplomacy that included, on Thursday, the first meeting between U.S. and Cuban foreign ministers since 1958.“This is not just about two leaders sitting down together,” he said, citing Obama’s decision to ease trade and travel restrictions with communist Cuba.“It’s about fundamentally changing how the United States engages Cuba — its government, its people, its civil society.”Terror list hurdle The format of the meeting has yet to be confirmed, but Rhodes said the two leaders would likely talk about the negotiations to restore diplomatic ties as well as lingering disagreements.“As we move toward the process of normalization, we’ll have our differences, government to government, with Cuba on many issues,” Obama told a regional civil society forum on Friday. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”Cuba has demanded to be removed from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism before embassies can reopen, noting that this has blocked the country’s access to bank credit.The White House indicated that Obama was not yet ready to decide whether to remove Havana from the blacklist, but that it could not rule out an announcement in Panama.“The potential removal from the list will represent the current U.S.-Cuba relationship becoming more pragmatic,” said Diego Moya-Ocampos, Americas analyst at U.S. consultancy IHS Country Risk.“This is a limited but significant step,” he said. “But overall engagement will still be limited by the U.S. embargo.”Obama has urged the U.S. Congress to lift the embargo on Cuba, which was imposed in 1962, barring most trade with the island as well as tourism. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, right, talks to Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff while Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, left, and Uruguay’s President Tabare Vázquez look on after the opening ceremony of the VII Americas Summit in Panama City, on April 10, 2015. Inti Ocón/AFPVenezuela tensionUnderscoring his increasing engagement with Latin America, Obama will also likely meet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who canceled a U.S. trip in 2013 over revelations of U.S. spying against her.But even as Obama seeks to turn the page on Cold War-era tensions, a new headache has come to the fore in the form of Venezuela.The U.S. leader was criticized by Latin American nations after he issued an executive order that slapped sanctions on Venezuelan officials over an opposition crackdown and called the country a threat to U.S. national security.The White House has sought to ease tensions ahead of the summit, saying it did not really believe that Venezuela posed a threat. But the sanctions remain.Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Havana’s main ally in the region, has vowed to present to Obama a petition with 13.4 million signatures urging him to lift the order.Disagreement over Venezuela will likely cause the summit to end without a final declaration.“It would be good if Obama, who represents such an important country in the Americas and the world, would make proposals allowing us to unite and achieve an Americas in peace,” Bolivian President Evo Morales told Venezuelan media network Telesur.Follow all our coverage of the Summit of the Americas here Facebook Comments
The lengthy, 164-page criminal indictment of bribery, racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges against 14 international soccer officials and sports marketing executives “reads almost like a novel,” in its clear narrative arc, Lynch said.But at the beginning of an investigation, such as the one into FIFA, “nothing is clear,” Lynch said.“It’s like peeling an onion back,” Lynch said. “You look at certain business arrangements and they lead you to more business arrangements between individuals, between companies. So, you want to be careful and make sure that you aren’t missing either important connections that will tell you more about the defendants already on your radar or other people who may have also been involved in this.”The alleged corruption stretched as far back as 1991 when two generations of football officials used their positions of trust within the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and the South American Football Confederation to solicit bribes from sports marketers in exchange for the commercial rights to their soccer tournaments, Lynch said.The probe involved FBI and IRS agents who had to undertake “a very, very painstaking analysis of financial records” and look for corroboration of information that involved international soccer officials and sports marketing executives who were entrusted “with keeping soccer open and accessible to all.”“They held important responsibilities at every level, from building soccer fields for children in developing countries to organizing the World Cup,” Lynch said at a press conference in New York. “They were expected to uphold the rules that keep soccer honest and protect the integrity of the game. Instead, they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and enrich themselves.”© 2015, The Washington PostFollow our coverage of the FIFA corruption scandal here Facebook Comments Related posts:FIFA: The ‘World Cup of fraud’ FEDEFUTBOL official: FIFA scandal won’t affect Costa Rica’s upcoming matches FIFA arrests transform Blatter heir into face of football scandal Chuck Blazer: The whistleblower at epicenter of FIFA arrests In November 2010, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. traveled to Zurich to lobby football’s world governing body in support of the U.S. bid to host the 2022 World Cup.Football’s popularity was rising in the United States, and a successful bid would bring the most-watched sporting event in the world back to the country for the first time in nearly three decades.The U.S. was not successful. Instead, Qatar — a small, wealthy emirate on the Persian Gulf — became the first Arab country to be awarded the event. And almost immediately the decision to place a summer football tournament in a country where daytime temperatures in those months often exceed 120 degrees drew fierce criticism — and deep suspicion.Even before Clinton and Holder had left Switzerland, there “was a lot of talk that the decision had been bought,” said a person with knowledge of the private conversations among U.S. officials in Switzerland.Concern in 2010 about deep corruption in FIFA helped galvanize a burgeoning investigation into the international football organization and the way the World Cup is awarded. It was launched in the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, New York, where Loretta Lynch, who this year became Holder’s successor, was starting her second term as U.S. attorney.“There’s a lot of things that go into beginning an investigation,” Lynch said in an interview with The Washington Post, when asked about what U.S. officials heard in Zurich. “There had been allegations of corruption within FIFA for some time.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks at a packed news conference at the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Eastern District of New York following the early morning arrest of world football figures, including officials of FIFA, for racketeering, bribery, money laundering and fraud on May 27, 2015 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFPLynch oversaw the investigation into FIFA — the Federation Internationale de Football Association — for nearly five years. Investigators finalized their plans to make arrests in Switzerland in the last couple of weeks, as Lynch was beginning her tenure as the new attorney general.On Wednesday, she announced a stunning 47-count indictment charging FIFA officials with involvement in bribery and kickbacks “year after year, tournament after tournament.”While the Justice Department’s case focuses on the decision to hold the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the probe continues into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.“The Swiss authorities are continuing an investigation of the awarding of other World Cup venues,” Lynch said. “We look forward to seeing the information that their investigation ultimately reveals. ”What made the complex FIFA investigation so difficult, Lynch said, is that the alleged corruption goes back decades and required the collection of evidence overseas and “the analysis of literally reams and reams of records.”“Our investigation revealed that at least from the early 1990s, the defendants in question began turning their positions with the soccer organizations into their own personal piggybank,” Lynch said. “It’s often very difficult to obtain contemporaneous records for things that go back that far. … You also have to make sure that memories are accurate.”With only one month on the job as the nation’s top law enforcement official, Lynch has made several high-profile domestic announcements, including the investigation into police misconduct in Baltimore and a settlement this week with the city of Cleveland over policing practices.But the unsealing of the U.S. indictments early Wednesday morning and the high-profile round-up of FIFA officials in Zurich thrust Lynch — who is known to shun the limelight — squarely onto the international stage.Several bosses of the game were arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich and now face extradition to the United States.
President Luis Guillermo Solís just returned from a 10-day tour of the United States last Friday, where he held several meetings hoping toattract investment. On Wednesday, he confirmed he will travel from June 3-11 to Paris, Geneva and Brussels.The European tour will be Solís’ 16th trip since taking office a year ago.In France, Solís’ will meet with President François Hollande; in Geneva he will hold meetings with U.N. officials; and in Brussels he will participate in a summit by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.Among other goals, Solís will lobby for Costa Rica’s joining of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Citing “international commitments,” Solís said during a public event on Wednesday that he wouldn’t commit to fewer trips, and “would travel as much as needed in order to serve the country.”The president’s reaction angered some lawmakers. National Liberation Party lawmaker Antonio Álvarez Desanti said he believes Solís’ trips are “presidential tourism”and undermine his presidential image.Christian Democratic Alliance lawmaker Mario Redondo presented a report stating that frequent trips abroad are not exclusive to the president. The legislator said he has evidence that “officials from 13 ministries have taken 1,654 trips during the first year of the current administration.”Among them Redondo reported that Public Security Ministry officials have traveled 345 times, and Planning Minister Olga Sánchez Oviedo left the country on 13 occasions and spent a total of 77 days abroad. Sánchez visited the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, France, Moldova and China.“She even visited some of these destinations twice,” Redondo said.Solís justified Sánchez’s trips by saying they were job-related and that she was representing the country before international organizations. Redondo argued that international commitments should be handled by the ministers of foreign trade and foreign relations.On Thursday, the lawmaker filed a draft bill “to improve transparency in visits abroad by public officials.” The proposal seeks to improve control and transparency for trips abroad by public officials and proposes mechanisms to evaluate the achievements of each trip. Facebook Comments Related posts:Wanted: bilingual professionals in Costa Rica South Korean company confirms opening of yarn spinning plant in Costa Rica Accenture announces 300 new jobs in Costa Rica Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís promises to cut extreme poverty by 45 percent by 2018
Related posts:Olympic Update: Costa Rica still in search of defining moment in Rio WATCH: Costa Rican sprinter Nery Brenes sets new personal record in 400-meter dash victory Costa Rica women’s beach volleyball team qualifies for first ever Olympic Games Complete guide to Costa Rica’s 2016 Olympic athletes and events Sprinter Nery Brenes continued his impressive hot streak Sunday by setting a new national record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.43 seconds.After winning four races in a row in his recent European tour, the Limón native established the new record in a Malaga, Spain competition. The 29-year-old Brenes is now eligible to compete in the 200-meter dash at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro that begin in August, after eclipsing the entry standard time, 20.5 seconds, for the event.“We were looking for a good get-off time in the 200 meters today and maintaining my rhythm got us the new national record and qualifying mark,” Brenes said after his run. “Now it’s time to continue training hard and arrive at Rio in the best shape possible.”Brenes confirmed that he will compete in the 200-meter dash in Rio. He has already qualified for his preferred event, the 400-meter.This will be his second Olympic games after competing in the 400-meter dash at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.Two weeks ago, Brenes set a personal record in the 400-meter dash with a blazing time of 44.60 seconds at a track meet in Madrid.In the 200-meter dash in Rio, Brenes could find himself running against some of the sport’s greatest-ever runners, including Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, who is considered the second fastest man ever behind countryman Usain Bolt. Facebook Comments
Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Police official Rabindra Shah said two masked men on a black motorcycle drove by the judge’s car and opened fire. Bam, his bodyguard and another person identified as the judge’s friend were hit but the driver managed to escape. The attackers fled the scene after the shooting and the injured men were rushed to the hospital in a taxi.Bam, shot several times, died at the local Norvic Hospital as he was being treated for internal bleeding, said hospital doctor Bharat Rawat. The other two men were undergoing surgery and their condition was unknown.Police set up checkpoints in Katmandu and were searching for the motorcycle and culprits.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) – Motorcycle-riding assailants shot and killed a Supreme Court judge under investigation for allegedly taking bribes as he headed to work in the Nepalese capital Thursday, police said.Rana Bahadur Bam’s bodyguard and another passenger in his car were also wounded in the attack as the judge was driven to work after worshipping at a Hindu temple.Bam was being investigated by the Judiciary Council for allegedly taking bribes from suspects charged with abduction in 2010 in exchange for releasing them with light sentences and fines. Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments Share Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Quick workouts for men
The man who was whipped, identified as a Burkina Faso citizen named Boubacar El-Bourkinabiyoune, was brought into Timbuktu’s public square on Friday morning, say witnesses. Islamists of the radical Ansar Dine group, which seized control of the city in April, explained that if the accused had been married, they would have stoned him to death, said resident Aboubacrine Yattara.Contacted by telephone, a second witness Mohamed Toure confirmed that he had also seen the lashing.Northern Mali fell into the hands of a mixture of Islamic groups in March and April, following a coup in the distant capital, Bamako, more than 700 miles away.An estimated 30,000 people have fled the conflict in northern Mali and are desperately in need of food aid, according to Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary and Emergency Relief Coordinator.Amos spent two days in Mali and said that in addition to those who fled the north, there are 4.6 million people in the country who are affected by the current food shortages. She said the U.N. appealed for $213 million in relief aid, but less than half that amount has been provided.“Without addition support, we are not going to reach everyone who needs help,” said Amos. Comments Share Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Patients with chronic pain give advice Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories Associated PressBAMAKO, Mali (AP) – A man accused of rape in the Malian city of Timbuktu received 100 lashes on Friday morning, according to witnesses, as the radical Islamic group controlling the country’s northern half continued their campaign of applying the extreme form of Islamic law known as Shariah.The latest punishment comes on the heels of a visit to Mali by investigators from the International Criminal Court who are studying whether armed groups in the country have committed crimes against humanity.
Sponsored Stories The region of about 5 million inhabitants and with an unemployment rate of nearly 20 percent is considered a barometer for national elections.Italian political parties are jockeying for strategies to retake power in Rome when the mandate for Monti’s government expires.Monti, who took power last year tasked with shielding Italy from the debt crisis, has said he will not run for another term, but has said he would be open to a second term under certain circumstances, which analysts have said would mean if no party wins a clear mandate or can put together a majority.On the center-left, the Democratic Party and the centrist Union of the Center Party have united behind one candidate, testing sentiment for a possible repeat in the national elections.Ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty Party, damaged by political scandals in the regions of Lazio and Lombardy, also is seeking to invigorate itself. On the eve of the vote and just days after saying he would not run in the spring for premier, the 76-year-old Berlusconi threatened to withdraw support for Monti’s policies.Berlusconi was convicted Friday of tax fraud, and sentenced to four years in jail. The sentence is not definitive until two levels of appeals are exhausted, which his lawyers have vowed to pursue. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Associated PressMILAN (AP) – Sicilian elections on Sunday provided a key testing ground for Italy’s political parties before national elections in the spring to replace the technical government of Premier Mario Monti.Ten candidates were vying for governor of one of Italy’s most important regions in the election, which was called following the resignation of Gov. Raffaele Lombardo amid concerns that the region risked insolvency and following his indictment on charges of Mafia association. He has denied the charges. Top Stories Meanwhile, he populist Five Star Movement launched by comic Beppe Grillo is proving a threat to the traditional center-right and center-left parties.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility A man holds a banner depicting Romania’s Premier Victor Ponta as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during a protest demanding his resignation in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, June 11, 2015. Romania’s president urged Prime Minister Victor Ponta to resign after the country’s anti-corruption prosecutor’s office launched a probe into corruption allegations including tax evasion and money laundering but Ponta refused, saying that only Parliament could dismiss him. Poster reads, ‘ Ponta shows up – the sun rises.’ At bottom, ‘We steal – we don’t think’, above a picture depicting parliament members as villains. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How do cataracts affect your vision? “Let’s get on with the job, the country needs to be governed,” Ponta said in brief comments after the vote.On June 5, anti-corruption prosecutors said Ponta was suspected of being an accomplice to tax evasion from 2007 to 2008 while serving in Parliament, forgery, a conflict of interest and money laundering.Ponta refused to resign and on Tuesday Parliament voted to keep his immunity from prosecution. He says the accusations are politically motivated.Opposition leader Vasile Blaga called Ponta “a desperate politician who is clinging to his seat.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share Top Stories Sponsored Stories The vital role family plays in society BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s prime minister, who faces accusations of corruption including money laundering and conflict of interest, easily survived a vote of no-confidence on Friday.Lawmakers voted 194-13 to dismiss Premier Victor Ponta in a secret ballot, falling short of the 278 needed. Most lawmakers from the ruling Social Democracy Party which Ponta heads did not vote, though Ponta and two others did. Four benefits of having a wireless security system
China Eastern is rumoured to be on the verge of announcing its entrance into an airline alliance, with many local media outlets reporting that a decision will be made in the next few days.It’s come down to a choice between oneworld and SkyTeam, with an entrance into SkyTeam reportedly the current favourite, China Eastern will be able to further cooperate with China Southern, current SkyTeam member.This will also allow the airline to better compete with heavy hitter Air China, who is a current Star Alliance member.If this deal goes ahead all three major Chinese airlines will have aligned themselves with an airline alliance, which will be a huge blow to oneworld – the only alliance without a mainland Chinese airline.oneworld see Cathay Pacific, and its subsidiary Dragonair as its members, but has been eyeing a foothold into the Chinese market for a few years now. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29fd8/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
e-Travel Blackboard has been exclusively selected, amongst hundreds of vying media outlets, to attend the live taping of Oprah’s first show in Sydney on Tuesday 14 December. e-Travel Blackboard will be at the Sydney ‘Oprah’ House, providing our readers first-hand information and news in reference to Oprah’s visit down under.Be sure to check the e-Travel Blackboard website today and over the coming days for exclusive features and breaking news regarding all things Oprah.e-Travel Blackboard will also cover Oprah in a special supplement to be released on Wednesday 15 December, highlighting how the popular television host’s highly anticipated visit will affect Australia’s tourism industry.Fittingly, OBrochure will join e-Travel Blackboard in celebrating Oprah’s visit, whilst catering to all agents and consumer travel brochure needs.For further information and all your travel industry news and updates, visit e-Travel Blackboard today and be sure to stay tuned for exclusive Oprah updates! Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
The London 2012 Summer Games will see an estimated 294,000 international visitors descend upon the UK capital to witness the sporting event. In addition, more than half a million residents from around the United Kingdom will gravitate to the Games, which run from 27 July to 12 August this year. According to research conducted by London and Partners, British Hospitality Association and Hotels.com, the English capital has approximately 110,000 hotel rooms available, with the average room rate in central London exceeding 200 British pounds. 40,000 of these rooms have been pre-allocated to media, Olympic staff and other affiliates. The typical number of tourists visiting London during August is roughly 1.5 million. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Source = ICSP Virgin Australia and Qantas have collected the major awards of International Customer Service Month celebrations in Australia staged by customer service development company International Customer Service Professionals (ICSP).Virgin Australia won the ICSP International Outstanding Business Award and Qantas’ Elio Pilatti, Inflight Customer Service Manager for Qantas based in Perth, won the Outstanding Individual Award.The awards were judged on a range of international customer service best practice measurements. ICSP has been conducting its annual customer service awards since 2003.CEO of ICSP, Tricia Olsen said Virgin Australia’s entry focussed on the airline’s training and development of its people which was the forerunner to the airline’s current branding campaign.“In the service world it’s brave to show off your people as your point of difference, but there is real substance behind the Virgin Australia’s new profiling,” she said.“For 17 years, Elio Pilatti has been an outstanding inflight ambassador for Qantas, consistently providing exceptional customer service,” Ms Olsen said.The awards were announced in Melbourne on Friday.
CSO Ireland reports increased first quarter results. Tourism Ireland has been encouraged by the strong start to 2013, highlighting increased first quarter results from Australia, North America, Britain and other developing markets.The Central Statistics Office (CSO) Ireland has released figures for overseas visitor numbers to Ireland for the three-month period January to March 2013.Statistics revealed an overall rise of 7.4 percent, compared with the same period the previous year.North America witnessed its best first quarter result since 2004 and Australia and developing markets such as China and India posted their best ever first quarter figures.Great Britain returned their best first quarter performance in four years with growth of 1.4 percent.North America realised growth of 16.7 percent, while mainland Europe climbed 13 percent compared with the same period last year.“This year we believe that North America and Mainland Europe hold the key to tourism growth,” Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said.“Great Britain continues to be challenging… our aim is to grow British holidaymakers by 20 percent i.e. an additional 200,000 holiday visitors per year by 2016.”Overseas tourism accounts for 59 percent of all tourism revenue, approximately €3.5 billion.Ireland will host The Gathering Ireland 2013 and Derry-Londonderry as the UK City of Culture 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.
In addition to the campaign, Air New Zealand Holidays is also in the process of developing a 100 page New Zealand brochure, a dedicated Cook Islands brochure, a Fiji brochure and also a South Pacific brochure that includes Tahiti, Samoa, Norfolk Island, Vanuatu, Tonga, Niue and New Caledonia. New campaign to re-establish Air New Zealand Holidays in the Australian market. Source = ETB News: NJ Hoping to make “big noise” in the market place, the wholesaler said it is committed to the Australian market, as well as growing holidays arrivals into New Zealand and the South Pacific. Returning to the Australian market after a six year absence, Air New Zealand Holidays has launched a new campaign to re-establish itself across the country. Launching in August and running through September, the new campaign will include national press, magazine and digital advertising to feature holiday deals and showcase New Zealand as a holiday destination.
The Big Mango is part of Australia’s 150 ‘big things’ along with the Big Pineapple and Big Banana. The replica mango, which is 33 feet tall, 26 feet wide and weighs seven tons, was stolen in the dead of Sunday night by fast food chain Nandos as a publicity stunt, the Daily Mercury reported. Thieves that stole Queensland’s Big Mango, the star tourist attraction in the City of Bowen, have come clean. Source = ETB News: T.N. “At the end of the day it’s a bloody big mango and I’m sure someone will see it and we’ll find it anyway,” Bowen Tourism head Paul McLaughlin said. Local Bowen Police originally through the operation was likely to be a stunt to attract tourists to Bowen and the local tourism body did not seem worried. According to CCTV footage, the mango was seen to be stolen in a highly organised operation, including a truck mounted crane and a team of several men. After a social media campaign was formed to find the Big Mango, Nando’s came clean by releasing a video of their team taking the mango, a hoax which has come under fire by locals.
The couple will then head to Brisbane for a day before heading to the Royal Air Force base in Amberley and then going to Uluru and Yulara in the Northern Territory. Northern Territory (NT) Tourism Minister, Matt Conlan said that the royal visit will be a boon for the local economy. Prince William and Kate Middleton as well as their baby George, will begin their Australian tour by visiting the Sydney Opera House and George will have an enclosure in Taronga Zoo named after him, the ABC reported.They will then head to Blue Mountains to see the Three Sisters, attend the Royal Easter Show and watch lifesavers on Manly Beach. “We predict the royal visit will provide us with a wealth of material and opportunity to tap into our key market of the United Kingdom and entice more Brits to holiday in the Northern Territory,” he said. The NT has also committed AUD $ 8 million to market the royal visit to build on the 35,000 visitors it gets each year from Britain. The royal visit to Australia by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will allow Australia to use their star power to advertise its attractions and unique culture. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
After the success from its Asia Pacific launch in February, the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) will visit cities across Asia to meet with business event decision makers ahead of its December 2016 opening.ICC Sydney chief executive officer Geoff Donaghy, said Asia was an extremely important market for ICC Sydney.“ICC Sydney is stepping up its engagement across Asian markets. Our involvement in Business Events Australia’s high profile annual marketing mission in the region allows us to further showcase the range of innovative marketing tools that have already been incredibly well received by the industry,” Mr Donaghy said.ICC Sydney’s marketing activations allow clients and stakeholders to engage with the space and experience what it is like to host an event at ICC Sydney, without stepping inside the building.A selection of digital and physical solutions, including a virtual tour, bring the features of ICC Sydney to life during its construction phase, highlighting the venue’s diverse functionality as well as its integration with a dynamic waterfront business and leisure precinct.“At ICC Sydney, we have the privilege of marketing one of the most exciting projects underway across the business events industry, in a dynamic, global city that is the economic powerhouse of our nation.”Many Asian buyers and clients will have already experienced successful events at ICC Sydney’s sister venue Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.As a result, they will be familiar with the high quality of facilities and service provided by ICC Sydney’s manager AEG Ogden.Of the 23 large international conventions already secured for ICC Sydney, many have previously been held at Kuala Lumpur including, the World Congress of Accountants and the International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation World Chambers Congress.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman