Archive | September, 2011

Industry Committed to Emissions Reductions – IATA

29 Sep

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reiterated the air transport industry’s commitment to its ambitious agenda to reduce CO2 emissions and urged the European Union (EU) to abandon its misguided plans to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) commencing in 2012. IATA invited governments to join industry as committed partners in a global approach to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions that could also include a global ETS or other compensation measures.

“The industry’s value chain is united around ambitious targets and a clear strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. To achieve the positive economic measures, technology improvements, more efficient infrastructure and better operations necessary to meet our targets, governments need to be much more proactive stakeholders and real partners,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a speech at the Greener Skies conference in Hong Kong.

Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers and manufacturers are committed to improving fuel efficiency by 1.5% annually to 2020, capping net carbon emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth and cutting net emissions in half by 2050, compared to 2005.

“These are challenging targets. Airlines represent 2% of global manmade CO2 emissions. This year that is estimated to be some 650 million tonnes of CO2 emitted while carrying 2.8 billion passengers and 46 million tonnes of cargo. By 2050, the industry aspires to carry 16 billion passengers and 400 million tones of cargo with some 320 million tonnes of CO2 emissions,” said Tyler.

Source: IATA

Network Rail All Set With The Plans For New Public Square At King's Cross

29 Sep

The transformation of King’s Cross station has taken another step forward after detailed plans for a new public square were submitted.

The application by Network Rail for a new public space in front of the station comes at the end of a four year design process which ended in July when more than 4,500 people took part in a public consultation on the proposals.

The new design by architects Stanton Williams incorporates more trees than the original and a combination of traditional Yorkstone and granite paving. To complement the University of the Arts London moving into King’s Cross, an area suitable for displaying large-scale art installations has also been identified.

Ian Fry, Network Rail’s programme director at King’s Cross said: “When designing a square which will be used by 140,000 people every day, it was vital to get as much public input as possible.”
The completion of the square in 2013 will reveal the Victorian grade I listed station façade for the first time in 150 years. At more than 7,000 square metres the square will be 50% bigger than Leicester Square and will open up the space currently occupied by the 1970s concourse extension.

Source: Network Rail

Princess Cruises 2012 Europe Program, Largest Ever

29 Sep

Princess Cruises passengers may have a hard time choosing from among next summer’s array of Europe sailings. In 2012, the line will offer more itineraries and capacity than ever before.

The season features seven ships sailing on 57 itineraries to 116 destinations, with more than 125 departures between April and December. Highlights of the program include the European debut of Caribbean Princess, which brings additional capacity to the region, and a new 14-day Baltic Heritage itinerary offering more time to explore the fascinating ports of Scandinavia and Russia.

In addition, Princess sailings continue to give passengers extra time in fascinating ports throughout Europe, with 2-day experiences in Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Egypt, and Israel. Especially popular are the overnight stays in one of the continent’s most sought-after destinations — Venice — on all 12-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises.

“The vast diversity of attractions in Europe — from the ancient ruins of Rome, to the imperial splendor of Russia, fascinating modern cities and a variety of important UNESCO World Heritage sites — has inspired our growing collection of intriguing cruise options,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And our passengers have the opportunity to choose from a variety of ships, from our intimate small ships to the largest amenity-filled vessels.”

Source: Princess Cruise

Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

29 Sep

This November join the wave of epicureans taking over America’s Finest City for a week of scrumptious Wine & Food, your taste buds will never forget.

The five-day festival will continue from November 16 – 20 in Downtown San Diego. The festival will feature wine-tasting seminars, cooking classes taught by celebrity chefs, a Wine Rave, the elegant Reserve & New Release Tasting, wine dinners, the Celebrity Chef Luncheon & AIWF Big Bottle Auction, VIP party, and the unforgettable star-studded Grand Tasting event.

19th Annual Festival of Lights at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

29 Sep

The 19th Annual Festival of Lights at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa will commence on November 25,2011 and will continue till January 8, 2012. A beloved Southern California tradition not to be missed!

This highly anticipated annual festival is known for bringing holiday cheer and joy to children and adults alike! A gift to the community from the owners of The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Duane and Kelly Roberts, Festival of Lights hosts one of the largest collections of lights on the West Coast.

The 4th World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress event attracts attendees worldwide

29 Sep

The 4th World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress, the largest medical tourism event in the world will take place from October 25th to 28th this year in Chicago. The event will be staged under Marriott Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Centre Hotel and is open to everyone with an interest in Medical Tourism. It welcomes up to 1,500 attendees and up to 120 exhibitors/sponsors.

This year’s theme “Patients in Emerging Markets” will focus on some of the upcoming largest growth areas of Medical Tourism in Russia, Ukraine, CIS Countries, China, Japan, the Middle East, GCC regions and Africa. The conference will have a strong focus on attracting buyers of healthcare in these emerging regions.

California Gray Whale Migration Winter & Spring 2012

29 Sep

The California Gray Whale makes the most spectacular and longest mass migration of any marine mammal from December 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

Tens of thousands of gray whales migrate annually along the west coast of North America from the summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to the winter grounds of the Baja California lagoons and back again along the Orange County coast during the months of December through April. During the gray whale migration it is not uncommon to view 5 or more gray whales a cruise making for excellent viewing opportunities!

WTTC condemns new $25 billion US raid on airline passengers in the U.S

29 Sep

The World Travel & Tourism Council has condemned a $25 billion raid on airline passengers in the United States as “confused and counter-productive” and called on the US Administration to think again about taxing an industry that is a driver of the US economic recovery.

The US Administration is proposing to raise $25 billion over 10 years through changes to the Aviation Passenger Security (APS) fee. APS is currently levied at between $2.50 and $5.00. Under the proposals, the current range will be replaced with a statutory fee minimum of $5.00, with annual incremental increases of 50 cents from 2013 to 2017, to reach $7.50 in 2017.

Of the $25 billion additional revenue raised over 10 years, at least $15 billion be used for general taxation purposes, rather than passenger security.

Speaking after meetings on Capitol Hill, Washington, David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We fully support the US Administration’s efforts to reduce its debt burden, but do not believe it is good economics to raid $25 billion from an industry that is a driver of growth and recovery at a time when President Obama is keen to create millions of job through the $450 billion American Jobs Act.

“Travel & Tourism currently contributes more than US$1,300 billion or 9% of total US GDP, generates 9% of its total exports and supports 15 million jobs. Taxes on Travel & Tourism tend to do more harm than good economically – as higher charges discourage high-spending visitors. Indeed, the US Administration recognises that each and every visitor contributes $4,000 to the economy.

“WTTC believes that this plan has a laudable objective but it is confused and likely to be counter-productive. We urge the Obama Administration to send this plan back to the drawing board with instructions to promote an industry which will drive economic recovery and job creation – not damage it.”

Source – WTTC

World Tourism Day Celebration Featured a Think Tank on the theme 'Linking Cultures'

29 Sep

“The importance of this day cannot be underestimated,” said the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, opening the celebrations. “Tourism has become one of the most important components of nations, economically, socially and culturally, and this needs to be recognized”.

Events in Aswan included a High Level Think Tank on the 2011 theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures, at which industry leaders, Ministers of Tourism and academics debated the role of tourism in mutual understanding, human enrichment, tolerance and peace. “Cultural heritage is ultimately an expression of the people,” said United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) representative, Peter Debrine. “This expression is shared with tourists and it is this interaction which makes tourism such an important vehicle for promoting cross-cultural understanding”.  During the debate, moderated by CNN’s Anita Mendiratta, the importance of involving and engaging with local communities in order to facilitate tourism’s potential to link cultures was repeatedly highlighted.

The Minister of Culture and Tourism of Greece, Pavlos Yeroulanos, warned that without local community involvement, destinations run the risk of manufactured cultural representations. This was echoed by the Founder and Head of the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria, Werner Wintersteiner, who argued that people should consciously decide how they want to present themselves to tourists, and by the Founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa, Rosette Rugamba, who spoke of making tourism “personal and relevant” not just for visitors, but also for hosts.
“We need public-private-community partnerships in order to maximize tourism’s role in intercultural understanding,” said the former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia, I. Gde Ardika. Representing the business community, the Chief Executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel, agreed with Mr. Ardika’s appeal for collaboration and called for open dialogue at all stages and all levels of tourism development.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, pointed to the relevance of holding the event in Egypt, “one of the world’s first tourism destinations”, especially given the 2011 theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures. “Egypt has played an extraordinary role in bringing peoples, cultures and religions together through tourism over thousands of years and it is this process that is at the heart of today’s celebrations,” he said.

Emerging from the Think Tank debate were the Aswan Recommendations on Maximizing Tourism’s Role in Linking Cultures. The Recommendations set out six key actions to be taken by tourism stakeholders and include ensuring that all those supplying tourism services have the appropriate local knowledge in order to serve as mediators between visitors and local communities, and that all involved in tourism commit to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

LAN notifies that it has delivered all information required by the TDLC

28 Sep

LAN Airlines S.A., announced that a Board Meeting held, analyzed the resolution of the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (TDLC), Chile’s antitrust court, regarding the merger between LAN and TAM, including the impact of the mitigation measures it imposed. The company confirms that during the course of this week it will continue to analyze said measures, their impact and effects.

As part of its analysis, the Board of Directors has considered it necessary to clarify that LAN is in compliance with the self-regulatory fare plan, as is effectively also recognized by the TDLC, and that it has provided in a transparent, timely and accurate manner all information that was required by the Antitrust Court.

The resolution contains errors regarding the numerical calculation of LAN’s yields (revenues per passenger-kilometer on each route), which result in the TDLC questioning the information delivered by the company to the TDLC as well as to the Junta Aeronáutica Civil, Chile’s aviation authority, in the framework of its self-regulatory fare plan.

LAN highlights that, considering its ongoing analysis and the course of action it may pursue, the company continues advancing with the actions necessary to complete the transaction and is confident to conclude the merger process with TAM during the first quarter of 2012.

Source: LAN