Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A group of female peace activists including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel laureates arrived in North Korea’s capital on Tuesday for a march across the Demilitarized Zone that they hope will bring world attention to calls for a resolution to tensions on the Korean Peninsula.The rare crossing of the DMZ, approved by both Koreas, is to take place Sunday.North and South Korea have technically been in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. Their border along the DMZ is one of the most heavily fortified in the world and it is highly unusual for crossings to be allowed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Comments Share U.S. activist Gloria Steinem, rear center, speaks among the members of the Women Cross DMZ group during a press conference before they leave for Pyongyang, at a hotel in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 19, 2015. A group of 30 women from around the world, headed by Steinem, are planning to walk across the 2-mile (3.2 kilometer) wide Korean Peninsula’s heavily-mined DMZ from north to south on May 24 in a symbolic act of peace. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) Quick workouts for men Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Men’s health affects baby’s health too Top Stories The group of about 30 women is to spend several days in North Korea before the march meeting with North Korean women, touring hospitals and factories and holding an international women’s peace symposium. After the crossing, they also plan to hold a peace march and a symposium in South Korea.Copyright © 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 The event has raised controversy, with critics accusing the group of being propaganda pawns for the totalitarian North Korean government.But participants say the march is intended to be a symbolic step toward ending the tensions between the Koreas, not an endorsement of either side’s policies.“There is nothing in this action that reflects prioritizing of one or another government,” the group said in materials released to the media. “To the contrary, we have prioritized reunification of families, equity and justice for women living on both sides of the DMZ and a peaceful solution to the only remaining Cold War division.”Steinem, 81, an iconic figure in the equal rights movement in the United States, said she was immediately interested in joining the march when she was contacted by organizer Christine Ahn, a Korean-American peace activist.“It seems so surrealistic that here we are with the DMZ” despite the end of the Cold War in other parts of the world, Steinem said in Beijing before the group’s arrival in Pyongyang.Also on the trip are Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mairead Maguire and Leymah Gbowee. Maguire received the Nobel prize for her work toward ending the conflict in Northern Ireland and Gbowee for her role in the Liberian peace movement.
Yet Schmieding foresees no serious long-term damage and dismisses talk of a comparison to Lehman’s collapse. The risk for Europe as a whole, he says, “is very, very small — virtually zero.”The key difference between Lehman and Greece centers on the element of surprise, according to Schmieding: Lehman’s collapse was unexpected and spread panic across markets as investors wondered which bank would go under next.There’s no surprise surrounding Greece. Everyone knows that the country, which accounts for only around 2 percent of the eurozone economy, has been in trouble since 2009. Lenders have had plenty of time to curtail loans and investments in Greece. So they have little connection to the financial troubles there.Whether Greece stays or goes, just ending the uncertainty would help, says Schmieding: “The resolution of this, one way or another, would be better than the current stalemate.”THE BIG SNOOZESo far, markets appear to be with Schmieding. European stocks are off recent highs but haven’t suffered a serious drop. And bond investors appear to be signaling their confidence that Europe could withstand a Greek exit without serious damage. Even heavily indebted, slow-growth Italy can still borrow at just 2.1 percent annual interest — down from over 7 percent in 2011. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies NOT SO SUREIn the end, no one really knows what will happen if Greece exits the euro.Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, says the direct impact should be “pretty small” given Greece’s size.But he said he couldn’t rule out an unexpected cross-border spread of market turmoil that raises government borrowing costs. It likely wouldn’t rival Lehman. But trouble is possible.U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has warned his European counterparts that the risks are unknown. He’s urged Greece and its creditors — the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission — to forge a deal.“The big question is, what are the indirect effects?” Loynes said. “Will there be a contagion effect to other countries or other markets, to borrowing costs, financing costs across the eurozone as a whole?”“No one can know the answer, because you can’t come to some sort of mathematical conclusion about this.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Others worry that letting a country leave the alliance could permanently damage their shared currency.Greece’s new left-wing government is struggling to convince its international creditors that its reform plans are credible. The two sides have been at odds over such issues as pension cuts, tax increases and revenue surpluses required of Greece.An agreement is needed for Greece to receive the remaining money in its bailout fund — 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion). Without it, Greece risks bankruptcy.The Greek government is resisting the tough conditions attached to more bailout loans. On Thursday, it took the unusual step of asking to bundle the four payments that are due this month to the International Monetary Fund into one payment on June 30.But the standoff raises the likelihood of an endgame in which Greece runs out of money, restricts the flow of capital and produces a new national currency so it can print money to pay its bills.Here’s what could be at stake outside Greece:A PERIOD OF TURMOILEconomist Holger Schmieding at Berenberg Bank in London predicts a period of “disorientation” while investors figure out what the impact will be. The first word of an impending departure would likely roil markets, especially in Europe. Stocks and the euro might fall. And borrowing costs for other eurozone governments with shaky public finances, such as Italy and Portugal, might rise, at least temporarily. Comments Share A woman walks past graffiti by street artist Achilles outside a shop, in Athens, Greece, on Thursday June 4, 2015. Greece remains at loggerheads with creditors over key economic reforms after a meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the head of the European Union’s executive arm failed to yield a breakthrough on the release of vital bailout loans. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement European markets have been soothed by a 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) bond purchase program from the European Central Bank, which is trying to raise inflation and accelerate the economy.LONG-TERM DAMAGE?Could allowing one country to leave the eurozone for the first time destroy confidence in the alliance over the long run? Lenders might begin calculating the risk that another country would leave the alliance and fail to repay its debts. They would, as a result, likely demand higher interest rates to compensate for that risk. That would make it costlier for governments to borrow and erode one of the key achievements of the monetary union.TOOLS TO USE AGAINST TROUBLEOptimists point to the eurozone’s new tools to defend itself against the sort of crisis it’s struggled to manage for the past few years. As a result of the Greek crisis, and the ensuing problems endured by the likes of Ireland and Spain, the eurozone has created a bailout fund that can lend to troubled countries.The ECB has also offered to buy government bonds of countries that come under pressure if they accept reforms. This helps hold down borrowing rates. And the ECB now oversees big banks. That contrasts with early supervision by national authorities, which were sometimes slow to address problems. FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Many economists think a Greek departure from the euro currency alliance would be a disaster. For Greece.But for the rest of Europe? Maybe not.Greece is struggling to meet deadlines to repay a crushing debt load and avoid a default that could drive it out of the 19-country eurozone. Yet any fear that a Greek exit might ignite a broader financial catastrophe — as the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers did — is misplaced, some analysts say. 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Gulf of Mexico tourism operators experienced a decline in business and have had to lower prices accordingly following April’s BP oil spill.According to an Expedia study, conventionally popular destinations such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans have had to lower rates despite claims the oil spill has not affected their beaches. Hotel average daily rates declined 29 per cent in May and 28 per cent in June compared to last year for this region.Australian tourists to the Gulf took advantage of the lower prices in May, but the trend was starting to wan said Expedia Manager Chris Hann.“We think it is a great time for Australian tourists to visit these destinations, particularly Florida, with prices for the American summer still heavily discounted….we are seeing airlines drop their fares to the US, with prices nearing those in early-to-mid 2009,” Mr Hann said.In the 87 days since the explosion, up to 700 litres of oil is estimated to have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, with New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau President, Stephen Perry, estimating USD500 million will be needed to bring tourists back.Recent reports claim a containment cap used to stem the flow of oil has been replaced and is being tested, with no signs of further leakage apparent. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2943a/” 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> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A
Flights remain unaffected by the devastating floods ravaging the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.Over 9,500 people have already been evacuated from the city and two people have died, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.Inbound and outbound flights at Soekarno-Hatta international airport were said to be operating normally, airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II reported.The company has arranged trucks and buses to pick up passengers who cannot reach the airport because of the floods, PT Angkasa Pura II public relations manager Kristanto said.Check the airline’s website for up-to-date flight schedules and status reports. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Flights continue in and out of the Indonesian capital.
Royal Caribbean’s new ships will also feature an exciting array of new activities for passengers including DreamWorks characters for kids, a wave machine, a 3D movie cinema and a ‘virtual deck’. Royal Carribbean’s Allure of the Seas liner The cruise line will dock its large liner, the Explorer of the Seas at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal in November 2015 and bring 3800 guests to the city. The cruise line will also be operating its Allure cruiser in the Medditaranean for the first time. Cruising dynamo Royal Caribbean has announced a shakeup of its cruising operations in Australia as well as Asia at a brand update at Café Sydney. Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Cathay Pacific inflight magazine gets a new lookCathay Pacific Airways has unveiled a brand-new look for Discovery, the airline’s highly regarded inflight magazine. The publication has undergone a complete revamp, with a fresh look and new editorial direction that echoes the Cathay Pacific brand promise of a “Life Well Travelled”, creating a better experience for passengers across all points in the journey.Starting from the July 2015 issue, Discovery is following the Life Well Travelled brand promise by looking at how travel changes people and encouraging readers to think about why they travel. The magazine features original and inspirational articles from respected local and international contributors, including explorers, chefs, philosophers and artists, as well as top-notch travel writers and photographers.Inside the magazine for the July issue, in the Heritage section, the article “Blinded by the Brand” looks at the human stories behind some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands. In the Thinking East and West section, two philosophers, one Western and one Chinese, examine seemingly familiar topics from their unique viewpoints. And well-travelled contributors capture highly personal and emotive moments in “The First Time I Ever Saw” and “The Hardest Discovery” in the Inspiration and Exploration sections.The entertainment guide in Discovery has also been given a new look, with film, TV and music critics guiding passengers through an ever-wider selection of on-board content. Regular features include 7 Essential Scenes and a curated arthouse feature, World Film Club.To celebrate the magazine revamp, the July issue of Discovery is being produced as a special collector’s edition with four separate covers – each based on the theme “The New Age of Discovery” – by four leading Hong Kong-based artists, including Katrina Teh, Michael Lam, Peter Ross and Sandra Rauch.Cathay Pacific passengers have the opportunity to share moments from their own well-travelled lives through a Discovery competition that’s being run on Facebook and Instagram from 1 to 14 July. Passengers can upload a photo and description on any of the aforementioned platforms with the tag #cathaydiscovery. Ten shortlisted entries will be given the four limited edition prints of the July collector’s edition. The photograph and words submitted by the overall winner will be featured in the September issue of Discovery.Source = Cathay Pacific
SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, today announced the acquisition of private company delair Air Traffic Systems GmbH, a provider of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) solutions for airports based in Braunschweig, Germany.The acquisition will strengthen SITA’s position as the leader in Airport Management Systems (AMS) by offering an A-CDM product that is in increasing demand by airports around the world.The additional functionalities such as departure sequencing, de-icing and performance management broaden the reach and capabilities of SITA’s Airport Management solution, currently used by over 150 airports in 48 countries.The addition of delair’s solutions both complements and extends SITA’s overall airport offering and increases SITA’s ability to provide airport solutions that balance operational efficiencies with business results.Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA, said: “The addition of delair’s depth of airport A-CDM expertise will provide SITA’s customers with an even stronger comprehensive Airport Management solution resulting in greater control of their operations, simplifying complexity and improving profitability.“This acquisition will further bolster SITA’s position as the number one airport ICT provider, with presence in 1,000+ airports around the world.”Dietmar Dippe, General Manager of delair, said: “The technical capabilities we have built at delair over the past 18 years complement SITA’s global reach in the airport sector and we look forward to becoming part of the SITA success story.”SITA will continue to develop delair’s products and will provide support for all delair’s existing customers.Members of the delair staff will remain located in Braunschweig, Germany.Source = SITA
Sir Richard Branson brings stardom to the Royal ICCIt’s a star studded week at the Brisbane Showgrounds with the Royal International Convention Centre (Royal ICC) playing host to iconic entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.Mr Branson, the founder of Virgin group and one of the most successful businessmen of our time, will be in Brisbane for the prestigious ‘Titans of Real Estate’ conference which kicks off tomorrow at Brisbane’s newest convention centre, the Royal ICC.More than 650 guests will have the chance to listen and talk with some of Australia’s most successful real estate moguls including Glen Twiddle – the real estate marketer who brought Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Royal ICC in March and John McGrath – one of the most influential figures in the Australian property industry.The highlight of the conference will be the insightful talk by Sir Richard Branson, followed by a meet and greet for VIP guests.RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said The Titans of Real Estate conference follows a busy few months at the Royal ICC and Brisbane Showgrounds.“We are thrilled to be hosting international entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson at our state-of-the-art venue,” Mr Christou said.“The Titans of Real Estate is one of the many prestigious events we have held recently, with the Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane both being held for the first time here in August.”The Royal ICC is located 1.5km from Brisbane’s CBD at the Brisbane Showgrounds, one of the city’s most prominent events precincts.Source = Royal ICC
Oakvale Splash BayNew water park opens in Port Stephens ‘Splash Bay’The blue water holiday centre of Port Stephens, 2½ hours north of Sydney, is renowned for its beautiful bays such as Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay and Salamander Bay. And now Port Stephens boasts a new bay – Splash Bay – a water park attraction that officially opened at Oakvale Farm and Fauna World on January 7, 2017.Opening in time for summer crowds to Port Stephens to enjoy its 25 water play features, Splash Bay is one of Oakvale Farm and Fauna World’s biggest new attractions in its 37-year history as one of the area’s most popular family attractions.The year-round Splash Bay water park – free for all park visitors to use – offers interactive water features inspired by the wildlife’s park’s fauna including a crocodile bucket dunker, a python spray tunnel and a koala water cannon as well as eight new electric barbecues and undercover seating for up to 250 people – ideal for lunches, birthday parties and work functions.Visitors who flock to the popular fauna park should now pack their swimmers and towels with them, with little kids and ‘big kids’ all invited to cool down in the water park while visiting Oakvale’s 250 species of animals including pythons, crocodiles, alligators and also friendly fauna which wander freely around the park eager to meet visitors and their pellets of food available from the entry gate!Oakvale also offers daily feeding and patting shows and talks as well as tractor trips around the park.Located at Salt Ash just off the main entrance road to Port Stephens from the Pacific Highway, Oakvale Farm and Fauna World is open daily 10am-5pm, with the new Splash Bay also open year-round. Entry to Oakvale, including use of Splash Bay, is $28.50 for adults, $16.50 for children 3-16 and $80 for a family of four. Oakvale Farm and Fauna World for more information, visitSource = Oakvale Farm and Fauna World
Billy Moore, Mooloolaba Brendan Bathersby, MaroochydoreJohn Orning, KawanaSource = Visit Sunshine Coast Megan Hartstone, CoolumKen Jeffreys, Caloundra Visit Sunshine Coast joins forces with local regions to advance tourismKey tourism regions of the Sunshine Coast are joining forces with Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) in a new agreement to market the destination.VSC has created a new Destination Promotion Program and will partner with sub-regional groups via a panel to increase destination awareness and visitation to the area.Visit Sunshine Coast Chair David Ryan said in a competitive marketplace, the partnership would pay-off for the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry.“We are competing against destinations around the globe and it makes sense to have joint experts coming together to build a stronger and more unified Sunshine Coast brand.“The panel will work as a conduit between the tourism community in their respective sub-regions and the VSC team, as we work towards an agreed set of priorities and marketing activities of mutual and regional benefit,” said Mr Ryan.The appointed panel members include: Angus Richards (Hinterland), Louise Formosa (Eumundi), Megan Hartstone (Coolum), Ken Jeffreys (Caloundra), Billy Moore (Mooloolaba), Brendan Bathersby (Maroochydore) and John Orning (Kawana).Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said VSC has created significant outcomes working with regions in the past, but this new program will formalise the relationship to benefit the region’s tourism future.“As an example, we have been working in tandem with Mooloolaba Business and Tourism to create new images and a television advertisement currently airing in the surrounding drive market. As an extension of our Come to Life campaign launched earlier in the year, this is an enticing compilation of hero Mooloolaba ‘must-dos’ that tell a powerful story and will resonate with potential visitors to the Sunshine Coast.“With a move towards more digital promotion, we still recognise television as a powerful way to reach people and have hosted national breakfast programs – Today and Sunrise regularly in region this year; with broadcasts beamed across the country from Caloundra, Cotton Tree, Coolum, Eumundi and Palmwoods.“This is a different way of structuring the panel that will strengthen our position in the tourism industry, and I believe will enhance our destination appeal for visitors. We will be working smarter as one unit with everyone all on the same page – inevitably to benefit the entire region,” added Mr Latchford.Panel MembersAngus Richard, Sunshine Coast HinterlandLouise Formosa, Eumundi
Viking launches River and Ocean spring offersViking launches River and Ocean spring offersViking Cruises has launched its spring offers across ocean and river cruises, valid from 1 October to 31 December 2017.River cruise offersSave up to $6,400 per couple on selected 2018 river cruises. Fly free to Russia on our most popular 13-day Waterways of the Tsars itinerary. Fly for $495 per person on river itineraries of 13-days or more including the Grand European Tour, France’s Finest and European Sojourn.Fly for $995 per person on Viking’s shorter river itineraries of 8-12 days.Ocean cruise offersSave $1,000 per couple on selected 2017-2019 Viking ocean cruises, including some of Viking’s most popular itineraries like the 15-day Viking Homelands, the 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights and the 15-day Into the Midnight Sun.Fly to Europe return for $995 per person when booking the 15-day Majestic Mediterranean or the 15-day Mediterranean Explorations in January and February 2018.Enjoy a free flight between Sydney and Bangkok when booking the magnificent 29-day South Pacific Sojourn, pre or post cruise depending on chosen cruise direction.Plus experience the Baltic differently on Viking’s brand new ocean itinerary, the 11-day Russia & the Baltic Sea. Discover Stockholm’s maze of waterways as you explore its archipelago. Marvel at St. Petersburg’s art and architecture, and enjoy more during a three-day stay. Visit the charming medieval trading ports of Tallinn and Visby, and see the picturesque Bornholm. Embrace the relaxed atmosphere of Copenhagen and experience firsthand why the Danes are considered among the world’s happiest people. Cruise from $7,895 per person. Book by 31 December 2017 to save $1,000 per couple.“Russia remains a favourite destination with our guests, and we’re delighted to offer free flights with our Russia river cruise and a brand new ocean itinerary to this fascinating part of the world, where Viking began cruising 20 years ago”, says Liz Sawers, Director of Sales.For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (Australia) and 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.au. To join the Viking Cruises Travel Agent community online, visit https://www.facebook.com/VikingCruisesTravelAgents/Source = Viking Cruises
Focus on personal attention is key for personal travel managerFocus on personal attention is key for personal travel managerProviding great, personal service creates happy clients, and happy clients very often become repeat clients who return over and over again to the same personal travel manager (PTM), confident that their travel needs and wants will be understood, met, and even exceeded.TravelManagers’ Tanya Barker, who is representative for Narre Warren South VIC, has worked within the travel industry for 25 years, and her focus has always been on providing the best possible service to her clients. The personal attention and care that she brings to every individual itinerary has provided what Barker considers one of the best perks of the job: clients who she now calls friends.“When I meet a client for the first time, I like to take the time to learn about them: their travel experiences and their expectations of the holiday they are planning,” Barker explains. “I think this is really important in order to get to know your client and start building a relationship.”For Barker, that means being available round-the-clock to provide whatever support they may need, and taking the worry out of planning a trip. No job is considered too big or too small, and clients have responded to her attention to detail by returning again and again, and providing referrals.One such client first dealt with Barker more than eight years ago, when the two worked together to plan a three-month dream trip to Italy. They bonded over a shared love of travel, and continued to collaborate on subsequent trips, culminating in this year’s trip to the Arctic Circle, for which Barker was invited to join her client.Barker’s client says it was her extremely professional manner and her care and personal attention to detail over her many travels around the world that made her feel she would go back to book future travel with Barker.“But little did I know that this was the beginning of an enduring friendship,” adds Barker’s client. “The trust and confidence I had in Tanya has grown and matured into a fantastic friendship that has allowed me to tick off so many places/activities from my bucket list, and to share this memorable adventure with her.”TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says that although it is not uncommon for PTMs and clients to become friends over the course of their professional relationship as Barker and her client have done, it is a ringing endorsement of Barker’s attention to the smallest details and her determination to provide the best possible travel experience to her clients.“This story really demonstrates the importance of PTM/client relationships,” says Gazal. “Between the home-based business model Barker employs and the tools and support provided by TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO), our PTMs are well set up to cultivate such relationships – possibly more so than with a traditional bricks and mortar business environment.”Highlights of the pair’s trip, which took them to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Russia, included reindeer sledding, dog sledding and snowmobile riding and a five-night tour of Iceland. They also spent a two-night stopover in Dubai, where they enjoyed a Seawings Seaplane Tour over Dubai.“As we worked together to put this holiday together, I found that my client’s bucket list was fast becoming my own!” says Barker.Gazal says that TravelManagers place much importance on building a business that’s based on long-term repeat business and referrals, but that this can only be done by PTMs taking a genuine interest in their clients and maintaining their involvement throughout the trip and beyond.“Our clients know that their PTM will be available to them whenever they need them,” explains Gazal, “so that if they strike any difficulties, or just change their plans, they only need to pick up the phone or send an email and it will be taken care of. That sort of personal service generates the sort of goodwill and loyalty that money can’t buy.”Barker’s client returned from their holiday full of praise for Barker’s organisational ability.“Tanya is a unique person who can take your dream and make it come true. She works on your plan promptly and efficiently, researching new ideas and using her product knowledge to create lifetime experiences,” she says. “Our itinerary was very involved, from staying in the Ice Hotel in Kiruna Sweden to igloos in Ivalo, Finland but everything went seamlessly, and her experience and infectious enthusiasm takes all the stress out of a holiday booking.”Barker says that being a personal travel manager means she has the perfect opportunity to make her clients feel special so they know that she cares about them and their travel needs.“I am living the dream!” she concludes.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.Source = TravelManagers
From left: Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications; H.E. Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada; Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of the TAT; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; and Mrs. Srisuda Wananpinyosak, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas; Mrs. Puangpen Klanwari, Director of TAT Toronto Office; and Ms. Lauren Howe, Miss Universe Canada 2017.Tourism Authority of Thailand opens new office in TorontoThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has recently opened its 28th TAT overseas office in Toronto to target the high potential Canadian market. The occasion was also used to launch the “Amazing Thailand’s Open to the New Shades” marketing concept in Canada. The TAT Toronto Office was officially opened on 23 April, 2018.The official opening ceremony of the TAT’s third office in North America after New York and Los Angeles was attended by H.E. Mr. Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada, Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the TAT Board, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, and Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications.Around 150 guests including Canadian travel companies, travel media, guests from the business community later attended an evening reception which featured a live music performance by famous Thai saxophonist, Mr. Koh Saxman, a demonstration of fruit and vegetable carving, and making of artificial flowers and carps from palm leaves.Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, presented the “4D Open to the New Shades”, highlighting five categories of products: Gastronomy, Nature and Beach, Culture, Way of Life, Art and Craft.In his statement, Mr. Kalin Sarasin (above picture, centre) said, “This is our 28th TAT Overseas office. We chose Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, because it is a vibrant, multi-cultural city and one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America. We believe it will be a perfect location to cover Canada, which has been identified in our current marketing plan as a high potential market with a long average length of stay and strong purchasing power.”In 2016, the average length of stay for the Canadian travellers in Thailand was approximately 18 days, which doubled the overall length of stay with expenditure per day of around 172 Canadian Dollars per person. Moreover, Ontario was the largest source of Canadian travellers to Thailand in 2017, with a market share of 45%.From 2013-2017, the revenue from the Canada market rose 6% on average in five years.“We are working with local partners to develop new products and introduce new local experiences in Thailand that fit with the targeted segments including the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. They are strongly interested in beach, culture, health and wellness, weddings and honeymoons, and our gastronomical delights,” Mr. Kalin added.Although there are currently no direct flights from any Canadian city to Bangkok, TAT is working closely with friendly airlines; such as, Cathay Pacific, EVA Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Korean Airlines and Air Canada to route traffic to Thailand via their respective hubs.In 2017, Canadian visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 258,392, up by 5.52% over 2016. This contributed to income of 845.9 million Canadian Dollars representing a growth of 7.61 percent.At the end of this year, TAT projects revenue growth of 8.46% from the Canada market.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Thanks to Wikitravel.org for the tips ! Known for its rich history and the seemingly permanent sunshine, Spain is an increasingly popular tourist destination. Whether its the party of Ibiza, or the culture of Barcelona, Spain has got it all.Spain, located on the Iberian Peninsula has a diverse culture, with much of the population having quite significantly different cultures. Included, is 17 autonomous regions, all a little bit different. Known for its friendly people, Spaniards are generally relaxed and known for living life to its best. Good food, wine and company is the order of the day.Dali Museum: Close to Cadaques, is the amazing Dali Museum; with the building itself an architectural delight. Be prepared to be dazzled with the reality altering works of Dali. Tours are available from Barcelona.Game of Thrones Set: head over to Girona to see beautiful medieval viallages and one of sets for the Game of Thrones hit TV show.Mostserrat Monastery: Almost 1000 years old, the iconic building is storied in history. Built into the mountain, its an easy train ride from Barcelona. Hiking options are plentiful, and hard to beat with a blue sky and smiling people.Port Aventura: Summertime fun for the kids of all ages, this amusement park contains a water park which is also fun for adults.Fine Dining: For traditional and authentic Catalan food, try Agut. decaxdes old, this restaurant is one of the finest in Spain. Superb Chefs, amazing food, and sceneray to die for makes this traditional eatery a must see. Sample the delights of Spain with STUBA Source = STUBA
The Minister of Tourism for Oman, Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, informed that an initiative to issue 72-hour visas to passengers transiting through Oman is expected to be introduced early next year.“We are working on this, but are still waiting for the new system to be finished,” the Minister told reporters after a ceremony was held to announce the completion of City Centre Muscat’s expansion project.Al Mahrizi said that to the best of his knowledge, the new system will be completed by the end of the year and the visa initiative will hopefully be introduced early next year.According to him, efforts are currently underway to facilitate visa procedures to draw more tourists to Oman, particularly from neighbouring countries, where the demand to visit the Sultanate is high.Commenting on City Centre Muscat’s expansion, Al Mahrizi said the project would definitely contribute to the growth of tourism.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, with its Old Town and Royal Mile filled with the ghosts of medieval merchants, body snatchers, and poets. While its New Town shines with the glories of the Scottish Enlightenment. Source: Expedia
Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) recently organised a familiarisation (FAM) trip for MICE agents from across India to witness Israel’s offerings as a MICE destination.The group consisted of agents from leading travel companies like Footloose Yatra Consultants, Enchante Holidays, Skyline travels, Travels mantra, Holiday Triangle Travel, Orion Inbound, Tamarind Global, Quantum travels, Byond, Bonton Holidays and WOV travel.The group got to explore various attractions in the cities of Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Eilat and Tel Aviv. The FAM trip provided them the opportunity to experience places like Yad Veshem- the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Israel Museum, Western Wall, Ein Gedi, Masada, Timna Park and also the sound and light show at the Tower of David.Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said, “Israel is becoming a preferred MICE destination for Indian corporate because of its history, diverse culture, natural beauty, vibrant nightlife and friendly people. Recently, UTI Mutual Funds travelled to Israel with 380 people and explored the cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Dead Sea. In the last two years, we have seen many such movements and through our FAM trips we hope MICE agents will promote Israel further.”
Transparency Market Research (TMR) conducted a market study on the global medical tourism market and the findings revealed that the market is due to rise at an exceptional growth of 17.90% over the period from 2013 to 2019 and reach a value $ 32.5 billion by 2019.The research report, titled ‘Medical Tourism Market– Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019’, stated that in 2012 the worldwide Medical Tourism market attained a value of $ 10.5 billion.According to these findings, the falling cost of medical procedures and increasing range of medical treatments available in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, Costa Rica, and Dubai are the driving factors for people to travel to these countries for their treatment and in turn, propels the global Medical Tourism market significantly.Thailand has emerged as the most popular destination for cosmetic surgeries among the medical tourists from Western Europe. In 2012, the country had welcomed around 2.5 million foreign patients, accounting for approximately 45% of the overall number of foreign medical tourists arrived in Asia.The report further states that India and Singapore are the most preferred destinations in case of complex medical procedures. India has attracted a large number of patients due to its increasing popularity in the field of cardiac treatments. Costa Rica, Dubai, Poland, and the Philippines have been identified as the prospective countries for medical tourism in this market study.In addition, technical advancements in the field of healthcare are likely to boost this market greatly during the forecast period, states the market report.
Darshan Baid | MumbaiAs per the 2017 figures, India now ranks among the top five source markets for Thailand after China, Malaysia, Korea and Laos. In 2017, over 1.4 million Indians visited Thailand, an increase of 18% over the previous year.Speaking about the potential of the Indian market, Santi Chudintra, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said, “We regard the Indian market as one of the very high-potential markets. We have seen an 18% increase in Indian travellers last year over 2016. This year, I would suggest the Indian travellers explore the niche beach resorts in Thailand in the current year.”Over the years, Thailand has emerged as one of the preferred wedding and honeymoon destinations for Indians. TAT is initiating many unique activities and projects this year that will focus on promoting women travelling, family and first-time traveller segments for the Indian market, outlined Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand- Mumbai on the sidelines of OTM 2018.Talking about the travel show, she remarked, “OTM is India’s largest and most international gathering of travel trade buyers and professionals. Most importantly it is conducted in Mumbai each year which is the headquarters for almost all major outbound tour operators.”
The Prague Convention Bureau paid tribute to distinguished Czech scientists, professors, physicians and other elite experts for their contribution to the Prague meeting industry, at the 10th Ambassador Awards Evening. The award ceremony took place on April 3 at the Residence of the Mayor of Prague.Ambassador Awards Evening celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding this year. More than 40 Prague congress ambassadors were present at the anniversary ceremony. The event was held under the auspices of Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of the City of Prague, who attended the ceremony in person.In all, 42 events were awarded over the course of the Ambassador Awards Evenings’ 10 years existence. The events attracted more than 130,000 delegates to Prague, generating more than 377,000 room nights.“I would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude to the ambassadors awarded this year, and to all our congress ambassadors. Their active engagement in the process, starting from the candidacy and ending with the congress itself requires a great amount of their effort and patience. The awarded and nominated congresses often hold many primacies and records indicating the increasing attractiveness of Prague as a meeting destination. Local scientific community can thus profit from numerous opportunities to develop and improve its knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields,” said Lucie Čapková from the Prague Convention Bureau Ambassador Program.The Ambassador Awards Evening was held with the support of Prague City Hall, CzechTourism agency and Czech Convention Bureau and the event was moderated by Veronika Paroulková.